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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Never Switch Places With

Hello!

Welcome back for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday!

You know how sometimes you finish a book and you just wish you could trade places with the main character and live their charmed life for a little while?  Well, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish) is about the opposite of that! This list is all about those “Characters I Would Not Want to Switch Places With”. The lives of the characters on my list are not charmed, and are in fact, pretty terrifying. Are you ready?

Nick and Allie from The Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman. I hope and pray that Everlost is is not Everlost by Neal Shustermanreal because this place freaked me out so much when I read these books. There is just so much creepiness that happens in Everlost that I think I’d rather just sink into the Earth rather than tough it out with the Afterlights.

Aria from from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  Aria undergoes some major character growth while traveling through “the Deathshop” with Perry, but the dangers she encounters while there are not something I’d want to mess with. First you have these terrible ether storms, then you have the cannabalistic Croven with their sinister jinge bells, and dweller society that isn’t as safe as it first appears. No thank you!

Any person living in one of the Panem districts from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This one is obviously easy. Why would I ever trade places with anyone from any of the districts when you have to live in constant fear of The Hunger Games?! Not only is there the fear that you might get chosen as tribute, but think about all the other people afraid for their children?! And even if you’re lucky enough to never get chosen, you still have to live in a world where killing kids is entertainment.

Anyone in a Soviet work camp from Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This is really a hard one to talk about because Between Shades of Gray is based on actual events. Thousands of people (men, women, and children) were forced into Soviet work camps and lost their lives during Stalin’s cleansing of the Baltic region. Sepetys’ writing is beautifully haunting and you get good understanding for the horrors these people experienced. I debated adding this one to the list, but this story and setting still stick with me months after reading it and reminds me to be thankful.

Ender Wiggins from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Ender’s life kind sucks. He thinks he’s in charge of his life, but the whole time someone else is pulling the strings purposefully testing him and making things difficult to bear. Not my idea of fun!

May from May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. May thinks she is going to work for this nice young married May B. by Caroline Starr Rosecouple as their housemaid only to be abandoned in a snow covered prairie homestead with winter coming in full force. May has to struggle to survive all alone and no one knows she needs help. Talk about feeling helpless!

Sam from In Too Deep by Amanda Grace. The amount of guilt Sam experiences due to the choices she makes is just overwhelming while reading this book. I’ve gotten myself into bad situations where the guilt just slowly eats away at your insides and I never want to go through that again! So, no. I will not be trading places with Sam.

Pippa from the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. I can’t say much about this without things becoming majorly spoilery so I won’t got any further. Just know that I wouldn’t switch places with her for anything.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie BabbittThe Tuck family from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. The poor Tuck family never got a choice in the whole eternal life question; it happened to them with out them even knowing it. I even can’t imagine knowing you are forced to live eternally and you had no say in the matter.

Thomas and The Gladers in The Maze Runner series. A life of hardship and fear forced on you by a government stuck in a desperate situation. Nope. I would have never made it out of the tunnel in the second book because those orbs are so terrifying, not to mention “the cranks”. I can’t even…

All of the books mentioned above were great reads, I just have no desire to trade places with the characters! haha So, what characters would you never trade places with?

 

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Ponder the Deeper Things in Life

Welly howdy!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a list theme for book bloggers to participate in.

This week’s theme is Books That Made You Think. So, I have a list of books that made me ponder the deeper things in life. Now, I will say that I tend to prefer books on the lighter sides because I don’t like books that make me cry!  I’m such a crier in normal life that when I read books I like happyish endings.  But, I have read some books that fit this category.  So, here they are! (Sorry no pictures this week my internet at home is down so I’m posting at work and the connection is slllooow…) 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is centered around bullying and teenage suicide. Working with teens, especially those labeled ”at-risk” made this book so meaningful to me. It is an intense read, but is also worth the emotional rollercoaster ride.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

2. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Park weaves together two stories of African youth affected by difficult times.  One is the story of a boy trying to survive in the face of civil war in his homeland, while the other tells of a young girl who has the responsibility of providing water for her family every day. Civil war? Poverty? The reality of life in a third world country? This one definitely made me think.

3. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Such an amazing true story of a German teen in the 1930s/1940s who grows to reject Hitler’s teachings and eventually takes a stand against them.  It was interesting to get the perspective of one who had originally been a member of the Hitler Youth because you rarely get to see that point of view.

