Nerd Alert - Ashley & Emily
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Okay, so I am well aware that ten books on one trip is a little – fine, a lot- excessive. But to me, it isn’t really a vacation without books. I usually go through one book a day, whether I am laying by the pool or snuggled up on the couch, I am always reading. I used to weigh down my suitcase with hardcover books, but since the airlines have been cracking down on weight limits I am now converted to reading via the Kindle app on my iPad. It took me a long time to accept that I would be reading off of a screen instead of holding the book in my hand- but for traveling it is definitely more ideal.

It takes me about a month to pick out and plan what books I am going to read on my trip. Half the fun of it is researching and picking them out. I always check the New York Times bestseller list, peruse the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble and more often than not consult my friends on what they have been reading. Narrowing it down is always the hardest part. If it were up to me I would bring 100 books on any given trip. If you have any book recommendations for me, I would love to hear them. Here are my choices from my most recent trip and a short review on each:

I almost didn’t read this book because it was set in Seattle (ew, Seahawks). But I love Gayle Forman and If I Stay was one of my favorite young adult novels the year it came out. This is the kind of book that tempts you to want to read the last chapter before you get to it. I was dying to know what happened but decided to hold out and finish it the normal way. This story explores friendship, tragedy and strangely enough- love. Keep reading to see my review on two more of Forman’s novels!

I’m not going to lie, I totally cheated and read this before I even left on my trip. After I read the synopsis on Amazon, I couldn’t help but start right away. I read this book in two days and was completely hooked. It was unlike anything I have read before and I felt really connected with the main character, Rachel- which sounds strange because she is an unemployed alcoholic and the complete opposite of me. Rachel is an extremely misunderstood woman who becomes obsessed with a couple that she sees every day at one of the stops on her commute. If you loved Gone Girl then this book is for you. Ever since my trip to London, I am obsessed with books that are set there, and I have always had a fascination with trains and great stories. Please stop whatever you are doing and read this!

This is a book that I started a few months ago right when it came out. Then I let someone borrow it, and it kind of got pushed to the side after that. Since it was going to be President’s Day while I was on my trip, I figured I had to bring it. Since my Dad is my absolute favorite person on this planet, I’m a sucker for stories about amazing fathers. George’s account of his father was incredibly honest and very heartwarming. He found the perfect balance of personal anecdotes and facts about his father’s life. We get to know George Bush as a soldier, a father, a husband, and a president. This book is for anyone who loves the Bush family– and especially for those who don’t. If you are among the latter group, this book could very well change your opinion of George HW Bush.

Dear Daughter: A Novel

Ok first of all, the epigraph in this book is a quote from Paris Hilton- need I say more. This book is about a socialite whose life changes dramatically when she is charged with the murder of her mother. The story begins when she is let out of prison based on a mistake made with mishandled evidence. Little allows us to follow the hilarious Janie Jenkins on her life after prison and her crazy journey to find out what really happened to her mother. For those of you who love Kate White (author of Hush), you will be obsessed with this one. 

This book was not what I expected at all. It was creepy from start to finish. I am a little OCD in the sense that I like all my stories to have a concrete ending; not necessarily a happy ending, but an ending. Blackwood’s novel is a lot of small vignette-like chapters that vacillates throughout time. Inspired by a true story of a gruesome murder of teenage girls in Austin, this novel proves that everything is not what it seems. This book left me very unsatisfied, however, it was very well written and it was refreshing to read something so different. 
Before You

This book was a typical good girl / bad bad love story. I will definitely read the other books in this series, but will probably wait until Summer when I have more time. I’m a sucker for these types of books (Perfect Chemistry Series, Snitch, Beautiful Disaster) and this one did not disappoint. The daughter of a pastor is in charge of showing the new kid around school. The new kid also happens to be a part of a drug cartel, I’m sure you can guess what happens next. 
I was 100% consumed by this story from the very first chapter. I love books that are constantly changing my mind on whose story to believe or which side to be on. This is a great mystery / thriller with suspense that lasts until the final pages. What starts out as a whirlwind romance between Bailey and Logan, quickly turns from fast paced marriage into a nightmare when young women keep going missing in Logan’s small ranch town in Louisiana. As the story unravels, we begin to see how tragic and complicated families can really be.

To say I was excited for this book to come out is a huge understatement. I fell in love with Kristin Hannah’s books my first year in Grad School. My dear friend Tori and I started a book club, and our first (and only) book was Firefly Lane. I think Tori and I have read every single book she has written since then, and will forever be bonded because of our shared love for amazing novels. I tend to shy away from historical fiction but Hannah’s narratives have a way of dragging me in, no matter what the setting. This book was a little more slow paced than I prefer, and definitely had a darker tone to it, but was so beautifully written. 

Just One Day


Just One Year

I read these two books so quickly, that I am just going to include them in the same review. One of my adorable little freshmen, Jocelyn,  was kind enough to let me borrow these books for my trip and I absolutely loved them. The first book, Just One Day, is told from the perspective of Allyson. She was visiting Europe on a graduation trip and meets Willem. Their story proves just how much of an impact 24 hours can have on someone’s life. The second book is told from Willem’s perspective, and I surprisingly liked this one more. I loved the way Forman incorporated love, travel, loss and fate into this series. 
If you have read any amazing books lately, I would love to know! 

By Two Peas in a Prada

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