Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With

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Hello my lovelies!  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Characters I’d Like to Be Besties With.

1. Lara Jean Covey from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

2. Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

3. Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

4. Tully and Kate from Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

5. Daisy Peshkov from Winter of the World by Ken Follett

6. Lyssandra from The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

7. Diana Holland from The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen

8. Sookie from The Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris

9. Bridget, Lena, Carmen and Tibby from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares

10. Emma from Emma by Jane Austen


What characters do you want to be besties with?

 

 

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Monthly Wrap-Ups

July 2019 Wrap-Up

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I can’t believe it’s August already.  Time really flies! This past month has been crazy for me, as my tour played my “hometown” stop of Chicago for most of it.  I have been insanely lucky to have so many friends and family come out to support me and see the show, but that has definitely taken away some of my blogging and reading time.  I still managed to read some really great books and only missed a couple posts (oops- thanks for bearing with me).

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Books Read:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ★★★★

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim★★★★

Finale by Stephanie Garber ★★★

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo★★★★★

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard★★★★★


Favorite Book of the Month:


Book Stores Visited:

Barnes and Noble- Kansas City, MO

Half-Priced Books- Kansas City, MO

Barnes and Noble- Chicago, IL

Unabridged Books- Chicago, IL


Currently Reading:

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Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 35 of 100

Classics Club Challenge: 6 of 50


Broadway Book Chat: Emily Jeanne Phillips

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June Reviews

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly FaderSpin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim Review • Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid •

June Posts

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag 2019 • Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Harry Potter CharactersCleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #13 • Top 10 Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors • I Have No Self Control: A Book Haul • Top 10 Tuesday: Settings I Want to See More Of •


Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Melody Rose from Finding Neverland

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and castmates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Melody Rose

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Peter Pan in the National Tour of Finding Neverland

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight and Columbine by Dave Cullen.

What is your favorite book series?65252422_1568151019981681_7677563987914915840_n

I don’t really have a favorite series. My reading taste is very eclectic and sporadic. I always search for what I’m interested in at the time and I tend to stay away from fiction. I’m really into Sarah Knight’s “No F*cks Given Guides” lately!

Who is your favorite author?

Currently, I don’t have one. My favorite author during childhood, however, was Lisi Harrison who wrote The Clique Series. For a middle-schooler who was always excluded from cliques, this series was a dream. I would always buy them the day they were released and finish them that same day!

What book inspires you and why?

A little cliche, but You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero helped inspire me to let go of things I couldn’t change and focus on the things I can, no matter how detrimental or small my problems were.

Which literary character would you like to play?

If I could play any literary character it would be Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska by John Green. She’s described as wild, unpredictable, and enigmatic living in her own “reckless world,” which is very different from me in real life. She’s quite mysterious and playing a darker, more serious character like her would be a blast. Looking for Alaska would make an incredible play, I think.

65616889_2605563612789132_6337888062508367872_nIf you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Of course, Peter Pan would be an incredible companion! He’d continually remind me to never let go of my inner child and seek adventure wherever life takes me.

What is the next book on your reading list?

On Bowie by Rob Scheffield and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

Not at all! I’ll leave the writing to my sister Megan. She is an extremely talented writer and got all the literary talent in the family.

What show are you working on now?

I just finished Peter Pan in the National Tour of Finding Neverland!

What is your favorite show to have been a part of and why?

Finding Neverland is actually my very first musical! I’ve learned so much in the process. Each individual in the cast and crew of this incredibly touching show has changed my life.


I feature a new performer every month, so check back in July for our next guest! I would really love some suggestions for new questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know. Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Thanks again to Melody for sharing with us 🙂

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The Fellowship of the Ring Book Tag

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Hello dear readers! It’s time for another book tag! I wasn’t tagged in this one, but as a huge fantasy nerd, when I saw it I had to participate.  This is The Fellowship of the Ring Book Tag created by Unputdownable Books!