4. May B by Caroline Starr Rose

A novel in verse about a girl living on the prairie struggling to survive a harsh winter.  The book also deals with dyslexia and made me, as an educator, wonder how students with disabilities fared in school during past eras. It must have been isolating, and confusing to not understand why everyone else was “getting it” while you were having trouble.

5.In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

 about a girl who does nothing to counteract the false rumors that a boy from school raped her, is so incredibly thought-provoking.  It made me think of lies, even those of omission, and the effects and consequences they can have in our lives.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Herandani6. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

This debut middle grades novel deals mainly with the idea of identity. The main character, Sonia,  is of both Jewish-American and Indian heritage and is struggling to figure out where she fits in her new school and in life altogether.  Sonia is also dealing with an out of work father who is struggling with depression and goes missing. I’d never read a middle grades novel displaying a parent with depression before. 

7. The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Peterson

More civil war and ethnic killing…The Day of the Pelican tells the story of a young girl and her Muslim Albanian family trying to survive in the middle of the Kosovo War.  Talk about a perspective adjustment for those of us who have never experienced war on our own soil.

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I loved this YA sci-fi story filled with themes of genetics and ethics. It had the “whoa thats cool!” factor but also made you realize that meddling in genetics has major ethical consequences.

9. Matched by Ally Condie

The dystopian world Condie creates has immense restrictions on creativity. The governmentMatched by Ally Condie has deleted all but a hundred songs, a hundred paintings, a hundred books etc… from the world’s memory.  People are not allowed to create new songs or books or paintings either.  With these type of restrictions the ability to create anything (words for example) gives power.  As the wife of a musician I can’t even imagine a world without creativity!

10. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before (it’s not YA or MG though) but this book blew my mind when I read it in my senior AP Lit class eleven years ago! I had never read anything like it in my life.  Chalk full of a dystopian society run by religion that puts restrictions on everything including sex and child-bearing.  Talk about making me think!

So there you have it- books that really made me think! What are some books that made you ponder the deeper things in life?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

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Happy Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is meme hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish!
I feel like I’m constantly talking about the same books over and over again since I am still only a toddler blogger (a little over one year) and my list of books I’ve read still isn’t huge. So, I am going to tweak this week’s theme and make it work for me. Today’s Top Ten is going to start with my top five contemporary Young Adult fiction titles. Then I’ll list five contemporary YA titles that I really want to read. Sound good? Good!

5 Contemporary YA Fiction Titles I Adore

So, with the exception of number 4 and 5, I obviously enjoy some good old fashion contemporary romance (she says as she swoons).

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen2. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart3. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace4. In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

5 Contemporary YA Fiction Titles I Want to Adore but Haven’t Read Yet

These are books that I have heard other readers say amazing things about, but I have not yet had the opportunity to read. I have most of these in my possession, but just haven’t found the time to sit down and read them yet.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen2. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally3. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jenniger E Smith4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty5. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

So there you have it! Please feel free to share some of your favorite contemporary YA (or MG) titles, or those that you want to read but haven’t yet. Thanks for stopping by!

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Rumors and Consequences: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Looks like a good day for a book review! But before we get to that, don’t forget you can still enter the Tempest Audiobook Giveaway until February 19!

In Too Deep by Amanda GraceI never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Wellesley. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.

Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger–forcing me to make a terrible choice.

I received In Too Deep by Amanda Grace from the publisher (Thank you Flux Books!) and was interested from the moment I read the jacket summary.

Although the plot of In Too Deep deals with sexual assault and rape, the story’s main plot line focuses on lies and how you can’t erase them.

One of the first things I noticed about this book is the honesty of the supporting characters. Take Nick for example. He is Sam’s best friend and has been for years. Although he does cherish their friendship and Nick is loyal, he is not afraid to call out Sam when she is wrong. Nick is not scared to say the things that may be difficult for Sam to hear, he knows its better for her to heat them. I appreciate this kind of loyalty and friendship portrayed in YA fiction, because often friends can be portrayed at loyal to a fault. This is reality. Real friendship is like that; real friends love you and aren’t hesitant to bring up the hard stuff.

Grace has written Sam’s character well. Sam is nowhere close to being perfect. The story starts with Sam making a dumb decision in an attempt to get a boy to notice her and then it’s like a dumb decision snowball that keeps getting bigger and bigger (I kept yelling at Sam in my mind!). Although Sam didn’t intend for the false rumors of rape to circulate around school, she also does nothing to stop them. Sam knows she’s in the wrong and has good intentions to put the stories to rest, but she just never gets up the courage to actually end it. Sam is a good person, but she makes bad mistakes. Sounds like me at that age and almost every other teenager I’ve ever known, which is why I think Sam’s character is well written. I think readers can relate to Sam.

