Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I’m Dying to Read!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten 2014 Releases I’m Dying to Read! 

For this week’s list I’ve tried to list books that aren’t in the series I’ve talked about on the blog before – because otherwise my list would just be a repeat of sequels I can’t wait to read (and yes – I’m still oh-so excited for Cress, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Secret, The One, Silver Shadows and The Forever Song).

Here are some books that I can’t wait to be released that I’ve not talked about before.

Debut Authors:

Tape by Steven Camden – Two people, twenty years apart, connected by a story on a tape. One recorded it, one is listening to it and this novel is their story. I think it sounds interesting and lets face it – cassette tapes are so very cool…. I might be biased because I have one in my car and no CD player but it appeals to me regardless. The author is a spoken word poet and you can find him talking about tape: here  (January 30th, 2014)

The Break Up Artist by Phillip Siegel – Becca isn’t a matchmaker. In fact she’s the opposite. For a fee she’ll do whatever it takes to break up a couple – and she does it all anonymously. I have a bit of a soft spot for matchmaking stories and the idea of someone trying to break couples up on purpose really appeals to me. It’s one of those stories that you know is going to get pretty dirty for the break up artist in question. (April 29, 2014)

Wish You Were Italian by Kristen Rae – I adore contemporary novels set in Italy and this one sounds adorable. The Italian sun, gorgeous ruins and some romantic drama to cap it all off.  (May 6th, 2014)

Sekret by Lindsay Smith – Psychic spies, the KGB and powerful mind erasers working for the CIA: need I say more? This book looks dramatic and suspenseful! (April 1st, 2014)

The Fire Wish by Amber Lought – I adore genies and djinn and jinni. Whatever you want to call them I have loved them since I was 7 and watched Disney’s Aladdin for the first time and recently wrote my own novel about them (although my story is only really fit for the recycling bin). I’m always glad to see new stories about the wish granters and Amber Lought’s debut looks delightful. Unwilling brides, Eastern princes and not one but two magic lamps? This book is definitely on my wish list. (July 22nd, 2014)

Tape The Break-Up Artist Wish You Were Italian Sekret (Sekret, #1)

Authors I love with New Series / Standalones

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith – I love this author as she writes lovely and fun contemporary novels which aren’t just fluff. There’s substance and more to them than you might expect. Two strangers being stuck in an elevator is one of those concepts that I love to read and I’m sure this novel will live up to my expectations! (April 15th, 2014)

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Books about letters are another one of those things that I really enjoy reading about. Having a box of letters written to exes but never intending for them to read them but having them sent out? Sounds like some great contemporary drama to be had! (April 22nd, 2014)

Panic by Lauren Oliver – Panic is a game played among graduating seniors with prize money that could set you up perfectly for college. Only catch it the game is illegal and it’s not unheard of that people get seriously hurt or even die. How great is this idea? I may not have finished Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series but Panic sounds like my kind of story. (March 4th, 2014)

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong – I’m an autobuyer of anything Kelley Armstrong writes and I’m interested in this upcoming series. Sisters tasked with keeping the souls of the damned quiet. It sounds a little more high fantasy than her other books and I’m looking forward to reading this one. (April 8th, 2014)

After the End by Amy Plum – I was a huge fan of the Reverants series and because of that, I’m interested to see what Amy Plum’s next series will deliver. Post World War III and its set in Alaska, my favourite of the US states! After the End looks like a great new dystopian novel! (May 6th, 2014)

The Geography of You and Me To All the Boys I've Loved Before Panic Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1) After the End (After the End, #1)

These are all books I’m very excited for. I was growing a little sad the other day when I realized just how close we are to the end of the year but with this many books to look forward to, 2014 is looking bright. Which books are you excited for? Any I should add to my to-read list? Feel free to leave me a comment – I love reading them! 🙂

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Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Publisher: Headline Fiction
Publication Date: April 2012
Pages: 416
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis (goodreads):
When 17-year-old Graham Larkin sends an email to a friend about his pet pig, Wilbur, the last thing he expects is a response from the other side of the country, from one Ellie O’Neill. As their online friendship blossoms, they begin to reveal more about themselves but crucially leave out the truth about Ellie’s past and Graham’s career as a Hollywood heartthrob. And when a new location needs to be found for Graham’s next film, he jumps at the chance to visit Ellie’s hometown, Henley, Maine. But, now that they’re together, it’s impossible to keep their secrets for long and there’s a lot to overcome if love is to blossom…

My Review:

When an email from Graham Larkin to a pig walker gets mistakenly sent to sixteen year old Ellie O’Neill, an unlikely friendship blossoms between a teen heart-throb and a small town girl. But when their relationship goes from online to off-screen, things get complicated. The guy that every girl wants falls for a girl who wants nothing to do with the limelight or the paparazzi following that comes with it. Can the easy camaraderie Ellie and Graham once had stand up to the pressures that real life brings?

I have to admit I love the famous guy falling for the small town girl storyline. Mix it with elements of mistaken online identity in a “You’ve Got Mail” twist and you have one of my all time plot lines. I’ve watched movies based on this. I’ve read stories basted on this – I’ve even written my own novella like this. I’m delighted to say that This is What Happy Looks Like is such a worthy addition to the other works in this genre.

Ellie and Graham are flawlessly flawed. They are characters who both had to grow up fast due to their circumstances and as a result they both act much older than their years. Seeing them in this summer romance was delightful to see them behave like the teenagers they are. Both have their baggage but neither of them dwell on their situation. Graham wants something to like him for him and not the fame or privileges that go along with the “Graham Larkin Experience”. Ellie enjoys the quiet life and doesn’t appreciate the media circus that the film crew has brought to her peaceful Maine cottage.

I was a little disappointed with the supporting cast of characters – the friends were of the fair-weather variety and the authority figures were somewhat fleeting – but they didn’t detract from the romance between Graham and Ellie.

This is a very sweet story. Plot wise – there’s not too many surprises this is definitely one of those books you read for the journey and not the destination. It loses steam about two-thirds of the way in but manages to pick up the pace for a delightful ending.

Overall I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes a light contemporary story about a summer romance where no matter who you are, sometimes the simplest things in life are the ones that make you the happiest.

Favourite Quotes:

“Theirs was a partnership of details rather than facts. And the details were the best part.”

“He’d cast his e-mail out into the world in search of a trout and what he’d found instead was a salmon.”


Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Publisher: Headline Fiction
Publication Date: January 2012
Pages: 240
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn’t forgotten the book. Or if there hadn’t been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn’t fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else – the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn’t sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver…

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

My Review:

This novel is a sweet and realistic little window in Hadley’s life. After missing her flight to London to attend a wedding she doesn’t want to go to, Hadley is faced with a four-hour wait in the airport. She strikes up a conversation with 18-year-old Oliver, a student formerly from England who is now studying at Yale. They bond instantly and together they help each other during a difficult period in their lives.

I loved the realism of Hadley’s situation – a young woman who feels betrayed by her father when he moves overseas, divorces her mother and is now marrying “the other woman” who Hadley has never even met. Hadley doesn’t sugar-coat her feelings towards her dad. She’s hurt and she doesn’t care who knows it.

Oliver is a great travelling companion. He’s interesting, caring and the sort of boy any seventeen year old would fall for at first sight. He’s quirky enough to entertain the reader and I loved how the author made him have some flaws. He’s perfect for Hadley in his imperfection.

This is a lovely novel that I recommend for anyone who likes their teen romances short and sweet but with a lot of feeling.


Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository