MY DREAM CAME TRUE!
Reviews of bucket-list-worthy things to do all over the world

Want to go on a blind date ... with a YA book?


Ready to go on a blind date ... with a book? Whether it's Valentine's Day weekend or just a random, cozy, relaxing day at home, everything you need is right here!

Below are the first few sentences (generally the first paragraph) of amazing books. Some are chart-topping bestsellers. Some are undiscovered indies. Some you may have already read, but I'd be willing to bet that there's at least one great book here that you've never cracked open.

If you like what you read, click "Reveal my date!" and you'll be able to see your potential "date" (book). You can either turn it down (no hard feelings) or give it a chance (wouldn't that be fun!). Be sure to come back here and tell us what you thought of your date!

P.S. To make the arrangement even sweeter, the top ten books below are FREE to read with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited.

You can also visit my YA Book Bucket List, YA Dystopian Book Bucket List and my YA Contemporary Book Bucket List!


Meet your potential dates ...

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim's warmth but only finding the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.

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IT WAS ALMOST December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane.

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Our teacher, Professor Adam, doesn’t know we’re just going through the motions. He doesn’t understand that nothing he’s saying really matters anymore. This classroom, and everything that happens inside it, once seemed big and important. Now it all seems silly and insignificant. I try to pay attention, because we’re supposed to, but my mind can’t focus on the present. It’s too busy thinking about the future. A future where every life in this room is in jeopardy.

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My high heels dance across the sticky hardwood floor of the narrow, unlit hallway. The smell of vomit mixed with beer hangs in the air. By sheer luck, I dodge a puddle of something—I’m not sure what. My vision is so blurred that it’s hard to appreciate much of anything. I’m pulled through a doorway that I almost walk past.

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My sweating palms slipped against the handles of my bike as I cycled at a pace I hoped would not look suspicious. I tried to fix my eyes ahead on the perfectly even road and not keep glancing over my shoulder at the makeshift wooden trailer I was pulling behind me.

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He was right. It made no difference whether it was 6 months or 6 years.

I couldn’t undo what had been done. I couldn’t change the future. I couldn’t even predict it.

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A NOTE FROM GREG GAINES, AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK

I have no idea how to write this stupid book.

Can I just be honest with you for one second? This is the literal truth. When I first started writing this book, I tried to start it with the sentence “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” I genuinely thought that I could start this book that way. I just figured, it’s a classic book-starting sentence. But then I couldn’t even figure out how you were supposed to follow that up. I started at the computer for an hour and it was all I could do not to have a colossal freak-out. In desperation I tried messing with the punctuation and italicization like: It was the best of times? And it was the worst of times?!!

What the hell does that even mean? Why would you even think to do that? You wouldn’t, unless you had a fungus eating your brain, which I guess I probably have.

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Breathe. My eyes swelled as I swallowed against the lump in my throat. Frustrated with my weakness, I swiftly brushed away the tears that had forced their way down my cheeks with the back of my hand. I couldn’t think about it anymore—I would explode.

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Absolute silence.
So quiet I can feel it in bones.

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Julie Seagle stared straight ahead and promised herself one thing: she would never again rent an apartment via Craigslist. The strap of her overstuffed suitcase dug into her shoulder, and she let it drop onto the two suitcases that sat on the sidewalk. It wasn’t as if she had anywhere to carry them now. Julie squinted in disbelief at the flashing neon sign that touted the best burritos in Boston. Rereading the printout of the e-mail again did nothing to change things. Yup, this was the correct address. While she did love a good burrito, and the small restaurant had a certain charm, it seemed pretty clear that the one-story building did not include a three-bedroom apartment that could house college students. She sighed and pulled her cell phone from her purse.

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THERE IS ONE mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.

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Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

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Dear friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don't try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don't want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don't want you to find me. I didn't enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

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ALIENS ARE STUPID.

I’m not talking about real aliens. The Others aren’t stupid. The Others are so far ahead of us, it’s like comparing the dumbest human to the smartest dog. No contest.

No, I’m talking about the aliens inside our own heads.

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They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me.

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He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.

Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, hoping his eyes would soon adjust to the darkness.

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THE WEEK BEFORE I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party. To say that I had low expectations would be to underestimate the matter dramatically. Although I was more or less forced to invite all my “school friends,” i.e., the ragtag bunch of drama people and English geeks I sat with by social necessity in the cavernous cafeteria of my public school, I knew they wouldn’t come. Still, my mother persevered, awash in the delusion that I had kept my popularity secret from her all these years. She cooked a small mountain of artichoke dip. She festooned our living room in green and yellow streamers, the colors of my new school. She bought two dozen champagne poppers and placed them around the edge of our coffee table.

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Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.

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I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portman.

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"Sir?" she repeats. "How soon do you want it to get there?"

I rub two fingers, hard, over my left eyebrow. The throbbing has become intense. "It doesn't matter," I say.

The clerk takes the package. The same shoebox that sat on my porch less than twenty-four hours ago; rewrapped in a brown paper bag, sealed with clear packing tape, exactly as I had received it. But now addressed with a new name. The next name on Hannah Baker's list.

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Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren’t white or feathered; they’re green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move—first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn’t worry me; neither do the stars ahead.

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MY MOTHER THINKS I’M DEAD. Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.

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I hate First Friday. It makes the village crowded, and now, in the heat of high summer, that’s the last thing anyone wants. From my place in the shade it isn’t so bad, but the stink of bodies, all sweating with the morning work, is enough to make milk curdle. The air shimmers with heat and humidity, and even the puddles from yesterday’s storm are hot, swirling with rainbow streaks of oil and grease.

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