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Top Ten Tuesday: Friendship Favorites

Hi and Happy Tuesday!

As usual I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s list topic is all about friendship books. The titles that have made my list today all highlight different parts of friendship that are important and all come highly recommend by me!

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin LevineThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

This touching historical fiction about friendship with those who you feel a connection with despite what others think.

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergBetter Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Eulberg deals with the question, can a boy and a girl be friends non-romantically?

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This one deals with how friendship can heal and challenge us to be better.

The Humming Room by Ellen PotterThe Humming Room by Ellen Potter

A re-telling of The Secret Garden that reminds us that friendship is supposed to be life-giving.

Wild Things by Clay CarmichaelWild Things by Clay Carmichael

This one centers on how our friends can become our family.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This haunting read shows us what can happen if we don’t reach out to others in friendship.

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAlong for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Dessen’s novel inspires me to be purposeful in my friendships and how sometimes you can be surprised by who wants to be your friend.

Smiles to Go by Jerry SpinelliSmiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli

A fun middle grades novel that deals with how friendships can change over time.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

Who wouldn’t want the love and support of this group of friends?!

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson LevineA Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

One I could have used in middle school because it deals with choosing your friends wisely.

Do you have any friendship related books I need to read? Feel free to share them in the comment section below! :)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books with Male Narrators

Top Ten TuesdayHello friends!

This week, my theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish) is Favorite Books with Male Narrators. It’s just a thing with me, I’m usually not drawn to books with male narrators, but I make myself read one once in a while and I do usually end up enjoying them. I just have a difficult time relating to male narrators, but all the titles on the list below are those with male narrators who I feel are simply compelling characters. They defy my assumptions about male narrators!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner series by James Dashner

This story is just fabulously creepy and Thomas has so much perseverance.

The False Prince by Jennifer A NielsenThe Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer A Nielsen

Sage/Jaron is sarcastic and snarky and I love him.

Airborn by Kenneth OppelAirborn by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruise is just the kind of boy you’d want to be friends with.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin is stubborn beyond all measure, but he’s also brave!

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now by Gary Schmidt

Doug Swieteck is so lovable and loyal!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami GarciaBeautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Ethan is a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by female narrators!

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

Lamar is hilarious and remind me of some of my past students!

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack GantosDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jack is so funny!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay is sweet and in so much pain.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerThe Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Vlad is the coolest teen vampire ever!

And there you have it! Each of these books come to you with the BookTasty stamp of approval so you should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!

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Sarcasm and Redemption: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Well hello there!

I’ve been reading some of the 2013-2014 Florida Sunshine State books even though I’m moving out-of-state soon.  One of these books is Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, which is apparently also on the South Carolina Junior Book Award list as well!

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay For Now explores a seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.

This was the first of the Florida Sunshine State books that I read this year. Being narrated by a male main character, I wouldn’t have chosen to read it first, but my library had the audiobook so I decided to give it a try.

Okay for Now was incredibly good. Like I want everyone I know to read it good.

First of all, I don’t know why I always shy away from male main characters, but I do! When I do actually take the time to read a book with a male main character, I usually end up enjoying it, so I don’t know whats wrong with me!  Well Doug, the main character in Okay for Now was incredibly refreshing. He was sarcastic and cynical in a way that I can relate to.  As the reader you quickly realize that Doug’s cynicism is just a shell he’s constructed to protect himself because that’s how he thinks real men should behave.

What I can’t get out of my head is what an awesome story of personal growth and redemption Okay for Now is. Doug grows and matures so much throughout the course of this book and the reader gets to see how far a little nurturing and love can do to really alter someone’s life. He starts out with an incredibly negative view of life and relationships, but eventually starts to let go of all that negativity with the help of some encouraging friends/mentors. But Doug isn’t the only character who experiences a little redemption in the end and this is probably the most difficult to accept yet beautiful maturation of all.

The difficulty and tension of the father-son relationships in Doug’s family is palpable. You can just feel the wall in Doug’s heart growing taller with every negative word or action from his father. It is amazing that Doug is able to turn into the young man he becomes considering the type of man his father is.

I will say that I was a little thrown for a loop with the sudden plot twist toward the end, but I did enjoy the fact that this surprise didn’t cause Doug to buckle under the pressure, but instead spurs him to love harder than ever.

Okay for Now is a hilariously witty and sarcastic coming of age story that everyone should read. I loved it and highly recommend it, but I don’t know how my students will respond to it since they normally aren’t fond of historical fiction.

Author: Gary D. Schmidt

Publisher: Clarion Books (April 1, 2011)

Format: audiobook

Length: 9 hours and 16 mins

Narrator(s): Lincoln Hoppe

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Okay for Now

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The Reading Queue: June

the-reading-queueHi there and welcome back to Book Tasty!

It’s time for the Reading Queue!

