Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Reading

Summer is here! Yay!!! I'm seriously in need of some chill time, particularly to read more. I so enjoyed all of the reading I was able to do during summer break last year. I may not get as much in this year as I am still in the process of planning for the first semester of the 2013-2014 school year. I have three new HS English classes I'm taking on this year. BUT. I still have some things I am going to attempt to participate in.
The 48 HBC will take place June 7-9 and is being hosted by Ms. Yingling Reads this year. I love this event and am excited it is happening since I was unable to participate last year. Also I have TBR pile that could use 48 hours of concentrated reading to help reduce it.

In addition to this I'm also going to do the #Bookaday Challenge. Now I really mean in addition to. I know #bookaday is supposed to be an average so technically the 48 HBC would cover half my summer. But I will try to read a book a day too. Many of them will be picture books more than likely.

I am also going to participate in this:
I love a good series and there are several that I have on my TBR that I want to read, and a few I've started that need finishing. This seems like the perfect motivation for that. I signed up here at Into the Hall of Books. You can sign up at either of the other blogs also hosting the challenge too.

Is anyone else doing any of these? What other summer reading challenges are you doing?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Look Different in Real Life

I couldn't help but be drawn to the concept of You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle. In our era of "reality" TV, to take a look at the story of some one who is put in the position of having their life filmed is brilliant. My only fear was that Castle would not do her idea the justice it deserves. No worries. This is an excellent novel.

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.
The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.
Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.
But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

 First person present tense narration is not my favorite. I don't despise it, but I find it distracting. Justine's voice is so strong that after the first couple of pages I didn't even notice it anymore. Justine has a wonderful voice, vulnerable, angry, pitiful, sympathetic. She has faults and weaknesses but she is also endearing. I liked her at the same time I wanted to tell her exactly what she was missing through her self-focused lens. Yet the lens through which she sees the world and people around her changes through the novel and the way this comes about is brilliant. Her relationship with her family, her fellow stars, and the producers is wonderfully portrayed. It was interesting to see the other kids through Justine's eyes, the snippets shared from the first two movies, and the interactions they have with her. This is a diverse group of characters which is completely realistic. This group is exactly the group documentary film producers would love. Felix is the son of immigrants. Nate is a member of a local farming family and son of a young single mom. Keira is the bi-racial daughter of an English professor. Rory is an autistic girl. I came to care for all of them individually and as a group. They were genuine teens and Castle does an excellent job as portraying them and their world.

It was interesting to see how being filmed formed, changed, and influenced each of the kids and how hard they are trying to break free of that. I like that Castle didn't resort to cliche's in the portrayal of any of them or their parents. I appreciate what the story was saying about the phenomenon of filming "real" life and how it affects individuals as well as society, but that wasn't the main theme of the novel. The story is ultimately about friendship and discovering who you are and what that means in the context of those around you. The way the relationships between the five morphs over the course of the story is organic and even the romantic element works and comes off well.

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA stories with great characters.

I read a galley provided by HarperTeen. You Look Different in Real Life is on sale June 4.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Doll Bones

Doll Bones is a new Middle Grade title from the talented Holly Black. It is, thus far, my favorite MG read of the year. It is a genre busting title that covers horror, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural. Or it could be a plain old contemporary realistic novel. It is all in how you look it at.

Doll Bones follows three twelve year olds who have been friends for years.

Zach: He is a talented basketball player and has recently attracted the interest of the cool kids and girls in his middle school. He doesn't want anyone to discover he still plays with action figures with his two friends who are girls, but he also loves it and doesn't want to give it up.

Alice: She is a drama girl who loves theater and acting and uses it to escape from her domineering grandmother, who is her guardian. She uses the game with her friends for the same thing and has created ever more dangerous and reckless characters who take the risks she is afraid to take herself.

Poppy: She is the youngest of a group of delinquent siblings. Her house is always a mess and her parents have quit trying to maintain order. It is her house the other two come to for their game, and it is Polly who is the diabolical thinker who comes up with all of the games danger and adventure. It is why she often plays the part of villain.

