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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

Hi there!

I have a real issue with not finishing books. If I make that decision to actually stop reading and put it down that choice stays with me forever. It feels like a little mini failure that plagues me! One time, however, a fellow book blogger (and I honestly can’t remember who it was) said that she doesn’t worry about not finishing books.  She said that there are too many books she wants to read that she isn’t going to waste time with books she isn’t enjoying.

This really resonated with me, but alas sometimes I just can’t give up on a book.  Sometimes it turns out to be a surprise and I actually end up enjoying the book, but other times I’m let down.  So, today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I Almost Put Down but Didn’t”.  It’s going to be a mix of those I am glad I finished and those I regret finishing.

Those I Should’ve Put Down, But Didn’t

These are the books I kept pushing through thinking “Surely, I’m going to end up liking this.” Nope.

Fallen by Lauren KateFallen by Lauren Kate

The Hypnotists by Gordon KormanThe Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Those I’m Glad I Kept Reading

These were books I wasn’t necessarily in love with when I began them, but in the end, am glad I stuck around to finish them because some of them have become books I love!

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

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

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Want to Make You Cry

Hi!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) was a difficult one for me. Why you may ask? Well, let me tell you…

…because I don’t do books that want to make me cry.
nope

Nope. I don’t like them at all.

Except that sometimes I make myself read one or two because I am a librarian and it is part of my job to be well read. Unfortunately, I ended up actually liking some of these books, but not because they made me cry…or did they? YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING!

The first five titles on my list are books I’ve read whose sole purpose in publication is to make me cry. All five of these were, in the end, good books that I’d recommend if you prefer an emotional read.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysBetween Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly HuntOne for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

The second half of today’s list is books that I’ve stayed away from because I suspect they’ve been told to make me cry. I’m told they’re all really, really good books, but so far I’ve kept my distance.  If you’re someone who enjoys a good cry while reading then these may be quality suggestions for you!

The Book Thief by Marcus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John BoyneThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

How to Save a Life by Sara ZarrHow to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

So there you have it! Please share which books have turned you into a sob monster (that way I’ll know to stay away from them! haha)

3

2013 End of the Year Book Survey

2013 End of Year Book Survey

Happy New Year’s Eve!

So much has happened in 2013! I’ve read tons of books (although I didn’t reach my goal of 80), moved to South Carolina, began work at a new school, went to Europe, celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary (!!), among so many other things! Thank you to all the BookTasty friends out there who helped make 2013 a wonderful year! Since this is a book blog, we’re going to take some time to reminisce on the books I read in 2o13 with the annual End of the Year Book Survey!

Relating to Books!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Apparently, 2013 was the year of fantasy for me because my 5 favorite books were ALL fantasy! In 2013 I loved:The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

  • Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I really thought I’d adore The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater so much more than I did. It took me forever to finish it because I just couldn’t get into it. I should have just put it down and not finished it, but I felt so bad because I loved The Raven Boys (book 1).

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I had seen Icefall by Matthew Kirby sitting on the shelves in my Media Center for a LONG time. I always looked at it and then put it back down, never thinking it sounded really interesting. Well, I finally read it because it is on the 2013-2014 SC Junior Book Award List and lo and behold I REALLY LIKED IT!

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I definitely recommended The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson to the most people this year!

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Hands down Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series! I love fact that it is a mash-up of fantasy, steampunk, and mystery genres! Seriously, these books are so refreshing and fun, they’re my favorite!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossI really enjoyed “meeting” three new debut authors this year. Elizabeth Ross (Belle Epoque), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), and Alex Lidell (The Cadet of Tildor) are all authors whose future work will definitely be on my radar!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don’t know if it was the best “out of my comfort zone” book or if I’m listing it because it was the only one I read that was out of my comfort zone…but I’m listing If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was a 100% pure CRYING book. I generally do not do crying books. I didn’t love it, but it was out of my comfort zone.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I seriously could not put down Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys! I was absolutely riveted from the start!

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Honestly? I don’t know…it’s rare that I re-read books (unless it is Pride & Prejudice which I have read three times).

