To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Character Book Recomendations

One of the best fangirlish things that happened in 2018 (AKA EVER) was Neftlix’s adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. As many of you know, Lara Jean is one of my all-time favorite characters. This trilogy holds a special place in my heart, being one out of three sisters like Lara Jean and the Song Covey girls. Like many, I was beyond impressed with its film adaptation, and I’m not-so patiently waiting for that sequel. Hellloooo Jon Ambrose McClaren.

In honor of all the TATBILB love this year, I’ll be sharing YA book recommendations based off some of the main characters from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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Lara Jean: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Almost any contemporary book would suit Lara Jean, but I think she could especially relate to experiencing first love — and getting to eat lots of sweet treats. Our main characters, Ren and Lina, share a lot of humor and heart-warming moments that are similarly found in TATBILB.

Peter Kavinsky: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Peter K. needs some sort of sports tie-in, right? Well how about the mysterious deaths of five cheerleaders? Kara Thomas’s The Cheerleaders is the type of book that even Peter K. and his lax bros wouldn’t be able to put down. The book follows Monica, who just can’t let go the deaths of her sister and her fellow friends because she knows that even five years later, some things still don’t make sense.

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Margot: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Even mature & sophisticated Margot would love this middle-grade taking place in her college town of Edinburgh! Between its Harry Potter references and ghostly companions, City of Ghosts is a very atmospheric read that takes readers along Cassie and Jacob’s Scottish adventure. I could see Margot sharing this one with Kitty.

Kitty: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

A sassy and witty Kitty calls for a book that stars a similar protagonist: Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. Like Dimple, I could so see Kitty throw an iced coffee in a guy’s face. This well-deserving of the hype book follows Dimple and Rishi, who have been set up by their parents at a summer app development camp.

Dr.Covey: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Dr. Covey would probably love to read about Mei’s track to become a doctor at MIT. If you’re looking for more Asian American rep after reading or watching TATBILB, American Panda is the one for you. The book follows Mei’s life as a college freshman, whose parents still keep close eyes on her and will likely not approve of her crush on decidedly-not Taiwanese Darren.

Chris: The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

I wouldn’t call Chris a bad girl, but I think she could be close friends with The Accidental Bad Girl’s turned-into-a-rebel main character, Kendall. Chris would even get Lara Jean into this fast-paced mystery with kickbutt female characters.

John Ambrose McClaren: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Sweet boys like Jon Ambrose McClaren call for books that also feature sweet boys, like Reid from The Upside of Unrequited. John and Lara would bond over Molly’s love for baking, and anyone who loves TATBILB before will swoon over Reid and his relationship with Molly.

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I’m so excited to keep doing book recommendations based off my favorite fangirl things, and here’s to hoping for an adaptation of P.S. I Still Love You!

Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments!

My The Hunger Games Story

If you’ve been around Fangirl Fury for a while, you’ll know that I love what I consider to be “throwback YA.”Aka, YA books that typically came out before 2013 and those that personally, I read while I was in middle school and in my early teen years. One of the series middle school me and the entire world was obsessed with? The Hunger Games. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary since The Hunger Games was published and three years since the final film, Mockingjay-Part 2 came out.

In anticipation for the first film adaptation, I read THG trilogy in 2012 when I was in the eighth grade. I remember a few of my fellow nerdy friends freaking out about it, and me being me, I had to see what the hype was about. And give myself an excuse to see a new movie starring Liam Hemsworth, my middle school celeb crush courtesy of The Last Song. Needlessly to say, the hype was worth it and I absolutely fell in love with THG. At the time, I was not the biggest dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy/anything that was basically NOT contemporary read, but THG encouraged me to pick up new genres. In my opinion, THG also additionally opened doors to the dystopian genre in YA—sometimes I wish I could say I was a THG hipster and started reading this series in 2008.