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Gandalf – A book that taught you something

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I learned so much about history with this trilogy in the most entertaining way.  I love this series.


Frodo – A book that left a mark on you

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I mean this was really the only option for me and this question.  No other book or series has had such a huge impact on my life as Harry Potter.


Legolas – A book you finished in one sitting

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I loved this book.  I read it when I was home in Wisconsin, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t see my family at all for the whole day because I couldn’t put it down.


Gimli – A book that features an unlikely friendship

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Kate and Tully on paper should not be friends, and yet they have one of my favorite literary friendships of all time.


Merry – A book that pleasantly surprised you

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I LOVED this book.  It was so endearing, hilarious, and relatable.  Also, the unexpected plot twist was lovely.  I definitely did not expect to love this book as much as I did.


Pippin – A book that made you laugh

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The Princess Diaries books will never fail to make my heart happy.  They are so funny and sweet and just the best soul medicine- Actually I would love to do a reread of this series…


Boromir – A book/series that you think ended too soon

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I loved the first two books in this series so much, and I felt like the last one was rushed.  Maybe if they had spread it out into more books the ending wouldn’t have sucked so much? Maybe that’s wishful thinking…


Sam – A book with memorable side characters who stole the show

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All of the characters in this book are so lovely.  The main romance is only made better by their relationships to the other “side” characters.


Aragorn – A good book with a bad/average cover

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They look nice when the whole series is together, but the covers are just too simple and meh.  I never would have picked it up without hearing good things about what was inside.


Gollum – A book that had great potential but disappointed you in the end

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This book had all the potential to be amazing, and it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.  I did enjoy the second one more though.


I tag everyone who loves Lord of the Rings! ❤

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #11

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?


A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

3473Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. 

A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. 

Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…

My Thoughts: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Nicholas Sparks book, and they usually leave me a little disappointed.  I hear this is one of the better ones, and I do love the movie… I just don’t know if it’s something I need to commit to reading… VERDICT: TOSS


Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric 7114761surgeon. Despite her own mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life. 

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance—and even to some degree, friendships—believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.  

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

My Thoughts: I like Emily Giffin’s stuff, but this one really doesn’t call to me with its plot.  VERDICT: TOSS


Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

6586512THE TRANSFORMATION 

Beth has always been “The Beast”,that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR

When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion,for music, and for Beth, leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.

My Thoughts: This just sounds overdramatic to me now and I’m not even sure why I added it in the first place… VERDICT: TOSS


Finny by Justin Kramon

Justin Kramon’s debut novel, Finny, is a sweeping, enchanting voyage, an insightful story 7557810about a young woman’s complicated path to adulthood.
 
We meet Finny Short as an observant, defiant fourteen-year-old who can’t make sense of her family’s unusual habits: Her mother offers guidance appropriate for a forty-year-old socialite; her father quotes Nietzsche over pancakes. Finny figures she’s stuck with this lonely lot until she meets Earl Henckel, a boy who comes from an even stranger place than she does. Unhappy with Finny’s budding romance with Earl, her parents ship her off to Thorndon boarding school. But mischief follows Finny as she befriends New York heiress Judith Turngate, a girl whose charm belies a disquieting reckless streak.

Finny’s relationships with Earl and Judith open her up to dizzying possibilities of love and loss and propel her into a remarkable adventure spanning twenty years and two continents. Justin Kramon has given us a wickedly funny odyssey with a moving and original love story at its core. Finny introduces us to an unforgettable heroine, a charmingly intricate world, and an uncommonly entertaining and gifted young novelist.

My Thoughts: This one intrigues me.  I really haven’t heard much about it at all and it doesn’t have that many ratings or reviews on Goodreads despite being published almost 10 years ago… I feel like there are other books that are more important for me to get through… VERDICT: TOSS


Animal Farm by George Orwell

7613George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.

When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.

My Thoughts: This one is on my Classics Club Challenge list, so I’m definitely going to read it.  It’s one of the books I feel like I need to read in my life.  VERDICT: KEEP


I think I’m getting better at this.  I’m finding it easier to let go of the books I added in 2011 to make room for all the new books that I actually want to read now.  What do you think of my choices? Did I let of your faves? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Book Reviews

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer Review

43204703Summary: Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

My Thoughts: I was completely absorbed by this book.  When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about getting back to it.  Right away from the first chapter, we get a gripping intro to the curse that set up the rest of the story perfectly, as well as our two male main characters, Rhen and Grey, and their relationship to each other.  Both men were complex and interesting, and the more we found out about their pasts, the more I fell in love with them.  Then we meet our heroine, Harper, who I really grew to like.  At first, I was kind of indifferent towards her, but her arc is great.  I loved the portrayal of her cerebral palsy.  It was just a part of who she was rather than her entire identity.  The two different perspectives were a perfect way to tell the story too. The juxtaposition of Harper’s casual, sarcastic voice to Rhen’s more formal, fairytale-esque voice was really effective. The pacing of Harper’s relationships with all of the people in Emberfall was done really well, wasn’t rushed, and felt realistic.  Knowing that to break the curse she had to fall in love with Rhen was a great added pressure to their growing relationship and trust.  Emberfall was beautifully created and vibrant, and I loved how the curse affected the rest of the world.  The plot was so quick and engrossing, and I couldn’t put it down.  The cliff hanger ending was an added bonus, and I cannot wait to see where this story is going to go.  As a Beauty and the Beast fanatic, I was a little hesitant to read a re-telling of my favorite story, but it definitely held up and I loved it.

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Game of Thrones Book Tag

Ok Y’all.  I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones and since Winter is FINALLY here, I thought I should celebrate it with this awesome book tag created by Biblio Nyan (and updated from the original to fit the current year) while I anxiously await the next episode on Sunday.

HOUSE LANNISTER: HEAR ME ROAR – Name a book that you originally loved, but upon a re-read realized that it wasn’t so great after all.

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It’s just not as good of a book as I remember it being… Do I still love it for what it is/was? Yes, but my definition of what makes a great book has changed a lot since my first read of it.


HOUSE STARK: WINTER IS COMING – Name your most anticipated book release for 2019.

I can’t decide.  There are so many good ones coming out.  Here are 3 of my tops.


HOUSE TARGARYEN: FIRE AND BLOOD – Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.

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I just can’t get over how much I loved these books.


HOUSE BARATHEON: OURS IS THE FURY – Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger ending that genuinely pissed you off.

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Still pissed about it its lack of a sequel.


HOUSE MARTELL: UNBOWED. UNBENT. UNBROKEN. – Name a book, or book series, that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time.

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God, there are so many I could choose for this… but this one has probably been on there since elementary school…


HOUSE BOLTON: OUR BLADES ARE SHARP – Name the most graphic or disturbing book that you’ve ever read.

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I don’t really read books that are disturbing or dark… this one was too much for me.


HOUSE TYRELL: GROWING STRONG – Name a book, or book series, that gets better and better with every re-read.

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I’m sorry, there was no other option.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for Books

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Happy Tuesday bookworms! I’m writing to you from the pool in Costa Mesa, California, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  As bookworms, I’m sure we have all done some outrageous things for the love of books and reading.  This week’s topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is celebrating the lengths we all go to for our passion.


Used my sister’s library card to check out more books when I didn’t want to pay my library fines.


Read backstage in the dark in between dance numbers because I couldn’t put my book down.  I’ve done this on multiple occasions.


Brought more than 2 books, other than the one I’m currently reading, on the train just in case I finish my book and need another one.


Walked around Disney World reading Harry Potter.  My family called me Belle the whole time.


Filled my entire carry on with books for a week-long vacation.  Yes, I did read all of them.