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Most definitely the covers for Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. Aren’t these covers just breathtaking?! I want to wear the gowns!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Is it cheating if I choose three? They kind of come together in a pack so I’m including them as one: Ronan, Gansey, and Adam…The Raven Boys! Although I wasn’t a fan of The Dream Thieves, I really liked book one, The Raven Boys. These three boys together are all pretty awesome in their own ways, but they also have magic among them!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys was just so moving I have to give it this title. The subject matter and Sepetys writing wove together to create a haunting story full of beauty, pain and hope.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

This is a tough question. As much as I hate to say it (ducks from internet wrath about to come at me) Paper Towns by John Green just may have been the book that impacted me the most. Although this story was entertaining, it was not in any way a favorite of mine. I didn’t hate it, but it did leave me thinking a lot about relationships, selfishness, and pain. I think that Margo Roth Spiegelman may be one of my least favorite characters ever written, but she did make me think about things, so she has that going for her.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

With the movie releasing this past November, my Husband and I listened to the audiobook of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and neither of us could believe that it had taken us that long to actually read it!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Lions of Little Rock

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

Longest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare with 570 pages

Shortest: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter with 192 pages

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Definitely The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson! I was dying to talk to my friend Mandi about a certain someone and specific scenes, but she hasn’t made it past book one yet! Get reading Mandi!! We have lots to discuss!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Okay so we all know romantic is the type of relationship I’m going with here. The smouldering relationship between Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversIolanthe Seabourne and Prince Titus VII, in The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, was by far one of my favorites of 2013! I can’t wait for the other books in this trilogy! Another favorite was the romance between Ismae Rienne and Gavriel Duval in Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers! And let’s not forget Elise and Hector from The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I used to read a lot of Philippa Gregory novels in college, but hadn’t been excited about any of her recent titles until I saw Changeling, her foray into YA, at my school Book Fair! I bought it and read it in like a week. I had forgotten how quick and enthralling her books are!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I’m pretty sure Delirium by Lauren Oliver had been recommended to me by about fifteen students in less than a week’s time. I figured it was time to read it! I liked books one and two but was disappointed in book three.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

No questions asked, I was completely in love with fantasy in 2013!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Okay, definitely Prince Titus VII from The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas! He reminds me a a little of Will Herondale with his cocky swagger!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I didn’t read as many debuts as I wanted to this year, but I think my favorites was definitely The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell, and Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. I can’t pick just one!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Oh most definitely the most vivid world was found in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School books, Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I want to live in this fantasy steampunk world she has created! I want to play with all the cool gadgets and wear all the pretty Victorian gowns. Also I want a mechanimal named Bumbersnoot!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Probably Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because my Husband and I listened to it together and now we have all these hilarious (to us) inside jokes from the book that come up frequently!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

So this is a short list because I strive to keep my distance from books that want to make me cry. If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys were the two I allowed into my reading list this year. This is all we shall ever say of the crying…let’s never speak of this again.

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I think Icefall by Matthew Kirby got overlooked whenever it was released. How could have not known about such a gem of a book until now?!

Relating to the Book Blogging Life

(optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

Okay, so for sure Jessica B. from Books a True Story! She and I met on Twitter and we decided to create a new monthly meme called Reading Queue! It has been really fun and helpful to organize my reading plans and Jessica has been super friendly and sweet!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Oh I think the books I loved the best get the best reviews…so let’s go with my review for Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger! I was definitely fangirling, but I believe I had a right to be!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I had a lot of fun with my Escapism or Emotion? post over the summer. I loved hearing form people with differing opinions on why they read. It was enlightening to consider a reader’s reasons for reading and remembering that we all have out own preferences when reading.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?YALL Fest2013

GUYS! In November I went to YALL Fest in Charleston, SC for the first time ever! AND. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Seriously, I have been a bad book blogger the past two months, but I will post a highlight post from YALL Fest. I had such a good time mingling with “my people” and showing love to some impressive books and authors!

5. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Definitely starting Reading Queue with Jessica B.! You should check it out and participate with us!

