I know school still seems pretty far off and some of you may even be done with school (me!) but there’s still time for some summer reading and what better to read then some books that will actually help you survive in school. Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college you’ll probably face at least one of these situations. Here’s six books to help you with six different school scenarios. Good luck!
1. Mean girls
Got some mean girls trying to bring you down? The haters are still hating? Don’t fear because Reed Brennan has been there. In the Privateseriesshe goes through some terrible hazing just to fit in with the Billings Girls, the most popular group of girls at her new boarding school. Even better, however, she learns how to beat them at their own game and become a boss herself. Plus, she also solves some murders but hopefully that’s not something you’ll have to deal with.
2. New year, new you
You’re tired of not being seen and you’re read to make a splash. You want to be noticed and you’re willing to do what it takes to get there. Lexi gets that. She’s ready for her long time crush, Logan, to finally notice her and she’s ready to play the beauty game to get what she wants. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personalitywill give you tips on your makeover while also reminding you that looks aren’t everything and maybe you’re perfect just the way you are. But some lipstick never hurts, right?
3. New student
Being the new kid can be the worst. You have to make new friends, learn your way around the halls, and try to fit in with a new crowd. Well imagine trying to do all that while having a crazy ghost roaming the halls of your high school. Yeah, your situation sounds much better now, doesn’t it? In The Mediator series Suze Simon is a mediator with a lot on her plate. It’s her job to get ghosts onto their next step (whatever that is) and she still has to pass all her classes. Add in a hot ghost roommate and Suze’s new girl status is the least of her problems. Still, Suze’s boss attitude to facing a new environment is one you can learn from before you enter your new school.
4. Getting over a crush
Unrequited love is the worst and you’re over it. You’re sick of crushing and being let down. You want to move on and start this year off right, leaving that crush in the past. Sadie feels your pain. She’s had a crush on her best friend, Garrett, for far too long and now she’s done. She’s ready to move on and she’s got a plan to do it. Consider Getting Over Garrett Delaney as your guide to letting go and finding your own happiness. You got this!
5. First year of college
Leaving home for the first time? Staying home but all your friends are leaving? Trying the long distance relationship thing with your high school significant other? Yolodeals with all this and more. If you’ve never read the TTYL series I’d definitely recommend it before reading this one (plus there’s great advice in those as well). Besties Angela, Zoe, and Maddie have been friends all through high school but now that they’re going off to separate colleges they each face their own struggles and problems that almost any freshman will face. Lauren Myracle leaves no stone unturned and all the advice you’ll ever need to get you prepared (and excited) about college is in this novel.
6. First relationship
Falling in love for the first time can be hard. Especially when you’re a secret spy and the guy you’re dating has no idea. Of course, that’s probably not an issue for you. It is however, for Cammie Morgan, a spy in training who falls for Josh, a normal boy who knows nothing about the spy world. Although Cammie can speak multiple languages, kill someone with her bare hands, and track someone perfectly, when it comes to dating she doesn’t have a clue. In I’d Teel You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, follow Cammie as she learns the ins and outs of flirting, kissing, and first dates. You may even pick up some dating tips and you’ll definitely relate to her first date woes. What do I wear???
Want more books to fit your school woes? Comment a problem or scenario you’re worried about facing this school year and I’ll recommend a book for you. Try me!
Total number of books: 14 plus two prequels and a spin off series
It feels like ages ago when I was obsessed with this series. Honestly, I don’t remember what drew me in specifically. Was it the idea of a secret society within this posh boarding school? Or the typical outsider trying to make her way into the inner circle aspect? Or maybe it was the murder mystery side of things? Most likely it was for all these reasons.
The series follows new girl, Reed Brennan, as she enters into the Billings house, an all girls house at the posh boarding school Reed now attends on scholarship. Thrown into a life of the rich and somewhat famous Reed is forced to go through initiation as she struggles to become a Billings girl. Of course, being a Billings girl comes with multiple challenges and rules that make Reed question if being a Billings girl is really worth it. Filled with girl drama, boy drama, love triangles, a lot of lies, and murder, this series will suck you in and refuse to spit you out until you’ve read every book.