The game is complex. These kids created an epic imaginary world culled from tales and myths they read. Into it they placed characters who have real lives and histories. Over this world rules the Queen in her glass tower, an antique china doll belonging to Poppy's mom and locked in a cabinet to keeep her safe. They are invested in their game and everything it entails. Until one day Zach tells the girls he doesn't want to play anymore. Then one night the girls show up and tell him a horrifying story. Poppy released the Queen from the tower hoping she could convince Zach to keep playing. Now she is having dreams about a girl who was murdered. A girl whose bones were ground up and made into a china doll. She is demanding a proper burial in the cemetery in her home town. And she wants Poppy, Zach, and Alice to take her there.

All three characters are vivid, layered, and interesting. The story is told in third person from Zach's perspective so it is his thoughts and struggles the reader is most connected to. However, the girls' struggles are also depicted through Zach's interactions with and musings on them, even if he doesn't understand all of what he is seeing. The struggle here between childhood and emerging adolescence is rendered so well. It is happening gradually, yet faster than any of them would like, particularly Poppy who feels like she is being left behind by the other two. There is the struggle to hold on to the things that are most familiar as everything seems to be changing too fast. Yet there is an excitement and anticipation about the changes as well, at least in Zach and Alice. This is a story any middle school kid will find themselves in, they all have this same struggle.

Then there is the creepy horror part of the story. And creepy it is. Is Poppy messing with the other two? Spinning a yard to keep them playing the game, keep them attached to her? Or is the Queen really the ghost of murdered girl named Eleanor who is forcing the three to do her bidding by scaring the pants off of them? Black laid out her plot perfectly, setting down each event to keep the reader wondering, asking. Everything that happens to the kids can be logically explained, and Zach and Alice do logically explain it all. And yet...the creepiness is there.

The writing here is phenomenal. The pacing keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. The phrasing is engaging and simple, but layered with meaning at the same time. The kids are equal parts relateable and unlikable. They are so real. The theme of growing up, changing, moving on, learning to adapt are woven into the story so perfectly that anyone who is or has experienced adolescence will get the character's struggles. At the same time it also funny. When you add in the sense of mystery, intrigue, and horror, you have a book that is impossible to put down until you have reached the last page.

Some of my favorite quotes:
Sometimes it seemed to him that girls spoke a different language, but he couldn't figure out when they'd learned it. He was pretty sure that they used to all speak the same language a year ago.

In stories, orphan boys became assistant pig keepers and magician's apprentices. In real life, he wasn't sure there were many equivalent jobs.

He wondered whether growing up was learning that most stories turned out to be lies.

Also, it wasn't like they were walking through the awesome vistas of Middle Earth- a forest full of Ents or elves, a mountain pass brimming with orcs and ice-they were mostly walking past industrial buildings and a bowling alley. 

It's not fair. We had a story, and our story was important. And I hate that both of you can just walk away and take part of my story with you and not even care. I hate that you can do what you're supposed to do and I can't. I hate that you're going to leave me behind. I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like dying. It feels like each of you is being possessed and I'm next. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

A review featuring Bit, age 8 (but only for two more days!)

So here we are at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.We are finished. I'm a little sad, but mostly just cherish this experience I have had reading these books to her, and hope her brother lets me do the same thing with him.

The Story
The wizarding world is in the worst circumstances it's been in. Harry is being hunted by everyone, while he, Ron, and Hermione are attempting to hunt down the means of destroying Voldemort once and for all.

Bit's Thoughts
This is the perfect way to end the series. There are parts that make me sad, and parts that make me happy. Harry got annoying again, but made up for it in the end. A lot of stuff surprised me, but I can't say what. You should definitely read the whole series so you can read this book. It was my favorite one in the series. 

My Thoughts
I loved this book when it first came out, and I still love it. Reading it again reminded me of just how much, and exactly how superior it is to the movies. I am quite happy with how everything resolves itself, though I could happily never read the Epilogue again. I really wish she had just ended it without that. 

What Bit and I are reading now: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Best Birthday Stash Ever

I did a Favorite Things post a few months back on my Favorite Books of All Time. I mentioned it was inspired by my sister asking but not telling me why she wanted to know. As I said then, she's crafty in more ways than one. Well, today I received my birthday present from her. It was late because she didn't want to mail it and I now I know why. All of it was made by her. And it is all awesome. And something my nerdy bookish friends will appreciate so I'm sharing.

