Monthly Archives: April 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #2

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Check out other Top Ten Tuesday lists at The Broke and  the Bookish!

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

1. World War II

I am an avid reader of all things related to World War II, but I especially like to read about the Holocaust. You may be wondering why I enjoy reading about something so dark, but the answer is that 99% of Holocaust stories are not dark. Sure,  they have dark moments, but overall the stories are of hope, resilience, survival, faith, and endurance. I love, love, love my Holocaust readings and some of my favorite titles include…

The Hiding Place Book Cover

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (Holocaust Concentration Camp)

Between Shades of Gray Book Cover

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Russian Prison Camps)

Unbroken Book Cover

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Japanese Prisoner of War Camp

2. Espionage

I love espionage, but more specifically I enjoy when female characters are involved in espionage. These characters are usually tough, independent, and intelligent and I just enjoy reading their stories. Some of my favorites are…

Gallagher Girls Series Book Covers

The Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter

A Girl Named Digit Book Cover

A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan

3. The Titanic

I am interested in all history from about 1900 and up, but one of my favorite topics to read about is the Titanic. I am fascinated by the individual stories of those who survived the sinking of this amazing ship! One of my favorites is…

No Moon Book Cover

No Moon by Irene N. Watts

4. Future America

Books set in a future America are becoming more and more common and I love it! This mainly dystopian setting is so fun to read and I have loved just about every dystopian book set in a future America that I have read. Some of the best titles in my opinion are…

Hunger Games Trilogy Book Covers

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Divergent Trilogy Book Covers

The Divergent tilogy by Veronica Roth

The Last Survivors Book Covers

The Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

5. Intelligent female characters

My love for intelligent female characters crosses over a little with my girls in espionage topic, but there are other great books that have intelligent female characters. I like a strong main character that a read can look up to and be proud of. Here are some awesome books with great female characters…

Along for the Ride Book Cover

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

The Book Thief Book Cover

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

6. First love

When I am looking for a light and relaxing read I enjoy reading about first loves. They are just books that warm your heart and make you smile. This is one of my absolute favorites…

My Life Next Door Book Cover

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

7. Star-crossed lovers

Okay, so I am a sucker for the star-crossed lovers. There is just something about people falling in love against all odds that gets me every time! Here are some of the best books with star-crossed lovers…

Hunger Games Trilogy Book Covers

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Twilight Book Covers

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

8. Survival

So, this topic probably crosses over with a lot of the other topics this week, but I just love stories about survival. From the Holocaust, to the Titanic, to dystopian societies I just enjoy a tale of survival. Some of the best include…

Hatchet Book Cover

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Harry Potter Book Covers

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Sold Book Cover

Sold by Patricia McCormick

(and all of the previously mentioned books under the World War II topic!)

9. Verse

I love books that are written in verse! They usually make for quick reads and I just enjoy the style. One of my favorites is…

What My Mother Doesn't Know Book Cover

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

10. Chosen

Okay, I may have to explain this topic a little bit. I love books where the main character is especially chosen to complete a certain task, fill a certain position, or do some other special thing that only they can accomplish. Some of the best are…

The Giver Book Cover

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Harry Potter Book Covers

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Hero Book Cover

Hero by Mike Lupica

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Okay, so I post on Wednesdays as well about what I am reading. I don’t want to bore everyone with the same information over and over again so I’m going to make Mondays my “other” readings day. What I mean by that is on Mondays I will post about either a current audiobook I am listening to, a junior or children’s picture book I am reading, or some other various type of reading that I am doing. There are so many great books out there that are not YA books and sometimes I tend to skip over those titles. All of those other books deserve their place in the blogosphere too so Mondays it will be their day to shine…at least on my blog! Enjoy!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride Book Cover

For my very first “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” I chose an audiobook. I am currently listening to Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. It is my very first Sarah Dessen book and I am thoroughly enjoying it! I didn’t really expect to be that into her books, but they are so easy to fall for. The characters are fun and I find them easy to relate to. The romance, humor and friendships that bloom in Dessen’s writing make the story easy to listen to and very enjoyable. I highly recommend Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

If you want to see more of what I am reading check out my WWW Wednesday post!

