Galentine’s Day Books & Treats

February is generally seen as “the month of love” because of Valentine’s Day. I have never been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a relationship because why should one day be devoted to adoring your significant other when it should happen every day. So this month, instead of giving you books about romance, I’m focusing on books about a different kind of love. The kind of love you have for your best friend! These books tell a great story of friendship in one way or another.

What is Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day comes from a Parks and Recreation show. As character Leslie Know explains “it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” So, I suggest grabbing your favorite gal pals and binge reading and treat making some treats to go along with each book.

Here are my Galentine’s Day book recommendations and a little special treat to go along with each.

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

This book is split between Veronica and McKenna’s point of view. Vee and Kenna are two best friends who complete and compliment each other in every way. One is hard headed and the other is more free spirited. I adore this friendship because it feels real, and you can connect with each BFF. This story will make you laugh and maybe make you cry. It is a great book to settle into for a night as your transported to a beautiful Scottish backdrop.

To pair with this book, I recommend making Scottish Shortbread. I recommend using this easy recipe.

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

If you’re into stories that give you wanderlust, this is the perfect book for you! Childhood BFF’s Leela and Sydney travel through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France and learn about themselves and their friendship along the way. It is fun to read and leaves you longing to backpack through Europe. The BFF dynamic in this book is realistic. Sydney and Leela’s friendship is tested at times and it is something every long-term friend will eventually see. But both girls push each other in ways only a best friend knows how.

I recommend grabbing your favorite pint of gelato! My favorite is talenti’s black raspberry chocolate chip.

You Deserve A Drink by Mamrie Hart

While this book has some awesome gal pals and tales of friendship, I recommend this book for Galentine’s Day because Mamrie Hart is someone I would LOVE to have as a friend in life. She’s hilarious, ambitious, a pretty mean cook, and eccentric. She tells her stories in a way that makes you feel like you were there.

The best part about Mamrie’s book, is that each chapter comes with a built in drink menu. You can make your favorite, or try them all. My personal favorite with a sweet touch is “Frame the Cookie.”

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Quincy Carpenter is intent on leading a normal life. She’s the survivor of an event that killed her closest college friends. She was the only one who survived. But why? Her wounds were not even remotely fatal. Some doubt Quincy’s story. She’s conveniently forgotten the details of the murders. Did she kill her friends? Was it the mysterious boy that Janelle invited into the cabin with them? Someone else entirely?

Why a slasher story for Galentine’s Day? Because there are some fundamental friendships that every woman faces in her life. Sometimes we don’t know who to trust and other times we need to learn to trust our instincts. This is a quick read that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

For this one, I recommend this strawberry cupcake recipe in honor of our baker, Quincy.

Advertisements

Anticipated Book Releases of 2018

A new year means new book releases to look forward to. For the past couple of months, I have scavenged sites and marked my calendar to compile a list of books I am excited about this year. I am not listing all YA new releases for the year, just the books that I want to read.

Here’s a list of books that I’m looking forward to reading as well as their release dates and brief description (where applicable).

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu* [Jan 2]

  • “One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminal. In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.” —Goodreads

When My Heart Joins the Thousands by A.J. Steiger [Feb. 6]

  • “A heartbreaking debut YA romance featuring a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history and the chronically ill boy trying to break the vault encasing her heart.Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy. If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home. All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway. Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about. Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all.” —Harper Collins

I’ve Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart* [Feb. 6]

  • “When Mamrie simultaneously enters her 30s and finds herself single for the first time since college, the world is suddenly full of possibilities. Emboldened by the cool confidence that comes with the end of one’s 20s plus the newfound independence of an attachment-free lifestyle, Mamrie commits herself to living life with even more spirit, adventure, and heart than before. Mamrie dives into new experiences at full-tilt and seeks out once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (like meeting the Dixie Chicks), bucket-list goals (like visiting the Moulin Rouge), and madcap adventures (like going anchors-away on a Backstreet Boys cruise)—all while diving back into the dating world for the first time in a decade. In I’ve Got This Round, readers will find the same shameless honesty and I’ll-try-anything-once spirit they loved in Hart’s New York Times bestseller You Deserve a Drink. Mamrie doubles down on her strong female friendships, her willingness to engage in shenanigans, and her inimitable candor, taking the reader along for a wild and unforgettable journey through adulting.” —Amazon

