Top 5 Wednesday: Ladies Loving Ladies

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Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!! Spend today with your loved ones or with your books 😉

Top 5 Wednesday is meme found in Goodreads (Check them out here and join!) and operates like Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is Favorite F/F Couples. Note: this isn’t specifically cis lesbian couples, but also applies to couples that include bi women, trans women, pan women, ace women, etc. I don’t really read books with F/F or M/M coupling but I do love when the ladies in books stick up for one another. My top 5 today will be on my favorite Ladies Loving Ladies Friendships!

Top 5 Ladies Loving Ladies

(1) Manon Blackbeak and Asterin Blackbeak from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. They appear in Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms. I love their relationship (also with Manon’s relationship with the Thirteen)! Asterin is Manon’s second in command. They are legit the best thing about EoS!

(2) Feyre, Mor, and Amren from Sarah J Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses. These are the ladies of the Inner Circle of the Night Court. I would just love to be a part of their friendship. They have each other’s backs and will do anything to protect one another!

wait for you series

(3) Avery, Teresa, Calla, Roxy, Stephanie, Jillian, and Abby (all the ladies) of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wait For You Series! Seriously, this is the best group of friends ever (including their boyfriends/husbands). I just really want to be a part of this gang. They’re always there for each other, give amazing advice, they don’t judge each other and they always do Sunday Brunch!

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(4) Katy Swartz and Dee Black from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series. Aside from being the sister of her love interest, I love that Katy and Dee developed their very own loving friendship. They had certain hardships in their relationship, leading to the death of someone very important. But even then, their friendship still prevailed!

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(5) America Singer and Marlee Tames from Kiera Cass’s Selection series. They met during Maxon’s Selection and it just took off from their. Marlee is a complete sweetheart and the lengths that both Maxon and America have gone through to help her just melts my heart.

What are some of your favorite Ladies Loving Ladies Friendships? Let me know below!

xoxo

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Top Ten Favorite Books with Romance

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Hey guys! Love thy Shelf is back with this week’s TTT! Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by the lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. They now have switched over to another host: That Artsy Reader Girl. Make sure to check them both out! Every Tuesday, they come up with different topics of discussion. This week’s topic is a love related freebie. Continuing with the Week of Romance, Anjie and I will be listing our Top Ten Favorite Books with Romance.


Caro’s Favorite Books With Romance

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  1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. Fallen Crest High by Tijan (but seriously, ANYTHING by Tijan)
  5. The Season by Sarah MacLean

Anjie’s Favorite Books with Romance

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass
  2. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  3. Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman
  4. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  5. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

What are your favorite books with romance in it? Let us know below or link up your TTT! We’re curious to see what you chose for your love related freebie!

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Week of Romance: Book Tropes

This is Our Genre, Tell Us Yours

Valentine’s Day is this week (in a couple of days, actually)! I’m not really a big fan of the holiday. I really don’t care too much about it. However, I do love the fact that chocolates are a little bit cheaper and come in cute packaging. Anyway, since I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day because I am sans boyfriend, I’ve decided to read a whole bunch of romance books (to see what I’m missing out on ha! jk.) In reality, I’m a huge sucker for love. I love love. I love reading about it, seeing it in movies, and listening to it in music. I love stories of people falling in love so that I can live vicariously through them because they’re just so freaking cute! It gives me those butterflies, all the feels, and pulls on my heart strings.

As terrible as it may be, a lot of the books I read need to have some kind of romance for me to really enjoy it. Fantasy, for example, is my favorite genre of all time. Wizards, witches, vampires, angels, fae, and all that sh*t is nothing if there’s no love going on. Okay, it’s not nothing but I really needs some romance as subplot. So since this week is Valentine’s Day, Love thy Shelf will be posting more romance related stuff. Tomorrow, Caro and I will be posting our top ten favorite romances in novels. The reviews I’ll be posting will also be romance novels (believe me, I need to catch up on so many romance book reviews). As for today, we will be talking about commonly found romance tropes!