Reading Queue 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 monthly recap of what we’ve read the previous month and create a list of what we’re planning to read in the coming month. It seems like there are bloggers doing both separately so we thought it’d be fun and helpful to combine the two together. Our main goal with 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! The focus of this meme is what you are planning to read, but if you already do a monthly recap post that has things in addition to what you are reading, feel free to join us! Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

My Reading Queue

Just so you know, I have high hopes for this month because it’s June! Although, these high hopes may totally backfire on me because we’re moving in early July and I’ll be packing this month….high hopes!!!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

I didn’t get to read this one in May so I’m trying again!

Silence by Becca FitzpatrickSilence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Again, didn’t get to this one in May…high hopes!

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

I started this audiobook in May, but the bulk of it will be finished in June.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae CarsonThe Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I own this one and have been crushing on the pretty cover forever. Plus I hear great things about it!

Legend by Marie LuWonder by RJ Palacio

Legend by Marie Lu

Wonder by RJ Palacio

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilsen

These four are all on Florida’s Grade 6-8 Sunshine State Book List for 2013-2014, so even though I’ll be moving to South Carolina I still want to read them.

How I Did Last Month

Okay, so I read four books in May…better than April, but not great.

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

This one was fabulous and a review will be coming soon.

Torn by Amanda Hocking Ascend by Amanda Hocking

Torn by Amanda Hocking

Ascend by Amanda Hocking

These were fun but I liked the first book, Switched, best.

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay RibarThe Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

I actually Did Not Finish (DNF) this one, even though I got like 70% through it.

There you have it! What are you reading this month? Have you read any of these books? Which of the titles in my Reading Queue should I read first?

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



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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I’ve Read So Far in 2013

Hello!

Every week I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday. This week we’ve been given a Freebie Week to create lists based on whatever theme we’d like. So, since we’re almost six months into 2013, I thought I’d focus on my favorite books that I’ve read in 2013.

My Reading Goal for 2013 is to read 80 books. So far I’m a little behind on that goal, but I have read 22 books so far. Of those 22 books the list below are the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most.  They all have the BookTasty stamp of approval!

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Read: May 18

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Read: March 23

A Northern Light by Jennifer DonnellyA Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Read: March 20

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

Read: March 8

The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Read: February 2

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Read: March 26

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Read: February 15

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanSeraphina by Rachel Hartman

Read: January 2

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

Read: January 27

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Actually, I haven’t finished this one yet. I’m listening to the audiobook and am only about 40% of the way through.

So, what books are you favorite reads of 2013 so far? Have you read any on my list?

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The Reading Queue: May

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

Today, I’m introducing a new meme that will be recurring on a monthly basis. Recently I was chatting with Jessica at Books A True Story and we came up with the idea for the Reading Queue! We’re pretty excited to be working on this together!

Reading Queue 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 and Books:  A true story.

The premise of Reading Queue is to provide a monthly recap of what we’ve read the previous month and create a list of what we’re planning to read in the coming month. It seems like there are bloggers doing both  separately so we thought it’d be fun and helpful to combine the two together. Our main goal with 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!

A badge is currently in the creation stages and we will have a linky for you next month.  We just wanted to announce the meme this month, to give you an idea of what it is, and see how many others would be interested in joining us.  The focus of this meme is what you are planning to read, but if you already do a monthly recap post that has things in addition to what you are reading, feel free to join us!  Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!  Official start date is June 1st.

My Reading Queue

So, let’s get started! In May I’m planning on reading the following books:

Torn by Amanda HockingTorn by Amanda Hocking

This is the second book in the Trylle series and I started it on Wednesday. This will count towards my 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge!

 

 

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay RibarThe Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

I technically started this one in April, but haven’t finished it yet, so I’m hoping to this month. It’ll count towards the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.

 

 

SilenceSilence by Becca Fitzpatrick

So, I’ve been holding out for my public library to get this one on audio since that’s how I read the first two, but it’s been forever so I got sick of waiting and just decided to checkout a print copy. This series is one of my guilty pleasures! haha

 

 

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio

This one is on the 2013-2014 Florida Sunshine State 6-8 grade book list and I can’t wait to start it!

 

 

 

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Also on next year’s Florida Sunshine State 6-8 grade list. This one will also count towards my goal in the 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge.

 

 

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Epoque by Eizabeth Ross

Loved the summary for this one so I really want to read it! It will help me get to my goal in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.

 

 

How I Did Last Month

April was a CRAZY busy week with FCAT and work commitments so I only read three books this past month.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen JohnsonThe Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

I really love this series so much!

 

 

 

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Finally! I got to this one and enjoyed it so much!

 

 

 

Switched by Amanda HockingSwitched by Amanda Hocking

I have one student who is constantly telling me to read these books, so I finally did and I was pleasantly surprised.

 

 

So what are you reading this month?  Have you read any of these books? Which of the titles in my Reading Queue should I read first? Are you interested in joining our meme? Let me know!