Readers' Favorite

July 18, 2014

5 Popular YA Books for July

Looking for some young adult literature to wrap up the summer with? Or perhaps you want to put together a back-to-school reading present for the teens in your life. Either way, check out these hot young adult books.

The Kiss of Deception
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Buy The Kiss of Deception at Amazon

The Half Life of Molly Pierce
You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering. 

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.

Buy The Half Life of Molly Pierce at Amazon

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

Buy Dissonance at Amazon

Let's Get Lost
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Buy Let's Get Lost at Amazon

"Welcome to Extraction testing."

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.

With intense action scenes and a cast of unforgettable characters, Extraction is a page-turning, gripping read, sure to entertain lovers of Hunger Games and Ender's Game and leave them breathless for more.

Buy Extraction at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is paid by Amazon when purchases are made through the above links. Summaries and book covers are from

July 17, 2014

Finding Time to Blog

by Donna Huber

Finding time to write up blog posts with any regularity can cause a great deal of stress, especially if you are juggling a full life. Setting up an editorial calendar will help when you do sit down to write that post because you will already have a topic. However, waiting until the last minute to do the write up can add a great deal of stress and will likely result in a less than spectacular post.

It is ironic that I'm writing this post now. It is 6:30 pm Wednesday. I've known since I started this series that I was going to write on this topic for Thursday. Yet, I'm here at the last minute putting this post together. Thankfully this isn't a nightly occurrence. Typically, I do all my posts over the weekend, depending on my schedule. Here a few tips to take to find time to write up quality posts.

Set aside a specific time each week

Like I said, I will write up all the posts for the week over the weekend. It is usually Sunday night, but if I'm having to write more than 2 of the posts that week, I will try to get a couple of done on Saturday. On Saturday I do it in the morning. I don't really sleep in, but I like to laze around. Blogging allows me to sit on the couch and sip a beverage. Sunday evenings I'm usually winding down, resting before the start of another busy week. So these times work well for me. Do you have a time were you are unwinding, maybe vegging infront of the TV that you could use to write up a post or two? Maybe while the kids nap?

Once you have committed to a certain time each week to blog, keep with it. It is like setting aside time to exercise or anything else that is important to you.

Break your posts into parts

Last week I mentioned formatting posts so that they are easier to write and thus take less time to write. You may also need to break down different parts of your writing in order to find time to write. Graphics can be time consuming. If you do regular features you may want to create graphics that are specific for that feature like my Tips on Thursday graphic. If you want to create unique for each post you may need to set aside a separate time for writing and graphic creation, unless you have a large block of time.

If you are just using book covers and an author photos, make sure you have these before you start writing. I have a folder for book covers and author photos. During the week I will gather these items so when I sit down on the weekend I don't have to go looking for stuff in addition to writing.

As several of my posts each week are submitted by others I will sometimes do the copy/paste if I have a few extra minutes during my weekend writing session and leave all the formatting until the next weekend.

If you like to use quotes in your reviews, then put them in a notepad (txt) file for easy copy/paste when you write up the review.

Another way to break a post into parts is using the formatting tips from last week. Particularly if you like to write long posts, but don't have large blocks of time. Work on each heading/bullet point separately. It may also help you decide to separate the topic into multiple posts.

Don't feel pressured to post more often than you have time for

I like posting 5 days a week, but I don't have time to write 5 posts each week. I'm good if I can get 2 full posts and a list post (new releases, best selling YA, 5 books for fantasy readers, etc.) done each week. Before I had staff writers, I wouldn't stress out if I didn't have content for every day. When I first started blogging my only goal was one post a week. That quickly increased to 2 posts a week. Do as much as you have time for. Your other life commitments are important and blogging shouldn't take over your life. Also remember that ever growing to-be-read book pile (that may be more important).

Destressing your blogging

Time is something we are all in short supply of and the pressures of keeping up a blog can lead to burnout. Knowing what to post is only have the battle. You must also know when to write. You will need to look at your schedule and see where there is some down time for you to devote to blogging. A regular time each week will make it easier to stick to.

I often need to an hour or more to write a tips post or if I want to create special graphics for a post. If you can't find a large block of time, then breaking the writing of a post into tasks will make it more manageable and give you something you can do in 20 minutes or whatever you schedule allows.

Realistically knowing your time limitations will be the biggest factor in reducing blogging stress and your risk of burnout.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

July 16, 2014

Danielle DeVor: Can Romance Be Scary?

Constructing Marcus
I think it can. When you really break it down, love is just as scary as a slasher coming up behind you with a big knife. In fact, a horror film only lasts a couple of hours. Heartache can last for years. If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with the guy with the knife.