Off the top of my head I can’t even say I truly remember how this series ended but I do know at some point in my life I owned every single one of these books, including the prequels and a good portion of the spin off (which I loved even more than the original series, to be honest). However, I do remember that although I felt the series went off the rails a little bit as it went on I did like how it all came to an end. I believe everyone got the ending they deserved and I was satisfied with it.
This series is definitely a throwback I’d love to revisit. Although I remember the main plot points there’s so much I’m kind of fuzzy on and would like to remember. Plus it’s always interesting to reread a mystery once you know the truth. And I first fell in love with Ms. Scott’s writing style with this series (although I didn’t know at the time it was Scott that wrote these novels).
The Private series is still one of my favorite series written and if you haven’t given them a chance yet you definitely should. They’re really short and easy reads and perfect for the beach. Enjoy!
Nothing’s better than being able to lay by the beach and catch up on some much over due reading. This summer there are plenty of amazing books coming out that must be read. Additionally there’s a long list of books that have already been released that I can finally get a chance to read. Here’s my list of all the books you should check out this summer if you haven’t already.
1. Opposition (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – August 5
Anyone that follows my blog on a regular basis knows how obsessed I am with this series. Opposition is the last book of the series and although I’ll be sad to see it all end I’m so excited to know what happens. The wait is driving me crazy. If you haven’t read the previous books in the Lux series I would definitely recommend checking them out. The series focuses on a girl named Katy who just moved to a new town with her mom, after her father’s death from cancer. Their neighbors, the Blacks, are an interesting bunch that includes Daemon, a hot jerk that Katy can’t stand but is regrettably attracted to, and his sister Dee, an eager beaver who really wants to be Katy’s friend. Eventually Katy learns the truth about the Blacks (they’re aliens) and it turns her world upside down. From there drama, mystery, fights, and a lot of romance ensues. The first one isn’t the best but they get better over time. Trust me.
2. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – June 24
If you have any interest in adaptations this may be one of the coolest things ever. It’s a book adaptation of a YouTube series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The premise of the novel is a retelling of Austen’s original novel but in the point of view and context of the The Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. If you’ve never watched this YouTube series I encourage you to check it out. Even if you’ve never read Austen’s novel (finishing it is still on my to do list) you don’t have to read the book to love the show. Does having background knowledge make the show even more entertaining? Certainly. However, if you watched the 2005 movie version with Kiera Knightley you’re basically covered. Either way you should definitely watch the show and then read this book when it comes out because I believe it’s going to be fantastic.
3. Silver Shadows (A Bloodlines Novel) – July 29
It all began with Vampire Academy, which was an excellent series. Then Richelle Mead decided to stick with this awesome fictional world she created and do a spin off series focusing on a human Alchemist, Sydney. To give a little background as an Alchemist Sydney’s job is to ensure that humans don’t learn the truth about vampires and dhampirs (half vampire, half human people). Even though she’s meant to work with them she’s not supposed to like them, recognizing that they are actually abominations. Well it’s a little difficult for Sydney to stay true to her beliefs when she’s forced to live with vampires and dhampirs on a regular basis and learns they’re not as bad as they’re made out to be. In fact, not only can she like them but she can love them too. If you haven’t read any books in this series or the Vampire Academy series you have a lot of catching up to do but it’s totally worth it. Besides, if you read like I do you can finish all the books in no time; they’re that good.
4. Endless (A Shadowlands Novel) – July 22
This is the last book in Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott’s) awesome trilogy about the afterlife. The trilogy follows Rory Miller and her family who have run away from their hometown to escape a killer who’s after Rory. They end up in Jupiter Landing where things get strange. Or at least they do for Rory. People start to disappear yet no one seems to notice except Rory. Eventually Rory learns the truth about Jupiter Landing and it rocks her to her core. Definitely a must read and of course if you haven’t read the first two you should check them out before this book is released.
5. Smoke by Ellen Hopkins
I love Ellen Hopkins. I’ve read all her books, both adult and young adult and they’re great. The best part about her books is that they’re written in poetry style but they come together to tell a whole story. Smoke is the long awaited sequel to her book, Burned, about a Mormon girl who falls in love and risks everything to finally found her own independence away from her father. I’m definitely going to have to reread Burned before I dive into this one but I’m excited to finally have a chance to read it.
