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It’s time to share what books I’ll be reading this month for the 365 Days of YA Reading Challenge hosted by myself and Sarah @ What Sarah Read.  Some of these books have been on my shelf for a few…years and others are recent releases.  Take a look and let me know what I should tackle first!

TBR 1

TBR 2

We would love to know what you’re reading this month so feel free to write posts about your own TBRs!  If you post pictures of your books on Twitter or Instagram be sure to use the #365DaysofYA and share with @literarykate, @whatsarahread, and @epicreads.

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22309830Published: January 1,  2015
Source: From Mills & Boon via Netgalley (Thank you!)

Midnight, January 1: time for a big change. Time to make a New Year’s resolution to find romance-or else! Say Yes by Christie Ridgway Cautious florist Ashley Walker is excited to embark on her “Year of Yes” no matter what happens. But accepting a surprise job offer leads to an awkward discovery: she’s hot for her millionaire boss, Chase Bradley! No More Bad Girls by Leslie Kelly Scorched by a string of nightmare ex-girlfriends, Lex Rollins resolves to date only nice women…then is lured by siren Lia before midnight! But Lia is really Amelia, a good girl playing naughty for a night. Can a blind date as their real selves uncover their true desires? Just a Fling by Tanya Michaels Shy, insecure Erin Cross makes two bold resolutions: (A) get on a plane, and (B) have a fling. In pursuit of Option A, she’s mistaken for a key witness in a mob trial and whisked away by a sexy FBI agent! Which just leaves Option B…(Goodreads)

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I started this 3-1 novella bind-up yesterday intending to finish it before the ball drop.  Well, that didn’t happen but I was able to finish it this evening and enjoyed most of the stories, despite the instalove in all three.  Say Yes by Christie Ridgway was probably my least favorite because it was a little too much reliant on “love at first sight” for me.  My favorite was No More Bad Girls by Leslie Kelly because I really enjoyed the case of mistaken identity between Lex and Amelia.  Just a Fling by Tanya Michaels was a bit too unbelievable for my taste but Agent Foster was pretty sexy!

 

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365YA_EpicReads_webMyself and Sarah @ What Sarah Read are hosting the 365 Days of YA Reading Challenge!  This challenge is inspired by Epic Reads’ 365 Days of YA info graphic.  The best part about our challenge is that you can read as much or as little as you wish.  Do you have brand new releases that you’ve been dying to read?  What about the books that have been sitting on your shelves for a few years?  New and old titles are part of this challenge!  As an added bonus, Sarah and I will also be offering four seasonal giveaways (open internationally) for those participating in the challenge.  All you need to do is follow the rules below:

  • Sign up for the challenge below and submit a link to your blog, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. that contains the following: Create a TBR that matches up with the books found on the 365 Days of YA graphic (The individual titles are listed on the Epic Reads post as well).  You can also include your personal reading goals for this challenge (book a day, series a week, monthly picks etc.) 
  • Keep track of what you read and at the end of each month post an update on your social media network of choice about what you read.  Feel free to include review links as well.
  • Submit a link to your update on the appropriate monthly link-up post here on the blog
  • Use the #365DaysofYA for any social media posts
  • Only books read in 2015 will count towards this challenge
  • Read the books in any order you like
  • Choose your own reading adventure!  This is YOUR challenge so make it fit what’s important to you!
  • Have fun and make new reading friends!
  • Contact myself or Sarah if you have any questions

We will also be hosting monthly Twitter chats with the #365DaysofYAChat.  We will post the dates and times when they become available!

Epic Reads has officially joined us in this challenge.  They will be providing monthly giveaways as well so stay tuned for more information!

Twitter: @literarykate  @whatsarahread

Email: literaryexplorations@gmail.com     whatsarahread@gmail.com

 

Ready to jump into the challenge for January?  Sign-ups will close on the 31st.  Each month will have it’s own sign-up and wrap-up posts.

23509471Published: November 13,  2014
Source: From Harper Impulse via Netgalley (Thank you!)

Heading home to Liverpool for Christmas, Molly Mackenzie isn’t just looking forward to the mulled wine and mince pies – she’s got high hopes for who she’ll find under the mistletoe this year!

Unable to forget the delicious near miss with her brother’s best friend, Jake, last New Year’s Eve, Molly’s got a new resolution at the top of her list: seduce Jake and get this crazy chemistry out the way before it has serious repercussions on the rest of the Mackenzie family.

Only Molly has underestimated the magic of the holiday season… The more stolen moments in the snow that she shares with Jake, the more determined she is to make it a whole lot more than just a kiss before midnight. (Goodreads)

after the last pageWith 2014 coming to a close, I was in the mood for something cute, light, and SHORT.  The Kiss Before Midnight was a lovely mix of Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Holiday.  Based on the title I did expect this book to be a little more NYE focused and less Christmasy but it worked out ok in the end.  Molly and Jake’s chemistry was wonderful and I enjoyed the amount of sexual tension between the two of them.  Maybe next year I will pick up the novella that features Molly’s sister and her boyfriend.  It looks really cute as well.  For a novella, this told a pretty hearty story about family, love and finding yourself.

