Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books When You Need Something Light and Fun

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind.  So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.

I think nine out of ten times when I'm trying to figure out what my next book will be I'm looking for something light and fun.  Occasionally I want something different, but for the most party I like to read because it's an escape from reality and all the stress that we've all got to deal with on a regular basis.  That's where this list comes in for me...these are just a few of the books I've read that fit perfectly into the category of light and fun and perfect for a little escape!

Light & Fun Pick #1:  Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Just about everything Echols comes out with fits into this Tuesday's category and this future release was no different.  I don't want to say too much since it doesn't come out until July and I won't be posting my review of the ARC I was given until closer to the publication date, but I can say that it was fabulous!

Light & Fun Pick #2:  Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease by Emily Schuman

Based on Emily Schuman’s popular lifestyle blog of the same name, Cupcakes and Cashmere is the must-have guide for those looking to establish their own sense of style, organize and decorate their home, or throw an easy and stylish party. Organized by season, the book expands on Schuman’s blog by including DIY projects, organization tips, party-planning ideas, beauty how-tos, and seasonal recipes. Cupcakes and Cashmere features original material that has not been previously published on the site. With her signature photographic layouts, Emily creates a lifestyle that is chic and achievable for every reader, making this the ultimate style guide for living a fashionable life.

I've been following Emily's blog for quite a while now and I love everything about it.  The cover art of this book pretty much cements that this book is all about light and fun topics, and helpful hints no matter what your age or what you're looking for.

Light & Fun Pick #3:  Legacy of the Clockwork Key (The Secret Order, #1) by Kristin Bailey

A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.

A surprisingly fun and imaginative new series that I can't wait to continue to read.  I'm curious and anxious for the next installment in the series and if you guys are looking for a little fun you should check this title out!

Light & Fun Pick #4:  Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Howard won me over immediately with this quirky and super original tale she debuted this year.  I'm thrilled to hear it will be turning in to a series, because to be honest I wasn't ready for the fun to be over when I turned the last page.

Light & Fun Pick #5:  Healed By Fire (Artemis Lupine, #3) by Catherine Banks

“The dark approaches. Fire will consume and restore, happiness and pain must be experienced collectively. Death for three will be the end.”

Her memory taken and her whereabouts unknown Artemis is taken in by a coven of witches who give her the name Chandra. After an intense interaction with the Beta of the Werewolves, whom she can’t deny a connection to, Chandra learns that there are people who know her true identity and that she’s not the only halfbreed werewolf alive. Is he really her mate? Just who was she in this previous life? Does she even want to find out the truth? And can she decipher the meaning of her death prophecy before it’s too late?

I'll admit that the covers have never thrilled me, but Banks makes up for these and then some with her wonderful writing, her fabulous characters, and her super fun storylines.  I'm dying to see what happens in the fourth installment in this series after the cliffhanger that she left us with this last time around.

Light & Fun Pick #6:  Minder (Ganzfield, #1) by Kate Kaynak

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.

A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.

And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams...

Kaynak has a great series on her hands with Ganzfield and this opener had me at hello!  Her characters are easy to relate to despite their supernatural powers and abilities, the circumstances are crazy in that while they might be outlandish, it's also not that hard to believe that it could all be very much possible...super fun series for anyone looking for some action and great storylines.

Light & Fun Pick #7:  How To Lead A Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller

A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.

Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.

Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?

So the description might lead you to believe this book is heavier than one that should be included on this list.  And while there are things going on in the book and with the characters within the pages that are in deed far from light and fun, overall, Miller put together such a creative and unique story that I had a blast from the very start.  I couldn't put this book down and to me, that pretty much sums up what I look for with light and fun reads.

Light & Fun Pick #8:  Adele: A Celebration of an Icon and Her Music by Sarah-Louise James

Adele needs no introduction. Her first album propelled her to fame; the second consolidated her position as a record-breaking superstar. The beauty of her vocals and the power of her lyrics have resonated with fans everywhere. Adele: Celebration of an Icon and her Music not only looks at the stories and emotions behind her bestselling songs, it also follows her rise from her humble beginnings in North London to worldwide success. Featuring more than 125 gorgeous photographs, this stunning volume testifies to Adele's global appeal.

Is there anyone out there who doesn't love this woman and her soulful voice?  I adore her music and after reading this unofficial biography, her personality and demeanor as well.  The insights into her journey from first album to super stardom is not only inspiring but just a fun ride to sit back and enjoy.  Anyone who is a fan will certainly have a ball learning more details about what makes her tick and why she keeps her music the way it is despite what other might think.

Light & Fun Pick #9:  Legacy (Legacy, #1) by Molly Cochran

When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow students seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother committed suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it's up to Katy to unravel her family's many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction.

A recommendation that really paid off for me this year.  After being introduced to Cochran's Legacy series I didn't want to put it down.  I flew through not only the series opener, but the sequel as well, and I'm now waiting with major anxiety for the third installment to come out.  It's fun, mysterious, full of characters you'll want to call friends, and some you'll want to shake!  There's a lot going on in this series and it's definitely one to pick up if you're hoping for a good and fun time.

Light & Fun Pick #10:  Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

The main character is a book blogger for goodness sakes!  While it was fun to read about a fellow book blogger, the fun didn't stop there.  I found the storyline interesting and I was having so much fun and enjoying myself so much that I flew through this series in record time, only to find out that I wouldn't be able to get the next installment for quite a while.  I was disappointed to have to wait, but this series turned out to be so much fun that I'll bide my time and try to be extra patient before I can race to the store to pick up my copy.

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