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Every Last Word

    Top 10 of 2015: Best Contemporaries of 2015

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    Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2105

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As I mentioned previously…

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting Day One’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting today’s Day Three giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Contemporaries of 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    Best ________ of 2015

    Today is blogger’s choice and this year I decided to break with tradition and instead of debuts I have chosen to share my favorite contemporary reads of 2015 since I read so many of them this year. And while I may be stretching things a bit I am including contemporary thrillers in this list.

    If you want to know why they’re my favorites, just click their titles to check out my bookish thoughts and ratings.

    My Top 10 Favorite YA Contemporaries

    #1 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 PROOF OF FOREVER by Lexa Hillyer – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 THE TRAGIC AGE by Stephen Metcalfe – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 I AM THE TRAITOR by Allen Zadoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #6 ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #7 FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #8 PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD by Michelle Falkoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #9 FIRST THERE WAS FOREVER by Juliana Romano – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #10 LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    And instead of listing honorable mentions, though I had many of those, I am sharing…

    My Top 5 Favorite Non-YA Contemporaries

    I wish they didn’t have to be books I’d read in 2015 because I totally would have had MAYHEM by Jamie Shaw on this list. But while my review posted in 2015, I read it in 2014 so I can’t sneak it in.

    #1 MISSING DIXIE by Caisey Quinn – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 SWEET by Tammara Webber – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 BOUNCE by Noelle August – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 FROSH: FIRST BLUSH by Mónica B. Wagner – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 RULES OF SEDUCTION by Jenna Mullins – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Well, those are my picks. What topic did you choose for blogger’s choice? And what are your favorites?


    Leave a link to your Best *BLANK* of 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2015: Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 + Giveaway

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    Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2105

    A Week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting today’s Day One giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting Day Three’s giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    BEST BOOKS I’VE READ IN 2015

    I’ve read so many seriously amazing books this year, that picking just ten was a dreadfully impossible task. I’m just glad I read THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent in 2014 or it would have made narrowing down my list that much more horrendous. It also didn’t help that I read more books this year than last, that I’ve been in an eclectic reading mood, and that there were just so many incredible books written.

    #1 MENAGERIE by Rachel Vincent – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s unique, it’s hard-hitting, the writing is beautiful, the story is phenomenal, the series potential has me desperate for the next installment.

    #2 DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because this series is an all-time favorite, because the ending is abso-freaking-lutely killer, because it’s dark and gorgeous and the waiting is exquisite torture.

    #3 SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the story is epic, the world-building incredible, the writing gorgeous, the detail impeccable.

    #4 TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the writing is stunning, the world expansive and fascinating, the series riveting.

    #5 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s dark and gritty and edgy and shocking and disturbing, the writing brilliant, the story unforgettable.

    #6 SCHISM by Jenna Black – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s complex and interesting and fascinating. The world is chilling and still amazing. The characters sympathetic and scary. The story compelling.

    #7 AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s thrilling and epic and gripping and unputdownable. The dual POV makes it edge-of-your-seat exciting.

    #8 THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s so wicked and dark and wildly entertaining. It’s about villains. Nothing more needs to be said.

    #9 ROOK by Sharon Cameron – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s action-packed, nerve-wracking, suspenseful. There are twists and turns. There’s romance, betrayal and heartbreak. What’s not to love?

    #10 SALT & STONE by Victoria Scott – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s awesome and amazing and adorable and nail-biting. The characters are ones you can’t help but love, love, love. Though the possibility that there might not be a next book in the series is heartbreaking.


    Honorable Mentions

    I really wanted to limit honorable mentions to just five, but I couldn’t do it. Limiting it to 15 was hard enough as it was.

    So those are my favorite reads for 2015. What are yours?


    The Giveaway

    giveaway

    I’m offering up for giveaway…

    • Books of Your Choice (up to $30 US) open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships

    ***The giveaway is ONLY open to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event***

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on December 31st at 11:59 PM Pacific
    • Giveaway is open ONLY to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event
    • Giveaway is open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Winner will be chosen by and announced in the Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be contacted by email and have 72 hours to respond

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Review: EVERY LAST WORD

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    Title: EVERY LAST WORD
    Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
    Release date: June 16, 2015
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

    Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand:  Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

    Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

    Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

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    NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    EVERY LAST WORD is an exceptionally well-written and beautifully-told story about a girl who has spent most of her life hiding the fact that she’s suffering from OCD, desperate to not only appear normal but to be normal. It’s a story that is heartwarming and heartbreaking and incredibly moving. It puts readers in the main character, Sam McAllister’s shoes, giving them a glimpse at what it’s like to live with a mind that has the tendency to spiral out-of-control and the fear that thoughts could turn into actions that could be harmful.

    Samantha McAllister never had a problem fitting in, at least not on the outside. She was one of the “Crazy Eights” – she was pretty, she was popular, she was athletic, she went to all the right parties, she went to all the best concerts. But on the inside she knew she didn’t fit. Her OCD, with thoughts that sometimes went to dark places and behaviors she was certain would label her as actually crazy, guaranteed that. She just needed to be able to continue playing the part of normal. The problem was it wasn’t getting any easier.

    But when she meets Caroline, a girl who doesn’t seem to care about how she looks or how she dresses or what her friends think of her, a girl completely unlike herself, everything starts to change. She is introduced to a whole new world – one of words, of expression, of people who are confident and supportive. And she hopes to be, she wants to be, she thinks she can be, like them. Someday.

    Tamara Ireland Stone did an incredible job with her story. She made Sam someone readers could connect with, empathize with, like and root for. She made her sympathetic but not pitiable. She gave them a better understanding of Sam’s particular brand of Pure-O. And she showed how with hard work, medication, therapy, and the right non-toxic environment that this disorder can be managed.

    And she did this in a way that is captivating and wonderful, and sweet and sad and romantic and emotional.

    EVERY LAST WORD sheds some light on a disorder that can be debilitating. It tells a story that is inspiring and uplifting and utterly enchanting. It is peppered throughout with some truly fantastic poetry. It delivers a love story that will make readers smile. And it adds a twist that is sure to surprise.

    It is a gorgeous and amazing and unforgettable must read.

    The Rating

    06

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    (For those who HAVE read this… Yes, I love that this rating TOTALLY ties in to that one part.)


    About the Author

    Tamara Ireland Stone

    Tamara Ireland Stone is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us (Hyperion Teens), which has been published in over twenty countries to widespread acclaim, and hailed as “an exciting debut novel” by Booklist and “a warm, time bending romance” by Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by CBS Films.

    Her next novel, Every Last Word, is about a teen girl with OCD who’s hiding part of herself from the world, until she discovers a secret poetry club that changes her in unexpected ways. Every Last Wordreleases on June 16, 2015 from Hyperion Teens.

    A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.