Help Me Pick My Vacation Reads! | June 2016

Am I Too Easy Of A Rater- (2) 2.jpg

Hi guys! So, if you have been following this blog for a while, you may know that I’m a competitive swimmer and absolutely love the water. Because of this, my parents decided to get me something swimming-related for my birthday way back in December – tickets for the Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska!

If you don’t know too much about swimming, the Olympic Swim Trials spans over an 8-day period and is the most competitive swim meet in the world. It is also one of the most exciting and emotional sports events in the world because it’s the moment that decides whether or not thousands of swimmers will become an Olympian for the rest of their lives.

I have tickets to go see the first four days of this meet, which means that I have a few hours each day between prelims and finals to hang out and go to tourist attractions around the city. And when I say “hanging out,” you probably already know that I mean reading!

Yesterday, I went on a library spree and I’m very pleased with the books I checked out! However, I did pick up a pretty large number of books (10 to be exact, but I’ve already read 2), so I need your guys’ help picking out the four books I should take.

Anyway, on to the book haul!

Book Haul

24039424.jpg   25063781.jpg   24680262.jpg   25663637.jpg

18369372.jpg   23677341.jpg   22692740.jpg

Have you guys read any of the books I listed above? What did you think? Which books do you think I should bring on my trip?


8 Beach Reads I’m Planning On Reading This Summer

Am I Too Easy Of A Rater- (1) 2.jpg

Hi guys! So, summer has started, and you all know what that means….beach reads! The following list I compiled to share some of the beach reads I’m planning on reading this summer.

17838528.jpg   15832932.jpg   16101126.jpg  16034187.jpg   16067180.jpg   8535449.jpg

8613620.jpg   9091814.jpg

Have you read any of the books I listed above? What did you think? What are some of the beach reads you’re planning on reading this summer?

Now Quoting: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

13330943.jpgThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Doubleday on September 13th 2011

Page Count: 387

Genre(s): Adult, fantasy, historical fiction, magical realism, romance

Format: Paperback, purchased

Would I recommend? Absolutely! I don’t read very many adult books because I tend to grow bored of them quite easily, but this one held my attention the entire time. The plot is so incredibly creative and unique and the author’s use of imagery and figurative language is absolutely astounding. I loved every second of it! I would especially recommend this novel to fans of Bone Gap and Challenger Deep.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. description

I just finished this book a few days ago, and I absolutely loved it! It did take me a bit of time for me to get into it at the beginning, but after I did, I was captivated. This book is one of the most beautifully-written novels I’ve read in a long, long time.

For those of you who don’t yet know, “Now Quoting” is a feature I try to do on my blog every week or two in which I share a quote from a recent read that particularly resonated with me and share my thoughts on it. I had a bit of a hard time choosing the quote from this book that I wanted to share with you guys because it contains so many amazing quotes, but I think I found my winner!

“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.” 2.jpg

I just loved this quote, especially the first line. “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose…” This quote shows how stories can quite literally change someone’s life. Stories can teach you an important lesson, allow you to see the world through someone else’s eyes, and inspire you like you’ve never been inspired before.

I guess I just really related to this quote because while I may not be the best writer in the world, I feel like it’s my role and my gift to move people and drive people with my words. To educate them and empower them and inspire them. This is the reason why I get up early each morning and go to bed late each night to read and write. I want to change the world with my words.

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think? What are some books that you’ve found particularly quotable lately?

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Am I Too Easy Of A Rater- 2.jpg

I know I say this a lot, but isn’t it insane how quickly time passes? It’s already the middle of the year, folks! And you all know what that means….it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Now, I wasn’t actually tagged to do this post, nor have I seen this tag anywhere lately in the interwebs (but let’s face it: I haven’t been an active blogger at all lately, so what do I know?), but I remembered seeing it a year ago over at Cait’s blog and decided to do it! (Yes, a year late. Whatever.)

Now, onto the tag!

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2016.