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What also made my experience with THG especially important was that my dad read the books along with me. While my mom is a huge reader like me and inspired my interest in literature, my dad is on the complete opposite spectrum. I’ve never seen my dad read anything other than sports memoirs or a few other non-fiction titles before reading THG. Traveling back to the dark days when book sleeves didn’t exist, my dad would borrow my copies to read during his work commute and keep them protected in a grocery bag.

Before jumping into the movies, I’ll say that Mockingjay was my favorite book in the trilogy- because I must be a sad person right?? I will say though I was and STILL am Team Gale throughout, I was pretty satisfied with the ending even though some sad things definitely happened. I also just tend to love series conclusions, especially in trilogies (see Marie Lu’s Champion and Jenny Han’s Always and Forever, Lara Jean). Catching Fire was my least favorite book (I think a series reread would be needed to confirm this) because I was basically waiting to go back to the Games. Surprisingly though, the build-up in the film adaptation of Catching Fire was one of my favorite aspects in my favorite film of the series.

I saw all four films in the theaters, each time with my dad and then also with my sisters for Mockingjay-Part 2. I even saw Catching Fire and Mockingjay-Part 1 twice in theaters, the former with a friend and the latter with my sister who was just getting into the series. I liked seeing the movies again for catching details I hadn’t noticed before. While I’m definitely the biggest THG fan in my family, my sisters and I enjoy having THG movie marathons together during the holiday season.

Some other THG Fun Facts about me:

-I have a framed The Hunger Games film poster.

-Some of my other merch includes: a District 12 tribute shirt, a charm bracelet, magnetic bookmarks- my Team Gale one hangs proudly on my dorm room fridge-, Katniss “The Girl on Fire” Funko, the US Weekly Collector’s Edition for Mockingjay-Part 2, and the illustrated movie companion guide to Catching Fire.

-I’d love to add Katniss “The Mockingjay” and “Wedding Day” Katniss to my Funko collection.

-I’m still upset I don’t know what happened to my Seventeen magazine featuring Jennifer Lawrence on the cover (let alone my beloved Seventeen and Teen Vogue collections—warning to my high school readers to hide your precious teen magazines before leaving for college).

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The coolest fun fact, which yes I think deserves its own paragraph, is that my high school graduation cap was THG-inspired. A fun play on our federal student aid system for college here in the US, I wished my fellow graduates that “May the FAFSA be ever in your favor.” A few of my English teachers got a kick out of it. I was also terrified when I decided to throw my cap in the air, with my beloved Mockingjay pin (which I received from my dad in the eighth grade as a gift) attached. It luckily stayed in upon landing.

Overall, THG will always stick with me  because of when I read it and whom I shared the experience with. THG sort’ve ended two “eras” for me as a teenager: I read THG in the eighth grade, when I was graduating from the same school I’d gone to for basically my entire life. The last film in 2015 coincided with my senior year of high school, with another graduation and new start on the horizon.

And yes, I definitely have my eyes on that new 10th anniversary collection.

Are you a The Hunger Games fan? Share some of your favorite THG memories in the comments!

My UK Edition Wishlist

Let’s be honest, us book nerds have special places in our hearts for covers. As the holiday season approaches, it’s the perfect time of the year to think about what books we need to further overfill our bookshelves.

While there are plenty of amazing covers for books published in the US, there are some UK covers that absolutely slay the book cover game. Like many of my fellow US readers, I love using Book Depository to find UK editions. I have three UK editions of my own, including Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer, Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes, and Jenny Colgan’s Christmas at the Cupcake Café.

I’ll be discussing the UK editions I’d love to add to my collection for the sole purpose of their gorgeous covers.

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Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Technically, we’ve been given the UK Strange the Dreamer cover for the US paperback, which I also happen to own. While the US hardcovers for Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares are pretty and EXTREMELY shiny, I just can’t get over the UK hardcovers. And yes, I am a complete sucker for sprayed edges.

The Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden- The US versions of Katherine Arden’s The Bear in the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch scream fantasy, but I love how the UK editions highlight the series’ folktale inspiration.

