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Top Ten Tuesdays: Fictional Real World Romances

Top Ten TuesdayHi!

Well, I am in the midst of Pre-Planning week at school.  The 2012-2013 school year is upon us and my kids will be back on campus next week.  I am, as I’m sure all educators are, both excited to get back to work and sad to see my summer freedom go away.

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite feature, hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday was created because of a love of lists and all things bookish. Each week a theme is posted and we get to create a list based on that theme and share it with others!

Because Jaime from The Broke and Bookish is getting married soon (YAY! Congrats!), this week’s theme  is Top Ten Fictional Romances that I Think Would  Actually Make it in the Real World.  These are fictional couples that have some sort of quality that would give help them to last if they were actually in the non fictional world we all live in.  Each of the couples I’ve listed below have what I think it takes to survive outside of their fictional environments. Yay romance!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins1. Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Claire

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and Etienne waited out their relationship for-EVER! This couple knows what it takes to work hard at getting something right.  I think they’d do just fine in the real world where relationships are hard work.

Forgive My Fins by Terri Lynn Childs2. Lily Sanderson and Quince Fletcher

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Quince’s affection for Lily is long standing and he stood by her even when it hurt him. Lily is incredibly loyal and once she makes a decision she pretty much sticks to it. Plus both Quince and Lily push and encourage each other to be better people and are willing to say what needs to be said even if the truth might hurt a little.

Heist Society by Ally Carter3. Katarina Bishop and Hale

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Trust.  Kat and Hale have it.  You can’t pull major heist after major heist with someone unless you trust them.  In the real world, trust really is paramount to a relationship.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby4. Sara and Andy

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Sarah and Andy have been through some seriously difficult times together. A real life romance, that has what it takes to make it, is one where the couple can stand firm together through the fiercest trials.  I’d say walking out of the Everglades together is a pretty fierce trial!

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood5. Cate Cahill and Finn Belastra Born Wicked

Cate and Finn both have each other’s backs.  In a real life relationship, you have to be on your partner’s side. If they don’t believe you are on their side fighting through life with them, there is something lacking.  I believe that Cate and Finn, living in a society that is unfriendly to both of them, are on each other’s side when it seems like no one else is.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale6. Charlotte Kinder and Edmund Grey

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Charlotte and Edmund hit it off right away.  They have an easy friendship and make each other laugh. Friendship and laughter are two incredibly important factors in a relationship.  If you’re not friends how will you enjoy being with this person every single day? If your partner doesn’t make you laugh how can you make it through the monotony that is day to day life?  In my opinion, you can’t; friendship and laughter are integral to a successful relationship.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen7. MacLean and Dave

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

MacLean and Dave stick together even when the easy thing to do is run.  They know that relationships take hard work, and sometimes the pain of life can attack and make the relationship seem like more work than it’s worth.  MacLean and Dave seem to get it though.  Any relationship that matters is worth the work.

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer8. Vlad Tod and Snow

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Healthy relationships call for sacrifice sometimes.  I believe that Vlad and Snow understand that sometimes in a relationship you have to sacrifice for the other person.  I mean come on…she let him suck her blood; if that’s not sacrifice I don’t know what is!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen9. Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The best things in life are free! Both Catherine and Henry completely get what is important in life and it’s not money!  Both would give up wealth if it meant they’d get to be together.  Le sigh…maybe my favorite couple on this list!

River Secrets by Shannon Hale10. Razo and Dasha

River Secrets (Books of Bayern #3) by Shannon Hale

Both Razo and Dasha know what it means to be overlooked despite your special qualities.  These two can see past the failures or weaknesses seen by others and into the real quality person beneath.  They’re just so cute together too!

So there you have it!  What’d you think of the couples I’ve chosen? Which fictional couples do you think would survive in the real world?

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Geocaching Adventures: Hide and Seek by Katy Grant

Well hello again!

Hide and Seek by Katy Grant is the eighth of the fifteen Florida Sunshine State Books  I’ve read this summer.

Hide and Seek by Katy GrantAfter a summer cooped up in his family’s store selling bait, tackle, and soft drinks to tourists, Chase is excited to be on his own for the day. He’s cycling into the foothills of the White Mountains of Arizona, looking forward to his first solo geocaching adventure.

Using his GPS, he uncovers the geocache – a small metal box – hidden in the woods. Inside, along with a few plastic army men and a log book, is a puzzling message.  WE NE. 

When Chase returns later to the geocache, he finds another message. WE NEED FOOD.

Who are the mysterious individuals leaving the messages? Are they hopelessly lost? Or hiding from something-or someone? Is this an opportunity to be a hero, or is Chase in way over his head?

I don’t think there are many middle grades books out there that make geo-caching a central theme, so this was a fun new thing for me.  I’ve done some letter boxing in the past, which is similar to geo-caching without the GPS.  I’m actually pretty intrigued with geo-caching now, and would like to try it out sometime! Hopefully Hide and Seek will also inspire some of my students to do the same!

