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When Will I Learn? Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Hello!

Okay, so I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t been reviewing books recently. and I came to the conclusion that I was feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the amount of books I had read and not yet written reviews for, but also by the time it takes to write a review.

I decided to try something new. Over the next few weeks you may see reviews pop up with different formats and lengths. I’m trying to figure out what is sustainable for me. I’ve also decided to forget about all of those unwritten book reviews piling up and start fresh. So bear with me!

Leviathan by Scott WesterfeldOverview

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Thoughts

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This was the cover that kept me from this book for so long.

To be fair, I held off on Leviathan for years. I was intrigued by the story, but the cover was killing me slowly every time I saw it at my local library. I know I shouldn’t let that stop me from reading a potentially enjoyable book, but alas, it did. Everything in me revolts at this cover…I think it’s that protruding forehead bone. But I digress…

In need of a new audiobook, I found this one available on my library’s Overdrive account (if you haven’t started using Overdrive you should!) and finally decided to give it a go. I am so glad I did because Leviathan was such an interesting mix of alternate history and steampunk adventure. It reminded me a lot of Kenneth Oppel’s Matt Cruse trilogy, which I loved. The characters are interesting and are found in unique situations (by choice and not) and both are forced to deal with their own prejudices and misconceptions of others.

The steampunk/alternate history setting had me scouring the internet for more information. Of course I know the basics of how World War I began (thank you Social Studies teachers and Jeopardy!) but I had to know more about the details, which I then compared to Westerfeld’s version. Weaving in the Clankers and Darwinists was a brilliant way to illustrate the clash between eastern vs. western ideals that played a part in the start of World War I. Scott Westerfeld, you get mucho points on the world building scene!

Recommended For

Leviathan is not the book for every reader. If you’re already a fan of the steampunk sub-genre, than this one would get your little steam engine going right away. That being said if you haven’t delved into this sub-genre I think Leviathan’s story is strong enough to be a quality introduction. If you enjoy audiobooks, this was the perfect book to listen to and it was narrated by the amazing Alan Cumming. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and am embarrassed by how long it took me to actually read it…when will I learn?!

Details

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 6, 2009)
Format: Audiobook
Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Series: First in a series
YA/MG: Both
6

Reading Queue: January

The Reading QueueHappy 2015!

It’s a brand new year friends! There are going to be a lot of changes happening for me this year as we Hi Catwill welcome our first baby in early March. It’s really intimidating but really exciting all mixed together!

As usual, as the New Year arrives I can’t help but think about how my 2015 “Bookish Landscape” will look. I always get so excited to start the year of with a reading BANG!

Since today is January 1st I have decided that one easy way to start 2015 off right is to attempt to read more from the books I already own. Every good library contains a ton of books one hasn’t read yet, but I’d like to begin by finally giving some attention to these titles.

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How I Did Last Month

The month of December was a pretty good reading month for me. Having the start of my two-week Winter Break allowed me ample to time to read, relax, and repeat! In the end, I was able to read 8 books in December, which helped me finish my 2014 Reading Challenge Goal with 86 books read!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (print)

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios (audiobook)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (e-book)

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski  Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (print)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (audiobook)

Forest Born by Shannon Hale WaistcoatsAndWeaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (e-book)

Forest Born by Shannon Hale (audiobook)

Did Not Finish

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne (print)

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My January Reading Queue

I always have high reading spirits in January and I know I tend to bite off a little more than I can chew in the first few months of a new year, but oh well! I will have more quiet evenings for reading time this month since my Husband will be in the UK for about 10 days. So here goes!

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by HeleneJanuary Reading Queue Boudreau (print)

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (print)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (print)

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford (print)

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (print)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (print)

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (print)

Not Pictured

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (e-book)

Champion by Marie Lu (audiobook)

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I know I have a big goals for this month! How about you? What titles are on your Reading Queue? Feel free to link to your Reading Queue post below we love to see what everyone else is reading!

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Reading Queue: December

The Reading QueueWell hello there!

Before I was pregnant I really doubted this whole “pregnancy brain” phenomenon. I actually thought it Forgetfulwas a cop out for women just dropping the ball. I completely admit it. Especially because now I know that it really is a thing! No joke. It wasn’t until about a week ago that I realized “Oh yeah. I didn’t post my November Reading Queue”! OOOPS!

So yeah.

But I’m really excited to say that I remembered December! But before we go through my plans for December, let’s take a look back at what I did read in November.

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How I Did Last Month

I may not have posted by Reading Queue for November, but I was reading!

Splendor by Anna Godbersen Curveball by Jordan Sonnenblick Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Pacigalupi

Splendor (Luxe #4) by Anna Godbersen

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi

Lawless by Jeffery Salane Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher

Lawless by Jeffery Salane

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher (DNF)

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My December Reading Queue

December means Winter Break, which is of course two glorious full weeks off from school. I get to relax and read all the books I want! So, I do have some big plans!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne ExquisiteCaptive

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking: A 14 Day Mystery by Erin Dionne

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) by Heather Demetrios

 Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins WaistcoatsAndWeaponry The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger

The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers PerilousSea WeWereLiars

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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What titles are on your Reading Queue for December? In your opinion, which books on my list should I prioritize? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Were Taught in Schools

Hello!

I’m back!

Wow! The past few weeks have been really busy and tiring with school starting back up. I didn’t intend to take some time off the blog, but I didn’t plan well and all of a sudden I had a lot going on and no posts planned. And THAT is how the blog gets away from you folks!