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Romance Tropes

Tropes are basically overused plot devices, kind of like cliche. With millions of books and ideas out there, you know that there will be an overuse of plots. It’s really hard to avoid tropes. They become tropes/cliches because their formulas are pretty darn successful, so why not keep using it right? There are many kinds of tropes and everyone has a different opinion on them. There are some people who live for the love triangles, where others stay away from those kind of books. That doesn’t mean that tropes are a bad thing, it just means that everyone has a different taste. Having read more romance books in the past year, I’m becoming more and more familiar with tropes found in romance novels. Here are some of the tropes that I’ve seen:

  • Best Friend’s Sibling/Sibling’s Best Friend: The main character is in love with their best friend’s sibling or their sibling’s best friend (which apparently is a no-no and is very complicated).
  • Best Friends to Lovers: The characters are best friends but then grow into something more.
  • Class Warfare: There’s a gap between in their socioeconomic status (money, class, education, occupation).
  • Enemies to Lovers: The characters are enemies/rivals in some way, shape, or form but it grows into romance.
  • Fake Relationships: The characters enter into a fake relationship for whatever reason (ex: save face, make someone jealous) but end up falling for each other
  • Flings: What the characters think will only be a fling is actually the start of their relationship
  • Guardian/Protector: The main character needs protection or a bodyguard but they start falling in love
  • Love Triangle/Square: Or any shape really, when there is more than one contender for the main character’s love
  • Playboy: He’s a playboy and relationships aren’t his thing, that is until he meets the one that will end his playboy ways
  • Scars/Tortured Soul: The character lives with physical or psychological or emotional scars or are haunted by their *secret* past
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: (aka Forbidden Love) the main characters love each other but it’s “doomed to fail” kind of thing
  • Unrequited Love: The main character is in love with someone that does not love them back

While researching for this post, I found so many other kinds of tropes in existence. However, these are the ones I saw the most often in the books I read. Some of these tropes even overlap. For example, I often see unrequited love trope with the best friends to lovers trope. Don’t judge me but I honestly really enjoy all of these tropes haha. Later on this week, I will be posting about some of my favorite tropes and book recommendations for them. Keep an eye out!

How do you feel about romance tropes? (Or tropes in general?) What are some of the tropes that you’ve seen in romance novels? Which tropes are your favorites? Let me know below!

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Review | The Boy I Hate – Taylor Sullivan

book-review

the boy i hate.jpg

The Boy I Hate by Taylor Sullivan

280 pages
Published: August 15,  2017 
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Samantha Smiles and Renee Montgomery have been best friends for over a decade. They’ve shared laughs, secrets, and a mutual hatred for one person: Tristan Montgomery, Renee’s older brother. He was the guy every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be, and it wasn’t uncommon they’d befriend his little sister just to get closer to him. Which was exactly how Samantha became Renee’s saving grace. She was the only girl Renee could trust not to fall in love with her older brother.

Until the one night Samantha spent with him alone, leaving her questioning everything she’d ever known about the blond headed heart-throb.

Years later, Renee asks Samantha to be her maid of honor. With no other option, Samantha is forced to drive cross-country with the focus of their teenage ire.

He was her first kiss.

Her only secret.

Can Samantha survive the trip cross-country with the reckless Tristan Montgomery? The guy who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted, without worry for tomorrow? Or will she discover a different side of him. One that’s sweet, funny, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. And fall completely and helplessly in love for the first time in her adult life with the one man who could cause her to lose her best friend forever?

Review:

5star

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During the hurricane last year, I went through a reading binge and totally abused my kindle unlimited privileges. I went through all the books on there that had a theme of falling for the best friend or falling for the best friend’s brother or falling for the brother’s best friend. It was a great binge haha. Anyway, The Boy I Hate falls into the best friend’s brother category and it really stood out to me because it didn’t just deal with the romance. It dealt with relationships, best friends, and family. It had some painful hardships that were discussed, some that still shock me when I think about it (I’m still shocked about the father!). It’s New Adult so prepare yourself for some risky stuff but it was nothing too exciting. I’ve read more graphic NA so this is fairly safe.

