I am a huge fan of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University and thrilled to be participating in the Bucket List Tour! If you have not read All Played Out yet, be certain to get it now. It’s my favorite book of the series and Nell and Mateo both completely stole my heart.
It’s difficult to pick my top 5 books of the year, much less just 5 for 30 years. With much torture, I have finally decided on my recommendation for the books you should read before 30.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Scout was my first female hero and that has never changed. This book not only inspired all my childhood pet names, it made me believe in the goodness of everyone. At the time, I couldn’t truly appreciate all the underlying social and family issues. As an adult, my love of it has only grown. As a mother, I my wish is to have a daughter like Scout.
- The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Mallay – I read this book a few years ago and have never been affected by an ending of a book like this one. Even now, I get chills just thinking of the story. It may not receive the huge accolades the others on my list, but it is no less powerful. It completely changed my perception on death.
- Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – I remember reading this book thinking it was going to be cute chick lit. Imagine my surprise when it ended up being the worst “ugly cry” book I’ve ever read! I cried for days, and three years later, I cry while typing this. It such a powerful story about love, friendship, and the right to choose your own destiny.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I had the opportunity to read this one prior to the movie buzz. I had to put it down several times and remind myself that most of the events occurred in my parents’ lifetime. I admire the tenacity and hope of Skeeter and Abiline. The world is full of such brave and beautiful women, who’s stories we will never know.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This remains one of my favorite classic books. It was when I first fell in love with a fictional man. Despite being over 200 years old, this tale of love is timeless.
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….
With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).
So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.
Item #1? Hook up with a jock.
Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.
Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.
Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.
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