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Top Ten Tuesday: Read Alikes

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Every Tuesday I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday Meme which is hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme for others to create lists so that us book bloggers can get to know each other better and talk about what we love… books!

This week’s list is Books for People Who Like X book…in other words its read alike week! Today I’ll be giving read alike suggestions for some popular Middle Grades and Young Adult fictions titles. Hopefully this list will be helpful to you in figuring out what to read next!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeIf you like Princess Academy by Shannon Hale… try Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Both Hale and George are the queens of middle grades fairy tales retold! And they’re friends in real life.  They’re perfect read alikes.

The Loser List by HN KowittIf you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney… try The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt

Both books are about boys who are struggling to make it through their teenage year and are told in words and doodles.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanIf you like  Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen… try The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

These two rock the summery contemporary YA world!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerIf you like the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins… try The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Both dystopian novels feature strong characters fighting against corrupt governments.  Both are pretty intense reads!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneIf you like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz… try Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Alex Rider is the modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes.  Both are British teen spies/detectives attempting to save the world. Fun stuff!

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyIf you like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen… try Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Both tell the stories of teens attempting to survive in the wilderness.  One in the Canadian mountains and another in the Florida Everglades.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerIf you like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan… try the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Although one is about Greek gods and the other focuses on vampires, both stories are about boys who uncover their true identities.

Football Hero by Tim GreenIf you like The Underdogs by Mike Lupica… try Football Hero by Tim Green

Both authors write books about regular kids and sports. Both are really fun middle grade reads!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlIf you like The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray… try Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both are paranormal young adult novels with a dollop of romance thrown in!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteIf you liked The Mortal Instruments series or The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare… try the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White

Both series center on a teen girl who thinks her life is pretty normal until she realizes her connection to the supernatural world.

Do you recommend any other read alikes for the books I’ve mentioned above?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series that I Need to Finish

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome back!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Broke and Bookish.  Each week features a different topic Each book blogger then creates a list based on that topic and gets  to share it with other book bloggers and blog readers!

I’m not even going to think about the fact that it is July.  I’m also not going to think of the fact that pre-planning at school starts in about a month.  Summer don’t run away…I LOVE YOU!!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was officially a freebie and I chose to talk about book series that I need to finish.   Sometimes I start a book series and really, really enjoy it, but for whatever reason, am unable to finish reading all the books in that series.  It is hard to read every book in every series I like, so I try to be picky about which series I continue.  All the series listed below are books that I need/really want to finish.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick1. Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick

I was surprised by how much I liked reading about Nora and Patch.  I’ve read Hush, Hush (#1) and Crescendo (#2), but need to get my hands on Silence, the third book.

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart2. The Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart

I’m a huge fan of the neurotic Ruby Oliver and I’ve read The Boyfriend List (#1) and The Boy Book (#2), but haven’t had a chance to read The Treasure Map of Boys (#3) or Real Live Boyfriends (#4).

The Last Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

This is a two book series and I liked the first book, but number two, The Last Little Blue Envelope eludes me.

Its Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han4. The Summer books by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (#1) was sooo good and I finally picked up It’s Not Summer Without You (#2) at my public library yesterday.

Envy by Anna Godbersen5. The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

I was completely engrossed by The Luxe (#1) and Rumors (#2), but still have to read Envy (#3) and Splendor (#4).

Rip Tide by Kat Falls6. Dark Life books by Kat Falls

Dark Life (#1) was my favorite Sunshine State book last year and need to read Rip Tide (#2)

Specials by Scott Westerfeld7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I loved Uglies (#1) but wasn’t a huge fan of Pretties (#2) and I’ve heard things about Specials (#3) that makes me wonder if I will like the end of this series or not.

Bitter Blue by Kristin Cashore8. Graceling Realms books by Kristin Cashore

I adored both Graceling (#1) and Fire (#2) so I have high hopes for Bitterblue (#3) and am proud to say it is in my possession.

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George9. The Princess series by Jessica Day George

I’ve read Princess of the Midnight Ball (#1) but still have the second book, Princess of Glass, to read before the third book comes out.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale10. The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

I’ve read, The Goose Girl (#1), Enna Burns (#2), and River Secrets (#3) but haven’t gotten to Forest Born (#4) yet.