17571215.jpgThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

By far my favorite read of 2016, and my only 5-star so far! (I know, that is kind of sad. We’re already halfway through the year and I’ve only read one 5-star book! I have read lots of amazing 4-stars, though.) This book affected me so much on so many levels; it’s been one of the most influential books of my life. I can’t even begin to explain how much this book meant to me, so I’ll just give you a link to my review of it. (Please check it out; it’s one of my best reviews! 🙂 ) Anyway, I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who is going through a tough time in their life. This book is not only a great comfort read; it also contains some important lessons and revelations that literally changed my life. I loved seeing the world through Quinn’s eyes.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016.

13206760.jpg Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Remember at the beginning of the year how my one of my goals was to start reading more series? Well, HAHAHAHA, that plan failed. I’ve only read 2 series this year, and the Lunar Chronicles definitely win this one. The first, third, and fourth book were pretty good for me, but the second book – Scarlet – was AMAZING. This is a very character-driven book, and while I didn’t necessarily dislike any of the characters in this series, none of the other characters even came close to my love for both Scarlet and Wolf, the main characters in this particular novel. If you haven’t for some reason started this series despite the extreme hype in the YA book blogging community, GET ON IT!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To.

17838528.jpg The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Being the contemporary fan I am, this one would no doubt go to Morgan Matson’s newest book: The Unexpected Everything. I saw it when I went to the bookstore a few days ago, and OH MY GOODNESS that cover is gorgeous! (I was super tempted to buy a shiny hardcover copy of it, but unfortunately I was there to buy my friend a present and not myself. 😦 ) Anyway, I have absolutely adored all of Morgan Matson’s other books, and this one sounds even more interesting! If you’ve read this one, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year.

27161846.jpg The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

This book technically came out a week ago, but I’m waiting until it comes out in paperback to buy myself a copy. I can’t say I know very much about this book, but once again, isn’t that cover the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen?! I literally want to print it out and frame it and put it on a wall in my room; that’s how pretty it is. Also, contemporary.


Biggest Disappointment.

13455498.jpgAnything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

I wanted so, so much to love this book – it sounded exactly like my kind of read! Unfortunately, I ended up being really disappointed. Although it was a relatively interesting and fast-paced book, there were still a ton of things that bugged me. The plot seemed disorganized and all over the place, the characters were flawless and boring, the writing style didn’t flow at all, and the ending made me so mad that I literally through the book across the room when I finished reading. Here’s the link to my review if you’re interested.

 Biggest Surprise.

18075234.jpgChallenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

I don’t know why I didn’t expect much from this book. It might have been that many of the reviews I had read on it said it was extremely slow-moving and confusing, or that the synopsis was so vague and relatively unexciting. But either way, I was so, so wrong. Challenger Deep is definitely one of my favorites so far from 2016, and probably one of the most beautifully-written books I’ve read in my life. The sheer quality of Shusterman’s use of imagery and symbolism and figurative language is absolutely astounding; although I admit I was a bit confused in some parts, getting to the end result was definitely worth it. An amazingly-executed and moving novel!

Favorite New Author.

157776211.jpgLeila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life was definitely a favorite for me of the first half of 2016. (I know, I have a lot of favorites!) Although this is the only book I’ve read yet by her, I had no hesitation whatsoever top add her to my favorites list after I finished this novel. Her writing is upbeat and lyrical, her plot unique and captivating, and her characters quirky and genuine. This was an extremely powerful read for me when I read it in early January of this year, and it helped me get through some tough decisions I had to make at the time. I will definitely be looking forward to getting my hands on her other books!

Newest Fictional Crush.

17571215.jpgColton Thomas

Because not only is he an adorable, amazing, sweet, hilarious, intelligent, nerdy, quirky guy – but he was also an extremely moving person to read about and he helped me see the world in a different way. (Yes, I’m referring to him as an actual person. DON’T JUDGE ME.) So, thank you so much for that, Jessi Kirby. PAIGE AND COLTON THOMAS ALL THE WAY! ❤


 Newest Favorite Character. 

23466626.jpgLiterally everyone from Dreamology by Lucy Keating. Because oh my goodness, each and every one of them are so damn adorable. I’M IN LOVE.




Book That Made You Cry.

LITERALLY ALL OF THEM. (Yes, every single book I’ve read in 2016. I kid you not.)

Book That Made You Happy.

10188580.jpgHunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a particularly uplifting book (HA – as you can probably tell from the title and cover, it’s rather dark), but I was surprised to find that I actually adored reading it. I had just recovered from a massive reading slump, so it’s easy to understand how happy I was when I wanted to get up at 5:30 every morning to read. This book turned out to be AMAZING – the characters were quirky and hilarious, the plot was one of the most unique ideas I’d ever come across, and the writing was lovely. Highly recommend!

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation.

Me_Before_You_(film).jpgMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

I haven’t seen very many book-to-movie adaptations this year, but Me Before You was no doubt my favorite. Although there were a few things I wasn’t too happy about and it didn’t completely live up to the book (but then again, what movie does?), the overall result was definitely positive. The casting was in my opinion the strong part of the film – the actors playing Lou and Will were exactly how I imagined them to be! I didn’t get bored at any point during this film, and it certainly had the entire audience crying bucketfuls.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year.

I am rather fond of many of the reviews I’ve done this year, especially on Things We Know By Heart, Anything But Ordinary, and Maybe In Another Life. Also, I liked the collection of mini reviews I did back in March.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year.

Definitely Dreamology by Lucy Keating. (See above.)

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year.

All of them. If you’re friends with me on Goodreads, you can view my never-ending TBR list.

But, particularly:

  • One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  • Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  • Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  • Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
  • 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

I Tag….

As always, feel free to ignore this post if you don’t want to do the tag. Happy reading! 🙂

Top 10 Beach Reads!


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hi there! I realize that I haven’t blogged in a reeeeeeeeeally long time, but I’m back again and excited about some of the posts I have planned for the future! This week’s topic was technically supposed to be your top ten books you’re looking forward to the second half of the year, but because I have very few anticipated reads coming out soon (all the books I was looking forward to came out earlier this year), I decided to settle on a different topic. While I was scrolling through all of the TTT archives, I found a great topic perfect for the start of summer: top 10 great beach reads! If you guys have been reading this blog long enough, you definitely know how much I love myself a good beach read. 😉

12049227.jpgIn Honor by Jessi Kirby

Honestly, any Jessi Kirby book could be on this list, but I chose this one because it’s a road trip book and it has one of my absolute favorite OTPs! You guys know how much I love Jessi Kirby; her writing is gorgeous, her characters are fleshed-out and realistic, and she always has such a unique concept to write about. They’re fluffy and cute and light-hearted for the most part, but there are definitely some deeper moments as well – my favorite kind of book!


23466626.jpgDreamology by Lucy Keating

I actually read this book a couple months ago for the Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon and it completely took me by surprise by how much I loved it! And OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I completely fell in love with the couple in this story. Both characters are so adorable and nerdy and amazing! It’s one of those books that really make you wish you could be best friends with the main characters. Super sweet and fluffy, with a unique premise that definitely keeps your attention. Highly recommend!


19547856.jpgSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

If you’ve been around the YA book blogging community for very long, you’ve definitely read – or heard of, at the very least – this book. This is one of my absolute favorite reads, as well as perhaps the cutest book you’ll ever come in contact with. It will make you laugh, lift your spirits, and make you root for the couple in this book to get together like you never have before. It’s also incredibly well-written and will suck you in within the first chapter. An absolute must-read!


