Kate Reads 2017: Apr-June Favorites

So, I’ve always been a fairly fast reader. One of the most popular things teachers would say about me in school was that I needed to “slow down.” Part of this was because I needed to be the one to finish tests and worksheets first, but also because I could devour the written word like that dude who ate 72 at the Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

The count for the last three months: 113.
That’s 226 for the 2017 as a whole. And yes, you read that right.

Oh. I became a freelancing contributor for Book Riot! I love to talk about the books I read, but I’ve found that not many share my tastes in lit… And the BR community has welcomed my dark and twisty preferences. Thanks, Rioters. I have also fully embraced NetGalley and Edelweiss. I just approved for some YA sequels I’ve been highly anticipating.

Let’s be Litsy friends! I’m @katekrug.

Also, I discovered Etsy and now my room is so much prettier and…bookier?

These lovely quote prints are by Brittney @reverieandink.

Here are my favorite books I read the last three months! These are my 4-4.5 star reads and link to Goodreads. 🙂

april-june faves [in no particular order]

Shades of Magic series, V.E. Schwab
Kell is an Antari—a magician that allows him to travel between parallel universes. The Shades of Magic series takes place in three different Londons, known as Red London, White London, and Gray London. Obviously, there’s also a Big Bad to defeat, looming threat of a hostile takeover, and a kick-ass heroine.

First, the covers are GORGE. I stupidly invested in a paperback of the first book and then had to get international versions of the final two books so they would all be softcovers, and now they don’t match. 😦 #firstworldprobs (I may have to invest in a hardcover set, too…) Second, if the first book doesn’t completely pull you in—KEEP READING. I enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue the series…I’m SO happy I pushed through. A Gathering of Shadows is so good and A Conjuring of Light actually got a rare 5-stars in my book.

READ. THESE. BOOKS.

It Happens All The TimeAmy Hatvany
Amber and Tyler have been best friends since childhood, although Tyler has always hoped their relationship would become something more. A night of partying and booze leads to Tyler making a grave choice that impacts their relationship forever. The book is told from different points view, chronicling their life before, during, and how they cope after the assault.

Consent is an issue that is so important to be knowledgeable about. And I think it’s even important to get inside the head of the attacker as well as the victim. The book opens with this quote: “Violators cannot live with the truth; survivors cannot live without out it,” by Chrystine Oksana. And it sums up the plot perfectly.

Up in the Treehouse, K.K. Allen
Chloe and twin brothers, Gavin and Devon, are neighbors. They have a mutual treehouse in which they spend most of their free time. As they grow older, the three friends begin to see each other in a different light…(you get where I’m going with this, right?). In a surprise move, Chloe begins seeing bad-boy Devon, over the boy-next-door (literally), Gavin–with whom she always had a stronger connection. Then, there’s a tragedy (of course), and it tears the friends apart. And then after college Chloe comes back to town.

I’m such a sucker for friends-to-lovers romances, especially childhood friendships, and this book had me sobbing into my stuffed animal at 3:00 a.m. I actually read Under the Bleachers before this, and wasn’t completely sold on K.K. Allen, but this was so good I can’t explain. Cheesy, but not too cheesy. Not horribly graphic (if you’re picking what I’m throwing down). And I guarantee you will cry. You’re welcome.

Things I Should Have Known, Claire LaZebnik
After seeing how lonely her sister is, Chloe makes it her mission to find the perfect guy for Ivy. Ivy also happens to be on the autism spectrum. And her choice turns out to be the brother of the school jerk and know-it-all.

I got an ARC of this and was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. There’s positive!neurodiversity representation, sexual identity exploration, and really likable and relatable characters. The story is so sweet and made me want to try to be a better sister.

Final Girls, Riley Sagar
Quincy, Lisa, and Sam are “Final Girls.” Meaning, they are the sole survivors of separate, horrific massacres. The story is generally told from Quincy’s perspective as she tries to move on from That Night. Circumstances bring Quincy and Sam into each other’s lives for the first time and twisty things ensue.

Stephen King rec’d this on Twitter and I was PUMPED when I got approved on NetGalley to read this. Final Girls has everything I want in a book: psychological thriller, unreliable narrator, dark and sinister subject, and a WTF-type ending. If you’re a Book of the Month subscriber—this is an excellent pick for July.

The Clay Girl, Heather Tucker
After the suicide of her father, Ari Appleton goes to live with her aunts, finally finding a refuge in her tumultuous life. The respite is short-lived, however, and she is sent back to live with her troubled mother and five sisters. For the next decade, Ari doesn’t catch a break—losing practically everyone she cares about, save for her partner in crime, an imaginary seahorse named Jasper. (I’m already crying again.)

As previously mentioned, my stuffed bear, Marshmallow, is my constant reading partner. She collects my tears, laughs, and the occasional, “what the fuck?”. For me, reading this was like watching an adult- and super-depressing version of Toy Story 3. No matter how old Ari got, it warmed my heart that Jasper never left her and she never stopped confiding in him.

The Upside of UnrequitedBecky Albertalli
Throughout her seventeen years on Earth, Molly has known nothing but unrequited love—always in the shadow of her twin sister, Cassie (even though they’re not even interested in the same gender). Then, Cassie gets her first official girlfriend, becoming a lovesick mess, and Molly fears she’s losing her best friend. Molly laments in her loneliness until she decides that she’s going to start putting herself out there—she’s going to get her first kiss and her first boyfriend.

When I opened my first ever OwlCrate and this was the book, I was very happy. The cast of characters is SO inclusive it’s nuts: POC (including multiracial characters), body diversity, and LGBT representation all over the spectrum. I very much enjoyed this book and the related goodies I also got in my box. I even shed a few tears…but that’s no surprise.

The Sisters Chase, Sarah Healy
When Hannah Chase and her much younger sister, Hannah aka “Bunny”, are left mother-less after a tragic car accident, they take to the road to find a better life. Hannah and Bunny embark on a road trip spanning years, always leaving once a place gets “too real.” Though it all, Hannah’s goal remains the same: to create a safe haven for Bunny.

This was one of my BOTM picks for June, and my favorite of the three. You’ll probably be able to guess (at least part) of the “twist” before it’s revealed, but it doesn’t take away from the reveal and what it means to Hannah, Bunny, and others.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Sarah J. Maas
When Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, little does she know it was actually a faerie in disguise. As punishment for her actions, High Lord of the fae Spring Court, Tamlin, comes to collect her as his prisoner. Think Beauty and the Beast. And that’s just book 1. Add in a love triangle, more faerie lore, brief emotional abuse, and some steamy scenes I thought were way too much for a “YA” book, and you’ve got the ACOTAR series.

Unlike most fans, I only had to wait a few days before the third installment came out—meaning I devoured this trilogy in a week. I often don’t like the “bad boy” in a love triangle, but Rhys def grows on you. If the next books aren’t about Cassian and Nesta…I don’t know, but I need to hear more of their story. I’m excited for more stories from this world, but I’m satisfied with the ending these main characters got.

Check these gems out too: Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust, More Than Forever, Jay McLean; Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel; everything Renee Ahdieh has written; Eliza and her Monsters, Francesca Zappia; Bad Romance, Heather Demetrios; Paper Butterflies, Lisa Heathfield; and A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Sara Barnard.

What’s next on my list: I’m only a few chapters in on two ARCs, Warcross by Marie Lu and Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic, and they’re both excellent so far. I also have started the new Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas’ other fantasy series. The second books in both of those series are en route from B&N.