Defy by LJ Shen
This was one of my first reads of the month, and it stuck with me the entire month. This novella is the second release in Shen's Sinners of Saint series, but it is actually a prequel to Vicious (a book I enjoyed, but still have some conflicted feelings about). Jaime and Melody appeared briefly in Vicious, and I was instantly intrigued by their forbidden love story. I was drawn in from the start, and I loved reading about them. My only issue? That it wasn't a full length novel, because I was seriously wanting more by the time it ended.
Corrupt by Penelope Douglas
This was my first book by Penelope Douglas, but it definitely won't be my last. I didn't really know what to expect when I started this, but I loved how twisted and dark it was. I loved the alternating timelines, which kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what actually went down in the past that was driving the character's motivations in the present. I love how unique Rika and Michael are as a couple, and I kind of wanted more of them once all was said and done. I just found out that this will be the first book in a series, and I seriously can't wait to read more!
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
About eight or so years ago, I was right in the middle of a serious addiction to YA fiction. I felt like it wasn't constrained by the stuffiness and seriousness of literary fiction, and I loved that. It's been awhile since I've read anything YA, and I could not have picked a better book to return to it with. Everything Everything is unique and beautifully written. I loved all the illustrations and added media elements that I felt just enhanced the story. The characters were wonderful and flawed and totally relatable. This book is absolute perfection, and there are few books that I can say that about.
My Soul to Keep by Kennedy Ryan
This book/series had been on my radar for awhile, but with the coming release of a spinoff from this series, I decided to make the leap. I am so glad I did. I fucking devoured this book and read it in maybe a day. I love Kai and Rhyson in all their imperfect glory. Ryan is a wonder with words. She writes such beautiful, lyrical passages that just leap off the page and make you feel. I am smack in the middle of Down to My Soul (book 2), and I am dying to see where their story ends.
Full Tilt Duet (Full Tilt/All In) by Emma Scott
Guys, this book duet wrecked me. Seriously. Wrecked. I can maybe name one book over the last five years that have made me cry. Not tear up, but outright cry. Full Tilt had me sobbing. It was so beautiful, heartbreaking, and perfect. Scott tears your heart out in the most real, amazing way, but she puts it all back together again, with a few cracks. I don't want to say much about this one because it's best left to be experienced.