But, love and horror make an interesting juxtaposition. Romance always needs high stakes for the main characters to overcome so that love can conquer all. But, if your love interest isn’t exactly alive, well, things get a little dicey.

But, because Constructing Marcus is about Emma, and not really about Marcus, I wanted Emma to be the strong one- even though she had no magical powers. No special skills. She’s just a normal sixteen-year-old girl in the modern world.

Emma’s horror is her mother’s illness. She lives in constant fear of losing her mother, so when she starts to have feelings for Marcus, immediately, she begins to fear losing her one true love. And that is scarier to her than any Freddy Kreuger wannabe.

Think about it: On one hand, you have the love of your life about to go away forever. On the other, you have to fight a scary dude with a machete. Which would you choose?

Read a Sample:

About the author

Danielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times.  After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write.  When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.  

Girl Who Readsd is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small is paid by Amazon when purchases are made using the above links. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by guest are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

July 15, 2014

Review: The Book of Life by @DebHarkness

by Donna Huber

The Book of Life
Today is the DAY! The day millions of fans have been waiting on. The day that felt like it wouldn't ever get it here. The day that made adults lay awake in anticipation like children on Christmas Eve. The day that the final book in the All Souls trilogy - THE BOOK OF LIFE comes out.

So be honest, who is staying up all night to read it? 

I haven't been this excited about a book release since Harry Potter, and I read The Book of Life a month ago. Seriously, why weren't there any midnight release parties like they did for Harry Potter? Plenty of adults went to those and I'm sure attendance would be high had bookstores done it for this book. 

So what did I think about the final installment? Wow! Awesome! One of the best concluding books in a series. 

It was one of the most satisfying conclusions to a series that I have ever read. Yet, I didn't really feel like I was saying goodbye to the characters. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to go back and read it again. I've read A Discovery of Witches (read my review) and Shadow of Night (read my review) several times already and I'm sure I will be re-reading the entire series a t least a few dozen more times before I'm ready to move on.

For those who have already discovered this series, you probably feel the same way as me about the characters of Matthew and Diana and the rest of the cast. They felt like real people and I even caught myself on an occasion or two wondering about them in the same way as I do real friends. 

If you haven't read this series, have you not been listening to me? For those who grew up with Harry Potter or fell in love with Edward and Bella will find this series very satisfying. Many of the elements that drew readers to those stories can be found within the pages of Harkness's trilogy with the added bonus of fascinating locales and the richness of a historical novel. 

Trying not to be spoilerish, I do have to wonder if we have seen the last of this world Harkness has created. The plot arcs began in the previous two books are tied up and resolved to great satisfaction. Yet, new threads appeared which left open the possibility of spinoffs. I for one would absolutely love a book devoted to Gallowglass.

I would love to hear your thoughts on The Book of Life and the entire series. 

And since I know you rather be reading The Book of Life than this review, I will just leave you with one last thing...

Buy The Book of Life at Amazon

Book info:
Published: July 2014 by Viking Adult
ISBN13: 9780670025596
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Read: June 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small is paid by Amazon when purchases are made through the above link. A free egalley was provided for this review.

July 14, 2014

Review: The Witch, the Wolf and the Vampire by A.K. Michaels

by Claire Rees

The Witch the Wolf and the Vampire
The Witch, the Wolf, and the Vampire by A. L. Michaels is about Peri , a young bounty hunter and a witch. She has been forced into a dangerous job just to get enough money to survive.  During one of her bounty hunting trips she gets the attention of two men; Gabe a gorgeous, strong fun loving werewolf and Joseph an extremely rich, hot vampire.

Gabe and Joseph end up saving her and taking her back to their hotel and they realise that she is hiding from someone very powerful and dangerous. Peri awakens strong feelings in the werewolf and vampire and soon they are in a love triangle and both will protect her to the death.  Joseph is  very rich and powerful and starts calling around his contacts and soon the hunt is on to eliminate the threat to Peri.

The people she is hiding from are getting closer and Peri’s initial reaction is to run but the two men convince her to stay with them and that they will protect her. But will they be enough or will she be taken back to a life she has been trying so hard to forget?

The Witch, the Wolf, and the Vampire is really good. The characters are well written and easy to love/hate. I enjoyed the book and especially enjoyed the action scenes. I would recommend this to anyone who loves paranormal romance.

Buy The Witch, the Wolf and the Vampire at Amazon

Book info
Published January 2014
Source: Author
Read: June 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is paid by Amazon when purchases are made through the above link.