Top Ten Tuesday: YA Reads for Fans of Period Dramas

Hi there!

Who likes loosing themselves in a good old fashioned historical drama?  Downton Abbey perhaps? Reign? Pride and Prejudice? The Tudors? North & South perhaps?!


In my world historical dramas are always a positive! No wonder then why I tend to be drawn towards historical fiction when choosing books! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about YA titles for fans of the wonderful world of period dramas!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Takes place in Paris in 1889 at the height of France’s beautiful era.
  • The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. Historical fiction inspired by the mystery surrounding Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, England and the 5th Duke of Portland.
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Historical fantasy set in a medieval Brittany. There are assassin nuns. Yup.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellManor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

  • What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. This coming of age drama is set in South Florida post World War II…intrigue and seductions abound!
  • Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore.  An upstairs/downstairs drama set in a 1911 England.
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. It’s Manhattan 1889 and this is a historical drama full of gossip, fashion, wealth, and romance.

Changeling by Philippa GregoryThe Diviners by Libba Bray

  • Changeling by Philippa Gregory. Picture it…Italy 1453! (ha!) The Goodreads summary says that “dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance” populate this one! It was surprisingly fun!
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray. This supernatural drama is set in New York City at the height of the Roaring Twenties!

Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayCross My Heart by Sasha Gould 2

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Another supernatural period drama only this time we’re in a Victorian English boarding school!
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould. A mysterious secret society of women handle things their own way in a 1580s Venice.

Clearly I have a type. Pretty period costume? Check. *nods in approval*

So, what do you think? Are there any other YA period dramas you’d recommend to those of us who love them?


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?



Book Trailer of the Week: Strings Attached

Book Trailer of the WeekHowdy!

Strings Attached by Judy BlundellIt’s Friday-day! (That’s how one of my students used to say Friday! So cute!)  Every Friday I like to highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  It may be an older trailer or one for an upcoming title, but I always look for trailer that I can use at school to promote books with my students.

This week’s trailer interested me primarily because I realized it’s for a new title by Judy Blundell, Strings Attached. I read her historical coming-of-age story, What I Saw and How I Lied  and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to see another one that sounded similar.

When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn’t have much. She’s fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she’s broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who’s enlisted in the army.

The city doesn’t exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that’s not going to last very long. She needs help–and then it comes, from an unexpected source.

Nate Benedict is Billy’s father. He’s also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal–he’ll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

Now, checkout the trailer

I love the old-timey film noir feel of the trailer.  Makes me want to read the book as soon as possible!


Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction Titles I’ve Read and Enjoyed

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to showcase book and help other book bloggers get to know each other better.  This week’s theme was supposed to be “Books I’d Play Hookie With” but I just couldn’t get into it, so I went a different route.

Did you know I was a history major in college?  Yes, its true!  I love learning about different time periods and thinking about what life must have been like during those particular times. I also really enjoy historical fiction, but I tend to read less of it than any other genre because it doesn’t circulate at my school.  I try to focus on reading those things that my students will check out, so I can be informed on their tastes.   Because of this I haven’t been able to read a lot of Young Adult or Middle Grades historical fiction, but I decided that I’d let you know which ones I have read and have enjoyed.  So, this week’s Top Ten is focused on ten Historical Fiction titles I’ve read and enjoyed (in no particular order).

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell BartolettiThe Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 

Based on the true story of teenager Helmut Hubner, who dares to tell the truth about Hitler in a World War II Germany.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellWhat I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

A coming of age story of age story involving a girl and the scandal that surrounds her family’s vacation to Florida in a Post World War II United States.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack GantosDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (MG)

Part fiction and part memoir, Jack Gantos tells the story of one  strange, mysterious and humorous summer in his childhood.

Woods Runner by Gary PaulsenWoods Runner by Gary Paulsen (MG)

On the cusp of the American Revolution young Sam must rescue his parents when they are kidnapped by Red Coats.

Cross My Heart by Sasha GouldCross My Heart by Sasha Gould (YA)

A girl navigates life in Venetian society while trying to discover the secrets surrounding her sister’s mysterious death.

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

A girl struggling with dyslexia on the prairie is sent away to help a newlywed couple only to be abandoned in the middle of an extremely harsh winter.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'DellIsland of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (MG)

Karana is the Indian girl who lives alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins where she struggles to survive and undergoes personal discovery.

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and TR SimonZora and Me by Victoria Bond and TR Simon (MG)

A fictionalized tale of the childhood of writer Zora Neale Hurston in which she and her friends uncover a mystery in their hometown of Eatonville, Florida.

