Book Blogger Shout-Out | Sam @ Spines in a Line

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! This month I reached out and asked Sam @ Spines in a Line  if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is awesome and she has a ton of different features. She has anything from reviews to some great author interviews. So make sure you go over to Sam’s blog and say hi!

Hello everyone and thank you to Ashley for having me on her blog! I’m Sam and I’ve been book blogging for a little over a year now over at Spines in a Line. I’ve always loved reading and since I began tracking my books on Goodreads (almost obsessively), it was only a matter of time before I started my own blog. I’m heading to grad school in the fall for a Master’s in library science and I’m really excited about finding all new ways to engage with books! Thanks for reading!

My Fave Female Characters of 2017

I signed up for a reading challenge this year where you pledge to read books by female authors, with different levels like Super Girl and Wonder Woman based on the number of books you read. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do but so far more than 50% of my read shelf has been written by women (and I’ve hit that Wonder Woman goal)!

So in honour of this challenge, and surpassing my expectations, I’m sharing some of my favourite female characters from my reads this year, from books written by women of course!

1) Puck from Puck by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

The title character, Puck, is very like her play counterpart – spunky and troublesome and just generally creating chaos in her wake. In this incarnation though, she’s a teenager so she brings a lot of that teenage sass and is just a delight in this story (that’s only slightly sarcastic :P)!

 

2) Anne from Persuasion by Jane Austen

I was in a Jane Austen book club this year so I read a lot of Austen’s book for the first time and I’ve gotta say, Anne has been my favourite heroine thus far. Though she seems quiet and timid, she really shines as a strong, independent woman. Despite the persuasiveness of her family and friends, Anne knows her own mind and I like that she gets the chance to make her own way.

 

3) Melody from Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French

This is probably my favourite series right now and a lot of that is down to this MC! She’s hilarious and super awkward (which probably makes her more funny)! She’s also a huge clutz and that’s just super relatable so it’s always fun following her story.

 

4) Cara from Or Best Offer by Beck Medina

Another awkward character, it’s hard not to love Cara! She’s got grand ideas of love and a stubbornness about her that’s actually really endearing, as she’s determined to stick with it no matter how hard the troubles may be.

 

I’m looking forward to adding more to this list before the year is out! Who are some of your fave female characters from this year?

 

Blog: https://spinesinaline.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spinesinaline

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spinesinaline/

Goodreads: Sam

I would love to hear thoughts on this feature or if you are interested in being featured. If you have any questions or comments for Sam  make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! This month I reached out and asked Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is fantastic and so adorable! She has some awesome graphics and posts with tons of pictures! She reads a wide variety and I totally recommend checking out her blog!

 

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Hi everyone! My name is Dee and I am just a girl who fell in love with books and Jamie Fraser. I love reading and binge watching numerous TV shows on Netflix. I love everything YA, but I am open to other genres as well. When I first started reading I was a huge Paranormal Romance reader, but if you can find a cute contemporary that has a great story/message I will devour it in one setting. I am currently all about Fantasy novels. When I don’t have a book in my hands, I am probably watching Arrow or Outlander. I am obsessed with baby animals and cheesy romantic comedies. I started blogging as a way to interact with more people about the books that I loved. None of my friends or family read, so blogging has been a great outlet for me to fangirl. If you ever need someone to fangirl with, I am always here 😉

Also, thank you so much Ashley for featuring me on her blog today! You’re awesome, Ashley XD

TOP 5 FAVORITE FANTASY SERIES WITH BREATHTAKING WORLDS

When I first started reading I was really intimidated by reading Fantasy. I always felt that if a book had a map that it was too complicated for me. Include a glossary? Forget it! However, I’ve read some pretty amazing books that completely converted me. Now Fantasy is my favorite genre. Here are just a few of my all-time favorite series. If you haven’t read them, please do. And if you have, I hope you loved them just as much as I do. 

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Believe it or not, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was actually the first YA Fantasy novel I have ever read. I have read other novels with fantasy backdrops, but this is one of the first “full on” fantasy that I read and fell in love with. The story itself is compelling, but I fell completely in love with Bardugo’s world building. She crafts such an unique world of magic that you’d wish that you were apart of it. Shadow and Bone is just the start of Bardugo’s magic. Six of Crows is the story of a group of criminal misfits coming together to pull an impossible heist. This novel will grab you from page one and not let go of it’s hold until the very last page. This has to be one of my favorite books of 2015. Bardugo really is a mastermind when it comes to magical worlds.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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Marie Lu is the author of one of the best YA Dystopian series, Legend and when I found out she was writing a fantasy series I lost it. Completely lost it. If you love a series about a group of individuals all with unique abilities that is also pretty dark, this is the series for you. The Young Elites isn’t just your average fantasy series. It tells the story about the antivillain and it is breathtaking.

