Bringing 2017 To A Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms, my loves!

First of all, I hope you have a wonderful New Year. May it be lively and fun and renewing. Secondly, I was looking back on the year and I have compiled a list of the top ten books out of the many that I’ve read this year. The ones that I’ve loved the most and had the greatest adventures with. It was no easy feat because I enjoyed more than just ten.

It’s been a crazy year, but I wanted to take the time to share them with you. They each left an imprint on me in their own way and I’m sure you know what that feels like after reading a FANTASTIC book.

Starting at number 10…

10.
The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger

FullSizeRender

Blurb: Labeled a DUFF, Bianca Piper is determined to prove she’s anything but. In the midst of parental drama and friend drama, she finds a strange comfort in the arms of the boy who started calling her a DUFF, Wesley Rush.

This was such a fun book. Certainly a little more than PG-13, but still. Having seen the movie first, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. It feels like the movie and book feel like their two completely stories, but they occur in the same universe. They’re both two situations that are rather relatable.

Review here

9.
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
Author: A.S. King

History of the Future-Goodreads

Blurb: Glory O’Brien can see her future and it’s not bright. It’s filled with war and tragedy and she doesn’t know what else to do except write all down in hopes that it will be useful for what will come to pass.

Though the story was slow building, I was so intrigued with seeing how Glory O’Brien was seeing the future and how destructive it was. A.S. King is wild and has boundaries when it comes to writing crazy and making you believe it in a strange way. This book was so imaginative and brilliant and really had me looking at some serious issues from a new angle.

Review here

8.
The Poison Eaters
Author: Holly Black

Poison Eaters

Blurb: This collection of short stories ranges across a wide variety of supernatural beings and creatures with their own tales. Maenads, vampires, and the devil. Oh my!

I don’t read short stories very often, but these were so much fun. They were filled with faerie mischief and supernatural hardships. All of the things I enjoy and even some new things that really piqued my curiosity. Very coming-of-age and delightful.

Review here

7.
 Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

Blurb: It’s such a wonderful and beautiful classic that follows the affair of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky as it spirals in a whirlwind of lust and jealousy. And then there’s Levin who is very deeply in love with Kitty, and she’d holding her heart out for Vronsky. Like many journeys for true love there is strife, tragedy, and passion.

I haven’t written up a review for this one yet. I began reading it last year and finished around the beginning of this year, so I’m counting it as one of my favorite books this year. It filled me with such intensity that I found myself audibly sighing at some parts and gasping at others. What can I say? Russian Literature does that to me. Such a magnificent classic.

6.
Unbreakable
Author: Kami Garcia

unbreakable

This one snuck up on me. Thrilling and reeking of Supernautral-esque style, I was sucked into the world of ghosts, poltergeists, voodoo, and demons just like the main character, Kennedy Waters, was after a ghost killed her mother. Rescued by twins, Jared and Lukas, she quickly learns about the Legion and how she may be a part of this demon fighting group.  I didn’t expect this to be as good as it was and I’m currently waiting on the third installment! It was riveting and gut clenching for me.

I also recommend the second book as well: Unmarked.

Review here

5.
Love & Misadventure
Author: Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure - SR

This book of poetry was my utmost favorite this year. It explored the way love opens a person up and how much of a roller coaster it is with its ups and downs, making you dizzy and ill. Its bright lights will blind you and make you feel like you’re flying. The book is so beautiful that it makes my heart swell and ache with a longing of sorts and I’m usually closed off in affairs of the heart because of how shy I am. It really had me spinning.

Review here

4.
Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the End of the Lane

Blurb: A man returns home to attend the funeral of a family member and is suddenly drawn to the pond out behind his neighbor’s home. There, on the bench at the edge, he begins to remember his encounter with Lettie Hempstock and her mom and grandmother, each who claim that this pond is actually an ocean. Mostly he remembers how a man committed suicide in a stolen car and that these three ladies helped him defeat the cruel, frightening and utterly monstrous Ursula Monkton when he was a young kid.