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell- Yes, because I really need a fourth copy of Carry On, and yes, it has to be either the UK paperback or hardcover, aka BOTH. Although the UK hardback looks like the US edition, underneath the dust jacket, there’s an orange and pink Simon and Baz! I also like how the UK paperback incorporates the hardcover’s colors.

Uprooted and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik- Naomi Novik’s UK covers scream fairytale, and both books’ color schemes work so well together!

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Vengeful by V.E. Schwab- I just want every version ever of Vengeful. I love how red, black, and white are found in most of V.E. Schwab’s covers.

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The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord– Emery Lord’s UK cover design team must be pretty amazing, because I of course love the UK cover to my favorite book of hers.

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Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins- Okay, but who doesn’t want to eat the ice cream on this cover?

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Collector’s Edition)- The most coveted book on this list, it’s an understatement to say that the collector’s edition of Six of Crows is insanely gorgeous. This edition has a BEAUTIFUL cover, six character portraits, a letter from Leigh Bardugo, and red-sprayed edges.

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What UK editions would you love to add to your bookshelf? Share in the comments!

MY TYPE OF SHAKESPEARE: Always Never Yours Review

Summary: While she may be the star of Stillmont High School’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, Megan Harper has never been the star of her own love story. Every guy she’s dated ends up with him falling in love with someone else. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on her dream of being a director and getting through her college application acting requirement. What’s not her dream? Starring as Juliet, especially when she’s used to be upstaged. In fact, with her mom in Texas and dad moving on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan is pretty used to her exes and her family moving on without her. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who’s inspired by Rosaline from R+J and more similiar to Megan that she may realize.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I, Haley of Fangirl Fury, reader and English major, am here to admit that I am not a huge Shakespeare fan. I’ve only read three of his plays, one of which was of course Romeo and Juliet. While  I’m not the biggest fan of Romeo and Juliet itself, I can now say I am a fan of Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka’s Always Never Yours. This book is perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Morgan Matson. Always Never Yours was the fluffy, heart-warming read that my soul needed after reading quite a few fantasy reads this fall.

As expected from the summary, Always Never Yours is a lot about Megan and romance. Megan was definitely a nice change from most YA contemporary protagonists, thanks to her strong, unapologetic personality and  self-confidence. Her love for directing instead of acting was pretty unique too.  I really liked getting to explore her relationships and feelings, especially with Owen by her side. While there is a focus on relationships, Always Never Yours is a lot about self-love. Just because Megan seems strong on the outside and says things don’t bother her too much (like one of her exes dating her best friend), she can understandingly not be so strong on the inside.

Outside of Megan’s relationships, I really liked Always Never Yours for its focus on friendship, family, and of course, theatre. Megan has a really strong support network between Anthony, Madeleine and Owen. We also get to explore her friends’ own relationship troubles. They each experience a sufficient amount of character development. I really liked getting to know Megan’s family. And of course let’s not forget the main setting: Romeo and Juliet! It was so much seeing the production come together by the end of the novel, and I completely loved Megan’s sarcastic take on Juliet. Definitely my favorite R+J/Shakespeare-themed novel ever!

Overall, I enjoyed Always Never Yours for having a strong protagonist and funny, yet heartwarming story that I flew through in a day! I’m highly anticipating Emily and Austin’s next novel, If I’m Being Honest (which like, Always Never Yours, has a GORGEOUS cover).

 Have you read Always Never Yours? Is If I’m Being Honest on your TBR? Share in the comments!

My Throne of Glass Story & Kingdom of Ash Thoughts

If this post is published, it means that I have conquered the beast that is Sarah J. Maas’s Kingdom of Ash. RIP my bookish soul.

