Just Call My Name

18607158Just Call My Name (I’ll Be There #2) by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

Emily Bell has it all. She’s in love with a boy named Sam Border, and his little brother has become part of her family. This summer is destined to be the best time of their lives–until a charismatic new girl in town sets her sights on Sam. Now Emily finds herself questioning the loyalty of the person she thought she could trust most.

But the biggest threat to her happiness is someone she never saw coming. Sam’s criminally insane father, whom everyone thought they’d finally left behind, is planning a jailbreak. And he knows exactly where to find Emily and his sons when he escapes…and takes his revenge. (Goodreads)

Just Call My Name picks up soon after the close of I’ll Be There, the stellar debut novel by Holly Goldberg Sloan. After the emotional, nicely tied up ending of the first book we settle in with the characters we first fell for and find out exactly what happens when they get their happy ending.  The truth is, it’s a lot of work, especially for Sam and Riddle, who’ve never had a normal life, never had stability or security, and have only been able to rely on each other.

In Just Call My Name, the boys are settling into their new lives, Riddle with the Bell family, who have adopted him, and Sam in an apartment nearby (the Bells wanted to adopt Sam as well, but since he was about to turn eighteen they were told it wasn’t necessary). Riddle is learning to read, trying to fit in with the adoptive family he adores (and the new brother who seems a teensy bit jealous of him). Sam is attending college and walks to the Bell family home on a daily basis to visit his younger brother. He’s struggling more with the adjustment process, so used to constantly worrying over Riddle. This new happiness is foreign and he lives as though it may somehow slip from his grasp.

Emily has a job at a local restaurant, joined by the ever-annoying Robb. Don’t call him Bobby. No, no, no. It’s Robb. Two B’s. And he’s every bit as obnoxious as that extra B makes him sound–at first. He still has this odd fixation with Emily that borders on creepy and he just doesn’t get what she sees in Sam. Sam and Emily are treading slowly, but we are able to see that these two seem to have an unshakable bond, something even they don’t quite understand.

But remember that they are, in fact, teenagers. As such, one night as Sam waits outside the restaurant for Emily to finish her shift, he meets Destiny, a girl who works at the boutique next door. Destiny has a pretty rough background and can use the help of a few friends, but she makes Emily uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s so experienced in life. Maybe it’s the way she dresses, or her obvious interest in Sam. Whatever it is, Emily can’t shake the feeling that this girl is trouble.

And let’s not forget Clarence Border, that stealth, arrogant man, so evil and driven in his contempt for his boys and the way they’ve been “brainwashed” by the Bells. He manages to escape prison and sets out get Sam and Riddle back to teach them all a lesson about how traitorous they’ve been.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. I fell in love with the characters the first time around, and I loved them equally here. Sam is a genuinely tormented young man, balancing the damage done by his father, the changes in responsibilities with his brother (entrusting him to the Bells), and his deep love for Emily,which often confuses him in how beautiful and overwhelming it can be. The closer he gets to her, the more afraid he seems to be of letting her see how damaged he really is.  This is where Destiny finds a slight connection with him. In some ways, they understand each other. Emily is understandably insecure, but she’s still the bright, brave girl we met the first time around. I had mixed feelings about Robb and Destiny (of course I hated her at first because DON’T EVEN), but they both earned my respect in the things they were willing to do for their friends. The star of the show though was Riddle who, through the love of his new family and that of his big brother, has grown more vocal, and has embraced his new life with bright curiosity. I dare you not to fall in love with this kid.

If I have any complaints about this book it’s the fact that Emily’s parents play such a small role. They were such an integral part of the last book and they are the reason Emily is the girl she is, which is evident in the way they’ve taken in the boys (especially considering how awkward it must be to have their adoptive son’s big brother who is an almost-adult dating their daughter). Otherwise, this was a great book and a good follow-up to a story I already felt immersed in.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 I love Holly Goldberg Sloan’s omniscient storytelling style that lets us into the minds of multiple characters. Excellent sequel.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and to Little & Brown for giving me an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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Ignite Me (please)

Ignite MeIgnite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

 

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her. (Goodreads)

 

Ignite Me. Finally. Even though I read it the week it came out (and fanned myself frequently), I’m finally reviewing it.

Fair warning, if you have not read Shatter Me, Destroy Me, Unravel Me, Fracture Me–first of all, why are you reading this when you clearly have books to read?–there will be spoilers here.  Go. Go read them now because Warner. You’re welcome.

