7

Waiting on Wednesday: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Welcome back!

Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) was created to allow book bloggers a space to highlight upcoming new releases.

This week I’m shining the spotlight on Uninvited by Sophie Jordan.

UninvitedThe Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she’s destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone. Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

Talk about in intriguing summary! I love the description as a mashup between The Scarlet Letter and Minority Report! thriller and it totally creeps me out – the idea of being able to predict a homicidal tendency gene! I still haven’t read Jordan’s Firelight series (even though I own the first book) but I hear such good things about her books that I’m excited for this one! Also, did you pay attention to the cool DNA hair on the cover?! WHAT!!

Uninvited is scheduled to release on January 28 from HarperTeen.

 

 

19

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Boarding School Books

Hola!

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish)!

But before we get there…Happy Anniversary to my awesome husband! As of today we’ve officially been married for 8 years! It’s pretty awesome being married to your best friend, especially when he makes you laugh all the time!

That cake was delicious.

That cake was delicious.

Awwww that was pretty sweet wasn’t it?!

Okay, let’s back to business. The theme this week allows us to base our list around our favorite settings in books. Now, I’ve said this before, but I am obsessed with boarding school books! Chances are if a book is set in a boarding school I’m going to LOVE it…seriously, I don’t think I’ve met a boarding school book I didn’t like! There is just something fun about the idea of being a teenager living away from the supervision of your parents that is just so enticing!

In my opinion, boarding school books are where it’s at!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

A boarding school in France. Romance ensues!

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterThe Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Guys! It’s spy school! What could be cooler?!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Okay so a steampunk spy boarding school might be cooler than regular spy school…maybe…

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale

Studying to be a princess must be done in a boarding school.

Star Cursed by Jessica SpotswoodStar Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Cate has moved to the Sisterhood…yes it’s supposed to be a “nunnery” but it passes as boarding school.

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

A boarding school to train soldiers…yes!

HarryPotter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK RowlingThe Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

What boarding school book list would be complete without Hogwarts?!

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThe Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

A boarding school in London?! My dreams come true.

joltedJolted by Arther G. Slade

Survival school sounds like fun!

Haven by Kristi CookHaven by Kristi Cook

A special school for teens with special abilities….

How do you feel about books set at boarding schools? Are there any that you think I should have added to this list?

2

TraumaBonds and The Kill Order by James Dashner

Hi there BookTasty friends!

I’m  glad that it’s Friday and I get to bring you another book review…although today is my official last Friday of freedom before the school year starts as next week is all preplanning. I do love my job (so much!) but I also love my summer vacations so it’s definitely a mix of excitement and lament!

Well, let’s talk books! Today’s review is for James Dashner’s The Kill Order.

The Kill Order by James DashnerBefore WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees. Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive.

The Kill Order is Dashner’s prequel to the amazing Maze Runner trilogy, which my husband and I read together and loved. Because we loved the original Maze Runner books we were both excited to read this prequel…although I was also a little hesitant as well.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it…especially when I realized none of the previous Maze Runner characters I loved were in it (which makes sense since it’s a prequel duh!). It quickly became clear that although this book had no Thomas, Newt, Minho, or Brenda in it, that didn’t even matter. The new characters, Mark, Trina and Alec were just as interesting and the story was action packed with intensity the whole way through!

One thing you need to know about James Dashner’s books is that whenever the characters start to feel even the smallest ounce of security and safety it is violently ripped from them! Seriously, he’s done this from book one and it’s only magnified in The Kill Order; the craziness just doesn’t let up. The events of Mark and Trina’s story go from bad to worse quickly and just keep getting worse. It is relentless…but in a thrilling page-turner way. Even the ending (which I’m not spoiling) isn’t necessarily a victory because we already know what happens in the rest of the Maze Runner series.
So, Mark and Trina. How did they stack up to my beloved Gladers? They were just as likable and interesting. Mark and Trina have this relationship that feels like the only fresh and positive thing that either one of them has. Their friendship is long-standing, starting even before the sun-flares, and now it is blossoming into something deeper and more romantic than either of them is sure of. Similarly is the relationship between Mark and the gruff Alec. They have this whole father/son thing going on, but there is also a certain level of respect and equality between them, especially as the story progresses. Dashner’s characters form these strong bonds fast. It’s kind of like relationships formed at summer camp…only with demented “people” hunting you….(gosh I hope that makes sense). My husband calls them “TraumaBonds”.

