Maternity Leave Reading

I started the school year on maternity leave unfortunately. Thankfully I have an amazing sub! Despite not working, however, reading hasn’t been the same since Jack was born. I’ve been trying to listen to more audiobooks since that’s often the only way I can experience a book right now. I have been able to read a few books though.

Since time is a huge commodity right now, and since I REALLY miss blogging, I’ve decided to write some quick reviews about what I’ve read since Jack was born. I’d also love to get some audiobook recommendations since I know I’ll be listening to those even more than I normally do. I like listening to them while I’m feeding Jack in the middle of the night or when he and I are out and about. It’s good for him to hear the audiobooks as well since it will add to the vocabulary he’s exposed to.

What I’ve Read:

Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (Goodreads): This is the third (and I’m guessing last) book in the I Hunt Killers trilogy. Let me tell you, it is SO GOOD. And SO INTENSE. Jack was sleeping pretty much all day for the first couple weeks so I had a little more time to read and was able to finish this. Barry Lyga knows how to write a gripping murder mystery. My seniors last year loved these books so much that one of them emailed me a week before this released (September 9th) to find out the official release date so he could buy it. There are plenty of twists and turns that I wish I could bring up, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. If it’s been a while since you’ve read Game, you might want to revisit the last chapter or two because Blood of My Blood picks up right where that left off. Read this trilogy!

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (Goodreads): I bought this book a couple nights before Jack was born because I’ve read so many positive reviews and because of the comparison to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. So many of my seniors last year loved Perks, so I’m positive my group of seniors this year will enjoy this book as well. Personally, I thought Perks was just an okay book. It didn’t resonate with me like it has with my students, but I really liked Love Letters to the Dead. I listened to this and thoroughly enjoyed the narration. This is an audiobook that I could listen to and relax. The narrator’s voice is soothing and really fits Laurel. The story is written as a series of letters to a few famous dead people and through these letters we understand Laurel better. We also understand her sister and her relationship with her sister better as well. I definitely recommend this one.

What I’m Reading:

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn (Goodreads): If I didn’t have Jack, I would have read this book in one sitting. I was hooked immediately, but unfortunately I don’t have time right now to just sit back and read for hours. Jamie is an intriguing character and although I’m only halfway through, I have some suspicions about what might really be going on in Jack’s life. This will be a popular title when I return to work.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (Goodreads): I still haven’t read The Bell Jar, but I’m really curious about Sylvia Plath and really enjoy reading books that are about her or are inspired by her work. Belzhar is one of those books and thanks to Penguin, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the audiobook. The narrator is perfect for Jam, although sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing the voice for her male characters. Belzhar is another story of grief, but it has an interesting twist that I predict will engage quite a few of my students. I’m *this close* to finishing it. Jack and I need to go for a walk so I can listen to the last twenty minutes or so.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (Goodreads): If you haven’t read any of Trish Doller’s books then you’re missing out on excellent books. This is her third book and it doesn’t release until June 2015. I’m so thankful to have received an ARC of this already and will certainly write a full review of it once I’m finished. I’m reading it now because Trish is part of the NCTE session I’m co-chairing with Jillian Heise. Plus, it’s a Trish Doller book and there’s no way I can let it sit unread. I’m about 100 pages in right now and the mystery part of the plot is coming together. I value sleep more than I ever have before, but The Devil You Know is so good I’ve been reading instead of napping when the chance arrives. Add this to your TBR list if you haven’t already.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Normally I write out reasons why I’m including each book on this list, but I’ve reviewed these books and mentioned them on so many lists that I feel like it’s not really necessary at this point. But believe me, creating this list was HARD. At the end of every year I feel like I haven’t read enough books, nor enough books that really wowed me. Do any of you feel that way at this time of year? I guess I’m not reading to be wowed, but I certainly like discovering new favorites. The books on this list are here because they’ve stayed with me this year (characters, plot, writing style, twists, etc.). I’d love to know which books are you favorites this year!

My favorite books of 2013 in no particular order…

1. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (My review)

2. Winger by Andrew Smith (My review)

3. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (My review)

4. Golden by Jessi Kirby (My review)

5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (My review)

6. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler (My review)

7. I’m With Stupid by Geoff Herbach (My review)

8. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (My review)

9. The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine (My review)

10. Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting (My review)

My favorite backlist titles read in 2013 (I couldn’t help but cheat)…

1. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (My review)

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (My review)

3. Recovery Road by Blake Nelson

4. Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Author Love: Trish Doller

Author Love

I’m very excited to feature Trish Doller in today’s Author Love post!

