Top Ten Tuesday: The Transformative Power of Summer

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc)

In YA books, Summer is filled with endless possibilities. There will certainly be a romance and lots of days on the beach/at the pier/in the ice cream shop hanging out with old (or new) friends. Summer is a time when you can transform into something or somebody new. You might be getting ready for that last year of high school, or maybe even on your way to college. There’s one thing for certain though–anything can happen over the Summer.

Still in High School

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Leaving for College

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

P.S. Really several Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson books could have made the list, but I decided to stick with on per author.

P.P.S. Sorry if I miscategorized a book, I don’t quite remember where all of our MCs were heading.


BOOK TAG: The Wine Tag

I was tagged by Deanna @A Novel Glimpse! I don’t actually drink wine (or at all) so I don’t really get these references…but who cares! I love a good book tag.

Box Wine – a book people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

I’m going to go really broad on this one and just say YA. Obviously this community isn’t judging like that, but there are A LOT of people in this world who judge adults who like to read YA.


wolf-by-wolf-ryan-graudin-e1442880525579Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly.

We all knew I was going to bring this book up, right? Yes. Wolf by Wolf is so perfect. There is some romance, but it’s not the focus of the book and it doesn’t seem artificially added. Also, there isn’t any added drama or frustrating miscommunication. This story is all real with beautifully lyrical writing and an intriguing plot that really drives the story forward (even during flashback scenes).


Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintery read.7741325

Would I describe Dash and Lily as spicy? Yes and yes. Obviously this book is wintery (it’s set in New York during Christmas break). Dash and Lily are both super fun characters and Lily in particular has some extra sass added in. Now, just a reminder, I listened to this as an audiobook and the woman who read Lily was SO PERFECT.

51NcMaqTCsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down.

This is only partially true. The story was definitely sharp and aggressive, but I also didn’t have a hard time putting it down. Something about the way it was written or the plot didn’t really compel me to continue reading. But still, very sharp and aggresive.


cvr9781416990680_9781416990680_hrPinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away.

I was going to use a different book for this one, but then I saw Second Chance Summer on my Goodreads “Favorites” list and thought, “Yes. YES, THAT ONE.” Going into this, I knew that I’d liked Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone, but it wasn’t anything super spectacular. I thought this book would be kind of similar. IT WAS SO MUCH MORE. If you’d like to feel all the feels, then read this book.


344637Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super zesty.

I think the Casserole Queens invented the word “zesty”. I loved so much about this book and it really is the perfect summer read. It has a little bit of everything in it. Hanging out, summer jobs, late night hijinks, and even a roadtrip.


downloadRose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it.

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic world. Romance. Love Triangles. Aliens. Mystery. Several different settings. Multi-cultural Characters. This story really does have a little bit of EVERYTHING.


20550148Shiraz – a full-bodied book that is dark and juicy.

The characters in this one could have been a little more complex than they were, but I think “dark and juicy” is a pretty good way to describe it. Dark for sure, at least. There are so many times when this book is just a little bit disturbing–but I still had to finish.


austenland-bookMerlot – a smooth, easy read with a soft finish.

Oh Austenland…the book is great, the movie is great. This book is such an easy read because we all know what’s going to end up happening. Despite that, we’re still so happy when it finally does! This is a book that I will for sure return to when I just need a light, easy read.


Champagne – your favorite book.

Why is this even on here? I can’t choose just one!



As per my usual…I tag anyone who wants to do this!

Top Ten Tuesday: Christmas Wishlist


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

My husband knows that getting me books for Christmas is ALWAYS a good idea. Here’s a list of books that were on my Christmas wishlist:

1-4) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
5) Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
6) A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
7) Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
8) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
9) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
10) Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Quotes


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So.

“‘Doesn’t look like much, does he?’ murmurs Frederick. ‘Hardly a couple of ounces of feathers and bones. But that bird can fly to Africa and back. Powered by bugs and worms and desire.’” – All the Light We Cannot See

“In any moment, there were so many chances for paths to cross and people to clash, come together, or do any number of things in between. It was amazing we could live at all, knowing all that could occur purely by chance.” – Saint Anything

“We are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers. And love – it is not the book itself, but the binding.” – Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.” – NEED

“He sweeps his paddle out in a wide arc, and the soft-blue glow appears again, somehow more special now because of why it happens. Because when these tiny little things are afraid, they shine.” – Things We Know by Heart

“Maybe the world isn’t full of signs so much as it’s full of people trying to use whatever evidence they can find to convince themselves of what they hope to be true.” – Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

“’You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.’” – The Graveyard Book

“The thing is that people only get hurt—really hurt—when they’re trying to play it safe. That’s when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they’re scared. They hurt themselves and other people.” – Second Chance Summer

“’It’s not about winning or losing, really,’” he’s saying. “’It’s just the showing up every day. It’s stepping up to the plate and whiffing, and then doing it over and over again, whether you get a hit or not. It’s getting up every morning and failing and being disappointed and getting beat up and being let down, and then doing it all over again the next day.’” – The Comeback Season

“We were all survivors—every last one of us who limped our way out to the sidewalks that afternoon and spit in Death’s cold face.” – In the Shadow of Blackbirds

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Taylor is unremarkable. Her older brother, Warren, got a perfect score on the SATs and is already preparing for a career as a lawyer while her younger sister, Gelsey, is on her way to becoming a child prodigy in ballet. Partly due to their busy schedules, Taylor’s family has become distant. But when her father is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, they pack up for one last family summer at the lake house. If Taylor’s willing to stop running away from her problems, this summer could be full of second chances.

cvr9781416990680_9781416990680_hrGet ready for the feels, guys. Because this book has lots of feels. I really, really loved this book. It’s the second book that I’ve read by Morgan Matson (the first being Since You’ve Been Gone). Matson does a great job of writing summery books. Since You’ve Been Gone also had the distinct summer feel, but the thing that I loved about Second Chance Summer is that there was more depth to it. You could really see the relationships between Taylor and the rest of her family members grow as the book goes on. I loved, loved, LOVED, seeing the developing relationship between her and her dad. In some ways, I feel I can really relate. Growing up, my family wasn’t very close either. Like Taylor’s family, we weren’t big on showing or expressing affection towards each other. It was kind of just something that was known, but not said. So as I was reading this book, I could really put myself in Taylor’s shoes. I could understand why she had a hard time talking with her family about her father’s illness and I for sure understood her hesitation to tell her father that she loved him.

This book doesn’t have much of a plot, but I didn’t find that I minded. I think anything else going on beyond what was included in the book would have been too much. Even though Taylor is the narrator, I feel that the focus isn’t really on her. Instead, Matson is focusing on relationships and how they can change. This book doesn’t NEED a driving plot because this book isn’t about what happens, but rather how it happens, why it happens, and how the characters will choose to react to what happens.

Speaking of characters…what a cast! Taylor is relatable. She’s unsure of herself–especially being sandwiched between two exceptional siblings–but not to the point where she’s annoying about it. Warren and Gelsey are both quirky and act like you’d think siblings would act. I thought Henry was a little too perfect, but I was okay with it. Like I said earlier, any additional conflict would have been too much for the story. So I understand why Henry didn’t really have any flaws. I really liked the feel of the family as a whole. They’re far from perfect. They’re just this imperfect family dealing with this really hard situation. Their reactions and emotions feel real and legitimate. There were times when the book just felt so raw. I couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel to be put in Taylor’s position or her mom’s position.

This book is great. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy, though. The last scene between Taylor and her dad was so perfect and beautifully written. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it… Read this book, guys. READ IT.

Overall Rating: 5
Violence: None
Language: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild