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Top Ten Tuesday: Qualities that Instantly Make Me Pick Up a Book

Hi there everyone!

It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday! Every week the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish post a theme to create our lists by.  This week the theme is qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book. I have a few that will guarantee I pick up your book. Chances are that if I pick up a book with some of these qualities I’m going to enjoy it! (I’ve done extensive “research” on this topic…)

Entwined by Heather Dixon The Luxe by Anna Godbersen The Selection by Kiera Cass

1. Girls In Pretty Gowns.

I just LOVE pretty gowns and want to wear them. I also generally enjoy books with this type of cover.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

2. Romance Included.

Not romance novels, but novels with some romance in them. Le sigh…

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale Cinder by Marissa Meyer

3. Fairy Tales.

Yes. I will most likely pick up the book if its a retold fairy tale. Fairy tales are just so classic and I love the magic of them.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Smile by Raina Telegmier  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4. Female Main Characters.

I just have a hard time connecting to male main characters so it’s always a tough sell for me.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

5. England.

If your book is set in the UK in some way…historical, contemporary, fantasy whatever. I want it. I am 100% Anglophile.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter HarryPotter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

6. Boarding Schools.

I have always loved boarding school books. Boarding schools just seem so fun without your parents watching you all the time!

Austenland by Shannon Hale prada and prejudice Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

7. Jane Austen Related.

If your book relates to Jane Austen because it’s a retelling or something similar then I’m probably going to pick it up.

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins The Parting by Beverly Lewis

8. Amish People.

I’m just so intrigued by their community and culture! I want to read about them!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

9. Husband Appeal.

If you’re book has qualities that both my husband and I will like, then the chances that I’ll pick up your book increase greatly. I’m not sure what those qualities are though…murder (judging by the three books above)?!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

10. Audiobooks Narrated with a British Accent.

Yup. I’m 100% Anglophile.

So there you have it.  The qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book…all laid out in front of you.  Some one should write one book to rule them all….one that fits all of my favorite things! haha

What book qualities always entice you to read?  Thanks for visiting!

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My Love Just Keeps Increasing: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Hello everyone!

Recently I was able to receive an advanced reader e-galley of Maureen Johnson’s The Madness Underneath. I was so excited to read this one because I really, really enjoyed the first book The Name of the Star. If you’re interested in my review of The Name of the Star check it out here. But for now, let’s talk The Madness Underneath!!

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory The Madness Underneath by Maureen JohnsonDevereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.

I really need to say that I am in love with this series. They are my absolute favorite Maureen Johnson books. Boarding school?! Mystery?! AND London?! SCORE!

The main character, Rory is engaging and witty despite dealing with some emotional issues following her previous Ripper encounter. Actually, it’s because of this humor despite hardship that she is slowly becoming one of my favorite characters in teen lit. She reminds me of myself a little mostly because she just talks when she feels awkward, which is something I have been known to do as well! In fact there were numerous times where I had to stop and chuckle at something Rory said – especially her conversations with Jerome and Stephen. Johnson’s dialogue is just so smart and hilarious.

I was wondering where Johnson was going to go with Rory’s story after the first book and I totally didn’t expect her to go the way she did in book two. This isn’t bad though, as I was super into the twist(s!) that were thrown in! OH! THESE TWISTS! These twists were so sudden and intense that I had to click back a few pages (on my kindle) to reread because I found myself stopping and asking, “WAIT?! What the heck just happened?!” I had to reread it to believe it.

What I appreciate about this sequel is that it’s not just a continuation of the first book. Of course it does continue the story, you can’t not do that in a follow-up, but not in a way where you just feel like it could have been the same book. All of Rory’s relationships have changed forever and she now has to learn how they work, or in some cases don’t work. The story widens from simply being a supernatural thriller into something more complex. It’s not just another murderous ghost on a rampage, which although fun would get old after a while!  And of course, there is a MASSIVE unbelievable cliffhanger that makes you want to tear your hair out!

I need to say that I do wish we could have seen a little bit more of some of the supporting characters though. I definitely wanted more Jazza and Boo and even more ghosts! But…there is a supporting character that we do get to see more of! I can’t say anything because that would be spoilery and that’s not how we do things at BookTasty…but EEEK! I like what I see! *wink wink* *giggle*  Hopefully we’ll get even more when book three releases in 2014 (so far away!).

So, I can strongly report that I was pleased with The Madness Underneath and my love for this series just keeps increasing! If you’re a middle school aged reader and up and you enjoyed The Name of the Star you’re really going to like this one too. If you haven’t read The Name of the Star….then stop what you’re doing and go read it so you can get to this one!

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (February 26, 2013)

Format: e-galley (ARC)

Length: 290 pages

Series: Second book in the Shades of London series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London)

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Waiting on Wednesday: Golden

Hi there!

Every week I participate in Breaking the Spine’s Waiting on Wednesday. This week I am showcasing Golden by Jessi Kirby.

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s Golden by Jessi Kirbyabout to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

I love a good mystery-thriller and this summary sounds like it has potential to be quality! I see that Jessi Kirby has written a few other titles, but I haven’t read any of them yet, so this could be a good foray into her work. Golden is scheduled for release on May 14, only a few short weeks away! I can’t wait to read it.

So….are there any upcoming books you’re excited about?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More Than I Did

Well hello there!

Welcome back to BookTasty for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and let’s us book lovers have some fun with bookish lists!

This week the theme has to do with expectations while reading. Sometimes I finish reading a book and am left surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is always an awesome feeling! It’s like being delivered flowers at work! And then sometimes you think you’re really going to love a certain book and in the end you just weren’t impressed. Both happen to me, but today I’m focusing on the latter, books that I thought I’d like more than I did.

NOTE: I DO NOT HATE these books. I just didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

So here we go!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

I thought surely I’d love this period piece…nope.

Drama by Raina TelgemeierDrama by Raina Telegemier

I wanted to LOVE this one so bad, but I only liked it.

Reached by Ally CondieReached by Ally Condie

I was left underwhelmed.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Really enjoyed the first half then *BOOM* not so much the second part.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonMy Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

So much potential, but I felt like it went too long.

Beastly by Alex FlinnBeastly by Alex Flinn

Was unimpressed with the characters.

Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My husband LOVED these books but I couldn’t get into them.

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van DiepenVampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

My students LOVE this book but it was “meh” to me.

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

I love the 1920s = I will love this book! Not exactly….

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

I was kind of bored and wondering when it’d end. Which is sad because I’d heard good things.

So there you have it! I went into reading all ten of these books hoping and wanting to LOVE them, but in the end I was disappointed. Have you read any of these titles? If so, how’d you feel about them? What books did you want to love but just couldn’t?

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Tasty Treats (9)

Hello and welcome back to BookTasty!

If you’re not from Florida then you don’t know too much about FCAT…but if you are from Florida then you’ll understand when I say that we (my middle school) are in FULL FCAT MODE for the next two weeks! Oh the joys of FCAT. Well, when I came home this week from our first day of FCAT testing I was exhausted…and I wasn’t even the one actually testing! I walked into the family room and sitting on the table was box from Harper Collins!

box

A box! A box!

Seeing this box waiting for me when I came in from a tiring day just completely made me smile! I was so excited!

So….do you want to know what was in it?

Of course you do…

Two audiobooks!!

Two audiobooks!!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders book 1) by Peter Lerangis

Yay! Two middle grades books to add to my TBR list! I’ve heard fabulous things about The One and Only Ivan, but not much about The Colossus Rises (look it’s a series!) so I can’t wait to get started on them ASAP! It’s great because I am totally in need of some more audiobooks to run to. To Harper Collins…THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Did you get any fun new reads recently? Which of the two books above should I start first?

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For Historical Fiction Fans: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Hello!

I listened to another audiobook! I recently finished A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly and I think it was my eighth audiobook of 2013.

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job

This isn't the cover for the audiobook, but I like this one better.

