5

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Art I’d Frame

Hiya!

I totally judge books by their covers! I know it’s wrong…but I don’t care! I just a sucker for a pretty cover and in the YA world there are tons of lovely covers out there, but sometimes you get some that just stand out above the rest.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Cover Art I’d Frame”. I guess if I’m thinking about book cover art as “frameable” I tend to lean towards those that are illustrated. There are probably other cover I’d consider “frameworthy” floating around out there, but here are ten that just stand out as lovely.

Serafina's Promise by Ann E BurgSerafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

I love the muted pastel colors and the shape of the girl’s arms.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail CarrigerThe Finishing School series by Gail Garriger

These covers are just so strikingly beautiful that I’d want them hanging in a fancy dressing room, if I was wealthy enough to have a fancy dressing room, that is.

The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

When you look at this cover closely you see just how detailed and gorgeous the brush strokes are.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenAny of Carl Hiassen’s middle grades book covers

The simplicity and vivid colors of his covers just draw me in. They remind me of the paper cutouts of Matisse.

After the Snow by SD CrockettAfter the Snow by S.D. Crockett

I actually haven’t read this book, but I’ve always loved the look of these trees.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This one is prettier without the text over it because the title is covering the horse and rider’s reflection in the water.

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

I love the simplicity of the silhouette and sunset.

The Lion, The WItch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (cover illustrations by Pauline Baynes)

Nothing beats classically illustrated book covers like these.

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Alison Jay)

Jay did the artwork for the first three books in this series and they’re so bulbous and beautiful!

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Tim Zeltner)

This has always been one of my favorite covers. I just adore the touch of whimsy Zeltner’s work has. I actually like his non book covers even better than this!

Well, would you frame any of the book covers I’ve selected this week?

 

1

Top Ten Tuesday: Welcome to YA

Hi there everyone!

I’m typing up this post from the Detroit airport as I’m waiting for my flight back home to South Carolina. I spent the weekend at an International Baccalaureate educator’s workshop specifically for librarians and it was pretty darn awesome. I met a lot of like-minded librarians from around the world and learned a ton about the IB programs!

But now it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday. It’s been a few weeks so remember that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish and I participate on a (mostly) weekly basis. This week’s theme is “gateway books” and I’ve decided to focus on books that I recommend to friends and other adults to welcome or introduce them to YA or Middle Grades fiction. Obviously, I do take into account the readers’ interests, but these are some of my “go-to” titles for recommendation. Each of these titles have successfully hooked an adult reader into YA fiction!

The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner

This is one I recommend the most. It’s great for sci-fi/dystopian lovers and pretty much anyone.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I mean, this is just YA canon. It’s a fabulously easy gateway into YA.

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

My go-to for contemporary romance lovers

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae CarsonThe Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

If you’re a fantasy fan, I’ll recommend this to you!

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale

For those who enjoy a good fairy tale, middle grades style.

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

Those interested in historical fiction will be hooked.

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterI’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

For those looking for a fun, girly read with some spying thrown in.

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

Dessen is always good for a realistic contemporary beach read.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail CarrigerEtiquette & Espionage by Catherine Fisher

For those who enjoy some steampunk fun!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

For those interested in some supernatural romance you can’t beat Clare.

There are tons of other books I recommend to introduce adult readers to YA, but these are the ones that come up the most frequently. Each of the ten titles listed above are guaranteed to get you hooked into YA…just let them be your gateway drug!!

 

5

Top Ten Tuesday: Fantastic Swoons

Happy Tuesday everyone!

We all know that Valentine’s Day is this Friday and while some of you may eschew this particular holiday, some of you may be in the mood for some majorly swoon worthy reads to cuddle up with. Well, you’re in luck because this week’s Top Tuesday theme is centered around romance!

I read tons of books and most of them involve some sort of romance, because I just like it. Now, I’ve actually done this theme before and it feels too soon to do it again the same way, so this year I’m going to focus on Fantastic Swoons…romances that take place in a fantasy setting of some sort.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversThe Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. This book is kind of like a historical fantasy and there is some major romantic tension between two of the characters.