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular post of 2013 with a whopping 82 views (haha) was my April New Releases post which posted on March 26, 2013.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Definitely my regular reviews. I know it’s been a while since I posted one, but they just don’t get as much love as weekly memes do, which makes me a little sad.

8.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Okay, so in regards to my regular Goodreads Reading Goal for 2013, I have failed miserably! haha Seriously, though my goal was to read 80 books this past year and I only made it to 53 books for 2013. Oh well…53 is still a lot of books!

I did do a fab job with my 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge coming in at 35 audiobooks finished in 2013! This was 5 more audiobooks than 2012! WHOOT!

However, I didn’t succeed at my 2013 Debut Author Challenge. I only manged to read 6 of the 12 I had planned on finishing. Oh well! Of the 6 I did read, I discovered some awesome authors who I will definitely be seeking out in the future!

Regarding Looking Ahead to 2014

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?United we Spy by Ally Carter

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for sure! Also United We Spy by Ally Carter!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Oh Lord! I haven’t even begun to think about my most anticipated releases for 2014.

  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Bajaj3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I think Alienated by Melissa Landers sounds like it could be a really fun read as does Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj!

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?The One by Kiera Cass

The One by Kiera Cass! I really just love this fun series and can’t wait to see how Cass wraps it all up.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I did a really good job with keeping my blogging schedule organized during the first 3/4s of 2013.  I want to start 2014 organized and continue it through the end of the year. I already bought my 2014 blog planner, so I’m off to a good start!

May 2014 be filled with love, joy and really good reads!

 

0

October New Releases

Hi there!

Well it seems that October totally snuck up on me! I forgot to schedule this New Releases post for last week, but that’s okay, everything’s shiny. Better late than never right?

hehe

hehe

As you may know, October is a VERY big month as Veronica Roth’s final installment in the Divergent series will release *squeeeeeeeeee!*

So, let’s just get right to all the new books!

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth (October 22)

AHHHHHHHH!!!

The House of Hades by Rick RiordanThe House of Hades (Heros of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan (October 8)

My students have been asking me about this since August.

Unsouled by Neal ShustermanUnsouled (Unwinded Dystology #3) by Neal Shusterman (October 15)

Eye of Minds by James DashnerThe Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1) by James Dashner (October 8)

Just One Year by Gayle FormanJust One Year by Gayle Forman (October 10)

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland StoneTime After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (October 8)

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann CokelThe Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (October 8)

Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana PeterfreundAcross a Star Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2) by Diana Peterfreund (October 15)

The Twistrose Key by Tone AlmhjellThe Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell (October 22)

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny LundquistThe Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist (October 22)

So there you have it! In addition to candy corn and falling leaves October brings a bunch of brand new books to enjoy! Are there any October new releases you’re particularly excited about?

5

Crying Books and My Comfort Zone: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Welcome back!

There are tons of different types of books out there. There are books that want to make me laugh. Books that want to make me swoon. There are books that just want to entertain me. There are even books that want to make me think.  But then there are also these devious little books whose only desire in life is to make me cry.

I am a pretty emotional person in real life. I can cry at the drop of a hat. There was even a commercial about a friendly lady and her daughter who send their lonely elderly neighbor a greeting card. The old lady is so touched that she comes over and hugs the lady and her daughter…I WAS WEEPING! So, you see when I sit down to read a book I’m not in the mood to cry. When I read a book, I pick the ones that are going to make me laugh or swoon or think. I kind ofIf I Stay by Gayle Forman just want to be entertained. I don’t want to cry…and If I Stay by Gayle Forman ONLY wanted me to cry.

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck… A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Can’t you just tell from the summary that this is a book that is plotting the imminent emotional demise of all its readers?! YES! I knew this going into it, but I thought it’d be good to step out of my reading comfort zone a little. In the end, I’m glad I did but If I Stay isn’t a book that I can say I enjoyed.

Forman’s writing is stunning and almost musical and the story itself is well imagined. The lyrical writing is reflected in Mia’s love of music and everything about the story just kind of flows by smoothly even though the story weaves back and forth through flashbacks and the story’s current point.

