1

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique YA

Hola everyone!

Let’s talk about the “most unique” YA books I’ve read. This was a difficult theme for me and I’m not sure why. Whatever the reason may be, I only have seven titles on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish).

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher Such a strange and enchanting mix of steampunk/sci-fi/fantasy.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater One of the most interesting takes on the supernatural/paranormal genre I’ve read.

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve This was just such a weird book; a strange mix of steampunk/dystopian/fantasy.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray I will forever compare all fantasy to this one.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Such a hauntingly beautiful take on the fantasy genre.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly A cool contemporary turned historical fiction.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine A blend of middle grade fantasy retelling plus murder mystery wrapped into one.

Apparently, I only think that fantasy and supernatural books are unique! haha That’s pretty much all that is on this list!

What about you? What are the most unique YA books you’ve read?

7

Top Ten Tuesday: Keep ‘em Coming!

Oh Hi!

Welcome back to BookTasty where I participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Have you ever loved a story and it’s characters so much that you just wanted more?! Well, I have definitely finished a book and thought, “okay…now give me a sequel!” only to find out that there is no sequel….NOOOOOO!

I know that not every book can be part of a series or even a trilogy and that some people get annoyed with the seemingly overabundance of series today, especially in the MG and YA world. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is refreshing to read a story and be done with it, but I really love series because they allow me to spend more quality time with those characters I love. So, today I want to share some titles that I wish would just keep ‘em coming!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Époque by Elizabeth Ross

Now, this one is a debut and Ross could have another one in the works, but as of now I know nothing.

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Unfortunately author Zinn passed away before the book was published so we’ll never have another book with these characters.

A Northern Light by Jennifer DonnellyA Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I just want to know what happens next!

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

This is another debut that could have a sequel coming…? Please?!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I just love this world so much I want more…MORE!!!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanThe Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

It would be really interesting to see what happens to these boys as their time with Doug Healy progresses.

Austenland by Shannon HaleAustenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Okay, so Midnight in Austenland IS a sequel but, like Ariel, I WANT MOOOOOOOORE!

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

This world is so amazing that again, see above.

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAll of Sarah Dessen’s books

Can we just have a huge mashup book where all the characters meet and hang out and like I don’t know, go to college together in Colby or something?!

JaneAustenRuinedMyLifeJane Austen Ruined my Life by Beth Pattillo

Okay, so I think there is a sequelish companion novel to this one, but it’s a different character. I want the same character doing more of what she did in this book! (Not YA)

What about you? Are there any standalones that you particularly wish there was a sequel to?

23

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?

2

For Historical Fiction Fans: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Hello!

I listened to another audiobook! I recently finished A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly and I think it was my eighth audiobook of 2013.

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job

This isn't the cover for the audiobook, but I like this one better.

This isn’t the cover for the audiobook, but I like this one better.

at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly’s astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

Historical fiction…why are you so good?! I love you! Seriously, I’m picky about my historical fiction, but when I do read one I like….I REALLY LIKE IT! Jennifer Donnelly’s books have this gritty realistic quality to them that I don’t always see in a lot of YA. Last year I listened to Donnelly’s Revolution, which I really enjoyed (read my review here) so I thought I should give another of her books a try. I’m glad I did because I think I prefer A Northern Light to Revolution.

First I think the main character, Mattie, is what made A Northern Light that much more enjoyable for me. Mattie, an intelligent farm girl with dreams of college and the big city was an engaging character. She is sharp and observant while also sarcastically witty. Mattie is under a lot of pressure and struggles to keep her head afloat amidst the contradictions of her dreams and her reality.

Both Mattie and Grace’s stories are told through flashbacks and both girls are fleshed out really well. Mattie begins to see something of herself in Grace’s letters which ultimately scares her. Although the story is mostly about Mattie and Grace, the supporting characters are written well. Sometimes minor characters get the two-dimensional treatment, but I really felt each character’s voice from the beginning.  They were all complex and had their own struggles which sometimes even mirrored Mattie’s. Each one was flawed in ways that make you want to love them more. Also, the mystery surrounding Grace Brown’s death is gripping. As the reader you just know something is not right and you can’t wait to figure out what it is. I’d say this was a page turner, but I was listening to it so that doesn’t apply!

Now, I did get a little frustrated at times because Donnelly’s overarching theme is pretty heavy-handed. It was incredibly clear that the main message was that women will be nothing but prisoners if they allow men into their lives. Not one woman in Mattie’s story lived a life that was happy and fulfilled, unless they made the choice to be manless. I was bothered by this not simply because I disagree with this idea, but because Donnelly doesn’t give us any room to see other possibilities. I know this story is set in a different era, but I cannot believe that EVERY woman throughout history who chose to have a man in their life was less fulfilled than those who chose to be alone. I find it frustrating that the reader is left with only one possibility.