Little Bit of a Recap

Ignite Me is the final book in the Shatter Me series, a trilogy (plus novellas. I don’t know what you’d call that) I have loved every step of the way. Juliette is a fabulous protagonist, one we watched grow from timid to courageous, one who has found her strength in what she originally thought was a flaw. She has a gift so powerful no one can touch her except…wait for it…Warner (I know. Lucky duck). In Unravel Me we discovered that while Adam was at one time able to freely touch her, it comes at great cost and he has to work hard to safely have physical contact with her. This is a struggle because Adam believes he loves Juliette. It’s in Unravel Me that we also discover a shocking truth: not only is Warner able to touch Juliette, he can “borrow” powers from other people. Also he can touch Juliette. Did I already say that BECAUSE IT’S WORTH REPEATING, especially because in Unravel Me we also see how desperately Warner wants to get all up on that.

The Final Book

The big challenge for Juliette this time around is getting her team from Omega Point, one that includes Adam and Kenji, to trust the guy who was enemy numero uno, Warner. They have to join forces, move into Warner’s facility, train together, and build an alliance against Adam and Warner’s father.

In this book we learn more about Warner. We delve further into his past, learn about his mother and his childhood, and begin to understand just where his fascination with Juliette began.

In this part of the story, the love triangle fizzles a bit. One guy turns into a giant jerkhead (completely crazy bananapants) and Juliette, even before that point, makes her heart pretty clear. While I won’t spoil it or say whether or not my choice was the one, I will say that Mafi makes it abundantly clear that there is a guy who wants to help Juliette control herself (while in some ways, be controlled by him) and there is another guy who wants her to unleash herself and fly free. Either way, Juliette taking steps toward one guy over another opens up the romance in a serious way. I’m talking SERIOUS STEAM.

Final Thoughts

Ignite Me is good. I thought it was a pretty epic close to a thoroughly awesome series. The final sequence is particularly good. And leading up to it all are many tingly scenes, so there’s that. Also, Juliette’s relationship with Kenji blossoms and I have to tell you, I could read an entire book about that man. He is hilarious and he’s loyal to Juliette to the very end. I felt as though at the close of the book, I could have kept reading. It feels like there is so much story left to tell because the characters are now on the verge of something huge, but alas, it’s over.  We just have to trust that this ending is a good beginning for them all.

My biggest complaint is one brought to my attention by my dear friend Sandie. In order to resolve the love triangle, Mafi chose to have us more fully see two characters we may have once misunderstood. In one case it was a breath of fresh air to learn that this person was not quite what we thought he was. In the other case, it was sad to realize that the guy was not at all what we thought he was. We see hints of this in the novellas written from each guy’s perspective, Destroy Me (Warner) and Fracture Me (Adam). In the case of one guy, he took such a dramatic turn that it felt like a character assassination.

But you should be the judge. Either way, I really liked this book.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 WARNER OMG

Where’d I Get It: Bought it for my Nook so I could highlight and bookmark to my heart’s content.

 

Film Talk: If I Stay

I’m so sorry it’s taken such a long time to get this review up. I’ve tried in a multitude of ways to make an actual vlog because…there’s stuff to say. I mean, Jamie Blackley? Hubba hubba. But technology, at least of the video posting variety, is not my friend. I probably could have gotten my twelve-year-old to figure it out in two seconds, but there this thing called pride.

Have you seen the film, If I Stay yet? And if so, what did you think? I saw it at one of those early release Thursday night showings. There were no dudes in the theater, which, while not surprising, I found funny. I went with two dear friends who love the books, and we had our tissues in hand.

I have to say, I really liked it. I think it’s absolutely a fan’s movie. It is, of course, possible to enjoy it if you haven’t read the book, but as is true in all cases, the book is always better. Let’s break it down:

THE CAST

Mia and Adam

Mia and Adam

I thought this group was put together beautifully. I initially had my doubts about Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia only because I still see her as that foul-mouthed cutie from Kick Ass, but she held her own as this strong young woman who is literally grappling with life and death. Jamie Blackley was divine as Adam because, well, Adam is Adam, flawed and perfect all at the same time. He captured that desperate way Adam loves Mia, a heartfelt, soulful guy rolled up into a rocker on the verge of something big.

More than anyone else in the film—more than Kim, or Teddy, or Grandpa—I loved Mia’s parents, Kat and Denny. They were played so well by Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard. I fell in love with these characters in each book, this quirky balance of aging rockers meet loving, hip, parents. They are innately cooler than their daughter, at least, in her eyes. And these actors nail it. They are Kat and Denny.