2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson. Most of the swoon making happens in the second and third book, but you have to read book 1 to get the whole picture!

The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

3. The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. If you enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern, you’ll like the romantic tension in this one too…it has a similar feel.

4.The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Seriously, there is some mad romance going on in these steampunk books.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterGreat and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. The heat in this one isn’t in your face, instead it simmers just below the surface.

6. The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. Kartik and Gemma. Say no more!

Graceling by Kristin CashoreA Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C Bunce

7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Po….be still my heart!

8. A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce. Super creepy but super swoons too.

Book of A Thousand Days.jpgFire by Kristin Cashore

9. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. I love a good romantic fairy tale retold.

10. Fire by Kristin Cashore. A fabulous fantasy with an even better romance!

Like I said before, if you like a good fantasy and a lot of romance thrown in these books are sure to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day!

Are there any romantic fantasies that aren’t on my list but I should know about? Go ahead and share them in the comments below! :)

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Character Names That I Love

Hi there!

I took a break from Top Ten Tuesday last week because I had been at my brother’s wedding. I’m back and the wedding was lovely!

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is favorite character names. I read so many books and some of the names are just laughable (*cough cough* Patch…)  but sometimes I just read, or hear if I’m listening to an audiobook, a name that I love. I’m focusing on female names because when I try to think of boys names from YA they’re usually names I like only because the character is swoonworthy…which I don’t think qualifies (haha!). I have to clarify that these are not necessarily names I’d actually name a child or anything, but these are names that just stick in my mind because I think they sound pretty!

Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayGemma

as in Gemma Doyle from The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. Okay, so I would actually consider naming my daughter Gemma. It’s just so pretty!

Chime by Franny BillingsleyBriony

as in Briony from Chime by Franny Billingsley.  Another name I absolutely adore, if spoken with a British accent.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Sophronia

as in Sophronia Temminnick from Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. Again, this one must be spoken with a British accent.

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonJazza

Actually this one is a nickname, as in Julianne “Jazza” Benton from The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson. I guess I really like British sounding names, because Jazza isn’t a common American nickname.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareTessa

as in Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I think this is just such a simply pretty name.

Princess Academy by Shannon HaleBritta

as in Britta from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. So pretty and perfect!

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierTati

as in Tati from Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. I love how it just jumps off the tongue.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaEvanjalin

as in Evanjalin from Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. What a beautiful and regal sounding name!

The Luxe by Anna GodbersenLina

as in Lina Broud from the Luxe series by Anna Godberson. It’s just such a tiny and lovely name.

Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. WredeCecilia

as in Cecilia Rushton from Sorcery and Cecilia: or The Enchanted Coffee Pot by Patricia C. Wrede. This has always been one of my favorite girls’ names and my husband and I do plan on using this name if we ever have kids one day.

So, what do you think of my name choices today?  Are any of the ones I’ve chosen favorites of yours as well? What names would make your list of favorite YA names?

2

YALL Fest Author Interview: Shannon Hale

SQUUUUUEEEEEE!

I’m so fangirling right now!

Why?! Because today’s YALL Fest interview is with Shannon Hale! YES! Shannon Hale!

ShannonHaleThe very Shannon Hale whose book Princess Academy was one of the books I credit with turning me on to Young Adult and Middle Grades fiction! The Shannon Hale who does my favorite genre (fairy tales retold) so perfectly! The Shannon Hale who wrote a novel about a Jane Austen vacation resort (Austenland)!

Seriously, Shannon Hale is seriously my favorite YA author. I even got to meet her once in Orlando at the FAME (Florida Association of Media in Education) conference!

Now do you see why I’m as excited as I am?!

Well, now that you know she’s pretty much my favorite YA author let’s take a look at her interview.

————-

Describe your book in 5 words
Boarding school for children of famous fairytales.

