Monthly Recommendations: Binge-Worthy Series

Everyone loves a good series, but everyone (aka me) loves a good binge-worthy series. How else can you spend days in the pool or rainy weekends? The following series for September’s Monthly Recommendations are perfect for all of your binge-worthy reading needs.

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The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur- I read The Ivy series during one summer in high school. While they aren’t the absolute best books in the world, they’re perfect for when you need some whirlwind romance and college-age drama.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard- Needing to feel accomplished in your binge-reading skills? There’s nothing better than testing your skills with the 16 book Pretty Little Liars series. These books are just so easy to fall into, no matter the time in between picking each book up. I definitely enjoyed them more than the TV adaptation.

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Monthly Recommendations Investigation: Underrated Books

August’s Monthly Recommendations theme is a hot topic for us booknerds: underrated books. We all have our favorites that just didn’t get the hype we think they deserved.

However, instead of discussing books that I think don’t get enough hype, I’m going to be talking about truly underrated books in my book- in other words, Goodreads. I have a few favorite books that don’t have the highest of star ratings on Goodreads. And I am here to admit that about 80% of the time, if I see that a book is well-read and has less than a 3.5 star rating on Goodreads, I likely won’t pick it up. Today I’ll be talking about books that have less than a 4 star rating on Goodreads, but I gave a 4-5 Stars.

Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade

Goodreads: 3.5 Star

My Rating: 4 Stars

College YA is one of my favorite sub-genres, and I really liked Finding Felciity’s story and main MC. I loved the incorporation of the real-life TV show, Felicity. I think readers would have maybe rated the book more if it incorporated a slightly more popular TV show. I’ve only seen one episode of Felicity myself, which was right after finishing Finding Felicity.

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Monthly Recommendations: BOOKTUBE MADE ME DO IT

Since I’ve started blogging, less of my recommendations have come from BookTube, but I am extremely grateful for this book community. I consider 2015 the year that I REALLY prioritized reading and BookTube helped me a lot in finding books that I now consider to be my all-time favorites. While I discovered a lot of hyped books through Booktube, like Throne of Glass and The Lunar Chronicles, today I’m going to be mostly focusing on some “smaller”/ the hype is not all over your face titles for May’s Monthly Recommendations topic, Books BookTube Made Me Read.

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Andy is basically 2015-me without Booktube.

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel- Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index was the BookTube-A-Thon pick for their 2017 readathon. I’ve never completed all of the BookTube-A-Thon reading challenges, but I find it really fun to read the one book that everyone’s encouraged to read. I ended up loving Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (floating around my pool while reading may or may not have influenced my love) and it did make me tear up a bit.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – The Illumiane Files have rightfully taken over Booktube since Illuminae came out in 2015, and I thankfully fell into this hype. I remember seeing everyone’s Illuminae ARCS in their BEA 2015 hauls.

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April Monthly Recommendations: Mental Health Rep

Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads for Booktubers and bloggers alike. Each month, there’s a new topic, and this April is all about books with mental health representation. I feel like I’ve read a lot of books that feature characters who struggle with their mental health or have discussion surrounding the subject, but the books below are ones, in my opinion, that best represent mental health.

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Made You Up by Francesca Zappia- Francesca Zappia’s Made You Up is a book that I’d love to reread. I remember eating this one up in two sittings at the beach last summer.  Made You Up features a few characters with different mental illnesses, and our main character, Alex, has schizophrenia. As the novel goes on, we see what it’s like for Alex to live with her mental illness and she somewhat performs as an unreliable narrator as we try to distinguish what’s real and what’s not.

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green- Although its received some mixed reviews, Turtles All the Way Down is one I’m sure you’ll find in many monthly recommendations posts this month. It was exciting to have another John Green book in the world in 2017 and Turtles All the Way Down is among my top three favorite John Green books. Aza’s mental illness just felt so real, and there were times where I felt sick to my stomach for her.

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We Are Okay by Nina LaCourWe Are Okay is a diverse read for many reasons, including its spotlight on mental illness. I don’t want to go too much into this subject for the sake of spoilers, but I was pleasantly surprised by We Are Okay’s depth and focus on family. If you need more motivation to pick up this book, just look at its gorgeous cover. It’ll be in your B&N shopping cart before you know it.

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The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan- The Astonishing Color of After is my most recent read, and I really enjoyed its mental health representation. While there’s plenty of magical realism, the book felt very realistic, as Leigh’s mother struggles with depression. Emily X.R. Pan demonstrates that there wasn’t a single or specific cause/reason behind her depression.

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Have you read any of the books above? What are some of your own mental health rep recommendations? Share in the comments!

Monthly Recommendations: LET’S DISCUSS *EVERY* DUOLOGY I’VE READ

In a world filled with standalones, trilogies, and more, duologies are considerably rare. Today, I’m going to be discussing my duology recommendations, which has basically formed into a list of almost every duology I’ve ever read. Please give me more duologies and less trilogies where the second books act as plot fillers (and if someone can do this, can they also get me more bookshelf space???)!

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Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads and each month, there’s a new theme for recommendations. The group is for Booktubers and bloggers alike, and I discovered Monthly Recommendations through Cece of Problems of a Book Nerd.

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Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo– A duology that I’m sure will deservingly top everyone’s list, Six of Crows is a perfect example of a series that just needed two books to both break and warm our hearts forever wrap up this story in the Grishaverse. However,  if Leigh Bardugo wants to write a third book, I would be the first in line. Honestly, I’d read a whole book of Wylan and Jesper living together or Inej and Kaz just staring at each other or Nina kicking butt.

This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by Victoria SchwabThis Savage Song was my first Victoria Schwab book and it made me understand why everyone loves her books.. little did I know then what Vicious would have in store. While I still enjoyed Our Dark Duet, I wasn’t completely crazy Our Dark Duet. I think my feelings would have differed if I read TSS and ODD back-to-back.

 Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman– While I have fuzzy memories of Gayle Forman’s Just One Day duology, having read it back in 2014, I remember loving its travel and self-discovery aspects.. I’d say Gayle Forman is better known for her If I Stay duology, a series I also loved at the time of reading it and I definitely don’t have fuzzy memories of me sobbing in my backyard while doing so.

Warcross by Marie Lu- While we don’t yet have the second book, I’m including Marie Lu’s Warcross because I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated a duololgy conclusion so much. As of right now, Warcross is set to be a duology, but Marie Lu has said that she will write a third book if she thinks it’s needed (she talked about this in an Instagram story Q&A in February). I’m interested to see if Warcross will stay a duology, especially since her other series are all trilogies.

Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman – Definitely the least talked about on my list, I loved Anne Blankman’s Prisoner of Night and Fog duology for its unique story during the rise of the Third Reich, as Gretchen questions everything she’s ever known growing up in the National Socialist Party. While the plot is not entirely historically accurate, you can easily tell how much research Anne Blankman put into these books and it was interesting to see how she intertwines historical accuracy with her own spin.

Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin– Another historical fiction-esque duology, I adored and I admit was a bit freaked out by, is Ryan Graudin’s alternate history and genre-bending take on what would have happen if the Axis Powers won World War II.

The Monthly Recommendations Group can be found here on Goodreads

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Have you read any of the duologies above? What are some of your favorite duologies? Share in the comments!