I can still remember the anticipation I had when I started this book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I jumped into it head first because Neil Gaiman has a way of sweeping me away into a completely magical world filled with all kinds of unimaginable wonders. I’ve never read anything like this. It’s utterly perfect and phenomenal.

Review here

3.
LUX (1-2)(3-4) (5)(1.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux-Consequences - entangled in romanc

Blurb: Katy Swartz moves to a new town so that she and her mother can get a fresh start. What she didn’t expect was to be saved from an oncoming truck by the boy next door, Daemon Black. That isn’t what shocks her, though. It’s that he stopped times down to the raindrops falling out of the sky. Daemon is an alien. The alien next door and by saving her he’s put in more danger than she realizes. They know they should stay away from each other, but they’re like magnets. Drawn to each other.

This is the first book series I reviewed on my blog. The book was a constant rush of adrenaline for me, keeping me on my toes with a tension that could glued me to my seat. If it wasn’t the angst between the two main characters it was the game of denial they played with each other. Then there’s the deadly situations they get themselves into because of this denial. It’s the common case of ‘I’m addicted to you, but I don’t like you because you’re going to get me killed’. We’ve all been there, right? I found that this Sci-Fi was very interesting for me because of the added elements of romance and danger that they found themselves in. Certainly on my reread list.

Review here: (1-2)(3-4)(5)(1.5)

2.
Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole

Poison Princess

Blurb: Evie Greene was living the life. Cheerleader, amazing boyfriend, great school. But, there’s that word. Was. All of the great things in her life started to slip and then were completely ripped from her fingertips after the Flash obliterated the planet, leaving it a desert wasteland. To make her life more difficult are the voices in her head, telling her strange things. To figure out what they mean, she’ll need help, which is where the devilishly handsome and dangerous Jackson Deveaux comes in. The boy from the bayou promises to help her, protect her, but for a price. Will she pay it?

This book. THIS. BOOK. I was swept away and completely drawn down, like an anchor to the bottom of the ocean. This series had been suggested to me by my boss. She’d been telling me how great Kresley Cole was, and I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance. This is a jaw dropping series of crazy, eye-popping magic, and that kind of love that will tear you in two, and the page to page action that will make forget to breathe. I haven’t finished the series yet. I’m waiting (rather impatiently) for the third and fourth book to arrive so that I can continue. I can’t get enough. I’m quite addicted.

Review here

1.
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman

AG - bustle

Blurb: Shadow Moon gets released from prison early due to the death of his wife. On the way home, he’s hired by Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious man, to help him as he visits people across the U.S. Little by little, Shadow begins to see that not everything is as it seems. Wednesday is actually gathering allies in a coming war of new gods versus old gods and Shadow is caught the middle. Not far behind these two gentleman is Shadow’s dead wife, seeking him out in hopes of finding him and seeking forgiveness before her rotting body completely falls apart.

Is there any reason this shouldn’t be numero uno? I’d heard about the TV show coming out in the spring and it sounded fascinating, so I went ahead and got the book so I could get the lowdown on the story before the show aired. Normally, I don’t care about that kind of thing. This book took me two and a half days to finish; I was so engulfed. The imagination and sheer detail put into this book is a work of art. I have this book up in my nook beside my bed, where all of my favorite books go. I recommend this to anyone and everyone who loves the fantasy and/or supernatural genre. Even those interested in mythology should read this. You’ll get sucked in so quick that when the end comes you’ll be left in a pleasant haze of fascination. Neil can do that. Even my mom says so, and moms are usually right.

Review here

There it is. My top ten. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to, but a brand New Year is about to begin. And as my personal book resolution for 2018, I want to read from at least 25 authors that I’ve never read from before. I feel like that is a solid goal and a great opportunity to try new books, (of course it’d be within range because mysteries, if you remember, make me sleepy). I also have a resolution to get more sleep, but I’m already breaking that one before the New Year. LOL.

In addition to a resolution, I’ll be working on my layout some more. I know that most blogs, if not all, have an end of the month round-up of what they’ve read. I haven’t done one because I never thought it necessary, but beginning next month I will start posting one. That way, in case you miss a post, I will be able to catch you up.

