Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry

TITLE: Waistcoats and Weaponry
Book 3 in the Finishing School series
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger
PUBLISHED: November 4rth, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk
PREMISE: Sophronia goes on an adventure to help her friend Sidheag that has some unforseen consequences.
MY REVIEW: You all know by know I love this world and this series. So I don't have to tell you there's major pro-bias going on here.
As always with Carriger this was another just plain fun adventure. This time we get to spend a little more time outside the school and get a peek into what's going on in the packs during this time. There's great development where Sophronia's romantic entanglements are concerned and where the character of Soap is concerned.
Definitely cannot wait until the next book. In the meantime, we have the new series about Prudence to tide us over.
WHO SHOULD READ: Gail Carriger fans, steampunk fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five corsets

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: This Shattered World

TITLE: This Shattered World
Book 2 in the These Broken Stars
AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
PUBLISHED: December 23rd, 2014
GENRE: Sci-fi, Romance
PREMISE: In the same universe as These Broken Stars, a rebel and a commander of the army he opposes fall in love...
MY REVIEW: Sigh. This is yet another sequel that I didn't love as much as the first. I hate it when that happens. Again, I don't think there was any drop in quality or anything. This...just wasn't what I was expecting.
I guess I was expecting the story from the previous book to continue because I had a lot of unanswered questions. Instead, we get entirely new characters and entirely new problems. While this did add to the world-building a bit, I was left wondering why we got these two and not a continuation of the story I expected.
This one did still have interesting characters and a good romance. There were also some interesting world things as with the last one. So it's not a total wash. If you were a fan of the first one and don't mind new characters, you'll be pleased. It just...wasn't what I expected.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of These Broken Stars, Romance fans, Space Opera fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five romeo and juliets in space

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Mortal Gods

TITLE: Mortal Gods
Book 2 in the Goddess War series
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake
PUBLISHED: October 14th, 2014
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Mythology twists
PREMISE: The war between the gods continues and alliances are tested...
MY REVIEW: Kendare Blake is an extremely underrated author. Sometimes the book world is unfair that way. I'm not saying things are bad. Not at all. In fact I think the flood of new books we get every year is fantastic. Every year we get new voices and new ideas and there are a TON of options out there for people to read. If anything, I think we're kind of in the golden age of publishing. Especially where YA is concerned. It's just that with all this new stuff sometimes really good authors like Blake get overlooked because people just have so much to pay attention too.
But seriously YA readers, pay attention to this author. Her books are entertaining as hell. True, this is sort of like the Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini, but I personally think it's a tad better (and definitely not as problematic as that series could sometimes be).
This sequel did a great job of furthering the story while adding new elements and new character development. It's actually a very good middle book, which is no easy feat. I can't wait for the next one which promises Demeter getting in on the action.
WHO SHOULD READ: Antigoddess fans, Anna Dressed in Blood fans, Percy Jackson fans, Starcrossed Trilogy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five prophets

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Read With My Book Club If I Had a Book Club

This is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish

Okay so...I've never joined a book club. I've honestly just never had any interest in the idea. I'm also fairly certain I'd be a bad book club member. I love discussing books with people, don't get me wrong. But discussing just ONE book? Nah, can't do it. If I had a book club it'd probably be less, book of the month stuff and more, "okay what's everyone read? You first! Don't be shy!" Because I love knowing what everyone reads and get some of my best book recommendations by just spying on everyone's currently reading lists. But from what I hear, mostly book clubs do one book per month and just discuss that. Which, if that's your thing. Great. Me...I wouldn't be very helpful because I'd want to go from that one book to this other book that's kind of related, to that author's whole backlist. I'd be a derailing of the discussion kind of member for sure. So it's in everyone's best interest that I just don't join.

So this is less focused on a specific kind of book. I'm just putting books on here that would probably generate lots of discussion which I hear is what book clubs want.

1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Why: I literally just finished this one yesterday (I'm slow like that, another reason I'd not be a good book club member, I want to read books on my own terms and not based on when the club decides to get to it). It's tailor made for discussion. It goes into: racism, class privilege, the disadvantages of living on reservations, white savior mentality, bullying, and just so much more.

2) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Why: First, I'd advise to just go ahead and do the whole trilogy. It is absolutely possible to read these three in a month. Things you can talk about: lack of empathy in the entertainment industry, class privileges, tyranny, propaganda during a wartime.

3) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why: Can generate discussions about the 1960s Nigerian civil war, can talk about colonization, racism, how you can be racist without even meaning to be, how war effects all, how revolutions are not always black and white.

4) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Why: Can generate discussions about talk of WWII, found families, how things weren't exactly black and white in Germany regarding the Nazis, book censorship, love of reading and how it brings people together.
Also when you run out of things to talk about, you just pop in the movie and watch it together and do the time honored tradition of book versus movie.

5) Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Why: This could generate SO much discussion about feminism. You can go from what it means to be feminist (and hopefully correct any wrong assumptions people have about it in your group, because I guarantee that there is at least ONE person thinks feminism is about hating men), to how to enjoy problematic entertainment but not be blind to its faults.

6) The Handmaid's Tale by Margeret Atwood

Why: Honestly, just any Margeret Atwood book will do well for book club. Heck, be ambitious and just tell people to pick at least two Atwood books and you can have a discussion about ALL of them.

7) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Why: Like Atwood, I would just do any Maya Angelou book.

8) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Why: It's just good damn it. Like Hunger Games, I would just do the whole trilogy at once.

9) American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Why: Again, any Neil Gaiman book is interesting and going to generate lots of discussion. This one is probably your best bet though.

10) Anything John Green

Why: He's just one of those authors who puts a lot of topics in his books.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: When

AUTHOR: Victoria Laurie
PUBLISHED: January 6th, 2015
GENRE: Mystery, Magical Realism
PREMISE: A girl who sees the date everyone is going to die gets in trouble when a serial killer is on the loose.
MY REVIEW: I admit, I was hesitant in picking this one up because I'd tried the author's adult series and didn't like it very much. However as always, I like to give second chances. In this case I'm glad I did, because I actually wound up quite liking this one.
It's got a unique concept: a girl who sees the date everyone is going to die and it goes into how the character deals with all of that. I do wish the author had gone into the WHY does she see it part, but at the very least, I do think she handled the how the character deals with it rather realistically.
The mystery is probably the best part of this book. It is honestly nice and twisty like a good thriller should be. I do think at times the author tried too hard to emphasize how hard Maddie's life was. Those parts got more then a little over-the-top. Literally, she would walk out of the house and someone would be cruel to her. Or she'd be fine and then her mother would do something. It was just never-ending and I sympathized, I did, but at the same time I couldn't help but feel the only reason this was put into the book was to make me sympathize, because it didn't really have much to do with the main plot. If anything, it started to feel like filler material.
But the good far out weighs the bad here. If you're in the mood for a paranormal-type thriller this definitely should do the trick.
WHO SHOULD READ: Mystery fans, thriller mystery fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five weird gifts

Many thanks to the publishers for the Net Galley of this book.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thematic Sunday: Books for Those Who Liked Galavant

So the mini-series Galavant is ending on ABC today. This probably surprises no one here, but I freaking loved this show. So I'm a little sad about this. For those of you already going through withdrawal, here are some books to check out if you loved this zany series.

1) The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Why: This is zany fantasy adventure much in the spirit of Galavant. Sadly, there is no singing.

2) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Why: same sort of humor. Instead of fantasy adventure, we have a couple of angels trying to have an apocalypse.

3) The Knight and Rogue series by Hilari Bell

Why: Maybe you loved the buddies on an adventure aspect of Galavant? In that case, I highly suggest this series. Where a noble decides to be a knight...despite the fact that there aren't knights anymore.

4) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams

Why: Same type of humor/adventurous spirit as Galavant, but in space.

5) Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbelestier

Why: Same type of humor. This one deals with vampires and is very metaish.

6) Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

Why: Again, same type of humor. Alexia would fit right into the Galavant world.

7) The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander

Why: A little more serious then Galavant, but this does have that yay adventure feel to it. There are also some fun things in it like snarky witches who don't have time for the boy hero's nonsense. Oh and there's a magical pig.

8) The Sister's Grimm series by Michael Buckley

Why: A humorous look at what would happen if fairy-tale beings where actually all real and living in a small town together. No, this is NOT Once Upon a Time. It actually goes in a different direction. It is also not Fables. All three of those series are completely different. They just have a similar set up.

9) Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Why: Maybe feminist humor is your thing? Then I highly recommend this book.

10) Myth Adventures series by Robert Lynn Asprin

Why: Old-school humorous fantasy adventure series, much in the same vein as Discworld.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Review: Empire of Shadows

TITLE: Empire of Shadows
Book 2 in Bhinian Empire series
AUTHOR: Miriam Forster
PUBLISHED: November 4rth, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance
PREMISE: A girl takes up a job guarding a noble woman which turns out to be more complicated then she bargained for.
MY REVIEW: Some of you may recall that I loved City of a Thousand Dolls last year (or was it the year before? I forget when I read it exactly). Definitely one of the many underrated YA fantasy books out there. So I was really looking forward to this one.
Now, I wasn't disappointed in it, persay. I do think this was still good. There was still fabulous writing, a great fantasy world, and interesting characters. It just...didn't interest me as much as City of a Thousand Dolls. I think part of that was this one focused way more on romance. While I don't believe romance is a bad thing, when you're focusing on that instead of far more interesting mystery plots...then I tend to get frustrated. Especially if your book is not even billed as a romance in the first place. Seriously, authors, if I want romance I'll pick up a romance novel. Don't promise me a fantasy book and then do twenty percent fantasy and eighty percent romance. That's false advertising. It's annoying. Stop it.
So...while this wasn't bad...I just didn't get into it as much as the first one.
WHO SHOULD READ: romantic fantasy fans, fans of City of a Thousand Dolls (though you don't have to read that to understand this book)
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shapeshifters

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review: In the Afterlight

TITLE: In the Afterlight
Book 3 in the Darkest Minds Trilogy
AUTHOR: Alexandra Bracken
PUBLISHED: October 28th, 2014
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: Ruby and company take a final stand against the government.
MY REVIEW: Last books in trilogies are always tricky beasts. I don't envy authors whose job it is to finish any trilogy, especially one that becomes popular. Unfortunately with the way readers are, you're probably going to tick off some reader some where because you didn't do what they wanted you to do (and I can go on forever about how annoying I find that kind of entitled thinking but I'll save that rant for another day).
So Bracken had a pretty daunting task here. But I think she succeeded in ending this satisfactorily. Was I wild about everything going on here? Not exactly. Some of it was a tad predictable, especially if you read a lot of these dystopian things. But it still made for a good read. There were also a few things I didn't see coming, like a certain death.
Ultimately, I say job well done, even if this wasn't the most twisty ending ever. On a scale of dystopian endings from bad being Allegiant to good being Mockingjay, I say this is somewhere in the middle.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dystopian fans, fans of the first two books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five uprisings ending things pretty damn quickly

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review: The Iron Trial

TITLE: The Iron Trial
Book 1 in the Magisterium series
AUTHOR: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
PUBLISHED: September 9th, 2014
CATEGORY: Middle-Grade
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: In a world where everyone wants to go to magic school, Cass doesn't. But unfortunately, he has no choice.
MY REVIEW: I was just thinking to myself about how I needed to get into another magical boarding school type thing and lo and behold, one appears. I love fantasy set ups like this one: misfit goes to magic school and finds friendship. That's basically what this series is, as well as one that throws in diversity and snark.
Basically, I loved this. It's like the perfect mixture of angst and fun. The result is a massively entertaining book. True, it tended to info-dump a bit, but for the most part, this was a good set-up series debut that didn't treat its readers like they were dumb (something middle-grade can sometimes be guilty of). That cliff hanger at the end will especially leave you wanting the next book immediately.
This book was pretty much what I've come to expect from Black and Clare and they delivered. It was a fun ride and I can't wait for more.
WHO SHOULD READ: Holly Black fans, Cassandra Clare fans, Harry Potter fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five snarky misfits

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Garden Spells

TITLE: Garden Spells
Waverly Family series Book 1
AUTHOR: Sarah Addison Allen
GENRE: Magical Realism
PREMISE: Two sisters with a troubled relationship connect after one of them returns home.
MY REVIEW: This week's library find is a magical realism book. A rather popular one from what I understand. Thankfully this went slightly better then most magical realism books go for me, but I still wasn't really into it.
Like most magical realism, it has a slightly interesting set up. In this one, all the ladies in the Waverly family have a gift. A magical gift. Sometimes it's just knowing when you're going to need something. Or it's just being able to make remedies for things using herbs. Once again, no one seems to know why this gift exists. Once again, it's just accepted as one of those things, you know? Instead, I'm apparently supposed to find the romantic drama more interesting then the magic gifts. At least here, we get the more complicated family dynamics so if you're into complicated families, then this will be for you.
Otherwise, it's what I've come to expect from the magical realism genre. Which means I was rather bored throughout it. I think I'll give Isabel Allende a try because everyone recommends her, but after her, I'm done with this genre. It very clearly is not for me.
WHO SHOULD READ: Magical realism fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five set-ups that are not explored to their fullest potential

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thematic Sunday: Books Dealing With Civil Rights

Since it's Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, this week's theme is books about civil rights. I'm being extremely open about what civil rights are featured here. It's going to basically cover any sort of oppression going on, be it black, jewish, personal rights, etc. It will also cover people heavily involved in civil rights movements such as Martin Luther King Jr.

1) The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.

Why: I should hope why would be obvious. Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie Selma yet, please do so.

2) The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Why: Malcolm X is just as important to civil rights as MLK. Yet he doesn't get nearly the same recognition as MLK does.

3) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Why: This was one of the first in the 1950s to really show the bigotry that went on in the United States.

4) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Why: Just read it.

5) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why: The US was not the only one going through civil rights issues in the sixties. This book is about the Nigerian civil war.

6) Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Why: About a girl living in the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of el Trujillo.

7) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Why: Because it's Maya Angelou.

8) The Diary of Anne Frank

Why: Well, hopefully if you've had any sort of decent schooling, you've already read this by now. If you haven't, go pick it up immediately. I also hope I don't have to explain to you who Anne Frank is and why she's important.

9) The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Why: if you know anything about the Color Purple, you know why.

10) Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Why: historical fiction novel dealing with a budding romance while Japanese-Americans were being treated like dirt during the 1940s due to what happened in Pearl Harbor.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

TITLE: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Book 3 in the Raven Cycle series
AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater
PUBLISHED: October 21rst, 2014
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
PREMISE: Blue and the guys continue working with the ley lines while dealing with personal things.
MY REVIEW: I admit, it took me awhile to warm up to this series. I liked the first one well enough but thought it was rather slow, the second one was much better, and now with the third one I've finally fallen for this series.
As with the other two, my main reason for loving this series is the fascinating group dynamic between the boys as well as with Blue. The way they interact with each other is just fascinating to read. Stiefvater nails the complications of friendship. Especially when you have such different mindsets like these characters have.
I do still think the series is rather slow moving, but the real shiny part of this series is character development and prose anyway, so I think in the long run this doesn't matter. Stiefvater has developed quite a following so I'm pretty sure nothing I say here will matter. You've either figured out if you're a fan or hers or not already.
WHO SHOULD READ: Stiefvater fans, fans of the first 2 books
MY RATING: Four out of Five boys with issues

Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: Let the Right One In

TITLE: Let the Right One In
AUTHOR: John Ajvide Lindqvist
PUBLISHED: 2007 (in the US)
GENRE: Horror, Vampires
PREMISE: In a small suburb, a bullied boy makes friends with a strange girl while people are getting murdered in his town.
MY REVIEW: So, technically, this book should be with the L authors and it should have been awhile for me to get to it. However, my library for some reason, had it with the A authors. Someone must have made a shelving mistake or something. But I've been meaning to read it anyway, so here we are.
First, I'm going to give a warning: this is straight up horror. If you want some creepy stuff and not a whole lot of gore then...this book probably will not be for you. There's some sick stuff happening in it. It's not just limited to the murders either. Some of the bullying that Oskar goes through is horrific and I imagine might be triggering for some. If you're looking for happy sexy vampire times...this book ain't it.
But if you're a Stephen King fan who loves that sort of thing. Come on in, friend. This is super creepy, is well written, and has some good psychological horror going on in it. It's good, it's just not for the faint of heart.
WHO SHOULD READ: horror fans, Stephen King fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five creepy vampire girls

