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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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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)

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Tasty Treats (8)

Hello everyone!

It’s Sunday (a kind of dreary, potentially going to rain Sunday) and I’m actually posting today! I rarely post on Sunday so it’s kind of exciting when I do! :)

I am officially on Spring Break (WHOOT!)  which is awesome because although I love my students and my school, I was in need of some time off. Spring Break affords me time to lounge, read, visit the library and spend time with my friends (and my cousin Audrey who is coming to visit!).

Friday was a teacher work day so we got to go home much earlier than we normally would, so with my extra free time I decided it was time to check out my local public library. I picked up a few audiobooks, but I also poked around the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore and found some fun treats! Now I don’t know about you but when I visit a new book store like Barnes & Noble I get a little crazy. I get a massive case of book lust. The problem is that I can’t AFFORD to BUY all of the books I want (which is ALL of them). I feel a lot like this little guy.

Book Lust

So close, yet so far.

It’s just not possible for me to buy every book I want! So when I find a deal like I did at the used bookstore I get so excited! I have to say that I purchased 6 books (3 paperback, 3 hardcover) for $16.oo.  YUP! I think that’s a pretty good steal for SIX books!

So, let’s see what I snagged:

Tasty Treats1

The three paperbacks are:

Paperbacks

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han*

The three hardcovers (for only $3.50 each!):

hardcovers

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale*

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher*

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter*

I’m so proud of myself for finding these at such good prices and in such good condition! This does however, mean that I need to do some book shelf rearranging to make some room for these new additions…but hey! It’s Spring Break right?! I’ll have time for it!

What tasty treats have you acquired recently?

*= I’ve already read this one but who cares!

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2012 End of the Year Book Survey

20130101-090729.jpg
Hi there! Isn’t in insane to think that 2012 is already over?!
Now, to be honest, I’m not too sad to see this year go because we had some majorly difficult family stuff to deal with. What is exciting is that all of that is over and 2013 is full of hope and newness!
But before we completely welcome 2013, let’s take a little look at what happened at BookTasty this past year!
Also this end of the year survey was created by The Perpetual Page Turner
!

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

This is easy for me. This year The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater just completely blew me away. Her writing is lyrical The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvaterand gorgeous and is MILES ahead of other authors.

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

Everyone else LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor and it was “meh”. I didn’t hate it but I also just did not love it. I felt really bad about not loving it but then I thought “oh well! I don’t have to love every book I read”. I am still trying to be okay with it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

I don’t know why I expected to not be too impressed with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I guess I thought “Oh just another sci-fi novel”, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It really is a fun read and it reminded me a lot about my beloved Firefly. Plus it’s a fairy tale mixed with sci-fi! You can read my review of Cinder here.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Being a media specialist, I recommend a lot of books to my students so we’ll cross those off the list (too many to count!). As far as recommending books to friends and family I’d definitely have to say The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It is such a fabulous dystopian and a good “if you liked The Hunger Games, try this!” I even gave a copy as a Christmas gift!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I guess I’d have to say The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. It’s the first book in The Shades of London series. The other books haven’t been released yet so I don’t know if it counts, but it’s one that I am really excited to continue reading.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Okay so I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge which introduced me to new authors and I absolutely adored The Boy Project by Kami KinardVeera Hirandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl). I also enjoyed Kami Kinard (The Boy Project). Although Jay Asher isn’t a new author 2012 was the first time I read one of his books (Thirteen Reasons Why). I will definitely be reading anything else these authors publish in the future!

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

Jennifer Echols’ Such a Rush was WAY out of my comfort zone! It was a little too edgy for me. It took me a while to connect with Leah, the main character and there was a little more sex-type scenes than I am normally comfortable with. It wasn’t erotica or anything, but more than I prefer in my books…which is why it was a little out of my comfort zone. I really did enjoy this story though despite it being different from my normal read.

Also, Tempest by Julie Cross was out of my comfort zone. I’m not usually one for male main characters and this took me a while to get connected to Jackson, but once I did I was hooked!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Insurgent by Veronica Roth were two audiobooks that had me actually wanting to do chores around the house and wish my drives to and from work were longer just so I could continue listening to them! Both were just amazing stories (for different reasons) that I couldn’t leave even for a little bit! I had to know what was going to happen next!

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

This is a tough one for me because I don’t usually tend to re-read my books. If I had to pick one though it’d most likely be Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince because I know I’ll want to get a refresher before I read the final book in the series, Clockwork Princess (which is expected to be published in 2013!!). Oh I’m getting excited already!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

May B by Caroline Rose StarrI really loved the cover of Caroline Rose Starr’s May B. It is just so simple and reminds me of a cool retro poster design (I LOVE retro posters!). The vintage font and the small color palette are all so perfect!