The Bag it All Came In:
 Then she filled it up with items relating to all the nerdy things I love:
These are bookish magnets and a journal that says "Team Baker Street" on it.
 It's a little Doctor Who supply kit for my purse.
 A notebook full of Harry Potter recipes. She put quotes from the books on every page too.
 This is why she asked me to choose my favorite books. These are coasters. I'm so excited.
I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of all of this but this was the part that had me tearing up. She made the necklace and the earrings. The book on the necklace is Pride and Prejudice. The earrings are inspired by The Queen of Attolia. She combined the two famous earrings into one because, as she said in the accompanying note: "I like to think of them as symbolic-Gen makes her a better person but she's still The Queen Bee."

And Finally:
The feeling is most definitely mutual. ♥

No one is ever going to beat this present. Ever.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

I was super excited to win a copy of Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell in a Goodreads giveaway. I had reservations about Haskell's The Princess Curse (my thoughts), but I liked her writing so much I was eager to try another of her books. Handbook for Dragon Slayers is a great tale of adventure, friendship, and discovering who you are.

Tilda has never given much thought to dragons, attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's responsibilities.When a greedy cousin steals Tilda's lands, the young princess goes on the run with two would-be dragon slayers. Before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt, befriending magical horses, and battling flame-spouting dragons. On the adventure of a lifetime, and caught between dreams of freedom and the people who need her, Tilda learns more about dragons—and herself—than she ever imagined.

Tilda is not the typical heroine of a princess story, even a rebellious princess story. She is not longing for adventure, she wants to be left alone to write books. She has a foot deformity that causes her to limp and leaves her feeling self conscious all the time. She has built up walls to keep her emotions safe and her heart from being hurt. As a result she doesn't always understand the motivations and actions of the people closest to her. She is a sympathetic and likable character and I admire her ambitions, if not all of her choices. I do love how her choices lead her to see herself in new ways and therefore make better choices for her and her people. 

As the title would suggest there are dragons in this story and some interesting twists involving them as well. There is nothing new or special about the treatment of dragons, it is simply perfect in its dragony ways. The Wild Hunt and the villain desperate to ensnare a wish from them gave a sinister creepy element to the plot that struck just the right tone. Trying to piece everything together and see what would happen next made for an engrossing read.

Friendship plays a big part in Tilda's journey, her learning how to be a friend and accept friendship. She has two wonderful, though often misguided, companions and both are important to her character's development and contribute in their own ways to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed Haskell's treatment of this theme and how she resolved one particular problem through the power of friendship and left romance out of it. 

This is a wonderful read for anyone who loves stories of adventure, friendship, discovery, and dragons.

I read an ARC won from Harper Children's in a Goodreads giveaway. The Handbook for Dragon Slayers is on sale May 28.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TTT: Favorite Covers of Books I've Read

This week's TTT topic is Top Ten Covers of Books I've Read:

 Doll Bones: I'm so happy that I get to include this one. I just read the book over the weekend. I loved the creepiness of the cover before I read the book, and love it even more now. It fits the story so perfectly

The King of Attolia: I like how this cover encompasses so much of the story contained within and yet can be so misleading if you study it in a certain light.

Graffiti Moon: Another cover that I feel captures the contents of the book perfectly. I love the blurriness of the city in the background and the shadowed focus on Lucy and Ed. So symbolic of the story.

Wildwood Dancing: I have always loved Kinuko Craft's illustrations and this cover is a work of art. There is so much detail. You really need to see it up close to appreciate the full effect. Warning: It may cause you to want to stroke it and not stop looking at it.

Seraphina: They could have so easily gone with a photo of girl looking mysterious and angsty on the cover for this one and I can't tell you how happy I am that they chose this instead. It fits the world of the story so well.

Peaceweaver: I love that Hilde is in action on this cover, confronting the monster, sword in hand, in motion. Perfect.

The Boneshaker: This conveys the perfect amount of creepiness and horror to fit the book.

Meant to Be: The colors! London! I just love it all.