Billy Creekmore by Tracey PorterBilly Creekmore by Tracey Porter (MG)

An orphan boy  travels from the coal mines of West Virginia in the early 1900s to the world of a traveling circus, in search of his past, his future, and his own true identity.

The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner DubleThe Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble (MG)

The year is 1692 and witches have been found in Salem, Massachusetts.  Panic begins to spread to Abigail Faulkner’s town of Andover causing life  to quickly and  drastically change for Abigail and her family.

What do you think of the list?  I’m sure there are tons of historical fiction titles I haven’t read yet.  Do you have any recommendations for my future reading?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To See Made Into Movies

Its Tuesday and time for a Top Ten list!

In honor of the Hunger Games coming in March (its not March yet?! Crap!) I’ve been dreaming about certain books and how I’d love to see them made into movies. Today’s list is ten movies I want to see made into movies. Go!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

It’d be like PBS’s Masterpiece Theater and Twilight having a love child (only it’d be better than Twilight).

IQ Independence Hall by Roland SmithI.Q. Independence Hall by Roland Smith

I think its time for a fun teen spy film to hit theaters!

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron by Catherine Fisher

I admit this one would be hard to do because they’d have to create the prison and the realm, but I think it’d be worth the try. Apparently it is actually in the works and rumor has it that Taylor Lautner will be playing Finn…hmmmm…/p>

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth

Nothing supernatural, just gritty dystopia. Please!

Book of A Thousand Days.jpgBook of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

I think theaters need a good fairy tale retold and Shannon Hale does them so brilliantly.

The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe by Anna Godbersen

I’m thinking that whoever designs costumes for Downton Abbey could have a field day with this one! Can I be in it? I’ll just stand in the background as long as I can wear a dress like that (see above).

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Science Fiction fans would flock to the theater for this one. And I know there has been talk of a movie adaptation of this one but I haven’t heard anything recently.

Vladimir Tod by Heather BrewerEighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

I think we need a vampire movie without all the mushyness. Yes. I do.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellWhat I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

I’m totally picturing Carey Mulligan in this role. I know she’s not a teenager, but she has the right look.

Lost Time by Susan Maupin SchmidLost Time by Susan Maupin Schmid

More Sci-Fi! This one would be hard too, because of the different creatures. Muppet creatures?!

The 39 CluesThe 39 Clues series by various authors

I loved National Treasure, can we redo it with kids?! It’d be so much fun!

Are there any books you’d love to see made into movies? Let me know!


A Title to Hook You: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Fifteen year old Evie is waiting for her life to begin.  She wants to start feeling like a woman instead of a young girl pretending to be a mature woman.

Evie lives in post Word War II Brooklyn with her bombshell mother and war veteran father.  One day her father, Joe, comes home from work and abruptly announces that the family is taking a road trip to Florida.  Evie can’t believe it; she feels as though her life is about to begin.

Evie’s family arrives in an off-season Palm Beach settling in a posh hotel that they pretty much have to themselves. Soon, however Evie’s father’s past catches up with him when gorgeous Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served with Joe in Europe, joins the family on vacation.  Evie quickly finds herself falling for the mysterious and seductive Peter.  Although Evie is excited to spend her vacation with Peter, it quickly becomes clear that her father, Joe, is not as happy as she is.  What Evie doesn’t know is she’s not the only one who may be interested in Peter and that her father and Peter may have more of a history than they’ve let on.  Soon Evie understands that almost everything she believed to be truth was really a lie as her family is entangled in a scandal that forces Evie to grow up much faster than she ever really wanted.

This is Blundell’s first novel, which won the National Book Award in 2008.  What I Saw and How I Lied really captivated me from the beginning; I mean, just the title alone made me snatch this one off the shelve as soon as I saw it!  Also, historical coming-of-age fiction centered around a post World War II America?  Yes please!  Plus, Evie is such a believable character; you really grasp the frustration she feels for being in that middle space between girlhood and womanhood, as well as the longing she feels for adulthood (or what she thinks is adulthood).

Some of the content isn’t suitable for younger teen readers (i.e. some mild sexual situations), but is more appropriate for older teens.  However, think that although the title will get some teens wondering, not all will enjoy it as the story does start out slowly and is set in 1947.  As sad as it makes me historical fiction is not a super popular genre among teens today.  If you know you (or your teen) has enjoyed historical fiction in the past, this one will probably be a good choice.

All in all, a pretty intriguing read.