Samantha and Renee’s relationship was really nice albeit I felt that Samantha was kind of too dependent on Renee. Not in the sense that she needs Renee to pay for her stuff and all but that she feels like her life is over now that she’s getting married. I understand that change is hard, especially when it’s been them two for so long but come on. You have your own life. I also didn’t understand the need to keep the kiss a secret from Renee. If she was that amazing a best friend, it really shouldn’t matter that you love her brother. But I guess that fear of losing her as best friend is enough to make you keep it a secret.

I love Tristan. He’s mysterious and intriguing and I like him. He’s sweet when he wants to be and he’s funny. I love the banter between Sam and Tristan. It felt natural and not forced. It’s definitely a better relationship than the one Sam has with her current boyfriend Steven. He was … annoying. But was he annoying because I preferred Tristan? No, scratch that. Steven was a poor excuse of a boyfriend. The plot is predictable but they usually are in this category but there were some good twists with Renee and Tristan’s family. That was really shocking and more heartbreaking than Sam and Tristan’s story. It was an entertaining read and it was cute and fluffy with banter and tension. The usual.

xoxo

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Review & Reading Playlist | Adorkable – Cookie O’Gorman

book-review

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Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

332 pages
Published: March 31,  2016 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable.

For reference, see Sally Spitz. Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast. Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties. The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question: Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

Review:

5star

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Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Where do I begin?! Do I start off by saying how incredibly cute this book is? While it’s also incredibly frustrating? Okay, it’s not that frustrating but trust me it was hella cute. If you like the whole best-friend-turned-romance thing then you will LOVE this book. If you also like the let’s-pretend-to-date then this book is what the book gods prescribed. I have no words, other than the fact that I absolutely love. LoVe. loVE. LOVE. This book! Like my heart is exploding at this love story. I’ll try not to hype it up too much for you guys, don’t want high expectations to not be filled haha. I got this book through kindle unlimited because let’s face it, that title just pulls you in. Little did I know, I was about to read the best thing since bacon. Don’t mind me being over dramatic here. I loved it so much, not only did I buy the kindle version and sent one to my friend Vero, but I also bought the physical copy of it.

The title is perfect for the book. It’s exactly that. A-DORK-ABLE. Sally is easily lovable. She’s dorky and nerdy and awesome. She’s totally relatable (for me at least). She’s in love with her best friend and thinks that he would never, ever feel the same way. I don’t know why? She’s uber cool. She’s laid back, funny, smart, loves classic rock and 80’s music, fangirls over things like Harry Potter and Star Wars. There’s a part where she actually does the Chewbacca call, which she apparently perfected in like sixth grade with Becks. I died of laughter. It was so adorable. Anyway, you will love her. She’s kind of oblivious because anyone with eyes can see that Becks likes her. But I can’t blame her cause I’m oblivious to those things, too.

Now Becks … equally smart and dorky but athletic (star soccer player — yaasssssssss girlll yaassss, get it) with black hair and blue eyes. Yes, ladies. Keep on swooning. He’s perfect. Okay, he isn’t. He messes up this one time but you get over it and still love him just as much. His relationship with Sally is too cute. You can tell (even if Sally can’t) how genuine he is when he’s “acting” like her boyfriend. His family is just as amazing. They’re hilarious and so much fun to be with. Seriously, Sally is a lucky girl. I love how he treats Sally and always puts her first. I love how nerdy and geeky they are when they’re together. The book is pretty predictable but that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it while you’re reading. It’s super cute (I say again for the 100th time) and funny. I love the plot and I love their friendship.

I am so excited to make a playlist because while I was reading it, music lyrics was just going in my head. I’ve already re-read this book twice since I first read it back in September 2017. Okay, here’s my “Bally” (Becks and Sally, if you didn’t guess) playlist! They’re mostly classic/80s because SALLY! But these song are amazing either way.

You’re My Best Friend by Queen

I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick

We’re At the Top of the World by The Juliana Theory

Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon

It’s A Heartache by Bonnie Tyler

If You Leave Me Now by Chicago

Please Forgive Me by Bryan Adams

All This Time by OneRepublic

xoxo

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Review | Four Years Later – Emma Doherty

book-review

four years later

Four Years Later by Emma Doherty

406 pages
Published: May 01,  2017 
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Becca McKenzie is happy—crazy, ridiculously happy.

