This weekend is Valentine’s Day and to celebrate I’m sharing one of my favorite love songs ever. Of course, I’ve always interpreted Yellow to be a love song, but others have said they believe it’s about death. Ugh, ok creepers. In reality, Yellow is not about anything more than just inspiration striking at the right moment for Chris Martin and the other members of Coldplay (according to the Wiki page).
Whatever, Coldplay. I believe it’s a beautiful love song. Enjoy!
Fun fact: I also relate this song to the book Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Check out that post HERE. :)
So I went on a little bargain shopping spree on Book Outlet. They have a scratch/dent category that has books under $2! You can’t even see the imperfections on most of them. Anyway… I got 10 books for $30. Can’t beat that!
2 stars. I think I may be done with this series and with Abbi Glines for a while. These books were both two star ratings from me. I just feel like it’s the same story over and over again. Boy and girl fall in love, boy is a huge player, girl is virginal, innocent and has a shady past, but then she meets the guy and he fixes everything. Every book in the Rosemary Beach series seems to follow this pattern. So no more for me.
5 stars. This is only my third Colleen Hoover book by she is turning into one of my favorite. I love her stories and the characters she creates. I really like that she can write love stories that seem new and creative, without being repetitive.
I read four books for this challenge and I’m still in the middle of reading Winter, wow that book is long! I had lots of luck with the books I read for this challenge because I ended up loving all of them. Two 5 stars reads in one month, that almost never happens with me!
4 stars. Even though I heard a lot of great things about this book I was a little hesitant to read it. I am one of the few people who really didn’t like The Grisha series. So, I didn’t know how I would feel about this one. Luckily I really loved this book, the characters were amazing and even though it’s set in the same world as Shadow and Bone, the stories are independent.
For January, I chose The 5th Wave series since the movie was getting released and I had yet to read the books! Although I had some problems with the first book, I still really enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars. The second book was a real downer for me though and only scored 2 stars. :( I’m still looking forward to reading book 3 when it’s released.
This was a super cute read about two friends who have never met in person and have only ever talked through phone calls, text, video chats. Hannah finally decides it’s time to meet Nick, so she drives to Vegas to surprise him! What could go wrong right?
Can’t say enough good things about this book!! Not only is the writing fantastic, but the characters are phenomenal! I loved being able to learn even more history of characters that I’ve came to love from watching the tv show.
I loved the concept of aliens taking over in “waves” where the humans were left not knowing what to expect next as opposed to bam… flash… everyone DEAD! The last couple of chapters were intense and I was left ready for more…
When the ladies of Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast extended the invitation to be a part of this event I had to say yes! I love romance and swoon and could not pass this up.
So for my stop I’ll be sharing some favorite scenes that make my heart race every. single. time! I hope some of yours and mine are the same. Are you ready??
Scenes That Make My Heart Race
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
“Come on. You have to admit, it’s sort of ridiculous.”
Now that I had to define it, I found myself struggling for the right words. “You know,” I said, then figured Kristy had really summed it up best. “The sa-woon.”
“Wes, come on,” I said. “Are you seriously not aware of how girls stare at you?”
He rolled his eyes, leaning back on his palms. “Let’s get back to the idea of you being perfect.”
“Seriously. What’s it like?”
“Being perfect? I wouldn’t know.”
“Not being perfect.” I sighed. “Being…”
As I tried to come up with something, he flicked a bug off his arm.
“…gorgeous,” I finished. […]
“Again,” he said, as the parking lot girls passed by, eyeing both of us, “I wouldn’t know. You tell me.”
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
We are kissing like crazy. Like our lives depend on it. His tongue slips inside my mouth, gentle but demanding, and it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced, and I suddenly understand why people describe kissing as melting because every square inch of my body dissolves into his. My fingers grip his hair, pulling him closer. My veins throb and my heart explodes. I have never wanted anyone like this before. Ever.
He pushes me backward and we’re lying down, making out in front of the children with their red balloons and the old men with their chess sets and the
tourists with their laminated maps and I don’t care, I don’t care about any of that.
All I want is Étienne.
The weight of his body on top of mine is extraordinary. I feel him—all of him—pressed against me, and I inhale his shaving cream, his shampoo, and
that extra scent that’s just . . . him. The most delicious smell I could ever imagine.
I want to breathe him, lick him, eat him, drink him. His lips taste like honey. His face has the slightest bit of stubble and it rubs my skin but I don’t care, I
don’t care at all. He feels wonderful. His hands are everywhere, and it doesn’t matter that his mouth is already on top of mine, I want him closer closer
Did any of these make your heart speed up a little??
Be sure to stop by all the blogs participating in the hop from now until February 14th – Collect the secret words to enter them in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!
I really love this guy’s voice. It reminds me Band of Horses, one of my favorite bands. I love the easy, classic melody of this song. And the repetitive lyrics make it easy to remember and sing along to. What do you guys think?