Bought someone a book as a present, but read it first before giving it to them.  Not my finest moment.


Went to a huge midnight release bash for the release of The Deathly Hallows.  I have a T-Shirt and everything.


Biked 20 miles into town and back with my best friend so we could buy the 4th Twilight book on the release day.  Then we went back to her cottage and read the rest of the night.


Gotten in trouble in my high school physics class for “texting” only to bring up a book instead of a phone.


Dressed up as Tonks and Lucius Malfoy for Harry Potter related events.


What crazy things have you guys done for the love of reading? ❤

Monthly Wrap-Ups

March 2019 Wrap-Up

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What a month! I spent most of March in Los Angeles, and spent the last week here in Seattle, which I have fallen in love with.  I have been to so many amazing book stores (and coffee shops) this month, and my heart is so happy.  Unfortunately, my suitcases have no more room for all the books I have acquired, so I will be putting myself on a book buying ban for April.  In terms of blogging, I have been slacking lately.  It really is a lot harder to blog consistently on tour than I had expected, but I’m doing my best.  April brings me to 5 new cities, and I can’t wait to explore while I read along the way.

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Books Read:

The Dating Game by Kiley Roache★★★

The Wicked King by Holly Black ★★★★★

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan ★★★

Lovestruck by Kate Watson ★★★★


Favorite Book of the Month:

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Bookstores Visited:

The Last Book Store — Los Angeles, CA

BLMF Literary Saloon — Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

Lion Heart Book Store — Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

Lamplight Books — Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

The Elliott Bay Book Company — Seattle, WA

Barnes and Noble — Seattle, WA


Currently Reading:

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Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 14 of 100

Classics Club Challenge: 5 of 50


Broadway Book Chat: Liz Schmitz


March Reviews

• The Dating Game by Kiley RoacheThe Wicked King by Holly Black Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

March Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #9 • Top 10 Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel • Last 10 Books Tag • Top 10 Tuesday: My Spring TBR •


Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

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You guys.  I have been in Seattle this past week, and the book stores here are insane.  I have found so many incredible ones, and the book shopping has gotten out of control.  I am putting myself on a book buy ban again since I have run out of room in my suitcases for more books.  This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl goes hand in hand with my book shopping addiction, and it is Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book.


Pretty Covers

This one is super obvious, but it needed to be said.  Nothing excites me in a book store like an elaborately beautiful cover.  I feel that a good cover also conveys the overall feeling of the book too, which gives me a good idea of what is inside its pages.


Titles

I find book titles so intriguing, and I’ll pick up a book strictly for the title alone to see what it’s about.


Blurbs

There is nothing that will make me take a book home faster than a good blurb on the back cover.  If the plot grabs me, I’m pretty much sold.


Recommendations/Reviews

Ever since I started blogging, checking reviews for books has become an obsession.  I have gotten so many amazing recommendations on the blogosphere and it makes me want to look at the books everyone is talking about.  When I’m at a store and I see books that have a lot of hype, I’ll pick it up to see what the fuss is about.


Familiar Authors

 I have a lot of favorite authors, so when I see a new book by them, or one that I haven’t discovered yet, I always give it a look.  I am also more likely to trust a new author if one of my other favorites backs it (like with a quote on the cover).


Good Floppiness

 This is a big one for me.  There could be a book I really want to read, but if it doesn’t have a good feel or “floppiness” as I call it, I might put it back.  I love paperback books and usually prefer them since I travel so much, and finding a book that has the perfect floppiness makes my heart flutter.


A Strong Female Protagonist

 If I’m looking at a book and it seems like there will be a strong female protagonist, there is a better chance that I will choose to read it.


Hints of Romance

 I am a sucker for a good love story.  I don’t even need the love to be the main plot point, but when there are hints of romance in the blurb on the back, or even a love triangle, I’m sold.


Magic

I’m a huge fantasy nerd, so anything that looks like it will have magic in it grabs my attention right away.