Trish Doller

Trish’s website
Follow Trish on Twitter
Trish’s Tumblr
Trish’s Facebook page

Reasons I love Trish Doller…

  • She writes about important/tough issues without writing “issue” or preachy books.
  • Her characters drive the stories. It’s been over a year since I’ve read Something Like Normal and months since I’ve read Where the Stars Still Shine, yet I am still thinking about Travis and Callie.
  • Even though Travis and Callie are struggling with conflicts that many of my students aren’t struggling with, my students are pulled into their stories and end up truly caring about Travis and Callie. Whenever they finish one of the books they return it and ask if there’s going to be a sequel to either Something Like Normal or Where the Stars Still Shine. They don’t want to leave the characters.
  • Trish Doller creates beautiful settings and engaging minor characters. I saw everything and everyone perfectly when I read each book. It’s one of the reasons I’m so involved in the stories. And just like with Travis and Callie, I still think about and picture Harper and Alex and each characters’ family.

My question for Trish (and all Author Love authors): “Why do you love writing for teens?”

“I love writing for teens because I think teenagers are so interesting. Their inner lives are so much richer than we give them credit for. They feel all the things adults feel, but they’re still learning to process them and I think young adult fiction lets them know that they’re not alone.”

Trish Doller’s Books:

Something Like NormalTitle: Something Like Normal (My review)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: June 19th, 2012 (available in paperback)
Summary (From Goodreads):

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

 

Where the Stars Still ShineTitle: Where the Stars Still Shine (My review)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Chidlrens
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Summary (From Goodreads):

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

News about Trish’s upcoming book:

“My next project is coming from Bloomsbury in April 2015 and is currently called Arcadia Falls, but that title will be changed. It’s the story of Arcadia “Cadie” Wells, a teenage girl who lives in northern Florida whose life since her mother died, has been nothing but school, working in her family’s market, and raising her little brother. Cadie longs to see the world, but feels trapped. So when she goes to a campfire party at the local state park and a couple of good-looking guys ask her if she wants to road trip with them, she impulsively says yes. Except one of the boys is not what he seems and the trip goes tragically wrong.”

To read about more fabulous authors, check out Jillian’s Author Spotlight on… feature on her blog, Heise Reads & Recommends.

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still ShineTitle: Where the Stars Still Shine

Author: Trish Doller

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: September 24th, 2013

Interest: Author / Contemp

Source: ARC received from the publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love and discovering who’s really important in your life will resonate with readers who want their stories authentic and utterly true.  Where the Stars Still Shine left me breathless and at a loss for words in the best possible way.  Honestly, I don’t feel like I can accurately express how much I love this book.  It’s beautiful.

I tear up when I read books, but it’s rare for me to actually cry when I read a book.  I cried while reading Callie’s story.  I had to email friends who have read this book to make sure certain things were/were not going to happen because I couldn’t read it fast enough.  I was INVESTED in these characters.  I still am.  As I’m writing this review it’s been a month since I’ve read Where the Stars Still Shine and I’m STILL invested in these characters.  I feel like they’re part of my life.  I care about them and want the best for them.  That kind of story is the best kind of story.  Trish Doller has written an excellent story.

Something that really made me happy while reading Where the Stars Still Shine is that Callie is such a strong and independent character.  She has to be because of how she’s grown up.  But even though she’s strong, she’s also vulnerable.  Callie has a tough time asking for help and recognizing familial support.  And her family?  They are amazing.  Her father, Greg, is what I wish more fathers in general and in YA are.  Callie also has an incredible grandmother and cousin.  These supporting characters not only add a real depth to the story and excellent familial element, but they also showcase how strong yet vulnerable Callie is.  She’s not use to relying on anyone but herself, but now that she has this new family she learns a new and better definition of the word family.  Her mother isn’t really a mother, but it’s all she knows of family.

If I’m going to bring up Callie’s independence and strength, I need to bring up sexuality.  Callie hasn’t had the best experiences with sex in her life; in fact, at least one experience was detrimental.  Her relationship with Alex is positive and is written really well.  I like that she takes ownership of her thoughts and desires about sex.  Not that many books write sex in this way, so I’m happy to read one that does.

Speaking of Alex, I want to know more about his back story.  I would love it if Trish Doller wrote a book from his point of view.  I know that’s wishful thinking, but there it is.  I want more from Alex.

I will admit that I wished for a slightly different ending, but it works for the characters and the story.  It’s an honest ending.  Trish Doller writes magic, and I HIGHLY recommend that you read Where the Stars Still Shine.  I read it in one sitting and can’t wait to share it with my students.

Stock Your Shelves: Class Library Must-Have Titles

The start of a new school year is just around the corner, although for many of you it’s already started.  Whenever this time of year approaches I’m always making a list of books I need to buy for my classroom library.  I figured I’m not the only one, so I decided to make a list of books that I want to buy and that I recommend for a classroom library.  If you’d like additional title recommendations feel free to leave a comment.

Summer/Fall Releases:

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (Goodreads)–This releases on August 20th August 27th (edited on 8/20, sorry for the mistake!), so I’ll have a review up shortly. Basically, this is all-around wonderful.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (Goodreads)–This releases on Sept. 24th. I’ll have a review up on the Nerdy Book Club blog before the release and that same review will post here on the release date.  Trish Doller writes magic, people.

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon (Goodreads)–Think The Fault in Our Stars from a funny guy’s point of view, yet totally standing apart from John Green’s hit. I know that might be confusing. This releases on Sept. 3rd.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (Goodreads)–It’s an awful lot like Looking for Alaska, but not as sad (or at least I didn’t think so). Still, it has a different kind of voice and will appeal to teens.  This releases on August 27th.

Books with Guy Appeal:

Winger by Andrew Smith (Goodreads)–I want to buy multiple copies of this.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame (Goodreads)–A lot of my boys really like this book and the companion books. It’s a really funny, quick read.

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Goodreads)–I’ve been raving about this book since before it was released in 2011.

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker (Goodreads)–I still haven’t read this, but I have multiple copies because my boys in class LOVE it.

Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman (Goodreads)–This is a fantastic and realistic book about a boy in juvie.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (Goodreads)–This is mysterious, funny, and features the son of a serial killer trying to help the police find a serial killer. Yep, it’s a hit with all of my students.

Verse Novels:

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder (Goodreads)–I recommend buying all of her books. This and Chasing Brooklyn are two of the most popular books in my room.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones (Goodreads)–This title has been around for a while. Every year it becomes a new favorite for many of my students.

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams (Goodreads)–This is a great title to recommend to your Ellen Hopkins fans.

Ellen Hopkins–ALL of her books are huge hits with my students.

Oldies by Goodies:

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Goodreads)–This released in 2007 and became popular again when its sequel Unwholly released last fall. The final book in the trilogy, UnSouled, releases on November 7th.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Goodreads)–Every time this releases with a new cover I buy it. It should be in every library.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (Goodreads)–This originally published in 1974 and I hook some pretty reluctant readers with it.

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (Goodreads)–This was my first Sara Zarr book and my favorite until I read How to Save a Life. Sara Zarr writes wonderfully realistic stories.

Forever by Judy Blume (Goodreads)–For many of my girls, this is the book that turns them into readers.

Sci-Fi/Dystopian:

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman (Goodreads)–Time travel, ghosts, and so much more. This is science fiction at its best.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Goodreads)–I recommend this every year, multiple times a year. It’s amazing.

Legend by Marie Lu (Goodreads)–I love that this has two points of view and appeals to guys and girls. I’m planning on reading it to my seniors while we read 1984.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid (Goodreads)–Gamers will love this.

“Quiet” YA:

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner (Goodreads)–This wonderful book may not have received a lot of hype from its publishers, but so many of its readers love it. Plus it pairs perfectly with Of Mice and Men.

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Goodreads)–The main character is pregnant, but it’s more than a book about a pregnant teenager.

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (Goodreads)–This book will resonate with so many teenage girls. It’s fantastic.

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson (Goodreads)–All it took was one of my girls to read this and rave about it for it to become an instant hit in my classroom.

So. Much. Hype!:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Goodreads): I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to like this. But I really did and my students adore it. My students who didn’t like Looking for Alaska at all loved this.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Goodreads): I’ve replaced this book multiple times because it’s gone “missing” so often.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Goodreads)–One of my boys in class read this and loved it; one of my girls who reads “edgy” books read this and loved it. It’s an all-around winner.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Goodreads)–I haven’t finished reading this yet, but it went around my room a couple times before the school year ended. The boys who read it said it’s awesome.

I Wish These Books Had Sequels

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is all about books we wish have sequels.  I’m surprised this list was so hard to compile considering how often I finish a book and think, “What? It’s done? I need more!”  Thankfully I was able to come up with ten books that need sequels.

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller–I simply want more from this book.  I’m happy with the ending, but I LOVE this story and am being selfish by wanting more.

Dead to You by Lisa McMann–What the heck happened with that ending?! There should be at least a few more pages, if not an entire sequel.

The List by Siobhan Vivian–Too much happened in a short book that took place in a short time span. Another book would be just fine.

Easy by Tammara Webber–Book. Hangover. I still want more of this story and the characters.