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen [Feb. 27]

  • “Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what — and who — it is they’re fighting for.” —Goodreads

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw [March 6]

  • Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them. Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.” —Simon & Schuster

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir [March 6]

  • “When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.” —Goodreads

Frat Girl by Kiley Roache* [March 27]

  • Sometimes the F-word can have more than one meaning…For Cassandra Davis, the F-word is fraternity—specifically Delta Tau Chi, a house on probation and on the verge of being banned from campus. Accused of offensive, sexist behavior, they have one year to clean up their act. For them, the F-word is feminist—the type of girl who hates them to the core and is determined to make them lose their home. With one shot at a scholarship to attend the university of her dreams, Cassie pitches a research project—to pledge Delta Tau Chi and provide proof of the misogynistic behavior for which they are on probation. After all, they’re frat boys. She knows exactly what to expect once she gets there. Exposing them should be a piece of cake. But the boys of Delta Tau Chi have their own agenda, and fellow pledge Jordan Louis is certainly more than the tank-top-wearing “bro” she expected to find. With her heart and her future tangled in a web of her own making, Cassie is forced to realize that the F-word might not be as simple as she thought after all.” —Barnes & Noble

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton [March 27]

  • “The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.” —Goodreads

Bound to You by Alyssa Brandon [April 10]

  • “Mate—from the word soulmate—the person who is ideally suited to you. Your perfect match. The one you’re destined to be with. Your one true love. The one you can’t live without. Megan Ross has been waiting her whole life for her mate to come and sweep her off her feet. But, the wolf she meets on the beach is NOT the sweet gentle boy she’s been dreaming of. Instead, he’s a warrior, one who has locked his heart away in a prison as cold and hard as a diamond. Far from home, with a soulmate who is still in many ways a stranger, Megan learns that the path to true love isn’t quite as straight and easy as she thought…” —Swoon Reads

A Court of Frost & Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5) by Sarah J Maas* [May 1]

  • “Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming spinoff novels. Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.” —Goodreads

Royals by Rachel Hawkins [May 1]

  • “Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.” —Penguin Random House

The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan [May 15]

  • “Kendall Evans is a good girl. Good student, good daughter, good friend. Happy to be “spotlight-adjacent” to her best friend, Kendall enjoys popularity-by-proximity. But with one mistake—an accident, really—she becomes the “bad girl” of her senior class. After getting caught “in the act” with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall spends her summer hiding out, unplugged from social media. Now it’s the first day of her final semester and graduation can’t come soon enough.” —The Rights Factory

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein [June 19]

  • “For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue. Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?” —Goodreads

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen [July 10]

  • “They say that Château Beaumont is cursed, but servant girl Lucie doesn’t believe in such foolishness. How could anyone as handsome as Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont and master of the estate, be cursed? But when the chevalier behaves with brutal cruelty, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish with a spell that transforms handsome Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast. At last the chevalier’s appearance reflects the monster he is inside. But Beast proves to be nothing like Jean-Loup. Jean-Loup would never tend his roses so patiently; Jean-Loup would never pick up a pen and attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.” —Target

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre [July 17]

  • “A 16-year-old girl wakes in the hospital following a car crash that killed her best friend to discover everyone calling her by her dead friend’s name, and when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore.” —Ann Aguirre

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart [July 24]

  • “In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.” —Tracy Banghart 

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning [July 31]

  • “Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.” —Goodreads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons #3) by Sarah J Maas* [Aug. 7]

  • “Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing. Selina is playing a desperate game of cat and mouse, forming unexpected friendships and entangling herself with Batwing by night and her devilishly handsome neighbor Luke Fox by day. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the heist that’s closest to her heart?” —Sarah J Maas

The Struggle is Real by Maggie Ann Martin [Aug. 21]

  • “Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her big sister―and best friend―goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.Amazon

Untitled Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J Maas* [Oct. 30]

 

*Denotes books that I have pre-ordered

 

What books are you looking forward to in 2018?

June Quick Reads

Well, I read two books on June’s TBR. Does anyone else never seem to follow the reading lists they make?

I’m starting a monthly/bimonthly quick reads section. Each book in this section is about 300 pages or less and was a “quick read.” In these reviews, I’ll give a small 200 word or less impression of each book.

 

The Missing/Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann 

At first, I was confused about tracking the name of this book. The American title is Cryer’s Cross, but the British release is titled The Missing. Personally, I probably would not have picked up the American version because Cryer’s Cross sounds too romance-novel for my liking. Overall, this book is not the most memorable. As I’m sitting here, I cannot recall many details of this book. I do know that the main character, Kendall, is likeable. Over the past six months, two classmates have disappeared. Kendall is the one who cracks the case and almost falls prey to the thing claiming souls. Every other chapter is a back and forth that leave you confused for the first half of the novel. The chapters in a “we” point of view are vague. But everything clicks into place…eventually. The novel is slow-paced. And the climax of the book doesn’t happen until the last few chapters. Then, everything is magically normal again. I’m not the biggest fan. It is well written and approaches OCD in a way I haven’t seen before. But that’s as far as the positives go. Still, it’s not the worst. Rating 2/5

 

You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart  

I LOVE Mamrie Hart. This is the perfect book for summer. Whether it’s a beach read or you’re sipping a glass of wine or taking shots, this is a must read. Like her YouTube Channel, YDAD is not only a fun series of stories, but a hilarious drinking game. At the start of every chapter, there is a new drink recipe. And you bet your ass I saved most of these drinks to return to later. My favorite biographies are a series of short stories, and Mamrie delivers. Most of her stories are of college or her twenties. They’re pretty relatable. And the ones that aren’t are hilarious. I suggest picking up this book and grabbing a drink. Hey, you have until February until her second book comes out. So, drink up! Rating: 5/5

A Million Junes by Emily Henry  

If you want to read a book that emotionally wrecks you and pieces you together, this is it. June experiences love, grief, heartbreak, wonder, and everything in between. She questions who she is and what she wants, all while learning about her family and the curse the Angerts and O’Donnell’s are plagued by. This is a beautiful story about love and loss. It’s even beautifully written. It’ll make you smile and probably shed a few tears along the way. A Million Junes is one book that you have to read. Rating 4/5

 

Starflight by Melissa Landers  

This was a cute book. The first half seemed slow and the end seemed a little rushed. The crew of the Banshee is an eclectic bunch. The two main characters, Solara and Doran learn about forgetting preconceived notions of people. And of course, it’s not a teen fiction book without a stereotypical romance. I loved the space pirates. And traveling through different worlds. You just can’t think realistically about space travel in this book. I do recommend this to anyone who loves adventure and outer space. Rating 3/5

June TBR

I’m starting June by reading books I have previously never heard of. Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting two local authors at a meet and greet in Joseph Beth. I was unfamiliar with these authors, but still jump at the chance to meet new authors and learn about new books. These books may not be “new” but they are to me. First I hope to read Starflight by Melissa Landers and Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Lagdon. As a note, both of these authors were wonderful and incredibly sweet. Especially because I wasn’t fingerling over them and had genuine questions about their books and writing styles.

Next, I got in two books from the library that I’ve had on hold for about two weeks. Roseblood by A. G. Howard and The Black Witch by Laurie Forest are next on my list. I don’t know much about either of these books. I came across them in Joseph Beth and was not committed enough to buy them.

Finally, I’ve had this last book on my shelf for at least a year. I think I got it when it first came out, stuck it on my shelf and forgot about it.  You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart is the last book I hope to finish this month. With Mamrie’s announcement of her next book being released in February of next year, it’s about time I read her first!

What are you reading this month?

WordPress.com.

Up ↑