Mom and Dad encouraging Mia, as always.

Mom and Dad encouraging Mia, as always.

Dad and teddy

Dad and Teddy

Dad with Teddy as a baby. OMG. Be right back there’s something in my eye.

 

The Changes

Every movie does it. Sometimes it seems quite necessary, other times it makes no sense to me. In this film there are minor changes and some details left out, but nothing HUGE. Adam’s background is a little different and I guess that was supposed to make him seem edgier. After the accident there are some changes in terms of injuries and who is hurt at what times (meaning, Mia’s dad is not killed on impact). It didn’t feel necessary to me, but it didn’t really change things either.

I think they kept the most important scenes. I would have loved to have seen Mia reading Harry Potter with Teddy (that’s possibly due to the super Harry Potter nerd in me). The issue of Mia and Julliard was a much bigger deal, not only in whether Mia lives or dies, but before the accident, in terms of her relationship with Adam. Of course, the book doesn’t go into exhaustive detail about it really, we just know she and Adam have reached a difficult crossroads in their relationship just before the accident. Overall, it made him feel more demanding.

The Swoons

Yes, they’re all there. Jamie Blackley is quite adept as Adam. He hits the right note, balancing that aching love Adam has for Mia with this sexy confidence Adam has in all things. AS HE SHOULD. There are many lines taken directly from the book, and while they’re beautifully written in the novel, in some moments they feel a little cringeworthy. As with many book to film translations, it’s so different to read those words than to say them out loud.

And can we talk about the sex scene? I took issue with this part of the book, mostly because I was never entirely sure what happened (If you’ve figured it out, that’s great. Don’t e-mail me or anything).  It was really my only complaint about the novel (other than the band name which, thank God, has been changed in the film). But that whole “play me” business? Gone. They have a scene that alludes to sex and it involves chords in music, but it’s tastefully done and gets the point across without any cheese factor. That was definitely a positive change.

Also, I’ve heard some criticism of Mia and her uncertainty about her self worth, about where she fits into her family, and about whether or not Adam really loves her. I cannot tell you how much this aggravates me because, guess what? She’s a teenager. Not only that, she’s a human. I don’t know anyone who had the answers as a kid. As an adult, I’m still grappling.

The Music

Stellar. The fact that Jamie Blackley is a real musician played into it all, I’m sure, but I found myself wanting to go to a Willamete Stone show. Mia has this great moment where she’s explaining to Kim that sometimes after one of Adam’s shows she just wants to lick his face. Normally, I’d say that’s super-gross, but I have to say I SO GET YOU MIA. Maybe when my husband comes home from a tough day of teaching, I’ll lick his face. You never know what love will drive you to do, right?

Here’s a quick clip of the band:

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this movie and yeah, I totally cried. There are some melodramatic  moments, but overall it was good. It wasn’t a perfect film, but at the end of the day, I found it to be a thoughtful tribute to a book fans loved.

Recently I’ve read a ton of reviewers who are doing the whole “it’s not The Fault in Our Stars thing. This irks me to no end. Outside of the fact that this film is based on a widely successful YA novel, they are completely different. I hate to see them compared in such a way because while yes, they are stories that grapple with death, and love, and life, they are not the same. For all those who want to bash If I Stay as though it’s some sad copy, please remember, If I Stay came first. I say this as an honest devotee to The Fault in Our Stars. Trust me, there’s room for both stories and both films.

Let me leave you with this, one of my favorite scenes in the book, beautifully translated into one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Here a short clip:

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Books So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are discussing our favorite books we’ve read in 2014…so far. Big problem for me since I’ve probably spent more time re-reading books this year than I have reading new books. And honestly, there have been few that have blown me away. Here are a few that i really, really enjoyed:

 

We were Liars1. We Were Liars By e. Lockhart- I am a huge Lockhart fan. This is different for her, but I loved it. It stayed with me for days. And yeah, the big secret may not be a shocker, but the way she tells the story and conveys the pain is so good it doesn’t matter.

 

Better off friends2. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg- Books don’t get cuter than this one.

 

Ignite Me3. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi- Good lord, the steam. I love Warner. Love him. Though this is the end of the series, it feel like the beginning of so much more.

 

these broken stars4. These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- A sci-fi, a Titanic vibe, a rock-solid romance and a strange, spooky twist.

