Tag «seasonal features»

Riffle Lists: Canadian Authors

Riffle is an independent book site that keeps track of what books you are reading and want to read. It’s similar to GoodReads but it keeps things simple and is super easy to use. One of my favourite features is the ability to create and share lists! It is a great way to create your own list of books that have a certain theme for your own records AND a fantastic way to discover new books through other users’ lists!


As you may or may not know, 2017 is a big year for Canada, my home country. We’re celebrating our 150th anniversary of independence and general awesomeness.

We’ve been celebrating since January 1st truthfully, in some way or another. All our National Parks are free for ANYONE to visit in 2017 and boy, are they worth visiting! Canada is a beautiful country that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. So if you’ve ever wanted to come visit, now’s the time!

But today in particular is super special because July 1st is our national holiday to celebrate the “birth of our nation”. So I thought it would be fun to list some of my favourite Canadian authors to celebrate the occasion!

Read my reviews on their works:

Lesley Livingston  |  Kelley Armstrong  |  Piper Lawson  |  Kelly Bowen  |  Cindy Anstey  |  Elle Kennedy  |  J C Hannigan  |  Alyxandra Harvey  |  Elisabeth Grace  |  Adrienne Kress  |  Helena Hunting  |  K A Tucker  |  Jacqueline E Garlick


I could go on and on about my wonderful country but I’ll let these videos do my talking for me:

Do we share some favourites? Let me know!

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The Perfect Match: Spring 2017

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Spring 2017 Edition

The Perfect Match: A seasonal feature where I play matchmaker but with books! What happens when you take Book A and combine it with Book B? The answer is Book C!

I’m taking a non-contemporary approach this time around and featuring some Science Fiction hybrids in the YA and Adult Fiction universe.

Why This Match?

Inherit the Stars focuses on interplanetary conflict between 3 royal houses. Two of the heirs find themselves in an arranged marriage in the hopes of bring some semblance of peace to their people. Of course, these two being to bond and see that there is more to the other person than the prejudices they’ve grown up with their entire lives. That premise there is the same one you can find in The Book of Ivy and its arranged marriage trope. I picked Academy 7 because the opposites attract relationship is strong in that novel and the secrets the characters are keeping has a lasting impact on the narrative.

Why This Match?

Aza’s lung condition in Magonia readily reminded me of Lily’s allergies in Trial by Fire. But once they leave their worlds, they become a completely different–and healthy–person. Across the Universe might seem like an odd pick but the setting of a mysterious ship that slowly uncovers its secrets is something both it and Magonia share.

Why This Match?

When you take the gritty, take no prisoners attitude of An Ember in the Ashes and add in an outwit and outlast challenge like The Hunger Games, you get the Red Rising Trilogy. Only elevated to a whole new level.

Agree or Disagree with my picks?

Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments below!

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#ShelfLove Discussion: What Books Have Collected the Most Dust?

One of the main reasons I picked the #ShelfLove Challenge this year was the seasonal discussions it had. It’s a fun aspect and one I think will help keep the challenge fresh throughout the year for me.

Top Unread Books That Have Been On Your Shelf the Longest

Bring on the shame!

For this topic, I decided to break it down in a few different ways. The #ShelfLove Challenge is all about books I’ve purchased over the years and, right now, I have 3 “sources” so to speak. I have the books I buy for my Kobo, my Kindle and for my physical bookshelf. So I’ll be sharing some of those below:

Physical Bookshelf

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)

Publishing Date: October 2008  |  Date Purchased: Before 2010

This is one of those classic cases where I bought the book and then read a completely different series by that author first. I originally bought Lament because it was a faerie story and I adore those. But since then, I’ve read two series by Stiefvater and had mixed feelings on them. I’m not sure if this book will survive my cleaning purge but we will see.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Publishing Date: 2003  |  Date Purchased: 2009

Back when I was still buying physical books, this one was on sale for $5. I remember the movie had either just been released or was just about to be so I figured why not? I’ve actually loaned this out to at least 2 people and have yet to read it for myself.