Stolen Magic: I love all the covers for the Kat books, but this one is so utterly prefect. That expression on her face is so perfectly Kat.

American Born Chinese: The bewildered expression of the boy clutching his transformer like a lifeline makes me want to hug him. The Monkey King buried under the rocks in the background is such a strange contrast to this that it draws you in and makes you want to know the whole story.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pirate's Wish

I had so much fun reading The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark when it came out last year. (My thoughts.) The story continues in the sequel, The Pirate's Wish, and to add to the fun of pirates and assassins there is also a Manticore. I  mean come on, how can you not want to read a book with an assassin, a pirate, and a Manticore? I know I sure wanted to and was excited when I was able to read it early after being approved on NetGalley.

Warning: Spoilers for The Assassin's Curse ahead. Read it before read this.

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

The Pirate's Wish is so much fun to read. It is a roller coaster ride full of adventure and action. It opens shortly after the previous book left off with Ananna and Naji stranded and looking for a way to break the curse. They have to complete three seemingly impossible tasks in order to do this, which seem even more impossible as they are stuck on an island. The unresolved and undiscussed attraction between them is not helping matters, particularly as Ananna is convinced this is one-sided and that Naji cares nothing for her. The story has a little bit of everything. There is pirate ships, sea battles, islands of magical creatures, and royal courts. The reader's interest is grabbed and kept from start to finish. I was concerned, and had been since it was mentioned in the first book, about how the portion of the curse where Naji had to create life from violence was going to happen. I LOVED what Clark did there. 

I was reminded of how much I appreciate Ananna's character. So  many books of this ilk try to make the main character more educated and better spoken through some unlikely twist than they otherwise would be. I love that Ananna is unashamedly who she is, a girl who grew up on a pirate ship and acts and talks like it. Naji continued to be difficult to connect with, again because the story is all from Ananna's perspective. I knew she was reading him wrong and at times I was frustrated and wanted them to just discuss it already and stop running from it. Still. I like the way their story and relationship resolved in the end.

It was nice to get more of Marjani's story in this volume and I loved the addition of Jeric's character. I would like to know more about him now. 

For any who enjoyed the first novel, this book is a must read. There were times when I felt it didn't all fit together perfectly, like when my son is doing a puzzle and he puts the right pieces together correctly but they aren't pushed in properly. It's a little uneven, yet so much fun and a great time. 

Warning for Concerned Parents: This might not be the best pick for readers on the younger side of the YA spectrum who may not have the emotional maturity for this. There are instances of sex and swearing. (They are on a pirate ship.)

I read a galley of this title made available via the publisher, Angry Robot. The Pirate's Wish is available to purchase June 4 and to pre-order now.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Favorite Classics

Classic literature is on my mind a lot lately. All the talk about The Great Gatsby, which will never be a book I like, is part of it. Mostly though it is because I'm rereading so many in preparation to teach my High School English classes next year. So this month's Favorite Things list is dedicated to my favorite all time classic novels.

 In making this list I thought of so many Shakespeare plays I wanted to add that I decided to do a whole list just for him. Coming in July...

What about you? Do you have any classic novels you love to reread? What are the ones you don't like at all?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Empire of Bones

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

 Cyrus and Antigone Smith have thwarted Dr. Phoenix's plans—for the moment. And they've uncovered a new threat from the transmortals and managed to escape with their lives. Their next adventure will take them deep into the caves below Ashtown, where they will look for help from those imprisoned in one of Ashtown's oldest tombs.

I love all of N.D. Wilson's books and his latest series is definitely my favorite of his books. The first two books, The Dragon's Tooth and The Drowned Vault, are amazing. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment which he has promised will feature the return of Leon, the giant immortal turtle. Excellent. Why does it not come out until October 22!?!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Last year I completely fell for a surly, mischievous, puck named Rook and a strong, kind-hearted, girl named Fer when I read Winterling by Sarah Prineas (my thoughts).  When my copy of Summerkin, the sequel, arrived it was no surprise that I lost interest in everything else in my TBR pile and had to read it right away. I am happy to say that I adored it and am more in love with the characters than ever.

Fer, who defeated the evil usurper who had murdered her parents and taken over the Summerland, now must come to terms with what it means to be the ruler. She is fiercely determined not to take oaths from her people knowing how they were abused when they did that before. Her refusal to do this has put her right to rule in question. The High Ones have requested that she come to compete in a competition. The winner will win the right to rule the Summerlands. Rook, now freed from his oaths to the evil Mor, has returned to his Puck brothers. They are determined to create mischief and what better place to create mischief than at a competition the High Ones have organized at the nave? And what better puck to send than Rook, who the Lady Gwynnefar foolishly trusts and calls friend? But there is a sinister presence at the nave ready to challenge Geynnefar and Rook finds himself torn between his duty as a puck and the strange bond that keeps forming between him and Fer.

Fer's journey to learn what sort of leader she wants to be and how to implement that proves how perfect she is for the job. Her strength under pressure, her compassion for all, and her ability to empathize make her a great leader. She wants to see the good in every one, but isn't afraid of standing up to those she sees as threatening her people. Yet she is so lonely because she is seen as the Lady by her people and as a half-human usurper by most of her peers. It is heart wrenching the ways she wants to trust Rook, but can't help doubting. Particularly when he keeps telling her not to trust him. At the same time it is heart wrenching to see Rook wanting to be what she needs but fighting it at the same time. He doesn't know how, it's against his nature. As much as I want to smack him sometimes I can't help but love him. He is obnoxious but endearing, because he is also noble and upstanding in his own way. I really love how the books in this trilogy are focusing on both of their character arcs and their relationship. It was lovely to see Fer's relationship with Fray and Twig growing as well.

There are some great new characters added to the story this time too. Two of Fer's competitors, Gnar and Lich, are fascinating and I would love to see more of them. Arenthiel makes the perfect villain, smarmy and insidious in all the right ways. All the other pucks in the story are a marvelous additon as well.

The competition aspect of the story kept the pacing moving quickly and makes for a riveting read. There is always something going on, something to discover, something to think about. All this builds up to intense moments. I continue to appreciate what Prineas is doing with faerie-lore in these books.

I'm ecstatic that we only have months to wait for Moonkind, which will release in January.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Reading Harry Potter to Bit has been one of the most fun experiences of my life and I have managed to stretch it out over three years. It is coming to an end though as I promised to read the last two books back to back and we have finished The Half Blood Prince.

 The Story
The wizarding world knows of Lord Voldemort's return and fears are running high. People are disappearing or found dead. The Ministry is powerless to find the Death Eaters or stop their destruction. Hogwarts isn't even safe anymore as strange and terrifying attacks are harming students. Yet school is still school. There are lessons to learn, Quidditch to play, and girls eager to slip Harry love potion for the chance of a date with him. To add to this stress Ron and Hermione are at odds again, Harry is convinced Draco is up to something nefarious and no one will listen to him, and Dumbledore is giving Harry extra lessons about Tom Riddle's dark past. Fortunately Harry is getting a little extra help from an old Potions textbook belonging to a brilliant wizard known as The Half Blood Prince. But who is the Prince and can he really be trusted?

Bit's Thoughts
The Half Blood Prince was awesome. Harry was funnier in this book than in the last book. He was less annoying. I like that Ginny was in it more. She's my favorite character. It was surprising when you learn that Slughorn is teaching Potions instead of Snape. The end is interesting, surprising, and sad.

My Thoughts
The Half Blood Prince is the book in the series I have reread the least so I was pleasantly surprised by what a great read aloud it made, particularly in comparison to books four and five. This is a bridge to the final book, setting the stage for the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. Rowling sets that stage brilliantly though. True a lot of it is through Dumbledore telling Harry things but all of the things are fascinating, a deeper more layered look at the villain and world of magic. It makes it all more nuanced which I love. Then there is the mystery, the humor of the typical high school social workings, and, of course, the shattering events of the end. I liked it far more than I remembered liking it on earlier reads.

What Bit and I are reading now: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Out of This Place

I tend to like contemporary YA novels written by Australian authors so whenever an opportunity comes up to read a new one I will take it. Out of This Place by Emma Cameron is a beautifully written verse novel that originated in Australia under the title Cinnamon Rain. It is a good story and a powerful one that I enjoyed with some reservations.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school. His mate Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother that social services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. But even after they each find a way to move on and lead very different lives, can they outrun their family stories — and will they ever be able to come together again? 

