Stories for Coffee's BLOG
Synopsis: Paradise in Aruba quickly gets gruesome in this “ripped-from-the-headlines thriller (Kirkus Reviews)” with a twist that defies the imagination.
It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine…
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller
My thoughts: This is the type of novel that you don’t need a bookmark for because you’ll end up reading it in one sitting. Dangerous Girls is the mystery novel that I didn’t know I needed in my life, and it has successfully become one of my favorite novels of 2016. If I were to sum up this novel in one sentence, I’d say that this is a YA equivalent of Gone Girl (don’t worry the plot isn’t identical). This novel is addicting and will engross you from the first page until the very last. It is a novel full of twists and turns, taking you through different points in time in order to figure out not only who killed Elise, but why.
Dangerous Girls follows Anna going through the investigation and brutal trial followint the murder of her best friend, Elise. The story also jumps back in time in order to show you past memories of Anna with Elise, her boyfriend, and her other friends spanning from years ago to days before the murder. It helps set the stage for the reader to realize that the relationships in this novel weren’t picture perfect. In fact, they had so many flaws that they were bound to crumble under the slightest tension. Haas expertly uses the scattered timeline of the novel in order to present the reader with important facts first and then unfolds secrets and twists along the way. It successfully kept me on the edge the entire time, wondering what had happened to lead up to Elise’s murder.
Carry On | Bacon Maple Cinnamon Rolls
In Rainbow Rowell’s novel, Carry On, the protagonist, Simon Snow, is described to smell like bacon and cinnamon rolls. Immediately when I read that description, I knew I had to create a dessert inspired by this quirky novel in honor of Simon Snow. And thus bacon maple cinnamon rolls were made.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
Carry On is one of my most favorite books that I read in 2015. It was so whimsical, funny, magical, and exciting to read. Although it is a length novel, I sped right through the story of a clumsy Simon Snow trying to save the world while also falling for his arch-nemesis. This story had such unique characters and a gripping fantastical plot line that I did not expect Rainwbow Rowell to deliver so nicely. If you haven’t read Carry On, please do because it is such a lighthearted read that will warm your heart. More
Summary: “ah, life-
while we’re off
the pages of
a poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.
Genres: Poetry, Fiction, Women
My thoughts: I have never read a collection of poetry before and I am so glad that The Princess Saves Herself in This One was the first one I picked up. This poetry book was split into four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you which showed different parts of the author’s life, taking you on a journey through works of poetry that will touch your heart. This book will grip your attention and keep you wanting more of Lovelace’s beautifully constructed words that are strung together flawlessly in different forms of poems.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | Snickerdoodles
In Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean always makes snickerdoodles for her younger sister in order to make her happy. They both love to bake together and reading about them making cookies is the cutest thing ever!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
This book is the fluffiest and nicest contemporary novel. It is such a relaxing and funny read and I couldn’t get enough of it once I started it. Lara Jean and her sisters have the nicest relationship that I’ve read in a YA novel. I highly recommend it to YA contemporary lovers, especially younger readers who are just diving into YA.
A Darker Shade of Magic | Red Velvet Cake Truffles
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic is one of the most interesting fantasy novels that I have picked up in a while! Every character introduced into the story had so much depth and made you connect with them and root for them throughout their adventures they went on. The world building is phenomenal; normally I get muddled when reading about fantasy novels’ worlds, but this book was so intriguing and kept me hooked the entire time I was reading this story. It’s full of action, mystery, and such whimsical elements that made me fall in love with the story. If you have not picked up a book by the talented, V.E. Schwab, I highly recommend you pick this one up immediately.
I was lucky enough to read and review Beth Revis’ AMAZING Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice, and I absolutely loved everything about this book. It is full of humor and raw advice for writers (especially YA writers). If any of you are upcoming writers and would like to read some writing advice or just learn about Beth Revis’ writing process, pick up this book!
Bird by Bird meets Save the Cat in this new writing advice book by NY Times bestselling author Beth Revis. With more than 100000 reads on Wattpad, this newly expanded and rewritten edition features 350 pages of content, including charts and a detailed appendix.
Fight the blank page.
When it comes to writing, there’s no wrong way to get words on paper. But it’s not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won’t make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.
Practical Advice Meets Real Experience
With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:
- How to Develop Character, Plot, & World
- What Common Advice You Should Ignore
- What Advice Actually Helps
- How to Develop a Novel
- The Basics of Grammar, Style, & Tone
- Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
- How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
- How to Deal with Failure
…And much more!
BONUS! More than 25 “What to do if…” scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a NY Times Bestselling author who’s written more than 2 million words of fiction.
Tip 2: Trust your reader.
It’s often hard to find the balance between telling the story and explaining everything else. Sometimes, it feels like you have to explain everything about the character’s background, or why she made a decision, or how he plans to do something. Usually, this is all the stuff that needs to be cut from the story when you start revising. Trust your reader to pick up the clues for the characters’ motivations. Trust your reader to follow the plot without rehashing it. Trust your reader to solve the mystery without flashing the clues like a blinking neon sign. Trust your reader to be smart.
ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT PAPER HEARTS AND BETH REVIS AND AN EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY
Purchase Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice
*I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
My rating: ★★★★★
Summary: Your enemy is the blank page. When it comes to writing, there’s no wrong way to get words on paper. But it’s not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won’t make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.
Practical Advice Meets Real Experience
With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:
• How to Develop Character, Plot, and World
• What Common Advice You Should Ignore
• What Advice Actually Helps
• How to Develop a Novel
• The Basics of Grammar, Style, and Tone
• Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
• How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
• How to Deal with Failure
• And much more!
Genres: Nonfiction, Language
My thoughts: I have never read a writing advice book, but I sure am glad this was the first one that I picked up. Beth Revis is one of my most favorite authors who I look up to as a writer myself, so reading her advice and how she became an author over time really inspired me in all sorts of ways. This book overflowing with writing advice wasn’t told in a mundane way. No, Revis was hilarious in her honest writing and really captured my attention with every point she made. She didn’t sugarcoat any info she handed to the reader. She encouraged originality and laid all her thoughts on the table which was refreshing to read.
Their Fractured Light | Vanilla Purple Cake with Lemon Buttercream
Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound #3)
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.
Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.
When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
The Starbound trilogy is one of my absolute favorite trilogies of all time. Each book contains a new set of badass characters and their stories all intertwine together overtime as they try and save the world and those inside of it. It’s an epic Sci-Fi series full of unique characters, heartwarming love stories that trump all evil, unexpected plot twists, and interesting scientific elements that would impress any reader. Each book is better than the last and this is the type of trilogy that you’ll be reaching for again and again long after it is wrapped up.
Vanilla Purple Cake with Lemon Buttercream
I made this cake with my friends one day and I absolutely loved it! Remember to add loads of food coloring to get the rich purple color and keep in mind that this recipe creates a dense cake rather than a light and fluffy one. It’s a simple tasting cake that packs a lot of flavor in its lemon buttercream added on top and in the middle.
Click here for the recipe! (Found on Peas & Peonies blog)
*I received a physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 STARS)
Summary: A stunning, magical world. An international sensation.
Nathan Byrn is running again. The Alliance of Free Witches has been all but destroyed. Scattered and demoralized, constantly pursued by the Council’s Hunters, only a bold new strategy can save the rebels from total defeat. They need the missing half of Gabriel’s amulet—an ancient artifact with the power to render its bearer invincible in battle.
But the amulet’s guardian—the reclusive and awesomely powerful witch Ledger – has her own agenda. To win her trust, Nathan must travel to America and persuade her to give him the amulet. Combined with the Gifts he has inherited from Marcus, the amulet might just be enough to turn the tide for the Alliance and end the bloody civil war between Black and White witches once and for all…
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
My thoughts: WHAT A CONCLUSION TO ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE TRILOGIES! The moment I got this novel I immediately began reading it because I was so ready to dive back into Nathan’s world where he is fighting against the Hunters alongside his best friend Gabriel who he has developed feelings towards. Sally Green puts us right back in the middle of the action from page one without bothering to recap what happened in the previous novels which adds an epic sense of urgency and adventure to the story that you become addicted to while reading it. I easily fell back into the world of Black and White witches and could not wait to see what Nathan was going to do to avenge his father and stop the Hunters from harming witches forever.
Lux: Beginnings | Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
If any of you have read the second novel (Onyx) in the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, you will definitely remember the cookie scene between Katy and Daemon Black. It is one of my favorite flirty scenes in any novel because it is just so cute! Here’s the excerpt of the infamous “cookie scene” in Onyx that inspired me to make Daemon Black Chocolate Chip Cookies:
“Cookie?” he offered, holding a cookie full of chocolate chips.
Upset tummy or not, there was no way I could refuse that. “Sure.”
His lips tipped up one side and he leaned toward me, his mouth inches from mine. “Come and get it.”
Come and get…? Daemon placed half the cookie between those full, totally kissable lips.
Oh, holy alien babies everywhere…”