She might not have figured out what she wants to do with her life, but she has something better—Ryan Jackson—and they couldn’t be more in love if they tried. He might have been pissed when she went off to a different college, but they make the long distance work because they’re “Becca and Ryan”, and nothing is going to break them.

Until it does.

Until one terrible, unforgettable night away from Ryan. Until too much drinking and one empty bedroom. Until fifteen minutes of hell completely destroys her life and leaves Becca questioning everything she’s ever known.

Until that night turns into a lie she can’t stop—can’t control.

Until she said no but he didn’t listen.

Review:

4star

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This book really surprised me. Four Doors Down was so light and fluffy and very high school and Four Years Later pretty much destroyed me. It was so hard to read and my heart hurts when I think about it. It took me a while to really like Four Doors Down and when I finally did, I was so excited that there was a second book. I was excited to see what my ship was up to, wedding bells and so on and I just didn’t expect what happened. Four Years Later started off like Four Doors Down, with me kind of annoyed by Becca. I thought that four years should be enough time to help her mature but I guess not. She had gotten better but she still felt kind of childish to me. I absolutely loved Ryan, just as I did in the first book and seeing them together just melted my heart.

I read the synopsis and I just couldn’t figure Ryan being the bad guy in this book and not listening to her saying no. Thank God it wasn’t him but the scene still gives me shivers. I have read a number of books dealing with rape and sexual assault but never read the actual thing happening. It was devastating. It was sickening. It was repulsive. I was crying. I was angry. I wanted to throw up. I just .. I couldn’t believe what was happening. And to think that this happens to so many people on a daily basis *shudders*. I just know that if I reread this book, I’m skipping that part. I’m shaking just thinking about it. It’s such a scary situation and Doherty wrote it really well and showcased Becca’s fear so well that as a reader, you could feel it as well.

I wasn’t lying when I said that this book was so hard to read. After Becca’s rape comes a whole plethora of misunderstandings, name-calling, victim shaming and it was just so infuriating. I was really disappointed with how Ryan and Jake acted throughout this book. I was really surprised. I wanted to be mad but at the same time it was hard to stay mad because Becca didn’t explain what happened either. It’s a twisted thing. I was mad at Ryan for not giving her the time to explain and I was yelling at Becca to just tell him anyway. It’s just hard because as a reader, we get to see both parts of the equation, when they can only see their side. But I was still very mad at Ryan.

I love reading books like this that deal with such horrors. I know it’s painful to read but I love reading and watching grow out of their shell and break out of their circumstances. I loved reading Becca’s journey of healing and I love that it showed just how amazing and resilient she is. It was beautiful and when time came for the truth to come out (because you know it’ll happen) it was so heartbreaking again. Every time she revealed to someone what happened to her was like a chip off of her shoulder but at the same time it was like opening herself up again. It was so hard. This book is definitely worth the read.

xoxo

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Review | Four Doors Down – Emma Doherty

book-review

four doors down

Four Doors Down by Emma Doherty

226 pages
Published: July 05,  2016 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Becca McKenzie is just trying to make it through her senior year of high school. She has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend but Ryan Jackson, the bane of her existence, keeps popping up everywhere.

She doesn’t care that they were best friends for years. She doesn’t care that their moms are close and therefore she hears more about him that she’d ever care to know. She doesn’t care that their mutual friend, Jake, keeps pushing them all to hang out together, and she especially doesn’t care that the rest of the school bows down and worships him.

Becca decided years ago that he wasn’t worth her time and nothing, NOTHING, is going to change her mind.

Review:

3star

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It’s been a while since I posted regularly and life is just in the way … all the time. I am incredibly behind on book reviews. You guys have no idea but I’m trying to catch up. This book was read waaaay back in 2017 and I’m finally getting around to writing this review. It was really important for me to write it because this author and this book isn’t famous. I’ve started getting into more indie authors and not well-known authors so I definitely wanted to put this up!

