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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

Hi there!

I have a real issue with not finishing books. If I make that decision to actually stop reading and put it down that choice stays with me forever. It feels like a little mini failure that plagues me! One time, however, a fellow book blogger (and I honestly can’t remember who it was) said that she doesn’t worry about not finishing books.  She said that there are too many books she wants to read that she isn’t going to waste time with books she isn’t enjoying.

This really resonated with me, but alas sometimes I just can’t give up on a book.  Sometimes it turns out to be a surprise and I actually end up enjoying the book, but other times I’m let down.  So, today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I Almost Put Down but Didn’t”.  It’s going to be a mix of those I am glad I finished and those I regret finishing.

Those I Should’ve Put Down, But Didn’t

These are the books I kept pushing through thinking “Surely, I’m going to end up liking this.” Nope.

Fallen by Lauren KateFallen by Lauren Kate

The Hypnotists by Gordon KormanThe Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Those I’m Glad I Kept Reading

These were books I wasn’t necessarily in love with when I began them, but in the end, am glad I stuck around to finish them because some of them have become books I love!

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor

If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAlong for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

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Top Ten Tuesday: Covers with Gowns I Want to Wear

Hi there!

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

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

Entwined by Heather Dixon1. Entwined by Heather Dixon

So gorgeous!!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

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

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

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

The Selection by Kiera Cass4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

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

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

WANT.

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

A slinky little one!

Vixen by Jillian Larkin7.  Vixen by Jillian Larkin

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

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

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

Matched by Allie Condie9. Matched by Ally Condie

It’s just so green and soft looking!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Its Victorian!!!

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

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More Than I Did

Well hello there!

Welcome back to BookTasty for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and let’s us book lovers have some fun with bookish lists!

This week the theme has to do with expectations while reading. Sometimes I finish reading a book and am left surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is always an awesome feeling! It’s like being delivered flowers at work! And then sometimes you think you’re really going to love a certain book and in the end you just weren’t impressed. Both happen to me, but today I’m focusing on the latter, books that I thought I’d like more than I did.

NOTE: I DO NOT HATE these books. I just didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

So here we go!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

I thought surely I’d love this period piece…nope.

Drama by Raina TelgemeierDrama by Raina Telegemier

I wanted to LOVE this one so bad, but I only liked it.

Reached by Ally CondieReached by Ally Condie

I was left underwhelmed.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Really enjoyed the first half then *BOOM* not so much the second part.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonMy Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

So much potential, but I felt like it went too long.

Beastly by Alex FlinnBeastly by Alex Flinn

Was unimpressed with the characters.

Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My husband LOVED these books but I couldn’t get into them.

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van DiepenVampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

My students LOVE this book but it was “meh” to me.

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

I love the 1920s = I will love this book! Not exactly….

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

I was kind of bored and wondering when it’d end. Which is sad because I’d heard good things.

So there you have it! I went into reading all ten of these books hoping and wanting to LOVE them, but in the end I was disappointed. Have you read any of these titles? If so, how’d you feel about them? What books did you want to love but just couldn’t?

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In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a fun way for bloggers to socialize and network their blogs!

So this week, I may or may not have gone a little crazy on NetGalley. (Thank you to NetGalley and all the publishers!) I ended up getting five titles from NetGalley although I have no idea when I’m going to read them!  Oh well, summer is coming soon and I’ll have loads of free time then! So, here are the books in my mailbox this week.

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon GreenlandThe Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

I’ve seen this one around on some other blogs and figured it was time I requested it.

Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn’t. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.

Diva by Jillian LarkinDiva by Jillian Larkin

I have no idea why I requested this one.  I really wasn’t a fan of, Vixen, the first book and haven’t even read the second title, but the cover is just so pretty!!!

Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn’t have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she’s going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.  Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer’s dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she’s grown up a lot these past few months. She can’t bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?  Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton’s swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria’s keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . .

The Glimpse by Claire MerleThe Glimpse by Claire Merle

I jut love this cover and the summary sounds really cool!

Throughout England people are now divided into Pures and Crazies according to the results of a DNA test, with the Pures living in small Communities cut off from the madness of society, and the Crazies living outside the walls in the squalor and mayhem of the City. Ana has lived a privileged existence amongst the Pures, but her whole world crumbles when she finds out that there was a mistake with her Pure test. She is actually one of the Crazies, and one day in the near or distant future she will become sick. But Ana has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s defects, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a conditional reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony looms closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

Unbreak my Heart by Melissa WalkerUnbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

This one sounds like a great summer read.

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley CoriellWelcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

I love this cover and can’t wait to read it!

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

So, there you have it! My mailbox for the week.  What did you get in your mailbox?

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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!