This isn’t the cover for the audiobook, but I like this one better.

at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly’s astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

Historical fiction…why are you so good?! I love you! Seriously, I’m picky about my historical fiction, but when I do read one I like….I REALLY LIKE IT! Jennifer Donnelly’s books have this gritty realistic quality to them that I don’t always see in a lot of YA. Last year I listened to Donnelly’s Revolution, which I really enjoyed (read my review here) so I thought I should give another of her books a try. I’m glad I did because I think I prefer A Northern Light to Revolution.

First I think the main character, Mattie, is what made A Northern Light that much more enjoyable for me. Mattie, an intelligent farm girl with dreams of college and the big city was an engaging character. She is sharp and observant while also sarcastically witty. Mattie is under a lot of pressure and struggles to keep her head afloat amidst the contradictions of her dreams and her reality.

Both Mattie and Grace’s stories are told through flashbacks and both girls are fleshed out really well. Mattie begins to see something of herself in Grace’s letters which ultimately scares her. Although the story is mostly about Mattie and Grace, the supporting characters are written well. Sometimes minor characters get the two-dimensional treatment, but I really felt each character’s voice from the beginning.  They were all complex and had their own struggles which sometimes even mirrored Mattie’s. Each one was flawed in ways that make you want to love them more. Also, the mystery surrounding Grace Brown’s death is gripping. As the reader you just know something is not right and you can’t wait to figure out what it is. I’d say this was a page turner, but I was listening to it so that doesn’t apply!

Now, I did get a little frustrated at times because Donnelly’s overarching theme is pretty heavy-handed. It was incredibly clear that the main message was that women will be nothing but prisoners if they allow men into their lives. Not one woman in Mattie’s story lived a life that was happy and fulfilled, unless they made the choice to be manless. I was bothered by this not simply because I disagree with this idea, but because Donnelly doesn’t give us any room to see other possibilities. I know this story is set in a different era, but I cannot believe that EVERY woman throughout history who chose to have a man in their life was less fulfilled than those who chose to be alone. I find it frustrating that the reader is left with only one possibility.

OKAY…I’m getting off my soapbox now.

Despite the above mentioned frustrations, I still really, really enjoyed listening to A Northern Light. The narrator’s voices were all well performed (although one character’s southern accent shifted here and there) and I enjoyed her narration. If you don’t enjoy historical fiction, Donnelly’s books probably aren’t for you, and I do believe A Northern Light will be best enjoyed by older high school students (and those of us who find ourselves a tad bit older) who love historical fiction.

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Random House Audio (March 1, 2003)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes

Narrator(s): Hope Davis

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: A Northern Light

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Waiting on Wednesday: Taste Test

Hi there everyone! Happy Wednesday!

This week I’m participating in Breaking the Spine’s Waiting on Wednesday, as usual.  I’ve picked an upcoming new release that looks like it has potential to be a fun  summer read. This week I am waiting on Taste Test by Kelly Fiore. Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

If you can grill it, smoke it, or fry it, Nora Henderson knows all about it. Her father owns one of North Carolina’s most successful barbecue joints and she’s been shredding pork and basting baby back ribs since she could reach the counter. When Taste Test, a reality cooking show for teens, accepts her for their fifth season, it’s a chance for Nora to get out of her humble hometown and break into the big leagues of the culinary world. When she shows up on set at the North American Culinary Academy, however, it’s not just the New England weather that’s ice cold. Fights with her high-society roommate and run-ins with the son of a famous chef force Nora to work even harder to prove she’s a force to be reckoned with. But, despite winning challenges and falling for a fellow contestant, Nora can’t ignore the mysterious accidents that are plaguing the kitchen arena. It seems like someone is conducting eliminations of their own and Nora’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery before she, or anyone else, is “86ed” for good.

So, Taste Test sounds like a mystery mixed with contemporary romance which should equal fun stuff! My husband and I really enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef and seeing all the interesting dishes the contestants create. I’m enamored with the idea of a YA novel in this kind of setting!

