For anyone waiting to see if I was actually going to make good on my promise to post more this year, let’s just revel in the fact that it’s almost March and here lies my first writing of 2023.
Here is my semi-decent excuse: I’m getting divorced. I left over the holidays, went on a long already-planned trip to Disney with my sister and her kids, came home, and then stayed with my friend Laura in Santa Monica for two weeks. It’s been very hard, but honestly a long time coming and a very necessary change for me.
And then Kate flew out to LA to help me get everything packed up into Uhauls and drive back across the country so I could move to Indiana. Which is ostensibly a stupid place to live, but my best friends are already here, and their best friends, and a whole network of people in place to love me.
I have been living with Kate and her husband for the past few weeks now and we’ve been having a lovely time together. Jake does often groan “Oh god, there’s two of you now,” when Kate and I are being obnoxiously ourselves and obsessing over things like Outer Banks on Netflix, or All The Stupid Dating Shows. But we generally have a very peaceful existence, the three of us, along with their two dogs and three cats. I’m staying here until alimony is worked out with my ex since I currently have no money, and i will never not be grateful for their immense generosity.
Popeye the scariest pitbull and me: a collection
To get back to why we’re all here to begin with–the Taylor Swift Midnights Book Tag! I made these all immediately following the release of this album, and then my personal life took a nosedive and I didn’t create a post until now. So as usual, I am late to the game! However, if anyone out there wants to use my graphics, please do! Just link back to me so I can see your answers!
Mile High, by Liz Tomforde. My friends and I all just finished this one and we collectively loved it. It’s a great romance, it clocks in at around 500 pages, and it features a hero that I would never put up with in real life because he lives for the rumors that are being spread about him on a daily basis.
Rookie Move, by Sarina Bowen. An excellent start to a hockey romance series that features a second-chance romance in book one when Leo shows back up into Georgia’s life, 6 years after their high-school relationship ended.
The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand. I’ve been reading Elin for a decade and I love her summertime stories set on Nantucket and surrounded by food and restaurants. I read this one while I was quarantining in Laura’s parent’s house with Covid a month ago (that’s a whole story for another time), and reading about identical twins Tabitha and Harper and the huge changes they go through really got me through!
The Awakening (Zodiac Acadamy 1), by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti. I started reading The Zodiac Academy over the summer and within a month had read the literal thousands of pages that encompass the series and moved on to their Brutal Boys of Everlake Prep series. Are they the best writers? No, not by a long shot. But do they write a compelling story that’s easy to follow with interesting characters and hot romances? They sure do. Also, I just love that it’s two sisters writing together. It makes me think that maybe one day my sister and I will not only read smut together, but write it, as well.
The Sea of Tranquility, by Katja Millay. Always will make me emotional, no matter how times I read it. I love all of the characters, I love the story, I love the romance, I love the journey everyone takes.
Things We Never Got Over, by Lucy Score. Lucy is a new-to-me author that I just picked up this year, and I have been quickly devouring her backlist. This one features a SUPER grumpy Knox, runaway bride Naomi, 11 year old Waylay, and a basset hound named Waylon.
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. As much as I hesitate to give this this book any credit, it is the one that really got me back into reading after college. While I was in school I mainly only had time to read all the novels that were assigned to me, and when I graduated I needed a break for a minute. But my cousin sent me a beat-up paperback of this with a note to read it, and one day while I was on hold with the phone company, I opened it. And I became obsessed. I remembered what it was like to fall into another world completely, to have to know what happens next.
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Despite using this as my last answer, I still didn’t actually like this book. At the time I read it it did a lot for me, getting me back into reading, but upon actual reflection it’s a terrible story where the guy is always in control and the girl happily allows it. She is desperate to be made into a vampire but refuses to get married, as if that is the more life-changing decision, something that makes me continually want to slap her.
The Unlikelies, by Carrie Firestone. I do not love this book. I do not actually even like ice cream. But against all odds, I do love this cover.
You Wouldn’t Dare, by Samantha Markum. I finished this one on a plane and couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterward. I adore this author, and her debut was so fun. You Wouldn’t Dare is out on March 28, and if you haven’t preordered it already, you can do so here! And if you have already preordered, make sure you’ve filled out the preorder form to get free stickers, a bookmark, and a signed bookplate!
Lucy Score is someone who I just started reading a few weeks ago, but she has a fairly long backlist that I’m excited to make my way through!
Henry from Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston, is the ultimate soft boy for me.
Funny You Should Ask, by Elissa Sussman. I love a now-and-then timeline so much. I know some readers find them distracting, but for me there is no better way to get me connected to a story and a character than to put me there.
A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas. Kate and I listened to the Graphic Audiobooks on the drive from CA to IN and the romance between Feyre and Rhys will never not get me
The Summer of Broken Rules, by K.L. Walther. This book is wonderful, it’s romantic and funny and sweet and beautiful. But at it’s core, it’s about moving on after the the loss of Meredith’s sister
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. Always the OG of books I read that took place in another country yet wish I could rename.
Verity, by Colleen Hoover. A lot of people despise CoHo. I do not. I don’t think she’s a great writer, but I think she can put together a compelling story and if you don’t, then don’t read her.
Icebreakers, by Hannah Grace. This one is more like frenemies to friends-to-lovers, but either way it’s one of the best romances of the year. Technically last year, but still one of my favorites.
Addicted to You, by Becca and Krista Ritchie. Another series I just started written by sisters! Loren Hale is a bad boy if I’ve ever seen one. Again, is this the best writing? No. But is it a compelling story about sex and alcohol addiction? It sure is.
Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult. I can always count on a Jodi book to teach me something I didn’t know, and her latest book didn’t disappoint. I learned plenty about honey, yes, but what I got the most out of was after that big twist halfway through. It changes everything, so I won’t talk about it, but it made me think SO MUCH about choices and about what the truth really is. When you make a decision that changes you, are you required to tell other people about it? Or does the change become a part of you, and now it’s just you?