OKAY…I’m getting off my soapbox now.

Despite the above mentioned frustrations, I still really, really enjoyed listening to A Northern Light. The narrator’s voices were all well performed (although one character’s southern accent shifted here and there) and I enjoyed her narration. If you don’t enjoy historical fiction, Donnelly’s books probably aren’t for you, and I do believe A Northern Light will be best enjoyed by older high school students (and those of us who find ourselves a tad bit older) who love historical fiction.

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Random House Audio (March 1, 2003)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes

Narrator(s): Hope Davis

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: A Northern Light

3

Where the Fiction Stops and the History Begins: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Hello!

About a year ago a librarian friend recommended Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly to me.  I had pretty much forgotten about it until I saw the audiobook at my local public library! (Yay publib libraries!)

Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss Revolution by Jennifer Donnellyof her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.  Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
 
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

I was super obsessed with this audiobook! Honestly, I’m always a fan of historical fiction but Revolution added a whole new level of coolness to a genre I already love.

So, as a history major in college, I already knew a good deal about the French Revolution, but I’d never heard the story and controversy surrounding Louis-Charles, the youngest son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  Holy crap what a crazy intriguing story to use as the catalyst for Andi’s self discovery and healing!

Donnelly’s weaving together of the modern and historical narratives seriously made me wonder where the fiction stops and the history begins.  I love it when historical fiction is written that well! After finishing the book I spent at least an hour scouring websites searching for more information on the French Revolution and the story of the “Lost Dauphin”.

The story was awesome, but I did have a difficult time connecting to the super tough, broken and distraught Andi. She actually intimated me upon first meeting her in the beginning of the book! If I met Andi in real life I’d be way to scared to even be within 5o feet of her! But, I do think that’s the point.  When we meet her in the beginning of the story, she isn’t who she was meant to be. She is instead a brittle, prickly shell of her self struggling with intense guilt.

As I mentioned before I listened to the audiobook and loved it.  There were two narrators, one for Andi and one for Alexandrine and both were consistent because that’s a huge thing for me!

Revolution is most definitely Young Adult, not middle grades, but I do think some mature middle schoolers could read it. I was really, really captivated by this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good historical fiction read!

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 15 hrs and 1 min

Narrator(s): Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering

Series: standalone

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Revolution

3

Book Trailer of the Week: Revolution

Book Trailer of the WeekHappy Friday!  The last day of school was yesterday so I’m officially on SUMMER BREAK now! WHOOT!! WHOOT!!

Its time for the Book Trailer of the Week!  Every week I highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  It can be an older or newer book trailer, it doesn’t matter!  I love book trailers and think they’re incredibly effective modes of promotion, especially with students.

Revolution by Jennifer DonnellyThis week’s trailer is a historical fiction read that I’ve had my eyes on for a while now, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.  It has intrigued me since the first day I saw it in the library.  I didn’t have the opportunity to read it then, but I recently bought it at my school book fair.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
 
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
 
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

It’s such a teeny tiny short trailer, but Revolution is definitely on my summer To Read List!

Standard
13

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books in My To Read Stack

Welcome back everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event held by the fine folks over at The Broke and Bookish. The meme is intended to provide a way for bloggers (specifically book bloggers) to get to know each other better.

They always have a set theme to base our weekly post on, but sometimes the official theme and I don’t click. It seems its been a lot like that recently, and this week I am also choosing my own theme because I just don’t click with the one the chose. Although, I will say that if I had to pick YA authors to compete on a Reality Show I’d go with Maureen Johnson on Survivor, because I feel like she has just the right amount of crazy to dominate everyone. :P

So, this week’s Book Tasty Top Ten is Books in my To Read Stack! Some have taken up residence in this stack for a few months now, while others just recently found themselves there. They all look soooo good, and they will all get read at some point, but for now, here they are!

Out of Sight Out of Time, Born Wicked, GoneOut of Sight Out of Time by Ally Carter

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Gone by Michael Grant

Ahhh I can’t wait to get into these!

Such a Rush, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Scorpio RacesSuch a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

These have been in the stack for a few months now, but not because of a lack of interest!

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreBitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I won this one from Jen at A Book and a Latte. Thanks so much!

The Vespertine, RevolutionThe Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

I bought these at my school Book Fair this past week!

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCaffertySloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Found this one in my school’s teacher book swap a while ago!

I mean, they’re so pretty I just can’t wait to dive into them as soon as I can! What is in your To Read Stack!?