 

 Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

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The Throne of Glass has quickly become one of the most loved fantasy series out there in YA. I may be biased, but I personally think it deserves all its hype. I am in love with the world Maas has crafted. From the Fae to the Valg to the witches and the magic. I can’t get enough of this world and the series just sucks you right in. Maas gives us a pretty badass female protagonist with not one, not two, but about four different swoon-worthy guys (if you’re caught up to Heir of Fire, you’ll know). If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series yet, I strongly urge you to. It has a great story and some awesome character development. Yes, there is a bunch of romance (maybe a little too much that needs to be decentralized) but the story itself is so strong! Maas is another Queen of Fantasy. Plus she has a pretty awesome Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling called A Court of Thorns and Roses as well 😉

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is not only a fantastic retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but a beautiful, magical world that Ahdieh created. The setting, the dresses, the castle (for lack of a better term), the magic, everything screams beautiful and just made me want to devour the entire story. I couldn’t not put this book down for one second. If you like retellings, you need to give this a read immediately.

 

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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I know another guest blogger has already mentioned Daughter of Smoke & Bone, but I can’t not mention it as well. It’s one my favorite fantasy series ever! I started this series after I kept hearing Katytastic rave about it constantly. I decided to pick it up and I was blown away. This series has a very intricate world based on angels and the chimaera (demons) who have been at war for years. It tells the story of a girl stuck in the middle and the ultimate forbidden love. This series is beautiful. These characters don’t love at face-value, their souls reach out to each other and to me, it’s one of the most beautiful series in YA.

Well there you have it! A few of my favorite fantasy books/series. There are definitely more, I didn’t want to hijack Ashley’s wonderful blog 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks again to Ashley for being awesome and letting me be a guest ❤

Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

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Blog: http://www.thebookishkhaleesi.wordpress.com
Twitter:@bookishkhaleesi
Goodreads: Dee
Instagram: bookishkhaleesi

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Dee make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Emily @ Books And Cleverness

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! The last few months I featured Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads and Cristina @  Girl in the Pages and Mimi @Mariam Mimi’s Bookish Blog. This month I reached out to Emily @ Books & Cleverness. I feel like Emily and I converse a lot whether it be via commenting on each others blogs or tweeting at each other. We share similar taste in books and I love how she does her book reviews! She also does a post on Sundays of her week in review and I also watch out for these! She always includes some interesting blog posts she has found from other bloggers and I quite enjoy going through all of them! I even participated in a read-a-thon she held earlier this year and it was a blast!


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Books & Cleverness
Where it’s clever to read Young Adult!

Hi everyone! I’m Emily, and I’m just a girl with a love of books, kittens, and everything cozy. I started blogging because I wanted to share my thoughts (and feels) on books with everyone! My friends aren’t huge readers, so I’ve found the book blogging community to be a group of wonderful friends to talk about everything books with. When I’m not reading, blogging, or cuddling with my cat, I love watching TV, playing tennis, and drawing! I hope to be a graphic designer and maybe someday work for a publishing company in the art department.

I also want to say a big “thank you” to Ashley for having me on her blog today!
winter musts
Where I live, the snow is already falling and it’s beginning to look a lot like winter! I thought it would be fun to share with you all some of my essential reading accessories to stay warm and cozy while you read this winter. (All of these things would also make great gifts for all the book-loving people on your list!)

sherpa blanket imageA BLANKET

While it’s freezing outside we have to stay warm while cuddled with our book. The blanket I’m currently obsessed with is this super soft and warm Sherpa Blanket from Kohl’s. When I say it’s super soft, I mean it! The patterns are all so pretty, although I have the plain tan one to match my décor. Also, their website says it’s going to be only $14.99 on Black Friday which is a steal for such a wonderful throw blanket like this one!

ohmychaidrinkmixA BEVERAGE

Normally I’m a coffee girl, but the Oh My Chai Drink Mix from Tastefully Simple is so soothing and warms me instantly when I take a sip. For those of you that don’t like tea, I definitely recommend you try it out still, because it is just so sweet and delicious. This is a must for me when I’m curled up with a book, and at the moment is rivalling coffee for my favorite hot drink.

mugA MUG

I have so many mugs to drink my delicious warm beverages in, but my favorite by far would have to be the Cuppa This Cuppa That Pencil Mug from ORE Orginals. It’s on the smaller size for a mug but the handle and lip to drink from are really thick, and the best part? It doesn’t get so hot you can’t hold the mug right after you brew or pour your beverage in! There are other cute designs for this mug that you can find here.

candleA CANDLE

Candles are some of my favorite things to give as gifts and just be around during the winter. The Balsam & Cedar Candle from Barnes and Noble is so fragrant that you don’t even have to light it to smell it! Plus it’s in this adorable little tin that you can keep out through the holidays to be a little decoration too.

