As an avid reader, I adore using Goodreads. It’s the perfect place to organize all of my books and reviews, to place books on my to-read shelf, to vote in their annual book awards, and to get recommendations for the latest reads in genres I love. As an author, it’s also a great place to connect with readers, and to get the true pulse of what the reading community has to say about your work. No other site brings readers and authors together in quite the same way, breaking down barriers and allowing the whole literary community to take part in discussing their favorite books.
Did I mention the to-read shelf? It’s one of my favorite features of Goodreads, as it allows you to easily organize all the books you have your eye on. (The only problem is the sheer volume of books you probably have your eye on).
I recently updated my own to-read shelf, and here are the top five books that made the cut:
Ever the Hunted, Erin Summerill (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, December 27, 2016)
Young adult fantasy is booming right now, and I couldn’t be happier. Summerill’s novel (the first in her planned Clash of Kingdoms series) looks like a great addition to the genre. It tells the story of Britta Flannery, a teen who’s the daughter of a famed bounty hunter. Britta is more comfortable with a bow than a gown, and when her beloved father is killed, she goes on the hunt to find his killer. Unfortunately, the main suspect is the boy she used to love. I adore tortured couples who clearly still love each other, which is why I can’t wait to dive into this romantic and adventurous tale.
Harley & Rose, Carmen Jenner (September 29, 2016)
I love a good sparkly cover (+ that man bun!), so I was instantly drawn to Jenner’s latest romance. Once I read the plot, I was hooked; I need to get my hands on this book! Rose has always loved her lifelong friend Harley, even when he was planning to marry someone else. But when he’s left at the altar, she sees her chance to finally let him know how she feels, moving out of the friend zone for good. Rose seems completely devoted to Harley, though Harley’s feelings definitely seem a bit murkier. I’ll just have to read Harley & Rose ASAP to find out how this love story plays out.
I’ll Take You There, Wally Lamb (Harper, November 22, 2016)
I’ve been a fan of Lamb’s ever since I read She’s Come Undone back in high school. He’s a master at creating complicated characters who go through life’s many ups and downs. Which is why I’m definitely ready to read I’ll Take You There. This time Lamb is tackling the paranormal, with a story about a film scholar, Felix Funicello, who is suddenly visited by Lois Weber, the ghost of an actress and director from the silent film era. Using their shared love of film, Weber shows Funicello moments from his life — secrets, relationships, conflicts — all surrounding the women who shaped him. The strange concept behind this book is definitely intriguing, and knowing Lamb it will be deep and heartfelt as well.
Alterations, Stephanie Scott (Bloomsbury Spark, December 6, 2016)
This book looks completely adorable, especially as it’s being called a cross between the movie Sabrina and Project Runway. YES, PLEASE. Amelia Blanco loves designing clothes almost as much as she loves Ethan Laurenti — one of the sons of the rich family her parents cook for. But then she gets the chance to go to NYC to study fashion, and she returns to Miami confident, stylish, and polished. Now Ethan is finally interested, but as they work on a project together, Amelia starts to grow closer to his brother, Liam. Love triangles still get me every time, so I know this push/pull between the two brothers will be deliciously awesome.
The Trouble with Dukes, Grace Burrowes (Forever, December 20, 2016)
Sometimes you just want to read a historical romance filled with rakes and dukes and young women trying to navigate the London Season. Burrowes’ The Trouble with Dukes looks especially promising, which is why it’s definitely on my to-read shelf. Hamish MacHugh, the Duke of Murdoch, has a reputation as a brutal soldier and ruthless murderer. But Megan Windham is the only one willing to look past his gruff exterior to the sweet man inside. When he teaches her to waltz, it starts the beginning of their love affair, one that’s complicated by both of their pasts.