I really did enjoy the story, but although the beginning was creepy at times and the ending was fast paced and intense, most of the middle was just so-so.  It seemed that this part of the book was pretty slow and that some of it could have been cut out.  Now, don’t get me wrong I still enjoyed this story as a whole, I just really wonder how my students will like it, especially when the middle section drags a bit.

If you’re a middle schooler who enjoys the great outdoors and adventure, Hide and Seek may be the book for you. If you’re a social studies teacher, I really believe you could use Hide and Seek and geocaching to tie into a unit on latitude and longitude.

Author: Katy Grant

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 240 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: Hide and Seek

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Book Trailer of the Week: Across the Universe

Book Trailer of the WeekHappy Friday!

This is my last free no responsibilities Friday of the summer.  Oh summer, how I shall miss you!Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Every Friday I post my Book Trailer of the Week Feature where I highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  This week’s trailer is for Beth Revis’ Across the Universe.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I actually recently finished listening to the audiobook for Across the Universe but had never seen the book trailer.  I was incredibly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! I don’t know why, but I never expect to love sci-fi and then I totally do! Well, obviously you can tell I loved Across the Universe and I can’t wait to grab the audiobook of book number two, A Million Suns.

So, without further ado, check out this book trailer!

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So Legally Blonde: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Hello there!

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison is the seventh of the fifteen Florida Sunshine Book I’ve read this summer.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonFinding your one true love can be a Grimm experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.

When I first saw the 2012-2013 Sunshine State list, I could tell automatically by the cover that its my type of book!  The title and cover just scream “FAIRY TALE!” which you know I love (!) I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I do and I don’t care!  Isn’t it (the cover) adorable!?

So yea, I completely, 100% love fairy tales re-tellings and mash-ups.  There is just something so fun about hearing a story you’ve heard since childhood be told in a different way.  My Fair Godmother has smatterings of Cinderella, Snow White and other fairy tales mixed all up into one giant fun story!

At first I actually liked Jane best, but soon I came to love her sister Savannah even more.  This surprised me at first because Jane is so bookish and focused on school, which was totally me in high school, so I had a hard time when Savannah actually turns out to be the main character. But in the end, like I said, I came to love Savannah and she makes a likable, if not flawed, main character.

Savannah’s fairy, I mean fair, godmother is hilariously bad at what she does. I love the idea of a fairy godmother who is more concerned with shopping and socializing than her actual magical  work.  Chrysanthemum Everstar adds a very Legally Blonde-like atmosphere to the story which is just adorable.

So, all in all My Fair Godmother is an incredibly enjoyable trip down fairy tale lane that I know my students will enjoy and you will too if you’re a fairy tale fan.  Also, I’m going to have to get my grubby little fairy-tale-loving fingers on the sequel, My Unfair Godmother!

Author: Janette Rallison

Publisher: Walker Childrens (December 22, 2009)

Format: paperback

Length: 320 pages

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: My Fair Godmother

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Lucky Ones

Well, it’s finally my LAST week of freedom before the school year starts.  Next week, I go back for Pre-Planning and then the kids come back the week after that.

Oh.  Summer! Where for art thou summer?!The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen

Okay, well every Wednesday I participate in Waiting on Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine!  Every week those who participate spotlight an upcoming book that we just can’t wait for.

This week I am patiently waiting on The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things #3) by Anna Godbersen.

Letty’s rising star is threatened by a new rival…

Astrid’s relationship with Charlie takes a dark turn…

And Cordelia vows revenge against the Hales – once and for all…

Ohhh, I can’t wait for more roaring twenties drama, romance and fashion!

I recently read and reviewed Bright Young Things, the first title in the series, but still have to read book two, Beautiful Days. I’ve got plenty of time though, since The Lucky Ones isn’t scheduled to be released until November 27, 2012.

So, what book are you waiting on this week?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Top Ten TuesdayHola!

Every Tuesday I participate in Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week they post a theme to create our own bookish lists.

I’m not a huge fan of this week’s official theme, so I’m going to do the one from last week (which I skipped because I did an August New Release list), which is Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours.  So these are all characters who’s shoes I’d love to temporarily (or permanently) fill.

Catherine Morland1. Cathrine Morland

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Other than Elizabeth Bennett, Catherine Morland is my favorite of Austen’s heroines.  She is just so loveable and naive and is full of book lust! I think that I could manage pretty well in Catherine’s slippers as she dances with Henry Tilney,  goes on long country walks with Elinor and explores Bath for the first time.