What’s your resolution for 2018? Tell me in the comments below!

And just remember to stay safe and have fun on New Year’s, loves.

HAPPY 2018!!

2018

-K.

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Journey to the Jade Girl (Idols – A Book Review)

Idols
Author: Margaret Stohl
Published: 2014

idols

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

So I watch while my world spins out of control.

After destroying the Icon in The Hole (Los Angeles), Dol and her friends search out the other Icons so that they can destroy them and save the world from the Lords who have taken over and thrust humanity into slavery. But when Dol’s dreams about a little jade girl grow increasingly alarming, the group journeys all the way to the SEA colonies (Asia) to help her figure them out. This little girl could hold the key to freeing the world.

Along the way, relationships are tested, revelations about what the Icon children truly are is discovered, and a betrayal leaves everyone stunned and hurt.  Can they really save the world or is it too late? More importantly, are they even meant to?

As I trekked through this book, I found it to be just like Icons, (you can read the review here). It didn’t much grab my attention. That’s not to say that it didn’t have nice moments. It did. The usual grab that a story needs to keep me attached just wasn’t there unfortunately. I just felt like I was being dragged along.

I became increasingly disappointed in Dol as I got farther and farther in the book. Here she’s got a great, massive destiny and all she keeps doing is saying no as if she has a choice. She comes across as a very weak character that refuses to do anything to help her friends. It’s understandable to be afraid of dying or of your loved ones getting hurt.  The word no comes out too often, and yet she’s the one who’s rioting for rebellion against the Lords and everybody looks to for leadership and hope like she straight out of Star Wars. It really grated me. Backing out of the Save The World Plan halfway through is uncool and really ridiculous. You don’t get to exit like it’s a video game. Find your courage, swallow it down, and do the damn thing.

Idols

I felt like I was getting bounced from moment to the next without fulfillment. I just don’t feel like I got enough because the moments that I wanted more from were the ones cut way too short. I don’t mean that they were cut off by something else interrupting the moment in the book. There wasn’t enough detail to give me enough of a visual and get me to latch on that it was important.

I really enjoyed that I got to see more of what the world was like. There was an underground community, a temple and elephants. The new imagery really moved this adventure further and since I’ve never been to Asia, I really liked it.

The reveals that really surprised happened toward the end of the book, which was a shame. It left the book hanging like a monkey off a branch. It wasn’t a very pleasant feeling. Just ick that it happened at the end.

Overall, the book wasn’t extremely memorable for me. I didn’t get very attached to the characters. I couldn’t get an emotional grip to be able to. The journey to rid the world of Icons did end on a cliffhanger that left Dol damaged and angry. I don’t know if there’s another book to follow in the series. I haven’t seen or heard about it. I don’t think I’ll read it if is out there. It just wasn’t for me.

Quotabes:

“Out of range, that was us. One sunset, one kiss may have saved our lives.” (Dol, p. 50”

“You are a thing of quick and endless and always-changing beauty. Humanity.” (Bird to Dol, p. 115)

“What’s so passionate about a fruit? It’s essentially just an ovary for a seed.” (Tima, p. 225)

“Jade girls and jade dreams.” (Dol, p. 316)

“Not everything that comes from the sky is an angel.” (Dol, p. 413)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Alien by Thriving Ivory.

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The Human Next Door (LUX: Oblivion – A Book Review)

Oblivion: A LUX novel
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2015

Oblivion - amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

In Obsidian, Katy moves to Petersburg, West Virginia, and her life is never the same after meeting the Blacks, her next door neighbors. She never imagined aliens being real and she especially never expected to fall in love with one.

Now, in Oblivion, Daemon and Dee Black are still coming to terms with the loss of their brother and triplet, Dawson. And then, Katy Swartz moves into the house next door and all kinds of alarms go off in Daemon Black’s head. As a Luxen, the worst thing that can happen is for a human to get too close, and one living just next door is too close. Determined to keep her at arm’s length, his sister has other plans. She wants to be friends with their new neighbor and doesn’t care what her brother thinks.