Thursday, January 15, 2015

100 Best of Actual YA List: A Response to Time's Nonsense List

So, some of you may or may not be aware (or even not care) that TIME magazine has come up with a 100 Best Young Adult Fiction List. They do this every year and every year I get fed up. Because half of the books? NOT YA. They are either childrens/middle-grade or they are even adult (like the Princess Bride). Then there are a few random ones I've never heard of and I've been into YA for quite a few years now. While I don't kid myself into thinking I know every book out there, this is supposed to be a best of list not a obscure favorites list.Then there's the remarkable lack of diversity. Literally only nine books on there are either by a PoC or have any PoC and some of the ones such as Little House on the Prairie have some pretty damn racist portrayals of PoC. Along with lack of diversity, there is only ONE book with an LGBT character (and again, it's kind of a problematic portrayal). My mind boggles at that, especially considering the great strides towards getting more representation that has happened in YA as of late. Most Best Of lists usually should at least reflect the subject it is doing it's poll on. Like if you're going to do best fantasy, you better have Tolkien and Game of Thrones. This YA list isn't at all the YA section that I'm familiar with. I won't even go into the fact that they put Twilight on there.
Basically, this list annoys me. A LOT. I can't even remotely take it seriously. As a rebuttal, I've come up with my own list. My criteria for this list were that it had to A) be actual YA, or at the least a middle-grade/adult book that can be a considered both categories like Harry Potter/Percy Jackson, B) be a book that has been popular in YA for more than two years, and C) is actually good. Granted good is subjective, so this one is not going to have as much emphasis as the other two. But at the very least it has to be a book that people are still discussing heavily and are still excited about/recommend a lot.
I'm going in alphabetical order for everyone's sake. Some authors are also kind of what you would call staples in the YA world so I'll just be putting their names instead of a specific book they wrote. But some, I may put a book to start with.

1) Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
2) Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander
3) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
4) How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
5) Laurie Halse Anderson (would start with Speak)
6) V. C. Andrews (would start with Flowers in the Attic)
7) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
8) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
9) Holly Black (would start with Tithe)
10) Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
11) Judy Blume (would start with Forever)
12) Coe Booth (would start with Tyrell)
13) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares
14) Libba Bray (would start with A Great and Terrible Beauty)
15) Sarah Rees Brennan (would start with either Unspoken or Demon's Lexicon)
16) Meg Cabot (would start with Princess Diaries or The Mediator)
17) Enders Game by Orsen Scott Card (the author is a horrible bigot, but the book is still very relevant in YA)
18) Ally Carter (would start with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You)
19) Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
20) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
21) Cinda Williams Chima (would start with Warrior Heir or The Demon King)
22) Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
23) Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (quality is debatable but it's still immensely popular)
24) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
25) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
26) The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
27) The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
28) Sarah Dessen
29) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
30) Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
31) The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane
32) Alex Flinn (would start with Beastly)
33) Gayle Forman (would start with If I Stay)
34) Coraline by Neil Gaiman
35) Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl
36) Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
37) Gone series by Michael Grant
38) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
39) John Green (would start with Fault in Our Stars
40) Shannon Hale (would start with The Goose Girl)
41) Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
42) The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
43) Willow by Julia Hoban
44) Ellen Hopkins (would start with Crank)
45) Maureen Johnson (would start with 13 Little Blue Envelopes)
46) Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
47) Julie Kagawa (would start with The Iron King)
48) A.S. King (would start with Please Ignore Vera Dietz)
49) Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
50) Liar by Justine Larbelestier
51) Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
52) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
53) The Agency series by Y. S. Lee
54) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
55) David Levithan (would start with Boy Meets Boy)
56) The Giver by Lois Lowry
57) Ash by Malinda Lo
58) E. Lockhart (would start with Disreputable History of Frankie Landou-Banks)
59) Marie Lu (would start with Legend or Young Elites)
60) Melina Marchetta (would start with Jellicoe Road)
61) Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr
62) The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
63) Robin McKinley (would start with Beauty)
64) Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
65) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
66) Lauren Myracle (would start with either Shine or her internet girls series)
67) Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness
68) Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
69) Sarah Ockler
70) Lauren Oliver (would do either Before I Fall or Delirium first)
71) Kenneth Oppel (would start with Airborn or This Dark Endeavor)
72) James Patterson (would do first Maximum Ride book)
73) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
74) Diana Peterfreund (would start with Rampant)
75) Luna by Julie Anne Peters (warning though: apparently there are problematic things in it)
76) Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
77) Tamora Pierce (either do Sandry's Book or Alanna: the First Adventure)
78) Terry Pratchett (either do Nation or The Wee Free Men)
79) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
80) Matthew Quick
81) Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
82) Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
83) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
84) The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
85) Holes by Louis Sachar
86) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alere Saenz
87) The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
88) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
89) Unwind series by Neal Shusterman
90) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
91) Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
92) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
93) Maggie Stiefvater (would start with Scorpio Races)
94) Courtney Summers
95) Scott Westerfield (would start with Uglies)
96) Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
97) Gabrielle Zevin (would do Elsewhere and go from there)
98) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
99) The Diary of Anne Frank
100) The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (forget to add it above)

