Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Blog Tour: Taylor's List of Books that Won't Make You Squirm

I introduced you guys to Taylor in a guest post last Christmas. She's an incredible YA author, a wonderful friend, And... she just released her first book, Porch Swing Girl


I love my rural town of Roseburg, Oregon. Surrounded by rolling hills and acres of uninhabited forests, it’s a wonderful, whimsical place to live. But, between the city’s recently-shut-down-library and small, stuffy used bookstore, there aren’t a lot of places for me to quench my literary thirst. 

That’s why I am nothing short of thrilled when I get to visit a Barnes & Noble. Yes—a real bookstore. With new books.


A while ago, I had the opportunity to go to one of these magical bookstores while on a trip to the city. What did I find?


Books with gorgeous covers, scintillating blurbs, all written by authors with an impressive collection of accolades. One look at the YA section nearly sent me into a frenzied happy dance—the kind where my eyes turn into little hearts and I start dancing from bookshelf to bookshelf like the kooky book nerd that I am.

Then I stopped.

Picked up one of the books.

Gave it a closer look—a harder look.

What I saw made me want to cover my eyes and wash out my brain. (And cry. Always cry.)

These books—these wonderful works of YA fiction, dressed so smartly with hardback covers and glossy book sleeves—were filled with garbage. Sure, the prose was great, the plot was intriguing—but the dialogue? It left my eyes feeling dirty. And the supposedly sweet romantic trysts were slightly more…graphic.

I walked out of that store fuming—and without a single book to add to my TBR.

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar.

Maybe you’ve cracked open a much-anticipated new book, only to groan in dismay after the first few pages. Maybe you’ve gotten discouraged when you run out of clean, uplifting YA books and must resort to (gasp!) re-reading. Maybe…

Maybe you’re sick of it.

And that’s why I’m here today. I want to encourage you—show you that there are still pure and lovely books out there for you. They might be harder to find than other, less appropriate, books, but they are out there. And it is my greatest pleasure to introduce you to some of my favorites.


Without further ado…

I present to you…


Taylor’s List of Books-That-Won’t-Make-You-Squirm-Or-Wash-Your-Brain-Out-With-Soap 

The Katie Parker novels—these light, sweet, and touching books are written from a Christian worldview, yet they don’t hesitate to tackle tough issues. But even when characters are struggling, the author keeps things rolling with wacky side characters (like Katie’s nutty foster-grandma) and quirky descriptive prose.

This Quiet Sky—aah, this book makes my heart sing, ache, soar, and weep—and all in under two hundred pages!! It consistently ranks as one of my all-time favorite books and, even though it’s short, the story is well-rounded and beautifully heartbreaking. Words cannot express how terribly wonderful this book is, so I have to trust that you will buy it and see for yourself.

First Date (and the other two books in the trilogy)—if you dream of going behind-the-scenes of a reality TV show (or maybe competing on one yourself) then these books are for you! They’re filled with suspense, gossip, and glamour, but they’re also—you guessed it!—squeaky clean. The characters all feel like close friends and the plot is filled with all the excitement of a real TV show. Bonus? No commercials!

The Tethered World Trilogy—just a heads-up: I am NOT a fantasy buff…but the mysterious Tethered World drew me in like no other magical realm has ever done before. The premise was so intriguing, the plot so well-crafted, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with this trilogy. So take it from me (an anti-fantasy girl) that this series is not one to miss!

The Mother-Daughter Book Club Series—these books are so cute, sweet, innocent, and…dare I say perfect?!?! I highly recommend that they move to the top of EVERYONE’S TBR list. Immediately. Even though the series starts when the characters are in middle school, the books follow their lives all through high school, until the summer before college. With a cast of lovable characters and multiple points of view, these books will appeal to anyone (and EVERYONE!!) 

Porch Swing Girl—okay, yes, this is my book, but it (hopefully) checks off all of the boxes. It’s clean, inspirational, and (hopefully) enjoyable. It released just a few weeks ago, and, since it’s my official “book baby,” I had to mention it. Can’t all parents brag on their kids? 

So? Were any of your favorite books on this list? Did I miss any other amazing (clean!) books? Let me know!!

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

[Stephanie here!] Speaking of clean YA reads, Taylor just released her own! 

What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

Thanks for visiting the blog, Taylor! Congrats on your book release!

1 comment

  1. I completely agree that there's too much junk out there. That's one reason I'm trying to get my novels into the bookstores. I know there are still people out there who are looking for decent literature. It's just not that easy to find.