If you haven’t read any of The Maze Runner books they are absolutely fantastic reads.  Once you’ve read all three of the original books, go and read The Kill Order. They’re all fast-paced dystopian, creepy thrillers that are great for both guy and girl readers. I also highly recommend the audiobooks of all the titles in this series; the narrator is talented and does a great job with all the voices. If you needed anymore motivation to read them just know that they’re currently filming The Maze Runner movie and it’s scheduled to release in February 2014!

Author: James Dashner

Publisher: Listening Library (August 14, 2012)

Format: audiobook

Length: 10 hours and 2 mins

Narrator(s): Mark Deakins

Series: Prequel to The Maze Runner trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: The Kill Order (Maze Runner Prequel) (Maze Runner Trilogy)

 

9

Waiting on Wednesday: Racing Savannah

Hey there!

It’s time to talk about an soon-to-be released book that I’m excited for.  Don’t forget that Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine every week and those of us who like talking about these “coming soon” reads can link up and talk about what else…? Books!

This particular week I’m really interested in Miranda Kenneally’s Racing Savannah.

Racing Savannah by Miranda KenneallyThey’re from two different worlds. He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

Isn’t this such an adorable bright cheery cover?!

I actually haven’t yet had the chance to read any of Kenneally’s other books like Stealing Parker or Catching Jordan and I’ve totally wanted to but just haven’t yet. For some reason though, Racing Savannah just sounds way more interesting to me than the others do. Maybe it’s the class difference struggles in this one. Like maybe it reminds me or a more upstairs-downstairs thing? Kind of a Branson and Lady Sybil romance?! That just might be it, but whatever it is Racing Savannah sounds like a really fun read, so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for December 3rd, when it’s scheduled to be released!

What do you think about this one? Are you anticipating it’s release as well?

7

Top Ten Tuesday: Keep ‘em Coming!

Oh Hi!

Welcome back to BookTasty where I participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Have you ever loved a story and it’s characters so much that you just wanted more?! Well, I have definitely finished a book and thought, “okay…now give me a sequel!” only to find out that there is no sequel….NOOOOOO!

I know that not every book can be part of a series or even a trilogy and that some people get annoyed with the seemingly overabundance of series today, especially in the MG and YA world. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is refreshing to read a story and be done with it, but I really love series because they allow me to spend more quality time with those characters I love. So, today I want to share some titles that I wish would just keep ‘em coming!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Époque by Elizabeth Ross

Now, this one is a debut and Ross could have another one in the works, but as of now I know nothing.

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Unfortunately author Zinn passed away before the book was published so we’ll never have another book with these characters.

A Northern Light by Jennifer DonnellyA Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I just want to know what happens next!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

This is another debut that could have a sequel coming…? Please?!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I just love this world so much I want more…MORE!!!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanThe Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

It would be really interesting to see what happens to these boys as their time with Doug Healy progresses.

Austenland by Shannon HaleAustenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Okay, so Midnight in Austenland IS a sequel but, like Ariel, I WANT MOOOOOOOORE!

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

This world is so amazing that again, see above.

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAll of Sarah Dessen’s books

Can we just have a huge mashup book where all the characters meet and hang out and like I don’t know, go to college together in Colby or something?!

JaneAustenRuinedMyLifeJane Austen Ruined my Life by Beth Pattillo

Okay, so I think there is a sequelish companion novel to this one, but it’s a different character. I want the same character doing more of what she did in this book! (Not YA)

What about you? Are there any standalones that you particularly wish there was a sequel to?

0

Finding Your Voice: The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Hi there!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday so far!

Have I told you that I majored in history in college? My focus was the Southern Civil Rights Movement, which is why The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine stood out to me the moment I saw it.

Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin LevineTwelve-year-old Marlee doesn’t have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear – speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.

But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

I love learning about the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. I’ve always been incredibly interested in public school integration attempts and have been really intrigued by stories of light-skinned African-Americans passing as white in the segregated states. The 1950s and 1960s seem like time periods marked by fear and uncertainty, but also excitement as things were beginning to change. These mixed up feelings of fright and excitement are captured so well by Levine in this book.

The Lions of Little Rock is definitely a coming of age story told within the context of the year of school closures in Little Rock. Somehow in my studies I missed that the state government closed the Little Rock schools so they wouldn’t have to integrate the year following the Little Rock Nine. What?! Levine uses this somewhat overlooked section of history to act as the backdrop for Marlee and Liz’s friendship. In the book, these school closures are Marlee’s wake-up call that life isn’t as “black and white” as she once thought it was.  The events going on in her city force her to grow up a bit to see the reality around her.

However, this is also a story about finding your voice both personally and publicly.  At the book’s start, Marlee is a painfully shy and quiet preteen who is somewhat smothered by her longtime friend Sally. As the story continues and Marlee befriends the new girl in school, Liz,  she starts to step out of her comfort zone more and more.  And Liz?! Liz is such a bright and vivid character! She has spunk and vivacity and is caring.  Even more than Marlee, I really connected to Liz’s character because she is the one who needed Marlee to help her NOT speak (Marlee learned how to speak her thoughts from Liz), which is totally me. Sometimes I need to learn when its wisest to not open my mouth, just as Liz does.  ;p

In the end, The Lions of Little Rock is a story of friendship. These two girls weren’t allowed to see each other not only because of their skin colors, but because of the danger their relationship put them in.  However, they managed to strike a close bond despite the prevailing cultural norms and the threats.

Overall, The Lions of Little Rock was a wonderful middle grades novel to introduce your 6-8 grader to the history of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Levine gets all of her points across without focusing on how dangerous it really was during this time- totally age appropriate. I also highly recommend this one for use in a classroom as it’s a pretty quick read.

Author: Kristin Levine

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (January 5, 2012)

Format: Paperback

Length: 298 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: The Lions of Little Rock

9

Reading Queue (August)

the-reading-queueHola Amigos!

Okay so it’s officially August…which means that my life of lounging on the couch watching Vampire Diaries and reading books all day is quickly coming to a close. *sighs loudly*

Welcome to Reading Queue! This is a monthly meme where you share what books you plan to read for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Reading Queue is hosted by Book Tasty (hi!) and Books: A true story.

The premise of Reading Queue is to provide a review of what we’ve read the previous month and create a list of what we’re planning to read in the coming month. The goal for the Reading Queue is simply to talk with other bloggers about books! It’d be really cool to know who has plans to read the same book as you during the same month. Maybe it’ll even be helpful in providing reading recommendations! Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

Okay so it’s officially August…which means that my life of lounging on the couch watching Vampire Diaries and reading books all day is quickly coming to a close. *sighs loudly*

My Reading Queue

Okay, so school starts up officially on August 21 so this list (7 books total) may be a little ambitious as I start a new school year a brand new school! Oh well! Let’s see what’s on my queue for the month!

My Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver

City of a Thousand Dolly by Miriam Forster City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene BoudreauReal Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

The Moon and More by Sarah DessenThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The False Prince by Jennifer A NielsenThe False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

How I Did Last Month

The Kill Order by James DashnerThe Kill Order by James Dashner

This one wasn’t originally on my July Reading Queue, but my husband and I finally finished the audiobook!

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Another one my husband and I listened to on audiobook.

Lions of Little Rock ny Kiristen Levine

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Star Cursed by Jessica SpotswoodStar Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

I really like this alternate history/supernatural series a lot!

Silence by Becca FitzpatrickSilence by Becca Fitzpatrick

This is kind of my guilty pleasure!

There you go! What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the titles on my Reading Queue? Which of these should I read first?

If you’re interested in joining up, please do and add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! :)