 

Picture Book Saturday

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I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black

I'm Bored Book Cover

My Grandma always told me when I was growing up that there is no such thing as being bored-there is only boring people. This book is that statement all summed up. It starts with a little girl who keeps saying how bored she is and she insists that there is just nothing to do. However, when a potato comes along and tells her that kids are boring she is determined to prove him wrong and she she easily finds many fun things to do. This book had me laughing out loud many times at the little girl’s antics as she tries to convince a potato that kids are not boring. I think my favorite part of this story is the potato. His reactions to the little girl are just too funny! I really think you should give this book a try and if you have a child that is always bored read it with them! Maybe this book will open their eyes to a world of fun possibilities!

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

This is Not My Hat Book Cover

2013 2×2 Reading List Title

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen is the 2013 Caldecott Award winner. While the illustrations really are unique  I did not care much for the rest of this book. There was a lobster who helped the big fish track down the little fish who stole his hat and the lobster was funny, but I found the rest of the story kind of dull. A big fish chases down a little fish to get back his tiny hat. He finally finds the little fish (we assume he eats up the little fish) and then the big fish swims away with his hat. The end. The story really is that simple and the ending really is that abrupt. Overall, I did not enjoy this book.

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan

How to Babysit a Grandpa Book Cover

2013 2×2 Reading List Title

I love, love, love this book! As a new mom who gets to watch a doting grandpa with his first grandchild I can see this story coming to life in my near future and it brought a smile to my face! When Grandpa arrives at the house the little boy starts instructing readers on how to babysit a grandpa. From the arrival of Grandpa, to snack time and naptime this little boy has it all figured out. It is a super fun and silly book for kids as they will enjoy the premise of a child babysitting Grandpa. As for adults, you will be giggling right along with your children as you read this story and as you watch the little boy fall for his own babysitting tricks. Enjoy!

Friday Finds and Feature & Follow #1

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Here are some books that I recently added to my “to-be-read” list!

1. Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087 Book Cover

I found this book on the NEW YA display at my local library. I am a fan of all stories related to World War II and/or the Holocaust. When I read the book jacket for this novel I knew it was a must read! It is based on the real story of prisoner B-3087, however, some characters and events were added to the story. I can’t wait to get to this book!

2. Double Digit by Annabel Monaghan

Double Digit Book Cover

Okay, so this book isn’t even out yet, but I was so, so excited when I saw it on Goodreads! I read A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan last year and I LOVED it. It was one of the books where I actually felt kind of sad when it was over. Well, I didn’t know there was going to be a sequel so when I saw this I was thrilled!

3. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

The Lions of Little Rock Book Cover

This book is on the Texas Lone Star list this year. As I was browsing the titles on the list this one really caught my eye. I honestly don’t know much about this book, but I’m still ready to sit down and read this own based on the summary alone.

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss Book Cover

Anna and the French Kiss is a book I was finally convinced to add to my TBR list after I saw it on many, many blogs. The title sounds a little cheesy and the cover looks really cheesy so  I have my doubts. However, I have heard nothing bad about this book. Actually, quite the opposite…every one seems to love it and because of the rave reviews I feel that I have to give this book a chance.

5. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever Book Cover

I am currently reading (actually listening to) my first Sarah Dessen book and I really, really like it. Dessen’s characters are so easy to relate to and they are just fun. Since I am enjoying it so much I looked some of her other titles up on Goodreads and this is one that caught my eye. Hopefully, it will be as good as Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen which I am currently reading.

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Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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Out of the Easy Book CoverOut of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
4-stars
It’s 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. (summary from http://www.amazon.com/)


I really liked this book! I can’t say that I fell in love with it the way I did Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, but I did enjoy the story. And in all fairness Between Shades of Gray is one of my all-time favorite books so it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat!


***WARNING: THE FOLLOWING  CONTAINS SPOILERS!***

What I liked:

I liked (actually LOVED) Josie’s character. Her determination, her independence, her work ethic, her intelligence, just everything about her made her an awesome character!