Taste Test won’t be released until August 27, so I can just imagine myself sitting on a lounge chair in the warm Florida sun next to a cool swimming pool with this book in my hands!  What do you think? Are you waiting on Taste Test too?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Students’ Picks

Mirage by Kristi Cook

Hi there! Each week I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday.  This week is a Rewind week which mean we can choose any topic we prefer. This week I decided to share the spotlight with some of my students. I asked some of my top Media Center patrons (“My Reader Girls/Boys” is what…
Continue reading »

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Crying Books and My Comfort Zone: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Welcome back!

There are tons of different types of books out there. There are books that want to make me laugh. Books that want to make me swoon. There are books that just want to entertain me. There are even books that want to make me think.  But then there are also these devious little books whose only desire in life is to make me cry.

I am a pretty emotional person in real life. I can cry at the drop of a hat. There was even a commercial about a friendly lady and her daughter who send their lonely elderly neighbor a greeting card. The old lady is so touched that she comes over and hugs the lady and her daughter…I WAS WEEPING! So, you see when I sit down to read a book I’m not in the mood to cry. When I read a book, I pick the ones that are going to make me laugh or swoon or think. I kind ofIf I Stay by Gayle Forman just want to be entertained. I don’t want to cry…and If I Stay by Gayle Forman ONLY wanted me to cry.

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck… A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Can’t you just tell from the summary that this is a book that is plotting the imminent emotional demise of all its readers?! YES! I knew this going into it, but I thought it’d be good to step out of my reading comfort zone a little. In the end, I’m glad I did but If I Stay isn’t a book that I can say I enjoyed.

Forman’s writing is stunning and almost musical and the story itself is well imagined. The lyrical writing is reflected in Mia’s love of music and everything about the story just kind of flows by smoothly even though the story weaves back and forth through flashbacks and the story’s current point.

Mia’s story was interesting. I was enthralled with the possibility of her decision. Which choice will she make and what will happen to her because of it? I loved learning about her life and family and friends up until that fateful moment on that particular snowy morning. You begin to see just how complicated and painful Mia’s decision is going to be. But Mia herself isn’t the most intriguing character I’ve ever read. She just doesn’t seem all that colorful of a person.  Her friends and family do, but Mia seems to fade into the background of the scenes she shares with her family and friends.

So. You want to know. Did If I Stay achieve its mischievous little goal to make me cry?

No. It didn’t. But that’s because I knew I had to protect myself going into it. Don’t get me wrong, this book was painfully heartbreaking and there were times where I was VERY CLOSE to shedding some tears while listening (I had the audiobook from my public library) but in the end I was stronger than the book….VICTORY!

The audiobook was a quick listen, and I believe I finished the book in a little over two days (while running or driving or cleaning the house).  I love getting through an audiobook that fast!

So, if you’re one of those people who do enjoy a good cry while reading (I know there are tons of you out there!!!) you should definitely pick up If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It may even be a good idea to stop by the store to pick up a box of Kleenex as well! I also have to mention that this book is definitely intended for high school readers as there is some language and some sexual scenes sprinkled throughout.

I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone a little, but now that I have I’m going to crawl right back into my preferred reading cave! :)

Author: Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (April 5, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 4 hours and 48 mins

Narrator(s): Kristen Potter

Series: First in the If I Stay series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  If I Stay

wasn’t my favorite

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Waiting on Wednesday: Belonging

Hello there!

Waiting on Wednesday is we weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I love new releases, unfortunately there are just way too many for me to be able to read all of them. Which really is a shame. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that I LOVE new releases! Today I’m excited about Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins, which is the sequel to the first book in this series Temptation.

Belonging by Karen Ann HopkinsI left everything I knew behind. But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren’t even allowed to see each other. Not until I’ve proven myself.

If I can find a way to make it work, we’ll be NOAH & ROSE together forever. But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

Seriously, this sounds pretty predictable, but I can’t wait to read it! First I need to read Temptation though. The Amish community is so mysterious that I love the idea of an outsider attempting to join them. I think I’d have fun with it for about a week then I’d be a huge baby and complain about all the work and the covering up. haha

Belonging wont be released until April 30, so we have a little over a month to wait. Hopefully I can get to Temptation in the meantime!