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Showing posts from August, 2015

Favorite YA Realistic Fiction Heroines

This is a continuation of the series of amazing heroine posts I've been doing throughout this year originally inspired by this post. These wonderful girls in YA Realistic fiction are in addition to Maddie Brodatt who made the original list of 10.



Clara Lemlich from Audacity by Melanie Crowder: I know Clara Lemlich is an actual historical person but this is a somewhat fictionalized look at her life though as based on fact as it could be as a novel. She was an amazing person and this book tells her story beautifully
Princess Goewin from A Coalition of Lions by Elizabeth Wein: Goewin is brilliantly strategic and gets stuff done working hard to protect the interests of her country and people during harsh times.

Taylor Markham (and Raffy) from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Taylor is hard on the outside, but a hot gooey mess on the inside. Going with her on her journey to figure out her past and how it will connect with her future is heart wrenching but so worth it. And Raffy is th…

TTT: Books on my MG Lit Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X  101
X=MG Literature








This is a mix of classic and new, award winning and popular (many are both) that I think would lead to excellent discussions and comparisons which is why I chose them.

A Pocket Full of Murder

R.J. Anderson is one of my favorite authors. Being a voracious reader, I have a lot of authors I really like, but she is included in a special group of authors whose books I would scoop up in my arms if I was escaping my house in a disaster. They are all excellent and stand up to multiple rereads. Anderson has written books about (awesome) faerys and amazing girls in a mind boggling sci-fi duology. Her latest book, A Pocket Full of Murder,  is a MG magical murder mystery and it is a perfect book for me in every way possible.

Isaveth's family has fallen on hard times since her mother's recent death. Her father, a builder, lost a major job he was counting on and has fallen into despair. Her sister had to quit school to get a job in a sweatshop factory. Just when things begin to look better for the family and her father's commission is restored, a worse tragedy befalls them. When the man who had fired then rehired Isaveth's father is found dead by means of Common Magic, I…

Cybils 2015

The call for judges at The Cybils has gone out! If you love reading and discussing books for children and teens, this may be just the place for you.

Why apply?

You meet some truly wonderful people.
Truly. Interacting with fellow book lovers on Twitter, Tumblr, and through blog comments is the best thing about blogging. Being a Cybils judge exposes you to people you may not have encountered before and blogs that weren't on your radar. You get to have lovely and passionate discussions about books with these people while getting to know them. Even when I have not agreed with my fellow panelists on certain books or elements of a book, I have always enjoyed the discussion and how gracious everyone is.

You get to read a lot of books.
Book bloggers love books. If we didn't, we wouldn't do what we do. I've read books because they were nominated for the Cybils that I might never have read otherwise. And some of those books have become all time favorites. This is especially true i…

TTT: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Auto-Buy Authors

I'm posting the cover of the most recent purchase or pre-order from the author I've made. Some of these authors have more books out than others, but even the ones who only a few books to their name have earned my trust enough that I will buy whatever they write next even if it's completely different.







I actually have more than 10 Auto-Buy Authors but I work hard to actually make these top ten lists so I had to think about whose books I would buy even if I had to sacrifice something else.

Who are your auto-buy authors?

Ash & Bramble

I have established that I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. You know what else I love? Books written by Sarah Prineas. Both her MG series are great favorites of mine. When she happened to mention on Twitter long ago that she was working on a YA, I followed closely eager to read whatever the result was. Ash & Bramble is a fabulous work of genius.

(I consider Sarah a friend as well as an author I love, and she sent me the ARC I'm reviewing here.)

Pin lives in the Godmother's fortress sewing clothes with the other seamstresses tasked with producing the beautiful one of a kind ballgowns the Godmother uses for her mysterious purposes. Pin has no memories of her life prior to the day she begins her work as a slave to the Godmother's will. Everything that came before is a blank nothing. While she has no memories, she is still a person with a will and a fierce defiance to live her own life. She gets a chance to plan an escape when she is used as a foot model for the s…

WoW: A Tangle of Gold

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Cello is in crisis. Princess Ko's deception of her people has emerged and the Kingdom is outraged: The Jagged Edge Elite have taken control, placing the Princess and two members of the Royal Youth Alliance under arrest and ordering their execution; the King's attempts to negotiate their release have failed. Color storms are rampant, and nobody has heard the Cello wind blowing in months.

Meanwhile, Madeleine fears she's about to lose the Kingdom of Cello forever. Plans are in place to bring the remaining Royals home, and after that, all communication between Cello and the World will cease. That means she'll also lose Elliot, now back in Cello and being held captive by a branch of Hostiles. And there's nothing he can do to help his friends unless he can escape the Hostile compound.

Worlds apart and with time ru…

Six Impossible Things

I have wanted to read Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood since buzz first started to go around about it when it came out in Australia. I waited and waited for it to be published in the US. When Wildlife was published last year I hoped it meant we would be getting this one too. (I was even more eager to read it after the amazingness of Wildlife.) It's been a long wait for this book, but it was well worth it.

Dan Cereill is not having the best year. His family has lost their fortune. His father has come out as gay and left his mom. He has to switch schools halfway through the year. He is living in the house of his dead great-aunt. The only thing getting him through his break is his neighbor Estelle who is beautiful and who he has so much in common with. His problem is that he hasn't actually met her. And how he knows they have so much in common is a secret that he never wants to think about let alone have any one discover. Especially Estelle. Once Dan starts school and reenters …

TTT: Fairytale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings

Tam Lin Retellings (I know it's a ballad but it's old and there are faeries. I count it.)


 Cinderella:

 12 Dancing Princesses and Frog Prince (a two for one!):
Sleeping Beauty:

 All things Hans Christian Anderson, but particularly The Snow Queen:

My favorite fairy tales are "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", both of which derive from the myth of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche. Consequently, I judge retellings of these much harder than any others. Here are my favorite retellings of all three:

For taking my favorite fairy tale and showing the darker side of it and doing it so brilliantly (also with Hades/Persephone elements, but its connected and essential to those others I love too):


And while not a direct retelling, this has enough elements for me to count it with as THE BEST book that nods to my favorite tales:
And t…