 

More Than This5. More Than This by Patrick Ness- Melancholy and odd, Ness never, ever fails to disappoint. His worlds are painful and strange, but the characters are so human, so much like ourselves, it’s impossible not to relate.

 

What I thought Was true6. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick- The epitome of a summer book. Good story, sweet romance, but substance as well.

 

Biggest flirts7. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols- This one was cute and highly addictive. Is it life changing? No. But it’s not meant to be. It’s fun and I couldn’t put it down.

 

Scandal8. #scandal by Sarah Ockler- Different than her other books, but compelling and fun. I loved the cast of characters and how timely it is that they struggle with the weight of stupid decisions made in the spotlight of social media.

 

husbands secret9. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty- This was a book club pick, Adult fic at its finest. I really enjoyed it. The epilogue is the best part.

 

That’s all for now. Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Books For Your Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are chatting up summer reads. Personally, I think a good book is good any time, but there is something about a cute, happy story, or a book with a good romance, that just SCREAMS summer. Plus, you need something to do at the beach other than pretending to be busy when you’re actually people watching (am I the only one who does this?).

beach sign

Here are a few I’d recommend:

The Princess Diaries1. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot- Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, shall we? But really, these books are funny, unbelievably cute, and you can read them in a single sitting. And then you’ll want to contact me and be like, OMG I get it now! I look like I swallowed a sock (see? You had to be there).

Summer I Turned Pretty2. The Summer series by Jenny Han– Well, duh. The name says it all. These books are perfect because they each take place over the course of the summers that Belly (trust me, you’ll get past the name) spends at the family beach house of Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. These are the boys she’s loved all her life, in the house she’s grown up visiting every summer. When she turns fifteen both boys begin to see her as something other than a kid sister (she’s not their sister, because that would be gross). Also, I dare you not to love Conrad Fisher. He’s a little douchy at first, but trust me. You’ll fall for him slowly.

We were Liars3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart– I loved this book. The review is still to come. It takes place on a private island owned by the Sinclair family. Yes, they are THAT filthy, stinking rich. But with that money, with that privileged family, comes sadness, and love, and an interesting twist.

 

Better off friends4. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg– This book does not take place over the summer, nor is it set on a beach. But it’s being described as a YA When Harry Met Sally. Two best friends who fall in love. What could be cuter than that?

What I thought Was true5.  What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick– Definitely a summer book. This one takes place in a small seaside town. There’s a rich vs. poor element, there are family secrets and a protagonist with a past, and there’s a great love story. Fitzpatrick is particularly gifted at writing authentic love stories. Don’t miss this one.

My Life Next Door6. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick– While you’re at it, don’t miss her debut novel either. It’s pretty perfect as summer love stories go.

Book of Broken Hearts7. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler– I loved this book. It is heartbreaking in many ways, but there is a beautiful love story here. There’s also a sweet romance, but at the heart of it is a story about a girl’s love for her ailing father.

the truth about forever8. Anything by Sarah Dessen- My personal favs will always be The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby, but you could probably pick any one and be happy. Her books are the essence of summer: good heroines and swoony guys, all set in a small town. She doesn’t shy away from issues, but she always leaves you feeling hopeful in the end.

Biggest flirts9. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols– Oh, this one is cute and sexy and funny. I haven’t read all of her books, but this is by far the one I’ve enjoyed most. And I really, really love the two main characters. They have good chemistry and their banter is so cute that I kept finding myself with a big, stupid grin on my face.

This is What Happy Looks Like10. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith– Adorable. A. DOR. A. BLE. Just read it.

 

What’s Going in MY Beach Bag?

To All the BoysTo All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han– I haven’t read this and must rectify this immediately because Jenny Han is a YA goddess.

Scandal#Scandal by Sarah Ockler– Ditto. I always love her books. She is a fantastic writer. And the premise is so timely (a girl gets caught kissing her BFF’s boyfriend and her life goes haywire thanks to social media).

Gods and MonstersDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor– I hate saying goodbye. Sniff. This is an amazing series. I’m so sad it’s over.

ChampionChampion by Marie Lu– We’ve owned this for about fifty years, but I can’t bring myself to move on. I am so bad at leaving a series I love behind.

The OneThe One by Kiera Cass– Yeah, what I said about the last two books.

 

Have a great Tuesday and Happy Reading!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Reasons Michael Moscovitz is the Fake Man of My Dreams

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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It’s been a while since I’ve participated, I know. But this week is a freebie topic, so what better time to discuss my favorite book boyfriend ever (though there are many I love) than today?

