Nov 29, 2011

Winter Reading List (Top Ten Tuesdays)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the picture to visit them!

Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter
Hmm...well at the beginning of this month I started using Goodreads so now my to-read list is a giant swarm of pretty book covers. At last count it was also 351 books! So I'm defining Winter as books coming out in December, January, or February that I want to read.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - 1/10/12
John Green does contemporary from guys' perspectives so well they read like classics. The good kinds of classics that you aren't being forced to read! If you saw my last Top Ten, you know I'm Internet-stalking John Green so I know when he comes within a 2-state radius.

2. Larkstorm by Dawn Rae Miller - 12/5/11
I love that cover illustration! The summary of this one is mildy interesting, until you get to the last paragraph and it says she has to kill the guy before he kills her. NOW I'm interested!

3. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder - 12/20/11
Maria V. Snyder's fantasy worlds never fail to suck me in. The Study series and the Glass series are some of my favorite books, and I don't know what to call the series with Inside Out and Outside In, but I like that one too!

4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith - 1/2/12
So, I'm an art student. I just can't help but judge books by their covers, and I love this one. I'm a big fan of quirky contemporaries, especially if they involve love. Kinda like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this one sounds like a strange yet awesome story of 2 people over a really short amount of time.

5. Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom - 1/10/12
It's a story about being ditched at Prom and figuring out why. The summary mentions a 3-legged chihuahua, a thrift store dress, and an "incident in the tattoo parlor". I don't know how those things add up to being ditched at Prom, but I know that I want to find out.

6. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - 12/6/11
I am not a fan of this cover at all, the hot angry people are staring at me at it creeps me out. But I think the description sounds pretty interesting. Any description that uses the word "stab-worthy" is good with me.

7. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale - 2/14/12
Once again, the cover really catches my eye every time I see it. This sounds like an emotional contemporary and any book with a trip makes me happy. Plus this trip is with an ex-boyfriend, so double the interesting.

8. The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison - 2/14/12
Really liking the thrillers and mysteries lately. This one involves a street artist and a brother's death, so I'm in.

9. Partials by Dan Wells - 2/28/12
As always, I really enjoy dystopians. And this one involves weaponized diseases. In real life, this would be anything but exciting, but I love the idea for books.

10. Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook - 1/3/12
An artsy type seeing ghosts? Yes, please. This one sounds creepy AND funny.

Nov 26, 2011

Authors I'd Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner (Top Ten Tuesday...on Sunday)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the picture to visit them!

Top Ten Authors I'd Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner
It's kind of hard to narrow down the list of authors I would want at my Thanksgiving table! There are just too many authors I want to meet/stuff my face alongside of.

1. John Green
Because I want to stalk him, but won't because that usually results in things like arrests and restraining orders. I mean, have you seen the Vlog Brothers videos? I own a Nerdfighteria t-shirt. I must meet John Green. And why not at a Thanksgiving feast? Food brings people together and stuff like that!

2. Lisa Mantchev
I imagine that having a fellow sugar/all things dessert lover at Thanksgiving dinner would result in happy madness! There are soooo many pretty pictures of sugary desserts on her blog. You should click the picture of Lisa to see pretty pictures of her dream casting of Nate and Ariel, which I whole-heartedly support by the way! 

3. Libba Bray
 Have you read the bio(s) on her website? Click the picture to do it. They rock. This is one lady who would not be a dull guest! I mean, look at the picture. Plus she has a shirt that says I'm With the Banned. I want to know where she obtained this shirt because I need one for Christmas. 

4. Gail Carriger
She would probably bring some kind of weaponized accessory, and that's awesome. And sometimes you just need someone who understands your fascination with clockwork being combined with shiny sparkly things and made into jewelry. Steampunk, yay! 

5. Carrie Jones
And Tala of course. Tala died recently :( A dog I've never met, but I was so sad for Carrie. Carrie is so sweet and she has serious guts. She was (is? I have no clue how political things work) a candidate for the Maine Legislature. She is one of the authors behind Dear Bully, an anthology about bullying. And soon after I was dumped by a guy who later told me he was gay, I found her book, Tips on Having a (gay) Ex-Boyfriend. Her books before the Need series are impossible to find in physical bookstores, but you should look them up because they rock!