Have you already finished some of these series?  If so let me know which ones I need to make top priority!

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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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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Book Talking this Month at School

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A book talk is simply a way to get someone (mainly students) interested in reading a particular book. The goal is to create excitement for the book by telling the listener just enough about the book to whet their reading appetite! Teachers and librarians give book talks all the time – they’re a major tool of the trade! The main way I do book talks is over the school’s morning announcements, and I usually do one or two a week.

Today’s Top Ten list is centered on ten books I’m book talking this month at school. Since my book talks are a bit too long to add to this post, a brief summary of each book is included under each title.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George1. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick2. Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard3. Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren – a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi’s curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she’s always longed for – or the love she can’t live without?

Heist Society by Ally Carter4. Heist Society by Ally Carter

For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business—thieving. When Kat tries to leave “the life” for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold. Why? A mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and Kat’s father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. The only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back. Kat’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

The Underdogs by Mike Lupica5. The Underdogs by Mike Lupica

Will Tyler can fly on a football field. He may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in hand, he may as well be flying for real because life can’t touch him – his dad isn’t so defeated, his town isn’t so poor, and everyone has something to cheer for. All of which does him no good if the football season is canceled. With no funding for things like uniforms and a cared-for playing field, with seemingly every other family moving to find jobs, there simply isn’t enough money or players for a season. Unless one kid can rally an entire town and give everyone a reason to believe . . .

The Maze Runner by James Dashner6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko7. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. But Natalie has autism, and when she’s denied admittance to the school, the stark setting of Alcatraz begins to unravel the tenuous coping mechanisms Moose’s family has used for dealing with her disorder. When Moose meets Piper, the cute daughter of the Warden, he knows right off she’s trouble. But she’s also strangely irresistible. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents’ expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell8. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as “the Dragon Whisperer” … but it wasn’t always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb?

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hirandani9. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hirandani

After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia’s mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn’t always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren’t part of the “in” crowd. At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she’s dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it’s hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances.

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman10. No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman

Wallace gives a thumbs-down to a book much to the chagrin of his English teacher, who sentences him to help with a stage version of the book. Wallace is unaware that his improvement suggestions will wind up changing the entire production and his life as well.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

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I Adore a Good Fairy Tale: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Happy Monday!
Have you entered for a chance to win an audiobook of Tempest by Julie Cross yet?  The giveaway runs until February 20, so there is still time!
Now, how about a book review?

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s when the Castle magically grows a new room, a turret, or sometimes an entire wing.  No one knows how or why the Castle does it, and no one except Princess Celie has ever bothered to map out the Castle’s many twists and turns.
 But when the king and queen disappear and Councilors from neighboring kingdoms arrive to “advise” the three Glower children, even the Castle seems to know that something is wrong… Take the new tower room, which is stocked with mysterious objects and has a knack for appearing just when Celia needs it.  Then there is the secret passageway that leads the children to a room the Councilors don’t want them to know about.
To find their parents and hold on to their kingdom, Celie and her siblings will need all their ingenuity, Celie’s maps, plus some help from their beloved Castle – before it’s too late.
I adore fairy tales.  I always have.  That’s why Jessica Day George is one of my favorite middle grades authors; she writes fairy tales!
In Tuesdays at the Castle George has created an endearing story that captured me from the beginning.  I actually have been looking forward to reading her newest title for a while and was super excited to receive it in December from my Secret Santa (Thanks to Heidi over at YA Bibliophile!!)!    Plus look at that gorgeous cover!
I think George does a good job of writing heroines that are normal – in that they are strong but not overly independent.  Vulnerable but not weak.  Celie  is a charming character who is still young and sometimes has to catch herself from saying things that are not becoming to a princess.  I like the sassy-ness Celia has, but she doesn’t let it get her into trouble which is good because I dislike characters that have so much attitude they keep digging themselves into more and more trouble. Although Celie is smart and brave, she does welcome help from her brother, Rolf, and her older sister, Lilah.  She also acknowledges that she needs help from the castle as well.
The castle is an interesting character too.  It listens to the needs and desires of its inhabitants and provides for them as necessary.  However, the castle is incredibly clear about who it likes and who it dislikes and has been known to literally eject enemies from itself.  The whole idea of a magic castle is fun and very unique (further proof that Jessica Day George is awesome!) and I think she has opened herself up to tons of stories to tell about Castle Glower (which is good because this is supposed to become a series!).
One thing that cracked me up was the dialogue for the foreign princes visiting Castle Glower.  George writes their speech grammatically incorrect as one speaking a language not their own might sound.  I loved it and actually read those parts out loud because they reminded me of my husband and I attempting to speak with foreign accents.
“Yes, and very powerful,” Celie said pointedly.  “That is the true,” Prince Lulath said.  “I have already the thanks given, that the rooms we stay in have been nice and more nice.”

