Reader Favorites – Jen C’s Top Favorite Books List:

by Maryse on October 10, 2015 · 16 comments

in Book Recommendations

YAY Saturday!! It’s a full-on reading day for most, PLUS… “Reader Favorites” day, and Jen C is up!! Wow, she loves all the “originals” like we do, so she made us an extra-special list. Includes the favorites, then it includes her 1-11, and then honorable mentions too. YAY US!! More choices. :D

A little about Jen C?

  • She’s been with us (at least publicly since March of this year!).
  • She loves so many of the same books we do!

“Oh my god, just finished this one and aarrgghh, can’t believe I waited this long. Fave book so far this year. God, what am I going to read next.” <— about The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) by Elle Kennedy. AGREED!! :D

  • She’s from New Zealand!!! How I know? She was excited for one of Karina Halle’s books (Where Sea Meets Sky) that features the country!
“Can’t wait to see which parts of our beautiful country feature! Hopefully a few new people fall in love with New Zealand too! x”
“… southern hemisphere girl here, New Zealand lol… Fiordland/Milford is really amazing – photos look great but it really doesn’t do it any justice! Simply breathtaking in person!”
  • She’s a HUGE Tarryn Fisher fan. Loves The Opportunist (I MEAN LOVES!!!), and considers Mudvein one of her absolute favorites and!! She went NUTS for Marrow:

“OMGGGG. I’ve been reading Marrow for about half an hour now and oh my godddd, I can already tell: a) that Tarryn has done it again and b) this is a 5 star (and probably fave book of 2015).”

“The Opportunist is probably my number one! I have a 4 copies of the paperback (shhh, they’re all different and absolutely needed) and my unsigned version of the newest edition is purely for lending/forcing friends and family to read. They may hate me for my pushy persistence initially but they’ve all thanked me once they’ve read it!! lol.”

  • This is one of the main books that brought her to our indie-reading community:
Accidentally on Purpose lovelovelove – one of my first reads after discovering this whole community/indie/self publishing / getting back into reading”
“my favourite type of reading too!!”
  • She UGLY cries like we do!!
“Aaah, I finished 47 Things a couple of days ago and oh my god. I was the BIGGEST mess reading it. It was just lovely and I definitely recommend it. Just have a box of tissues on hand!”
And now, we’ll let HER tell us which one SHE considers her true favorites:

“I just adore the idea of finding out other readers top favourites (lovedlovedLOVED the lists so far) and couldn’t resist submitting my list!

After umming and ahhing for hours I think I have finally narrowed it down.  I’ve left out some of my well-known/widely-read favourites… Hopeless, Mud Vein (absolute fave), The OpportunistCollide, Beautiful Disaster, Left Drowning, The Sea of Tranquility, and I could go on and on lol.

You’ll probably see a bit of a theme with a lot of the books on my list.  I generally read to escape the stresses of everyday life (I’m a lawyer and half of my workload is emotionally draining high end violence/child issues).  I definitely favour light and fluffy feel-good reads in my spare time!”

Without further ado, and not necessarily in any particular order …

1.)  Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole Book 1) (and whole Grab Your Pole series) by Jenn Cooksey.
SUCH A HILARIOUS SERIES!  I actually laughed out loud.  A whole lot! These books are the ultimate escape from a shitty day.  The characters are genius.  Entertaining.  And the dialogue!  The things Camie says and the references throughout the books (Especially Buffy references – love!)!  They’re mainly light reads (YA, maybe NA) but have some angst/heavier moments.  They’re one of those books I go back to when I need to clear my reading-palete or am stuck on what to read next.

2.)  Remember When Trilogy by T. Torrest
I absolutely gobbled up this trilogy – once I started I couldn’t stop!  I loved everything about it and it had it all!  Each book covered a different phase in Trip and Layla’s lives – from high school years, late 20s and finally early 30s.  It was funny (the 80s/90s references had the 90s child in me laughing non stop), likeable real characters, it had great friendships, drama, angst (so much angst!), moments when you wanted to smack everyone and hit their heads together, and overall just a really good solid read.