6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
When I first heard about this series I was very hesitant to read it because it just sounded like another dystopian trilogy to me and I was just so sick of reading dystopian fiction. However, now that I’ve given it some time and the movie has come out I feel ready to dive into another dystopian world. I’m currently number 159 on the waitlist for the book from my digital library. Here’s to hoping I actually get to read it before the summer is over. Fingers crossed. If you haven’t heard of this book before, it focuses on a young girl named Beatrice (aka Tris) who lives in a world where everyone is placed in a faction: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. Each person has to take a test that will determine their faction, however, for Beatrice she is not placed in a faction but instead is classified as “Divergent”. This goes against the society’s rules thereby putting her in danger. Similar to many other dystopian novels no one is really happy with the way this new world is set up and of course there’s those who are ready and willing to rebel against it. There’s also a lot of romance involved as well. Basically, it’s my kind of book.
7. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ever since I read Speak I’ve been obssessed with Laurie Halse Anderson. She has the ability to write about such serious topics that isn’t preachy but instead eye opening. In this novel she focuses on a young girl, Hayley, and her father, Andy, who return to Andy’s hometown so Hayley can attend school. Andy has been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder since his return from Iraq and it has greatly affected him and Hayley. This father-daughter pair tries to find peace by going back to Andy’s roots but one can’t run from their demons forever. I have a feeling this book will break my heart but in the most incredible way.
8. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Since The Fault in Our Stars there has been this fascination with teens with cancer, mostly because it’s a pretty scary thought to face death at such a young age. In Julie Murphy’s novel Alice is diagnosed with leukemia and in an effort to right all her wrongs and get revenge before she dies she creates a bucket list that she and her best friend fulfill. Regrettably, however, Alice then learns she’s in remission and she’s going to live a bit longer. Now she has to face the consequences of her actions. I’ve never read a book by Murphy before (which makes sense since this is her debut novel) but this book sounds like a heart warming and funny novel that will be good to read by the pool.
9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Another author I’ve never read before but am excited to try. This novel focuses on Kestrel, a 17 year old girl, who is the daughter of a general and is at the age when she has to choose whether to join the military or get married. Kestrel has no intention of doing either and instead buys a slave, Arin, who she begins to have feelings for but also has his own secrets. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this novel. There’s obviously going to be romance but I’m not sure what else. It seems like a dystopian novel but also different. Either way I’m excited to give it a chance and you can download the first five chapters free from Amazon if you want to try it before you buy it.
10. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I first heard about this novel when I interviewed Kieran Scott a few months ago. When I first read the synopsis it reminded me of Frozen (the book not the movie). Alexandra Bracken’s novel focuses on a girl named Ruby who has extraordinary powers that got her sent away to a government rehabilitation camp when she was a child. Now having escaped she’s on the run with other kids just like her. The groups leader, Liam, begins to fall for Ruby but scared of what getting close to him could mean Ruby is determined to keep a distance. The first in the series I think this will be a great adventure/love story that I will quickly fall in love with.
I’ll definitely be adding to this list of books throughout the summer but for now I believe this is a good start. Happy reading!
Kieran Scott, Kate Brian, and Emma Harrison. Combine these three amazing writers and you get one amazing woman: Kieran Scott. Writing two New York Times best selling series along with over 50 books Scott has taken over the young adult literary scene.
As Scott churns out about two books per year and always seems to be working on her next project, it’s amazing that she does anything but write all day. But she does. Scott is more than just an extraordinary writer; she’s also a regular, every day person just like the rest of us. Scott took me through the history behind her names, what she does when she’s not writing, what she’s got planned next, and how we can somehow become her someday (maybe).
The Secret Behind the Names
Many young readers have heard of “Kate Brian” but not everyone knows that Brian and Scott are the same person. Many have tried to figure out what prompts the change in names when it comes to Scott’s writing but the truth is probably less complicated than you think.
Scott, who began as an editor, had a friend who worked for Alloy Entertainment (best known for their work on Pretty Littler Liars and The Vampire Diaries). The company had a book in the works, The Princess and the Pauper, which had been assigned to a different writer at the time.
“The author wanted to have two different names and she wanted to keep her name for her adult books,” said Scott. “[The publishers] came up with this fake name, ‘Kate Brian’, for this work. The work came in very late [however] and it was badly written. My friend called me and asked me if I would be willing to rewrite it for them but I had to rewrite it under this name because they already printed the commercial material.”