15777621.jpgThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I loved this book so, so much – definitely a favorite from 2016. It does deal with some deeper themes and is a definite tear-jerker, which is why some of you might be surprised to see this book on this list. However, darker aspects aside, this is an incredibly uplifting and inspiring book about how discovering your true passion – music, in Elise’s case – can literally save your life. The unique writing style definitely took me some time to get used to, but after I did, I recognized the extreme talent and passion Leila Sales wrote with.


1627267.jpgAudrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Hands-down the funniest book I’ve ever read. (Okay, I don’t read that many funny books – I’m more of a fan of deeper and darker books – but trust me, it will have you laughing out loud the entire time.) It’s also got pretty much my favorite OTP of all time (honestly, though – can James please marry me instead? Thanks.) and OH MY GOSH I loved every single character. It also has an unique and hilarious concept – seriously, you will be laughing out loud just by reading the synopsis – and it’s incredibly well-written. When any of my friends come to me looking for a good laugh-out-loud read, this is always my first recommendation.

Have you guys been enjoying the start of summer as much as I have? What are some of your favorite reads that you would add to this list?



I Started Writing a Book! *cue ecstatic happy dancing*

Hi guys! I know…..I haven’t blogged in a super duper long time. But, as you may have guessed based on the title of this blog post, I have a reason for this…..I started writing again! Usually it takes quite a bit to get me motivated enough to decide to write a book, but I got a burst of inspiration last week and I luckily haven’t stopped writing since then.

Anyway, I was kind of hesitant at first to share this with you guys because I wasn’t sure what you would think, but I realized that I really wanted your feedback on it. So, the following is an excerpt from my current project – sort of like the prologue, if you want to call it that. I hope you enjoy it!

In the beginning, there was fire.

Deep shades of red and yellow dotted my vision. I blinked, trying to grasp my surroundings. I couldn’t see anything beyond the wall of constantly moving flames. Fire.

November, my thoughts sang. That’s your name. November.

And eyes. I remembered them, bright green eyes, staring into mine, as if they were trying to bore a hole there. The image was so clear, it seemed as if they were right there in front of me.

That’s…. that’s all I remembered.

It seemed impossible. Knowledge flooded my thoughts; so much knowledge that it seemed like my brain would burst from all the information it contained. And yet, somehow, I still couldn’t remember anything about my life besides my own name. And those eyes.

One thing I knew for sure: I had to get out of here. But where is here, anyway? A spark caught onto a lock of my long dark hair, and I quickly shook it out. I got up shakily to my feet, hands trembling. Slowly, I managed to put one foot in front of the other until the movement somewhat resembled a tremulous run.

Flames jumped out at me, reaching for some unknown force I couldn’t see. A whirlwind of colors was racing me, chasing me, hunting me down.

And then it hit me. Panic.

White-hot fear stabbed me like a knife. I was nearly blinded by the flames, and I had nowhere to run. My memories had dissipated, leaving me here with nowhere to hide, nowhere to escape. I couldn’t keep on running; I couldn’t go on any longer. I collapsed, my legs giving out beneath me.

Fire caught all around me. I felt it first on my feet, slowly climbing up to my knees and my thighs. A pain like I had never experienced blazed through my veins, and my vision clouded over until I could barely make out the silhouette of the flames. A realization hit me suddenly like a shot to the stomach: I was being burnt alive.

All of a sudden, the pain diminished. My desperate fear had somehow morphed into an overwhelming sense of calm that wrapped around me like a security blanket. I was safe. This was supposed to happen; it had been planned all along. I was being sucked into the earth, just like my memories had been. It would be like I had never even existed.

And then I saw her: the girl. She was draped in a long silk dress that perfectly complemented her young figure, and her blonde curls blew behind her, keeping in rhythm with the dance of the flames. The flames crept up her body, blackening the end of her dress, and yet it appeared as if she felt no pain. But what startled me most were her bright green eyes. I felt an overwhelming sense of deja vu. I knew her; her eyes were in my vision.

My thoughts were interrupted when she opened her mouth. Because then she spoke.

“November,” she said. “Remember. Listen to the past. You are the only one who can.”

I tried to answer her, to ask what she was talking about, to ask where we were. But it was as if my lips had turned to stone.


A hand extended out in front of me, reaching for the flaming girl. The hand’s fingernails were painted a deep red to match the flames. I realized with a jolt that the hand belonged to November. Me, I reminded myself. I’m November.

The girl gazed at my hand, at my face. A sad smile tugged at her mouth. Her once-piercing green eyes seemed to have softened. In fact, it seemed that everything had lost its color. The flames’ deep red shade had softened to a dull red, and I looked at my fingernails to see that they had, too. The girl’s once emerald green dress had faded to a shade that matched her pale eyes.

One last time, she called out to me. “November.”

The flames disappeared, leaving my body new and unscathed. My dark hair was spread out all around me like a crown. I looked up to see a tiny piece of blue sky in a world full of grays and blacks and whites.

Before I could manage to lift up my hand and grab that tiny piece of bright blue sky, to hold it, to touch it, to taste it, the sky turned to a dark gray color to match the rest of my surroundings. A deep sense of dread and longing filled the pit of my stomach. No, I wanted to call out to that tiny piece of once bright blue sky. Come back.

But my lips had once again turned to stone, and it seemed like the rest of my body had, too. I thought of the flaming girl’s piercing green eyes, of my deep red fingernails, of that tiny piece of bright blue sky that had looked so out of place in a world full of grays and blacks and whites.

I closed my eyes, and the world went black.

Soooooo….what did you think? Please, don’t be afraid to critique….getting some suggestions from you guys was the reason I decided to share this post with you in the first place! I value your opinions SO HIGHLY; letting me know what you thought would honestly mean the world to me.

I hope you enjoyed it, and happy reading! 🙂

Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby | A Letter to Jessi Kirby

 17571215.jpgThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Published by HarperTeen on April 21st 2015

Page Count: 304

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming-of-age, grief

Format: Hardcover, library copy (but will be purchasing a shiny hardcover copy of ASAP!)

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely. This is by far the best book I’ve encountered this year and one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read. A unique concept, lovely characters, and a brilliant, long-lasting effect. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Rating: ★★★★★

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake. description

My Thoughts

I really, really tried to word a review that would do this book justice, but I just couldn’t. Not in my typical review format, anyway. One of my blogging resolutions for 2016 was to play around with some different review formats, so who knows, maybe I’ll try doing something like this again in the future! There’s no need to worry about spoilers in this review; as always, there is none. Hopefully reading this post will give you a little insight as to why I loved and needed this book so much.

Dear Jessi,

I went into Things We Know By Heart with pretty high expectations. After you completely stole my heart with your lovely novel In Honor, how couldn’t I? When I was perusing Goodreads one day and stumbled across your latest novel (and this was before I even knew you existed, mind you), I instantly fell in love with the title, cover, synopsis, everything. I knew from that day that Things We Know By Heart would be a definite 5-star read, and I certainly wasn’t wrong.

Things We Know By Heart was a beautiful, utterly perfect novel. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. I read some reviews and noticed that a few people said that the novel’s concept is a bit cliche or stereotyped, but really, how could it be? There may have been a few common tropes I recognized, but every novel has those. The concept in its entirety is so unique, so brilliant, that I don’t think any other author has ever written anything like it before. And if you do know of a book that deals with a similar topic, please point me in its direction!

I already knew from reading In Honor that your writing style is gorgeous, Jessi, but Things We Know By Heart gave a whole new definition to amazing writing. Your prose is so seamless and flows so well that I found myself reading every sentence twice in effort to savor every word. There was also lots of dialogue, which I adored. What struck me most about your writing, though, was the descriptions. I absolutely loved how you described the setting of the novel in such a powerful and poetic way that left me thinking, hey, I want to go there! A few days ago in English class, we were discussing how setting can make such a big impact on the overall effect and theme statement of a book, and I really saw this aspect come into play with your novel. A big part of your book took place at a beachy setting, which I really appreciated because I could relate to Quinn’s and Colton’s connection with nature on a very personal level.

When I read this novel, I was in a pretty tough place. It was near the end of the year and I was stressing out about all the assignments teachers were piling up, I hadn’t read any good books lately, I hadn’t gotten a chance to go on an ocean swim recently, swim practice was super stressful. Honestly, I was just really tired. I felt like I needed a long break, like life was this never-ending cycle of stressfulness and tough situations and I had to fight to make it through every day. This is why I was so, so thankful that I read Things We Know By Heart when I did. I needed to read that novel desperately just then, and you, Jessi, allowed me to do just this. So thank you. Thank you so much.

Although I thankfully hadn’t ever gone through an experience similar to the one Quinn had to go through, I still related to her and empathized with her so much. You have a way of carving out characters that manage to find their way into your heart within the first few chapters, and I’m so grateful for this. I’m so grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting Quinn, and of learning about – no, living – her incredible story. She is such a strong, unique, and very real character, and I genuinely felt while reading this book that I experienced some degree of every emotion she went through. I understood her, I empathized with her, I cried with her. At first glance you might think that it’s unrealistic and naive for a young character to be going through this much grief after the death of a boyfriend, but once you get to know her and understand the bond she and Trent shared, it makes so much sense. I feel like going looking for Trent’s heart recipient was exactly what I would have done if I was in her shoes. I understand why she wanted to look for Colton in effort to find a piece of one of the people she loved the most. She was incredibly strong, but she definitely had some flaws, too. Her mistakes and weaknesses were what really made me be able to love her and relate to her so much.

Alright, now I should talk about Colton. Earlier in my review I talked about some of the aspects of your book that made such a lasting impact on me, but in all honesty, Colton’s character was what really made the difference. I started this novel feeling small, tired, and relatively insignificant. I finished this novel feeling empowered, inspired, and ultimately fulfilled. This was the result of having the pleasure of meeting a lovely character by the name of Colton Thomas.

Colton’s character was just wonderful. He was one of the most real, fleshed-out characters I had ever met, and definitely one of my favorites. He’s sweet, quirky, idealistic, weird, observant, and independent. He cares so much for Quinn and his family, and he’s a real gentleman. He’s strong, flawed, and pragmatic. He has had to go through so many tough experiences, and these experiences have helped shape the lovely person he is. What struck me most about his character, however, was his passion for nature. He literally lived every day like it was his last because his experiences had taught him to, and he taught Quinn to do the same. He fed his passions boldly and fearlessly, and invited others to do the same. He had such a deep connection with nature – the ocean, in particular – that it immediately made me want to put on a bathing suit and dive in to the 56 degree surf.

In fact, that’s just what I did after finishing this novel. I put your book down, careful not to bend any of the pages, slipped into my favorite one-piece, drove down to the beach, and plunged into the frigid ocean. I floated out there for a while, feeling the waves lap against my body, feeling the seaweed thread in between my fingers, watching the way the sun set over the water, feeding my passion boldly and fearlessly just as Colton had. This book was one of the most powerful, inspirational, impactful books I’ve ever read.

So thank you, Jessi. Thank you for creating characters that I could empathize with and relate to. Thank you for your beautiful writing that made me want to get up at 6am every morning to read it. Thank you for making me smile, cry, laugh, swoon, think, and act. Thank you for creating such wonderful relationships between your characters and your readers (AKA, me). Thank you for inspiring me and moving me in a way that no book has ever inspired me and moved me before. I appreciate it so much. If you ever end up reading this letter, Jessi, I hope it gives you even the smallest insight to how much I loved and appreciated you book. Really, it meant the world to me.

Love, Paige

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Woah, that was a long post. To everyone who managed to get to the bottom of all that: thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed it, despite my rambles.

Let’s talk: have you read Things We Know By Heart? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Jessi Kirby book?