That doesn’t mean he won’t find ways to make it impossible for Dee. It’s hard enough trying not give away that they’re aliens. His attempts to keep the two girls from being friends don’t end well, especially for him. Going back on what he swore (read Shadows), he begins to fall for her, though hiding it under a massive heap of denial. With dangers lurking in the shadows, he has to keep denying his feelings, if not for Katy’s safety than for his sister’s. If only he could stay away from Katy.

Inconceivable - Giphy

I read this after finishing the entire series. It felt more special that way, like coming full circle.

I was quite surprised when I read this book. I knew that Daemon would have some dislike for Katy, but it caught me off guard that it was more than I expected. He wanted to burn her house to the ground and hadn’t met her yet! Dang!

burn - Giphy

The heat that was in Obsidian was amplified threefold in this book. Capturing the essence of Daemon was something to behold. Witnessing the change in him from beginning to end was phenomenal. I loved seeing the person(…alien?) he became while around Katy. There was only glimpses at Daemon’s thoughts and feelings, guarded and unknown, when reading from her POV. It was like a dam breaking. The final pieces completing a puzzle. Everything we ever wanted to know and even more. This is a perfect example of writing the same story from two different perspectives. Neither story is the same in any way. Well, not true. The love and electricity that carries between the two characters is one.

The only thing that bothered me was Daemon’s tone. Every once in a while it didn’t sound like him at all from what I gathered in the Shadows and Origin and Opposition. I just found myself shaking my head here and there with befuddlement. More often than not though, I shook my head when the Daemon I discovered during the journey through LUX reared his head high and proud for being a sarcastic, narcissistic, caring young man.

This book astounded me. At first it was a bumpy ride, but when I finally got into it, I was a giggling puddle yet again. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I’m not into sci-fi. Not very much. Yet I fell into LUX so easily. Granted, there were other reason too, but that’s beside the point. Maybe I’ll tell you about it one day. All in all, this series is high up on my list.

I’ll be returning to this series one day. Until then….see you later, LUX.

P.S. Still picturing Daemon Black as this one….

Daemon - wattpad

It’s not my fault. It just happened! It was the smirk, I’m telling you.

 

Quotables:

“The stars I stared at held no answers, and as I slowly lowered my gaze, I found my staring at the bedroom window of the house next door, my new problem. There was a part of me that had accepted there was nothing I was going to be able to do to stop Dee and her from getting closer, but I couldn’t just let it go.” (Daemon, p. 43)

“Closing my eyes, I swore under my breath. This thing with Kat…it was getting ridiculous, and it was unacceptable. Completely unacceptable.” (Daemon, p. 141)

“Something unexpected happened to my chest. It felt like someone had walked right up to me and socked me in it. I might’ve stopped breathing.” (Daemon, p. 261)

“My people believe that when we pass on, our essence is what lights the stars in the universe.” (Daemon, p. 312)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Always Be Together by Little Mix.

Meeting My Alien Boyfriend’s Family (LUX: Opposition – A Book Review)

LUX: Opposition
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2014

LUX - Opposition - amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

The final installment to the LUX series.

Like stars falling from the sky, the Luxen have landed after the colossal and public havoc caused by Daemon and company in Las Vegas that revealed them as aliens to the world, and nobody is safe. Major cities are wiped out and loved ones are lost. Katy is just trying to get the love of her life, Daemon Black, back after he gets brain-sucked by his own kind. From there, she and her friends are determined to save what’s left of the world. In order to do so they make allies with those they least expected, those who already ruined their lives before the major alien arrival.

After all is said and done, nothing will ever be the same for Katy Swartz ever again. Hell, it all changed the moment she knocked on Daemon Black’s door. Does she regret it?

And as a perk, Opposition came with a bonus—the prequel story to this entire series. Where it all began. Shadows, the tale of Dawson, Daemon Black’s other sibling, and Bethany. Discover how they fell in love and how it led up to Daemon’s dislike for humans in LUX: Obsidian.

YES - giphy

This book reaches up to its peak. However, I fell a little flat with this book. Not completely, but a little compared to the previous books of the series. There was plenty of action and everything led up to this moment because I always wondered what would happen when the other Luxen landed.  And it’s a bloodbath. But there were also moments that felt a little repetitive, or that needed a little extra added on to them for me. I struggled to keep a grasp on such tidbits.

The emotional tidal wave was a great ride though. Twisting and turning and wondering left my heading spinning pleasantly like the sky is spinning from going in circles to fast. This story certainly doesn’t lack there. I couldn’t stop or pull away from it because I was desperate to find out if these characters would be okay. That kind of attachment is strong and fantastic. You get a very good visual of an apocalyptic world.

The story, just like the previous ones it followed, is fast pace and filled with a lot of unexpected surprises and delicious thrills. The wit and sarcasm is on point and I couldn’t ask for more. Actually, I could and I’m sure I’d get it. (See Quotables for a couple examples.) Even coming this far, I didn’t know aliens knew sarcasm and badassery. Not like this. Thank you for proving me wrong, *wink*. And the romance? *fans self* Oh Lordy.

However, when I got to the ending, I felt as if it was a plop of a stone in a pond. Very lacking, I felt. Compared to the rest of the book beforehand, it was so small. I didn’t expect a major charade, but I didn’t expect it to seem so simple. That’s human life for you. We like the quiet life.

I definitely recommend this book. It still holds on to the relationship of Daemon and Katy, but with more hunger like the average teenager. Every day might have been their last and they didn’t waste it. I give them kudos on that. As the final installment, don’t miss what happens when they pull out all the stops  to save each other and those they care about.

 

Quotables:

“It was hard looking back and thinking about all the time we’d wasted fighting what was between us, fighting each other, especially when the future looked appallingly short, but I couldn’t focus on that now, because we were together. It didn’t matter how many hours, days, month, or years we had stretched out in front of us; we’d always be together.” (Katy, p. 147)

“Seriously? Kissing her right now is what we need to be doing when we have pissed-off alien on us?”

“Kissing her is always the right thing to do.” (Archer to Daemon, p. 201)

 

“Well, shit balls for dinner on Sunday.” (Daemon, p. 223)

WHAT - codigonuevo

Seriously, the look on my face when I read that single sentence for the fourth time, wondering if that’s really what fell out of his mouth. It may be one of my new sayings.

“Did you ever think this is where you’d end up when you knocked on my door asking for direction?” (Daemon to Katy, p. 238)

“Dammit. All I wanted to do is shower and take a nap and eat bacon!” (Katy, p. 254)

bacon - Tenor GIF Keyboard

I feel you Katy.

I plan of starting Oblivion pretty soon, which is LUX: Obsidian, but from Daemon Black’s POV. I’m quite curious to see what he is thinking after meeting Katy for the first because the inkling from Shadows-

“Next thing we know, you’ll be dating a human…” -Ash

“Yeah, not going to happen.” -Daemon

 

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S.Song today? Forever and Always by Parachute.

Don’t Tell Mom I’m Dating an Alien – (LUX: Consequences – A Book Review)

Lux: Consequences
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2014

Lux-Consequences - entangled in romanc

This is the second installment to the special collector’s edition of the YA series, LUX.

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

After finally succumbing to her feelings for Daemon Black, discovering and getting a handle on the intense powers as a result of being healed by him, and dealing with the heavy loss of friends, Katy Swartz was not prepared for the return of Daemon’s brother, Dawson, who’d been missing for over a year. Nobody was prepared. He doesn’t waste any time in wanting to find his still missing girlfriend, Beth, and he’ll do anything to get her back, even put everybody else in danger.

“You really shouldn’t trust a soul in this game. Not when everyone has something to gain or lose.” (Luc to Katy, p. 284)”

Then suddenly, Blake, friend turned enemy, returns to town, demanding that Katy and Daemon help free the Luxen that turned him into a hybrid from Daedalus, a facility experimenting on Luxen and hybrids like him and Katy. Tensions run high as the group tries to figure out a way into Deadalus and it tests the strength of Daemon and Katy’s new relationship.

And then Katy becomes the newest captor of Daedalus. What does Daemon do? What he does best. He goes after her, and after finally finding her, the two realize that Daedalus has a lot more in store for Luxen and the hybrids besides the horrifying experiments they’ve heard about.

It’s soon discovered that their enemies aren’t just wearing lab coats and camouflage, but are a lot closer to home than expected and it shocks everybody. And, their allies are the last people they expected. They’ll need all the help they can get when their problems escalate beyond earth.

“Oh shit. ET so phoned home, kids.” (Luc, p. 772)

UFO - giphy

Where do I start!? I’m still in that lush state from reading this series and there’s still one book to go. As I told you in my very first post on here about LUX: Beginnings, I am not one for Sci-Fi, but Jennifer L. Armentrout has reeled me into it with the perfect balance of thrilling action and lip-biting romance. Daemon Black joins the ranks of book boyfriends with his ego, vibrant green eyes (my favorite), and the sneaky ways he makes the reader blush with his words that if you try hard enough, you can hear him whisper in your ear. Then again, maybe that’s just me. We all have book boyfriends or girlfriends like that.

And let’s not forget that smirk. *insert crimson blush here*

Daemon - wattpad

(Yep, I’m still imagining that it’s Cody Christian. I’ve tried denying it. It didn’t work.)

The quick pace of this story is flawless. It doesn’t feel too rushed, which is a beautiful thing. Every detail is delightfully written, very much like a movie in my head, and that’s how I love my books. The twists and turns in this next edition were kicked up a notch compared to the first one. I know that there were moments that made me think that this couldn’t escalate any higher and I kept getting blown away. I’ve got nothing but praise for this series.

This is one of those reads you can’t put down and I recommend it to everyone who’s looking to try something new. This special edition contains both the third and fourth book as well as some delectable bonus content (I won’t gush about it, but it’s great). I will hopefully be getting to the fifth one soon. Just like my craving for chocolate, my fingers are twitching for it.

Have you read it? What did you think? Tell me in the comment section below.

 

Quotables:

“If we’re not together on everything, then how can we really be together?” (Katy to Daemon, p. 60)”

“Elation swelled in my chest, and as we lay in each other’s arms, our breaths coming in and out ragged, our bodies tangled together, we still couldn’t get enough of each other. We kissed. We talked. We lived.” (Katy, p. 346)

“Several moments passed before she spoke. “I’ve always wanted a Mogwai.” (Katy to Daemon, p.521)”

gizmo - tumblr

(I’ve always wanted a Mogwai too. Just ask my mom. I ask for one every Christmas.)

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Sign of the Times by Harry Styles.

 

Follow me on Twitter: CheshireKat_92

Sometimes I’m funny and sometimes…maybe not.

The Alien Next Door (LUX: Beginnings – A Book Review)

LUX
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2014 (The 2-in-1 version I read anyway)

Lux Cover

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Katy Swartz moves to a new town with her mother for a fresh start after the passing of her father. Cue the boy next door, Daemon, who I picture being portrayed by Cody Christian (Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf), and this boy is out of this world, literally. He isn’t from around here or even this galaxy. I’m not one who reads Sci-Fi very often, but I took my chances with this and didn’t regret it. I picked it up and didn’t set it down until I was finished with the bonus content at thee very end.

There’s the usual teenage drama of who likes whom and then some, and I can’t lie, I love my dosage of back and forth witty banter and it’s there page for page. Tensions run high and it’s dangerously delicious, and the slew of pop culture references to TV is beautifully placed without feeling forced. I’m a sucker for a good Buffy reference and The Labyrinth definitely got me to smirk and shudder (I think the puppet people are creepy too).

LUX

There were a couple times I was holding my breath and my toes curled. This is a great read and I’m definitely on my way to finishing the series. I truly believe this series could skyrocket as a show on the CW, and I hope that one day it does so I can watch it.

I know this is brief, but I’m JUST starting the next one and am rambling quite a bit.

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Lightning in a Bottle by The Summer Set