Hope you guys are reading some great contemporary romances so far! I know I am. :) If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!
If you have January posts or reviews make sure you post your links in the January Link-up, which closes on Feb. 5th!
Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details:
Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)
Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.
This month’s topic:
Contemporary Romance for Newbies
For this month’s topic we wanted to highlight books and/or authors people could start out reading if interested in dipping their toes in contemporary romance. If you’re a newbie to the genre you could talk about which ones you’re starting out with.
I’m going to give you a list of authors I think are great for newbies…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…
And thus, one of my favorite Contemporary Romance series comes to an end. *queue the tears*
Connor and Jessica have always been a bit of a mystery, and in Anything For You we find out why! They’ve kept their on-and-off relationship a secret from everyone for YEARS. Jessica had a really rough childhood. She’s grown up having to take care of herself and her brother. She’s super guarded and headstrong (ok, maybe stubborn is the better word), and she also doesn’t believe her and Connor could ever have a real future, due mostly to the fact that her brother HATES him. There’s a whole childhood flashback story that explains the sad circumstances as to why this is the case that totally made me cry. I’m a sucker, ok! There was a dog involved.
Connor is overly positive that if Jessica just let him try, her brother could get past it. He goes above and beyond in this book, but sometimes behind her back and yes, it backfires at a certain point. It felt like Connor was always trying and Jess was always shutting him down, so of course they frustrated me at times. But it all works out in the end! Connor stops trying so hard and Jess learns to let go of the tightly held reigns of her life and they are able to work things out… in the very end. :)
I’m sad to see this series come to a close but it was a great ending. I look forward to seeing what new characters Kristan Higgins will make me fall in love with next.
About Kristan Higgins
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristan Higgins writes down-to-earth romantic comedies…real life, true love and lots of laughs.
Kristan fell in love with romance at the age of 13, when she stole her grandmother’s copy of Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Much of her adolescence was spent mentally rewriting the end of Gone With the Wind. After a career in public relations and advertising, she started writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous afternoon naps. She is the author of seven romantic comedies and absolutely loves her job. Mom of two great kids, wife of a heroic firefighter and owner of a very cute mutt, Kristan lives in Connecticut.
I first heard this song late last year and didn’t think much of it at first listen, but the more I heard it the more I reeeeeally liked it. So if at first you’re not convinced, give it a few more listens. Trust me!
I really stacked the shelves in 2015, so my goal for 2016 is to buy more ebooks and reserve the physical book purchases for those I KNOW I’ll read within the month. So far, I’m staying on track! I know we’re less than a month into the year, but I’m really proud of myself! Lol
I’ll be reading one book a month from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and this week I finally purchased the physical copy of A Game of Thrones! This series is gonna look beautiful on my shelves!
My amazing co-logger Jess got me a copy of When We Collided by Emory Lord on her trip to ALAMW earlier this month!! Thank you, Jess!
Lastly, I received A Thousand Nights from Jackie as part of the Traveling Books Club and I’m already half way through!
I’ve added a few books to my shelves in the last few weeks most of them are middle grade. Since my daughter is participating in Battle of the Books for school we’ve been reading and quizzing each other non-stop! Here are the books I’ve picked up.
The only non-middle grade title I’ve picked up is Truthwitch. I was completely surprised when my Uppercase Box showed up with a signed hardcover! SQUEE!
I’m not going to lie, the cover of Crenshaw really grabbed me, I had to know why there was a giant cat on the cover.
The Freshman is one of those songs from the 90s that you never forget. The lyrics point to a sad story of abortion and suicide. And according to the song’s wiki page it’s partly true, which I never knew.
So for funsies, tell me what school grade or how old you were when this song came out: March 26, 1996. I was in 8th grade!
Firstly, my TBTB Secret Santa this year was the wonderful Estelle of Rather Be Reading and she spoiled me with all the ebooks she got me throughout December then finishing with a great box of goodies, which included Girl Before a Mirror. Thank you, Estelle!
I had some gift cards saved up and decided it was time to go on a book buying binge! (I’ve been working on my impulsive book buying.) I now have the complete Demon Love Spell manga series! I was missing the last 4 to complete the set. I also got the first book in the My Monster Secret manga series that just became available in the US this month. Lastly, I had to pick up Passenger and Truthwitch because I’ve been hearing such good things about them. So excited!
This is my first year to actually sign up for reading challenges! I signed up for two. Yay for firsts!
This year Jess (our blog president and founder) of Gone With The Wordsand Danielle of Love at First Page are hosting this challenge, so of course I had to partake. I typically read some contemporary romances every year, it’s not my most read genre but I do enjoy them a great deal! I also found I own lots of great ones that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I am excited!