WHAT ARE YOUR ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES WHEN READING DURING THE WINTER?


Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

Books & Cleverness

 

Blog: https://bookscleverness.wordpress.com
Twitter:  @bookskittens
Goodreads: Emily

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Emily make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Mimi @ Mariam Mimi’s Bookish Blog

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! The last few months I featured Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads and Cristina @  Girl in the Pages. This month I was reached out to do a guest post and we decided to guest post on each others blogs. Mimi @Mariam Mimi’s Bookish Blog has a youtube channel and some really informative posts about how to start a blog with some great tips and advice. She also has a great post about why she started and does booktube!


Mariam Mimi’s Bookish Blog
Kids, Teens , Family Friendly Books & More

me-w-green-mug You are not who you were 2 years ago and neither am I. You may have dressed weirder, talked like a 13-year-old in a 25-year-old’s body, and I’m sure I did too. I’ve felt the need to be perfect and maybe you have too. But the beauty of being a female is that you are a work in progress, and you’re not going to be the perfect size, have the perfect hair, make-up or fashion ALL the time. You will not always be the perfect mother, daughter, or sister.

WE LIVE. WE LEARN. WE GROW.
We have bad days.
And we are beautiful.

I happen to be a blogger. I’ve been a blogger since I was in high school and have always written in journals. I’ve had blogs on blogspot, wordpress, livejournal, deadjournal, diaryland, and penzu….I could go on, but I wont. You get the idea. =)

For this blog, I decided on WordPress because this summer I found an online community for one of my great loves — #books! And many booktubers use wordpress for their book blogs — so, TA-DA that’s the reason I’m here on WordPress. I also have an app on my phone for WordPress so I can blog on-the-go. Plus it has some really cool sidebar widgets that other blogs don’t have…..

 


review 

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins (sequel to Ellen Hopkins’s Burned)

Genre: Young Adult

smoke image by ellen hopkin

Smoke is about Pattyn & Jackie, two daughters of the Von Stratton family whose father has recently died. This takes place in a small town in Nevada where Pattyn runs away to California and tries to find a way to survive as a 17-year-old whose never lived barely a few miles away from home. Jackie is still at home trying to cope with her local rapist and the town’s Jackie-bashing. This book is written in free verse and reads like a story.

I read books about characters I can relate to, that help me broaden my view of the world, and evoke my empathy and compassion for people. This book did all that and more!! Both Jackie and Pattyn, two girls, are insecure about their own bodies and the town’s criticism of them despite the fact that they come from a broken home with no father and a mom who can’t handle her 5 kids.

There’s a family in this book who, though are supposedly nonviolent, attacked people through paper. “They shoot at their perceived enemies / with paper ammunition-filing false / liens and fake 1099s, disrupting / the lives of their targets…” Their children are into drugs are don’t shy away from killing people they don’t like. The girls also struggle with loving someone who isn’t right for them, and maybe one who is “I feel the ghostly impression / of his mouth, inhale the soap scent / I first smelled on his pillow back in / Vacaville. I should pull away, move / off the sofa, leave this house, and / hurry to my room. But I don’t want / to be alone.” Will they end up in healthy, loving, relationships?

My Visual Prop and Gift:

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I choose Pattyn to whom I would like to gift a shoe box with a some cash and some powder to foundation. Money to help her on her new life in California. The powder-foundation for when she feels down and wants to look pretty — not too much make-up, but just putting something on might lift her spirits while she lives away from home. Finally, the shoebox, so she can write down a diary and keep her secrets. It’s safe, as no one would think to look in shoe box to find a person’s secret thoughts. Just receipts or, well, shoes.

I would recommend the book to ages 14 and up who have dealt with adverse issues, or can read about sensitive issue with maturity. There are no explicit sexual details, but there are gay characters and murders.

If you know me, you know I only read books I really enjoy. Most books I don’t like get dropped by page 50 and I end up not finishing them. I adored this book as it met every expectation of a story. I read all 544 pages. Forgiving the few lulls in the book, I will give it a 5 out of 5 Cups of Coffee and will be reading not only the prequel but I am already reading Tilt, my 2nd Ellen Hopkins novel.

