June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (50)

This week's topic is

I have read so many good books this year.  I don't know if I'm being pickier in what I read or what, but everything has just been fabulous lately.  It made making this list kind of difficult.  Here's my top ten so far...

I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

Looking for Alaska - John Green

Just One Day - Gayle Forman

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein

Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell

Reality Boy - A. S. King

Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson

A Midsummer's Nightmare - Kody Keplinger

Lovely, Dark and Deep - Amy McNamara

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

And I thought I'd do a little bonus, too.  I've been reading some really awesome Middle Grade (and I don't usually read Middle Grade).  Check these out:

Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman

One For the Murphys - Linda Mullaly Hunt

Jessica Darling's It List #1 - Megan McCafferty

June 20, 2013

Invisible by Marni Bates

Title: Invisible
Author: Marni Bates
Pages: 300
Publisher: K-Teen

From goodreads.com:  Jane Smith has survived three years of high school without making a single enemy, all by keeping a low profile. Not even her three best friends, Kenzie, Corey and Isobel, can say the same. But with Corey dating the lead singer from ReadySet and Kenzie in a relationship too, being invisible tends to be lonely. But now she's written an article for her school newspaper that has accidentally snagged the attention of some celebrities. Turns out, people get really upset when their innermost secrets are splashed all over the front page. And new her well-ordered life is being blasted to hell, with results that are wildly unexpected.

After reading Decked With Holly last year I knew I wanted to read more from Marni Bates.  When I saw Invisible up on NetGalley I figured it couldn't hurt to try and request it.  (First NetGalley book, yay!)  Jane is really good at flying under the radar, but she doesn't want that anymore.  Her two best friends don't have much time for her lately, what with one being a youtube sensation and the other (secretly) dating the lead singer of the outrageously popular band, the ReadySet.  When she tries to step out of her safe space, she gets assigned an article for the front page of the school paper.  When what they ("accidentally") wind up with is an article outing her best friend and his very famous boyfriend, everything goes to shit.
So, good things: cute newspaper photographer boy! Best friend's celebrity boyfriend! Sister drama!  So many good parts of this story.  Unfortunately I didn't enjoy Invisible as much as I had hoped to.  The premise is there.  I just think I didn't like any of the central characters enough to really get into it, especially Jane.  Her friends treated her like absolute crap the entire book and she just laid down and took it.  I was so frustrated with her the whole time.  Come on, just stand up for yourself!  And Jane's friends.  I feel like we weren't given enough of a reason to want them to stick around.  We're told that they've been BFFs forever, but every time we see them they're so wrapped up in their own drama and are totally rude and dismissive to Jane.  The only character that I really liked was Jane's boss, Mrs. Blake, the kooky bookstore owner.
I do enjoy Bates's writing style and I love that these books are all interconnected in the same universe and I'm very curious to see other aspects of it.  I still definitely plan on checking out Awkward, and she also has a new book coming out in November called Notable that I'm looking forward to

June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: K. A. Barson
Pub Date: 7.11.13
From goodreads.com: 
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.
Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (49)

This week's topic is

So, I just went back to last years Top Ten that had this topic and lo and behold I've read TWO of the books that I put on that list.  And one of them I read two days ago.  A big fail.  Hopefully I'll do better with this year's list.  I find summer to be a big contemporary time, it becomes all I want to read.  Here's my top ten contemporaries that I hope to get through this summer.

Leila Howland

Jessi Kirby

Sarah Dessen

Daisy Whitney

Rainbow Rowell

You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle

 Jennifer E. Smith

Kasie West

Una LaMarche

This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales

What are you all planning on reading this summer?  Let me know in the comments!

June 14, 2013

The Delirium Trilogy - Lauren Oliver

Delirium was my favorite of the dystopians that came out around the time that it did.  (I think Matched came out around that time.  Also, Bumped by Megan McCafferty).  I brought it on a trip to Washington DC with me, in case I had some reading time and I wound up FLYING through it.  The same thing with Pandemonium.  I sat on my couch one day, started reading it, and didn't get off my couch until I had finished it.  I decided to do a re-read of the series before I read Requiem, so the story would be fresh in my mind.  I really enjoyed Requiem and thought it was a fitting end to the series.  Do I wish she would've ended it a little further along?  A little.  But I thought that where Oliver chose to end it left it on an uplifting and hopeful note.  The thing I find about dystopians is that even if you get the "happy ending" there's so much more work to be done in the society to bring it back from the horrible state it was in, so I am fine with where Requiem left off.  I never know how to review whole series, so I'm just going to post some things I liked, one I didn't, and perhaps a quote or two (or more).

    • I love the source material at the beginning of the chapters in Delirium.  It really helps you acclimate to the way society works and how they keep people in line with this way of thinking.  I really love that some of it is adapted bible stories.  It makes it feel like this could very easily be our future.
    • The alternating chapters in Pandemonium were not my favorite at first, but as I kept reading I decided it was the perfect way to break up all the horrors that Lena is seeing, in both the now and the then.  You get so deeply involved in each chapter that when it switches time frames it's like a breath of fresh air.
    • I was really happy that we got chapters from Hana's point of view in Requiem.  It was a much needed look inside a cured's head (although, not a perfectly working cure).
The only real issue I have with this series stems from the DFA (Deliria Free America).  If the cure takes away love, I would imagine it also takes passion.  I feel like an organization like the DFA can't exist without people who are passionate about the cure.  It should be like - this is the way it is, everyone line up to be cured, and they either do it or resist.  Once you're cured it's like, I want to say mindless drone, but I know they're not mindless.  I don't know, does anyone else take issue with the DFA?  Come talk to me please!

I wound up writing down so many quotes while I was rereading because I feel like Lauren Oliver has such smart things to say.  I love her writing so much.  Here are some of my favorites...

"She is staring at me wide-eyed, willing me to understand: that people should be sacrificed to causes, that beauty can be built on the backs of the dead." - Pandemonium, 328

"He stands there with me and murmurs into my hair and kisses the top of my head and lets me cry over losing another boy, a boy I loved better." - Requiem, 33

"This is what amazes me: that people are new every day.  That they are never the same.  You must always invent them, and they must always invent themselves, too." - Requiem, 98

"So much between us went unsaid; that is the danger, and beauty, of life without the cure.  There is always wilderness and tangle, and the path is never clear." - Requiem, 327

Disease by Matchbox 20

June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (47)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Author: Maurene Goo
Pub Date: 6.25.13
From amazon.com: No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway.

Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school's newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine's Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family's traditional Korean values?In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what's considered "normal" in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one's individuality...or being driven insane.

June 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (48)

This week's topic is

'Beach Reads' means something different to everyone.  For some people, it's a brainless read: they want something they can enjoy without thinking too hard.  It is vacation after all.  Some people want a thick book they can get lost in.  Some people don't give a crap either way.  I am a total goober.  I really enjoy reading beach-y or summery books at the beach.  So here is my list of beachy feeling books to read at the beach.

I said it in my review, but I'll say it again, this book made me want to be an adventurer.

The first in a series about a beach house and the two brothers Belly's loved in one way or another her entire life.

*Gasp* It's not YA!  But it's still Judy Blume.  I used to reread Summer Sisters every summer.

Probably my favorite Sarah Dessen book.

An epic road trip makes up for the lack of beach in this one.

I love the 'dare' element to this book.

A classic.  Summer separates four best friends and they stay connected through a pair of jeans.

The Garretts are one of my favorite YA family units ever.

Just be prepared, this one's a cry-fest.

Summer in London?  Yes please!

Have any great beach-y or summery suggestions for me?  Leave them in the comments please!

June 10, 2013

In My Mailbox/Stacking the Shelves BEA Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelf
Stacking the Shelves is Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

BEA was a giant success again this year.  I came home with a ton of great books and met a bunch of amazing bloggers and authors.  Here's my list of books that I got.  Titles in blue are signed.
The Boy on the Porch - Sharon Creech
Jessica Darlings It List #1 - Megan McCafferty
Treasure Hunters - James Patterson
The Odd Squad: Zero Tolerance - Michael Fry
Spirit Animals: Wild Born - Brandon Mull
Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
The Twins - Saskia Sarginson
A Midsummer Night's Scream - RL Stine
The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert
The Book of Someday - Dianne Dixon 
Super Pop! - Daniel Harmon

United We Spy (excerpt)- Ally Carter
Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas
Living With Jackie Chan - Jo Knowles
These Broken Stars - Megan Spooner & Amie Kaufman
Unfed - Kirsty McKay
How to Love - Katie Cotugno
Roomies - Sarah Zarr & Tara Altebrando
Tumble & Fall - Alexandra Coutts
Starry Nights - Daisy Whitney
Dare Me - Eric Devine
Just Like Fate - Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
Awaken - Meg Cabot
All the Truth That's in Me - Julie Berry
Hostage Three - Nick Lake
Six Months Later - Natalie Richards
Pretenders - Lisi Harrison
Riptide - Lindsey Scheibe
Splintered - AG Howard
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle
Cherry Money Baby - John M. Cusick
Carved in Darkness - Megan Beaumont

Hypnotize Me - Gordon Korman
Fortunately the Milk - Neil Gaiman
How to Catch a Bogle - Catherine Jinks
Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective - Octavia Spencer
"The President Has Been Shot!" - James L. Swanson
Hit the Road, Helen! - Kate McMullen
The Wolf Princess - Cathryn Constable
Fallout - Todd Strasser
Ghost Hawk - Susan Cooper
Heaven is Paved with Oreos - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Dogs of Christmas - W. Bruce Cameron
When They Were Boys - Larry Kane
Vicious - VE Schwab
The Funeral Planner Goes to Washington - Lynn Isenberg
The Witch of Little Italy - Suzanne Palmieri
The Returned - Jason Mott
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud
Tandem - Anna Jarzab
Wild Cards - Simone Elkeles
Rose Under Fire - Elizabeth Wein
Unwholly - Neil Shusterman
This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales
Camp Kiss - JK Rock
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Game On - Melanie Spring
If I Ever Get Out of Here - Eric L. Gansworth
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

When Did You See Her Last - Lemony Snicket
Zombie Baseball Beatdown - Paolo Bacigalupi
Broken - Elizabeth Pulford
The Long Way Home - Ann M. Martin
The Fantastic Family Whipple - Matthew Ward
Waking Up Married - Mira Lyn Kelly
Charming - Elliott James
Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver
Happy This Year - Will Bowen

Never Fade - Alexandra Bracken
Shadowlark - Megan Spooner
Hereafter - Kate Brian
The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud
Hero - Alethea Kontis
The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau
The Waking Dark - Robin Wasserman
The Darkest Path - Jeff Hirsch
Gorgeous - Paul Rudnick
The Boy on the Bridge - Natalie Standiford
Blaze - Laurie Boyle Crompton
Unbreakable - Kami Garcia

Not pictured: Reality Boy - AS King
(I was reading it and totally forgot to put it in one of these pictures.)

I can't believe I came away with so many awesome books!  And here's some of the very cool things that happened and authors I met or saw.

I had an absolute blast at BEA this year and am totally looking forward to next year.  I've already jumped into my giant stack of books and started reading, which is quite a feat for me.  I hope everyone had as amazing a time as I had!