Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Perfect Game by J. Sterling

The Perfect Game by J. Sterling
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publishing Date: June 25, 2013
Series: The Perfect Game, #1
379 Pages
Format: ebook


He's a game she never intended to play.
And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews and Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.

They're both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together.

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful...

My Review 

I loved this book! My sister lent it to me on Kindle, so I didn't know what to expect, but my expectations were high! I started this book earlier today because I'm not very busy at work right now. I then finished it about an hour ago.  Can I say again how much I really loved this book?! Cassie and Jack were cute together, though they seemed to become a couple really fast. But this happens in real life all the time, right? So why not in a book? They have so many issues that need to be worked out but really learn to trust each other and grow an individuals. This story has the best parts of romances: it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and makes you want to shake the characters! I kept waiting for something to happen, though, because their relationship was a little too perfect. haha Then stuff finally happened and I freaked out! I almost started crying while I was working and immediately texted my sister. I can't tell you what the texts said because it would be a spoiler, but I'll just tell you there were a lot of "!!!!" and "????" and part of it did say "This book just got crazy!!!!" (:

The only complaint I really have is that I didn't like Jack calling Cassie "Kitten." It just felt too fake and cheesy to me...and was kind of annoying. Maybe if it had been a different nickname, it wouldn't have bothered me that much, but this one did. I also wish Cassie's relationship with her parents was explained a little better - but I wouldn't really consider this a complaint, I just wanted to know more.

Go get a copy of this!! My sister just lent me the second in the series, so I'll be starting that tomorrow!

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis
Publisher: Kirk Parolles
Publishing Date: April 15, 2013
352 Pages
Format: ebook


An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline, who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

My Review 

I received a copy of this ebook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is the first novel I've read by Tina Seskis, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Emily Coleman wakes up one day an abandons her life for something completely different. Throughout the whole novel, I wondered why she would leave such a seemingly happy life. When we find out what happened at the end of the novel, I definitely understood her a little better! A tragedy has struck and changed her life completely, but thankfully, at the end she turns it all around. There's a happy ending in this story, which is one of my favorite parts of a book (: Tina Seskis has a wonderful writing style; everything is straightforward and easy to understand. She doesn't use extra details to fluff up the story more, something that tends to drive me crazy in some novels.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne

The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne
Publisher: William Morrow
Publishing Date: March 19, 2013
451 Pages


An eight-year-old boy is found dead in a playground...and his eleven-year-old neighbor is accused of the crime. Leading the defense is London solicitor Daniel Hunter, a champion of lost causes.

A damaged boy from a troubled home, Daniel's young client, Sebastian, reminds Daniel of his own turbulent childhood - and of Minnie, the devoted woman whose love saved him. But one terrible act of betrayal irrevocably shattered their bond.

As past and present collide, Daniel is faced with disturbing questions. Will his sympathy for Sebastian and his own memories blind him to the truth? What happened in the park - and who, ultimately, is to blame for a little boy's death? Rethinking everything he's ever believed, Daniel begins to understand what it means to be wrong...and to be the guilty one.

My Review

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is Ms. Ballantyne's first novel, and wow, did she pack a punch! There is so much going on in this story, from the flashbacks of Daniel's past to the current trial of young Sebastian Croll. This book was actually different from what I expected, though I'm not sure I can exactly describe what I expected it to be. However, that is NOT a bad thing! I really, really enjoyed this story! It's suspenseful - we don't know what happened between Minnie and Daniel until the very end, though I tried to guess the entire time. We also have no idea what really happened in the park the day Ben Stokes was killed. Was Sebastian responsible? Was it someone else we don't know about? This book definitely keeps you guessing until the end. And then another final twist is thrown your way! This author is definitely one to look out for! Can't wait to see what else she comes up with! (:

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom 
Publisher: Hyperion
Publishing Date: September 4, 2012
Format: Audio


In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time. The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world - now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began - and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old business man who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

My Review

Mitch Albom is a master storyteller. I love reading his work and when I saw this was out, I couldn't wait to read it! I really didn't know too much about it, but knew it would be great. This book teaches readers so many lessons about the importance of living in the moment and not worrying about what time it is, or what will happen next. One of my favorite parts of the book is this quote:

        "There is a reason God limits our days."
        "To make each one precious."

I think this is a perfect summary of the book. I'm not a religious person, but I still think this quote is amazing. We need to remember that each day is a gift, and we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. We should concentrate on today and being with those we love. I highly recommend this book to everyone (:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This Weeks Question: 
What do you do with your books after you're done reading them?

