Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What You Should Be Reading...

After my book signing this weekend, I went to dinner with some readers and a fellow author. We were talking books (of course!). I can't remember what topic we were on but I mentioned a book that I LOVE only to find out there was only one more person at the table who had read it. That made Nyrae very, very sad :) You guys know I love nothing more, than when I fall so hard for a book that I HAVE to share it, so that's what he started talking about--those books that you wonder why everyone isn't reading. Or if they are, why they aren't TALKING about them.

That conversation inspired this blog post. I'm going to continue it, on Wednesdays for as long as I can. I have some guests set up to blog who will be sharing their lists with you too.

So, a couple things. These books aren't the ones I see talked about on Facebook or Twitter every day. They're incredible, wonderful books that I feel like, have flown under the radar. It's so hard because there are SO many books out there. How do you find the all great ones? This post will hopefully help. So in addition to all the awesome books you're reading now, you'll have more to add to your list. If any of you would like to guest post and share your list, please email me at nyraedawn (at) yahoo (dot) com.

I'm also going to issue you a little challenge... It would be awesome if you guys all chose one book from the list each week to read, or to add to your "to be read" list or something like that.

In no particular order, these are some of my favorite books that I wish everyone was reading and talking about. I'll post the blurb with my thoughts below.


Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn't have friends. She has, as she's often reminded, issues. Drea's mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on "a touch of Asperger's."

Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea's preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.

It's obvious that Drea can't hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she's found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?

My thoughts:
This was actually the book the prompted the discussion. I love Justin. LOVE. He is honestly one of my all time favorite YA book boys, but on top of that, this book is just brilliant--the writing, the premise, the characters. I love it all. It made me think, and that's one of my favorite things about a book. This book made me contemplate so many things--who is to say what way of looking at the world is the right one? What makes seeing things differently, wrong--or who gets to say what different really is? And yeah, the love story was pretty amazing too.


It's Dade's last summer at home. He has a crappy job at Food World, a "boyfriend" who won't publicly acknowledge his existence (maybe because Pablo also has a girlfriend), and parents on the verge of a divorce. College is Dade's shining beacon of possibility, a horizon to keep him from floating away.

Then he meets the mysterious Alex Kincaid. Falling in real love finally lets Dade come out of the closet - and, ironically, ignites a ruthless passion in Pablo. But just when true happiness has set in, tragedy shatters the dreamy curtain of summer, and Dade will use every ounce of strength he's gained to break from his past and start fresh with the future.

My thoughts:
WOW. I just finished this book the other day and wow is the best word I can come up with to describe it. I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I pretty much forced Jolene Perry to buy it. The voice is awesome. AWESOME, and so spot-on. This book is real, and raw, and painful and not always perfect which makes it perfect if you ask me. Alex... he will always own a piece of my heart. If I knew Nick Burd I would pretty much beg for more about Alex. And Dade... I loved him too. This story was about journey for me. Journey and growth and I loved every second of it.

FREEFALL by Mindy Scott

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he’s ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . .

My thoughts:
Awesome boy POV. You guys know how I love that. The voice is authentic. My heart went out to Seth. Gripping story that I just loved.

THE DISENCHANTMENTS By Nina LacourColby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

My thoughts:
Another male POV... (all the books on the list so far are boy POV except for Harmonic Feedback). This book was about growth and friendship to me. When I read it, I remember thinking it came at the perfect time for me. It was the kind of coming of age story I needed. I love books about friendships, especially when they're boy/girl. Authentic voice.


Blurb:"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

My thoughts:
Holy crap you guys. Holy crap. If you love books that are filled with beautiful language. THIS is the book you need to read. I'm pretty sure over half of my Kindle book is highlighted. I would read passages over and over. Cath Crowley is one of my words heroes. This book is alternating POV which I love. I wish I could write this beautifully.

SAVING JUNE by Hannah Harrington

Blurb:‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one — so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going — California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down — again.

My thoughts:
I just plain enjoyed the ride here. It's a great road trip story. It breaks your heart at times, puts it together at others. Loved the music. LOVE Jake. Man, did I love Jake. I think the voice was authentic here as well and it's another book that made me think.

This is my list for now. I might do another one soon. Don't forget to come back next Wednesday for Jolene Perry's list!


  1. GRAFFITI MOON and SAVING JUNE are two of a few of my close blogger buddies' favorites! (That sentence was weird and grammatically, it probably wasn't right but...) I'm happy to see them on your list! I should make a note of checking them out soon!

  2. Out of all of these I've only read Graffiti Moon and it was amazing!

  3. I always love to hear about what other people are reading. Especially if it's recommendations for amazing under-the-radar books.

  4. MWAHAHAHAHA!!! I've read ALL Of them aside from Vast Fields of Ordinary, and I'm like 67% of the way through :-D This makes me supah happy!!

  5. I love, LOVE, Graffiti Moon! A great mix of art and poetry! And Shadow and Poet rock! Well, they aren't as cool as Jaden and Bastian, but they're pretty close!


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