Now, to the ending (without spoilers), I absolutely loved the ending especially the last few sentences (which I want to post but can’t because that would be wrong!). In the midst of tons of hardship and difficulty (brought on by the main character by herself) there is hope on the horizon, which is what made me really like this book.

Some people may be uncomfortable about middle schoolers reading In Too Deep based on the intense subject matter, but I think the lesson learned by the main character in the end is an important one for middle grade readers. That is why I would recommend this book to older middle schoolers and up who are looking for a realistic contemporary read.

Author: Amanda Grace

Publisher: Flux Books (February 8, 2012)

Format: Print ARC

Length: 228 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: In Too Deep

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Currently Reading

As usual I’m reading a ton of books all at the same time.  How I manage this, I have no idea! This time around I’m in the middle of some audiobooks, e-books and print copies.  Here they are:

On Audiobook

Dont Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter (MG/YA)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (listening with my husband so this may take longer to finish) (YA)

Print

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (MG)

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace (ARC) (YA)

Ebooks

May B A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose

May B.: A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (MG)

I have no idea when I’ll actually finish these, but there they are!  What are you currently reading?  Any suggestions for my “Too Read” stack?

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Top Ten Tuesday: February New Releases

Tomorrow is the first day of February!  As always, new months bring new books, which makes me very happy! Today’s top ten tuesday is spotlighting some of the new February releases in YA/MG fiction.  Obviously, this is only ten titles out of the many that will be published this month.  Enjoy!

The Girls of No Return by Erin SaldinThe Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin (Feb 1) YA

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area stretches across two million acres in northern Idaho. In its heart sits the Alice Marshall School, where fifty teenage girls come to escape their histories and themselves.

Island of Shadows by Erin HunterIsland of Shadows (Seekers: Return to the Wild 1) by Erin Hunter (Feb 7) MG

Toklo, Kallik, and Lusa survived the perilous mission that brought them together, and now it’s time for them to find their way home. Kallik and Lusa are ready to be among their own kinds again, but Toklo, devastated by the loss of their companion Ujurak, feels hopeless and afraid of what’s to come.

Dead to You by Lisa McMannDead to You by Lisa McMann (Feb 7) YA

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle… at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn’t going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he’d be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that’s keeping his memory blocked.

In Too Deep by Amanda GraceIn Too Deep by Amanda Grace (Feb 8) YA

I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Davis. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.  Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger-forcing me to make a terrible choice.

Pure by Julianna BaggottPure by Julianna Baggott (Feb 8) YA

And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Quest for te Secret Keeper by Victoria LaurieQuest for the Secret Keeper (Oracles of Delphi Keep #3) by Victoria Laurie (Feb 14) MG

The Royal Navy has taken the keep to use as a hospital and the tunnels running under the keep and the castle are ideal to set up a central communications outpost for the approaching war. The earl is happy to help the effort, but now the keep is no longer safe for the orphans and they must be evacuated to his winter residence.
Ian, Theo, and Carl know that if they’re sent away, they’ll no longer be protected. But more important than their safety is deciphering the third prophecy. All clues point to a quest. The orphans don’t know where they must go, but they know they must rescue the Secret Keeper.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCourThe Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (Feb 16) YA

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.

But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa JensenThe Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (Feb 16) YA

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating?

Fever by Lauren DeStefanoFever (Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano  (Feb 21) YA

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.  The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous.

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver  (Feb 27) YA

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Titles From My To Read Stack

My To Read Stack

I always have a huge To Read stack, so I decided it was time to feature its presence in my life! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday are ten titles in my To Read stack. Now, as you can see there are not ten books in the stack above, and that’s because I also have some e-books on my Kindle that are technically in this category. So many delicious books, so little time! Anyway, here we go!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Miracle Wimp by Erik P. KraftMiracle Wimp by Erik P. Kraft (ignore the giant puppy paw!)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

My Most Excellent Year by Steve KlugerMy Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day GeorgeTuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

The Boy Book by E. LockhartThe Boy Book by E. Lockhart

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter

Tempest by Julie CrossTempest (audiobook) by Julie Cross (ARC)

May B. by Caroline Starr RoseMay B.: A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (e-book)

In Too Deep by Amanda GraceIn Too Deep by Amanda Grace (ARC)

Of course I’ll let you know when I get to these; I just wish I could read them all right now, but alas its not possible! What titles are waiting for you in your To Read stack?