I always keep them (unless I really, really didn't like it). Sometimes I give them to my mom or sister to borrow, if it's something I think they will like. But mostly they go back on my shelves (: Sometimes I reread books, but lately I've had so many new ones that I've wanted to read that this hasn't happened. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning by Jessica Park 
Publisher: Skyscape
Publishing Date: July 16, 2013
399 Pages


Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn't expect - an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she's been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family's traumatic history. As dark current threaten to pull hum under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

My Review

Wow - words can't describe this book. It was so good! There was everything in this book that you could want in a great novel: love, heartache, adventure, passion, healing, and overall, a great story line. I wasn't really sure what to expect form this book when I first started reading it. I hadn't read anything by Jessica Park before (hadn't even heard of her, unfortunately), but this one blew me away :) Blythe and Chris are perfect. They each have struggles and tragic pasts they have to work through. They help each other heal, though Chris helps Blythe much more in the beginning than Blythe is able to help Chris. But they pull through. There are ups and downs in their relationship, which makes it so real! On top of that, there's a bunch of steamy sex scenes, which are always a plus ;)

I also really loved the rest of the characters in this story. Sabin is a charmer and definitely the lovable big-brother figure. Estelle is beautiful and full of live, but deep down is struggling with her past. James is Blythe's younger brother that also struggles with their tragic childhood. And Eric and Zach are the cute couple that everyone roots for! The story definitely wouldn't have been the same without these characters!

Buy on Amazon

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Publishing Date: November 13, 2012
448 Pages


Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her - her identity, her spirit, her will to live - pay. 

Josh Bennett's story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is to be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. 

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious girl at school who starts showing up and won't go away until she's insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she's been hiding - or even if he wants to. 

My Review

I loved this book! It was so original and fresh! I immediately loved Nastya and felt so bad for all that she has endured. Throughout the novel, we slowly learn what happened to her through her own thoughts, though no one else in the story finds out until close to the end. Josh is a sweetheart; he treats Nastya so well, but not like she's different. He understands that it will take time for her to tell him her secrets, much like it's taking him time to tell his. These two are perfect together - both a little damaged and afraid to love again, but so open to each other. 

I highly recommend everyone check out this book! I loved it and couldn't put it down (: 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Signet Classics
Publishing Date: 1890
234 Pages


The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's novel of a youth whose features, year after year, retain the same youthful appearance of innocent beauty, while the shame of his hideous vices become mirrored, year after year, on the features of his portrait.

Tempted by the cynical Lord Henry Wotton, the angelic-faced Dorian Gray enters into a life of gradual dissipation. Soon student surpasses master. Dorian's power for evil leads him into acts of debauchery, degradation, and finally murder, before the diabolic secret he shares with his portrait is dramatically revealed.

My Review

This was an interesting book. It's the first work of Wilde's that I've read, and the first classic I've finished in a long time, probably since high school. I am glad that I read it. There was a part in the middle that I was really bored with, but other than that, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed Dorian Gray as a character, as well as Lord Henry. I thought they were both pretty likable, even though they said and did some not so likable things :) I actually really liked the ending too - as weird as that may seem because of how it unfolds! It wasn't what I really expected, but it fits so perfectly, and that's why I think I enjoyed it so much!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Tour: Legacy of a Dreamer by Allie Jean

Book Tour!

Legacy of a Dreamer by Allie Jean

Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Publishing Date: May 2, 2012
170 Pages


Chantal Breelan is a ward of the state, living under the care of a woman who is cold and heartless. Her past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can't recall why she had been taken from her parents and so she's left with nothing but an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she awakens from her nightmares, she's left with terrible, violent images, as well as a boy whose face is oddly familiar, yet can't be placed. 

Scared and alone,  Chantal begins to confide in an imaginary friend - a shadow in the shape of a man who stands in the corner of her room. She is comforted when she believes he listens to her. 

On her eighteenth birthday, Chantal is forced to leave her foster home. She moves to New York City, but the start of her new life doesn't begin as smoothly as she'd hoped. In this environment, she faces a whole new set of challenges.

One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who runs away from her, and she's compelled to follow him down into the tunnels. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world where reality is a nightmare. Her dreams are clues to her future, and her life becomes twisted and dangerous when she learns that things that go bump in the night are not just in fairy tales and childhood stories. 

My Review

Legacy of a Dreamer is a very good book! I got a copy of this ebook for free in return for an honest review and to be a blog tour host! The characters are so easy to like and I felt so bad for Chantal when she learned her world was so different from what she imagined it to be. She grew up as a foster kid in the system and had  a very difficult childhood. But once she meets Mathias, she knows she will be safe. He cares for her in a way no one else ever has and you can tell he really wants what is best for her. He will protect her at all costs. I really enjoyed the creativity of this novel - it was unlike anything I have read before! Allie Jean is a wonderful novelist and I can't wait to read other work by her :) I also can't wait to finish the rest of the books in the series whenever they are finished/released. 

Buy on Amazon           Buy on Barnes and Nobles            Buy on iTunes              Buy on The Writer's Coffee Shop

About the Author

Allie Jean was born with an overactive imagination. She spent her childhood inventing stories and telling tales. Her mind never shut down, even while she slept. Vivid dreams containing extensive, elaborate plot lines of good overcoming evil villains captured her nightly visions, lingering into her waking hours and filling the pages of her well-loved bounded diaries. She was encouraged by her parents, even at a young age, to write down her tales, and it has remained a somewhat secret hobby. As a busy wife, mother and critical care nurse, Allie’s love of storytelling has been reborn through the adventures of her unforgettable characters.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. 

This weeks topic: Top ten best/work book to movie adaptations

1. Harry Potter movies - this doesn't need any explanation. I love them all :) 
2. The Notebook - Read this book a really long time ago, but I still love it and the movie was great! It doesn't hurt that Noah (Ryan Gosling) is a heart-throb! 
3. The Hobbit - Watched the movie first and really wanted to read the book. Then I read it and watched the movie again. Just have to say that I love it! Great acting by everyone!

1. Twilight - Ugh... I really enjoyed these books, but the acting in the movies is awful! I can't stand Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson...She has no facial expressions whatsoever. They ruined it.. However, I've still watched all of them except the last, which I will eventually see
2. My Sister's Keeper - They changed the ending!!!! It's not just something like a person's hair color or age... they changed the whole ending and it's completely different from the book now! Not nearly as good. I enjoyed the movie right up til the end.
3. The Other Boleyn Girl - I really liked this book and couldn't wait to see the movie. But the movie just left out so much information. I watched it with my boyfriend (who didn't read the book) and he was lost - I had to explain a lot of stuff to him. I understand the book was very long and had a lot of detail, but the movie jumped ahead years at a time without really telling you! Not impressed. 

Future Adaptions:
1. The Night Circus - One of my favorite books ever - I hope the movie is as magical as the book! 
2. Divergent - Really liked this book and read it in a couple days! Haven't read the second yet, but I have time for that :) Plus I really like Shailene Woodley as an actress!

Tell Me Something Tuesday!

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week a new question is presented. Check out Heidi's blog for all the details :)

This weeks question:

I love this book! What are some of your favorite books that you wish more people would read?

One of my favorite books, and the first book review I posted on here (I think) is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. There's something so magical and enchanting about it that I just couldn't put it down! This is Morgernstern's debut novel, and I couldn't believe it! I really wish more people would read it - maybe a lot of people do, I just don't ever hear/read about it in the book blogging world. I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone :) 

I also love all of Jodi Picoult's books and I wish I saw more people talking about them on their blogs. I really love all her books, but the ones that stand out the most to me are Handle With Care, The Pact, My Sister's Keeper, and Nineteen Minutes. The deserve much more attention! :) 

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog!

Another week that I didn't buy books! I only have to last till next Friday to complete my goal of no buying books for a month! Very happy with myself :) This week I didn't add too many books to my shelves, just the two books I won, which is really good! 


I won these two great books from Megan @ Paperbook Princess. These were such fun books and I finished them both so fast! I highly recommend everyone to go get a copy of these two! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Playing for Keeps by Emma Hart

Playing for Keeps by Emma Hart
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publishing Date: June 22, 2013
225 Pages
Format: Kindle Edition
Series: The Game, #2


She's in love with him.
He's trying not to love her.
One night changes everything.

Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper - not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he'd ever built and tear them down without even realizing she was doing it.

Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn't on Megan's to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she's come to know, she can't walk away.

Aston's childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it's clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he's buried deep down.

What he doesn't want to face. What he's fought against for so long.

And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.

Keeping a relationship a secret has never been harder.

My Review 

I love this book just as much as the first one! That doesn't often happen; usually the second in a series is good, but not as good as the first. Well this book changes that! Megan and Aston are so cute together and help each other in so many ways. I felt so bad for Aston as his childhood was slowly revealed, and it explains why he acts like such an arrogant prick. He starts to open up and show who he really is. I also really love his 'Gramps' in this book - he reminds me of my grandpa and I just love it! (: Emma Hart definitely knows how to write a great romance with everything in it - hot, steamy love scenes, laughter, friendship, love, and a little friendly bickering. Every now and then (more than I actually admit) I need a really fun romance to break up all the heavy-feelings, though-provoking books that generally fill up my shelves. I can't wait to get the third and fourth books in this series! I highly recommend the series if you like fun, easy-to-read romances. You won't be disappointed.

Buy on Amazon

Sunday, July 7, 2013

While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty

While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
Publisher: Hyperion
Publishing Date: 2009
305 Pages


Ever since her parents announced that they're getting divorced, Veronica has been falling. Hard. A junior in college, she has fallen in love. She has fallen behind in her difficult coursework. She hates her job as counselor at the dorm, and she longs for the home that no longer exists. When an attempt to escape the pressure, combined with bad luck, lands her in a terrifying situation, a shaken Veronica calls her mother for help - only to find her former foundation too preoccupied to offer any assistance at all.

But Veronica only gets to feel hurt for so long. Her mother shows up at the dorm with a surprising request - and with the elderly family dog in tow. Boyfriend complications ensue, along with her father's sudden interest in dating. Veronica soon finds herself with a new set of problems, and new questions about love and independence.

My Review

My mom had this book and enjoyed it so she passed in on to me, so I figured I would give it a try. It's been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. I read For the Rest of Her Life by Ms. Moriarty as well, so I hoped I would like this one too! Not surprisingly, I did :) This book deals with issues surrounding divorce, and I'm always intrigued by how people handle it. Maybe its because I'm an attorney that works in family and divorce law, or maybe it's just because I know so many people that have gone through this. Either way, I enjoyed this story. Veronica tries so hard to accept her parents divorce and move on. But slowly, things start going wrong; she can't concentrate, she is having troubles with her boyfriend, and is falling behind in school. We can all relate with the problems she's having. But soon, her mom shows up at her dorm and desperately needs her help. Veronica doesn't really know what she can do, but tries anyways, because her mom doesn't have much after the divorce. Veronica is struggling with growing up, while her mom struggles to move past a divorce. It's an interesting story about a mother and daughters bond and friendship, I recommend it! It was a fast read, too; I read it in 2 days (:

Buy on Amazon           Buy on Barnes and Nobles

Saturday, July 6, 2013

GIVEAWAY of The Never List by Koethi Zan

I received this book free through NetGalley and posted my review here. I really liked this book and can't wait to read others by her! This giveaway is for US addresses only, and please no PO Boxes.

A Conversation with Koethi Zanauthor of
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking; on-sale July 16, 2013; 9780670026517; $27.95

Q. Where did the inspiration for THE NEVER LIST come from?

A. THE NEVER LIST was inspired in part by the amazing stories of captivity survivors: Elizabeth Fritzl, Natascha Kampusch, Sabine Dardenne, Jaycee Lee Dugard. These women have suffered through the absolute worst thing I can imagine and every one of them has demonstrated incredible strength in the wake of such trauma. My own difficult life struggles paled in comparison. I was—and am—in awe of them. I wanted to create a character like that: a woman who was strong in the face of unfathomable horror, but who needed to confront her past to figure that out.

Q. THE NEVER LIST echoes recent events in the news even though you wrote it long before those events came to light in May 2013.  How did you feel when you heard about the women in Cleveland and have you heard any early feedback about the eerie similarities between life and art here?  If the news about Cleveland had broken while you were writing your novel, would those events have changed the storyline in any way?

A. I was stunned when the news broke about the Cleveland kidnappings, and it only became more surreal as the story unfolded. I’d written a book based on my worst nightmare, and there it was on the screen—real.  And even worse than the story I’d invented. 

Dozens of friends contacted me in those first few days, recognizing the obvious similarities and thinking I would have some special insight into the situation.  But I didn’t have any answers for them.  I don’t know how or why these terrible things happen.  Writing my book was just my way of trying to understand the hardships and strength of the women whose stories inspired me.  All I know is that I am so happy that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are finally free, and I hope they are able to recover from such an unfathomable tragedy. 

It’s hard to say what I would have done had the story come to light while I was writing the book.  However, even if I had changed some of the plot details, the essential narrative would still have been the one I felt driven to tell: the story of a woman who survived an awful, traumatic experience and her struggle to recover by facing her past.  My book was written from the heart, with great empathy and respect for abduction survivors.  The timing of this revelation doesn’t change that; it only makes my feelings for all these amazing women that much stronger.

Q. What made you want to be a writer? Did you always want to be a writer when you were growing up?

A. I was raised in a family of scientists in a house that had only one small bookcase. And unfortunately that bookcase was filled with chemistry and engineering textbooks. When I was nine, however, I found at the bottom of a drawer my mother’s Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volumes I and II, from her one required freshman English class. After that I pretty much survived childhood by reading.

If you’d asked me at twelve, I would have said all I ever wanted to be was a writer, but I lost my nerve somewhere along the way and opted for a steadier career path. I was estranged from my parents after high school and ran out of money fast, so it seemed important at the time to find a secure way to support myself. So I ended up at Yale Law School, which was a pretty great safety net.

I was drawn to the world of writers, though, so perhaps it was inevitable. I married a writer and as a lawyer I represented writers. My favorite New Yorker cartoon sums it up: a little boy in a cowboy costume says to his father, “Well, if I can’t be a cowboy, I’ll be a lawyer for cowboys.” So now I’m finally a cowboy.

Q. How would you describe your book to someone you’d just met? 

A. I like to say it’s a psychological thriller about girls held captive in a basement crossed with a trauma recovery memoir—sort of as if the girl in that basement fromSilence of the Lambs ended up hunting down Hannibal Lecter.

Q. Do you have a “Never List” of your own? 

A. I don’t have an actual written list, but I do have a jumble of informal rules that my best friend and I developed in high school. We didn’t need to write anything down because we lived by them everyday as we navigated our way through our odd adventures: staying out all night, going to unsavory clubs, hanging out with strange characters. I have written Sarah and Jennifer’s Never List, however, and expect to add to it, perhaps even with suggestions from readers.
Q. The relationships between the female characters are crucial to The Never List—who are your favorite female characters in fiction?

A. As I thought about this question, it struck me that the first names to come to mind were all young girls: Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Matilda, Pippi Longstocking, Jo from Little Women, Cassandra from I Capture the Castle, Catherine of the early chapters of Wuthering Heights. These characters are all smart, tough and insightful individuals who follow their own way.

It’s telling that so many of the strongest, surest female characters haven’t yet reached maturity, while some of the adult characters I love are ruined or deeply flawed: Anna Karenina, Isabel Archer, Lily Bart. Yes, they are more complex and challenging, but in a way, my true heroes are the girls who haven’t been taught to doubt their strength yet. My life goal is to get back to that place, and to keep my daughters there.

Q. Did you do any research before you began writing your book? 

A. I spent the past ten or so years researching it indirectly. My unofficial hobby—one I would never put on my resume—was obsessively studying psychopaths, captives, and the criminal mind. Also, I took a brief detour from law in the early 2000s to go to graduate school in Cinema Studies. There I studied Surrealism with the incredible Annette Michelson, who, let’s just say, has a penchant for the dark side. So in many ways it was as if I was preparing for the book for years without knowing it.
While writing the book, I did formal research into BDSM, abnormal psychology, victimological studies, statistical analysis, you know – the usual. My computer got a lot of viruses, and I saw a lot of disturbing text and images that are etched in my brain forever.

Q. Do you feel your own life experience has contributed to the book in any specific ways?

A. Definitely. Although I have thankfully never experienced what my characters went through, the broadest themes were drawn from my own emotional life. Sarah, Tracy, Christine and Adele each have a different response to the traumatic events of their collective past, and I’ve experienced them all for better or worse: anxiety, anger, repression, ambition. I’ve worked with a wonderful therapist on and off for a decade—our relationship is definitely not the model for Sarah and Dr. Simmons—but my own process helped me understand what it’s like to go back and face a dark past.
Specifics from my own life influenced many of the details of the book as well.  My relationship with my best friend was the model for the friendship between Sarah and Jennifer. While the story is obviously fiction, the powerful, intense nature of their friendship is rooted in ours, and their paranoia and obsession with precautions are magnified versions of our own.
Also, I went to college in Birmingham, Alabama, and my friends and I spent many weekends in New Orleans, wreaking all manner of havoc. We lived a pretty wild life—hitting the club scene, dressing up in costume, crashing with strangers. We woke up one morning to find we were staying with a guy who honestly believed he was a vampire. That was a bit of a wakeup call.
While I was in college, I also had a brush with a spiritual cult. My roommate and I went to regular meetings for a couple of months, where we were instructed in a bizarre cosmology and taught to be “present to the moment.” It was an interesting life experience that we didn’t take very seriously. Then we reached the level where we were invited to attend a weekend retreat in honor of a visiting guru from New York City. We had to scrape the floors of a house we were renovating for the group, do special “sacred” movements to music, and were expected to meditate for hours. I’m not ashamed to say I feigned illness, got out of there fast, and never went back.

Q. Which writers do you enjoy reading?

A. Mostly I read at either one of two extremes: nineteenth century/early twentieth century marriage plot novels and dark psychological crime. My favorites aren’t especially original: Tolstoy, Dickens, Austen, Wharton, Zola, Eliot, and Nabokov. And I always recommend a couple of books I think are under-appreciated: Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh and Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time. Some of my favorite crime writers (construed broadly) are Patricia Highsmith, Graham Greene, Shirley Jackson, Henning Mankell, Ruth Rendell and Dorothy L. Hughes. I can’t understand why everyone in the world hasn’t read We Have Always Lived in the Castle because it is a perfect, perfect book.

Q. Where do you like to write—and how?

A. I wrote THE NEVER LIST down in a stonewalled basement, which was fitting. I got up at five a.m. five days a week and wrote for exactly one hour before my kids got up. I gave myself a minimum of five hundred words to do in that hour (which I later increased to six hundred), so there was no time for writer’s block or self-doubt. I only knew the broad strokes of the story, so each day was a new revelation, as I would find out what was going to happen as I went.

Now I’ve moved to another house, so I don’t have that wonderful basement anymore. In fact, I have a large, bright sunny office with a beautiful view of the Berkshires, where I absolutely never, ever work. I end up at the banquette in my kitchen, mostly so I can sit cross-legged.

I’m writing two books now, and I do a thousand words on each a day. On the first draft, I focus on getting the story down, knowing I will re-write each line a thousand times. For one of these books I have a relatively detailed outline that I more or less stick to, but for the other I’m letting it unfold as I go. I like to get my word count done first thing in the morning; otherwise it hangs over my head. After every five hundred words, I get a ten-minute internet break, then—provided I’m not traumatized by what I’ve found there—it’s back to work.

About the Author

When Koethi Zan was born in the sleepy farming town of Opp, Alabama, the “City of Opportunity,” her mother was Valedictorian of the local public high school and her father the star of its football team. Her parents named her after the homecoming queen of Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College, perhaps hopeful that some of that glory would rub off on her.
But Koethi would never be a homecoming queen. In fact, she spent most of her youth in her room, reading, listening to Morrissey, and avoiding everything connected to high school football—not an easy task in those parts.
After graduation, Koethi put herself through Birmingham-Southern College with scholarships and a small “cow fund” courtesy of Molly, the Charolais heifer she’d received as her third birthday present. She used the money wisely, travelling to New Orleans on the weekends to hit the club scene, almost always in silver-sequined costume, surrounded by transvestites, Goth kids and her gay male entourage. Perhaps, in some roundabout way, she had fulfilled her homecoming queen destiny after all.
Then, in what may have been a misguided fit of pique, Koethi threw away her all-black daywear and her thrift-store evening gowns, and went to Yale Law School, with some vague idea of becoming a film producer. Afterwards, however, she unexpectedly found herself twenty-eight stories up in the Manhattan offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell, a prestigious white shoe law firm that represented mostly investment banks. She regularly pulled all-nighters working on secured financings and revolving credit facilities. She tended to wear demure black pantsuits, with her hair up.
It didn’t take her long to realize corporate life wasn’t for her, and Koethi spent the next fifteen years practicing entertainment law both in private practice (at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and, later, Schreck Rose & Dapello) and in-house business and legal affairs positions (for the film producer, Ed Pressman, and, most recently, at MTV), with a slight detour along the way to study cinema at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
As an entertainment lawyer, Koethi attended glamorous premieres and openings, international film festivals and celebrity-filled parties. She dealt with gritty production issues as varied as suicide threats, drug overdoses and sex-tape allegations. She warred with Hollywood agents and befriended reality stars.
Then, while Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at MTV, she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream on the side, and in the early mornings she wrote a crime novel, The Never List.
Now, coming full circle in a way, Koethi, her husband, Stephen Metcalf, and their two daughters, live in an old farmhouse in a rural community in upstate New York. Her husband occasionally watches a football game on television. But her daughters have never even heard of homecoming queens.

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Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox

Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
Publisher: Harper
Publishing Date: April 30, 2013
457 Pages


In November 2007, Amanda Knox was twenty years old and had been studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, for only a few weeks when her friend and roommate, a young English student named Meredith Kercher, was brutally murdered. The investigation made headlines around the world, and Amanda's arrest placed her at the center of a media firestorm. Young, naive, grieving at the horrifying death of her friend, and with little more than basic knowledge of the Italian language, she was subjected to harsh interrogations during which she struggled to understand the police and to make her own words understood. The subsequent trial exposed Amanda to international scrutiny and speculation, and she became a tabloid staple. In 2009, after an extremely controversial trial, she was wrongly convicted of murder. But in October 2011, after Amanda had spent four years in an Italian prison, and following a lengthy appeals process, the conviction was overturned. Amanda immediately flew home to the United States.

Now, in Waiting to Be Heard, Amanda Knox shares for the very first time the truth about her terrifying ordeal. Drawing from journals she kept and letters she wrote during her incarceration, Amanda gives an unflinching and deeply personal account of her harrowing experience, from the devastation of her friend's murder to the series of mistakes and misunderstandings that led to her arrest. She speaks intimately about what it was like, at the age of twenty, to find herself imprisoned in a foreign country for a crime she did not commit and demonized by the international media, and about the impact on her family and loved ones as they traveled back and forth to be at her side so that she would not be alone. She describes the relationships that bloomed with those who believed in her innocence and how the strength of her family helped her survive the most challenging time of her young life. With grace and gratitude, Amanda describes the aftermath of the trial and her return home to the States, where she is ale to once again look forward to the future.

My Review

When this all began in the fall/winter of 2007, I was just starting college, and never paid much attention to the media accounts surrounding the murder and trial. However, it always intrigued me a little. I wasn't really sure whether she was guilty or innocent, but I thought reading this book would be insightful. My mother-in-law picked this book up shortly after it came out, and read it right away. I then borrowed the book from her because she said it was really good and she couldn't put it down. I really had high hopes! In the beginning, I really didn't like the writing. The story itself was interesting, but I was getting irritated by how it was written. It's hard to describe, but I just felt like she was trying way too hard to prove her innocence. I wish she had just stated the facts of what happened rather than also using the pages to try to convince everyone. Because of that, I found myself turning to other books rather than this when I wanted to sit down and read. However, it got better as the book went on. Maybe the writing got a little better, or maybe I just tried to look past it; whatever it was, I'm glad I kept reading.

When I started the book, I wasn't sure if she was guilty or innocent. Now I'm favoring innocence, but its always hard when you really only have one side of the story. Nevertheless, it seemed like the prosecution and police really tried everything they could to get a fast conviction, and it worked initially! The evidence they had was really weird, for lack of a better term, and they used the evidence to fit their story, rather than letting the evidence tell its own account of what actually happened. I still can't believe how naive Amanda was with the whole process and there's just something about her that's a little off, though I can't put my finger on it. But it definitely seemed like she grew up while in prison; she finally learned to fight back and didn't just sit back and let things work out for itself.

On a side note, not really relating to the book, is that I can't get over how different the prison system is in Italy compared to the US. They seem to have so much more freedom in Italy than any prison that I've been to here (which is quite a few, actually, because of my undergrad degree in criminal justice and law degree). In the US, you don't get to buy your groceries and cook dinners yourself, you don't live in a run down version of a studio apartment, and you rarely, if ever, get to choose who you live with in your cells. Not that I'm saying she had it easy; I know she didn't, and I can't imagine what it would be like to have your freedom taken away. It's just interesting to contrast the two countries prison systems.

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Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Publishing Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Audio book
Narrated by Erin Bennett


It's June 15th, the night of Nantucket High School graduation. Four juniors are driving home from a party when something goes horribly wrong and there is a crash. The drive of the car, Penny Alistair, is killed, and her twin brother, Hobby Alistair, is left in a coma. Penny's boyfriend, Jake Randolph, and Penny's friend Demeter Castle are unhurt - but suffer tremendous emotional damage. Jake and his family move to the other side of the globe - to the west coast of Australia - in order to escape the horrors of the accident. Demeter falls prey to alcohol abuse and other self-destructive behaviors that nearly lead to destroying her own life.

Summerland delves into the circumstances surrounding this accident, the roots of which lie deep in the past, with the first interactions between these four friends and their parents. It's a novel about how tragedy affects individuals, families, and the island community as a whole, and how healing can happen, in even the most devastating circumstances.

My Review

This is the first book I've ever listened to on audio. I wasn't really sure how I would like it, so I grabbed a book that I wasn't really wanting to read, that way, if I didn't like it, I could just shut it off and not worry about it affecting how I felt about the book if I were to actually read it. I have to admit, in the beginning, I wasn't too sure about listening to a book. I found myself not paying attention at times and thinking about other things. But it got much better as my travel time in the car went on, and it actually made the drive seem much faster. Overall, the book was pretty good. I didn't love it, but it was enjoyable. I think the reason I didn't like it more is because it reminds me a lot of Kristin Hannah's book Night Road. Its a very similar story line, and so I felt as though I was reading the same thing. Thankfully it was just different enough that I still liked the story line. I feel so bad for the kids and parents suffering in this novel. Tragedies are so hard for everyone involved, and everyone copes with it differently. Jake's family moves to Australia, where his mother is from, for the summer. Zoe, Penny's mom, ignores friends and tries to focus on getting her son better. And Demeter turns to alcohol to numb her pain and loneliness. This story is told from the point of view of many different characters, which I really like. We're able to delve into the minds of everyone involved without having to guess as to how they are feeling and coping with the accident. It's very uplifting to see everyone moving on and being happy at the end of the book. I'm a sucker for happy endings! (:

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Friday, July 5, 2013

The Love Game by Emma Hart

The Love Game by Emma Hart
Series: The Game, #1
Publisher: Emma Hart
Publishing Date: March 29, 2013
321 Pages
Series: The Game, #1


His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.

Her challenge? Play the player.

Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn't she say no? She doesn't know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it's the only way he'll get what he wants. Sex.
But, as Braden discovers, there's more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined - and he can't help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn't just a walking erection - he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don't exactly hurt. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.

My Review 

I won this book and the second in the series from Megan @ Paperbook Princess. I LOVED this book! It was so fun, romantic, funny, and heartwarming. Maddie and Braden are perfect for each other, and you figure that out right away. However, it takes them a while longer to figure it out. I laughed and cried for the characters in this wonderful novel. If you want a good chick-flick novel, definitely get this!!!! I'm going to tell all my friends and family to read this. Its so fun, and I immediately started the second in the series when I finished this. Hart's writing style is very clean and straight to the point. I love that there's not tons of extra words where there doesn't need to be. But there are still enough details to make it a great novel! I can't wait to finish the other book and read anything else she writes!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. I didn't really pick ten books. Instead, I picked a series, an entire genre, and then a couple books. Breaking the rules a little, but when you actually think about it, there's more than ten books listed ;)

This weeks topic: Most intimidating books

1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin  -  I've read the first in this series and LOVED it. I have the second waiting on my bookshelf, but I'm too scared to start it! It's just because of the size; I know I'll love it, but its such a long book that all other books will likely get neglected.