I don't kid myself into thinking this list is one hundred percent accurate. Everyone is going to have their own opinions on what's good or considered the best. I'm at least pretty sure I got the major ones in there, which is more then I can say for Times who didn't even have The Outsiders on their list.

Some books authors that I considered but were left out for various reasons ranging from I just don't know the work well enough to know if it should be counted to there are way more then one hundred good books/authors in YA: City of Beasts by Isabel Allende (never read, and people seem to be in conflict over whether it's YA or not), Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Simone Echols, Kody Keplinger, Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Jessica Day George, Allison Goodman, Sara Zarr, Divergent Trilogy, Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, Zoe Marriott, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draenan

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Gone Too Far

TITLE: Gone Too Far
AUTHOR: Natalie D. Richards
PUBLISHED: January 6th, 2015
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: A girl gets caught up in a revenge plot to take down her school's mean kids.
MY REVIEW: Drumroll ladies and gentlemen, for this is the first release of the year that I've read. I even read it the actual month it came out! I'm kind of proud of this.
All in all this was a good way to jump start the class of 2015 books. It was a solid thriller mystery with a good message attached. It was a good way to explore the concept of revenge and why it's not always the best way. Also, thank you author for not slut-shaming. This actually showed why slut-shaming is bad. It actually even showed why maybe you shouldn't even judge popular kids! Yes, a YA book pointing out that not everything in high school is black and white and that maybe you shouldn't judge people if you don't know them.
I know that sounds like small things, but considering some of the YA I've read lately that has been all too happy to stereotype and judge, this was kind of a breath of fresh air. It was a nice solid mystery with a good message attached. Not a bad way to start off the 2015 book year.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Revenge, Pretty Little Liars fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five mysterious texts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Get To But Didn't

This is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I'm actually pretty happy with the way I kept up on things last year. That said, there are still a bunch that I never got too. Here are some of those:

1) The Archived Book 2: The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Why I Never Got to It: LOVED The Archived last year. One of the most underrated books of 2013. But NONE of the libraries near me had a copy of the sequel. I'm on a strict budget so I can't go out and buy whatever books my library doesn't have. Luckily, one is finally getting the paperback in this month. So I can read that when it comes in. Why they didn't get it when it first came out...who knows.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Why I Never Got to It: I'm still waiting for the library reserve fever to die down. It's down to sixty people! So I'm getting there!

3) The Minaturist by Jessie Burton

Why I Never Got to It: Same reason as We Were Liars.

4) The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Why I Never Got to It: See above.

5) The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Why I Never Got to It: Same reason.

6) Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Why: Same reason. Though this one I really might just go ahead and buy. It's got exploring pop culture and rectifying that with feminist views. That's something I deal with daily being a nerdy feminist. There's literally no way I couldn't relate to this on some level.

7) Finishing School Book 3: Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Why: Lack of money and ability to get to a bookstore that had it. But I just used my Christmas money to buy it so it's waiting patiently on my shelf as we speak.

8) Winterspell Book 1: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Why: My library only has ONE copy between all ten libraries in it's system. What the heck? Needless to say, I've got to wait till someone returns it at a time I can check it out.

9) Magisterium Book 1: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Why: had to wait for library reserve. But I now have it and will likely be getting to it this week as I have lots of time off this week.

10) Darkest Minds 3: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

Why: Had to wait for my library to get a copy. But they finally got one and like Iron Trial, I'll likely get to it sometime this week or next week.