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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?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Hi there!

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for the weekly Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

I KNOW! I KNOW! This theme was from like two weeks ago. But our internet choose to be finicky so I couldn’t post it. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of this week’s official theme, which was favorite beginnings or endings in a book. I have way too many of those and can’t even begin to list them, so I’m going back to the one I skipped.  :)

Mini Life Update: We’ve been in Columbia, SC for about two weeks now and are slowly but surely getting the house put together.  We’re enjoying exploring our new neighborhood and city – we even visited out local public library on date night!

House

Isn’t our new house adorable?!

Well, let’s get back to Top Ten Tuesday – my theme is Authors Who Deserve More Recognition. There are so many authors who are awesome but they aren’t the ones you hear about all the time. These are authors who are newer or maybe they’ve been around a little while and they just fly under the radar. All of these authors come with a high recommendation from BookTasty, so if you haven’t ready any of their books, you really need to!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger

She writes super fun steampunk stories.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day GeorgeJessica Day George

I love her light-hearted fairy taleish books.

Entwined by Heather DixonHeather Dixon

Awesome fairy tale retellings.

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanRachel Hartman

A debut in 2012 that was a great addition to the fantasy world!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellAlex Lidell

A 2013 debut and I can’t wait for more!

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda WoodsBrenda Woods

Such a well written middle grades look at Hurricane Katrina mixed with a coming of age story.

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal AllenCrystal Allen

She writes a loveable main character in this story of bowling and character.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyGinny Rorby

Awesome survival tale set in the Everglades.

DarkLifeKat Falls

Wonderfully imagined dystopian mystery set under the ocean surface.

joltedArthur Slade 

What a fun and quirky read!

If you haven’t read anything by these authors you really should. I think they’re all delightful authors who definitely deserve to have more people read their books.

So…what are you waiting for?!

GO READ!

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On Its Own Merit: Poison by Bridget Zinn

Southern Book Bloggers ARC ToursHi there!

I’m honored to be a part of the Southern Book Bloggers Poison ARC Tour! Poison just happens to be Bridget Zinn’s debut YA novel, so of course it counts for the 2013 Debut Authors Challenge as well! YAY!

So, let’s talk about this book shall we?!

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she

Poison by Bridget Zinndoes best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

When I first saw the cover for Poison I automatically knew this would be a book I would really get into. The cover is reminiscent of classic fairy tales but also has more modern themes woven in.  The cover does a good job of depicting the story itself – classic fantasy mixed with more contemporary themes. Plus it’s just a really pretty cover…and look at the pig!

The main character Kyra is not your average girl. She has a ton of secrets and is on the run, although you don’t find out from what until a little ways in. She is multifaceted character with conflicting feelings and emotions which makes her pretty darn relatable. Kyra is emotionally scarred, and on habit (and necessity), tends to protect herself from the world by building walls and pushing people away.  And while she is fiercely independent, she is also incredibly loyal and will stop at nothing to do what she believes it right. In some ways, Kyra reminds me a lot of  Katniss Everdeen.

Zinn’s writing is pretty humorous and Kyra can be pretty sassy sometimes. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, it kind of freshened up the traditional fantasy/fairy tale genre and made it more modern. There were a few scenes and dialog that had me laughing, especially the river crossing scene…you’ll know what I mean when you get there.

What I like about the narration style is that we don’t know all of Kyra’s secrets. She reveals them to us when she wants (or in some cases when others call her out on them), which makes learning about her more realistic.  It’s like we’re getting to know Kyra as we would get to know someone in real life. The minor characters, Fred, Ariana, and Rosie (yes Rosie is that sweet little pig on the cover!) were also likable and fun, although we don’t get to know as much about them as I would have liked.

Honestly, I could see Poison making a really good movie. It has adventure, romance, mystery and some really loveable characters (including the pig).  The whole story would translate well on-screen and I would definitely go see it in the theater.

On another note… if you’ve also read Jolted by Arthur Slade, you’ll know that I’m pretty sure Rosie (the pig) is related to Josephine, Newton’s ultra talented pet pig. Two sweet and talented pigs in books? They MUST be from the same family.  :P

In the end, I finished Poison craving more. I want more Kyra and more Fred and more adventures in this fantasy world they live in. I want to know what happens next, in fact I’m sure most people who read Poison feel the same way, but sadly Bridget Zinn passed away, after battling cancer, in May 2011, so we won’t get any more of these characters. To read more about her story visit her website. I do want to be clear about something though, her book stands alone on its own merit without the unfortunate circumstances behind it, which is, I think, very important.

If you are in the mood for a delightful fantasy (and why wouldn’t you be?!) then you should definitely pick up Posion by Bridget Zinn, you wont regret it. The story is perfect for middle school aged readers and those of us who are a tad bit older *cough cough* and definitely has the BookTasty stamp of approval!

Author: Bridget Zinn

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (March 12, 2013)

Format: e-galley (ARC)

Length: 288 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Poison