Best writing tip you ever received?
People remember a story for its characters.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” by E. Lockhart. It’s smart, engaging, and
discusses so many things I was struggling with.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I have 4 kids (including identical girl toddler twins). My husband likes to wear masks and hide
around the house to scare me. I like to read while lying on my belly. I love the sky. I’m not a very good
speller.

What are you working on now?
The third Princess Academy book.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale Austenland by Shannon Hale

A third Princess Academy book?! YAY!! I adore Miri and all her friends so I can’t wait for this! Also, I think it’s pretty cool that she mentions The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart because I’m currently listening to the audiobook! How cool is that?

I think that Shannon Hale would really fun to hang out with and discuss Mr. Darcy while relaxing in Austenland, but since no real Austenland actually exists (that I’m aware of) I’ll settle for seeing her at this year’s YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on November 9.

If you’re not already planning on going to YALL Fest, you totally should. And if you haven’t already read any of Shannon Hale’s books you absolutely totally should!

19

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Boarding School Books

Hola!

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish)!

But before we get there…Happy Anniversary to my awesome husband! As of today we’ve officially been married for 8 years! It’s pretty awesome being married to your best friend, especially when he makes you laugh all the time!

That cake was delicious.

That cake was delicious.

Awwww that was pretty sweet wasn’t it?!

Okay, let’s back to business. The theme this week allows us to base our list around our favorite settings in books. Now, I’ve said this before, but I am obsessed with boarding school books! Chances are if a book is set in a boarding school I’m going to LOVE it…seriously, I don’t think I’ve met a boarding school book I didn’t like! There is just something fun about the idea of being a teenager living away from the supervision of your parents that is just so enticing!

In my opinion, boarding school books are where it’s at!

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

A boarding school in France. Romance ensues!

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterThe Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Guys! It’s spy school! What could be cooler?!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Okay so a steampunk spy boarding school might be cooler than regular spy school…maybe…

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale

Studying to be a princess must be done in a boarding school.

Star Cursed by Jessica SpotswoodStar Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Cate has moved to the Sisterhood…yes it’s supposed to be a “nunnery” but it passes as boarding school.

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

A boarding school to train soldiers…yes!

HarryPotter & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK RowlingThe Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

What boarding school book list would be complete without Hogwarts?!

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThe Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

A boarding school in London?! My dreams come true.

joltedJolted by Arther G. Slade

Survival school sounds like fun!

Haven by Kristi CookHaven by Kristi Cook

A special school for teens with special abilities….

How do you feel about books set at boarding schools? Are there any that you think I should have added to this list?

7

Top Ten Tuesday: Keep ‘em Coming!

Oh Hi!

Welcome back to BookTasty where I participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

Have you ever loved a story and it’s characters so much that you just wanted more?! Well, I have definitely finished a book and thought, “okay…now give me a sequel!” only to find out that there is no sequel….NOOOOOO!

I know that not every book can be part of a series or even a trilogy and that some people get annoyed with the seemingly overabundance of series today, especially in the MG and YA world. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is refreshing to read a story and be done with it, but I really love series because they allow me to spend more quality time with those characters I love. So, today I want to share some titles that I wish would just keep ‘em coming!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Époque by Elizabeth Ross

Now, this one is a debut and Ross could have another one in the works, but as of now I know nothing.

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Unfortunately author Zinn passed away before the book was published so we’ll never have another book with these characters.

A Northern Light by Jennifer DonnellyA Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I just want to know what happens next!

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex LidellThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

This is another debut that could have a sequel coming…? Please?!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I just love this world so much I want more…MORE!!!

The Juvie Three by Gordon KormanThe Juvie Three by Gordon Korman

It would be really interesting to see what happens to these boys as their time with Doug Healy progresses.

Austenland by Shannon HaleAustenland and Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Okay, so Midnight in Austenland IS a sequel but, like Ariel, I WANT MOOOOOOOORE!

Incarceron by Catherine FisherIncarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

This world is so amazing that again, see above.

