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Top Ten Tuesday: Southern YA

Hi ya’ll!

hahahaha

I don’t really say “ya’ll”, unless I’m tired. Not that there’s anything wrong with it (heya Seinfeld fans!!), but I am not a Southerner by birth and instead say “yous guys” (which isn’t any better!), because I spent most of my childhood in northern California.

But I digress…

I threw in that southern greeting because this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a freebie.I am currently living in Columbia, South Carolina and I’m loving this gorgeous southern spring weather, so I’m focusing on Southern YA this week! All of the titles on today’s list are set in the South, and will make you want to relax on the front porch and sip sweet tea from a mason jar!

Books I’ve Read

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia Paper Towns by John Green

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (South Carolina)

Paper Towns by John Green (Florida…actually Winter Park, FL! Where I used to live!)

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (South Carolina)

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle books) by Maggie Stiefvater (Virginia)

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (fictional North Carolina beach town, Colby, like all of her books)

Scat by Carl Hiaasen (Florida, like all of his books)

Books I Want to Read

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys Catching Jordan By Miranda Kenneally

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (Louisiana)

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Tennessee, like all of her books)

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn (Florida)

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Georgia)

I know there are tons of other YA and MG titles that are set in the South, but I only had room for ten, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books with Male Narrators

Top Ten TuesdayHello friends!

This week, my theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish) is Favorite Books with Male Narrators. It’s just a thing with me, I’m usually not drawn to books with male narrators, but I make myself read one once in a while and I do usually end up enjoying them. I just have a difficult time relating to male narrators, but all the titles on the list below are those with male narrators who I feel are simply compelling characters. They defy my assumptions about male narrators!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner series by James Dashner

This story is just fabulously creepy and Thomas has so much perseverance.

The False Prince by Jennifer A NielsenThe Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer A Nielsen

Sage/Jaron is sarcastic and snarky and I love him.

Airborn by Kenneth OppelAirborn by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruise is just the kind of boy you’d want to be friends with.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin is stubborn beyond all measure, but he’s also brave!

Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtOkay for Now by Gary Schmidt

Doug Swieteck is so lovable and loyal!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami GarciaBeautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Ethan is a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by female narrators!

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal AllenHow Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen

Lamar is hilarious and remind me of some of my past students!

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack GantosDead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jack is so funny!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay is sweet and in so much pain.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerThe Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

Vlad is the coolest teen vampire ever!

And there you have it! Each of these books come to you with the BookTasty stamp of approval so you should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Should’ve Finished by Now

Welcome Back BookTasty friends!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where we book bloggers get to highlight books based on a specific theme. This week’s theme is officially Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders, but me and this theme just weren’t meshing well, so I decided to mix it up a little.

My theme for this week is Series I Should’ve Finished by Now but Haven’t. Okay, so I read a ton of books. I usually have one print, one e-book and one audiobook all going at once so you’d think I’d have more time to complete some of my favorite series, but alas…I haven’t! The series listed below are all ones I really, really liked, but just haven’t gotten around to finishing….yet!

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverDelirium series by Lauren Oliver.  I still haven’t read Pandemonium or Requiem, but I do have the audiobooks checked out from my public library right now!

Finale by Becca FitzpatrickHush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick.  Okay so I wasn’t a huge fan of Silence (book 3), but I enjoy this series and need to read Finale.

Endlessly by Kiersten WhiteParanormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White. I have yet to read Supernaturally or Endlessly.

beautifulchaos1The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I’ve only read the first book, Beautiful Creatures, but there are still 3 more books to read!

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally CarterHeist Society series by Ally Carter. She is one of my favorite authors but I still haven’t read the third book in his series, Perfect Scoundrels.

Shades of Earth by Beth RevisAcross the Universe series by Beth Revis. I thought Across the Universe was awesome, but just can’t seem to get to A Million Suns or Shades of Earth.

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny HanSummer trilogy by Jenny Han. I read books one and two, but still have We’ll Always Have Summer left!

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreGraceling Realm books by Kristin Cashore. These first two books are amazing! I own Bitterblue but it’s so large I’m super intimidated!

Envy by Anna GodbersenLuxe books by Anna Godberson. I got stuck after book two and haven’t yet read Envy or Splendor.

Rip Tide by Kat FallsDark Life books by Kat Falls. I thought book one was great but just haven’t had the chance to read Rip Tide yet.

I can’t deny that all the series I mentioned above are awesome reads! That’s not the problem! There just literally isn’t enough time in the day for me to read all the books I lust after! I totally do want to read all the books!

Read All the Books

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Kami Garcia

Well hello again!

Welcome back and happy Monday!

It’s time to spotlight another awesome YA author who will be making an appearance at YALL Fest in November!

Today’s interview is with Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and Unbreakable which will release on October 1 and is part of her first solo series. I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and the Kami Garciamovie was really fun (My Husband even liked it!) so I’m definitely looking forward to having a chance to meet Kami Garcia in November! So, let’s learn a little more about her!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.

Describe your book in 5 words

Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I don’t know how to ride a bike. 2. I used to be an artist (a painter). 3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing. 4. I believe in ghosts. 5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I think it’s pretty refreshing to hear someone admit that they’re nervous about putting their work out there for the public to see. It makes sense that authors would worry about everyone hating that piece of art that they poured their time and heart into. It seems like a very vulnerable thing to do and I like that she shared that.

If you’re a YA book lover like me and are in the area, you should come to this year’s YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on Saturday November 9th. I’ll be there and we can fangirl over the authors, like Kami Garcia together!

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Pleasantly Suprised: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Hiya!

For a few years I watched Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garica circulate through my Media Center frequently, by teachers and students alike. I thought to myself, “I should read that.” But I always held back. Then I heard it was being turned into a movie and I thought, “Ok I need to read that.” So I did. Only I listened to it.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohland a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So I finally read/listened to this! I figured it was time to know what all the fuss was about. And I was honestly, pleasantly surprised!
The main thing I think I enjoyed the most was the male main character and narrator. It is rare in Young Adult fiction to have a male be the narrator. Ethan Wate is a refreshing taste of YA supernatural romance through the eyes of a guy. He was a funny, flawed and incredibly loyal character and I enjoyed hearing the story as it unraveled from his point of view.

The story itself wasn’t most well written or most unique tale I’ve ever read, but it was fun. And this surprised me! I think after I recently read another supernatural YA novel (that shall not be named) I kind of had low expectations for Beautiful Creatures. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself being majorly entertained while listening and really wanting to find out what would happen next    Particularly, as one who majored in history in college, I enjoyed the Civil War references throughout the plot. It was interesting to imagine what Sherman’s March to the Sea (where he burned much of the South in his wake) was like and the effect it may have had on the people who lived there.

One of my favorite minor characters was Marian the Librarian. It’s so nice to see a librarian portrayed in a positive way (again I will not mention that other book ehhhmmm). And I completely hated Ms. Jackson, who reminded me so much of Hilly Holbrook from The Help that I wanted to smack her! But this all makes sense to me now!

The audiobook and narrator were fine.  There were some sound effects that were added in, which didn’t bother me too much, but the song…the SONG! It was SOOO hilariously bad I laughed every time it played. My husband heard it once and even looked at me with disgust on his face! It wasn’t the lyrics that Garcia and Stohl wrote that were awful, it was the audiobook’s take on how it should sound that was bad. We started singing it around the house to be funny and that it was!  I was also pretty distracted towards the end when the narration suddenly shifts to Lena and the audiobook narrator for her just had no inflection to her voice and was pretty boring.

So, other than a few minor issues, I found myself really enjoying Beautiful Creatures. I think I’ll definitely check out the rest of the Caster Chronicles in the future (most likely on audio because they’re just so darn big!) to see what happens in the end. Fans of supernatural YA fiction will most likely find this one a fun and interesting read, so I recommend it to older middle school readers and up.

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (December 1, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 17 hours and 38 minutes

Narrator(s): Kevin T. Collins,

Series: First in the Caster Chronicles series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Beautiful Creatures

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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: Books It Seems Everyone Else Has Read But Me

I was off of work last week and enjoying a whole week of Thanksgiving (Yay education!).  So, because of that, my mind ran off and I completely forgot about Top Ten Tuesday.  I must have been swimming in a world of friends, family, books, free time, and good food!  It is what it is!

Since I’ve been blogging on YA and Middle Grades Fiction (almost a year!), I’ve noticed that there are some titles it seems everyone in the YA fiction blogging world has read.  I keep hearing people talk about but I haven’t had the chance to read yet. Too many books and not enough time!  This week’s Top Ten are books everyone else had read but me!

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Matched by Ally Condie

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The Fallen series by Lauren Kate

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I’d better get working on reading these; lots to read…lots to read…