3.) Bully: The Fall Away Series (+ Fall Away series) by Penelope Douglas
Bully is one of my all time ultimate favourites and I just had to include it even though it’s one of those widely-read favourite.  I’ve reread it SO many times and it made me fall in love with the bully trope.  I adore Penelope’s writing.  It’s so easy to read and really flows.  I loved Tate – she really found her strength and her sass and that was so much fun to read!  There were sad moments that completely broke my heart but overall a book with warm fuzzies.

4.)  Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Beautiful story.  I remember I wasn’t expecting that when I read it.  I was a giant blubbering mess.  I couldn’t put it down and read it until I finished in the middle of the night.  I didn’t care I was exhausted the next day – absolutely worth it.  The book stayed with me days after I finished.  The message from this book was really important too.   Life is precious and you really need to live each day to the fullest.  Really powerful read.

5.) Away (The Keaton Series Book 1) by B.A. Wolfe
Another story that had me blubbering like a baby.  I went into this story blind and it absolutely blew my expectations. Fell for Jason immediately – super sweet and charming.  Not going to say any more than that because if you haven’t read it you really need to and really should go in blind!  Just don’t forget your tissues.

6.)  One Pink Line by Dina Silver
I love how this book unfolded and how the dual POVs were Sydney and her daughter Grace.  The plot was realistic and I think it covered what can be a difficult topic really well.  It was raw and honest and had me in tears at least once (read it back in 2013 so a bit hard to remember!  But the book has stuck with me over the years since.)  Also, I need an Ethan in real life!

7.)  Gypsy Brothers: The Complete Series by Lili St. Germain
As much as I love my light reads, I LOVE dark and gritty reads too.  And this series is definitely dark and gritty and even better, it has a kick ass heroine who is out for revenge.  The story is dark and twisty, addictive, and absolutely amazing.

8.)  Sharp Objects: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
What an unforgettable read and definitely my favourite Gillian Flynn book so far.  I felt a bit dirty reading this (and all of her books!) but it sucks you in and spits you out.  Uncomfortable, unsettling and truly brilliant.  Fascinating read for those who love suspense.

9.)  Elements of Chemistry: Parts 1-3 by Penny Reid
I’ve loved every single Penny Reid book I’ve read (honourable mention to Beauty and the Mustache – absolutely in love with Ash and Drew).  There’s something about addictive about Penny’s writing.  It’s intelligent, entertaining and oh so funny.  Some how she can turn a common theme (nerdy girl and popular guy) into something unique, captivating and authentic.  This book was a serial and you can buy the all-in-one or get it in three parts.  Either way, this is a smart, steamy, must read.

10.)  Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon
A completely random read that had me hooked from the very beginning!  So so funny and utterly sweet and romantic.  I fell in love with Canada, otters and the concierge (lol).  This was a quick read full of laughs and good fluff.

11.) Disclaimer: A Novel by Renee Knight
I stumbled across this book after it was mentioned in a paper as a “what to read after Gone Girl/The Girl on the Train/Big Little Lies”.  I love a good mystery/thriller/suspense and this one really delivers.  A strong and interesting premise (reading a book and realising it’s about you?  In this case, stuff nightmares are made of!) and well worth a read.  Very gripping.  Quite a few twists and turns and I felt the end was quite satisfying.

“Honourable mentions - RAW by Belle Aurora (title says it all, really), False Start by Barbara Valentin (Relatable and lol funny – made me want to take up running and that’s saying something!) and It Ain’t Me, Babe (Hades Hangmen Book 1) by Tillie Cole (I loved dark, edgy Tillie Cole and the gripping, unique twists to a familiar dark/MC sub-genre).

And that’s it!

I hope I did this right lol.  Thanks Maryse!”

You sure did, JenC! :D THIS IS AMAZING!!! Thank you SO much.


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryse October 10, 2015 at 5:14 PM

The two that I’m dying for is “Shark Bait” series (I’ve been told so many times how awesome it is, and “Disclaimer” … Oooooh that title alone has me!!

Jen October 10, 2015 at 5:48 PM

I am a Jen C. also! I love seeing everyone’s favorite books! Your blog is the best!

Linda October 10, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Jen C love your list! Some I’ve read and loved, others on my tbr list and some are new to me. Yeah!! Escapism in a great book is just all kinds of deliciousness. Thank you for your contribution.

Theresa Parsons October 10, 2015 at 6:20 PM

Thank you for a great list Jen! Quite a few I have not read and are now on my list. Left Drowning , the Bully Romance, Unlit Star, and Shark Bait. I one clicked Away…it was FREE!!! Thanks again to both Jen and Maryse.

Theresa Parsons October 10, 2015 at 6:24 PM

BTW… I know I am a little late on this book but I just finished Jezebel…absolutely fabulous. Can we just say cuckoo for cocoa puffs!!!! I thought I had it all figured out and then SLAM! I think I sat there with my mouth open for like ten minutes! I know this is not about this post but I had to throw it out there!!! I feel better now.

Rebecca October 10, 2015 at 6:34 PM

This list!! I one-clicked 3 times (and I was going so well with my reading what I have job). I already have most of this list, however I was drawn to False Start, Unlit Star, and Shark Bait. I’ve been looking at Must Have Otters, The Opportunist, Collide from my tbr for so long, but keep overlooking them.That is exactly why I’m on a Read What I Have thing right now, haha!

Elizabeth October 10, 2015 at 6:40 PM

Loooove Sharp Objects. Gillian Flynn is everything. Got Check out disclaimer!

Lauren October 10, 2015 at 9:14 PM

Letting Go (The Keaton Series 1.5) just came out….finally….& it’s $.99. It’s Jason’s POV…..I’d probably have the tissues handy (if you’ve read book 1 you’ll understand).

Lisa October 10, 2015 at 11:05 PM

Great list Jen C. Thank you for sharing.
Opportunist, Dirty Red and Thief was an amazing series. Couldn’t put them down.
Ive also read The Deal, Bully, Left Drowning, Sea of Tranquility & Elements of Chemistry and loved them all too. Great taste.
I have Gypsy Bros. on my tbr and willbe moving it up my list. Cheers!

Tessa October 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Bully. *swoons* I totally agree with that one. Also your love for bully books. :) The Chemistry series was so great. Funny yet smart. I think I need the Grab Your Pole books. I seem to be low on funny books. I love this list!

bev October 11, 2015 at 12:05 PM

I have had Away & Shark Bait in my tbr for forever. Really need to move them up.
I love when a book makes me love a place I’ve never been or maybe daydream of trying something new like running. :-) Ill definitely look those two up. Great list.

Michelle October 11, 2015 at 4:16 PM

Another great list – love these! I put Elements of Chemistry in my to read this week collection since I’ve heard so many great things about that series and it’s about time I got around to reading it. Loved Unlit Star too!

Cheryl October 11, 2015 at 7:21 PM

Great list Jen C so many I want to read- I’ve actually had Unlit Star on my tbr list, but have been nervous to read it. ;)

Fabi October 11, 2015 at 11:22 PM

I have to get Shark Bait. I never seem to have enough of those types of books in my tbr. Thank you for sharing your list!

Jen C October 12, 2015 at 1:06 AM

Thanks for adding my list, Maryse! Had to squeeze as many as I possibly could into my “top 10″. :P I was trying to think how long I’ve been using your site and realised it was around the time of the Opportunist – your posts/comments convinced me to finally start reading it – it was in my TBR list for a long time! When was that, 2012 or 2013?? Something like that! I think my early comments were under “Jen” but weren’t that frequent!

And thanks for the comments everyone! I’ll feel super accomplished if even one person finds a new book-love out of my list!!

Aaah yes, everyone needs to try Shark Bait! So good.

Lauren – I was so excited to see the release of Letting Go – can’t wait to start it and hear Jason’s POV!

Unlit Star is well worth the nerves Cheryl! I’m so glad I went into that one blind!

Jean October 12, 2015 at 8:33 AM

Jen C, loved Away! No one ever seems to mention that. And thanks Lauren for letting us know about the novella released.

I have wanted to read Shark Bait forever! I love a lot of the same books as you, so gotta move that one up!

Unlit Star, Disclaimer, Sharp Objects……1-click! Thank you Jen C!!

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