Michael Moscovitz of The Princess Diaries series is hands down my ultimate book boyfriend and no one, outside of my hubby, will ever compare. In fact, I have a confession to make: when I read articles or reviews where other women profess their undying love for him I giggle and agree with them, but in my head I think he belongs to me alone. Because he does.

I can’t believe I just admitted that…moving on.

So let’s get to it. Be warned, if you have not finished this series, there are many spoilers here.

TOP TEN REASONS MICHAEL MOSCOVITZ IS THE FAKE MAN OF MY DREAMS

 

Talk nerdy to me1.He’s smart– In the early books, as we get to know Michael, we find out that he’s a genius. He’s in the computer club, he tutors Mia in Algebra, he makes her a Segway Human Transporter, and later, he goes to Japan to work on a robotic arm. The one he invented, because he’s the smartest boy in the world.  And we all know that smart= supremely hot.

 

2. He’s in a band- Though they eventually part ways because of college and other issues, Michael is in a band where he plays guitar and writes his own music. He even kind of flirts with Mia before they’re going out and tries to hint that he likes her by playing a song about a tall pretty girl who doesn’t know he loves her. (I KNOW!). And later, when they’re dating, Michael’s band, Skinner Box, plays her a song at school for her birthday and it’s called, wait for it, Princess of My Heart. I would have been in a puddle. Right there. Me. On the floor.

Boys in Books3. Michael is not super-clingy– Initially, Michael and Mia are friends. In fact, as the brother of her BFF, he’s one of her best friends. He sits at lunch with her sometimes, but not always. In fact, even when they start dating, Michael isn’t that guy who has to be with her every moment. He still eats with his Computer Club some days, he doesn’t care when she has princess responsibilities or things to do with her friends. He realizes that they can be together and have their own lives. I love this about him because it shows how secure he is.

4. He gets that Mia can freak out– I mean first, she has no clue he likes her, then she sends him these secret admirer cards with chocolate dipped strawberries on them, and later, even though they’re dating, she thinks he only loves her as friends. We won’t even get into the sexy dance or the Judith Gershner fiasco. Mia is young and a little prone to freak outs. She does kooky things. But Michael knows that playing with her little brother soothes her. Michael knows the smell of his neck (Tide and Ivory soap) makes Mia feel better. He doesn’t think she’s weird or a freak. Even more, he realizes that Mia doesn’t always see her awesomeness clearly. Michael sees it all; he gets it, and he loves her for it.

5. He’s mature– Michael is very sensible. He’s responsible. He, unlike his beloved girlfriend, is not prone to moments of pure spazziness. He sees how totally nuts her life is, what a circus Mia’s family can be, and he just goes with the flow, takes it all in stride. Her grandmother gets a busboy fired at Mia’s birthday dinner and causes a city-wide strike? No big deal. His sister is  now cheating on her boyfriend at Mia’s birthday party with said busboy? Bring on the Cheetos.  Michael doesn’t let it get to him. He is a solid force in Mia’s life. And later, when things get sticky, Michael isn’t dramatic about it all. He considers Mia, what’s best for her, and does the right thing even when it’s difficult for both of them.

Star Wars6. He loves Star Wars– There is no more I can say about a man who not only loves Star Wars, but quotes it with his girlfriend. I would have been sold on this alone.

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This is kind of how I picture adult Michael. And I’m so OK with that.

7. The Looks– Mia describes Michael as the third-hottest guy in school. I don’t know if fellow students actually think he’s hot , other than the fact that Mia and Tina discuss his cuteness a few times. I do know this: his hair is a tiny bit too long because he never has time to cut it, it’s dark and a little curly, and he has dark brown eyes. Hello, gorgeous, right? Also, we do know that when Michael appears in the final book, he’s bulked up a bit and even Trisha and Lana think he’s crazy hot. They even compare him to Christian Bale from Batman. We saw it all along though, I’m just sayin.

8. He’s Supportive– Michael is a secure guy. If Mia has to go to a princess function and their date is canceled, he’s cool. He’ll plan something else for them. If Mia is being given a guilt trip by Lilly about the excesses of her family’s wealth, he tells Lilly to shut up  and then spouts off statistics about Genovia being one of the best places to live in the world. He’s the one who helps her figure out she wants to be a writer, he’s the first to read her manuscript, he’s the guy who encourages her to go to Sarah Lawrence. Michael makes it clear he believes in Mia and supports her in this crazy life she leads.

MM Not Sorry9. He’s Forward– Michael knew she was dating Kenny (he wasn’t Kenneth yet), but he still created that computer program for her. He knew she was uncomfortable and insecure, especially when the sex talks started coming up and he told her straight out: you’re the girl I want to be with. And that boy meant FOREVER. And later, when she was with JP, he wasted no time letting Mia know how he felt about her. He flirted with her, he sent a robotic arm to Genovia to help in her father’s election, and though Mia tried to make it a friendly thing, he made sure she knew it wasn’t mere friendship that was on his mind. Michael never, at any time in the series, let there be a doubt about his feelings for Mia.

10. He created a robotic arm to prove to the world that he was worthy of dating her- And yeah, sure, it was to his own benefit and it was this amazing thing that was such an advancement for heart surgeons and their patients. BUT HE MADE IT BECAUSE HE LOVED HER.

11. He saved her snowflake necklace- I loved this part of the story. It showed that it meant something to him and that he hoped one day to give it back to her.

I really could go on. But I won’t. I’ve solidified my geek status today.

If you haven’t already, go out and read a PD book and fall in love with Michael today (just remember that I loved him first). Sigh.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Unique Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

toptentuesday

Well helloooooooo there!  Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. My family was on Spring Break for two weeks which means lots of Disneyland, lots of junk food, too many play dates and sleepovers, and well, lots of hanging out in our pjs. There was little time to read, let alone blog.

But school is on and now it’s back to the business of spazzing over incredible books.

This week for TTT we are discussing books we found to be totally unique. Hello, fabulous topic! Let’s get to it.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor- Maybe it’s on my mind because the third and final book in the series comes out TODAY (sniff sniff. I can’t say goodbye) but really it’s because this book is made of awesome. He’s an angel. She’s been raised by chimaera. There’s this beautiful back story. Karou is a wonderfully strong heroine and her forbidden love story with Akiva is breathtaking. Also, Taylor’s writing is so witty and poetic. If you haven’t picked up this book, do it soon.

 

these broken stars2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- It’s a sci-fi. It’s a love story. It’s got a creepy ghost vibe. I loved this book.

 

More Than This3. Anything by Patrick Ness- I love his Chaos Walking series. When I try to describe it to someone I totally stumble all over it because it’s sci-fi, it’s dystopic in a way, it’s a survival story.  It’s a story of friendship. It’s pretty much perfect. And now, after recently reading More Than This, I can honestly say that Ness is a stellar writer with a way of telling crazy, odd stories and making the characters who live them seem so very real, so much like you or me.

 

Pawn4. Pawn by Aimee Carter- In a time where we are being overrun with dystopian societies in our YA books, along comes a fun new series about a girl who is surgically enhanced to take the place of a dead royal and who, in doing so, becomes a part of a large rebellion.

 

The Raven Boys5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- What a totally unique setting with a cast of interesting, strange characters. Pair that with Stiefvater’s beautiful writing and it’s pretty much unputdownable.

 

Shadow and Bone6. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Bardugo is a gifted storyteller, creating a brand-new world of magic and lore. The descriptions and characters are richly done and the main characters–good and bad–earned my loyalty early on.

 

Burn for Burn7.  Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- This one has three girls who band together to plot revenge against the kids who make them miserable. It’s not your typical high school story though. This one takes an interesting twist.

 

Wither8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano- Here is another dystopic world and yet it manages to be different. There’s a disease killing of most people in their twenties (I can’t recall the exact age it occurs) so young women are kidnapped and used as the wives (plural) for young men in order to continue family lines and allow the older generations (who are unaffected by the disease) to work on a cure. One of the great things about this book is that DeStefano makes you sympathize with–even like–one of the “bad guys.” Sure, he ends up not being so, so bad in comparison to others in the book, but you end up liking him all the same despite the fact that he’s a guy whose wives are prisoners on his estate.

 

Bumped9. Bumped by Megan McCafferty- This is a dysoptic with a satirical side to it. It’s crass and funny and inspired by a world obsessed with shows like 16 and Pregnant. It’s definitely worth checking out, but it’s not necessarily for the faint of heart or those easily offended.

 

Across the Universe10. Across the Universe by Beth Revis-I loved this book. It’s a sci-fi and a love story with a heavy dose of WHAT THE WHAT thrown in. It’s sort of like an episode of The Twilight Zone (which I love).

 

That’s all for now.

 

Happy Tuesday!