I am challenging myself to read at least 20 fantasy books this year. I have chosen the below books to read for this challenge. I am almost certain this list will grow, but I think this is a good start! Hashtag#flightsoffantasy
This will be my first year participating in reading challenges and I think I’ve really picked some winners! I will be doing a total of 4 challenges and I’m excited to have each one of them really push me in 2016.
This year I’m participating in two challenges. I’ve never participated in any challenges before so this is all new to me and I’m just going to jump right in. I wanted to try to read more of a variety of books, and I love a good challenge so this will keep me on my toes. :)
The first challenge is the Six Squared Reading Challenge hosted by Amber at BookstackAmber. There are six categories in this challenge and you have to read six books in each category for a total of 36 books. I’m really excited about this one because this will help me get to all those debuts I’m looking forward to and those I missed from last year.
My second challenge is the Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge hosted by our own Jess! I love this challenge! Last year I started to realize that I read a lot of contemporary romances and I didn’t even realize it. This seems like a good way to keep track. I’m going for a Home Run (16-20 books), I think I can do this and maybe even more! I’m taking this challenge month by month too because I know I change my mind too often to plan out the whole year. Hashtag: #ContRom2016
2015 was a GREAT year in music for me. I found so much new music to love and reconnected with old favorites too. I went to million concerts–exaggerating, of course. :)
Here’s all the concerts I went to:
Feb: Motion City Soundtrack
Mar: John Legend
Mar: Fall Out Boy
July: Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional/Augustana
July: The Avett Brothers
Sept: Kelly Clarkson/Pentatonix/Eric Hutcherson
Sept: Ed Sheeran/Christina Perri
Sept: Passion Pit/Atlas Genius
Nov: Motion City Soundtrack
Dec: CHVRCHES/Robert Delong
Whoooooa! Right?! I feel very lucky.
Because of all the concerts I went to, all of TOP spotify lists had some of the above bands in them. Check it out!
Ok, so today I don’t have a specific song for you guys, but instead I’m sharing my whole Thursday Tracks Spotify Playlist, where you can listen to all the songs I’ve posted thus far. Let me know if any of them made your favorites!
1. Take acquiring books/ebooks/ARCs down a notch. – I finally reduced the number of books in my house in 2015 (most all unread) and now I just need to stop buying/requesting/receiving them and read what I have. Grant it, I acquired more ebooks/egalleys than physical books last year, which helped, but now I need to do that less too.
2. Get back out into the online bookish community. – I already hadn’t been commenting much on blogs, but twitter was where I kept up with everyone. Then the second half of 2015 I totally fell of the Twitterverse too! I need to get back to youuuuuuu, tweeps and bloggy friends. <3
3. Get on with losing weight. – I know I can do it. I can do it. I WILL DO IT! :)
4. Rid my house of junk, room by room. – I want to live a simple life, that’s all! I don’t want to have boxes of junk anymore.
5. Figure out a review style that works for me. – Believe it or not, I’ve been blogging for five years and I’ve yet to figure this out. Ugh. I hate it! I did some of it in 2015. Got rid of books and clothes, but now i need to delve further into the dark corners of my closets. lol
1. Read more from my own shelves. – This is always one of my resolutions! I have so many amazing books just waiting for me at home, books that I preordered, or bought on impulse, or got as gifts. It’s my own personal library heaven that I need to take advantage of!
2. Use the library – I love the library! There are a lot of branches around me and they are great at purchasing books I suggest in addition to having a really good selection. I need to save some money and shelf space and utilize the library more often this year.
3. Read more historical fiction. – Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres but I wasn’t always in the mood to sit down and concentrate on details or long books this year. I want to get lost in the past and catch up on a bunch of fantastic historical fiction (mostly adult) books I’ve been dying to read.
4. Write reviews in a timely manner. – I reviewed less in the latter half of the year because I was reading less, and I didn’t want to write a review just for the sake of writing a review. So I want to pick some interesting titles, actually read them, and actually review them on the blog! I’m hoping to write some this month.
5. Keep my house tidier. – This is a personal goal and mostly due to laziness. I would always rather snuggle on the couch with my dog Andy or watch WWE with Chris than fold laundry in the other room (so Andy won’t steal my socks haha). I’m also commuting to work now and have longer days, so I don’t want to do chores when I get home. And the dishes pile up and so does the junk mail, and and and. I want to focus on one main room/chore a day so it’s not so overwhelming to clean on the weekends.
1. Start reading the Harry Potter Series. – I have put this off for way too long. I always meant to read the series but I just kept procrastinating and now it’s just embarrassing.
2. Stop buying so many books I know I won’t read! – I’m going to try to only buy books if I’m actually going to read them sometime soon or the deal is so amazing and I can’t miss it. Sometimes I buy books I know I won’t read anytime soon and I really need to stop doing that, it’s bad for my bank account.
3. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or thinking of me and just focus on what makes me happy. – I tend to freak out about what everyone else is thinking about me or feeling like others are judging me and I need to stop and just focus on myself and what I’m doing.
4. Be more organized! – I need to be more organized with everything in my life: work, school, and blogging. I plan to be way more organized and on top of things this year, no more procrastinating and forgetting to write things down. This is definitely the resolution that’s most important to me this year.
5. Get to know more people in the book community. – Like I said before I tend to freak out and get anxious about what others are thinking about me and that has stopped me from interacting with people in the book community as much as I want to. This year I’m going to try not to let that hold me back and reach out and interact with more people. Hopefully I’ll make some more awesome friends in this wonderful community :)
Can you guys believe it?! FIVE YEARS! It doesn’t even feel like that long. Wow…
The last five years have been some of my most favorite ever. I’ve met some of the best people and gone to some awesome places, all because of this blog I started back in 2011. You can read all about the beginning of my blogging journey in my About Me page.
When I first started blogging I read a lot of paranormal, urban fantasy, and dystopian books. Since discovering contemporary though, I’ve read less and less of those genres. Contemporary is by far my favorite now. I do feel like I’m reading less and less each year and I have to learn to accept that fact because currently it makes me feel really guilty for some reason. This year I’ve decided against setting a Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to see if it’ll help me. *crosses fingers*
Blogging has certainly become a little less overwhelming since the ladies below joined me here. I’m so sooo thankful for them. Here’s what they had to say about blogging and/or blogging here at Gone with the Words…
I’ve always felt a deeper connection with fellow readers, even if I may not know them very well, they can relate to the pain of losing a favorite character, or the dreadful impatience while you wait for the next book to release in your favorite series. These are things that all book lovers experience, and this is why I love being part of the blogging community. I feel like I am a part of this great book lover network. I may not know you, but wow your description of the emotions you felt while reading such-and-such book in your review, are exactly the things I felt too! Instant connection. I get to experience these things while being a part of this great book review blog that my best friend created. Not only that, but I have made some new friends along the way. All of our reviewers are so excited about reading and we all have unique opinions and diverse tastes in books. There is something for everyone here, we are like a melting cauldron of book reviews. Gone with the Words is our little book universe and it is amazing. Happy blogiversary GWTW! I’m happy to be a part of you! <3
Blogging on Gone with the Words has been everything I hoped for! I didn’t want the pressure of starting a new blog in an already saturated community but I wanted a way to connect with other readers and share bookish thoughts. I’ve made so many amazing friends and found lots of great blogs to follow! And it makes my day when someone else connects with a book that I loved. I’m so glad Jess was looking for more co-bloggers when I applied in August 2014- she is the sweetest and makes blogging look effortless when I know it’s not always easy. I love blogging with her and the other girls and can’t wait for this year. I have a lot of books to push on you people ;)
I’ve been blogging at Gone with the Words for about two years now and I have loved every minute of it! I first found out about book blogging through Epic Reads and twitter. I never realized so many people loved the same types of books that I did and even blogged about them. I had no idea how to really get involved, so I just joined Goodreads and started posting my reviews there. One day I saw that Jess was looking for people to join her blog and I filled out the application thinking there was no way she would actually choose me but she did! Ever since then I have loved being a part of this blog and this community. Being able to share my thoughts with others and having conversations and chats with other book lover has really made me feel less alone in a lot of ways. I hope to continue being a part of this community for many more years.
When I reignited my love for books back in 2014 I never could have imagined where my new passion would take me! I knew of booktube and Goodreads, but I had yet to discover book blogs. When a friend told me about Jess and her love of books I began to follow her on Instagram. Then one night while laying in bed, I ran across her post asking for those interested to apply for co-blogger. *Insert me dropping my phone on my face from the excitement!* It’s been only 4 months since I’ve joined the wonderful ladies of GWTW, but I couldn’t be happier! Thank you for having me as part of the team, Jess. 5 years of blogging is a huge accomplishment and I wish you many more!
I started my blog in 2007 for a project in my Creative Writing class. We were required to keep up with the blog throughout the semester and I thought it was so fun when the class ended I decided I would kept it. Turns out, I wasn’t that good at updating it if I wasn’t getting any credit! Fast forward 8 years and I’m back at it again! Then, earlier this year, I joined Jess and the GWTW girls as a co-blogger. I love being a part of this community everyone is so amazing, it’s like I’ve gained a whole new family that I actually want to hang out with! There is nothing better than being able to flail, laugh or cry with a bunch of your bestie over a good book.
Aren’t these girls the best?! My little GWTW family is wonderful. :)
So to celebrate this wonderful occasion, we’re giving one lucky winner $75 in PayPal cash! This means you have to have a PayPal account to receive the prize, and you have to be at least 13 years of age, but also! It means that International readers can enter! Good luck, everyone!