I liked many of the relationships that Sepetys developed throughout the book, but none of them beat the relationship between Cokie and Josie! When Cokie gave Josie that thermos I just wanted to cry because of his genuine love for Josie!

I liked Willie. She was tough, but she had a soft spot and I liked that Sepetys let that peek through every now and then.

I liked the setting! New Orleans in the 1950’s…it was just great!

What I did NOT like:

I did NOT like Patrick’s character very much. I was never cheering for him and Josie to have a relationship. I guess you could say I was team Jesse from the very beginning.

I did NOT like that Willie died and so unexpectedly! I was really bummed about that…

I did NOT like Shady Grove…or did I? I felt nervous every time she was there and I’m not really sure why. Maybe the suspense of it made it a good part of the book…or maybe not…I can’t decide…

Read Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys and share your thoughts on Shady Grove, Jesse, and the rest of the story in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday

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I set a mid-year resolution and that is to read at least one book a week. I am hoping WWW Wednesdays will inspire me to keep up with this goal of mine. After all, I will need new books to write about each Wednesday. So here’s to hoping I can keep up…

What are you currently reading?

The Lightning Thief Book Cover

I am currently reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I know, I know I am very behind with this series, but at least I am finally getting around to it! So far, so good…I’m loving it!

What did you recently finish reading?

Out of the Easy Book Cover

I recently finished reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I will hopefully get to post a review on this one sometime this week.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Sever Book Cover

Next up on my reading list is Sever by Lauren DeStefano. It is the third book in the Chemical Garden trilogy. I have had very mixed feelings about the first two books so we will see where the final book takes me.

Teaser Tuesday

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The Lightning Thief Book CoverThis is my first Teaser Tuesday! This week’s book is The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I know I’m a little behind the times since I just got around to reading this series, but so far it’s awesome!

“The monster charged.”

“Mrs. Dodds had burst apart.”

*~*p. 55 of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*~*

I think these quotes do this book justice. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

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So, this is my first post for Top Ten Tuesday! I am very excited to be joining the Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and the Bookish because I love reading  it each week. This is my first time because I just began my own blog. I have written for work-related blogs and school-related blogs ( I am a teen librarian), but this is my first blog just for me and my enjoyment.

Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This book was a wonderful surprise! I read it because it was on the Texas Lonestar reading list for 2012. I usually enjoy books that are set during World War II so I expected to enjoy it, but I had no idea how hard I would fall for this book. I even loved the audiobook for this title and I am happy to say this book is now on my favorite books of all time list! If you read this book you MUST read the author’s note at the end. I think it is part of what made me LOVE this book.


Liar Book Cover2. Liar by Justine Larbalestier

This book summary sounded interesting and it sounded like something I would enjoy, but boy was I wrong!! This book has landed itself  as one my least favorite books EVER!  I kept reading it thinking that it had to get better, but it never redeemed itself. This book was just AWFUL!


3. Reached by Ally Condie

I really enjoyed Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie and I was really excited for the third and final book in the trilogy. However, I found that I was a little disappointed in this last installment. Not to say that the book was terrible, but it was definitely lacking something.



The Maze Runner4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

So the series was not awful. The Maze Runner was good enough to get me to finish the trilogy, but  I just felt like it could be great and it was only okay. I think it was the swearing with made up words that really turned me off to this book. It was just a little silly.


Unbroken Book Cover5. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Have you ever read something and you just wanted to clap and cry and cheer and everything else when the story ended? Well, that is exactly how  I felt at the end of Unbroken. I wanted to cheer for Louis and his heroism and survival, I wanted to cry because of his heartache and loss, and I wanted to clap because this is probably one of the most astounding books I have EVER read! It still brings me to tears each time I read it. It is so moving and just AMAZING!

(P.S.- This book is an adult title. I do not usually enjoy adult books as much as YA, but Hillenbrand’s writing was exceptional!)

6. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This book is a classic and one I had never sat down to read until recently. However, I am so glad that I finally took the time to read it because I really enjoyed it. I don’t have too much to say about this one, but it was a very pleasant surprise!


Fever Book Cover7. Fever by Lauren DeStefano

I really liked Wither by Lauren DeStefano (the first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy). I was so excited to continue the series and I picked up Fever as soon as I could. However, I found that I was a little let down by this second book. The story went from amazing in the first book to mediocre in the second. I am a little worried about the final installment (Sever), but I’m going to go ahead and give it a chance.


Wonderstruck Book Cover8. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
So, this book is a junior book and not at all what I would usually choose to read. However, I am a librarian and this book was on the Texas Bluebonnet List for 2012-2013 so I felt obligated to read it. I am so glad I did! The unique way that Selznick tells the story and intertwines his characters is awesome!


Heist Society Book Cover9. Heist Society by Ally Carter

The Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter is one of my favorites. They are just fun, relaxing reads that are easy to follow, fun to figure out,  and simple to love! I was really hoping for the same thing in the Heist Society series by Carter, but I felt a little disappointed by this first book. It was okay, but I just simply did not enjoy it the way I did the Gallagher Girl series. The characters were not as lovable, the humor was missing, it was just very bland overall.


Chopsticks Book Cover10. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony

I heard so much about this book for weeks from many of my co-workers before I finally picked it up to see what all of the fuss was about. And all I can say now that I finally picked it up and read it is that I wish I wouldn’t have. I did not really enjoy anything about this book. I did not care for the style in which it was written (unique-yes, good-not really), I did not care for the ending (I am not even positive I know what really happened), and I just felt like the plot was boring. This book was a huge letdown after all the hype!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? (summary from http://www.amazon.com/)

I absolutely LOVED this book! It was a title that I just stumbled upon in the library one day when I was browsing.  I picked it up because I needed a break from all of the dystopian fiction and  I am so glad that I chose this book. I loved the romance, the characters, and the suspense of Sam’s big decision.

***WARNING: THE FOLLOWING  CONTAINS SPOILERS!***

What I liked:

I liked the characters…especially the Garrett family. They were so quirky and loving and the combination just made them irresistible.

I liked Jase and Sam…their relationship was adorable. It’s the type of relationship you quickly find yourself cheering for.

I liked the mystery/suspense of Sam’s big decision.

I liked the shock I experienced when I found out Sam’s mom and boyfriend were the guilty party!

I liked the description of the Garrett’s home and front yard. It made me smile every time.

What I did NOT like:

I did not like Sam’s mom or her boyfriend, but I guess their terrible personalities were needed for the story line.

I honestly cannot think of anything else that I did not like. I just got hooked on this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end!

 

Reached by Ally Condie

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Reached by Ally Condie

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.( Summary taken from http://allycondie.com/books )

When I read the first book in this series I fell in love with the trilogy. I loved the world that Condie created, I loved the characters (especically Xander!) and I really liked the premise in general. After finishing Matched I was psyched to start reading Crossed, but somewhere in the middle of Crossed I lost a lot of my love for this trilogy. I mean Crossed wasn’t terrible, but it definitely didn’t grab me like Matched. I was hoping that Crossed had just suffered from a little bit of middle book syndrome so I went ahead and picked up Reached. I went in with an open and I was totally hoping that Reached would redeem this trilogy. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that Reached revived my love for this series.

***WARNING: THE FOLLOWING  CONTAINS SPOILERS!***

What I liked:

I liked that Xander found someone who appreciated him

I liked that Cassia finally found it in herself to dance and sing

I liked that Cassia, Ky and Xander all played a part in finding the cure

What I did NOT like:

I did not like that Ky and Cassia’s story was so bland…there was never a moment where I questioned whether they would end up together…I guess to me that was boring!

I did not like that Indie died

I did not like that Hunter went crazy

I did not like how the Rising ended up just being the new society

I did NOT like how the trilogy ended…Cassia and Ky standing on the stairs looking out at the city with their future still unknown….that is just too open ended and predictable for the end of a trilogy…

Overall, I was just disappointed in the end of this trilogy. It started out with such awesome possibilities and then it just tapered out after that. I mean it wasn’t terrible or anything, but it also wasn’t anything spectacular.