Mia’s story was interesting. I was enthralled with the possibility of her decision. Which choice will she make and what will happen to her because of it? I loved learning about her life and family and friends up until that fateful moment on that particular snowy morning. You begin to see just how complicated and painful Mia’s decision is going to be. But Mia herself isn’t the most intriguing character I’ve ever read. She just doesn’t seem all that colorful of a person.  Her friends and family do, but Mia seems to fade into the background of the scenes she shares with her family and friends.

So. You want to know. Did If I Stay achieve its mischievous little goal to make me cry?

No. It didn’t. But that’s because I knew I had to protect myself going into it. Don’t get me wrong, this book was painfully heartbreaking and there were times where I was VERY CLOSE to shedding some tears while listening (I had the audiobook from my public library) but in the end I was stronger than the book….VICTORY!

The audiobook was a quick listen, and I believe I finished the book in a little over two days (while running or driving or cleaning the house).  I love getting through an audiobook that fast!

So, if you’re one of those people who do enjoy a good cry while reading (I know there are tons of you out there!!!) you should definitely pick up If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It may even be a good idea to stop by the store to pick up a box of Kleenex as well! I also have to mention that this book is definitely intended for high school readers as there is some language and some sexual scenes sprinkled throughout.

I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone a little, but now that I have I’m going to crawl right back into my preferred reading cave! :)

Author: Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (April 5, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 4 hours and 48 mins

Narrator(s): Kristen Potter

Series: First in the If I Stay series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  If I Stay

wasn’t my favorite

4

Top Ten Tuesday: January New Releases

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and happy New Years Eve! It is a brand new year full of hope and newness, and with a new year comes a new month and…new books!

Every Tuesday I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday.  This week the theme is Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read In 2013, but I like to spend the start of each month focusing on new releases. It’s only the first day of 2013 and I’m already going my own way!

So, let’s go ahead and take a peek at ten books that will be released in January.

The Fire Horse Girl by Victoria SchwabThe Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman (Jan. 1)

Casualties of War by Chris LynchCasualties of War (Vietnam #4) by Chris Lynch (Jan. 1)

Crash by Lisa McMannCrash by Lisa McMann (Jan. 8)

Just One Day by Gayle FormanJust One Day by Gayle Forman (Jan. 8)

Road Trip by Gary PaulsenRoad Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen (Jan. 8)

Shades of Earth by Beth RevisShades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis (Jan. 15)

The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived by Victoria Schwab (Jan. 22)

Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu (Jan. 29)

The Prey by Andrew FukudaThe Prey by Andrew Fukuda (Jan. 29)

What the Spell by  Brittany GeragotillisWhat the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis (Jan. 29)

So there you have it!  Brand new delicious looking books to help ring in the new year!

11

Tasty Treats (2)

Well good morning everyone and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

(Do any dad’s read my blog?  If so, let me know!)

Getting new books is like getting tasty treats that I can’t wait to devour, hence the name of this post “Tasty Treats”! (I am working on a Tasty Treats banner…well my husband is working on it for me!)   This morning I wanted to share all the fun books and audiobooks I got-my-hands-on this past week. So what are we waiting for!?

Tasty Treats Stack

Every thing in this stack is a title on the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Book List.  These are some of the books I need to read since I’m a school Media Specialist and the Battle of the Books team coach.  Not only will I be reading and reviewing these books over the summer, but I’ll also be writing a ton of trivia questions from each book for my team to study. Lets look at the covers shall we?

The following titles are the Sunshine State books that I already had in my Media Center catalog.

Sunshine State Books

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

The Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

Some of the books on the list were not already ones I had in my Media Center, so I’ve had to go buy them, like the books below.

More Sunshine State Books

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

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

I addition to all these middle grades titles I also needed some Young Adult audiobooks in my life.  If I read just YA or just MG I get kinda bored with the one genre, so I have to mix it up now and then.  Since the summer is a time full of middle grade reading,  and I needed some new audiobooks to listen to while running, I decided to pick up some YA listens from my local public library.

Beastly and If I Stay

Beastly by Alex Flinn (currently listening to)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

So, there you have it – my recently received tasty treats! I know I’ll be having fun attacking these over the next few weeks!  What fun reads did you get this week?