Book Blogger Hop (4)

Book Blogger Hop

The book blogger hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books a fellow book blogger, that gives book bloggers the chance to follow, support, and connect with other bloggers.

This week's question:
“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”

My favorite "banned book" is Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Oh my God, I loved that book. Ockler is one of my favorite writers, her style is beautiful and effortless and everything I look for in a book. Honestly, I'm not quite sure why this book is on the challenged list? Because the author chooses to portray REAL teenagers? Even so, this book is pretty light compared to some reads. Everything about Twenty Boy Summer is wonderful. It's emotional, raw, and real. It's more of an emotional journey than anything else. And there are important lessons and messages too. Everyone should read this book! It's one of my all time favorites.
 

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September, That's a Wrap

JUST READ THIS BOOK. DO IT.
Am I the only one who felt like September stretched on forever? I think it's the whole going back to school thing. It's hard adjusting from lazy summers full of reading and writing to waking up at six every morning. And my life is consumed by homework. Six honors classes will do that though xP

I've barely written a thing this month. It's tragic, I know. 

Book wise, it was actually a better reading month than I thought it would be. Last year, I only read one book in September. This year, I read seven. So that's something!

Here are my top three:
1) BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young
2) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
3) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

GAH BLOOD RED ROAD AND DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE JUST OMG READ THEM.

I'm doing really good with my 100 book goal--I think I might even exceed it! I'm at 88 right now.


When I'm not doing homework or reading, you can find me dancing, at student council (the greatest place ever), or in the school's Vocal Pointe and Jazz Choir.

Oh yeah, and I do sleep. Occassionally.



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ARC Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

VIRTUOSITY will be released October 18th by Simon Pulse. I read this book through Galley Grab.

Let me just say that this book was a pleasant surprise. A book such as this, with the story revolving around a musical prodigy, can go either way, in my opinion. I've read amazing ones, such as IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT, but I've also read not-so-great ones too. I wasn't sure where VIRTUOSITY would fall--but it ended up being a solid read that I thoroughly enjoyed--and possibly even loved.

Martinez's writing style was beautiful. She was wonderful at describing everything and making me feel. I know little about classical music, and while the main character Carmen is a classical violinist, it didn't matter how little my knowledge was. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew more about the world of classical music. The path Martinez takes you through this story is effortless and wonderful. I was really impressed, as this is a debut.

The characters were all fleshed out and real. I really connected with Carmen and felt her emotional struggle, and how the competition and the violin were beginning to get to her. How despite her liking Jeremy--she could never fully trust him, as he was the competition. And I loved Jeremy! First off, he's British. Bonus points right there. But really, it was just his personality. How he felt like he had to be cocky at first, but really he could be so sincere. How he was so determined to win the Guarneri for his brother--who has muscular dystrophy. I loved the connection I felt to these characters--and how I was rooting for them all the way! I loved their scenes together--from when he takes her to a Jazz club to when she takes him to a White Sox game. So cute.

Now as for Carmen's mother, she was the perfect antagonist. And I would say that she was unrealistic, but the is, she wasn't unrealistic at all. She was an opera singer who lost her voice--and her career. So as a result, she's living vicariously through her daughters violin career. She'll do anything to make sure her daughter wins--she even makes Carmen take Inderal, a calming drug so that she doesn't get nervous during performances. While she could be a little extreme, she had motives, and she did feel remorse when things got taken too far.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with VIRTUOSITY. I didn't realize just how much I liked it until I started writing this review and realized that I didn't have a bad thing to say about it. I loved how romance wasn't the main plot--but instead just part of Carmen's journey of finding herself and figuring out what she really wants. Fantastic debut, I definitely recommend reading it! I'm keeping Jessica Martinez on my radar.






Possession by Elana Johnson


Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


I was SO excited to read this book. I've heard mixed things about it, but I'm a sucker for dystopia and I thought the premise was promising. POSSESSION had good moments, it did. But overall, it was such a disappointment for me. Just note that I have just previously read BLOOD RED ROAD and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, both incredible, amazing reads. So I might be judging this book a tad harsher than I normally would.
For me I had two major problems. The pacing and the characters.

The Pacing: It was just off for me. Way too fast, in my opinion. Vi was supposedly so in love with Zenn, and then a chapter later, she's so attracted to Jag. There just wasn't enough world building, and everything moved so fast that it just didn't feel realistic to me. The plot, the romance, everything. Almost to the point where I was like "what the heck is going on?"

