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Top Ten Tuesday: Qualities that Instantly Make Me Pick Up a Book

Hi there everyone!

It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday! Every week the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish post a theme to create our lists by.  This week the theme is qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book. I have a few that will guarantee I pick up your book. Chances are that if I pick up a book with some of these qualities I’m going to enjoy it! (I’ve done extensive “research” on this topic…)

Entwined by Heather Dixon The Luxe by Anna Godbersen The Selection by Kiera Cass

1. Girls In Pretty Gowns.

I just LOVE pretty gowns and want to wear them. I also generally enjoy books with this type of cover.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

2. Romance Included.

Not romance novels, but novels with some romance in them. Le sigh…

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale Cinder by Marissa Meyer

3. Fairy Tales.

Yes. I will most likely pick up the book if its a retold fairy tale. Fairy tales are just so classic and I love the magic of them.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore Smile by Raina Telegmier  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4. Female Main Characters.

I just have a hard time connecting to male main characters so it’s always a tough sell for me.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

5. England.

If your book is set in the UK in some way…historical, contemporary, fantasy whatever. I want it. I am 100% Anglophile.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter HarryPotter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

6. Boarding Schools.

I have always loved boarding school books. Boarding schools just seem so fun without your parents watching you all the time!

Austenland by Shannon Hale prada and prejudice Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

7. Jane Austen Related.

If your book relates to Jane Austen because it’s a retelling or something similar then I’m probably going to pick it up.

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins The Parting by Beverly Lewis

8. Amish People.

I’m just so intrigued by their community and culture! I want to read about them!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

9. Husband Appeal.

If you’re book has qualities that both my husband and I will like, then the chances that I’ll pick up your book increase greatly. I’m not sure what those qualities are though…murder (judging by the three books above)?!

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

10. Audiobooks Narrated with a British Accent.

Yup. I’m 100% Anglophile.

So there you have it.  The qualities that will instantly make me pick up a book…all laid out in front of you.  Some one should write one book to rule them all….one that fits all of my favorite things! haha

What book qualities always entice you to read?  Thanks for visiting!

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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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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I am Constantly Recommending

Hello!

Each week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and Bookish.  It’s a really fun meme where book bloggers create lists based on a common theme.  To find out more about it, click here.

This week the official theme is Top Ten Favorite Books from Before You Were a Blogger, but I kind of did that list already. So since I skipped the theme for March 26, I’m going to do that one this week. The theme is Books that I am Constantly Recommending to people, whether it be students or friends! Seriously, I recommend a lot of books in my job as a Media Specialist, but these are the ones on my “go to” list because they’re usually winners!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

It’s usually a win with the boys, especially the older  “reader boys”.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This one is a win for new 6th graders who are excited to read the popular book that their elementary school didn’t have!

Smile by Raina Telegmier3. Smile by Raina Telgemeier 

This is just such a fun book that pretty much everyone will love it.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson4. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I always recommend this one to my older 8th grade “reader girls” and their friends.  It’s usually a big hit!

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart5. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

I recommend this quick series to my contemporary loving girls. 

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen6. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

I tend to recommend Sarah Dessen to my friends to introduce them to YA.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Another one I recommend to my friends to introduce them to YA.

The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante8. The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante

My go to Sunshine State book for my kids who want to read about drama.

Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson9. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

The action packed short chapters in this one make it the book I recommend to my reluctant readers this year.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer10. Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

I recommend this one to my guys who are interested in supernatural fiction but avoid Twilight-like books! Of course my girls usually love it too.

For some reason I’m constantly recommending these books to my kids or friends.  Every once in a while I add a new one to my repertoire, but these are my current go to recommendations! What are some of your “go to” books for recommending?

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Bright and Inviting: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Hi there!

In early February, I received a huge order for my Media Center. It’s always so exciting to get new books in to share with the students. Seriously, being a Media Specialist and purchasing books for the school quenches my overwhelming thirst to buy books for myself…at least a little bit!

I just sat there and drooled...

I just sat there and drooled…

One of the books that came in with this particular order was Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

I loved Smile (Telgemeier’s first graphic novel) so much so I was really looking forward to Drama. But I must say that although I enjoyed reading Drama, it wasn’t nearly as wonderful as Smile.

I feel like there was just too much boy drama in it. I know! I know! This coming from the girl who ADORES books with romance! I guess there just was too much friendship and relationship issues for me…hence the title “drama”. I don’t think Callie learned anything about herself in the end because she was just too wrapped up in all the boys. But, in the end Telgemeier is so talented at portraying those moments of middle school memory that still make us cringe and shake our heads at our middle school selves. There were so many times that Callie’s story took me back to the halls of both Sequoia Middle or Ridgeview Junior High School (yes, I went to two middle schools!) where I had some embarrassing drama of my own!

One thing that disappointed me was that I don’t really feel like I got to know Callie deeply. I know she’s not into being in the spotlight and she’s super creative and loves to read, but other than that? I don’t feel like I got to see much into who she was as a character, which is sad because that’s one of the main reasons I enjoyed Smile as much as I did – I majorly connected with and understood the main character!

Telgemeier’s artwork, though is fabulous!  The pages are bright and inviting, which really is her style, and I  will always rush to get her next title, even if this one wasn’t my favorite.  So, in the end despite it’s flaws, Drama was still a fun read that I couldn’t put down and I recommend it daily to students (so much that the waiting list is pretty long!).

Author: Raina Telgemeier

Publisher: Graphix (Sept. 21, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 233 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Drama

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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?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Fictional Female Characters

Top Ten TuesdayAnother week another Top Ten Tuesday! YAY! I think it really is my favorite meme, even though writing these posts take the most time. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish to encourage interaction between book bloggers.

This week’s theme is favorite fictional characters, but I decided to narrow it down and make it my favorite female fictional characters. I’m in the mood for a little girl power this week!

Spice Girls

Ummm…not exactly that kind of girl power.

All the characters I chose as favorites are strong, yet also vulnerable and not afraid to be themselves. They’re girls that I see pieces of myself in at times, which I think is why I feel a connection with them. So, lets get started with my ten (okay eleven!) favorite fictional female characters!

Katniss EverdeenKatniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Girl on Fire! I mean, need I say more? I don’t, but I will. Katniss takes care of those she loves, and she even makes major sacrifices for those she loves. She is strong, but is also not perfect (she can be pretty clueless at times) and she’s okay with that. Katniss is awesome.

Hermione GrangerHermione Granger from Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Hermione is a reader. She’s always reading more and more to learn more and more. She also doesn’t let bullies get her down, and is extremely loyal to her friends.

Fire by Kristin CashoreFire from Fire by Kristin Cashore

What I like about Fire is that she is both strong and incredibly sad and guilt ridden. She is strong and powerful but vulnerable and gentle. She’s a pretty awesome heroine.

Divergent by Veronica RothTris Pryor from Divergent by Veronica Roth

Tris has a deep sense of who she is. She knows she can’t live a certain way and doesn’t try to mold herself into an impossible mold for the sake of others. But at the same time, she is incredibly caring and loyal. She is also so strong that she forces herself to face her fears head on.

Real Live Boyfriends by E. LockhartRuby Oliver from The Boyfriend List series by E. Lockhart

Ruby is so hilariously obnoxious. She is so self absorbed but is, at the same time, improve herself and her relationships. She isn’t satisfied with her status quo and pushes through the pain to get to the joy.

Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally CarterCammie Morgan from The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Cammie is awesome. She is normal – for a teenage spy in training. Despite all the things that make her extraordinary (like all her covert ops capabilities), Cammie is really just a normal girl who likes to be with her friends and talk about cute boys. I feel like I could hang out with her!

Nancy DrewNancy Drew from the Nancy Drew series by Carolyne Keene

Nancy Drew was probably my first favorite heroine ever. I started reading these books in early elementary school with my mom. Nancy is smart and doesn’t take no for an answer. She always manages to solve the mystery while looking fabulous the whole time (in perfect 1950s fashion!).

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareTessa Gray from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Tessa is one of my favorites for many reasons but one main reason is that she’s an American girl in love with a Welsh guy. So romantic… yes I just said that. Also, Tessa doesn’t let herself believe the lies about her that others try to convince her of. She isn’t perfect, but she knows she is a person of value despite what others may think.

Princess Academy by Shannon HaleMiri from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

She is smart, brave and loyal. Miri is the one in her family who takes care of the business side of things, she does this even better than her father. She also doesn’t really believe she is brave, but can be courageous when its necessary. Miri is also incredibly loyal to her family, friends and hometown. She will do, and does, whatever she can to make sure they’re safe.

Raina Raina from Smile by Raina Telgmeier

I feel like Raina’s preteen years were exactly like mine! For so many reasons! I literally turned every page in Smile thinking, “That is SO me!” From embarrassing middle school moments to a love for New Kids on the Block! For more about this check out my review of Smile.

Elizabeth BennetElizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I know this is #11, but the “fine eyed” Elizabeth Bennet cannot be left off this list. She is witty, intelligent, and confident. But she also recognizes her mistake and changes in the end. I totally believe we’d be friends in real life.

Who are your favorite fictional female characters? Are there any I’ve forgotten?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Reads of 2011

Wow.

Its been almost an entire year since I made the first Book Tasty post. Book Tasty started off as an experiment for myself; a place to write without it getting too personal. Then Book Tasty morphed in a full blown Young Adult/Middle Grades book blog with the goal of helping people find titles that will interest them.

Throughout the past year I’ve read a lot of books. A lot! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday will be a list of my ten favorite reads from 2011. Just to clarify however, these books didn’t have to be published in 2011, I just had to read them in 2011 for them to be considered. All the books I read this year were considered, so here it goes!

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron by Catherine Fisher

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David LubarSleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Smile by Raina Telgmeier

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Dark Life by Kat FallsDark Life by Kat Falls

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally CarterCross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter


Craceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore

and I have to add one non YA fiction title (to make it eleven titles) because it was so amazing!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

What were some of your favorite titles you’ve read this year? Did any of mine make it on your list too? Please share :)

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Let Me Count the Ways: Smile by Raina Telgmeier

I seriously loved this graphic novel.

Smile is a snapshot of a time in Raina Telgmeier’s life when she had a lot going on: dental drama, middle school, mean girls, cute boys, girl scouts, an earthquake and more dental drama.

It all starts one evening as Raina is coming home from a Girl Scout meeting, trips, falls and knocks out her two front teeth. So begins a long and frustrating journey with braces, surgery, horrible headgear and a retainer with beautiful fake teeth.  Throughout all of this, the dental drama is mirrored in Raina’s personal and social life as she deals with the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, a boy who likes her, a different boy that she likes, and friends who turn out to be pretty mean in the log run.

This is a coming-of-age story in which Raina must learn to actually like who she is inside.  Pretty much anyone who has ever lived through the middle school years will connect with Raina’s character and her struggles.  At times Telgmeier makes you laugh (out loud a lot!), cringe, and leaves you inspired.

For me, this book was more than just connecting with Raina’s character.  I felt like I could have been Raina on so many levels, other than the major dental issues.  Why do I really love this book and feel like Raina are one?  Let me count some of the ways:

1. I, like Raina also grew up in the San Fran Bay Area in the 80s/early 90s.

2. I experienced the 1989 earthquake and remember watching images of the broken Bay Bridge on the news (as Raina does)

3. Raina likes New Kids on the Block too!  She liked Joey McIntyre too!

4. We were both in Girl Scouts (I was a Daisy and a Brownie)

5. We were both a little (or more than) awkward back in those awful middle school years

6. I had mean girl friends who were not so very nice to me (and had to eventually learn that I didn’t have to take it anymore)

7. I was pretty boy crazy and often had googly eyes when “those who shall not be named” were in the same room as me (or if I watched them from a distance…what? You didn’t do that?)

Okay, so there are so many other reasons why I LOVED this graphic novel, but to list more would just be absurd.

Anyway, you get it. I really, really loved Smile by Raina Telgmeier.

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