August 2016 Book Haul (Biggest Book Haul I’ve Ever Done!)

Hey everybody!

I kind of went on a little book-buying spree. *OOPS* I promised myself I would not buy anymore books for myself until sometime in 2017. I’m going to give the synopsis of each book and you guys can decide if it would be interesting to read or not. πŸ™‚

“The Fill-In Boyfriend” by Kasie West: When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. This task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend – two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley. The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor, and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party – three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her newfound relationship.

“Th1rteen R3asons Why” by Jay Asher: Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes – and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town……and what he discovers changes his life forever.

“Backlash” by Sarah Darer Littman: Lara just got told off on Facebook. She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school’s homecoming dance. They’ve been talking online for weeks, so what’s with the sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse – are they true? It’s been a long time since Lara’s felt this bad, this depressed, this ugly. She’s worked really hard to become pretty and happy – and make new friends after what happened in middle school. Bree used to be best friends with overweight, depressed Lara, but constantly listening to Lara’s issues got to be too much. Secretly, Bree’s glad that Christian called Lara out. Lara’s not nearly as amazing as people think. But no one realized just how far Christian’s harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree. As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control, and not just for Lara. Because when the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.

“None Of The Above” by I.W. Gregorio: When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned – something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.” Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she comes to terms with her new self?

“A Totally Awkward Love Story” by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison: The summer before college, Hannah swears she’s finally going to find The One. And for five perfect minutes, Hannah does find him, in the master bathroom at a house party, of all places. He’s cute, makes her laugh like crazy, and agrees that air kisses are for snobs. She just wishes shed caught him his name, because Toilet Boy Cinderella really lacks sex appeal. For Sam, the summer is off to a bad start: he bombed his French final and he’s got zero girl prospects. But for five minutes, his luck changed. Five minutes with some strange and hilarious girl in a fancy purple restroom, and Sam is head over heels. Of course, he doesn’t know her name. With his luck, he’ll never see her again, and he’ll remain a girlfriendless, moony-eyed virgin. Forever. Another chance meeting brings them together, only to have a misunderstanding drive them apart…and then the cycle starts all over again. Madcap mishaps, raunchy hilarity, and deep romance follow these two wherever they go. For two people so clearly destined for each other, they sure have a hell of a lot of trouble getting together. Maybe their love is based on an Austen novel after all.

“Never Always Sometimes” by Adi Alsaid: Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be clichΓ© high school kids. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school. Most of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. So when Julia impetuously suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichΓ©s, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

I also got my own editions of “Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover and “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins.

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I, once again, went to my sister’s college and I borrowed a single book from the library.

“The City of Dreaming Books” by Walter Moers: Optimus Yarnspinner has inherited from his godfather an unpublished manuscript by an unknown writer. He sets off to track down the mysterious author, who disappeared into Bookholm – the so-called City of Dreaming Books. Yarnspinner falls under the spell of this book-obsessed metropolis, where an avid reader and budding author can find any number of charming attractions – priceless signed first editions, salivating literary agents, and for-hire critics. But as he pursues the trail of the mission author, the darker side of Bookholm begins to unveil itself – cold-blooded book hunters, fearsome cyclopean booklings, sharp-toothed animotomes, and, of course, the Shadow King, whose howls rise from deep beaneath the city at night. Will Yarnspinner survive his quest into this world where reading is a genuine adventure?

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For my niece’s birthday, her mother, grandmother, and I took her to the National Aquarium and then to a mall across the Key Bridge (if you’re not from Maryland, that means it’s in another county). We have 2 local malls (one a ten minute walk from my house and the other is about a thirty minute drive from my house) and neither of them have Dave & Busters and the Lego Store (what she wanted to go to for her birthday). We stopped in Books-a-Million while we were there.

The books I got from the aquarium are:

“Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea” by Katherine Harmon Courage: Katherine Harmon Courage – a veteran journalist and contributing editor for Scientific American – dives into the amazing underwater world of the octopus. She reports on her global travels, inviting us to experience the scientific discoveries and cultural ties that connect us to the octopus. Octopus! reveals that the oldest known octopus lived before the first dinosaurs; that two thirds of an octopus’s brain capacity is spread through its arms – meaning each one literally has a mind of its own; and that it can change colors within milliseconds to camouflage itself, even though it appears to be colorblind. Courage deftly interweaves personal narrative and interviews with leading octopus experts. The result is an entertaining and scientifically grounded exploration of the octopus and its astonishingly complex world.

“Haunted Maryland: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Old Line State” by Ed Okonowics: Maryland’s past is long and haunted, filled with stories of strange creatures, spectral presences, and mysterious events. This book collects many of those stories by region, including…The bleeding stone of White House Farm; The vengeful ghost of Bigg Lizz; Chessie, the Chesapeake sea monster; America’s most haunted light house; and The mysterious “Toaster” who visits the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.

The books I got from Books-A-Million are:

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 and 2” by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne: It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted take of America in the 1920s that resonates with a power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

“The Forbidden Game” by L.J. Smith: When Jenny buys a game for her boyfriend, Tom, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the guy behind the counter. There is something mysteriously alluring about Julian’s pale eyes and bleached-blond hair. And when he places the Game into her hands, she knows their connection is something deeper. But as Jenny and her six friends begin to play the Game at Tom’s birthday celebration, a night of friends and fun quickly turns into a night of terror and obsessive love. Because the Game isn’t just a game – it’s the seven friends’ new reality, where Julian reigns as the Prince of the Shadows. One by one the friends must confront their phobias to win the Game. To lose the Game is to lose their lives. And that is only the beginning…

“Everland” by Wendy Spinale: London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of the deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding he deadly Marauders – the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer. Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?