Thus began Scott’s transition into ‘Kate Brian’. “Then the publisher wanted more books by ‘Kate Brian’ and that was me,” said Scott. Scott now uses “Kate Brian” for all her Hyperion published books and Kieran Scott for all her books published by Simon & Schuster.
Besides Brian there is one other pen name that you can find Scott’s books under that many people don’t know about. “Emma Harrison was a name I came up with to write TV tie-ins and things that weren’t my original ideas,” said Scott. “I wrote things like Charmed, Everwood, Alias, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen books and Disney books under that name, and then a few paperback romances.”
Different from her pen name “Kate Brian” Scott came up with this one all on her own. “Emma Thompson is my favorite actress and Harrison Ford is my favorite actor,” she said. “I’m not sure whether I’ll ever use it again unless someone comes to me with a great job that I can’t refuse.”
“It seemed like an impossible thing to achieve.”
Though it may seem crazy to us now, Scott didn’t always think she would be an author. “I never really considered that I could be a novel writer when I was growing up,” said Scott. “It seemed like that type of thing that a lot of people aspire to but only a few achieve, like being an actor or president or something.”
Although Scott grew up in a household where reading and writing was the norm Scott still feared that being a novelist wouldn’t happen for her. Therefore she set her sights on a different goal.
“I set out to be a journalist,” said Scott. “I was an English and journalism major and I didn’t really like it that much. I just never had the self-confidence to go up to someone and ask for an interview. That was always really hard for me.”
As Scott, got closer to graduation and realized journalism was not for her she began to wonder what she would do. That’s when she saw an ad for a job that was perfect for her.
“I answered an ad for an editorial position at this book company,” said Scott. “It was really the first time that I considered that people edited books. It’s not just the author; there are editors also. And that’s sort of how I got into it. And I thought if I could make a living by reading, how great would that be?”
Through her experience working as an editor Scott began to learn how making a book worked and started writing her own fiction again. “After a few years of working for hire I broke out on my own to see if I could make a living out of it and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
She’s Just Like Us
Many people know Scott as “Kieran Scott” and “Kate Brian”, the writers but what many of her fans don’t know is who is Kieran Scott, the person? Besides being an amazing author, Scott’s biggest role is being a wife and mom. Scott has two sons, ages six and three, who keep her busy and when she’s not doing that (or rather during that) Scott is just like anyone of us.
“I spend a lot of the time at the gym,” said Scott. “I also like to bake. If I have a free Saturday or Sunday afternoon I’m always baking cookies or cake or something and then going to the gym to work them off.”
Outside of the gym, Scott is also an avid reader and TV watcher, though she may not be watching what you’re into. “I love to read and I’m a huge TV addict although whenever someone says to me, ‘Do you watch Game of Thrones?’ I say, ‘No’ or ‘Do you watch Breaking Bad?’ and I say, ‘No.’ then there seems like there’s twenty TV shows that I don’t watch but I feel like I watch so much TV.”
When it comes to Scott’s reading habits she can’t help but stray back to her own genre of fiction. “I end up reading a lot of teen fiction because I do all these panels and I hear all these people talk about their books and I really want to read them because they all sound amazing so that’s kind of an occupational hazard.”
Some of her recent reads include The Darkest Minds series, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, and various thrillers to help her try her hand at writing a thriller novel. “I like when a book surprises me even when it’s not a book that’s supposed to surprise you.” Just like us.
So far this year, there are already two books by Scott scheduled for release: Endless, the last book in the Shadowlands trilogy and Only Everything, the first book in her newest trilogy that ties in some mythology into a romantic series.
Though the added mythological aspect to the book definitely makes the books sound even more interesting, this wasn’t part of Scott’s original plan. “I actually really wanted to write a straight forward romance series,” said Scott. “I pitched it to my editor and agent and they liked the character but they felt like the series needed a hook and I was really annoyed honestly, because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. But then I started to think about it and thought if I want it to be really romantic, what went along with romance? And it just hit me one night: cupid.”
From there Scott started thinking about Roman mythology and how it could be incorporated into her newest novel. Going back to sixth grade, when she was last obsessed with the topic, Scott decided to do some research and came up with an even better idea for her newest novel that also incorporated her love for a fish out of water story.