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The final book in the Throne of Glass series, Kingdom of Ash’s 980 page story took over my reading life for five days. Yes, I’m still laughing at the fact that I thought I could hold off reading my most anticipated release of 2018 until Thanksgiving break. Since I myself was avoiding KoA spoilers for as long as possible, here are some of my non-spoiler thoughts:

  • Once again, if I can’t have Chaol Westfall, I’m happy that Irene Towers can
  • Aelin’s torture scenes were every emotional hard to read. Who else cannot stand Maeve??
  • The punch Manon took during THAT scene felt like I was being punched too. SJM went THERE
  • I didn’t cry, but I almost did when someone’s death is being honored near the end  and during a certain goodbye
  • I still cannot get over the Charlie Bowater-illustrated jacket for the Barnes and Noble exclusive editionIMG_6627
  • I need a spin-off following Borte PLEASE. She was so freaking funny.
  • One of Dorian’s transformation had me reeling with laugher
  •  I had dreams about Aelin and Nesryn the night I finished reading
  • Kingdom of Ash gave me one of my very few book hangovers
  • I need The World of Throne of Glass NOW. Please. Fingers-crossed that this book acutally comes out in 2019

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Since I didn’t write a full review for the sake of spoilers, and frankly I don’t know if a review could cover all of my thoughts without entirely taking up Fangirl Fury, today I want to discuss why the Throne of Glass series and Kingdom of Ash means so much to me.

As many of you likely know, I am an unapologetic SJM fan. It’s not a year without having read at least one SJM book. While I love the A Court of Thorns and Roses series for different reasons (if you thought KoA had some steam, just wait until you meet Rhysand), ToG is my favorite of SJM’s two published series.

I picked up Throne of Glass in May 2015 as a junior in high school. I largely read ToG because of Booktube, but man was I hooked. I soon moved on to Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, in anticipation for Queen of Shadows to come out in September. I attended one of Sarah’s signings for Queen of Shadows, in a Costco of all places! Those were the days when you could show up to one of her signings fifteen minutes before its start and be one of the first in line.

I then went on to read Empire of Storms upon release in September 2016. I still can’t figure out how I lasted until April 2018 to read Tower of Dawn, starring the love of my life, Chaol Westfall! I also met Sarah again at Book Con 2017, where she signed my copy of Crown of Midnight and we fangirled together over Charlie Bowater’s just-released artwork for A Court of War and Ruin.

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So what does Throne of Glass mean to me? Well for starters, ToG influenced me to pick up more YA fantasy. ToG is one of the few high-fantasy stories that I’ve ever read, largely in part to SJM’s amazing cast, the romance, and the humor! Once things become somewhat lighter for Aelin and co. in Kingdom of Ash, SJM pulled out all the funny moments, from Aelin and Dorian’s sarcasm to Borte’s quick remarks. While I don’t want to say that the ToG feel real, because I don’t know anyone who could use fire to obliterate Valg demons or has iron nails & teeth, SJM’s writing makes ToG’s cast feel human and  relatable. Through Aelin and her female cast, I love Sarah’s themes of strength and possibility.

Call me sentimental, but I started reading ToG and SJM’s books as a junior in high school. Four years later, I am a junior in college who’s just finished Kingdom of Ash, her bookish heart somehow feeling both whole and broken. While we have The World of Throne of Glass to look forward to, especially since it’s going to feature the characters ten years after KoA, it’s going to feel very weird not to have a new sequel next year. I’d say that I’m not ready to let these characters go, which is true, but I know that Celaena Sardothein, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Rowan Whitehorn, Chaol Westfall, Irene Towers, Dorian Havilliard, Aedion Ashryver, Manon Blackbeak, Elide Lochan, Lorcan Salvaterre, and others will never leave my bookish heart.

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Are you a Throne of Glass fan? Have you read Kingdom of Ash? Share in the comments!

Book Expo & Book Con: What You Need to Know Guide

The time has come for one of my most highly requested posts here on Fangirl Fury: my Book Expo & Book Con Guidebook. I considered creating this post right after I attended Book Expo and Book Con 2018, but I decided to wait until closer to ticket dates. Book Con tickets will be going on sale this Monday, November 19th.

Before jumping into everything you need to know, I am here to say that I am not the absolute expert of the best bookish weekend-I’ll even say below when I am not 100% sure of something. While I’ve attended Book Con three times (2015, 2017 & 2018), I’ve only attend Book Expo once (2018) and there are plenty of other bloggers/vloggers who have attended the latter convention more than me. However, using my own knowledge and some tips I’ve picked up from others’ content, I am here to present what I think you need to know to have the best possible Book Expo and Book Con for years to come! 

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Book Expo

What is it? :Book Expo is the largest North American annual book trade fair, featuring the latest content and titles in the publishing industry.

When & where is it? May 29-31, 2019, Javits Center, New York City

What is there to do at Book Expo? Panels, signings, book drops, bookish retailers

How do I get tickets? There are a variety of different ticket options for Book Expo, including but not limited to: librarians, educators, booksellers, authors, media, and of course, bloggers. Ticket prices vary depending on which category (the Blogger 3-day badge cost $250 in 2018) and are typically purchased online. Onsite tickets are only available to certain types of attendees and often for a higher price. Speaking of registration, almost all who wish to attend Book Expo must complete an online registration in order to be approved to attend Book Expo. I admit that I do not have much insight on who and who doesn’t get approved for tickets, but from my understanding, Book Expo does accept bloggers from a variety of follower counts.Registration is not yet open for 2019.

Are there any special protocols for signings/book drops? For the most part, Book Expo is like almost any convention, where you have to line up early for some book drops and signings or have to pick up a free ticket beforehand from the publisher. OR there will be no line and no ticket process and at the designated time, you’ll already be on your way with your wished-for book! Publishers will typically post their entire schedule for Book Expo, including book/ARC drops, signings, and panels, online about 2-3 weeks before the convention. However, some author signings are ticketed. Examples from 2018 included samplers for Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars and Ransom Riggs’ Map of Days as well as other really popular authors and titles. These tickets are handed out from Book Expo themselves before the official start time of 9 AM. While I did not try to get these tickets last year, you have to get to the Javits Center early to try and pick one up.

Book Expo also offers two special passes when buying your Book Expo tickets: Reader Pass and Avid Reader Pass. In short, with the purchase of these passes, you can pick up to a select of official author signings (typically held in the Book Expo autographing area instead of publishers’ booths) that you can skip the line for. These tickets tend to sell out right when Book Expo tickets go on sale. While I am recognizing that these ticket holders do have the right to skip the line, it can just be frustrating for non-pass holders who may or may not get a signing with the author they’ve been waiting for because of pass holders. For example, Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares was easily one of the most wanted ARCs of the convention and there was only one official MoN signing. The line started over 2 hours beforehand and over one hundred people had to be line. Come the signing’s start time, at least 40 people with avid reader passes came to the front. While my spot near the front “guaranteed” me a book, I felt bad for those who weren’t able to get a copy.

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What should I wear? I recommend wearing clothes and SHOES that you feel comfy in and won’t mind standing up in for long periods of time. Since Book Expo is an industry event, I try to save my fandom shirts for Book Con and wear outfits I’d wear to class or to a nice family dinner. Backpack and multiple totes (which are almost always given out at various booths) highly recommended.

What are some benefits to attending Book Expo?

-Networking

-Meeting fellow bloggers and bookish people

-Tons of free books and advance reader copies

-Much calmer atmosphere than Book Con

-Meeting authors and publishing teams

Cons:

-Crazy crowds over limited or highly wanted books (ex: The Wicked King at Book Expo 2018).

-Higher ticket prices than Book Con

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Book Con

What is it? Book Con is a fan convention that combines books and pop culture.

When & where is it? June 1 & 2, 2019, Javits Center, New York City

What is there to do at Book Con? Panels, signings, book drops, writing workshops, shopping at bookish retailers

How do I get tickets? Book Con tickets are available online starting on November 19,2018. Tickets are typically also available to buy on-site. There is no approval process. The types of tickets include individual tickets for Saturday and Sunday, weekend passes, and VIP passes. VIP passes are more expensive than the other passes and tend to sell out right when Book Con tickets go on sale. VIP tickets include getting to go on the showfloor first, first pick of Autographing Area tickets online (more on that below), and typically some extra swag and books. I’ve never purchased VIP passes myself and feel it hasn’t significantly affected my experiences.