Seriously read it out loud with  an eastern European accent.  hehehe

Sometimes middle grades fiction is a wonderfully refreshing escape from more mature Young Adult fiction I read.  I just need something a little more innocent at times, which is another reason why I love Jessica Day George’s books.    I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers (even older elementary readers) who enjoy a good fairy tale.

Author: Jessica Day George

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (October 25, 2011)

Format: Print copy, hardcover

Length: 225 pages

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: Tuesdays at the Castle

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Currently Reading

As usual I’m reading a ton of books all at the same time.  How I manage this, I have no idea! This time around I’m in the middle of some audiobooks, e-books and print copies.  Here they are:

On Audiobook

Dont Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter (MG/YA)

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (listening with my husband so this may take longer to finish) (YA)

Print

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (MG)

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace (ARC) (YA)

Ebooks

May B A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose

May B.: A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (MG)

I have no idea when I’ll actually finish these, but there they are!  What are you currently reading?  Any suggestions for my “Too Read” stack?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Titles From My To Read Stack

My To Read Stack

I always have a huge To Read stack, so I decided it was time to feature its presence in my life! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday are ten titles in my To Read stack. Now, as you can see there are not ten books in the stack above, and that’s because I also have some e-books on my Kindle that are technically in this category. So many delicious books, so little time! Anyway, here we go!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Miracle Wimp by Erik P. KraftMiracle Wimp by Erik P. Kraft (ignore the giant puppy paw!)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

My Most Excellent Year by Steve KlugerMy Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day GeorgeTuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

The Boy Book by E. LockhartThe Boy Book by E. Lockhart

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter

Tempest by Julie CrossTempest (audiobook) by Julie Cross (ARC)

May B. by Caroline Starr RoseMay B.: A Novel by Caroline Starr Rose (e-book)

In Too Deep by Amanda GraceIn Too Deep by Amanda Grace (ARC)

Of course I’ll let you know when I get to these; I just wish I could read them all right now, but alas its not possible! What titles are waiting for you in your To Read stack?

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End of the Year Book Survey 2011

The End of the Year Book Survey was created by Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner.  This is its second year, and my first year participating.  Boy, it took a lot of work, but it was fun to look back at my first year as a book blogger.  If you’re interested in participating, click on the image above and sign up!

Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I’m definitely picking two.  My favorite Young Adult title this year was Divergent by Veronica Roth (loving this dystopian romance trend!).  My favorite regular adult fiction (saying adult fiction sounds kinda dirty but I have to make the differentiation), was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.Divergent by Veronia Roth

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

I was pretty excited to read Vixen by Jillian Larkin because I love the “Roaring ’20s” (I’ve been a flapper for Halloween more than 3 times).  I was so disappointed though.  The writing just wasn’t that great and although I thought the story was fun I felt like I was reading a cheap romance novel.  Oh well!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I rarely read books with guy main characters because I prefer/relate to female characters (since I’m one).  But in an effort to be better adept at recommending “boy books” to my male students I read Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar and loved it!  Scott was a male main character/narrator who I completely identified with and I was very surprised by and impressed with the book!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I think I have two for this one.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins most definitely.  My students hadn’t really heard much about it and we added it to the 8th grade summer reading list.  I’ve been asking those that didn’t do their summer reading, “Have you read The Hunger Games yet?” And they’ll respond with something like, “No but my friend/sister/brother has and they love it!”.  So I encourage them to read it as well! Also, I tell other adults about how they really need to read this series; it helps when there is a movie on its way.

