all the spooky books you need to read | thriller recommendations

I love the fall time so much. Maybe I’m a little biased because my birthday is in November, but it’s still such an amazing time. Another thing I really love is thrillers/mysteries.

Obviously this is the perfect time to recommend some of my favorite books in this genre! I hope you find some new favorites through this post :)

 

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

I received an e-ARC of this book a few months back without really knowing much about it. However, I was hooked from beginning to end, and I wish there was more of it. It follows a couple who moved into a new home that seems almost perfect until weird, creepy things start happening. It alternates between the woman and the man narrating the story, and their two voices were so distinct and unique which made the story so much better. If you are looking for an eery, creepy read, then I would definitely recommend this one.

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

This book was sent to me in a subscription box when I was a rep. I had no idea what it was about but I went into it that way, which made it so much better. So, I’m not going to tell you what it is about (just know that it involves a relationship that demonstrates an abuse of power). It was super dark and mysterious but it was fun to follow along with and try to guess.

Sanctuary Bay by Laura Burns and Melinda Metz

One of my favorite book settings of all time is boarding schools, so when I saw this book on BookOutlet, I had to get it. It follows a girl who gets accepted to an elite prep school which seems like a dream come true- until her roommate disappears. This book was phenomenal. I had no expectations because I had never heard of it before, but it blew me away. So good.

 

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

I read this back in middle school (which was so so long ago now), but it clearly left an impression on me. Once again, the setting is a boarding school, but it’s not too creepy. It’s more of a mild thriller, considering I read it when I was 13 and wasn’t scared at all. However, the story was super interesting and I loved the mystery of it. All that being said, I did read it back in middle school, so I can’t remember everything and my reading tastes have changed, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I talked about this book recently because I just re-read it. It is so good and so chilling. It’s narrated by a girl who was murdered and recounts the story of her death. It was extremely sad and I need to include a trigger warning for rape. However, it was really interesting to read and I loved it a lot. The movie is also so good!

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Let me know in the comments if you read any of these! Also, please leave some more thriller recommendations down below because I am really trying to read more and all suggestions are helpful :)

Xo, Jess

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books I need to buy ASAP!

If you aren’t friends with me on Goodreads (you can go to my profile by clicking here) then you wouldn’t know that I have a whole shelf dedicated to books I need to buy. I can not afford to buy all of the books I want right away, because then I would be in so much debt (there are just way too many), so I occasionally add the books I want to buy ASAP on this shelf just so I can keep track of them.

I try to keep this list as short as possible, so I don’t get carried away when I’m browsing through Book Outlet! I’ve been pretty good about not buying books recently, and I’ve stuck to e-books for the most part, but here are five books I would love to own in physical form.

 

 

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

I have been wanting to pick this book up since the second I heard about the synopsis. I just feel as though I will really connect with it personally. I know there are some mixed reviews about this one, but I still really really want to own it and read it soon. I am also just so in love with the cover.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

I CAN’T BELIEVE I STILL DON’T OWN THIS!!! I have been wanting to read this since before it came out. Alice Oseman has a Youtube channel that I have been watching for many months now, and I still have not read any of her books. Luckily, I just got the audiobook of Radio Silence, another one of her novels, and I will be getting to it very, very soon! I just absolutely need this book in my hands.

Still Here by Rowan Blanchard

This is a book I feel like you can only own in physical form. It is sort of like a journal by Rowan Blanchard filled with poems, pictures, scribbles of thoughts, etc. It seems like such a beautiful work of art, and it is something I have been dying to get my hands on for a long time. Considering it is similar to the format of a book I hope to publish one day, I think it would be extremely beneficial to own this one.

 

 

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

I absolutely love Lauren Graham. I listened to her memoir “Talking As Fast As I Can” on Audiobook a few months back, and I fell in love with her writing style. It is so funny, witty, and thought provoking. I bought the ebook of her novel “Someday, Someday Maybe” but have yet to read it. I am sure I will love it, though! This new release of hers is something that I believe would be so beneficial to me right now because it is filled with advice for graduates about careers, the future, life, etc. As a recent high school graduate, and current college student who is constantly thinking about the future, I think this book would teach me a lot!