Now, Only Everything focuses on a teenaged female Cupid who is banished to Earth and must match three couples in order to save the love of her life from the wrath of the Gods. And she has to do all of this powerless.
“I just imagined what it would be like for a goddess who is so used to getting what she wants and being able to do whatever she wants, and counting on these powers to be thrust into Earth without these powers,” said Scott. “And really she has a complete inability to act as a human and so that was so much fun to write.”
Therefore what started as a disappoint for Scott who feared she wouldn’t be able to write what she wanted to write, it actually became what she referred to as her favorite thing she’s ever written which is evident by the fact that she’s already finished all three books.
This doesn’t mean Scott’s done writing, of course. Currently she’s working on another romance novel and trying her hand at an adult thriller. She never stops.
Now that you know exactly who Kieran Scott is, it’s no surprise that you’re wondering how you can become her. Well here’s her advice for one of the most well known struggles of an aspiring writer: getting stuck.
“Go back and reread what you’ve written and see if there’s something in what you’ve written that made you get stuck,” she advised. “There’s sometimes an answer in what you’ve already written as to why you’re blocked.”
Also, Scott advises to just write, even when you’re not sure what you’re writing about. “If you have a day when you have time to write but you can’t seem to get started just write whatever,” she said. “Write something even if it sucks or you think it’s the dumbest thing ever. I have done that where I start out and I write some really lame dialogue and after a few paragraphs, I get into the groove and I start writing stuff that’s good.”
To learn more about Kieran Scott you can visit her website or follow her on her one of her Tumblrs (here and here). Only Everything is set to release in stores and online in May 2014.
I love Kate Brian (aka Kieran Scott). Literally, I’ve read almost every book she’s written and I just believe she’s generally a great person. I hope to meet her in person one day but until then I’m totally happy stalking her on Facebook and Twitter.
That being said it should be no surprise that I loved Hereafter, the latest book in her newest trilogy, Shadowlands.
The premise of this trilogy (*spoilers ahead if you haven’t read Shadowlands yet*) is Rory along with her father and sister, Darcy, were killed by a serial killer who was stalking Rory. The family was supposed to be on their way to a safe haven to hide from their killer, Stephen Nells, but died before they made it. However, they don’t know this and believe that they are actually in a town called Juniper Landing. The truth, however, is that Juniper Landing is a sort of purgatory where souls go until they are either sent to the Shadowlands (hell?) or the Light (heaven?).
Rory, however, is a special case; she is a Lifer. Its her job along with the other Lifers to help these souls get to their next destination. The Lifers themselves, however, never leave unless they did something really terrible. In this second installment of the trilogy things at Juniper Landing are getting weird; there’s changes in nature that shouldn’t be happening and a lot of suspicious activity occurring including more souls going to the Shadowlands than should be.
Plot summary out of the way I thought this book was fantastic. Brian presented an interesting concept with this new trilogy and in an interesting way. Though the majority of the novel is written from Rory’s point of view there are small chapters every few chapters or so that are written from the “villian’s” point of view. In the first novel it was clearly Nell’s point of view but in this novel Brian adds more mystery by not telling us who that is until the end. Or so she leads us to believe.
I’m not sure I trust Brian enough to believe that we’ve fully solved the case in this last novel. She’s left us with a viable suspect and Rory and her friends seem to believe they’ve caught the culprit but I’m not sure I believe it. Or maybe I’m in denial. Who knows?
Sadly, we won’t know for sure until July 22, when the next and last book in the trilogy is released. That’s a book I’ll definitely be pre-ordering to be directly delivered to my Kindle as soon as it’s out.
I would highly recommend reading this book and obviously the first book in this trilogy. Amongst all the death and souls drama this novel also includes love triangles, family drama, mystery, and of course a lot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Brian has continuously succeeded in writing dark and mysterious novels since the success of her Private and spin-off series Privilege books and it’s evident that she has not lost her touch.
Stars: 5 out of 5
Borrow or Buy: Definitely buy. This is a book you’re going want to read again and again looking for more clues. Unless you’re going to borrow it from a friend who you know will let you read it more than once, this is one you’ll definitely want on your own bookshelf.