Kobo Bookshelf

Love Struck

Publishing Date: 2011|  Date Purchased: December 26, 2011

Probably the most embarrassing one on this list because this novella is a total of 53 pages. I adored Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely Series so it was a no brainer to pick this one up during a Boxing Day sale. Hopefully I can find the 30 minutes it will take to read it this summer…

Stolen Away

Publishing Date: January 2012|  Date Purchased: February 7, 2012

Alyxandra Harvey is yet another author I adored as a teen and had to pick up during a sale. Surprise, surprise it’s about faeries! I’ve currently marked it as a “no-go” for now but I’ll probably attempt it in this summer because faeries are something I can’t resist for too long.

Kindle Bookshelf

Possessed by You (Torn, #1)

Publishing Date: May 2014 |  Date Purchased: September 2014

I actually bought the trilogy boxset when it was on sale for $1. I think at the time I was on an adult erotica/contemporary kick and I liked the deal. I’m not sure if I will ever get around to it but I’ll definitely give it a try.

Typist #1, Working for the Billionaire Novelist (Billionaire Novelist #1)

Publishing Date: November 2012 |  Date Purchased: November 2014

For some reason, I was able to get Books 2-4 for free and decided it was an interesting enough concept to get the first book which was only $1. They’re novellas so I think they will make perfect summer reads.


I’m sure you noticed a trend of “I’m not sure if I’ll read it but I’ll try”. Truthfully, a lot of these I’ve marked as pass on my TBR this year because I’m trying to reduce the number of books on my Goodreads “Want to Read” list. The idea was, if I’ve gone 5+ years without reading them, then I don’t need to hold on. But honestly, I’m such a mood-reader that I can never say never.

Have you read any of these? What’s your oldest TBR item?

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Perfect Match: Winter 2017 Edition

theprefectmatch

Winter 2017 Edition

The Perfect Match: A seasonal feature where I play matchmaker but with books! What happens when you take Book A and combine it with Book B? The answer is Book C!

Happy Valentines Day! 

For this season’s edition of the perfect match, I thought I would keep it heavy on the romantic side of things. So here are some of my favourite romance combinations:

Why This Match?

While Dirty English is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t help but find links to some more modern reads. The heroes in both Beautiful Disaster and Dirty English are fighters who have player-like reputations outside of the ring. But all it takes is a one night encounter with the girl who will change it all for them. But the relationship that forms between Elizabeth and Delcan in Dirty English reminded me a lot of the one in Losing It: where these two people have this great connection from the start that is more intellectual and emotion than just physical.

Why This Match?

As the title of The List implies, Annie (our heroine) is set out to do a list of things she thinks every college girl needs to do know that she is out of the house from her protective family. Bianca from All the Ways You Saved Me also has a list of things she wants to do left to her from her deceased BFF before she does her family’s plans for her. That’s how she Ian and Ian reminded me a lot of the hero from Confess, Owen. Both are super nice guys but both are hiding major secrets from their new lady friend.

Why This Match?

It’s been a long time since a book made me laugh out loud as much as Tangled did but The Matchmaker’s Playbook definitely succeeded. There’s just something so charming (and hilarious) about seeing a guy who thinks he knows it all get kicked on his ass by the girl who is his perfect match. But the concept of The Matchmaker’s Playbook–transforming a girl to get the guy of her dreams”–reminded me a lot of Crushed. I love when plans backfire!

Agree or Disagree with my picks?

Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments below!

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Tackling the TBR: Goodreads Purge 2017

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Back in 2015, I did a few posts where I talked about Tackling my TBR. Back then, it was all about curbing my library holds addiction and creating a more manageable reading “schedule”. Each month, I would set goals and/or rules in the hopes of making 2016 an even better year for reading.

And it really, truly worked!