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. Ruby is one of my favorite characters ever. She is annoying and self-centered and lovable and hilarious! She is a mess but she reminds me that we’re all messes sometimes! I also love Puck Connolly from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. She is brave, vulnerable, unsure and yet also strong all at the same time. She was so fun to read about because she is all of those different traits all at the same time.
As far as book boyfriends go I wish Cricket Bell from Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door was a real person and I was Lola and he lived next door. Le sigh….

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Oh most definitely The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Both were mesmerizing, a little haunting and absolutely gorgeous.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why was super important to me. As a middle school educator I work with a lot of kids every day. Kids who are easy to love and kids who are not so easy to love. Some of the ones that are harder to love are annoying or mean etc… but this book helped me remember the power of not only words but also time. Some of those kids just don’t have anyone giving them time. So even though my student who visits me every single day to catch me up on the latest events in the manga series she’s reading (and talks about it for like 20 minutes) I stop what I’m doing and listen even though I may have other things to do. I may be the only one giving my time to her and that may make a major difference in her life. You never know.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

So Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet was published in 1987 and I remember kids in my class at school reading and loving it, but somehow I just missed it. I never read it until this year. I don’t know what prompted me to read it other than guilt. I thought, man if I’m going to be a good librarian I need to have read Hatchet because it’s a classic. Well, I read it and I now know why it’s a classic and why it won the Newberry Honor Award!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

I’m sure there are tons that I loved when I first read them but I’m not the type of person who keeps track of good or meaningful quotes. So I have a few that I can remember but not many.

“I can’t forget things, or ignore them-bad things that happen,” I said. “I’m a lay-it-all-out person, a dwell-on-it person, an obsess-about-it person. If I hold things in and try to forget or pretend, I become a madman and have panic attacks. I have to talk.” -Ruby Oliver in Real Live Boyfriends: Yes Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart (This just reminds me of myself and why I love Ruby Oliver)

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” -Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Such a momentous truth for all educators to remember.)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

LongestCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare at 535 pages! I listened by audiobook so that is actually 16 hours and 59 minutes on audiobook!

ShortestA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park at 128 pages! It was a fast but deeply moving read!

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!

Every scene in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins with Cricket and Lola! Also that scene in The Scorpio Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsRaces by Maggie Stiefvater where Puck tells Sean that she will not be his weakness and he softly answers, “It’s already to late for that.” SWOON! Or any scene with Will Herondale and Tessa Gray from Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince…Le sigh…

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I love the way that Douglas Healy sees hope and potential in Terrence, Gecko and Arjay when the rest of the world has given up in Gordon Korman’s The Juvie Three. It’s just really uplifting to see him sacrifice so much for these boys that he doesn’t even really know.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

Okay so I know I keep talking about The Scorpio Races but I really, really loved that book! I’d read Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series which I enjoyed, but they are no match for The Scorpio Races.

Also, A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine was quite possibly my favorite of all the books I’ve read by her. I loved the mix of fairy tale and murder mystery genres.

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

Okay, so my friend Stephanie recommended The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I honestly don’t know if I would have read it without her prompting although I’d heard good things about it. Well, Stephanie is incredibly well read and I respect her bookish opinion so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did because although I didn’t LOVE The Night Circus as much as she did it was a beautiful and mysterious story that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Okay I’m cheating. I looked through all the book blogs I follow and I don’t know when I discovered them, but I do know that this year I began following What Kate Wore a blog dedicated to the fashion and all around awesomeness of HRH Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. I know it’s not a book blog, but I don’t care!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

This is too hard for me to decide so I’ll go with my favorite title of a review I wrote in 2012. I love my title for my review of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: A Healthy Fear of Mayonnaise. You’ll have to read the review to find out why I love this!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I wouldn’t really say it was a discussion exactly, but it was affirming to hear that others thought I made the healthiest decision. In April I posted about why I was choosing to end my participation in a weekly In My Mailbox type meme. It was titled Obsessive Behavior and Non Protests and it explains my thoughts on my own blogging behavior. Once I made that decision I felt so free and much healthier. It was incredibly helpful to hear from other bloggers with similar struggles and to get their encouragement.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Hmmm…I honestly have no clue…I’ll have to think about that one and maybe (maybe) revisit this answer.

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

Well, I haven’t posted on this but I did have the opportunity to have bestselling author Sharon Draper visit my Media Center in November! The visit was a little last-minute surprise and my students loved it. She spoke to about one hundred students for almost two hours and it was definitely a moment my students will always remember!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

2012 was the year my blog achieved 100 followers! I was so humbled and thankful so I threw a 100 Follower Giveaway to thank those awesome blog followers!

