Top Ten Tuesday: Read Alikes

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Every Tuesday I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday Meme which is hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme for others to create lists so that us book bloggers can get to know each other better and talk about what we love… books!

This week’s list is Books for People Who Like X book…in other words its read alike week! Today I’ll be giving read alike suggestions for some popular Middle Grades and Young Adult fictions titles. Hopefully this list will be helpful to you in figuring out what to read next!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeIf you like Princess Academy by Shannon Hale… try Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Both Hale and George are the queens of middle grades fairy tales retold! And they’re friends in real life.  They’re perfect read alikes.

The Loser List by HN KowittIf you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney… try The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt

Both books are about boys who are struggling to make it through their teenage year and are told in words and doodles.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanIf you like  Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen… try The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

These two rock the summery contemporary YA world!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerIf you like the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins… try The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Both dystopian novels feature strong characters fighting against corrupt governments.  Both are pretty intense reads!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneIf you like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz… try Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Alex Rider is the modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes.  Both are British teen spies/detectives attempting to save the world. Fun stuff!

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyIf you like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen… try Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Both tell the stories of teens attempting to survive in the wilderness.  One in the Canadian mountains and another in the Florida Everglades.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerIf you like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan… try the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Although one is about Greek gods and the other focuses on vampires, both stories are about boys who uncover their true identities.

Football Hero by Tim GreenIf you like The Underdogs by Mike Lupica… try Football Hero by Tim Green

Both authors write books about regular kids and sports. Both are really fun middle grade reads!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlIf you like The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray… try Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both are paranormal young adult novels with a dollop of romance thrown in!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteIf you liked The Mortal Instruments series or The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare… try the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White

Both series center on a teen girl who thinks her life is pretty normal until she realizes her connection to the supernatural world.

Do you recommend any other read alikes for the books I’ve mentioned above?


Getting His Start: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

It is time for another book review!

This one is an audiobook and I listened to it as part of the 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge  Death Cloud by Andrew Lane.  Death Cloud, is actually the first book in the Young Sherlock Holmes series detailing where and how the famous British detective got his start.  Also, I received this review copy of the audiobook from the super nice people at MacMillan Audio- thank you!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneThe year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer’s son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education – the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously ‘unwell’, Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent . . .

Okay. So I have to be completely honest here; I haven’t read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,  but I have always been intrigued by the character and I do own a copy of them all.  So, I’m not a complete classic fiction failure right?!

Can we also talk about the idea of looking at classic fictional characters as teenagers?! How fun is that?!   Let’s get working on a teenage Elizabeth Bennett or a young Hercule Poirot!  I would seriously read them! This is why I was drawn to Death Cloud when I first saw it- come on a teenage Sherlock Holmes?  YES!

Lane creates a cool collected, level-headed, although sometimes incredibly stubborn teenage boy who has all the reasoning skills, without the knowledge (enter is new American tutor).  What I found really interesting about Lane’s portrayal of Sherlock is that he is kind of a social outcast in school.  He knows the other students and sits among them in classes, but doesn’t really have any friends. In fact, Sherlock has never really had any friends growing up, and because of it he is a bit socially awkward at times.   This is incredibly interesting as one would think that those who grow up privileged in an area where you are the wealthiest family, one might not be allowed to know the other children.  But there also seems to be the fact that Sherlock’s precociousness seems to put him on a different plane than the other boys in his school.

My boys at school are usually not into historical fiction (although some of my girls are) so I’ve been debating whether or not to add Death Cloud to my Media Center catalog or not.   My students just don’t have much interest in historical fiction (arrgghh the truth hurts my historical fiction loving heart!)  That being said  this story is pretty action packed, especially once Sherlock and the mystery get underway, so I think I’m going to give it a try and talk it up to some of my boys who enjoy the Alex Rider books, because there are definitely similarities between the two.

Overall, I really enjoyed the audiobook narrator, Daniel Weyman, who apparently mostly does theater work. His voices and accents were consistent the whole way through, although his American accent was slightly humorous to me because it was such a stereotypical southern accent.  I guess that’s how we sound to everyone else! haha

I really enjoyed this book and if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or a fan of historical fiction you’ll probably have fun with it too!  It is intended for readers 12 and up, so I’d say that anyone who likes a good mystery would appreciate Death Cloud.

Author: Andrew Lane

Publisher: MacMillan Audio (February 1, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 7 hours and 17 minutes

Narrator(s): Daniel Weyman

Series: Book 1 in the Young Sherlock Homes series


Buy the Book: Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins)


In My Mailbox (12)

In My MailboxHello and Happy Sunday!

Every Sunday I bring you an In My Mailbox post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  In My Mailbox is a fun way for bloggers to socialize and network their blogs, it’s also a great way to share the books they acquired during the week.

So let’s get to my mailbox!

Its been a crazy busy week in my household!  Between my school PTSA meeting, running errands,  our Small Group, the Rehearsal Dinner and Ceremony/Reception for the wedding my husband was in (best man) we were out almost every night! Amidst the crazy schedule that was this past week I did manage to get some reading time in and I also got some fun things in my mailbox!

On Wednesday night my husband and I were out running errands that took us to a bookstore where I just had to buy two books I’ve been craving for a while now. One, is a debut by Jessica Spotswood, called Born Wicked, which I wasn’t too interested until I saw the trailer (which you can watch here) and loved it!   The other is the fifth and newest book in Ally Carter’s awesome Gallagher Girls series, Out of Sight, Out of Time. I love the feel of brand new book jackets!  Plus I think both of these covers are completely lovely!


Born Wicked and Out of Sight Out of TimeBooks I bought

-Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

-Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

In the middle of a tiring (but good) busy week, after a long and exhausting day at work I came home to find a nice little package waiting for me! YAY!!

Turns out, the package was from MacMillan Audio, who sent me a review copy of the audio version of Death Cloud, the first book in Andrew Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes series! The summary sounds super exciting with a fourteen year old Sherlock Holmes investigating two possible murders. I can’t wait to get to this one, so I’m sending out a HUGE THANK YOU to MacMillan Audio for being so generous!



Books I received

-Young Sherlock Holmes #1: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

I’m pretty happy with all my new books to read and listen to. They should keep me busy or a while now!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?


Book Trailer of the Week: Death Cloud

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneThere is always room for a good mystery!  My students are really into mysteries, so Death Cloud by Andrew Lane sounds like one I’ll probably buy for the Media Center.   I haven’t read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories (although I do plan on it!), but I have always been intrigued by the character and the idea of a teenage take on Holmes sounds interesting.  I’m so going to read this one.

Check out the book trailer to see what a teenage Sherlock was doing before he became famous.