I was able to create a fantastic reading plan that not only helped me read more efficiently, but actually helped me avoiding reading slumps and ARC overload in 2016.

So I wanted to bring it back in order to help me achieve a new goal: getting my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books (it’s currently set at 900+ books).

Now, you’re probably thinking a one of three things:

  1. Wow! You have a lot of books on your TBR!
  2. Wow! Why do you want to get rid of so many books!?
  3. Wow! You are insane if you think you will read 500 books!

And here are my respective responses:

  1. Yes, that is a lot! Which is part of the problem I want to solve.
  2. Because that is a lot of books to read and I know I won’t read them all.
  3. Actually, 500 is pretty reasonable considering I average 200 a year.

Why the Change?

I’ve recently discovered that my tastes as a reader have evolved. While I do enjoy YA reads, there are certain genres that I am struggling to connect with now. For example, paranormal YA series used to be my jam, but now, I find myself bored and annoyed with the tropes. I’ve moved on to fantasy or New Adult versions. I know that a lot of the titles on my Goodreads account are from my “youth” and that I won’t want to read them when the time comes in the near future.

Before I go any further, I want to define some things.

When I say I have 900 items on my TBR, I mean that I have 900 brand new series (first book only) or standalones that I “want to read”. This doesn’t include sequels. On my Goodreads account, I have a separate shelf called “to read” that contains sequels to series I have already started.

It’s this “want to read” shelf that I want to decrease. I know I won’t get around to all of these series, even if I do read a lot of books in one year. I also know that a lot of these titles are freebies I horded from Amazon and Kobo over the years. (Not that freebies aren’t worth my time, it’s just that I know I grabbed titles I don’t interest me simply because of the $0 price tag).

I’ll be cleaning up both shelves this year. I plan on reading a lot of sequels on my “To Read” list this year, in addition to releasing some series I haven’t touched in years. But it’s my “want to read” shelf that I plan on purging.

The Numbers

As of writing this post (Feb 2, 2017), I have 911 books on my TBR. That means, I have to eliminate 411 books from my shelf. My Goodreads challenge is set to be 175 books for 2017 and so far, I’ve read 23. Because I plan to read at least 175 books this year, I can deduct the difference of 152 from 911.

911 books – 500 – (175 Challenge Reads – 23 already read) = 259 books

So in total, I need to manually remove 259 books from my TBR by January 2018. Easy.

How will I do that?

Like I did 2 years ago, I’m going to set up some rules and guidelines that I’m going to try and stick to.

The Rules:

  1. Remove any book from < 2014* that is not a “high anticipation” read
    • *the exception is any title selected for the 5 Year 5 Book Challenge
  2. Remove any 12 books at the end of every month
  3. Remove any book that I do not have a reading source for if published < 2015
  4. Add no more than 2 books to my TBR a month

I really think #4 is going to be the hardest. I see so many great books on a daily basis reading everyone’s blogs but I’m going to have to be a little more strict with what gets a spot on my shelf. (I’m keeping track on my 2017 Reading Plan Spreadsheet)

Am I going to the extremes?

You betcha! But that’s just how I like to do things. I swear, half the fun for me is coming up with these schemes in the first place! I plan on documenting my saga in my newly returned Monthly Inventory feature so keep an eye out for that.

How do you manage your Goodreads TBR?

Any tips for removing books?

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Quarterly Review: Fall 2016 + 2016 Summary

October – December, 2016

The last quarter of 2016 was an interesting one:

  • I read more books than I anticipated but I DNF’d more books than ever before.
  • Contemplated whether or not I was going to keep my blog as self-hosted
    • which I am for another year at least
  • Changed my theme once again (and am SO happy I did!).
  • I become a Reading Advisory Expert on Riffle Books (check out their Book Expert personal recommendation system!)