“Love Sick” by Jake Coburn: Ted’s drunk-driving accident has ruined his life. It cost him his basketball scholarship, ended his plans for college, and forced him into AA. But just when Ted has resigned himself to his new life, Michael appears. The wealthy father of a bulimic Manhattan rich girl has a tempting proposition. He has agreed to pay for Ted’s college tuition. Quite a generous offer, but there’s one catch: Ted has to secretly keep tabs on his benefactor’s daughter, Erica. A seemingly simple task, with only one minor problem: Ted never expected to fall in love.

“With Malice” by Eileen Cook: Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital bed, leg in a cast, stitches on her face, and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that include a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life. With Malice is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that yanks you into a world where nothing is what it seems and where everyone is a suspect. You won’t believe how it ends.

“It’s All Your Fault” by Paul Rudnick: My name is Caitlin and up until forty-eight hours ago I had never: Tasted alcohol, kissed a boy, sang in public at the top of my lungs, kidnapped anyone or – WHAT? STOLEN A CONVERTIBLE? Now I’m in jail and I have no idea what I’m going to tell: The police, my parents, the mayor, all of those camera crews and everyone on Twitter. I have just noticed that: My nose is pierced and I have – WAIT? IS THAT A TATTOO? I blame one person for this entire insane weekend: My famous cousin. Who is also my former best friend. Who I have HATED for the last four years. Who I miss like crazy. NO I DON’T!!!! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT HELLER HARRIGAN!!!!

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My birthday was this month and I got two books! They were:

“The Bane Chronicles” by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson: It’s not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he’s at the right place at the right – or perhaps wrong – time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the great blackout of New York City, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute…Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. But smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to loving a vampire like Camille Belcourt – or having a first date with Alec Lightwood. Though Magnus’s tale is far from over, these stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. What happens when an immortal warlock goes mad? Are all Herondales as problematic as Will? (Answer: yes.) What exactly happened at the Hotel Dumort? How did Raphael Santiago become a vampire? What do you buy for your Shadowhunter boyfriend when you’re not really dating? And why was Magnus banned from Peru? Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But here are eleven stories that fill in some of the blanks – stories he probably wishes had never gotten out.

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson: Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.

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I went back to Books-A-Million a few days after my birthday and bought a few more books. They are:

“Beautiful Bastard” by Christina Lauren: Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate – and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative – completely infuriating – creature he now has to see very day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chole’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules – or outright smash them – if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for each other increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win.

“Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult: Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens – until the day it’s complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes – or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show – destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

“The One” by Kiera Cass: When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

“Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover: Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of her deeply troubled past, a time she’s tried so hard to bury. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit and enigmatic smile break down her defenses and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever and her ability to trust may be a casualty of the truth. Only by courageously facing the stark revelations can Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries.

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I, stupidly, went on another book spree at Barnes & Noble and bought 7 more books (2 of them were for my sister, so I only bought 5 for myself). They are:

“The Sister Pact” by Stacie Ramey: Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide – and it’s not just because she misses her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why. Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief. But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sure which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her.

“The Unexpected Everything” by Morgan Matson: Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politcian’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks). But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house as her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

“Nerve” by Jeanne Ryan: Vee is used to being behind the scenes, working as a stagehand at her school’s theater program. But after years of walking in her best friend Sydney’s shadow – she decides it’s high time to break out of her shell and do something radical. That’s when Vee makes up her mind to attempt a harmless dare for the popular online game show of dares, NERVE. But one challenge only leads to another, and the prizes are simply too enticing to resist. So after she’s partnered with gorgeous Ian, who’s not afraid to go for the grand prize, Vee is determined to stay in the game. When the competition suddenly turns deadly, will she risk their lives for the chance of a lifetime, or will she lose NERVE?

“The Marked Girl” by Lindsey Klingele: CEDRIC: In my homeland of Caelum, I was the crown prince and a trained warrior. But after an evil traitor invaded the castle walls, my friends and I leaped through a mystical portal and ended up…here. This hell dimension, I’m told, is called “Los Angeles,” a place where I am no one; a place where beasts run on four wheels. Now our only hope is to somehow find the fabled scrolls that will reopen the portal to send us home. LIV: The closest I ever came to a portal was in the movies, whether expertly rendered with CGI on the silver screen or crappily rendered with my limited special effects capabilities during my summer film program. But everything’s changed now that I’ve met Cedric. Not only do I need to teach him the lay of the LA-land (Tip #1: no swords on the city bus), I should also help him get home. Even f I don’t exactly want him to go….

“The Year I Turned Sixteen” by Diane Schwemm: Rose dreams of becoming a singer, but when her obligations as the oldest sister start to hold her back, she faces an impossible decision. Sick of being the “good” sister, Daisy is drawn to a boy with a more dangerous edge and pulls away from the people who care about her most. Laurel must deal with the loss of someone close, but a new love in the wake of tragedy might be just what she needs. With her sisters all figuring out their futures, Lily feels lost, and for the first time she must figure out who she is all on her own. With more than cupcakes and candles on their minds, each of the Walker sisters is in for a sweet sixteen that will change everything.

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