Summer is right around the corner (for some of us, with the humidity and the 80 degree weather, it feels like it's already here!) and with that comes my favorite things -
Good Music, AC's, Flip-flops, Pool sides and Summer Reading. I secretly adore getting Dunkin Donut's Coolattas and rolling down the windows with some sort of "women-power" "kick-ass" "emotional" music. (No, Not the 'Fight Song.')
If you're anything like me, I usually have a go-to author that almost always publishes a book in time to enjoy lounging by the pool side with. I find myself searching bookshelves when I don't have something to read in desperation. What can I do while I dip my toes in the cool, crystal blue water? I usually go back to my favorites - Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell, and now - several new names from the Parliament House Publishing Company!
If you're looking for the next read to get your hands on, you'll be set with this list - a selection of books I've loved, and books that I want to read.
JUST LISTEN - SARAH DESSEN
There is nothing quite like a Sarah Dessen book in the summer. When I think about this book in particular, I think about the romance of music mixes, car washes and cute boys named Owen. This was also a huge inspiration to me when writing my own novel, "The Songs in Our Hearts." Music can play a role in any sort of story-telling - whether it's in the movies, tv-shows, or books. If you're looking for something to sweep you up in the sweet hazy heat of summer - this one will do! (Other titles that I adore by Sarah Dessen: THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER, THIS LULLABY and LOCK AND KEY)
*THE CRUEL PRINCE - HOLLY BLACK
This is a book that's been on my Go-To / Must - Read list since it's come out. I'm not quite sure if I'll love it, or just mildly like it - but I'm definitely ready to take the plunge! What did you think?
* MY PLAIN JANE - CYNTHIA HAND, JODI MEADOWS, BRODI ASHTON
I LOVED "My Lady Jane" when the book came out about two summers ago. I LOVED finding gems like "God's Teeth" and hearing Cary Elwes in my head saying it over and over again. (I won't like, I use "God's Teeth" too in my books.) I enjoyed the twist and turns to the story - and the inspiration used from "The Princess Bride" and the movie "Lady Jane." All of which I recommend watching if you haven't seen it! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. (I'm a sucker for Jane Eyre - anything.)
TO KILL A KINGDOM - ALEXANDRA CHRISTO
To say that I loved this book is an understatement. The Prince and Princess in this novel blew me away by their banter and the tension between the two as the novel progressed. To say this is a "Little Mermaid" retelling is . . . hardly doing the book justice. This is an entirely original, funny, adventure-filled, romantic, thrilling novel that you NEED to read this summer. You might even begin to look at the ocean just a little differently by the end.
FANGIRL - RAINBOW ROWELL
I'm sure there are a crowd of girls who feel they're the main character in Fangirl. (Esp. the ones who did write Fanfiction on Fanfiction.net)
This book was so engaging and thrilling and lovely - and emotional. I have to say that I felt the aftereffects of this book DAYS after I finished reading. I couldn't get Levi out of my head. So if you're looking for a book and considered this one - I say - DO IT.
TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE (Series) - JENNY HAN
I started this book by chance - and through an audio-book at that. But as soon as I started, I was hooked. I can still remember finishing the first book in the series at 2 AM - and going "OH MY GOD! I NEED THE SECOND ONE NOW!" Of course, I quickly bought the e-book and began right away. The story of Lara Jean also inspired me to begin writing "The Songs in Our Hearts," - my own High School Romance. It's light, fluffy and sweet.
THE SONGS IN OUR HEARTS - CHANTAL GADOURY
I can't write a "book recommendation" without including my own, of course. This book is my personal fictionalized version of my high school life. Charlie (the girl) has a crush with Micah (the boy). The book is their musical journey of navigating through their friendship/relationship and figuring out how to combat what other's think. I definitely say if you want something fun and quick to read, you should pick up a copy!
ALLERLEIRAUH - CHANTAL GADOURY
This is my first Fairy-Tale Retelling - officially. I was always captivated by this story and felt it was an important one to share - only because so many people DON'T KNOW this tale! I will warn you - it's dark, and touches on subjects related to the #METOO movement. But I promise, Part Two of the book . . . with Prince Klaus, a beautiful castle and elegant gowns make it all worth it. (And no, this is NOT an insta-love story either.) Fans of "Beauty" by Robin McKinley will appreciate the journey of "ALLERLEIRAUH."
BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS - CHANTAL GADOURY
Splashing to Shelves on June 19th - Fans of "To Kill A Kingdom" will be swept away in another Mermaid Romantic Fantasy. Inspired by Disney's "Treasure Planet," "Aladdin," "Alice in Wonderland," and "The Little Mermaid," the tale of Lena, a beautiful mermaid, Jace - an innkeeper's son, and Soren, an avid tea-drinker will certainly take you away this summer to a mystical, wondrous world. I Promise.