Also, I think City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the other title I’ve recommended most this year.  I have tons of girl students who have read the Twilight series and maybe the Vampire Academy series or the Vampire Kisses series, but they don’t know what to read next.  So I tell them how cool Clary and the Shadow Hunters are and how there are all sorts of supernatural creatures in this series, not just vampires.    They check it out and get hooked; my job is complete!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I know the books have been out for a while, but I didn’t start reading them until this year; I love The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter!  I’ve only read two of these books so far, but they’re my escape to normal life (they’re spies but somehow I think this is normal) after reading too much supernatural or dystopian fiction.  This series is just so light and fun they leave me wishing I was a part of Cammie’s group of friends.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Well, Stephanie Perkins isn’t really a new author, but I hadn’t really known who she was before reading Anna and the French Kiss. Lola and the Boy Next Door is in my TBR stack!   I also adore Veronica Roth and Divergent was awesome.  I can’t wait to read more of her writing in the future!

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

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher really wierded me out at first.I think it was because I couldn’t categorize its genre.  It’s a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, and dystopian fiction.  My mind was boggled and somewhere I found myself absolutely loving it.  I guess the librarian in my likes to classify and when I have trouble doing so it makes me uncomfortable.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

When I started the Clockwork Angel audiobook by Cassandra Clare I was completely enthralled and listened to it whenever it was socially acceptable to.  I even did dishes every day for like two weeks just so I could have an excuse to listen to it! (If you know me, you’ll know that I despise washing dishes!).  I was happy and my husband was happy (that he didn’t have to do the dishes!).

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.   Oh I have been waiting for more Will and Tessa (and Jem even though he’s not my favorite) since I finished Clockwork Angel in March.  I know it wasn’t a super long time to wait, but when one loves Will Herondale you require his presence more frequently.   :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The cover for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater gets me every time.  The icy blue of the trees and branches surrounding the title does make me feel that wintry chill.  It’s just so lovely.  But I also adore the cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.  Period costumes are an automatic win for me. And I love how the girl’s gown is rustling as she walks (runs?).  So pretty!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeShiver by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart is hilarious.  She’s so neurotic, loveable, sarcastic, funny, way overdramatic, smart, but also very self un-aware.  I love how complex her character is; I feel sorry for her and at the same time have no sympathy for her!  It takes great writing to get at all the character’s complexities.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Matched by Ally Condie.   How can a book with such a focus on words not be beautifully written?  Cassia and Ky cherish poetry and the written word so Condie takes this plot line and weaves it into the narration.  I mean for real: “So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life that I want to see clearly, this is it.” (from Matched by Ally Condie) So well done!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

This question is hard to answer.  All the books I’ve read leave an impact on me.  I guess I’d have to say The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I was so struck by the many different female relationships/friendships were displayed in this novel.  I also adore Stockett’s comment in the authors note about how just trying to understand each others stories is what causes change.  I love this because we’ll never fully understand every person’s personal experience in life, but its they trying to listen and understand that makes all the difference.  I think this is incredibly important.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

I waited years to read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  A student recommended it to in 2007 so I tried to start it but had trouble getting into the story, so I stopped.  But I realized I needed to read it if I was going to be a decent Media Specialist, so read it I did.  I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be. Oh well, I finally read it!

Matched by Ally Condie15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

“And I’ll tell her that I don’t want my life to be samples and scraps. A taste of everything but a meal of nothing.” -Cassia in Matched by Ally Condie.  I love the desire for more life expressed in this quote.  I want my life to be better than a “meal of nothing”.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

Maybe Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen.  There is so much going on in this series that I’d have to reread at least the previous book before I started the next! I read this one in July and don’t remember much about it at all!

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!

The scene in The Help  by Kathryn Stockett where Minnie is surprised by an axe wielding Johnny Foote!  I laughed and laughed so hard and I wanted to know where my friends were (in their reading) so we could talk and laugh about it!  I think I told my husband all about it even though he had no idea what I was talking about since he hadn’t read the book.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

This was my first year involved with book blogging but Heidi at the YA Bibliophile, has been so friendly and helpful! Like me, she is a middle school Media Specialist who love YA fiction—I feel like we’re very similar.   She was even my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

I think review I wrote on both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. It was me too excited to even try to hide my fan girl tendencies. It was a review full of gushing, but I loved it because I had fun writing it.