But I’m back and I’m working on getting some posts scheduled for the next two months or so. *crosses fingers*

Well, it is time for Top Ten Tuesday (A weekly meme hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and Bookish) and I’m ready to go! There was a bit of a choice for today’s theme.  We could either pair up classic school required reading titles with contemporary books, or we could list titles that we wished were taught in schools. I chose the second option since I’m also a school librarian. Sometimes I read a book that I just have to share with my teachers because I know it fits perfectly into their curriculum…this list contains some of those titles.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin LevineThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

This is a middle grades level historical fiction novel that would fit really well in an 8th grade American History course. It is all about Little Rock, Arkansas in the year following the integration of the public schools with the Little Rock Nine.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This one is perfect for a high school history course when covering the Holocaust and World War II. It would be so beneficial to see the Jewish Holocaust was not an isolated event, but that this type of thing has happened in other places/eras as well.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I think this one should be taught in English classes all over solely for the beauty of Stiefvater’s prose.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Another 20th Century history topic that gets skipped over frequently in the classroom. It could be taught alongside a 20th century American History course.

Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda WoodsSaint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

This quick read could be taught in a science class to support a unit on weather or natural disasters since it’s all about a boy’s experience in the midst of Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A quick but moving story detailing one boy’s story of civil war in Sudan. This could be taught in a World History class.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Floridian science and social studies teachers could use this in the classroom when discussing Florida.

 Bystander by James PrellerBystander by James Preller

A fabulous read for a Character Development course on the middle school level as it touches on bullying: the bully, the victim and the bystander.

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine PatersonThe Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

Again, with the 20th century history topics! This one tells the story of an Albanian girl whose family is forced to become refugees while escaping their Serbian oppressors.

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

This dystopian sci-fi read could be taught in a middle or high school English class as an alternative to the more traditional dystopian titles.

So there you have it! These are some titles that I think would be great titles to teach in a classroom setting. Have any of you educators actually had to opportunity to teach any of these books? Let me know! I’d like to hear your thoughts!

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Students’ Picks

Mirage by Kristi Cook

Hi there! Each week I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday.  This week is a Rewind week which mean we can choose any topic we prefer. This week I decided to share the spotlight with some of my students. I asked some of my top Media Center patrons (“My Reader Girls/Boys” is what…
Continue reading »

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Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Just Haven’t Finished…Yet!

Haaay!

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Remember, that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a theme that we create a list around.  The theme this week is Book Series I Just Haven’t Finished.

I adore reading books that are part of a series.  It’s just so fun to see the story and characters I love continue!  I get so incredibly sad when a series ends because it’s like saying “goodbye” to friends and a setting I love! I know all my bookish peeps out there will totally get this! I usually always finish a series once I start it, but once in a while I just don’t get around to it as fast as I’d like. Sometimes I’m just not feeling a story enough to bother taking the time to continue reading.  So, these may be series that I didn’t like, or even those I loved and just haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. Yet, being the key word!

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Over the summer I finally got a chance to read book one, Forgive My Fins, and I can’t wait until I can read book two, Fins are Forever!

Forest Born by Shannon HaleThe Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

I am a massive Shannon Hale fan and it still shames me a little to think that I’ve read the first three books in this series but not the fourth, Forest Born! Soon!

Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe by Beth Revis

About a month or two ago I read Across the Universe, book one, and need to read A Million Suns like whoa.

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society by Ally Carter

Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors and I am obsessed with her Gallagher Girls books.  I finally got around to reading Heist Society over the summer and really, really want to read book two, Uncommon Criminals.

The Treasure Map of Boys by E LockhartThe Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart

This series is one I just love, although I’ve only read books one and two.  I actually have The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver, sitting on the floor next to bed waiting to be read!

Silence by Becca FitzpatrickHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

This series is one of my guilty pleasures.  I’ve only read books one and two, but I know I have to finish the series! Silence, book three, has been eluding me at my public library so I still haven’t gotten to it.

Percy Jackson by Rick RiordanThe Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan

My students love this series. My husband loves this series.  I…thought it was okay.  I know! I know! I’m the only one out there!  But, I really didn’t love this book like others did and I just didn’t feel like spending the time to read the rest of the books.

Envy by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe by Anna Godbersen

This series was so tantalizing!  I loved the fashion, the romance and the drama of it all! I have only read the first two books but I intend to read the rest of them!

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day GeorgeThe Princess series by Jessica Day George

Love, love, love Jessica Day George and retold fairy tales! The first one was so good I need to make room for The Princess of Glass soon!

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Okay.  Let me say I thought Uglies was AWESOME! I thought Pretties was just okay. I just don’t know if I’m a fan of the direction the story took and I don’t really want to read book three, Specials.

Have you finished these series? Which do I need to make a priorities? Are there any particular series that you haven’t finished yet but want to?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I’ve Read During the Lifespan of Book Tasty

Hi!

After a busy, fun, motivating and tiring Pre-Planning week, the students came back to school yesterday.  I have high expectations for this school year and am excited to see the kids and get back to work. I am not excited that I got literally no reading done this past week because of the fullness of my calendar!

So, anyway it’s time for my favorite weekly feature Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and Bookish.  This week’s list theme is Top Ten Favorite Books You’ve Read During The Lifespan Of Your Blog.  I’ve read so many awesome books since starting BookTasty about a year and a half ago and it was majorly difficult to narrow it down but there are some that just really stand out as books I simply adore. So, without further ado I bring you my favorite books since starting BookTasty and no I didn’t stop at just 10! I couldn’t!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally CarterThe Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe by Beth Revis

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

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayThe Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth

Uglies by Scott WesterfeldUglies by Scott Westerfeld

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron by Catherine Fisher

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

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather BrewerChronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

So, I know that was thirteen books, but I just couldn’t narrow it down to ten!  Have you read any of these?  What are some of your favorites?

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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: 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!

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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