My top summer reads 2016

Hi everyone!

Holidays are finally over and school started this week for my daughter, Sasha. Don’t know who was more excited about it  – probably me.

This summer was an eventful one. We moved from our London flat at the end of June then spent July in the South of France. Early August, we settled in our new house and new life in Brooklyn. We’re thrilled!

But because of all these travels and moves, I had to put aside writing and blogging for the past couple of months. Luckily I did have time to read and I made the most of it. 14 books in 3 months, most of them great reads that reminded me why I want to write.

I picked my top 3 summer reads to share with you:

1. Paper Princess by Erin Watt

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Blurb

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Review

There were many things that appealed to me in Paper Princess.

First, it’s a YA novel, a genre that I’m very fond of.

Second, I loved the heroine, Ella. She’s strong and resilient and despite a difficult childhood being raised by a single stripper mom (and having to strip herself), she hasn’t lost her ability to love and hope for a brighter future. She’s a very modern young woman, one who doesn’t wish upon a star but believes that hard work and courage will get her the stability she’s always yearned for.

Third, the Royal men – five brothers, tough as nails and sexy as hell.

The book had the same kind of pull on me as Twilight had. Perhaps it comes from the shared intensity in the love interest. Reed is as dangerous to Ella as Edward is to Bella in the uber famous vampire series. Like Edward, he tries to keep the woman he loves away from him, to protect her, but the attraction is too strong and nothing will keep the lovers apart.

I devoured the book in a couple days and paced all throughout July for the second book in the series, Broken Prince, to come out. Felt great pretending I was a teenager once again, a perfect diversion to my life as a thirty something year old mom.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Blurb

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Review

Another YA novel in my top three. Although I did read both books in the series during the summer, and A Court of Thorns and Roses was pretty fantastic as well, A Court of Mist and Fury was by far my favorite. It mixes the element of fantasy and romance from ACOTAR but raises the stakes as the heroine, Feyre, needs to make a choice – well, many really. To choose between two men, both of whom she may love, and between her love for Tamlin and herself. Will she stay with her prince charming and remain in her gilded cage or embrace the cold again?

The series based loosely on Beauty and the Beast takes a fairytale and transforms it into an epic tale of love, loss, hope and feministic empowerment.

Favorite quote:

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again.
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

3. The law of Moses by Amy Harmon

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Blurb

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.

Review

This one is totally different from the two previous novels. It’s actually very different from anything I ever read before. Supernatural meets rural simple life in this gem of a novel. Feelings run deep, in this life and beyond. Love lost and love found fuse together to become one. Past and present weave an intricate tapestry with two young star-crossed lovers at its center.

Moses is a beautiful character, an artist with a dark past that keeps bleeding into his present. Trying to shield Georgia from his ghosts and his unending run ins with the law (both are actually related), he causes her unfathomable pain.

Which is why I loved Georgia even better than poetic Moses. She’s a salt of the earth kind of character, honest to a fault, lively and tragically trustful. She loves without bound nor fear. When Moses is presented with a way to realize his loss and fix it, her heart is still big enough to forgive him.

The element of suspense adds a great layer to this already smartly crafted story but I won’t say more not to spoil the effect. You’ll have to take my word for it – The law of Moses is a must read.

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Now that I shared my reasons for picking these books with you, I want to spread the love by gifting a paperback of these novels to you. One copy of each up for the grab! Share your top summer read(s) in the box below and I’ll pick three winners at random in a week’s time.
Looking forward to reading your recommendations… Always on the look-out for my next favorite book! Thanks! xx

 

 

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