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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fictional Settings or Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Each week the post a topic and everyone creates their own top list based on that specific topic.

This week’s topic is officially titled “Most Vivid Words/Settings” but I’m just making it my favorite fictional worlds or settings.  There are so many awesome book settings out there, but obviously there are some I love more than others.  Today we’ll be taking a look at some of my favorite settings although there are so many others I love out there. Here we go!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen1. Bath circa Regency England (1812-1820ish) 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

So I’m already starting my list of favorite fictional settings off with a setting that is NOT fictional.  Yes, I  am aware that Bath is a real place.  But I was not lucky enough to have experienced Bath during its Regency hay-day so it’s pretty much fictional to me. I know Austen wasn’t a fan of Bath, but I love seeing it through Catherine Morland’s eyes in Northanger Abbey.  So much bustle, glamor, fun, and excitement!  I would have loved to have been there with Catherine so I could experience the Pump Room, and all dance in the assembly rooms.  Le sigh…

Austenland by Shannon Hale2. Austenland  

Austenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Strange how numbers 1 and 2 are connected….No not strange at all! I love Jane Austen.  I love her novels (even the uncompleted Sandition), her heroines, her heros (hubba hubba) and yes even her “villains” and rakes!  So when I read Shannon Hale’s Austenland in which she created a story set in a Jane Austen resort (where its Regency England all day, every day!) of course I automatically fell in love.  Wealthy resort creators, PLEASE PLEASE create a real live Austenland for me?! And please make it affordable for someone on a teacher’s salary.  Thank you.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen3. Colby

Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride

I just love the idea of Colby.  Colby is this cute little fictional beach town in Along for the Ride.  It has a boardwalk with fun boutiques and it seems like everyone knows each other.  If Colby (not a place like Colby but actually Colby as described in the book) were real, I’d visit every summer.  We’d rent a house on the beach and stay for, like, the entire month of July.  Yes. I like Colby.

The Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling4. Hogwarts

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Do I really even have to say explain why I like Hogwarts?  It’s Hogwarts! Moving staircases, sorting hats, paintings that talk and hidden passageways. Oh and magic.  Yes! I have always been intrigued by the idea of boarding schools, and Hogwarts has that coolness factor plus magic! How cool can you get? Rowling’s attention to detail when creating Hogwarts (and the other places in her books) is just out of control amazing.  I want to get sorted and actually take up residence in one of the houses. Oh and take classes with Hermione.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter5. The Gallagher Girl Academy

The Gallagher Girls series Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a boarding school…FOR SPIES! I know I’ve said it on this blog before but I wish The Gallagher Academy was real and it would accept 29-year-old students. The mansion has all these hidden sublevels underneath it and even has a secret entrance through a lake.  Yea.  A lake. It even has security measures that turn it from a spy school into a regular girls boarding school.  It’s pretty awesome.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale6. Bayern

The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale

Bayern is like magical fairy tale land.  Girls have special powers that let them talk to animals and control the wind, while others control fire.  You know, just your average day in Bayern.  No biggie.  There are castles, princes, wars and magic.  I love fairy tales and would love to live in one.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher7. Incarceron 

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron is a prison.  It’s also alive.  It’s also in a different plane of space and time…kind of…  Incarceron actually scares the living you-know-what out of me.  It is ruthless and dirty and just plain creepy.  But Fisher was so creative in imagining it that there is no other setting like it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go to Incarceron. I’m just find with reading about it.  It’s cool, but horribly scary too.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos8. Norvelt 

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Norvelt is a small mid-western town and it’s pretty much full of crazies! Seriously, the main character, Jack, is surrounded by kooky seniors, a dad who mows down his wife’s corn field and a weird guy who rides a tricycle.  Norvelt is just so fun in its quirkiness.

The Parting by Beverly Lewis9. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Every book by Beverly Lewis 

Confession time. I really love Christian Amish Fiction.  I KNOW! I KNOW!  But I love it so much! I’m so intrigued by the Amish and their way of life.  I’d love to go see Amish country, and hope to one day.  It seems so idyllic with the rolling hills, creeks, and farms.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray10. The Spence Academy

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

Another boarding school!  This one is set in Victorian England and has some strange supernatural connections. I’ve always been interested in Victorian England, and I would have loved to be a student at Spence.  Although I could have done without the creepy happenings!

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by CA Belmond11. Europe

The Rather series by C.A. Belmond

In these books you get to see Europe and the Mediterranean from snazzy sports cars and yachts,  experience the lovely perfume fields of France, and lounge in the glamorous Monte Carlo. Ohh to be an heiress with a cute English love interest!

So, those are my ten favorite fictional settings.  What are some of yours?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Supporting Characters in YA/MG Fiction

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Remember that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to encourage community among book bloggers and to talk about books, our favorite things!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be Books on My Summer To Read List, but I feel like it would be me just talking about the same books that have been on my to read list for a while now, so I decided to mix it up a little and pick an older topic to do a little rewind.

So, my top ten for the week is My Top Ten Favorite Supporting Characters in YA/MG Fiction.  We all love the main characters because they’re usually awesome and they’re the focus of the story, but sometimes there are some amazing and lovable minor characters that we just can’t seem to forget. Today I want to share those supporting characters that I just love.Foxface Hunger Games

1. Fox Face from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Foxface makes me laugh.  She always turns up right when Katniss least expects it and is, I think, a lot like Katniss.  I love how Katniss respects Foxface and even gets a kick out of seeing her out in the Games.

2. Newt from the The Maze Runner series by James DashnerLuna Lovegood Harry Potter

Oh Newt.  I love him.  Newt stands by Thomas pretty much from the beginning.  He is funny and  loyal, and has an Irish accent (I listened to the audiobooks).

3. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Luna is so awesomely nerdy and cool.  She is her own person and does things her own way.  She doesn’t really care too much that people think her and her father are odd, she knows who she is.

4. Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Magnus is someone I’d just love to hang out with.  He is always up for fun, but is also incredibly loving and thoughtful.  Plus he wears glitter.

5. Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harroy Potter series by J.K. RowlingSnape

Snape! Snape is like the most bad-a character ever.  His loyalty and willingness to sacrifice everything is mind-blowing.  And Bellatrix is the world’s most awesome villain!  She is the BEllatrix Lestrangeperfect combo of fabulous and evil mixed together.  I think I want to be her for Halloween…hmmm…

6. Dwight from The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

I just love that Dwight is nothing less than a weirdo.  A loveable, observant and smart weirdo, but a weirdo none-the-less.  I mean this guy digs wholes in his back yard, sits in them, then fills them back up.  That just cracks me up!

7. Maggie, Esther and Leah from Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

These girls are willing to overlook Auden’s bad judgement and befriend her anyway.  They don’t give up on Auden when she tries to push them away either (which she does, a lot).  They continue to pursue her because they understand the value of deep relationships.  They seem like the type of people I’d like to get to know.

8. Marcie Millar from the Hush, Hush books by Becca Fitzpatrick

I know Marcie is suppReepicheep Narniaosed to be Nora’s arch nemesis and everything, plus she says some mean things about Vee, but things are just more colorful and fun with Marcie in the story!  I really enjoyed the second book and I’m convinced its because there is more Marcie in it.

9. Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Oh. My. Gosh. Break my heart! I honestly can’t think of Reepicheep too long without my heart hurting.  This little guy is the epitome of courage, faith, and perseverance.   Plus he is an adorable, talking, sword wielding mouse!!

10. Macey, Bex and Liz from The Gallagher Girl Series by Ally Carter

These girls are part of the reason why I wish I was a Gallagher Girl!  They’re loyal, fun and smart, but also (best of all) they’re spies!  I love the banter between these girls in this series so much!

So, those are some of my favorite minor characters in YA and MG fiction.  I have tons more but these were the ones that popped into my mind first.  Who are your favorite characters in supporting roles?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Teen Fiction Crushes

You know it was bound to happen. I was boy crazy as a teenager, and now that I’m grown up (?) and married (!), I have turned my boycraziness (new word) into fiction boyfriends. Who is awesome enough to make it on my list of ten favorite YA/Middle Grades fiction crushes? Well, you’re about to find out.

  • Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Because he is “the boy with the bread”. I really like bread.
  • Kartik from A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Exotic, protective and mysterious. Yes please.
  • Will Herondale from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. He’s British and Victorian. Need I say more?! No, I didn’t think so.
  • Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth. Mysterious, strong, and secretly vulnerable. And cute.
  • Po from Graceling by Kristen Cashore. His devotion to Katsa is so wonderful. And he’s kinda sexy.
  • Eli Stock from Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. Rides bikes competitively and needs help loving again.
  • Sam Roth from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. He’s a wolf and a cute boy wrapped into one. Oh yea, and a musician.
  • Jasper Cullen from the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. He is sensitive and he has an accent. Of course I like him.
  • Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Hilarious, sweet and brave. Oh yeah and they’re wizards. Yes please.
  • Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. The annoying boy grows up to be the handsome gentleman. Le sigh…

I can’t finish this post without a shout out to my favorite fictional crushes of all time (not teen fiction).

  • Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  • Mr. Thornton from North and South by Elizabeth Gaskill
  • Mr. Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Be still my beating heart!

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Tuesday Top Ten: My Favorite Young Adult/Middle Grades Authors

Once I find an author I like, I devour all of their books.  All of them.

This week’s Top Ten is focused on current favorite Young Adult/Middle Grades authors.  The titles next to the names are some I recommend.

10. Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

9. Gail Carson Levine:  Ella Enchanted, Fairest, Ever, Two Princesses of Bamarre

8. Libba Bray: The Gemma Doyle trilogy

7. Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instruments series, Clockwork Angel 

6. Heather Brewer: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series5. Jessica Day George: Dragon Slippers series, Sun and Moon Ice and Snow, Princess of the Midnight Ball

4. Margaret Peterson Haddix: The Missing series, Palace of Mirrors, Shadow Children Sequence, Just Ella

3. J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter series

2. Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games trilogy, The Underland Chronicles

1. Shannon Hale: Princess Academy, The Books of Bayern series, Book of a Thousand Days

There are obviously tons of other authors I’ve read and enjoy immensely, but there are my top favorites.  Other notable authors that were on the original list were: James Patterson, Gary Soto, Anthony Horowitz  and Jeff Kinney.

Any suggestions on authors I should check out, let me know!