Your Next Favorite Book + Uppercase Giveaway

Hi guys! While I am off enjoying IDEA and BlogFest, I have a guest post (and giveaway!) for ya from my good friend, Lisa! Lisa and I used to work together in Orlando and quickly bonded over our love for reading. Below you will find a list of Lisa’s top picks for great reads this year.

Lisa also recently launched a young adult book subscription box service called Uppercase and is offering a giveaway to PBF readers at the end of this post. And be sure to check out her awesome blog, Read.Breathe.Relax for even more recommendations for must-read young adult books! Enjoy and happy reading!

Guest Post: Read.Breathe.Relax

I’m constantly in search of my next favorite book. Although I read a lot (61 books so far this year!) for my YA book blog, I still find that truly excellent books are hard to find.

I’m all about avoiding this situation…

Image 1

(That gif never gets old…)

…because no one wants to waste their time, energy and money on a book that you want to throw out a window.

So, I’m here to share with you some of my favorites books so far this year. Note: These are all young adult books because that’s my area of expertise. I promise they’re just as sophisticated, fun and interesting as adult literature. :)

Contemporary Romance

On the Fence

  • On the Fence by Kasie West

If you’re looking for an end-of-the-summer read, then look no further. One the Fence is sweet and lovely – it’s about feeling comfortable in your own skin and not conforming to who everyone thinks you are vs. the real you.

Even though it’s a romance, this book has some serious heart. Plus, it’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Great For Book Clubs

Eleanor and Park

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

If you loved John Green’s books, then you’ll adore Rowell’s work. Eleanor and Park is about first love and so much more – it’s heart-wrenching and beautifully written. The story deals with tough issues while making them relatable and light when it could be so dark.

I’ve recommended this book to everyone this year to the point of being pushy. Yes, I’m totally that person.

Surprise Factor

We Were Liars

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book is getting some serious buzz, and for a good reason. It’s suspenseful with a writing style I’ve never experienced before.

Do yourself a favor, and read this book without scanning the description or any book reviews. This is a book best experienced without too much outside information.

The only other thing I’ll say is – We Were Liars is a book you won’t soon forget…

The Next Book-to-Movie

If I Stay

  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I’m also one of those people who thinks books are always better than the movies (with some exceptions. The Host, I’m looking at you…). If I Stay will be in theaters August 22, and I highly recommend you read the novel first.

It’s definitely a tear-jerker, but the story is told so clearly and in such simple language that you’ll be sure to zoom through the pages.

Thrilling Fantasy

Ruin and Rising

  • The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo

I love a great fantasy read (Game of Thrones, anyone?), and The Grisha series is seriously one of my all-time favorite YA fantasy series. The final book, Ruin and Rising, was released in June, so it’s a great time to read all the books without having to wait years for the next one.

Shadow and Bone is the first book, followed by Siege and Storm, then Ruin and Rising. The world-building is phenomenal, plus there’s some epic romance to boot.


If these type of book recommendations are something you’d like regularly, then I’d love for you to check out something I’ve been working on.

I’ve started a young adult book subscription box service called Uppercase. Subscribers receive a hand-picked book by me every month, along with a cute bookish accessory AND access to an online book forum with exclusive content and videos about that month’s book.

And thanks to Julie, one of you will win a free month of Uppercase!

To enter this giveaway, simply comment on this post with the name of one of the last great books you read!

Julie will randomly select a winner on Friday!


  1. says

    Oh man, I have Got to get my read on! I used to do it all the time, now I don’t even try to find time to read! Maybe I should try e-books.
    The last book I read was Walden by Henry David Thoreau.


  2. Kimberly says

    Eleanor & Park was not only one of the best books I read last year, but definitely an all-time favorite. Rainbow Rowell’s next book, Fangirl, was also a really great read.


  3. says

    I just bought “If I Stay” yesterday.. and finished it today! One of the best books I have read recently though is definitely “Gone Girl”! I am a sucker for books that I know are going to become movies in the near future because I feel like I HAVE to read the book first! I can’t wait to see “Gone Girl” in theaters! (plus, helloooo Ben Affleck!)


  4. says

    Love it! I recently finished Hurt Go Happy which is a YA book (though I think I actually found it in the children’s section of the library, hah) about a girl who is deaf and befriends a chimpanzee who can sign. It was really enjoyable and had so many elements – disability, empathy, animal testing, abuse, loss, self discovery. I agree that YA can be very nuanced, complex and enjoyable for all ages!


  5. says

    Sad as this is I just finished reading The Giver (behind I know) which was really good. Now I’m currently reading The Happiness Project that Julie did, it’s been really good so far!


  6. says

    Thanks for this post! Since half of the books you listed I have read and the other half I checked to make sure were on my TBR list, I think that we will become fast friends!! HA! I am currently listening to Ann Brashares – The Here and Now. The last YA book I read was The Book Thief.


  7. Janette H. says

    I just finished “Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me”. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it gave me a new perspective to look at life from.


  8. says

    A book subscription service is such a great idea! And, for anyone who missed the deadline on this giveaway, I’ve got one going on over on my blog right now (prize pack includes a new mystery read and some other goodies)!


  9. says

    Hello Julie and Lisa,

    I typically stay in my comfort zone when reading (guilty of sticking with chick lit), however my librarian friend and I recently started a book club. We read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” last month and it was wonderful! Nonfiction usually bores me, not to mention in the realm of science, but this drew me in and was extremely thought-provoking. Highly recommend.

    Happy Saturday!



  10. says

    This post is awesome – I am an avid reader, runner and blogger and am constantly looking for new reading material. No one I know is able to recommend anything to me because I’ve already read everything! This post and comments has given me enough new reading materials for a couple months now :)


  11. Megan C. says

    Loved this post; always looking for new book ideas. I just sinister reading Inferno by Dan Brown and Divergent by Veronica Roth.


  12. Cathy Fraser says

    A great YA book is Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga. My daughter recently finished it and wants to read it again! It must be good! is his site, there is info on the book there.



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