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

The most popular post at BookTasty this year was Top Ten Tuesday: Introducing the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Books. Over the course of 2012 it received 929 views, which I think is pretty darn cool!!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’d love to say that I wish ALL of my posts got a little more love, but I really would have liked it if my Book Trailer of the Week posts got more views. I love book trailers and think they’re invaluable tools for schools to use. I started this weekly post to share short and well done book trailers with other educators, but I average such little views that I’m wondering if I should continue to post or not. Something to think about…

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I had known about my local independent book seller, Bright Light Books, for years as my husband traded his textbooks for store credit with them while he was in seminary. However, I didn’t know that I could order new books from them! I thought it was only used books, but they helped me with a large and last-minute order for an event I was hosting at school. I love them and they have fabulous customer service.

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

I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren. The challenge expected that I read a new book from 12 debut authors, which I did! I loved having the chance to discover some new authors whose future titles will definitely be on my To Read List!

This year I also participated in the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge because I love audiobooks! My goal was to listening to and reviewing at least 24 audiobooks and I exceeded that goal by listening to 30 audiobooks. Yaaay!

Now, I also set a goal with the GoodReads 2012 Reading Challenge. I had originally wanted to read 100 books in 2012, but by September it became incredibly clear that wasn’t going to happen. So I changed my goal to 80 books (yeah I don’t know if that’s cheating or not…oh well!) which seemed more manageable. In the end I was 6 books short of that goal, but I think 73 books in one year isn’t that bad at all!

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreKristin Cashore’s Bitterblue has been sitting on my shelf since it was released in May. It just sits there all pretty and blue and calls to me, but I just haven’t had the time to get to it. Plus it’s also such a huge book I know it’s a massive time commitment, but I really want to read it right away in 2013.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Well how about that?! Wouldn’t you know that I actually posted about this question a few weeks ago. Check it out :)

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Oh my goal is to get my posts on a schedule. I want to be able to have them scheduled a few weeks in advance so I’m not scurrying to write posts when things get busy. I am on my way to the store to buy a little calendar to help with this later today.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve! See you in 2013!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2012

Hello and Happy Tuesday everyone!

Every week I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. A theme is posted each week and book bloggers near and far create lists centered on this theme. This week’s theme is Top Ten Favorite Books Read in 2012.

This is hard. I read so many entertaining, fun, well-written books this past year! Narrowing these all around good reads is extremely difficult and I know I’ll revisit this list in a few months wishing I had included, or not included, a specific title. Knowing this I am trying to do my best in selecting books that stuck with me for some reason.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beautiful. This book was simply beautiful. If you haven’t read this fantasy you must! It may in fact, be my favorite read of the year.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine2. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

This fairy tale meets murder mystery was fun and I’d like to see more of this genre mashup.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby3. Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

My favorite Florida Sunshine State book of the year.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Retold fairy tales get me all the time and this once was lush and well written.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A highly anticipated sequel that did not disappoint!

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale6. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I prefer this gothic novel-esque sequelover the first book, Austenland! (Not YA or MG)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Adored this futuristic (and slightly Firefly-ish) spin on the classic tale Cinderella.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hirandani8. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Beautifully well written middle grades fiction dealing with some serious family issues.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner9. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This is book two in the series but I prefer it to the others in the series because Thomas’ world opens up a lot more.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is hauntingly well done.

Are you like me and have a difficult time choosing?!  Well, here are some Honorable Mentions for 2012:

a. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

b. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Yes I finally read this!)

c. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

What were some of your favorite reads of 2012? Are any of your selected titles on my list?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Authors by Genre

Welcome back!

Today is Tuesday so, as always, that means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday post.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and is a fun weekly event where book bloggers post lists that all fit a particular theme.

Today’s theme is “Top Ten Favorite Authors In X Genre”.  I had a difficult time with this because I try to jump around genres a lot so I’m reading a wide range of YA and MG fiction.  Because of this, I can’t always say that I have ten favorite authors in one specific genre.  So, instead I decided to list ten different genres and my favorite author in that category.  So, here we go My Top Ten Favorite Authors by Genre!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher1. Fantasy: Catherine Fisher

Lola and the Boy Next Door  by Stephanie Perkins2. Contemporary Romance: Stephanie Perkins

The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale3. Fairy Tale Redo: Shannon Hale

Across the Universe by Beth Revis4. Sci Fi: Beth Revis

The Maze Runner by James Dashner5. Dystopian: James Dashner

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter6. Spy Fiction (I’m pretty sure I made this genre up): Ally Carter

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher7. Realistic Contemporary: Jay Asher

Smile by Raina Telegmier8. Graphic Novel: Raina Telgmeier

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell9. Historical Fiction: Judy Blundell

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare10. Paranormal Romance: Cassandra Clare

So, there you have it!  There are, of course, other fabulous authors in each of these genres, but these are just some that stand out to me. Who are your favorites?

 

3

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Ponder the Deeper Things in Life

Welly howdy!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a list theme for book bloggers to participate in.

This week’s theme is Books That Made You Think. So, I have a list of books that made me ponder the deeper things in life. Now, I will say that I tend to prefer books on the lighter sides because I don’t like books that make me cry!  I’m such a crier in normal life that when I read books I like happyish endings.  But, I have read some books that fit this category.  So, here they are! (Sorry no pictures this week my internet at home is down so I’m posting at work and the connection is slllooow…) 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is centered around bullying and teenage suicide. Working with teens, especially those labeled ”at-risk” made this book so meaningful to me. It is an intense read, but is also worth the emotional rollercoaster ride.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

2. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Park weaves together two stories of African youth affected by difficult times.  One is the story of a boy trying to survive in the face of civil war in his homeland, while the other tells of a young girl who has the responsibility of providing water for her family every day. Civil war? Poverty? The reality of life in a third world country? This one definitely made me think.

3. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Such an amazing true story of a German teen in the 1930s/1940s who grows to reject Hitler’s teachings and eventually takes a stand against them.  It was interesting to get the perspective of one who had originally been a member of the Hitler Youth because you rarely get to see that point of view.

4. May B by Caroline Starr Rose

A novel in verse about a girl living on the prairie struggling to survive a harsh winter.  The book also deals with dyslexia and made me, as an educator, wonder how students with disabilities fared in school during past eras. It must have been isolating, and confusing to not understand why everyone else was “getting it” while you were having trouble.

5.In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

 about a girl who does nothing to counteract the false rumors that a boy from school raped her, is so incredibly thought-provoking.  It made me think of lies, even those of omission, and the effects and consequences they can have in our lives.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Herandani6. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

This debut middle grades novel deals mainly with the idea of identity. The main character, Sonia,  is of both Jewish-American and Indian heritage and is struggling to figure out where she fits in her new school and in life altogether.  Sonia is also dealing with an out of work father who is struggling with depression and goes missing. I’d never read a middle grades novel displaying a parent with depression before. 

7. The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Peterson

More civil war and ethnic killing…The Day of the Pelican tells the story of a young girl and her Muslim Albanian family trying to survive in the middle of the Kosovo War.  Talk about a perspective adjustment for those of us who have never experienced war on our own soil.

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I loved this YA sci-fi story filled with themes of genetics and ethics. It had the “whoa thats cool!” factor but also made you realize that meddling in genetics has major ethical consequences.

9. Matched by Ally Condie

The dystopian world Condie creates has immense restrictions on creativity. The governmentMatched by Ally Condie has deleted all but a hundred songs, a hundred paintings, a hundred books etc… from the world’s memory.  People are not allowed to create new songs or books or paintings either.  With these type of restrictions the ability to create anything (words for example) gives power.  As the wife of a musician I can’t even imagine a world without creativity!

10. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before (it’s not YA or MG though) but this book blew my mind when I read it in my senior AP Lit class eleven years ago! I had never read anything like it in my life.  Chalk full of a dystopian society run by religion that puts restrictions on everything including sex and child-bearing.  Talk about making me think!

So there you have it- books that really made me think! What are some books that made you ponder the deeper things in life?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

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Happy Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is meme hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish!
I feel like I’m constantly talking about the same books over and over again since I am still only a toddler blogger (a little over one year) and my list of books I’ve read still isn’t huge. So, I am going to tweak this week’s theme and make it work for me. Today’s Top Ten is going to start with my top five contemporary Young Adult fiction titles. Then I’ll list five contemporary YA titles that I really want to read. Sound good? Good!

5 Contemporary YA Fiction Titles I Adore

So, with the exception of number 4 and 5, I obviously enjoy some good old fashion contemporary romance (she says as she swoons).

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen2. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart3. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace4. In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

5 Contemporary YA Fiction Titles I Want to Adore but Haven’t Read Yet

These are books that I have heard other readers say amazing things about, but I have not yet had the opportunity to read. I have most of these in my possession, but just haven’t found the time to sit down and read them yet.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen2. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally3. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jenniger E Smith4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty5. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

So there you have it! Please feel free to share some of your favorite contemporary YA (or MG) titles, or those that you want to read but haven’t yet. Thanks for stopping by!

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Just Finished: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher It’s funny how you can start some books and they completely take over your time.  They manage to push everything else you’re reading (because I’m usually reading two or three books at a time) to the side and take top priority.  Well, I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and that’s what it did.  It made itself known; it climbed its way to the top of my currently reading pile and made me read it in a matter of a weekend.  Seriously, it was that good (if not equally intense).  I’ll review it really soon!