Envelope Poems by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is a poet I have admired from afar for a very long time. I want to own some sort of collection of hers so that I can read it physically and be able to mark some of her poems for inspiration!

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What are some of your absolutely must own books? Are any of them on this list? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to have more to add on my list.

Xo, Jess

reading critically vs reading for fun

Hello everyone! It’s been a little over a week since my last post- although it feels like it’s been months!

I have settled into my dorm room at school, and I finally feel like things have gone back to normal. Obviously I am in a different setting, and the classes are totally different from high school, but I got into a normal routine and made some good friends.

Blogging should be back to a normal schedule now!

Anyways, today’s post is about something that I have been thinking about for quite a while now. I realized that there are three different ways that I read books- either critically, for fun, or a mix of both.

Critical:

I read critically mainly when I read books for school. Most of the time I don’t love the books I read for school, so I end up just reading them for the analytical part.

I am naturally a very critical reader, so this is something I do regardless of what I’m reading. I often take notes, and I write annotations in the margins of my books.

When I rate books that I read critically, they typically tend to get a lower score because I think about all the different aspects of the book- from the writing style, to the character development, world building, and sentence structure.

Fun:

On the other hand, I tend to read for fun when I am feeling very drained or stressed out. I usually pick up contemporaries when I am in the mood for just fun reading.

These books are a lot more easy going for me, and I usually fly through them pretty quickly. I don’t need to focus too much or think too hard while reading, which makes it an easy read. I love reading books for fun because it reminds me of how much I enjoy reading, and it helps it not turn into a chore.

These books tend to have a higher rating, because I just focus on my overall enjoyment, rather than all of the little details.

Both:

Finally, I read both critically and for fun at the same time- this is usually for ARCs and other books I plan to review. I want to read them for fun because I bought them for enjoyment purposes, but I also want to give a thorough and thoughtful review for you guys or the publishing company!

These book ratings tend to go either way- either high, low, or in the middle. I mix my feelings with the critical aspects of the book, so it really just depends on the book!

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Can you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments how you read, whether it’s any of these or a different way!

Xo, Jess

my twitter followers choose what books i bring to college

I leave for college tomorrow! That is so scary but so exciting !!

If you follow my blog Twitter, which you can find here, then you may have seen the series of polls I tweeted asking you to choose between two books. I have been having such a hard time deciding on which books to bring to school with me since I won’t have a lot of room in my dorm. So, I narrowed down my list of books to 12- from those 12 you guys voted on 6 that I am going to take with me!

Now, this does not include the ebooks and audiobooks I am going to have on me at all times, plus I also have the libby app on my phone to borrow more if I need to. That’s why I was able to narrow it down to just bringing 6 physical books. Also, I only live about an hour away from my school, so I can go back home and switch these out periodically.

Maybe this will even become a series on my blog!

With all of that being said, let’s see what book you guys chose for me.

 

When We Collided vs The Way I Used to Be

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For this first one, I chose two contemporary novels I have been wanting to read for the longest time. You guys chose When We Collided for this one, which I am pretty happy with! I didn’t know which one I was leaning towards more for this one, so I was happy with either one. I honestly don’t even remember what When We Collided is about, so I can’t wait to read it!

Hopeless vs November 9

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This next poll was for two Colleen Hoover books! I was supposed to read November 9 for the booktube-a-thon, but I wasn’t feeling it then. You guys chose Hopeless, though, so I guess I won’t be reading November 9 for a while! I also didn’t have a preference for this poll, so it didn’t matter which one won to me!

The House vs Gerald’s Game

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These are two mystery/thriller books I have been dying to read. I want to bring both of these so bad, but they are sort of my thicker books, so they would take up too much space. Luckily, Twitter decided for me, and you guys chose The House! I have put this on many TBRs, so I am very excited to read it!