6. Shelena Shorts
I love The Pace series and it gets practically no attention! Even my boyfriend loves this series. Need more books please Shelena!

7. Maria V. Snyder
I love all of her books. Her ability to create fantasy worlds is amazing. The Study series books = love. Plus she has a new series coming out soon!

8. Scott Westerfeld
Scott, why is there a blurry picture of you holding a ferret that you claim is 'just sleeping' like that? Where do you come up with all the crazy sci-fi ideas for your books? These and other questions must be answered! Heck yes let's geek out together Scott! I cannot describe how much Peeps is the best book relating to vampires ever, much less how awesome all of his other books are.

9. Stephanie Kuehnert
She is all kinds of amazing and so down to earth and sweet. Her books don't get enough attention and that's a shame because she is so talented in writing realistic, gritty YA. Stephanie is so open on her blog and I really love her Women Who Rock Wednesdays.

10. Amanda Hocking
Ok, 1. You live in my dream house from the looks of that living room! 2. I love that shirt and have considered buying it before. 3. I recently read Hollowland, which was a zombie book like The Book of Eli & Zombieland combined into one + a tiger! It was exactly the kind of zombie book I was looking for after not enjoying The Forest of Hands and Teeth. 

Nov 18, 2011

The Book I'm Most Thankful For!

Nancy Drew!

       There is definitely no contest here. The book I'm most thankful for is whichever Nancy Drew book I read 1st. It was awhile ago, I wish I could remember which one it was! I've always been a reader but the 1st books I was ever obsessed with were Nancy Drew books when I was about 9. My bookshelf was full of that yellow-spined goodness and I pretty much still want to be Nancy Drew.
       I love mysteries and 9-year-old me who wanted to do my author biography on Carolyn Keene could not process what a pseudonym or ghost writing was. I was just disappointed that I couldn't write about my favorite author, who was apparently many different people. But not in a crazy way.  
       Don't even get me started on the movie they made a few years ago...Nancy Drew is not a socially awkward girl who dresses like she's from the 60s. Nancy Drew wins at life. She has a college boyfriend, a convertible, and some serious sleuthing skills. She just needs to learn how to avoid chloroform rags.

The correct answer would be RUN NANCY RUN!

If you've never read a Nancy Drew book, GO DO IT! The original 56 with the yellow spines as shown at the top of the post. I'm not a fan of this spinoff stuff.

Want a nifty list of those 56 books? Of course you do. You should click here.

What book are YOU most thankful for?
Tell me in the comments or do your own blog post about it.
Seriously. There may be prizes involved:


Nov 17, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Published: February 1, 1999 by MTV Books

Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange world of love, drugs, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.

      If this were an indie movie, I might think it was great, but I read this book and found it bland. I will not remember much about it at all and I really don't understand why it's so popular. I thought it was boring and I'm glad it was as short as it was for that reason. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • letters - Charlie is writing letters to an anonymous person, so the novel is his telling of events in his life to a stranger. So the way Charlie thinks and talks about his life ends up being very train-of-thought, run on sentences. It flows so easily and once you sort of get in that mindset it's hard to find a stopping point.
Huh, what?:
  • plot - Uh, there is a very loose plot at best. Charlie tells us about his daily life. Sometimes he goes on dates but doesn't really care either way if he does or doesn't. He reads this book and he likes it. He reads that book and doesn't know if he likes it. There is actually a lot Charlie doesn't know, but I think that's one of the points of this book. We all grow up but none of us know what we're doing so we struggle to figure it all out - and by the time we do, it's over. It's impossible to base your experience on someone else's so everyone's essentially flying blind.
  • Charlie - It's not that I really dislike Charlie, it's that he's a bland, lukewarm character so my feelings on him are similar. He merely relates to us what happens in his life, but rarely ever forms opinions on these things - and if he does it's oh it was good. Even as he continues to date a girl he doesn't like being with, Charlie just goes along with everything she does and never has the courage to speak up about anything.
  • the book - This book is considered a "new classic" - one of those not yet ancient books that show up in English or Literature classes. I don't understand why exactly it has been elevated to this status. It does deal with an issue of Charlie's, but that is barely even a part of the story and when it was revealed I had trouble empathizing with Charlie because he is so emotionally flat. I believe this issue that the book deals with (mentions is really more accurate) is the only reason this book is widely read or still considered worth reading.
Favorite quotes:
  • My mom usually helps her aunt prepare the food, which my grandfather always says is "too dry" even if it's soup. And her aunt will then cry and lock herself in the bathroom. There is only one bathroom in my great aunt's house, so this turns to trouble when all the beer starts to hit my cousins. They stand twisted in bladder positions and bang on the door for a few minutes and almost coax my great aunt out, but then my grandfather curses something at my great aunt, and they cycle starts over again.              -  Charlie  pg. 57
  • I didn't feel like reading that night, so I went downstairs and watched a half-hour-long commercial that advertised an exercise machine. They kept flashing a 1-800 number, so I called it. The woman who picked up the other end of the phone was named Michelle. And I told Michelle that I was a kid and did not need an exercise machine, but I hoped she was having a good night. That's when Michelle hung up on me. And I didn't mind a bit.      - Charlie  pg. 122

2 robots
No real plot, lack of dialogue. I didn't really understand this book, so I didn't enjoy reading it.


Nov 15, 2011

Unread Books On My Shelf (Top Ten Tuesday)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the picture to visit them!

Top Ten Books On My Shelf That Have Been There the Longest But I Haven't Read Yet
I don't actually have very many unread books on my shelf. In fact I only have 2. Confession: I don't plan on reading either of them. So I'll show you those 2 and then the books on my to-read pile.

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This is a book that my aunt gave me as a gift. She gave me The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon at the same time and I really liked that one, but 2 pages of this book is like a chore. I know a lot of people have loved it though.

2. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
I remembered the reading list wrong for my English class and bought this instead of Heart of Darkness (How did I get those 2 titles mixed up?) by Joseph Conrad. Plus this is the one where the dude turns into a cockroach and I am not a fan of cockroaches, unless it is the cute Twinkie-loving cockroach from Wall-e. 

On my to-read pile:

3. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Let's take Mulan and mix in even more butt-kicking. Maybe a touch of Graceling by Kristen Cashore? I don't know because I haven't read it, but it sounds awesome!

4. Entwined by Heather Dixon
This is based on The 12 Dancing Princesses story, and while I'm sure the book I loved as a little girl is most likely pretty far from the original Brothers Grimm story, I still love it. So a YA book based on that story sound amazing and suspenseful. 

This is my favorite! Click here to see more.

5. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Why is it that any brick and mortar bookstore I go into never has this book for sale? And why has the beautiful cover above been replaced by a generic girl-with-her-head-cut-off picture where you can't even tell she's Asian? These things bother me. Also, Cindy Pon makes beautiful traditional Chinese brush art. 

6. The Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell
I'm gonna be totally shallow here: THAT COVER! So simple but the ornate bits are awesome too. I have no more words. Plus this book sounds like something new and different in YA so I'm very excited to read it. 

7. Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
Another cute and graphically simple cover. I swear cute covers aren't the only reason I choose the books I read! I bought a combo book of this and the 1st and 3rd books in the Death by series for $5 at Ross and the 1st book, Death by Bikini, was great. It's the perfect balance of light-hearted and suspenseful mystery. 

8. The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
Deb Caletti's books have been wonderful surprises for me. I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary because I don't enjoy most of the contemporary plots in YA. But Deb Caletti's books are like Sarah Dessen books for me. They have the right balance of everything and I love them.

9. Red: A Play by John Logan
This is a play about the artist Mark Rothko. My brother is very VERY into plays and musicals and reading screenplays. He wants me to read this one because I'm an art student and he likes Rothko. He also likes Pollock and sat through that movie with me when I had to watch it for class. Pollock was apparently a huge jerk. He also gave me the Inception screenplay because I love that movie and I have to say that after reading through it I actually understand what happened in the movie a lot better now.

And a book that's not on my shelf yet that I really want to read:
10. So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev
Because Bertie is awesome beyond belief and this series deserves more buzz around the blogosphere!

Nov 9, 2011

How To Steal A Car

How To Steal A Car by Pete Hautman
Published: September 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press

Some girls act out by drinking or doing drugs. Some girls act out by sleeping with guys. Some girls act out by starving themselves or cutting themselves. Some girls act out by being a b**** to other girls.

Not Kelleigh. Kelleigh steals cars.

       I had seen this book around before but only got really interested in reading it after I read The Big Crunch by the same author and really enjoyed it. Pete Hautman is definitely a contemporary author that writes realistic stories and does it well. My only major complaint is that there really isn't a clear plot at times, which is my main issue with contemporaries in the first place. 

Why I love this book:
  • Kelleigh- her head can be a weird place at times, but she is overall a very unique character with a funny outlook on life
  • Kelleigh's essay- I'm not sure if her tips on car theft add up to the 500 words she's supposed to have on how to do something, but these little asides are clever and reflect what's going on in her life
  • plot- the way the story develops is very realistic. The reason Kelleigh steals cars unfolds slowly. It sneaks up on you and makes you think duh, of course she had a better reason than fun and excitement.
Huh, what?:
  • Kelleigh's friends- Kelleigh's friends are lame. Jen is so self-absorbed and dramatic, while Will is just bland. He's about as interesting as a cardboard cutout.
  • Kelleigh's dad- Is it just me or is someone way too excited about defending a rapist/possible rapist in court? Especially since he has a daughter around the same age of the victims? I would have freaked like Kelleigh's mom too if he'd kept updating the family at dinner about his pet rapist's chances of getting off. 
Favorite quotes:
  • The fact that I had-technically-stolen four cars recently was purely a matter of irresistible opportunity, dire necessity, or peer pressure. I mean, twice it hadn't even been my idea.    - Kelleigh  pg. 76
  • My head was spinning with what she'd said. I mean, I was trying to understand it, trying to make sense of her words. Dad could only say I love you if it wasn't true? Did that make sense on any level other than the multiple-apricot-martini level?    - Kelleigh  pg. 97

4 Robots
A short contemporary with a realistic main character and clever writing


Uncomfortable Books (Top Ten (Five!) Tuesday (On Wednesday!))

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the picture to visit them!

Top Ten Five Books Out of my Comfort Zone

These are the top 5 books I have read that were out of my comfort zone. There are only ten because apparently I don't read outside of my comfort zone too often. But hey, I know what I like!

1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Liked it. First of all, my aunt gave me this book so I was hesitant to begin with. My aunt has pretty good taste in books (she gave my The Phantom Tollbooth too), but giving me a book I haven't told you I want is like taking your life in your hands. It's scary. Plus it wasn't really a YA book and it wasn't a book I would have chosen for myself.

2. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Loved it. So when I bought this one, it didn't have this pretty cover with all the green details. It also lived in the regular Fiction section of the bookstore instead of the YA shelves. Really I don't see why it isn't shelved as YA. The only weird things in here were the torture scenes. And Valek :)

3. I Am American And So Can You! by Stephen Colbert
Liked it. It's non-fiction, enough said. I don't even watch the Colbert Report (which I recently learned is not even pronounced with the 't' sound on report). It was my brother's book and my brother reads books only if the author died a really long time ago (aka: the classics I find boring and only read if forced for school. And sometimes not even then.), and it's basically a comedic rant about a bunch of topics I don't have a specific interest in.

4. Ready or Not by Meg Cabot (sequel to All American Girl)
Hated it. Noooo Meg Cabot noooo. Why? I had no idea this one was going to be uncomfortable and then it ended up being all about sex. It just...nooooo. Creeeeepy things. 

5. Soulless by Gail Carriger
Loved it. Another non-YA book so I was a little wary at first. It runs rampant with paranormal creatures. The first book since that one book (you can probably guess which one) involving both vampires and werewolves that I wanted to read. A book that doesn't take itself too seriously. I highly recommend this series!