Every Day by David Levithan–The ending left me feeling cheated. There really should be a sequel.

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney–This is just me being selfish again.

 

Warped by Maurissa Guibord–It’s been a long time since I’ve read this so I can’t remember exactly why I think there should be a sequel. If I remember correctly, there’s an open ending that made it feel like a sequel is possible. Plus, I really love this book.

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt–I just want to make sure Carley is doing okay.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell–If you’ve read this book, then you understand why this is on my list.

Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman–I’m just a little confused about the ending.  It’s not exactly clear what happens to the main character.

My Summer 2013 TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I haven’t written a Top Ten Tuesday post since April!  I’m glad it’s finally summer so I can make more time to blog and read.  Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is all about the summer reads at the top of our list.  There are more books that I want to read this summer than I can possibly list, so I’m going to break this down into a few different categories and include more than ten books.

Backlist Titles (Released in 2012 or earlier):

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles (Goodreads)–I’ve had this on to-read lists like this before, but I still haven’t read it.  There’s really no excuse, especially since it’s so popular in my classroom.

The Gray Wolf Throne & The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima (Goodreads)–I’m cheating and making two books count as one since I need to finish this series.

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Goodreads)–I haven’t read many reviews for this one, but I remember seeing it at Barnes & Noble last summer, being drawn to the cover, and reading the first chapter in the store.  I knew I was going to like it, but I didn’t buy it (so stupid).  After that I didn’t see it at the store again.  One way or another I was chatting with Kelly @ Stacked about this title and she offered to give me her copy :)  I’m confident that my students and I will like this debut.

Jumping Off SwingsThe Gray Wolf ThroneThe Crimson CrownFingerprints of You

Recent Releases (Released in 2013):

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Goodreads): Before the release of The 5th Wave, I posted the book trailers made to advertise it.  My students were hooked; I had to create a waiting list.  I ordered a copy and when it arrived I read the first couple chapters.  I’m hooked as well.

Over You by Amy Reed (Goodreads): I have a couple of Amy Reed’s books in my classroom, but I’ve never had the chance to read them since they’re always checked out.  I’ve read the first forty pages of Over You, and even though I’m still getting used to the writing style for it, I really like the story.  I’m looking forward to finishing this over the summer.

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin (Goodreads): It’s summertime, so I should read a summery book, right? :)

The 5th WaveStyle: "Porcelain vivid"Rules of Summer

Upcoming Releases (2013 ARCs):

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles (Goodreads): Jillian @ Heise Reads and Recommends is a wonderful friend.  She’s even more wonderful for sending me her ARC to read :)

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (Goodreads): If you know how much I LOVE Trish’s debut, Something Like Normal, then you can understand why I’m excited to read her sophomore release.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads): Did I mention how wonderful Jillian is? ;)  I’ve been wanting to read this since that crazy last page of The Raven Boys.  I love it when friends share!

Wild CardsWhere the Stars Still ShineThe Dream Thieves

NetGalley Titles:

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (Goodreads): This August release has so many aspects to it that make it intriguing. It’s LGBT, it has Iranian characters, and so much more. I hope it’s as good as it sounds!

Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles (Goodreads): Jo Knowles makes my list twice and it’s because she’s a great author!  It’s told from a guy’s point of view, it deals with teen pregnancy, and I’ve already heard awesome things about it. This releases in September.

New Money by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (Goodreads): I loved Lorraine’s debut, Other Words for Love, so I jumped at the opportunity to read her New Adult release, New Money.

If You Could Be MineLiving with Jackie ChanNew Money

Cover Excitement Galore!

I had another post idea planned for today until these covers were revealed this week.  I’m so excited about them, I had to share!

Original Post Links:

Where the Stars Still Shine (reveal link + giveaway)
Smoke (reveal link)
Isla and the Happily Ever After (reveal link)

I’ve been eagerly awaiting for the cover reveal of Where the Stars Still Shine for months!  I’m a HUGE fan of Something Like Normal, and after meeting Trish and reading the summary for Where the Stars Still Shine and falling in love with Trish’s writing, I simply can’t wait to read her sophomore release.  (Phew, that was a long sentence…)  And this cover?  SO.  BEAUTIFUL.  Have you ever seen a book cover and feel the need to hang that cover up in a frame on the wall?  No?  Well, this one is worthy of that.

Where the Stars Still Shine

Summary (From Goodreads): Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

I really like Ellen Hopkins’ covers because they all have a similar look despite not all sharing the same characters, settings, etc.  My copy of Burned is pretty beat up, so I’ll need to buy a fresh new copy before buying a copy of Smoke because I know my students will be all over this when I add it to my classroom library.  The cover is eye catching and slightly unsettling, which I love.