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23595151Published: December 9, 2014
Series: Radleigh University #1
Source: Purchased from Amazon for my Kindle

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks… and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate.

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left. (Goodreads)

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As a huge history nerd I was intrigued by Last Will and Testament.  Nearly five years ago I remember sitting in plenty of history classes on campus.  Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone as sexy as Connor to fantasize about during endless hours of learning dates and mindless facts.  What’s even worse is that I dated a history major and then found out he didn’t really even like history…he had just run out of other majors to choose from.  Epic fail on my part.

Anyway, more guys like Connor need to be in books.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks as much as anyone else, but what really gets me going is a smart, geeky guy in glasses that has his shit together.  Especially if they’re as kind and helpful as Connor was to Lizzie.  Being there for someone when they need you the most is pretty damn attractive.

I am definitely becoming a fan of New Adult because it’s easier to relate to than young adult books at times.  I can recall what it was like to be in my early 20s rather than when I was 16.  I wasn’t a valedictorian like Lizzie, but her realization that college is A LOT harder than high school rung true.  I also struggled to find myself and it was tough to figure out exactly what I wanted to do.  Thankfully it all worked out and I’m happy with where I am now.  Based on what I’ve read, I think  Lizzie is well on her way to a successful graduation with Connor by her side.

When I purchased Last Will and Testament I also picked up Dahlia’s first book, Behind the Scenes.  I’m even more excited to read it now.  Can’t wait to see what the second book in the Radleigh University series is about.

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Well, I have an unexpected two days off work thanks to bronchitis.  Even though it is annoying to miss work at least I have a better chance of getting well before we leave for Disney on Monday.  I refuse to be sick on vacation!  Right now I am on cold medicine and an inhaler thanks to last night’s visit to Urgent Care.  I know I complain about never having time to read so I’ve decided to put together a TBR for being sick and vacation.  I have a lot of review books that I would like to get through so I’ll link to that list below.  Plus, I’m happy to receive any other recommendations that you may have.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4109872-kate?shelf=for-review

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SecretSanta55I just signed up for the 5th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa.  This is my second year participating and I am super excited to start shopping for whoever I get matched up with.  If you’re interested in some friendly gift giving this year with some fellow bookish friends, follow this link.

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Taylor-SwiftBased on my title it’s obvious that I’m pretty much obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new album 1989.  I have had it on constant repeat at work, at home and in my car.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve listened to a CD where I like every. single. song.  It’s incredible and suits all my moods.  As someone who got out of a long term relationship a few months ago I can relate to songs like “This Love” and “All You Had To Do Was Stay.”  On the other hand, now that I’m with someone new, I find myself singing along to “Style”, “Out of the Woods”, and “You Are in Love”.  It’s awesome that the lyrics make sense no matter if you’re single or head over heels.

20757528I have been failing on the reading front.  I started Whatever Life Throws at You early last week but have been bad about picking it up again.  You see, life is getting busy and wonderful all at the same time.  Work has picked up a lot which honestly is a little stressful at times but it’s good to have things to do.  I’ve been dating my new man since July and right now I’m in the process of moving in with him.  Which means I’m going to have to find somewhere to put all my books even though he’s allowing me to keep my big bookshelf in our new living room.  I can’t even tell you how happy and content I am right now.  I finally feel like I’ve found what I’ve been looking for, as cheesy as that sounds.  Everyone has always told me that when you meet the right person you will just know…and well after the first date I just KNEW! He also has a cat so it’s great that Summer has a playmate.  They are best buddies now and we often take adorable pictures of them together.

I can’t believe that it is already November.  It has cooled down significantly here in the city and I’m finally starting to wear a coat.  Thankfully, we are heading to Disney World in a few weeks.  I am seriously pumped because I’ve never ever been before.  I think we’re going to have an amazing time!

I have decided to participate in the Broke & Bookish Secret Santa again this year.  Last year was super fun so I’m excited to buy for whoever I end up getting paired up with.  I’m going to work on updating my wishlist today.  If you’re interested in participating you can check out the link here.  Well, that’s all the updates I have for now.  Maybe I’ll turn this into a weekly thing once I figure out a name for it.  I am hoping to read a little this weekend in between cleaning and getting ready to move.

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I have been on such a long blogging hiatus that I’ve decided to just throw in the towel and start a brand new blog.  Yes, I will still be reviewing books but I want to post other things here as well.  I finally feel like my life is back on track since graduate school.  I’ve been at my current job for a year and I still really love it.  I finally got a cat of my own, which if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen adorable pictures of her over the last six months.  I’m getting back in shape thanks to spinning and yoga classes, plus teaching myself how to cook and bake instead of being lazy.  I have a new man who is supportive and loving, and I couldn’t be happier.  So yeah, life is pretty great right now and I realized I missed blogging for fun.  I don’t plan on posting everyday but I do want to catch up on review books and tackle my own bookshelf.  I don’t feel like I really left the blogging world since I’ve still been pretty active on Instagram and Twitter but I do hope to reconnect with some people.  I’m not sure when I’ll be posting next but I will leave you with some pictures for now:

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