3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

I’m still a relatively new and small blog so I haven’t really had any discussions.  Maybe in 2012?!

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

Almost everyone had thoughts on the “Darkness Too Visible” editorial in the Wall Street Journal.  I didn’t share my opinion too much, but I was very intrigued to read everyone else’s thoughts.  It is an interesting topic and reading other opinions helped me think about both sides to the argument in ways I hadn’t before.

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

Well, I haven’t done too much of this, but my school did pay for me to attend the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference this year and I had so much fun!  FAME is full of school librarians (from all grade levels) learning more about our profession and sharing ideas and tips.  But there are also authors! (My personal favorite part!)  I got to meet Kiersten White, Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, James Preller, Jennifer Allison and more!  They were all so friendly and nice and even signed books for my students.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

I think the best moment of blogging for me this year was having authors like Roland Smith and David Lubar re posted my reviews of their books on Twitter or Facebook.  Such an honor to know they visited my little blog to begin with and liked what they saw enough to share with others.  Incredibly humbling!

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

My most viewed post was the book review I wrote for The Luxe by Anna Godbersen with 193 views.  It actually has double the amount of views any of my other posts have!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I really had fun posting about my top ten all time favorite teen fiction crushes. I mean, who doesn’t have some series love for boys in books?!  I guess not as many people as I had thought! haha

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

NetGalley all the way!  I kept wondering how book bloggers keep getting their hands on all of these ARCs!  Finally I got the courage to ask someone and Heidi and YA Bibliophile showed me the way of Net Galley!  It is a book blogger’s dream to request advanced copies and have the publisher just give them to you! Very cool!

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

Other than reading all fifteen Florida Sunshine State titles, nope.  Next year though! I’ll be participating in the Debut Authors Challenge 2012, hosted by The Story Siren.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has been on my list for a while now and is one of my main priorities on 2012.  Also Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George are must reads in early 2012.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Tris and Four! Also, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  If Tessa doesn’t end up with Will, I’ll still love Cassandra Clare, but my head might esplode!! (yes, esplode!)


3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’d like to get more readership and maybe even do a giveaway sometime this year.  The thought of a giveaway scares me; it suspect they are more work than they look!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Shopping Guide

Are you looking for the perfect book for your favorite reader? Well, today’s Top Ten Tuesday’s goal is to make that a little easier for you. Today I highlight ten different types of readers and provide titles that may be the perfect fit. The recommended titles are broken up into Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grades (MG) so you can get a better idea of the level of interest. Some I have read and reviewed, others I have posted as suggestions by my students; some are newer and some were published a few years ago. I really hope they help!

* I’ve Read ** I’ve Reviewed

The Teen Angster

13 Reasons Why

YA: Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar*, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart**

MG: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney*, The Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell

The Dystopian Dreamer

Divergent by Veronica Roth

YA: Divergent by Veronica Roth**, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner*

MG: The City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau, The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld**

So Fond of Fairy Tales

YA: Graceling by Kristin Cashore**, A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce*

MG: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica day George*, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale*

The Girly Girl

YA: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen**, and The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han**

MG: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard**, Thirteen all by Lauren Myracle

Looking for LoveLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

YA: Lola and the Boy Next Door, or Anna and the French Kiss **by Stephanie Perkins

MG: The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot*

Fantasy/Supernatural Fans

YA: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray*, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher**, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare**

MG: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George*, The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson*

Mysteries and Such

YA: Heist Society series by Ally Carter, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

MG: Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach*, Scat by Carl Hiaasen*

Sports SpectatorsGym Candy by Carl Deuker

YA: Gym Candy by Carl Deuker, The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

MG: Football Hero by Tim Green*, Pop by Gordon Korman

Avid Adventurers

YA: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz*

MG: Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith, The 39 Clues series by various authors*

Animal Lovers

YA: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, Marley and Me by John Grogan

MG: Jackie’s Wild Seattle by Will Hobbs*, Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata