Fab Five Friday – Authors I Want to Hug

YOU GUYS! Today is the day! We will be embarking on our epic 8 hour road trip to attend YALLWest- an incredible young adult book festival in Santa Monica featuring nearly 40 authors, panels, book signings, events, and food trucks!

yallwest logo

Shortly, we will be packing up the rental car, gearing up our playlist, and settling in for our long drive. I’m sure we’ll discuss the finer points of recent books we’ve read, strategize over which author panels and signings we plan to attend, and of course, gush over our favorite authors.

Here are my fab five favorite authors I hope to hug this weekend!


shannon hale

Shannon Hale

I LOVED her adult books, Austenland and Midnight in Austenland. On twitter, she always participates in engaging dialogue on various topics in young adult literature. Plus, she seems like a super sweet person! I can’t wait to meet her!

Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack with husband Dean Hale. They live near Salt Lake City, Utah with their four small children, and their pet, a small, plastic pig.


stephanie perkins

Stephanie Perkins

This gal is a young adult lit bad ass. Forserious. Her books so perfectly capture all the feels of being a teenager facing tough decisions and determining one’s identity. Plus, there’s plenty of swoony moments. LOVE. HER.

Hi, there! I’m Steph, and I wrote ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. A companion anthology, SUMMER DAYS & SUMMER NIGHTS, will be released in 2016. My next YA novel will be horror—a teen slasher published by Dutton.
robin lafevers

Robin LaFevers

Y’all, this lady is the MASTER of alternative historical fiction. Her His Fair Assassin series blew my mind! I cannot wait to meet this ridiculously talented author!

R.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award, and the NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST series. Her first young adult novel, GRAVE MERCY, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring of 2012. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days gazing longingly at ancient artifacts or wallowing in old forgotten texts.


richelle mead

Richelle Mead

I recently whipped through the entire Vampire Academy series, and I LOVE this chick’s take on the paranormal. Plus, she’s a ginger.

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy. A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She’s a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.


veronica roth

Veronica Roth

Ok, so I’ve only read the first book in the Divergent series, but I still really want to meet her! She is a HUGE YA lit celebrity, and I really want to meet someone who has encountered so much success.

Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)


*Images and author bios courtesy of Goodreads*

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Fab Five Fairytale Re-tellings

Fab Five Fairytale Retellings

This post is inspired by the beautiful new “Cinderella” movie! Yes, we all know the plot, but we’ve never seen it like this before! The colors are amazing, the costumes are swoon-worthy, Cinderella is strong and inspirational, and on and on. I LOVE fairytale retellings because I love these classic themes and seeing how they are timeless even in different settings and situations. So, in honor of Cinderella, here are five fab fairytale retellings.


1.  Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon: Oh my gosh, I ADORE this series! It takes the classic fairytale characters and drops them into the modern world with modern problems. The Beast is cheating on Belle, Cinderella had children too quickly and never got to fulfill her own dreams, Penny’s (Princess and the Pea) husband is a mama’s boy, and Rapunzel refuses to let any man into her heart after being abandoned by her prince. It’s totally chick lit style. All of the characters are flawed, not perfect like in the fairytales, and they all experience personal growth. This book is the bee’s knees!

2.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: This was one of those books where I saw the movie first and enjoyed it, then read the book and thought it was so much better! Ella is cursed with the “gift” of obedience. She must do what she is told to do. Of course, her step-mother and step-sisters take major advantage of this. Ella goes on an adventure to find the fairy who cursed her to undo the curse and falls in love with the prince along the way. I felt so bad for Ella because of her curse, but she was so strong and clever despite it. An awesome YA read!

3.  Beastly by Alex Finn: Ok in all honesty, I haven’t read this book yet. It’s been on my to-read forever after I saw the movie and was surprised by how much I loved it! Kyle Kingsbury, the richest and most popular guy in his New York high school, has been cursed by a girl in his English class because he treats others rudely. He is turned into a “beast” (becomes ugly) and has two years to find true love. He’s going to have to get past looks and find someone else who can as well!

4.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I haven’t read this series yet, but my blog partner has and I have met the author in-person (at one of our awesome book events!). Cinder is a cyborg with a mysterious past. The prince begins to fall for her, not knowing she is considered a sub-par citizen due to being a cyborg. In addition, the earth is suffering from a deadly disease and considering making an alliance with an evil lunar queen. What a creative re-telling of Cinderella putting a dystopian/space/sci fi twist on the story!

5.  Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn: Mina thought she was a typical teenage girl until she finds out she is a descendant from the Brothers Grimm. Her family is cursed to live out every fairy tale and try to survive until the end in order to break the curse. In book one, she gets through two of the 200 stories she needs to complete. I loved the premise of this story, though I do think it could be better done. Here’s hoping the sequels are an improvement!

***The buy links above are from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***


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Fab Five Mommy Stories

Fab Five Women’s Fiction Mommy Stories

Do you love mommy drama? Here are the top five fiction stories about being a mom I’ve read!

1. The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman: I really enjoyed this story! Sophie is a career woman who has lost touch with her old best friend, Carrie. Carrie passed away, leaving six-year-old Bella and three-year-old Izzy to Sophie, since their dad ran off a few years ago. Sophie never imagined herself as a mother, but she finds herself falling in love with the girls when their father returns. I really loved this book, although it was somewhat cliche, it was adorable and fun!

2. Totlandia: Book One: The Onesies-Fall by Josie Brown: I just read this book and was surprised at how much I liked it. Four parents are trying to get into the exclusive Pacific Heights Moms and Tots Club, their first step to their children’s successful future. However, each parent has a secret they want to keep hidden from the group. The readers get to read the story from the different parents’ different perspectives. It was really interesting how they’re all trying to keep secrets from each other and all the crazy rules of the Moms and Tots Club. I got really sucked into each story!

3. But I said Forever by Jennifer Gilby Roberts: Brittany is a mother who feels she has lost her own identity in being a wife and mother. She starts attempting to become more independent, when she finds out a secret about her husband, Philip. I feel like a lot of moms will be able to relate to Brittany’s feelings in this story.

4. A Year in the Life of the Playground Mother by Christie Barlow: This is the story of a mother who moves into a new town and has to deal with the “playground mafia.” She has some crazy neighbors and fellow moms to deal with, so the story gets pretty hilarious. Rachel, the main character, is a likeable woman and just about the only good mother around. You pity her!

5. Finding Emma by Steena Holmes: Megan’s daughter, Emma, has been missing for two years and she thinks she sees her daughter everywhere. I loved this book! The emotion was so real in all the characters. They truly felt like real people going through an unspeakable crisis. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! If you like books about mothers and relationships, buy this book!

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***


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Fab Five Friday – Favorite Book Covers

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but OhMyWord, you guys! These book covers make my nerdy heart so happy!

This Fab Five Friday is dedicated to my favorite covers.

Some folks HATE having people on the cover. They say that it distracts them from the story, and prevents them from creating their own image of the characters as they read for themselves.

Clearly, I am not one of those people.

I LOVE covers with gorgeous gowns, beautiful backgrounds, or provocative poses. To me, they sweep the reader straight into the setting, and smoothly places them in the thick of the action.


the selection series

The Selection series.

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it. Part of the appeal of these covers is that they feature a redhead (GINGER POWER!). They also spotlight STUNNING dresses that I really wish I could wear to a fancy ball. America’s expressions also range from cheeky to thoughtful to confident as the series progresses. I’m a fan!


his fiar assassin series

His Fair Assassin series.

ForTheLoveOfAllThingsSparkly. THESE COVERS! Can’t you just FEEL the emotion radiating from the screen?! Bad ass heroines sporting hard core weapons with fierce expressions. What more can you ask for?


maid of honor series

Maids of Honor series.

These covers illustrate character casting at its finest. The cover image manages to capture the essence of the leading lady perfectly! Plus, the hunky guys. Yummm! ;)


illusions of fate

Illusions of Fate.

This is the perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Isn’t the cover SUBLIME? The story, however, was a bit of a let-down. I LOVE the mischievous smile, the dainty teacup, and the steam of crows. SO MUCH BEAUTY in this cover! I just wish the insides had lived up to the outsides.


the falconer

The Falconer.

Once again, a cover featuring a fierce, totally bad ass heroine. Gotta love the steampunk feel, as well!


What do YOU think? What elements make a fetching cover design? What are some of your favorites? Share in the comments below!


Cover images obtained from Goodreads.
Please see our policies page for our review policies.

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