The Characters: This is what did it for me, honestly. I could never connect with Vi. I never got that emotional attachment that made me care about what happened to her. Her voice was sarcastic, which I normally love, but this one just felt forced to me. I never felt like I really got to knew her. But I did like Jag, a lot. His characterization was solid, in my opinion. But everyone else was just kind of blah for me. And the thing is, no matter how good a book is, if I don't connect with the main character, it doesn't even matter. And that was the problem with this book. And of course there has to be a love triangle. Because, why wouldn't there be?

What I did like: This is why I'm conflicted. Because there were some great moments in this book. There just needed to be more of these fabulous moments! There were some solid action scenes throughout the story. And there were lots of twists and turns. Jags character was awesome. There were some great moments and fabulous ideas sprinkled throughout POSSESSION, particularly all the mind control, that I just felt could be better developed.

What it really comes down to is this just wasn't a read for me, in all honesty. It's one of those books like DIVERGENT, where everyone either seems to love it or hate it. I was on-the-fence about DIVERGENT, and I felt the same way about this book. And while I didn't hate POSSESSION (because I do feel like it had promise) I just wasn't feeling it for the most part. And the problem is that I went into it with such high expectations. And it had the unfortunate luck of following books that I was like OMG!!!!!!!!!!! about. Though I did focus on the negatives more in this review, it is an okay read.

But yeah, I do recommend giving it a shot. See which category you fall into.

Want to win it now? Then enter the giveaway!

I'd give it 2.5 stars, but I always round up.






GIVEAWAY: Possession by Elana Johnson

I know, you're probably like OMG, Marisa, another giveaway?
Yes, another giveaway.

I had originally bought Possession with the intention of giving it away. I did this for quite a few books that I was able to get for 70% off during Borders final days (sobs). I'm currently reading it right now, so a review will be up in a day or two.

Now that I have the resources, I'll be trying to do more giveaways. :)














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I Bet You Didn't Know

I totally stole this post from Paige. It seemed like fun. :)

Here are some things you wouldn't know about me.

1.
I have a pet guinea pig. His name is Patches. He is adorable.


2.
I've swam with the dolphins.


3.
My dream is to go to Australia. I hope to study abroad there in college.


4.
One of my major goals in life is to visit all 50 states. I've hit nine so far. (But I live in MA. The surrounding states are quite small.)

5.
If I don't become a published author, I want to be a neurologist or a psychologist. The brain has always fascinated me.


6.
My dream school since I've been like two is Harvard.


7.
I have the frog pillow pet. His name is Kermit.


8.
I want this poster. So bad. DFTBA.


9.
Tap is my favorite style of dance. There's just something about it that I've always loved.



10.
I am so blind. My prescription is like -4.00. Thank God for contacts.


11.
I love, love, love blue nail polish.


What wouldn't I know about you? o.O



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ARC Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE will be released on September 27th by Little Brown. A big thanks to Little Brown for the ARC!

What? Huh? How am I supposed to form the coherent sentences necessary to write this review??? Where the heck did this book come from??? Because it's freaking brilliant. On so many levels. Like whoa, I literally just finished it, and I'm like "OMG!" Gahhh!

First of all, this concept is unlike anything I have ever read. It's so unique in the way that it takes cliches and totally uncliche-ifys them until it's this new, fresh, insanely captivating story that is unlike anything you have ever read. I don't even have the right words to describe this book. Only that while I was reading, at first I never quite knew exactly what was going on. I only knew that I needed to know more. So I kept reading. I kept delving into this crazy world of angels and chimaera and magic and hope and pain and brilliance. Gah! And it's definitely one of those books where you don't recognize it's brilliance until you finish it and are just sitting there with that stupid "I can't believe she left us like that!" look on your face. The twists and turns encountered in this book are unbelievable, and this story takes forbidden romance to a whole new level. I loved every moment of it!

And Laini Taylor's writing just blew me away. This book relies on prose rather than dialogue, and the prose and passages in this book were wonderful. It took a book about angels and devils and magic worlds and made parts of it totally relatable. Some passages really just hit you with this raw honesty and emotion. And the descriptions and all the history and back story was told wonderfully. She didn't always necessarily stick with the "show not tell" rule, but her tellings were so effortless and beautiful that it didn't matter. Also, as I've said before, I prefer first person to third. But I can recognize when a book needs to be told in third person, and this one totally did. This goes onto my shelf as one of my favorite third-person books...a hard feat to reach with me. But this book was so, ah! Just read this.

Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.
And character-wise they were all wonderful and developed. I loved that Karou was so unique and part of this other world--yet a lot of the time she just seemed like a normal, immature teenager. I didn't quite know what to make of Akiva at first, but I ended up loving him. And while I loved being taken to that other, magical world, some of my favorite scenes in the book were Karou with her human best friend, Zuzana. There were a ton of characters, and they were all handled very well, in my opinion.

But, oh my God. Why that cliffhanger ending?! Whhhhhhhhhhhy???







ABCs of Me!

So I saw this post on a couple of my friend's blogs, and I thought it would be fun!

A.Age- 15

B.Bed size-Twin. Small but still oh-so-comfortable.

C.Chore that you hate- Washing the floors. It's just so tedious.

D.Dogs- No dogs. But I want one someday.

E. Essential start to your day- Makeup. Especially eyeliner.

F. Favorite Color- Pink and teal

G. Gold or Silver?- With Silver (or white gold...hehe)

H. Height- 5'3

I. Instruments you play- I played the clarinet for 3 years in middle school, now I dabble with piano a little bit and sing.

J. Job title- Full time student. Aspiring author.

K. Kids- I want two or three. Preferably girls. Though little boys are adorable too!

L. Live- Massachusetts

M. Mother's name- Margery

N. Nicknames- There isn't really a nickname for Marisa. Though my dance teacher will drop the 'a' and call me 'Maris'

O. Overnight hospital stays- I got my tonsils out the summer before 4th grade. That summer I found out that yes, it is possible to get sick of ice cream.

P. Pet peeves- Fake people and liars. I've encountered SO MANY of those. Please, just tell it to me straight. I'm not stupid. Also text talk, and dog-eared books.

Q. Quote from a movie- Tough. I'm better with book quotes, haha! Here's one: "You have to learn to walk. You have to learn to talk. You have to wear that totally ridiculous hat your grandma bought you. You have no say in the matter. And when you get a little older, even though you get to choose your hats, you don't get to choose what they put in those meatballs in the cafeteria, or when to fall in love. Sometimes things happens and you just have to deal." --How To Deal (I feel like this might be cheating considering the movie is based off of Sarah Dessen books.)

R. Right or left handed- Right.

S. Siblings- 13 year old sister

T. Time you wake up- The alarm clock goes off at 5:45. I actually get out of back around 6:00-6:05.

U. Underwear? ???

V. Vegetable you hate- Green beans

W. What makes you run late? My mom. Not being able to drive yet, she's my ride everywhere. And she's generally on the slow-side when it comes to getting ready to go out.

X. X-rays you've had- Head/neck x-rays. Mouth ones for braces and such.

Y. Yummy food that you make- Not big on the whole cooking thing at the moment...

Z. Zoo animal- Monkeys! :)

So that was my ABC's of me! What is yours?

100 Follower Giveaway!

I've finally hit 100 followers! Thank you so much to all of my followers. Every single comment means the world to me.

So do you know what it's time for?
A GIVEAWAY!

I'd like to call the Oldies and Newbies giveaway.
Here's how it goes.
I'm putting the option of four books up for grabs. There will be two winners.
The Grade Prize winner will receive first choice of the books AND either a book of their choice (up to a $10 dollar value) from The Book Depository OR a $10 Amazon giftcard. Your choice.
The second place winner will get their choice out of the remaining three books.

These are your choices:


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Also, since I know some of you may already have these books, so I put in a "none, I just want the new book/giftcard" option. If you win, and that was your choice, I will then pick a third winner to give the book to.

So in total, two books and one choice book/giftcard will be given away.

So fill out the form, and spread the word!
**US Only. I am a teenager in high school with limited funds. :P
Giveaway closes in two weeks, on October 4th








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Tumblr

I recently joined (or rather re-joined) the tumblr community.
I've had one of a couple years, but it kind of fizzled out due to blogger.
But I'm active on it again, and I actually really like it.

Essentially, it's microblogging.
Blogging through mini posts, pictures, links, videos, etc.
It's cool seeking out the perfect image that captures how you're feeling in that moment, and posting it.
It's also a lot quicker than traditional blogging.

On my tumblr, there is/will be more personal posts regarding my life.
I throw a fun/upbeat/positive story on this book here and there.
But tumblr is for times when I don't always feel so positive, you know?

It's just a fun alternative and a cool community.
If you don't have one, I'd definitely recommend joining.