Four Doors Down was an interesting read. It was light and fluffy with a lot of angst and misunderstandings and witty banter. I really enjoyed the storyline. It’s about best friends who lost touch and then it started to resurface. I love how the book switched between the past and the present and it let you see how Becca and Ryan’s friendship ended the first time around. I liked the progression of the plot, it kept me glued enough. My main problem, however, was with the main character. Becca annoyed the crap out of me. I couldn’t wait to see her grow out of her childish ways. She was very selfish but refused to acknowledge her selfishness. There were problems going on with each of the characters but through her eyes, she was the only one that had drama.

It was hard to push aside the problems I had with Becca because it was constant. There were some scenes where she really did improve and I thought that it was finally time to say hi to the mature Becca but then the next chapter, she devolves back to her old ways. She made a terrible choice with her boyfriend. Ughh, why did she even like him? He’s creepy and selfish. Well, maybe she liked him because she saw herself in him. I was really interested in knowing more about her little cousin and his troubles rather than her boy problems, really. I understand why she despises Ryan, I do. At the same time … build a bridge and get over it. It’s time to be mature. Luckily for us, Becca does improve in the end.

Ryan, despite the past that Becca describe, was awesome. I knew he was a good guy and that he was sweet and kind. Maybe because I didn’t like Becca or couldn’t relate to her, I knew that her view of him was unfair and skewed. From the things that he was doing, there was no way he was as cruel as Becca described. At first I believed her, it was hard not think he was jerk, especially with what he said to her. But then, he showed up more. He was nice to her, defended her and her friends. He was sweet and really truly cared for her, and was genuinely a really good guy. Jake was the exact same way. He was the epitome of a sweetheart. It was seriously these two guys, along with Sam (Becca’s best friend), that made me continue. Also because I wanted Ryan to get a happy ending haha.

xoxo

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Review-of-Three | Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake

book-review

three dark crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

398 pages
Published: September 20, 2016 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Review:

5star

I’m so excited to finally review Three Dark Crowns. I read this one as a Buddy Read with 2 of my friends, Caro (who is now my co-blogger) and Laura (follow her at In Between the Pages of a Book). We read this back in March 2017 and we’re honestly still not over that ending! That cliffhanger! Trust me, they’re still mad at me for choosing a book in a trilogy that is not complete. We had to wait until September to get the sequel. It was truly grueling. This is the first review written on here with more than one author, so look out for each of our voices on the review!

Anjie: WHAT THEEEE?? THAT WAS AMAZING! This has been on my TBR for the longest time because hellooooo, triplet sisters competing until death for the crown!

Caro: Hi all! Caro here, pleasure to be here. For our first buddy read, this book will surely never be forgotten. I have so many thoughts just jumbled in my head. Like what? What is this dastardly world where everyone just finds it okay that three sisters SISTERS! Have to kill each other to satiate some sick tradition. It’s not okay on any level.

Anjie: For real! I have a sister, so I can’t even imagine. These sisters were raised by three different people and were separated when they were young. Okay … but what was the purpose of letting them grow up together a couple of years, get to know each other, play with each other, and love each other … when they were only going to have to kill each other. BRUTAL! Totally not fair. However, it made for a great story since the sisters weren’t as willing to kill each other.

Laura: The carnage. The pure savagery. The twists! This book was super entertaining from beginning to end. The happy moments were significantly smaller in proportion to the sad, devastating, and heartbreaking moments, and the relationships between the sisters as well their relationships with the other characters are very twisted. While I read the book there was a somber shadow hanging over every chapter. As if you know that everything was going to go bad. Not so spoiler alert: it all did. Without a doubt my favorite characters were the priests because I love the idea of people who are spiritual and holy also being as bloodthirsty as everyone else.

Anjie: Everything did turn to crap. Let me clarify, the book wasn’t crap but the things the sisters went through was crap. I was trying to be hopeful about the book, that something good would come out and for a while, it seemed like the sisters would be the trio that would break this harsh tradition. Then things happen … very bad things and ugGHHHAHFHH. I really loved the three sisters, Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe. I liked how different they were and how they were all both willing and unwilling to fight each other. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for them in the upcoming books …. I’m also extremely glad and kind of sad that the series got extended to 4 books. More waiting!!

Thank you for reading our review for Three Dark Crowns, please let us know what you thought of the book! Who was your favorite sister?! What did you think about that ending!! Let us know below!

 

 

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