Thank you for reading!!

– Mariam aka Mimi


 


Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!M&M Mariam badge with border

Blog: http://mnmmariam.wordpress.com
Twitter:  @emancipatedmimi
Goodreads: Mimi
Youtube Channel: Mariam Misty 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Mimi make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

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So if you have been around on my blog you will know of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! Last month I featured Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads to be my guinea pig! This month I reached out and asked Cristina @ Girl in the Pages if she would be so kind to participate and be featured for my Book Blogger Shout-out! Her blog is absolutely adorable and everytime I check out her blog I am incredibly jealous. She posts a variety of bookish things and has some fabulous book reviews!

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 12.23.50 PM
GuestPostPic Hey there! My name is Cristina, a twenty-something West Coast girl who runs the YA book blog Girl in the Pages. I’ve nurtured a love for all things involving the written word since a very young age, and brought that love with me to college where I studied English Literature and tried to incorporate YA texts into every assignment I could. I’m partial to YA paranormal and fantasy, but give me a contemporary that tackles important issues and I’m hooked. I’m a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, Disney aficionado, and my closet is almost as full as my bookshelves. When I’m not reading or blogging, you can find me playing with my MAC makeup collection, finding new restaurants to try, and generally trying to navigate post-grad life in the big kid world. 

 

5 Books That Will Change Your Opinion of YA

We all know about the heavily-marketed, over-hyped titles that surface every year. Yet there are phenomenal books and series that often fly under the radar that really show how the YA genre features unparalleled creativity, amazing prose, and profound plot lines, and is not a genre to be discounted or underestimated. Here are five titles that I highly recommend to reaffirm a reader’s love for YA, or to turn a skeptic into a YA lover! (click the picture to be taken to the Goodreads link for each book!)

16074758Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas- No matter who you are or where you’re from, this mystery-thriller novel will drag you in by its eerily familiar plot line, keep you hooked with every piece of evidence and revelation that is made, and leave you shell-shocked and speechless by its twist and conclusion. Dangerous Girls holds its own with adult thrillers and mystery novels, and has its own unique voice as it features teenagers who have everything to lose and everything to gain depending on how their reputations are impacted when one of them is found murdered on a spring-break trip. This novel shows that teenagers and young adults can be just as captivating a group as adults when faced with a tangled web of truth and lies- perhaps even more so.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Take everything you’ve read about 13528340angels and demons and cliché end of the world narratives and chuck it out the window, and then start this series. Laini Taylor crafts a fantasy narrative so unique that its world building is unparalleled and her writing is simply lyrical. Set in Prague and expanding to other countries and worlds as the series goes on, the prose is more magnificent than in any other fantasy fiction I’ve read, and it will restore your faith in storytelling.

 

11500217Angelfall by Susan Ee- If you think the post-apocalyptic narrative is overdone and you’ve “been-there-read-that” and nothing else can surprise you, please pick up this fantastic and tragically underrated book. Set in Northern California, the book tackles the issue of “What would happen if God/Supreme Being/Powers That Be decided that our time as humans was over?” With action scenes and morbid twists that make The Huger Games look like they’re for the faint-hearted, this series features a resourceful, plucky teenage protagonist who’s focused on caring for her family after the end of the world, a wonderfully intense and slow-building romance, and the most excellent take on the angel/demon paranormal genre I’ve read. This book shows that YA authors can still create wonderfully original stories out of well-worn themes.

Trouble by Non Pratt- Another vastly under-talked about book, Trouble comes from 18138917British author Non Pratt, who tackles a lot of “taboo” issues (teen pregnancy, depression, death and grief, substance abuse, bullying, etc) in an uncensored and unapologetic way. Told from alternating viewpoints of Hannah and Aaron, Pratt writes an “issue” based novel without letting it be defined by such issues, and amidst all of the characters uncensored struggles and hardships its essentially a book about finding yourself, and finding the people who are truly worth being in your life. It’s amazing, and it doesn’t hold anything back, and it will rethink how you view YA contemporary.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- I admit, I held off on reading this book for a while. From glancing at the cover I assumed it was going to be another cliché boarding school series. Needless to say, it’s on this list because my first impression was very, very wrong. This book is sort of a Breakfast Club-meets-Nancy Drew-meets-King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table-hybrid, and it is fantastic. It’s usually hard to write one protagonist well, but Stiefvater manages to write five of them, all the while crafting a unique tale that draws upon what I feel are recently neglected genres, such as psychics, magical quests, and good old fashioned ghost stories. This series is also really excellent because many of the main characters are males, proving that YA is not limited to female characters nor to a female audience, and this series can be accepted and thoroughly enjoyed by any gender.

 

Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

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Blog: http://www.girlinthepages.com
Twitter:@girlinthepages
Goodreads: Cristina

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Cristina make sure to leave them here or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!

Book Blogger Shout-Out | Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads

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So this is the first installment of my new feature: Book Blogger Shout-Out! The purpose of this is to showcase some awesome book bloggers! Since I am still in a beta test stage I asked Autumn to be my guinea pig! Autumn is my real life friend and we both share a great love for books and all that other great nerdy stuff! Although of late she has been really busy and not able to blog much, when she does her posts are super awesome. She does co-run Book of the Month with with! Which is the our Future Cat Ladies of America Book Club! (linked is our intro post/july BOTM) You can also check out our goodreads group to keep up with what we are reading and to join us in future months. Anyways, I had asked for suggestions for a guest post topic for Autumn and below is her wonderful post and information!

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sidebar-photoI’m Autumn. A twenty-something Midwestern girl who frequently falls in love with fictional worlds and the people that inhabit them. I tend to favor YA fiction, fantasy and science fiction with the occasional biography thrown in the mix, but if it comes with a good review from a friend I’ll give anything a chance. When I’m not reading you’ll usually find me binge watching television, posting pictures of my cats on Instagram, or painting my nails (sometimes I even try to do all three at once).

 

TOP TEN BOOK BOYFRIENDS
(In no specific order!)

1. Ronan Lynch (The Raven Boys) – There aren’t a whole lot of characters that get the Love of My Life title from me (and honestly, most of them are from television, not books) but Ronan is 100% deserving of it. I love everything about him and I doubt there will ever be a point where I don’t want to know more about him.

2. Jonathan of Conté (Tortall series) – I have a love/have (read ‘hate’ as ‘extremely annoyed with and want to slap him upside the head’) relationship with Jon throughout all of the Tortall books, when it comes down to it I think my love for him is much like Alanna’s is – she loves him with all her heart, and would do anything for him, but she could never be with him.

3. Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter series) – I think I was eight years old when I first started these books (my third grade teacher read Sorcerer’s Stone to our class) and Draco has always been my darling of the series, I stood by him through it all.

4. Domitan of Masbolle (Tortall series) – He may be a minor character in the books, but he’s the main character in my heart. Not kidding, I am in love with Dom – every passage involving him (even if he’s only being mentioned by other characters) is marked in my copies of Squire and Lady Knight, and they’ve been marked since I first read the books, when I was eleven!

5. Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy) – I don’t really feel like I need to explain this one, do I?

6. Khal Drogo (A Game of Thrones) – I fell in love with him before I even knew Jason Momoa would be playing him (and was that perfect casting or what?), and every time he calls Dany “moon of my life” I melt.

7. Liam Ironarm (Tortall series) – The Shang Dragon is essentially the perfect man, and I am forever in denial about the end of Lioness Rampant (I cry every time I re-read it, which is a lot).

8. Éomer (Lord of the Rings) – I’ve always thought that if I lived in Middle Earth the Riddermark would be my home (I think about this a lot, shut up), and there is no one more representative of that place than Éomer (Karl Urban isn’t so bad to look at either).

9. Alcide Herveaux (Southern Vampire Mysteries/True Blood series) – This one is sort of a cheat since I haven’t actually read the books yet, but I loved him so much in the show I have no doubt that I’ll love him when I finally get a chance to read the series.

10. Nawat Crow (Tortall series) – He’s just so adorable! Every scene between him and Aly is swoon-worthy, he learns to be human for her, and they proceeds to be the most precious human being to ever exist. I dare you not to fall in love with him!

Honorable mentions go to Jace Wayland (Mortal Intruments series; awful movie casting lost him his spot on the list), Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie’s Peak (Tortall series, I have so much love for the Giant Killer but I felt like I already had too many Tortall boyfriends), and Thomas (The Maze Runner, sort of boring book characterization lost him a spot on the list but Dylan O’Brien saved his spot in the honorable mentions).

Make sure to check out her blog and other social media!

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WordPress: https://www.kittycatreads.wordpress.com
Twitter: @KittyCatReads
Goodreads: Autumn

 

I would love to hear thoughts on this new feature. If you have any questions or comments for Autumn make sure to leave them here and she will be checking on it or head over to her blog! Look out for the next book blogger!