Joyride vs Your Voice is All I Hear

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This poll had a clear winner in my head, and I am happy that you guys chose that one! It was Joyride- so thanks for picking it! While both of these books interest me, I really wanted to bring Joyride with me!

Before I Fall vs Afterparty

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For this one, I was really hoping you guys would choose Afterparty, because it is a book that was on my TBR for a long time and I was getting in the mood to read it! It’s ok though, I have also wanted to read Before I Fall for equally as long, and I am sure I will enjoy it, too!

 1984 vs From a Low and Quiet Sea

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This is one that I am a little sad about the outcome. I was leaning more towards From a Low and Quiet Sea than 1984 just because it’s much thinner and more compact. Plus, I have the ARC of it that I still never read and I am obsessed with the edition (it’s a hardcover ARC that I won in a giveaway). I’ll (hopefully) bring it with me in my next rotation!

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Aside from these six, I am also bringing 3 poetry books that I have read but want to keep on hand for inspiration! Those were hard to choose as well… oops.

Thank you guys for choosing these for me! If you want to help choose the next books I bring, be sure to follow me on Twitter to see when I tweet more polls :)

Xo, Jess

To Be Honest Blog Tour | Review

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying this wonderful day. Today I have brought to you a review of To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin thanks to the wonderful people of Xpresso Book Tours!

I have a lot to say about it, so let’s jump into it!

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.

My Review:

The Pros:

I want to start off by saying, this book gives off such a powerful message! The main character, Savvy, does such an amazing job of talking about body positivity and showing that “fat isn’t a bad word.” I really appreciated how straight-forward and honest she was, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up to her mom about her weight.

Even with all of the pressures around her, she was happy in her own skin, which is something I really admired, because I know it can be so hard to love your body, no matter what size.

**However, there is a trigger warning for eating disorders/starving yourself to be careful of!!

Her mom was a really well written character, and she had my blood boiling at so many points (which is a good thing). I’m glad that her relationship with her mother was really developed, and it changed a lot from beginning to end.

I also really loved Savvy’s friendship with Grace, her long time best friend. Grace was always so supportive and helped Savvy grow as a person. Grace is the perfect example of the friend I want to be. She was always there for her, and gave amazing advice. She pushed Savvy to where she needed to be, without pushing her over the edge.

Something else I really enjoyed reading about was the journalism aspect. Savvy and Grace were both so passionate about this project that they worked on, and it was so fun to read about. It is something I could really relate to, so I just wish it was focused on a little bit more throughout the book.

The representation in this book is great, both with fat rep, LGBTQ+ rep, and even mental illness rep! I’m really glad it covered some important topics.

The Cons:

There were a few things that were kind of off putting to me, which made my rating go down a little bit for this book.

For one, the writing style was a bit simple for me, and oftentimes I found myself getting annoyed by it’s lack of variety in sentence structures and descriptions/phrases. Some of the same lines kept getting repeated over and over, rather than finding new ways to say them. For example, I think the phrase “his strawberry blonde hair” was used at least 5 times about the same character. I just wished this would have been edited a bit better.

Another thing that I didn’t like was the romance. It didn’t seem very real to me. The characters had a strange love-hate relationship that would switch randomly though out the book for no reason. I would have much preferred it if there was a slow build up to them liking each other, rather than the characters having huge mood swings.

I also wish that the relationship between Savvy and her sister was explored more, and didn’t look so one-sided. Her sister was there for her a lot, but only after Savvy expressed that she needed her. Her sister never called her asking how she was, or telling her about her day. Savvy always needed to reach out to her. The way that Savvy had described their relationship at the start was completely different from what it actually was. However, her friendship with Grace makes up for the lack of relationship here (at least for me).

Finally, some of the lingo used between the characters was very cringe-worthy at times. For example, phrases like “I heart it” or “sissy” were just very unnatural. I have never heard a teenager speak like that before.

Conclusion:

The cons that I have for this book are pretty small things. Personally, I could overlook some of the negative aspects of this book, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. It’s a quick read, and I enjoyed the plot a lot. I highly recommend this book, and I am probably going to pick up a finished copy soon!

Final Rating: 3.75/5 Stars ⭐️

Giveaway:

As part of the Blog Tour, all of the hosts are doing a giveaway! It is tour wide, and you can check out the link below for more information on how to enter.

Enter Here

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Let me know what you think of this book if you’ve read it! If not, you can purchase the book with any of these links!

Xo, Jess

Book Bucket List- books i want to read before the year ends

I’ve mentioned this way too many times, but my physical TBR pile is so high right now. It is honestly overwhelming. I haven’t been reading as much as I would like to, but recently I’ve been working on it! So, I made myself a “book bucket list” for the rest of the year.

These are all books that I already own and want to read before the year ends. My ultimate goal is to read all of these before buying any new books! We’ll see how that goes though.

I’m just going to list the books without talking about them though, because there are 20 on this list and the post would drag on forever!

 

_ Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

_ Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

_ The Diviners by Libba Bray

_ Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

_ Beholding Bee by Kimberly Fusco

_ Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

_ November 9 by Colleen Hoover

_ Afterparty by Ann Stampler

_ Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

_ Roomies by Sara Zarr

 

_ Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

_ Joyride by Anna Banks

_ My Lady Jane by the Lady Janies

_ My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies

_ Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

_ When We Collided by Emery Lord

_ Dreamology by Lucy Keating

_ Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

_ Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

_ The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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This list is long, and I am not very confident that I will finish all of these, especially since I’m starting my freshman year of college in 2 weeks! But, I will try nonetheless.

Wish me luck!

Also, let me know which books on this list I should get to first!

Xo, Jess

July Wrap Up 2018

It’s that time again where I get to discuss all of the books I read this past month!

I fell into a huge slump this month, which is really unfortunate after last months amazing reading. I was on vacation at the beginning of the month, and then I just had so much going on with packing before I move in a couple weeks, and other things. In the past few days I have picked up some more books, but haven’t finished all of them yet. Hopefully I will finish them soon which will add a lot of books to my August wrap up!

Finished:

 

 

 

Looking For Alaska by John Green: I went into this book very optimistically because I am a huge John Green fan (even though I know not many people are), and I am happy to say my expectations were exceeded. The book was a little slow for me initially, and I had a bit of a hard time getting into it. BUT, once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down! It was very thought provoking and left me craving more from that world.

4/5 stars!

Thin Space by Jody Casella: This was my first book for the Booktube-a-thon this year that completed the coin toss challenge! I was not enjoying it too much up until the ending, which I ended up really loving. But, I did not find myself enjoying the majority of the book, and the only reason I even continued it was because of the read-a-thon. The characters weren’t relatable and the plot was pretty boring.

2/5 stars!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: I have talked about this book many, many times on here. It is one of my favorite books of all time because it was one of the first books that I really related to. It features a main character with OCD and anxiety, and I have never seen that in literature before until I read this for the first time 3 years ago. This month, I re-read it, and I loved just as much, if not more than the first time. I highly recommend it!

5/5 stars!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: This is another book I read for the booktube-a-thon! I listened to the audiobook this time around. I read it for the first time like 5 years ago, so I wanted to change up the way I read it this time around. It was such a great read. It is heartbreaking yet beautiful. As I write this, I am actually watching the movie adaptation! Such a sad book but I really enjoyed it.

5/5 stars!

Currently Reading:

 

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Girls Resist!: I was sent this book to review by Quirk Books which are such lovely people! I am so happy that they sent me this book because I am loving it so so much! It is a book about feminism, leadership, how to start campaigns, etc! It is such an insightful guide and I think it is going to be super helpful to teen girls everywhere. I can’t wait to finish it. I will do a full review once I do!

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What have you read in July? I hope you had a better reading month than me!

XO, Jess

If You Love Me, I’m Yours | Blog Tour

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an amazing day :)

Today I am here to introduce you to a new book titled “If You Love Me I’m Yours” by Lizzie Chantree.

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Synopsis:

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realized he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art. 

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agentextraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smolderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

My Review:

This book is all about friendship and discovering who you are, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the two main characters, they were very interesting to read. It was a really light-hearted and simple book, but it was still engaging.

The dialogue between characters was really funny and relatable, so I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the aspect of art because being an artistic person myself, I really found myself connecting with the majority of the book.

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a quick and easy summer book to read!

My one complaint would be that the writing style was not my type. Some of the sentences were a bit too juvenile for me, and I think this book would have been better written in first person, so that you could get a feel for the girls’ personalities more and read from their two POVs.

Overall, I would give this a 3.5/5 stars!

Purchase:

If you are interested in the book, you can purchase it by clicking the link here.

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Thank you for reading :) I hope you enjoyed this post!

Xo, Jess

The Poet X- Review!!

Hello everyone!! I just got back from vacation in Punta Cana, so I’m sorry for being a little MIA recently. I am back on the blogging grind though, and I have been reading more than ever.

Today I wanted to post a review of a book I just read recently and completely fell in LOVE with! That book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

 

My Review:Image result for the poet x

**There are some trigger warnings that I want to include first for abuse and sexual assault.

My initial thoughts were: Wow. Just wow.

This book is told entirely in verse, which was just so unique and wonderful to me. It made the book flow quickly and smoothly, so I finished it in about a day. This writing style just really suited the book and I loved it a lot.

The main character, Xiomara, is such a badass and I loved her personality so much. There were some things she did that made me cringe a little bit because I thought they were just a bit too much, but overall she was a great character.

I also loved how the book involved religion. I felt myself relating to Xiomara so much because of this aspect of growing up in a religious home when I, myself, am not religious.

Overall, the book helped me fall in love with poetry all over again. I have always been a poetry fan, but recently haven’t been as involved in writing it. After reading this, I immediately grabbed a pen and paper and started writing again. It felt so freeing.

The one downfall of this book that I have to mention is the ending. It wrapped up way too quickly and too perfectly. I think the ending could have used some more development, or at least just made longer so it wasn’t so sudden.

Besides that, I loved every other aspect of this book, and I am incredibly happy that I have read it.

Definitely recommend giving it a read!

5/5 stars

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it if you have?

Xo, Jessica

Summer Reading Recs

Hello everyone! How are you all doing?

A couple of days ago, I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL! That is so crazy to me. As of now, I am on summer break until I go off to college. I am still in shock.

Today, I have some recommendations for summer books to read.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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This was the first book that came to mind when I thought of summer. This is such a cute and fluffy read, and I would highly recommend it! It is a YA contemporary following a girl who writes letters to all of her crushes as closure, and one day those letters get sent out. I’m sure you’ve heard of it! Plus, the movie is coming out in August, so it is the perfect time to read it.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

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I just finished this book recently, and I think it would be the perfect summer read! It follows a girl on a trip around Europe (in the summertime), so it gives you all of those travel feels! It would be a great plane ride book, or book whenever you’re on the go.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

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Wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this book. It is so amazing, so adorable. I absolutely loved the main love interest in this story, and I fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s writing style. It is one of my favorite reads of the year, I would highly recommend it.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

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This is one of my older favorite books ever. I really fell in love with the characters, and I learned so much about the film industry. This story also takes place in the summertime, and it is a really quick-paced book, so I think it is perfect for the summer.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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I figured I should include a book that ISN’T a contemporary, so this is a fantasy I would recommend for the summer. The story moves quickly, and it was easy to read. I loved the storyline, and there were some plot twists I didn’t see coming.

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Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments down below :)

Xo, Jess