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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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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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Top Ten Tuesday: Covers with Gowns I Want to Wear

Hi there!

I skipped out on my Top Ten post last Tuesday because life got kind of busy and I kind of forgot about it! Oh well! It’s to be expected because the end of the school year is always a busy and exhausting time.  But I’m back this week! Yay!

For those of you who arent’ familiar with it, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week they post a theme and we create a list surrounding that theme. This week the theme is Favorite Book Covers of Books I’ve Read. I have such a hard time choosing on favorite covers because I like to many different types of covers for so many varied reasons.  So, instead of picking favorites, this week I’m choosing based on Book Covers with Gowns I Want to Wear.

Entwined by Heather Dixon1. Entwined by Heather Dixon

So gorgeous!!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I love the breezy flow to this one. I do prefer the dress on the cover of Endlessly, but I haven’t read it yet so it doesn’t count.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen3. The Luxe series books by Anna Godberson

I’m sure it would be insanely heavy but just standing it in for an hour would make me happy.

The Selection by Kiera Cass4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

I do love this one’s fluff, but to be honest I prefer the one on the cover to The Elite…but I haven’t read that one yet.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger 5. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

WANT.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen6. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

A slinky little one!

Vixen by Jillian Larkin7.  Vixen by Jillian Larkin

I must add that I completely disliked this book. But I can’t help but love that gown!!!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George8. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

I love the way it flows and it’s purely fairy tale style.

Matched by Allie Condie9. Matched by Ally Condie

It’s just so green and soft looking!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Its Victorian!!!

Aren’t they all so beautiful?! I would love to wear them! There are TONS of other gorgeous gowns on book covers that I also love but I haven’t read them yet or else they’d be on this list. :)

Are there any dresses on book covers that you just wish you could wear? Which of these are your favorites?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Qualities that Instantly Make Me Pick Up a Book

Hi there everyone!

It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday! Every week the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish post a theme to create our lists by.  This week the theme is qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book. I have a few that will guarantee I pick up your book. Chances are that if I pick up a book with some of these qualities I’m going to enjoy it! (I’ve done extensive “research” on this topic…)

Entwined by Heather Dixon The Luxe by Anna Godbersen The Selection by Kiera Cass

1. Girls In Pretty Gowns.

I just LOVE pretty gowns and want to wear them. I also generally enjoy books with this type of cover.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

2. Romance Included.

Not romance novels, but novels with some romance in them. Le sigh…

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale Cinder by Marissa Meyer

3. Fairy Tales.

Yes. I will most likely pick up the book if its a retold fairy tale. Fairy tales are just so classic and I love the magic of them.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Smile by Raina Telegmier  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4. Female Main Characters.

I just have a hard time connecting to male main characters so it’s always a tough sell for me.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

5. England.

If your book is set in the UK in some way…historical, contemporary, fantasy whatever. I want it. I am 100% Anglophile.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter HarryPotter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

6. Boarding Schools.

I have always loved boarding school books. Boarding schools just seem so fun without your parents watching you all the time!

Austenland by Shannon Hale prada and prejudice Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

7. Jane Austen Related.

If your book relates to Jane Austen because it’s a retelling or something similar then I’m probably going to pick it up.

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins The Parting by Beverly Lewis

8. Amish People.

I’m just so intrigued by their community and culture! I want to read about them!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

9. Husband Appeal.

If you’re book has qualities that both my husband and I will like, then the chances that I’ll pick up your book increase greatly. I’m not sure what those qualities are though…murder (judging by the three books above)?!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

10. Audiobooks Narrated with a British Accent.

Yup. I’m 100% Anglophile.

So there you have it.  The qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book…all laid out in front of you.  Some one should write one book to rule them all….one that fits all of my favorite things! haha

What book qualities always entice you to read?  Thanks for visiting!

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I Felt So Much Love: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Hi guys!

Can you get any better than fairy tale retellings?! I don’t think so! They’re my favorite genre and I can’t get enough of them!  Espeically, if they’re retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, my favorite fairy tale. Well, that just so happens to be exactly why I felt so much love for Entwined by Heather Dixon!

Entwined by Heather DixonAzalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it’s taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

When I first saw this book at my school book fair a while back I was knew it had to one day be mine. Look at the gorgeousness of this cover! It screams “READ ME CHRISTINA!” Entwined‘s cover is the quintessential Christina book cover…a girl in a gorgeous gown. I know it’s so girly and silly, but chances are if your cover has a girl in a beautiful gown, I’m going to enjoy it!

Have I mentioned that I loved this book? I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was fabulous. Her voices were just enough and not over done, which can be hard to do. She was pretty soothing with that accent!

What can be difficult in retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is making all twelve of those sisters standout. I’ve read some versions of this fairy tale, where the sisters are kind of just lumped into little groups. I didn’t feel like the younger sisters were just two-dimensional paper characters in Entwined. I felt like Dixon nicely fleshed out each sister well and I could see glimpses of their individual personalities shine .

Throughout the entire story, I was soooo flipping mad at The King! I mean I know I’m supposed to be, but I just wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him! I kept mentally yelling, “Dude, I know you’re grieving…but seriously, you can’t just emotionally and physically abandon your TWELVE daughters! They need you in this darkest time!” But I guess if he did what I wanted him to do, we wouldn’t have a story now would we?! See? The authors always know best!

And how about Mr. Creeper…I mean Mr. Keeper?! Creepy McCreeperton to the core! His character was absolutely exactly what it should be…charming, scary and ever so manipulative. Actually, there was so much in this story that reminded me of a feminist lit class I took in college where we looked at abusive relationships in fairy tales, and oh would Mr. Keeper be an interesting one to discuss! But anywhoo…let’s not forget about all the talk of the stitching and soul keeping (no spoilers but you’ll get it if you read it) was enough to give me nightmares had I actually dwelled on it!

 I’m a major sucker for fairy tale romances and there was some good romance in Entwined! So, yes…I thought this book was awesome and think that you should read it, especially if you’re in the mood for a good old fashion fairy tale retelling!

Author: Heather Dixon

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 50 mins

Narrator(s): Mandy Williams

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Entwined

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recently Bought for My Media Center

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to help book bloggers get to know each other a little better while talking about what we all love- books! This week’s official theme is Top Ten Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN’T about Books. Well, I don’t visit too many blogs that aren’t book blogs so I’m going to mix it up a bit today.

Two weeks ago I held the school’s Spring Book Fair in my Media Center. It was a successful fundraiser for the Media Center and I always end of buying new books to catalog. In fact, if I could I’d buy the whole Book Fair! But I cannot…alas!

Since I did spend some money on new books (as usual) my theme for the week is Top Ten Books I Recently Bought for my Media Center.

Revenge of the Loser by HN KowittThe Loser List #2: Revenge of the Loser by H.N. Kowitt

Danny Shine might have gotten his name off the Loser List in the girls’ bathroom, but he’s still got problems — like the new kid, Ty Randall. Ty seems perfect: handsome, serious, committed to worthy causes — everything Danny’s not. Will out-of-control jealousy wreck Danny’s life, or can he undo the damage before it’s too late?

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.

Drought by Pam BachorzDrought by Pam Bachorz

Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved. She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood. So she stays. But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Vietnam: Sharpshooter by Chris LynchVietnam #2: Sharpshooter by Chris Lynch

Of all his friends, Ivan is the only one looking forward to war. That’s because Ivan has never backed down from a fight–especially when it comes to fighting for what’s right. He has protected his friends from bullies for years. And now, as war erupts in Vietnam, Ivan wants nothing more than to fight for his country, just as his father did in World War II. Enlisting in the United States Army, Ivan is trained to be a sniper. And he’s good at it. Very good. But Vietnam is not the war he was expecting. Somehow the glory and heroism of his father’s war stories do not come so easily in the jungle.

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh BaskinThe Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Julia and Eliza are best friends. Julia’s mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq, and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza’s father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither of them is prepared for how it impacts their friendship, and Julia has to cope with the possibility of being separated from yet another person she loves.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenChomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . .

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

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Zit Face by Emily HowseZit Face by Emily Howse

Thirteen-year-old Olivia Hughes knows what she wants to do with her life—be an actress. And she’s already on her way. She just landed a national ad campaign that should get her noticed. But then her luck runs out. A little pimple turns into a full-blown case of acne, with serious side effects for her career, relationships, and budding romance with J.W., the new guy at school. Now all Olivia wants to do is hide, but she can’t. She goes from being the girl at school everyone wants to be…to Zitface, a girl who is teased, dumped, and even fired. What do you do when you’ve lost control of everything in your life? Olivia has to find out the hard way. And maybe what she finds isn’t so bad after all.

 

The Boy on Cinammon Street by Phoebe StoneThe Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won’t give up on her. Seventh grader Louise should be the captain of her school’s gymnastics team – but she isn’t. She’s fun and cute and should have lots of friends – but she doesn’t. And there’s a dreamy boy who has a crush on her – but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her – so what is it that’s holding her back?

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . .

Aren’t these a great looking bunch of books?! I can’t wait to read them all and share them with my students!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Enchanting Fairy Tales Retold

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to foster community among book bloggers. There is usually an official theme, and sometimes I go with it sometimes I don’t. Today is one of the times where I’m like Stevie Nicks and I go my own way!!! :p

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am a massive fan of fairy tales. Thus, I’m a massive fan of fairy tales retold. I love when authors take a well-known fairy tale, mix in their own creativity, to come out with a completely unique and new story to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve read some that I wasn’t impressed with, and then I’ve also read those that totally enchanted me.

Today’s Top Ten list is broken up into two parts. The first is Fairy Tale re-tellings I’ve already read (and enjoyed), while the second half is some titles I’ve heard are fabulous but haven’t had a chance to read yet.

Already Read:

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson HaddixJust Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgePrincess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Want to Read:

Liesl and Po by Lauren OliverLiesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierWildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (I’m currently reading this one.)

Golden by Cameron DokeyGolden: A Retelling of Rapunzel by Cameron Dokey

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry and Ridley PearsonPeter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry

Are you a fan of retold fairy tales? Can you recommend any I missed? I’d love some recommendations for future reading. :)

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In My Mailbox (7)

Happy Sunday everyone!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  This is a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other and network their blogs, and it’s also a good way to showcase some new (or older) titles!

Well, I didn’t get any books in my actual mailbox this week, but I did receive three e-book galleys from NetGalley! Thank you NetGalley!  I can’t wait to get started on these.

Suck it Up and Die by Brian MeehlSuck It Up and Die by Brian Meehl

Whisper by Alyson NoelWhisper by Alyson Noel

Sammy Keyes And The Power of Justice Jack by Wendelin Van DraanenSammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack by Wendelin Van Draanen

I also bought some e-books recently because Amazon was having a sale.  Actually bought these a few weeks ago and forgot to mention them here. So, here they are!  I’ve heard awesome stuff about all three so they may move to the top of my “To Read” stack.

Ten Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have by Sarah MlynowskiTen Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mylnowski

Unearthly by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

I am planning a Hunger Games party for my 8th graders on Thursday March 22, so I also bought some bookmarks from the ALA Store to go into the students’ goodie bags!  They’re so fun and I can’t wait for my students to see them-they’re going to be so excited!  ALA Hunger Games bookmarks

What fun stuff did you get in your mailbox this week?