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter2. Cammie Morgan

The Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this (many) times, but I want to be a student at the Gallagher Girl Academy for Exceptional Young Women!  I want to learn how to be a spy in a huge, old mansion. I’ll just overlook the whole secret organization who may or may not wish me harm thing.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale3. Charlotte Kinder

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I just want to vacation at Austenland.  I also like the idea of some mystery and intrigue thrown in with my Regency romance. So, yes I could do very, very well for myself at Austenland!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson4. Ginny

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ginny gets to travel all over Europe on a special quest.  Yes please! I wish someone would give me money and send me off to explore Europe!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins5. Anna

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Boarding school in Paris?! Why not! I laughed that Anna was, at first, angry about being sent to live in Paris for a year, because I thought…well heck! I’ll gladly take your place Anna! Can I still attend a French boarding school at 29?

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare6. Tessa Gray

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Okay, so I’ll admit Tessa’s life isn’t all romance, puppy dogs and laughter.  She loves two boys, doesn’t know who she really is, and has these robotic/clockwork creatures chasing her, but I’d still switch spots with Tessa for a day.  I’d love to explore Victorian London, with a certain Welsh shadowhunter!

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by CA Belmond7. Penny Nichols

A Rather series by C.A. Belmond

If I was Penny Nichols (yes that’s her name) I could gallivant all over Europe in an antique sports car or yacht.  I would also have a job that allowed me to find historic antiques and solve mysteries.

Carmen 8. Carmen

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Anne Brashares

I just want to be a part of this group of friends and Carmen is my favorite of them all.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier9. Jena

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

I know she gets mixed up with the dangerous fairy world, but Jena is just a fun character and I wouldn’t mind living in a fairy tale like setting for a day or so…but only for a day!

Rumors by Anna Godbersen10. Diana Holland

The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

Gilded Era Manhattan? Wealthy young socialites in gorgeous gowns?  I can play dress up for a day!

Which fictional characters would you be willing to switch places with?

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Book Trailer of the Week: Strings Attached

Book Trailer of the WeekHowdy!

Strings Attached by Judy BlundellIt’s Friday-day! (That’s how one of my students used to say Friday! So cute!)  Every Friday I like to highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  It may be an older trailer or one for an upcoming title, but I always look for trailer that I can use at school to promote books with my students.

This week’s trailer interested me primarily because I realized it’s for a new title by Judy Blundell, Strings Attached. I read her historical coming-of-age story, What I Saw and How I Lied  and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to see another one that sounded similar.

When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn’t have much. She’s fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she’s broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who’s enlisted in the army.

The city doesn’t exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that’s not going to last very long. She needs help–and then it comes, from an unexpected source.

Nate Benedict is Billy’s father. He’s also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal–he’ll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

Now, checkout the trailer

I love the old-timey film noir feel of the trailer.  Makes me want to read the book as soon as possible!

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The Continuing Story: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Well hello there!

I’ve been reading and enjoying summer so much, that I can’t believe it’s already August! Although I still have a few weeks, so I’m trying hard not to think about the upcoming school year.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareRecently I finished reading Cassandra Clare’s City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series.

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave’s magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can’t stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s magic has wrought – Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.  Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can’t help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

One thing I hate about reading unfinished series is that I have to wait so long for the other books to be released! But I just adore Clare’s books.  It’s always about a year between each new release and I forget how much I love the characters until I’m reading the newest book! I seriously love these characters so much.

I don’t think this was my favorite of the series because the pacing for the first half of the book was pretty slow, and Clary is so frustrating at times, but I still really enjoyed continuing to see what happens next with these characters.  I’ve increasingly enjoyed watching Simon and Isabelle come into their own as more than just side characters.

I was actually a big fan of the Jace-Sebastian plot line in this installment. The whole thing was a tricky twist that kept me wondering how Clare could possibly resolve it!

Also, let me say that as much as I love The Mortal Instruments books, I am a bigger fan of Clare’s  Infernal Devices series. There is SO MUCH in City of Lost Souls that points to The Infernal Devices books! So many clues and connections that leave me excited for answers in Clockwork Princess (which doesn’t come out until 2013!). 

The audiobook is, like the others in the series, narrated by Molly Quinn (from Castle!) and although she’s not the best narrator I’ve listened to, she does a pretty good job and is consistent with her voices.

So, all in all, if you’re a high schooler or above who has already read the other Mortal Instruments books, then you’ll most likely enjoy City of Lost Souls as well.

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (May 8, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 16 hours, 59 minutes

Narrator(s): Molly C. Quinn

Series: Fifth in The Mortal Instruments series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments)

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Waiting On Wednesday: City of a Thousand Dolls

Waiting on WednesdayWelcome back and Happy Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming new releases we’re excited about.

City of a Thousand DollsThis week, I’m showcasing City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster.  I saw this one on someone else’s blog a little while ago and was immediately intrigued.  That title?  Awesome!

The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.
Fantasy mixed with murder mystery?!  I love the premise and am definitely going to hit up the bookstore on February 5, 2013 when it’s released by Harper Collins!