By December I was ready for a fresh reading year. I started hunting for challenges in November and found some I’m excited to begin. I also started planning how I wanted to Tackle my TBR this year. I loved my reading plan for 2016 so I wanted to improve it and make sure it worked with my goals for 2017 (which you can find some of below).

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Total for Quarter: 63 of Books Read + 3 of Novellas Read

BREAKDOWN: October November December
Nonfiction  –  –  –
Standalones
(ARCs)
1 1 (ARCs) 2
1 (ARCs)
TBR Items  2 5 6
Audiobooks  – 3  –
New Series Started
(ARCs)
6 (ARCs) 1
2 (ARCs)
3
1 (ARCs)
Series Start to End 2 1 1 (ARCs)
Finished Previous Series  – 4 2
Sequels Read
(ARCs)
 5 4 3
DNF’d
(ARCs)
 – 1
1 (ARCs)
4
1 (ARCs)

~*~*~*~

Favourite Reads

Masquerade (Games, #3) The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1) The Matchmaker's Replacement (Wingmen Inc., #2) All The Ways You Saved Me (Love Unplugged, #1) Caraval The Wall of Winnipeg and Me The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2) Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) More Than Friends (Friends, #2) Ruined (Ruined, #1) Sacked (Gridiron, #1) Did I Mention I Miss You? Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding, #1) Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

★★★★★

Least Favourite Reads

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) Addicted to You (Port Lucia #1) Predestined (Existence Trilogy, #2) Heart & Soul (Lost & Found, #5)

★★

*Note: If the review is available, click on the cover! However, due to the nature of my blog (ie I review whole series) it often takes me a few weeks to publish a full review (pending book availability) so look forward to seeing some of these reviews in the upcoming weeks/months if there is no link available!

Check out my favourite (and not so favourite) reads of 2016:

thoughts

Too many good deals to pass up! So I didn’t list all my purchases but my Christmas present to myself was the paperback boxset of The Mortal Instruments:

SO PRETTY!

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress from my Kobo this year. While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. One of my goals in 2016 was to increase the % of finished novels on my Kobo with my various challenges.

Normally I do a month by month comparison but I wanted to see what my totals were like at the end of the year to the start:

  • Stats as of February 10, 2016
    • % Of Library Complete: 16%
    • # of Books Finished: 434
    • # of Total Reading Hours: 1739
  • Stats as of January 1, 2017
    • Total % Of Library Complete: 20%
    • Total # of Books Finished: 523
    • Total # of Reading Hours: 2107

A jump of 4% might not seem like much in theory I do have close to 1000 books/documents on my Kobo so I did make a good dent in it. And, I do have a Kindle and have been taking out more physical books from my library so my reading isn’t exclusive to my Kobo.

posted reviews

This is for the entire 2016 year:

Most Viewed 2016 Post

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Make Me Read It Readathon 2016

Most Viewed 2016 Review

 Nero (Made Men, #1)

Series Review: Made Men

Most Viewed Post

Throwdown Thursday: Crossfire vs Fifty Shades

Most Viewed Review

Release Me (Stark Trilogy, #1)

Stark Trilogy

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

thoughts

My 8 most recently updated posts:

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2016

The following is my year end totals for all my challenges:

365 Days of YA Challenge: 0/1 Seasonal; 0/2 Monthly;  2/4 Weekly; 3/10 Daily books
Goodreads Challenge: 260/175 books added
Rock My TBR Challenge: 8/12 months + 5/6 of Priority + 80/48 books
Book Blogger Organization Challenge: Completed all but 1 (Update Guides)
Commenting 365 Challenge: 129 Blogs visited

View my Progress Here!

2017

View my Challenge Announcement Post

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: to read select books from the last 5 years (view books)
#Shelflove Challenge: want to read 41-50 books from my TBR
Classics: hope is to read 1 per month
Judged by Cover: this is just to read random books from my library, no set goal

View my Progress Here!

2016 RESOLUTIONS:

This was a Top Ten Tuesday post I did last year. I tried my best to get as many of these done and had some mild success.

  1. Clean up blog post tags  –> WIN
  2. Tweet at least 6 times a week (excluding post publishing tweets) –> FAIL
  3. Update Series Recaps on monthly basis –> WIN
  4. Visit 365 Blogs and comment (see my Challenge page for 2016) –> FAIL
  5. Be more proactive about cross posting reviews to Goodreads/Riffle/etc –> WIN
  6. Read 1 Netgalley book a month –> WIN
  7. Read more books from my TBR (see my Rock my TBR Challenge Page) –> WIN
  8. Publish my “Trilogy Termination Blitz” reviews –> FAIL (but progress made!)
  9. Have no more than 5 books on hold at the library –> BIG WIN
  10. Do not start a new series by an author I have unread novels from –> WIN (I think)

I also have a few bucket list items:

  1. Participate in 2 Readathons –> Just One
  2. Participate in 3 Twitter Chats –> WIN
  3. Read 2 Classic Novels –> FAIL

My only resolution for 2017 is to reduce the # of books I purchase in a year. Only if they are on sale will I get the books.

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

thoughts

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  • Brand new theme!
  • Updated old reviews with current format

thoughts

  • Updating old Guides
  • Kobo vs Kindle eReaders

thoughts

I suppose Bruno Mars 24K Magic was my holiday jam.

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past year?
Leave a comment below!

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Year’s Reads in Review – Top Picks for 2016

yrir2016a

Last year, I decided that 2016 would be the year that I read smarter, not harder. I had some big life changes on the way and figured I wouldn’t be able to read like I used to and so I had to be more proactive about it. To get there, I choose challenges that gave me direction but flexibility and created some self-imposed rules for myself.

Not only did I read a LOT of books that I wanted to this year, I actually read wayyy more than I expected!

It definitely helped that I read a lot of novella series this year (which inadvertently raise the “books read” count on Goodreads) but I also wasn’t constrained by the books I had out from the library like previous years. I was able to read what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t feel guilty about it at all!

Check out which books I read this past year HERE!

As always, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top picks (and not so great) from the various categories that I read this past year. Most categories deal with books published only this past calendar year (2016) but there are some noted exceptions. Click on the cover to read my review of the book/series–if available! Lots of these won’t have reviews until early next year.

Without further ado:

(Books are in no particular order; click on cover for review if available)

Top 2016 New Adult Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Top New Adult Standalones

Novels that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Top New Adult Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Dirty English (English, #1)

Top 2016 Adult Contemporary Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Favourite Adult Romance Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

 Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding, #1)

Favourite Adult Non-Romance Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Favourite Serial

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Top 2016 Young Adult Series

Series that were first published in 2016

Honourable Mention: Caraval will be released in January 2017, but I promise, it will knock your socks off!

Top Young Adult Series

A series that I started in 2016, not based on its publishing date

Top Young Adult Standalone

Series that were first published in 2016

Best Continuing Series

A series that had a sequel book published in 2016

Sad to See Go Series

Series that ended in 2016

 Sea Spell (Waterfire Saga, #4) Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends, #3)

Best Nonfiction Standalone

Books that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Disappointing 2016 New Releases

Novels that were first published in 2016

 Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Other Disappointing 2016 Reads

Novels/Series that I read in 2016, not necessarily their publication year

Worst Reads

Novels that I read in 2016 that I gave 2 Stars to

Pleasant Surprises

Books I read in 2016 that I enjoyed more than I thought

Collide (The Collide, #1) Beautiful Broken Promises (Broken Series Book 3) Nothing Matters (Family Matters Book 1) Did I Mention I Need You? (The DIMILY Trilogy, #2) Losers Weepers (Lost & Found, #4)

Top 2016 Movie Adaptions

Books that were made into movies in 2016

Image result for pride and prejudice and zombies poster Image result for me before you poster Image result for the girl on the train poster

~

Top Ten Tuesday Lists

Published in 2016

TBR Books I Found From Other Blogs

Books I Took a Chance On

Series Everyone Should Know About

Books I Want to be TV Series

~

What were your favourite reads of this past year?

Did you read more or less than you expected?

~

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The Perfect Match: Fall 2016 Edition

theprefectmatch

Fall 2016 Edition

The Perfect Match: A seasonal feature where I play matchmaker but with books! What happens when you take Book A and combine it with Book B? The answer is Book C!

Fall is my favourite season. Yes, we do have fall here in Canada. Sometimes, it gets cut a little short by snow (I have trick-or-treated in the snow before) but sometimes we get lucky. This year, we definitely got lucky and had beautiful weather this fall. Any October where I can go outside comfortably in a T-shirt is a winner for me.

So I thought I would do hybrids for some of my favourite reads this year in YA, NA and Adult.

Why This Match?

The magical divisions amongst the characters in Truthwitch reminded me a lot of the groups in Shadow and Bone. Everyone has their magical specialty in each series which makes it fun to read. One of the strengths of Heir of Fire is its multiple POVs. It gives the readers a 360 view of the world and drives the many plotlines. It’s the same situation with Truthwitch and it works so well!

Why This Match?

It all starts with a bet in both Beautiful Disaster & Touch Me Not. But its the mutual love of cars in Crash into You and Touch Me Not that starts these great romances off and brings the leads closer together.

Why This Match?

Both Wallbanger and Play Me feature neighbours who end up falling in love with the person on the other side of the wall. No Pants Required also features a neighbour romance. But what all three of these romances have are characters who just compliment each other so, so well…oh yeah, they are also hilarious!

Agree or Disagree with my picks?

Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments below!

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Riffle Lists: Kick-Ass Heroines

Riffle is an independent book site that keeps track of what books you are reading and want to read. It’s similar to GoodReads but it keeps things simple and is super easy to use. One of my favourite features is the ability to create and share lists! It is a great way to create your own list of books that have a certain theme for your own records AND a fantastic way to discover new books through other users lists!


I first introduced this list feature for Valentine’s Day by listing all my Romance Lists that I have on Riffle. This time, I thought I would focus on all the kick-ass heroines I have come across in my many years of reading!

Do we share some favourites? Let me know!

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The Perfect Match: Summer 2016

theprefectmatch

Summer 2016 Edition

The Perfect Match: A seasonal feature where I play matchmaker but with books! What happens when you take Book A and combine it with Book B? The answer is Book C!

It feels like forever since I last did this! And if my phone note is any indication, it’s been a long time since I added any new hybrids to my list…oops!

Anywho, this month I’m going with a dystopian theme. Like this feature, it has been awhile since I’ve read a dystopian novel so I wanted to revist some from the past year.

Why This Match?

The recycling of souls and the uniqueness of the new soul of Nadia in Soulless is very similar to the idea of reincarnation in Incarnate. Both girls struggle with finding their place in a world where they are not accepted. It’s a similar for Allison in The Immortal Rules. But the adventure/journey aspect of The Immortal Rules is very similar to the plot-line of Soulless.

Why This Match?

In The Program, a suicide epidemic is running rampant through society–much like the idea that love is a disease in Delirium. In order to stop it, both novels set up programs to eradicate and manage the epidemics in their societies. Matched may seem like an odd choice but its rigid society structure and many technological advances reminded me of the circumstances present in The Program.

Why This Match?

The Darkest Minds focuses on teens with crazy abilities that adults just don’t understand. So, the kids are shipped off to camps just like in Uninvited and in The Summoning where they struggle to find their independence and be true to themselves. Of course, as some romance, rebels and action and you’ve got 3 books with the same foundations.

Keeping with the dystopian theme, I picked Kaya Scodelario (Theresa from The Maze Runner Movies) to be the source of my hybrid this season.

Agree or Disagree with my picks?

Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments below!

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