Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TTT: Top 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Barcelona
ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins

Prague
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor

Hogwarts
The HARRY POTTER series by JK Rowling

Paris
STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney

Coldtown
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black

Cinque Terre, Italy
WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae

The Winter Olympics
GOLD MEDAL WINTER by Donna Freitas

Backstage on a Concert Tour
OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord

New Orleans
INFINITYGLASS by Myra McEntire & OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

Midnight Gulch
A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Some More of What I've Been Reading Lately

A busy start to the school year meant not much blogging. It always surprises me even how little reading I get done in the first two weeks of a new school year, but I've been getting back into it. These are the books I've been reading since I got back to start working in my classroom mid-August. Almost all of these are ones I'd consider adding to my classroom library. I'm letting you know why I chose to read it, and then my quick thoughts after reading it (which can also been seen on my goodreads account). Happy reading!

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
(I know, I know, it doesn't come out until June 2015, but I want you to know about it and I hope you'll check out her other books, too.)
I have loved both of Trish Doller's previous books, Something Like Normal & Where the Stars Still Shine, and could not wait to read her next one. There is just something about her writing and her characters that has undoubtedly pushed her onto my must-buy & favorite authors list.
This book, following up Boy Nobody, hits the right notes of keeping the things I enjoyed from the first book while still making it fresh and moving the overall plot forward. Getting to know the main character more, and getting to find out more about the organization behind his assassin work, led to a more engaging read where we're rooting for the main character to come out on top. There is action, excitement, and an intriguing sinister secret organization. I'm handing this to the video game loving boys in my classroom.

Killer Instinct (sequel to The Naturals) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I couldn't wait to read this one after reading the first book and liking it so much (as do my students who have read it). It is a can't-stop-reading kind of book.
This is a fantastic series. Highly engaging, incredibly interesting, and unendingly thrilling. The mental and crime aspects are intriguing, and somewhat frightening. I hope there will be more to this series!





Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt
Another free verse book - yay. Another book addressing issues with bullying. Another book that will appeal to the boys in my classroom and help them see other perspectives on an issue that affects them.
A bully finds a different side to himself - there was more to him than anyone knew. He is the poetry bandit, sharing found poems, and telling his story in free verse.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
I had been hearing so many good things about this middle grades book and needed a quick read. This was a perfect choice. Now I want to share it with our science teacher.
A great early middle grades book with heart. Science concepts tie in to make the family elements even stronger, and the humor inherent in the concept makes for an entertaining story.



Empower (the final book in the Embrace series) by Jessica Shirvington
I have been waiting and waiting for this digital copy to be available from my library. I could not stop reading the first four books in this series (I've been a fan since I had an ARC of the first book from my first NCTE convention).
A satisfying conclusion to an addictively readable series.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
I had been hearing about this Swoon Reads title, a love story told from 14 different POVs, for awhile, and was in the mood for something light and fun.
Very unique concept to tell a romance story through 14 different voices - none of which are the couple at the center of the will they or won't they get together situation - and it succeeds. I especially smiled at the bench and squirrel voices every time. Added into the voices of a brother, friends, classmates, a professor, a diner waitress, a Chinese delivery guy, a bus driver, and a barista, it becomes easy to follow what's going on in Gabe's and Lea's lives throughout this school year at college. It's a quick read, a cute story, and has one of my all time favorite big brothers in any book. A Little Something Different is true to it's title, and is also fun to read and entertaining. It's a romance of two unsure people with missed opportunities and misunderstandings, and the way everyone around them sees what's happening and is rooting for them, even while they struggle to figure it out themselves. Although the characters are in college, the book is clean with just a bit of underage drinking (fake IDs are mentioned in the first line), but nothing else questionable, so this could be handed to students with other YA offerings. This is a book for the sky kids. If you're looking for a little something different in a sweet romance, try A Little Something Different.


I Am the Mission (Boy Nobody, renamed I Am the Weapon, book 2) by Allen Zadoff
I really enjoyed reading Boy Nobody last year, and knew that it would be the kind of action-packed, exciting book that would appeal to the boys in my classroom, so I was eager to find out what would happen next.
This book, following up Boy Nobody, hits the right notes of keeping the things I enjoyed from the first book while still making it fresh and moving the overall plot forward. Getting to know the main character more, and getting to find out more about the organization behind his assassin work, led to a more engaging read where we're rooting for the main character to come out on top. There is action, excitement, and an intriguing sinister secret organization. I'm handing this to the video game loving boys in my classroom.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
This was highly recommended to me by one of the HarperCollins reps (thanks, Molly!) at ALA.
The Jewel is being compared to Kiera Cass' The Selection, and I think that's appropriate. They both have that same sense of being addictive reading (with some plot holes or unnecessary deviations) with instalove, but not being great literature. And talk about a cliffhanger ending... It's an interesting premise for a world, and there are hints of fascinating world-building, but I still didn't feel like I fully understood how/why things are like they are. But I still couldn't stop reading. It's full of political intrigue and societal commentary and a bit of a whole lot of stuff. Basically, I'll be waiting for the next book, and will have students who will like it, but it won't make a best of list for me. I would also recommend to readers who liked Aimee Carter's Pawn and Marie Rutkowski's The Winner's Curse.
 
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