Book Recommendation: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Hardcover, 344 pages Published March 22nd 2011 by Philomel Books


Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

My Thoughts…

When I grow up, I hope I can string words together as beautifully as Ruta Sepetys. I mean, seriously guys. She’s an incredible writer! She’s also ridiculously kind as I was lucky enough to meet her earlier this year.

This book is beautiful and heart breaking and hopeful and tragic. I definitely recommend it!

They are also making this book a movie that comes out next year, but changing the name to Ashes in the Snow because anything with  Shades and Gray definitely has a much different meaning now thanks to a certain Twilight fanfic 🙂

Recommended Book: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Hardcover, 288 pages Published March 9th 2010 by Dial Books


My Thoughts…
This book has been highly recommended to me over and over again because… well, Jandy Nelson.

If you’ve never read a Jandy Nelson book, you’re missing out on some of the most heartbreaking prose you’ll ever come in contact with. She has a way of making her characters breathe on the page in a way that will make you laugh and weep and then laugh again.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have never lost someone I’ve been very close to, but the raw vulnerability in Lenny’s grief will touch your heart. I also really believe it will help put words to your grief if you have lost someone close to you.

I 100% recommend this book!


Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

READ THIS BOOK NOW: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


640 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Original Title
A Court of Mist and Fury


There comes a time in every reader’s life when you are just utterly blown away by the power of a story.

As much as I read, there are a ton of books that I love… but very few books make me ache, and gasp, and LOVE as hard as Sarah J. Maas’ books do. I mean, it’s clear from this blog. I’m a huge fan of her… BUT GUYS! THIS BOOK!!!

Sarah has a way of making you fall in love with a characters, overlooking their flaws until you just can’t anymore and then BAM, she introduces someone new for you to fall in love with that you kind have been in love with the entire time, you just didn’t realize it.

This book is incredible. You need to read the first one, (A Court of Thorns and Roses) first or you just won’t get the beauty of this book, but that’s a treat! I actually re-read it before I started on this one. Then read ACOFAF and then immediately bought the audio version and listened to it again.

I loved watching Ferya find herself. Find that she was stronger than she ever thought possible. Stronger than her pain. Stronger than her immortality. Stronger because of love and despite of love.

This book MOVED me to my core. I love it so much and there aren’t enough stars to shower it in or enough roofs to shout from… GO GET THIS BOOK!


Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


Why Do I Keep Doing This To Myself? (AKA Read Six of Crows RIGHT NOW)

I do this to myself more than I’d like to admit. I hear about these amazing books and buy them and for some reason or another, wait to read. There is no logic behind it. Just a mounting pile of books and “Readers ADHD.” (I swear that’s a thing.)

So when I finally started reading and then finished Six of Crows, I wanted to kick myself! I could have been raving about this book for months!

So, late to the game I might be, but I’m here to tell you to get your butts to the bookstore and grab Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS as soon as you can.

It’s an Ocean’s 11-esque heist with incredibly rich and compelling characters, a familiar landscape (hello Grisha series), and knock your pants off twists and turns.


Leigh Bardugo
Hardcover, 465 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Henry Holt and Company

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

You’re going to love this book!

Thoughts on the Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

So, I know I should be working on my WIP, but I think my brain has been on burn-out trying to finish up the one millionth revision of ALLIANCE. When I finally hit send to my agent, I’ve spent the last two weeks gorging myself on books.

I’ve also realized that while I almost exclusively have been reading YA Fantasy, I don’t write in that genre, but I really want to. Maybe one day.

That, however, is not the point of this post. The point is to say that I FINALLY picked up Marie Rutkoski’s Winner trilogy last week and boy was it a good one.


It’s the kind of story that just stays on your mind and you try to figure out how to read it, even when you should probably not be reading. Like—say—on a girl’s trip weekend when you should be giggling and playing games with your friends and instead you’re like, “No worries, I’ll just sit here and read.” Or you wake up at 8am on your only day to sleep in with no kids pouncing on you and instead of rolling over and falling back asleep, you grab your Kindle and read until the rest of your friends wake up at 11. I mean, that’s just a hypothetical.

SO all of that to say, go pick up the Winner’s Curse right now… you won’t regret it!


Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.