2. Classics - I just can't pick one book that's intimidating in this genre - they all are! I have a bunch at home that I really want to read, but I'm afraid that I won't like them. I'm worried that I won't understand the writing, or that I'm not going to understand what the whole meaning of the book was. So I just don't pick them up. Some of the ones I really want to read at home are: all of Jane Austen's, Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre.

3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. Again, the reason I haven't read this yet, even though it's on my shelf, is that its such a large book! I've heard really good things about it, but its intimidating!

4. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Again, it comes down to the size of the book for me sometimes. I really like it when I can read books fast (in a couple days). But when I see the task of picking up a long book, I know that so many other books will be just sitting on the shelf forever.. and it makes me sad! haha Hopefully I'll get to it soon :)

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. Each week there is a new question presented. Check out Heidi's page to find all the details (:

This weeks question: 
To continue or not to continue... let's talk about series. What are some of your favorite series that you continue to read? What would cause you not to continue a series? 

Some series that I really enjoy: 

The Women's Murder Club by James Patterson

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

The Tudor Court by Philippa Gregory

Series that I want to read:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Alex Cross by James Patterson 

So, I really enjoy series, but I find it hard to keep up with them. Sometimes I just need a change of pace, so I stop the series and read other books, and then eventually go back to it. That's what is happening with the Women's Murder Club; I've read the first 3 and really liked them but I needed a change from mystery/thrillers, so I put it down for now. I also have only read the first of A Song of Ice and Fire, but have the second waiting for me at home. Its such a long book that its going to be a big commitment, so I find myself putting it off, even though I loved the first! 

Series that I have stopped reading: 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Fifty Shades by E.L. James

These two series are the first that come to mind when I think of ones that I haven't finished, and I'm not sure if I want to. I really enjoyed the first Hunger Games book, and liked the second as well. But every time I start to read the third, I'm bored with it and just can't get into it like the others. As for Fifty Shades... well, I will admit that while reading the first, I liked it and immediately went out to buy the second. However, while reading the second, I didn't like it as much and can't even read the third, even though I have it. The more I think about the books after I read them, the more I dislike them. I'm not even sure why I enjoyed the first so much when I initially read it. In both of these series, I have the last book.. and maybe someday I'll read it just to finish it... but I just have no interest in doing so any time soon. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

~Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge~

Do you LOVE Gilmore Girls?! I do, and I used to watch it all the time when it aired. I doubt I saw all the episodes, and definitely not in order, but I still loved the show. I would love to rent them and go back to re-watch it (: I came across this reading challenge hosted by Just Another Rabid Reader when I was looking at blogs I follow. I've also come across a similar post on Pinterest with this reading challenge by another blogger (here). 
Some of these books I've already read, and so many others are on my TBR list (: I doubt I'll be able to read one of these books a month and post about it, but its still a really fun reading challenge and I'm going to try! I'll mark the ones that I've already read, and link the ones that have reviews. This challenge will take me years! But its fun :) 
1. Sign up on the linky below.
2. Post a startup post similar to this one with the list.
3. Post at least once a month about a book on The List. You can post about more than one book in any given month but would like it to be at least once a month. It does not have to be a full review, but at least some thoughts you had about the book after reading the book.
4. When you post about a book, go back to your original list and link to your post.
5. Get the code for the linky and post the rules and the linky on your intro post.
6. Visit as many other blogs as you can in the hop.
7. Have a good time.


• The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
• Small Island by Andrea Levy
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
• A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
• My Life in Orange by Tim Guest
• Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
• The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
• The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
• How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
• The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
• Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen
• The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
• How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
• Oracle Night by Paul Auster
• Quattrocento by James McKean
• The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
• Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
• Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
• Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
• The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
• Old School by Tobias Wolff
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
• The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
• The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duff
• Brick Lane by Monica Ali
• Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
• Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
• The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
• Property by Valerie Martin
• Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman
• The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
• Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
• The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
• Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
• Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
• Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
• Unless by Carol Shields
• Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
• When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
• Songbook by Nick Hornby
• Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
• Extravagance by Gary Krist
• Empire Falls by Richard Russo
• The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
• Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
• A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
• The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
• Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
• The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
• The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
• Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
• Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
• The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
• A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
• Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
• Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
• Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
• Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
• The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
• David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
• The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
• Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia De Burgos by Julia De Burgos
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
• Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
• Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
• Night by Elie Wiesel
• The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
• Hamlet by William Shakespeare
• Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
• Beloved by Toni Morrison
• A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
• A Separate Peace by John Knowles
• Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
• The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
• Time and Again by Jack Finney
• Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
• The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
• Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
• Sybil by Flora Schreiber
• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
• Cousin Bette by Honore De Balzac
• Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
• Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
• The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
• The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
• Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
• Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
• The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
• 1984 by George Orwell
• The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
• The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
• An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
• Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
• Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
• Lord of the Flies by William Golding
• The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
• The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
• The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
• The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
• The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (read half; hope to finish someday)
• Emma by Jane Austen
• On The Road by Jack Kerouac
• The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand