It's so hard to be articulate right now.

My co-blogger Natalie and I have come to a realization that every single language (that we can speak) is deficient where the expressions of gratitude are concerned. There are just no words big or important enough to properly thank someone for a great act of kindness, and when you truly, truly mean it. Go ahead and try. No amount of thank yous, I'm so gratefuls or you're amazings can ever truly convey or articulately express the amount of gratitude we feel. Especially in print! Now, if you reach for the Caps Lock, add a lot of OH MY GODs and end it all with a few exclamation points, you're getting somewhere. It's still far from acurately depicting your gratitude, but it's closer.

The above is exactly what I did in the message I sent Natalie after I received four books from her this morning for exactly no reason at all. ♥ But we're putting on a show of professional bloggers here, so we try to keep the fangirling and the squeals to a minimum. Don't let that fool you, though. As any book blogger/lover/collector will tell you - squealing and fangirling is exactly what you do when you receive a large order of books. It's very undignified and not at all professional. It's the high-pitched equivalent of ugly crying. But there are few more blissful, more genuine emotions that money can buy. And this morning, mine was as fangirly as they come.

Behold the glory!

So this morning, an Amazon package alighted on my doorstep. It was considerably larger than I had expected. And the contents... my god, the contents.

Admit it: you'd squeal, too.

Originally, all I knew was that Natalie was sending me Colleen Hoover's Ugly Love (which we're also hosting a giveaway forat the moment). In an act of confounding irony, the US ebook of "Ugly Love" is nearly twice as expensive as a UK paperback. And as it turns out, non-UK Amazon customers are only allowed to purchase a US ebook. So Natalie's line of thinking was - and I quote - "Have the actual book! ENJOY THE HOOVER GOODNESS". To be sent Ugly Love is not only amazing, but also fitting in a number of ways. Colleen Hoover is one of the first authors Natalie and I bonded over when we met. The first book exchange which happened between us was when Natalie sent me the Slammed series shortly after we met (much to my astonishment). And Colleen Hoover is one of our most discussed authors to this day. Nine days ago when it was released, Ugly Love absolutely exploded all over the bestseller lists, both in physical form and as an ebook. Being dead broke (as grad students often are), I couldn't afford it. In comes Natalie, my absolute savior! I really can't thank her enough.

Then Natalie informs me via message that she's sent me more than one book, which leads me to naturally assume that it's two. The other one, she says, is something she's been recommending to me for ages. I ask if it's Angelfall but, good friend that she is, she knows I love surprises and refuses to tell me. My spidey sense was certainly wrong about the number of books in the package, but at least it was right when it comes to this book. This year I've been on a serious YA paranormal kick, and Angelfall sounds right up my alley. I mean, I can't get to it soon enough. So far the only paranormal angel book I've read has been Daughter of Smoke and Bone (and the two sequels), and this turned out to be one of my all-time favorite trilogies. And what with Angelfall being one of Natalie's favorites, and what with Natalie and I having such similar tastes, chances are overwhelming that I'll love it. Stand by for a review, coming soon!

I finished Amy and Roger's Epic Detour only last week. Then I went on to rave about it in a review, put together a collage for it, and absolutely, incessantly, unstoppably rant about its awesomeness to anyone and everyone who would listen. It's easily my favorite YA contemporary novel of all time, and I want to smack myself for not having read it sooner (and normally I don't promote violence). I had purchased it, per Natalie's recommendation, a few months ago on my Kindle, not knowing that the book features a number of additions to the actual text, in the form of receipts, coupons, tickets, playlists and journal entries that the two protagonists make while on a road trip across the United States. It is the road trip book to rival all modern road trip books, as far as I'm concerned. And I guess it was exactly statements like those that lead my booksister to buy me the physical copy, where all these addons are far better visible and easier to study. I have no doubt I'll be re-reading this one about a billion times in the future, so I can't even find the words to thank Natalie for getting me the physical copy. It's gorgeously illustrated, the cover is raised and embossed and all the content inside is so well-designed, it really does look and feel like a travel journal. And Natalie and I are of the opinion that the only two things money can buy that have the ability to enrich your life are books are traveling.

And lastly, The Raven Boys. This was arguably the biggest surprise, and this is the most amazing testament to my friend's generosity. This is an instance of someone buying you a book at random, off your wishlist - a book they personally haven't read, that they know little about, but they saw it and went for it. "It sounded intriguing", Natalie wrote me, "and I have no self control when it comes to buying books". It's that simple. And she is just that generous. (If this is turning into a panegyric on Natalie's generosity, it's for a good reason. If you don't understand the reason, take a book lover's word for it. Impromptu book presents are an incredible thing.) "The Raven Boys", incidentally, is my #1 benchwarmer - which is to say, it's the first book I ever added to my TBR list, and a book I still have not read to this day, so many months (and years) later. Something always seemed to get in the way. And what with the conclusion to the trilogybeing only a few months away, this is the perfect moment to give it a go.

And now that I've ranted long enough... Enjoy the goodness!!! Feel free to let me know if you've read any of these, how you enjoyed them, and which one you think I should read first. I welcome any and all feedback on the subject! This is one of those beautiful moments when you can't decide what to read first, because you actually have options. ♥ I've been blessed with the best of friends, honestly.

- Lexie