I have said before that verse novels don't always work for me. I need to believe that it was the best way to tell the story. And in this case Cameron made believe that. Her words are well chosen and the imagery she uses vivid. The way she uses them sparingly and yet tells so much is artistic. Like this take on Casey from Luke's perspective:
I think,
If Casey lived
in another time or place,
she'd be like a fountain-
bubbles reaching everyone around her.
she's as still
as a leaf-littered pond,
dark water evaporating,
waiting desperately for rain.

I enjoyed the shifting perspectives and how some of the events overlapped but were told so very differently highlighting how each individual sees the circumstances differently. I also liked the realistic portrayal of the harder aspects of Casey and Bongo's lives while not allowing the story to wallow in darkness. I did think the turn around in Bongo's life was a little unrealistic. I wanted to see him succeed but in a way that was more likely to actually happen. It is possible my incredulity about this may be due to lack of knowledge in the way things operate in Australia though. 

Overall the novel is a good one, another excellent addition to the many wonderful Australian imports we have received in recent years. 

My one reservation is in the way sex is used and portrayed in the novel. I am not naive enough to believe that everyone shares my opinions on the subject of sex nor that teens aren't having it in exactly the ways Luke, Casey, and Bongo are. My concern is when sex is portrayed as something inconsequential or simple. Yes Casey is left with a lasting reminder, but she far too easily disregards most of the experience including her partner as inconsequential. All three do. Sex is complex and layered and when it is treated so cavalierly and easy it bothers me. I like when novels tackle this realistically, but I prefer for there to be more balance. 
Despite this misgiving of mine, it is a good book and I really enjoyed the way Cameron ended it. At first I thought, "What? That's it????" It took a disgruntled ten minutes for me to decide I would not have wanted it to end any other way. She leaves so much room for the imagination. I was just annoyed because I enjoyed spending time with these characters so much.

Content Warning for Concerned Parents: As stated in the review there is some sex. Drinking and drug use are also referred to.   

I read a copy made available from the publisher via NetGalley. Out of This Place is on sale Tuesday, May 13. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books When You Need Something Light and Fun

This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday. I didn't discover it until after I already started doing the once a month My Favorite Things posts. Once I discovered TTT I would see topics I would love to participate in. As that keeps happening I decided to occasionally participate when the topic is one that I really love. I will still do my own Favorite Things posts too.

This week's TTT topic is Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light and Fun

The MG Choices:

The Kat Books by Stephanie Burgis: Regency England and magic. It doesn't get any better than that. There is a lot of mystery, adventure, and romance thrown into the mix too. 

The Penderwick Books by Jeanne Birdsall: This series about four sisters and their adventures and friendships is perfect lighthearted fun. I sometimes read the end of Gardam Street whenever I need a scene that will just make me smile at the end of a long day.

The Contemporary YA:
Meant to Be by Lauren Morill:  London and the type of romance I adore most, the bickering in denial kind. Sigh.

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: This book portrays the sort of family dynamics I like and does it with a lighthearted touch. Oliver is also a perk.

Fun Fantasy:

The Sherwood Ring by Eizabeth Marie Pope: You will never have as much fun with a ghost story as you will with this one.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: Howl is one of the most infuriating and enduring characters in print. And I love his interactions with Sophie oh so much.

Adult Romance:

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn: Julia Quinn is an auto-buy author for me, because she writes such witty dialogue and her books are often hilarious. This one is my favorite. I love Colin and Penelope and how their relationship's development is so tied to words and writing.

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand: I have never read an adult contemporary romance I have enjoyed as much as this one. Chocolate and Paris. You can't go wrong.

Not so Much LIGHT but still FUN:

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis: Sleep deprived time travelers who are racing between their own time, WWII, and Victorian England with lots of Dorothy Sayers references thrown in. Words can not do my love for this book justice.

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: I think this is the volume of the series that I have the most fun reading. It is almost like the reader is a co-conspirator by this point.