If you don't have one, post the link in the comments and I'll definitely follow.

Mine is http://storyofadancingwriter.tumblr.com





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Blood Red Road by Moira Young


Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Oh my God. I have never read anything in my life that I can compare to Blood Red Road. And I don't think I'll ever read anything that compares to it. I just finished it, and I'm stumbling over what to say. So I apologize if this comes out in an incoherent ramble while I'm trying to compose my thoughts. It's--wow. This book packs a punch in a way no other book ever has for me. Yes, it is that good.
First of all, it's unlike anything I've ever read stylistically. While the dialect and lack of quotation marks is a little jarring at first...after the first few pages, you don't even notice anymore. And now that I've finished, I can't imagine the book being written any other way. The narrative was perfect. Simple and meaningful, with such a strong, different voice from typical YA. The way this book was written was hard to pull off. Yet it was done effortlessly. Moira Young, where did you come from?!
The plot continued to be a total surprise as I was reading. The pitch is enticing--but super vague. I never really knew what to expect. And while the descriptions are perfect and I can picture everything in my head, I still wonder "where are they?" It's like Moira Young made up her own perfectly disturbing world, and throws the reader right into the middle of it. Saba's journey to get her brother back throws any other journey story in the dust. It grabs you and takes a hold of you, and you can't stop reading. The pacing was spot on, nothing felt like it was dragging or too fast.
The characters were all PERFECT. Saba was the perfect balance of strong and weak. She was so flawed to the point of me wanting to smack some sense into her sometimes, but nothing in this book remained truer than her love for her brother. The way so Saba. It was who she was, and she felt real. Every. Single. Character. felt real. The bickering between Saba and her nine-year-old sister Emmi was relatable. I loved Jack, and how despite the feelings between him and Saba, the romance was painfully slow, without anything really happening until the end. Because Saba's focus was her brother, and she never forgot that.
I cannot begin to describe the epicness of this book. It was everything I looked for and more in a read. Real characters who made me feel, a unique plot unlike anything I've ever read, lots of action, and a writing style that's in its own category. Blood Red Road is in a league of its own, and will forever remain on my favorites shelf. It definitely has lived up to the hype. Everyone needs to read this book!






100 Books (And 100 Followers!)

Eek, I just hit 100 followers! Thank you so much to all my followers, you guys are awesome! I really appreciate you all supporting my blog. Look out for a 100 follower giveaway to come out in the next few days! :D

I found this post over on Beyond Word's blog, and I thought it'd be fun to do! It's the Top 100 list of YA books/series. This is what I've read.

Bold = I've read it

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4) Read the first three
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3) Read the first.
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3) Read the first, probably won't read the others.
18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4) Read the first two
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3) Read 2 of the 3.
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Read the first couple.
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (Read the first few)
85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3) I've only read the first 2
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

I've read 32 books/series on the list. How many have you read?


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Book Blogger Hop (3)

Book Blogger Hop

The book blogger hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books a fellow book blogger, that gives book bloggers the chance to follow, support, and connect with other bloggers.

This week's question:
“As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?”

Oh, I'm so bad at writing profiles! I hate talking about myself, I never really know quite what to say. I try to keep my profiles short and to the point, but give enough for people to get a sense of what kind of person I am, without getting too personal. The way I have it set up is very poem-like, and then I keep a running lists of favorites (books, movies, TVs shows, even foods!) as another way to relate to other people and book lovers. :)


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A Life of Essays and Equations


These pictures just about sum up my life at the moment.








I swear, teachers think our lives revolve around doing work for them.
Which is totally affecting my blog postings.
And reading.
Blood Red Road is great, from what I've read so far.
But I've only been able to read 90 pages.
Since Monday.
This is horrible.
And the year has only just begun.


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The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann



Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

I haven't read any middle grade work in a while. The last time was when I read Percy Jackson last year, and I LOVED that. I feel like for the most part I skipped over the middle grade/Independent reader section when I was that age--heading straight for YA. The only true MG that I've really read was HP (even though I consider that more YA) and Percy Jackson. Both series that I absolutely LOVE. When I read the description for this book, I knew I'd like it.
And I was right. THIS book is why I do occasionally go to MG. Great, unique plot, awesome characters that I felt like I befriended as I was reading, and great writing. The Unwanteds is definitely a quick and enjoyable read.
First off, I love what McMann did with the plot. It was unlike anything I've ever seen, the mixture of fantasy and dystopia like that, especially for a middle grade audience. The world building was fantastic throughout the entire novel. Basically, if you're creative at heart and pose any threat to Quill's society, you're Unwanted, and the Quillens believe that you are being sentenced to death. But, instead you are brought to Artime, a magical world where being creative is a good thing. I loved all the creativity that went into this novel, using paintbrushes and music and soliloquies to perform spells was really smart thinking, in my opinion. I loved the talking blackboards! And all the action towards the end was very well written for its intended target audience.
The characterization was good as well. This book is told from third omniscient, so you got to see a little bit into everyone's perspective. Normally, I'm not a big fan of this, but it totally worked for this book. The fact that the main hero and antagonist were twins put an interesting spin on things. And I love seeing Alex's struggle when it came to Aaron, his twin. It just about broke my heart how much Alex missed Aaron, when Aaron couldn't care less, and was essentially the one who made Alex an Unwanted in the first place. I loved Alex's friends--especially Lani. I suspect McMann was setting up some romance for them later in the series. And the adults and teachers played a huge role in the book. All of them--especially Mr. Tomorrow--were well done as well.

The Unwanteds is a middle grade cross-genre book unlike anything I have ever read. With a spot-on middle grade voice, such a unique plot, and fantastic world building, I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Quill. And I'm so recommending this to my 10yo cousin!





How has it already been 10 years?


I cannot believe it's been 10 years since that horrible day, September 11th 2001. I was only five years old when it happened, and people always assume that I was too young to remember it or understand it. But I do remember, and I did understand.

I had just started Kindergarten. I was in the morning session, 9:00-12:00. I remember coming home, skipping up my driveway in my denim dress. It was nice outside, so I wanted to know if one of my friends at the time could come over and play.

But, my dad was home when I got home. That was weird. He works in Boston, a good hour away, so it was way too early for him to be home on a normal day.

"Hi, Daddy!" I said. I could tell immediately from the look on his face that something was wrong. He was totally disconnected, staring at the TV in shock and disbelief.

I turned to see what the heck he was watching--only to see the footage of the plane crashing into the second tower, and hearing the shock and panic of the newsman's voice. My eyes widened in disbelief and I burst into tears, because though I didn't know exactly what was happening, I knew it was bad.

My dad explained to be as simply as he could that there are good people and bad people. And sometimes, for reasons we don't know, these bad people want to hurt good people. And I understood that all these innocent people were dying, and that the country was being attacked.

I remember some of the footage directly after too. My parents never tried to shelter me from the news and the stories. A lot of tears were shed, and they're still being shed on this day 10 years later. I see the stories about kids my age and even younger who lost parents that day, and it just breaks my heart.

Especially when people I know could've lost parents that day.

I know a girl (we used to be friends, but we aren't close anymore) who's mom was in the first building, because she was on business for work. She was on a low floor, so she was a lucky one that got out, and she did a lot of work on the scene, aiding others and helping people get out.

And this story freaks me out more than anything.

My sister's friend's parents had planned a vacation. This girl's grandmother was supposed to be watching her and her older brother while her parents were away. But her grandmother got sick, so her parents have to cancel.

Her parents were supposed to be on the flight out of Boston that crashed into the first tower. If her grandmother hadn't gotten sick, if they didn't have to cancel that trip, this girl and her brother would be orphans.

That's so crazy.

It seems like this topic was unavoidable. It's all that's on the news, to the point where I've had to turn it off because I didn't feel like crying anymore. It's so horrible, but it's so important to never forget.

My thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones on this day, and the heros who lost their lives in order to save others. These heroes will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.


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"Ask Me Anything" Video Response

Thanks for all the awesome questions! Hope you enjoy the video :)



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Book Blogger Hop (2)

Book Blogger Hop
The book blogger hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books, that gives book bloggers the chance to follow, support, and connect with fellow book bloggers.

This week's question:
“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

I could never give up reading! That's just, like, not an option. LOL! My all-time favorite genre is contemporary YA/fiction, and I also love post-apocolyptic dystopias. If I couldn't read those anymore, I'd probably delve further into YA paranormal or adult lit. I'm not a HUGE paranormal fan, but I do have some favorites in that area. As long as the writing is solid and I can connect with the characters, I'm willing to read it. And there's so much to explore adult-lit wise, that I'm bound to find something to love!

Side note: Tomorrow I'm making my "Ask Me Anything" video. Please leave me some more questions! It can be about anything and everything. You can leave them in the comments here, or check out the original post. Thanks :)



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