Along for the Ride by Sarah DessenAll of Sarah Dessen’s books

Can we just have a huge mashup book where all the characters meet and hang out and like I don’t know, go to college together in Colby or something?!

JaneAustenRuinedMyLifeJane Austen Ruined my Life by Beth Pattillo

Okay, so I think there is a sequelish companion novel to this one, but it’s a different character. I want the same character doing more of what she did in this book! (Not YA)

What about you? Are there any standalones that you particularly wish there was a sequel to?

20

Top Ten Tuesday: When You’re in the Mood for Light and Fun

Hiya!

Welcome back to BookTasty!

Every week I participate in The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday event. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on books that are light and fun reads.

Light and fun reads are super important and necessary to any reader’s repertoire, just like the deep and serious books are. You can’t have too much of one type or else you get bored. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a deeper more complex story, and other times all you need is a break! So, what books do I recommend if you’re in the mood for something of the not-so-serious and complex type? Well, let’s take a look at some fun and entertaining reads!

I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterGallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

These do get darker as the series progresses, but even in this Carter manages to keep the mood light.

Poison by Bridget ZinnPoison by Bridget Zinn

Poison is such a fun fantasy read. It’s a great new addition to my list!

Smile by Raina TelegmierSmile by Raina Telegemier

This graphic novel is so fun and sweet you can’t help but…smile!

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

A fluffy mermaid fantasy full of corny puns and sweet romance.

The Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

Elaborate gowns and tantalizing gossip make for a simply entertaining read.

Hush Hush by Becca FitzpatrickHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

A fun not so serious supernatural romance.

39cluesThe 39 Clues series by various authors

It’s like National Treasure in book form. SO FUN!

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland by Shannon Hale (not YA)

Jane Austen. Romance. Darcy. Need I say more?!

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg CabotThe Heather Wells series by Meg Cabot (not YA)

A murder mystery series in chick lit form. Heather Wells is a hilarious Bridget Jones-like character who makes you love her and laugh at the same time.

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by CA BelmondA Rather series by C.A. Belmond (not YA)

This is just such a breezy chick-lit mystery series set in many gorgeous and luxurious locales across the world.

All of these are titles I love and recommend to you. They’re light and fun reads that are good mix-ins between more weighty reads. Do you have any suggestions for books on the airy and delightful side?

17

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!

13

Tasty Treats (8)

Hello everyone!

It’s Sunday (a kind of dreary, potentially going to rain Sunday) and I’m actually posting today! I rarely post on Sunday so it’s kind of exciting when I do! :)

I am officially on Spring Break (WHOOT!)  which is awesome because although I love my students and my school, I was in need of some time off. Spring Break affords me time to lounge, read, visit the library and spend time with my friends (and my cousin Audrey who is coming to visit!).

Friday was a teacher work day so we got to go home much earlier than we normally would, so with my extra free time I decided it was time to check out my local public library. I picked up a few audiobooks, but I also poked around the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore and found some fun treats! Now I don’t know about you but when I visit a new book store like Barnes & Noble I get a little crazy. I get a massive case of book lust. The problem is that I can’t AFFORD to BUY all of the books I want (which is ALL of them). I feel a lot like this little guy.

Book Lust

So close, yet so far.

It’s just not possible for me to buy every book I want! So when I find a deal like I did at the used bookstore I get so excited! I have to say that I purchased 6 books (3 paperback, 3 hardcover) for $16.oo.  YUP! I think that’s a pretty good steal for SIX books!

So, let’s see what I snagged:

Tasty Treats1

The three paperbacks are:

Paperbacks

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han*

The three hardcovers (for only $3.50 each!):

hardcovers

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale*

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher*

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter*

I’m so proud of myself for finding these at such good prices and in such good condition! This does however, mean that I need to do some book shelf rearranging to make some room for these new additions…but hey! It’s Spring Break right?! I’ll have time for it!

What tasty treats have you acquired recently?

*= I’ve already read this one but who cares!