**Note, this summary has Burned spoilers**

Smoke

Summary (From Goodreads): Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

My students and I simply adore Stephanie Perkins’ stories.  She writes fantastic love stories that are full of swoon, while featuring strong characters and solid settings.  I was expecting that the cover for Isla and the Happily Ever After would be similar to the covers for Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door since they’re all companion novels, but I guess I should have expected something different since Penguin is the publisher.  (If you aren’t familiar with this, Penguin has become known from changing cover designs mid-series.)  I have to admit that I really like this new look.  I shared the new covers with my students and the majority of them agreed.  They described the new covers as “dynamic” and “more appealing.”  What do you think?

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Summary (From Goodreads):  From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Anna and the French Kiss NCLola and the Boy Next Door NC

Student Book Love: The Bigger Picture

For the past few days I’ve been posting the books that three of my classes listed as their award-worthy favorites read in 2012.  I’ve enjoyed putting the posts together because they provide an interesting glimpse at my students’ reading preferences.  After seeing such a wide range of favorites between the three classes I decided to put together a post which includes some of the titles that didn’t “make the cut” and others that I see becoming favorites of 2013.

 

More 2012 Student Favorites (click on the image for Goodreads link)

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Sky is Everywhere paperback

Burning BlueMeant to Be

Cindereasy

The Book ThiefBall Don't Lie

Predicted Student Favorites of 2013 (click on the image for Goodreads link)
*Most of these titles were listed as favorites multiple times but between different classes which is why they didn’t end up on the top 10 lists*

WonderLove and Other Perishable Items

Something Like NormalThe Fault in Our Stars

Every DayBeautiful Creatures 2

UnwhollyDrama

this-is-not-a-drill-coverI Heart You, You Haunt Me

Anna Dressed in Bloodjkt_9780545334747.indd

Favorite Books of 2012

To be honest, this has been kind of a tough reading year for me.  I finished my Masters, I’ve been working on feeling better and getting healthier, and I’ve been working my butt off in my classroom (new classes, new units, etc.).  I’ve still read a large amount of books, but I’m hoping 2013 will be a smoother, easier reading year.

Putting this list together wasn’t any easier this year than it was last year, but I’m happy with the group of books I’ve decided on.  This is a list of the ten books that have stayed with me this year.  They aren’t numbered in any particular order.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (Goodreads)–I’ve blogged about this debut quite a few times this year and it’s because it’s just that good.  I love the time period, the romance, the magic, the characters, etc.  The sequel doesn’t release until later in 2013 unfortunately, but it will be worth the wait.

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Goodreads)–I still enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, but it’s not as alluring as it used to be.  Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace series, however, has held my interest because it’s exciting, mysterious, and oh-so-swoonworthy.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads)–Maggie Stiefvater is a rock star.  I love the magical realism in this story and even though I read this over the summer, I’m still thinking about the characters and the awesome ending.

Born WickedEmbraceThe Raven Boys

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen (Goodreads)–This actually released in 2011, but I didn’t read it until this year.  If you haven’t read it yet, and you can handle a gut-wrenching story about bullying, I highly recommend you get a copy.  It recently released in paperback which helps a book budget.  The characters in this book are sure to stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it.

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (Goodreads)–I just read this a couple days ago, and I knew it had to go on this list.  There’s a reason A.S. King is one of my absolute favorite authors and Astrid’s story is now one of my top reasons.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Goodreads)–This is technically a middle grade title, and I did read it with my ears, but Auggie’s story is for everyone of all ages.  This is an incredibly touching story that begs to be read by everyone.

LeverageAsk the PassengersWonder Book Cover

Easy by Tammara Webber (Goodreads)–If you’re new to the world of New Adult like I am, I suggest starting with Easy.  This book is seriously awesome and one I could not put down.  I love the character growth, the steamy romance, the setting, everything.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (Goodreads)–Sometimes I need a lighthearted book that will make me smile and laugh.  This debut did all of that and more.  I love reading it to my YA Lit classes because it works well as a read aloud and it’s that much fun to read over and over again.

Boy21 by Matthew Quick (Goodreads)–I’ve praised this book over and over again and I won’t stop.  It’s a great story about friendship, loyalty, self-discovery, and family.  I hope you read it.

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (Goodreads)–As soon as I finished this debut I knew it was going to be a 2012 favorite.  But let’s be honest, it’s an all-time favorite.  I’m still thinking about Travis and Harper and I read this back in the spring.  Trish Doller is an author to watch.

easyFreshman Year & Other Unnatural DisastersBoy21Something Like Normal

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