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Are there any special protocols for autographing/signings? In-booth signings tend to vary. Some in-booth signings require that you pick up some sort of ticket prior to the signing- either at the start of the day or a certain amount of time before the signing. Some booths will also require you to buy the book in order to get it signed. Other in-booth signings do not require a ticket, however, you’ll typically have to get in line anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before the signing. Book Con’s audience is double to triple the size of Book Expo, so any free book signings or ARC drops tend to get competitive and cramped. Booths either prefer people to line up beforehand or will not start any sort of lining up before the designated time.

Book Con has its own Autographing Area. The signings in the Autographing Area require additional FREE tickets that are usually posted online 2-3 weeks before Book Con. You are required to have purchased a Book Con ticket in order to access these tickets online. In 2018, VIP pass holders were able to access these tickets online before people with “general” tickets. Popular authors tend to go quickly once this tickets are posted online. Only 2 autographing are allowed per ticket per day. Tickets that don’t fill up online are usually available on-site in the Autographing Area. Most signings in the Autographing Area require you to buy the author’s book in the signing line. Find more on the Autographing Area ticketing here.

What should I wear? Like Book Expo, I recommend wearing clothes and shoes that you’ll feel comfortable walking around and STANDING in all day- because of the crowds, there’s typically not a ton of space to sit in line. I usually go for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Backpack and multiple totes (which are almost always given out at various booths) highly recommended.

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What are the benefits of attending Book Con?

-Meeting authors and attending their panels and signings

-Meeting fellow bookish people

-Tons of free swag

-Free books & advance reader copies

-Networking

Cons:

-Bigger crowds and overall crazy atmosphere

-Competition & crowds over advance reader copies (ex: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik ticket drop at Book Con 2018)

-Being required to purchase book(s) for Autographing Area

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Have you attended Book Expo and Book Con? Any tips? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: End of 2018 TBR

“Oh the weather outside is frightful” andddddd so is my TBR because I have so many books left. All Christmas-themed jokes aside, I am pretty happy with my 2018 TBR and reading progress (I hit 100 books!), but there are definitely a few books that I’d love to get to before the end of the year. For today’s Top Five Wednesday, I’ll be discussing the top five books I want to read before 2019.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak– I wanted to read Seven Days of Us in 2017, but there was such a long hold list at my library. Even by January I couldn’t manage to borrow a copy! Seven Days of Us follows one not-so close family’s week together during the holiday season. Give me this & ALL of the Christmas reads please!

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan-I still haven’t seen the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians and I really want to read the book before doing so. Crazy Rich Asians is one of my mom’s favorite series and one I can see myself binge-reading soon.

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I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith– I received I Capture the Castle for Christmas (featuring Jenny Han’s foreword!) last year for Christmas and it’s about time I read it! While I’m not the biggest classics fan- being forced to read them for school has affected my perception of them-, but I’ve been trying to read more classics on my own. I Capture the Castle seems to be a beloved classic among many of my favorite authors (see Jenny Han), and I think this will be another cozy read perfect for Christmas time.

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Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen- Thanks to The Wicked King and Kingdom of Ash, I’ve been craving fantasy over the past few weeks. Reign the Earth has earned a ton of love from some of my favorite book bloggers, especially those who are Avatar fans, and I’m excited to dive into this one before its sequel, Imprsion the Sky, comes out in January.

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Christmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny ColganMeet Me at the Cupcake Café was one of my favorite reads of 2017.  It has such a heartfelt and humorous cast and of course, an emphasis on baking! I’m highly looking forward to reading its holiday-inspired sequel, Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe . Since some of Jenny’s books aren’t available in the US, I was more than happy to buy the UK edition from Book Depository.

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Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

What books do you need to read before 2019? Share in the comments!