Top Ten Tuesday

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books That Many People Don’t Read But Are Really Good

1. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

2. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

3. Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

4. The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby

5. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

6. The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale

7. Gaia Girls series by Lee Welles

8. Ink by Amanda Sun

9. Tomorrow Girls series by Eva Gray

10. The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O’Roark Dowell

A lot of these books are MG (3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10), which may put older readers off, but they’re actually really good! [I could’ve added pictures, but I was too lazy; sorry.]

What undiscovered books have you read? Tell me in the comments below.

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Stacking the Shelves, Marissa Meyer Events, and Book Review of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I did some major stacking of shelves today. At Target! It was literally [almost] my entire TBR list. I had to take some off, though. :( The grand total was about $85.

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From top to bottom…

The Book Thief

Eleanor and Park

Fangirl

Dorothy Must Die

The Darkest Minds

Where She Went

I know, I’m behind on all of these! But I’m so excited to finally be able to read them. Since I [somewhat] recently read If I Stay, I’m reading Where She Went first.

I am subscribed to Marissa Meyer’s (the author of The Lunar Chronicles) blog, and today I got an email update of a post. There are a few things about it.

One. Marissa Meyer is releasing Winter in November 2015! Thought it would be sooner? Read on…

Two. She is releasing Fairest, the prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, will be released January 27. That is why! Are you stoked? I’m stoked!!!

Three. This is the greatest, in my opinion. Marissa Meyer is in the Fierce Reads Tour throughout the USA, visiting bookstores with Jessica Brody, Gennifer Albin, and Nikki Kelly! And she is coming to my state near me so I will probably see her!!!! I am sooooooooooooooooooooo happy about this!!!!!!!!!!!! Go here to see the dates for the tour.

Four. This doesn’t concern me, but I though you should know. There is an essay contest with the prompt “With all of the new forms of media appearing every day, how do you think the experience of reading books will change over the next ten years?” The winner will have dinner with Marissa Meyer during the Baltimore Boom Festival. I wish I could participate, but I don’t live near Baltimore. :( Go here for details.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Title: Number the Stars

Author: Lois Lowry

Number of Pages: 132

Genre: Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Discussion: My English teacher recommended that I read this book, since I had just finished The Giver, which is by the same author. I honestly knew nothing about it. But I judged it by its cover (I know, I know!) and the summary and decided, well, I have nothing else to read–why not give it a try? And, boy, am I so glad I did! I really enjoyed this book.

The first thing I noticed about the book was that it was really short. A lot of Lowry’s books are, though. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For this book, I was a little bit disappointed that it was this short. It didn’t have as much detail as I would have liked, and I feel like it glanced over some big parts.

It tells the story of Germans invading Denmark. I thought this was an original place to set it, since the Germans invaded so many places. My friend spent the past year in Denmark, so it was cool to learn about its past a little.

The first scene shows Annemarie, the MC, racing her friend Ellen along the street. They bump into some German soldiers, and the story takes off from there. The friendship between Annemarie and Ellen is very sweet and sister-like.

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Overall, I found this book to be very sweet (there it is again!) and heartfelt. Read it!

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Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Number of Pages: 179

Genre: Science fiction

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Discussion: Like To Kill a Mockingbird, I had heard such good things about this book, and the movie is coming out, so I had to read it. I actually didn’t know what it was about when I picked it up! I had high expectations for it, from all the feedback I’d gotten, so I was happily satisfied.

The beginning was not slow. In fact, none of it was slow–I was reading as fast as I could because I was so riveted! [Be prepared for me to use even more exclamation marks in this review.] I was hooked throughout the entire book.

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I think you get my point of how excellent it was; let’s move on to the negatives (which there were few).

The language was very…scripted. Which is how, I guess, the society worked. But I do feel like they didn’t use realistic words that people say. Maybe Lowry wanted it to be like that. Who knows?

Also, I couldn’t really connect with their feelings. Even when it was being described, I feel like it was either under-dramatic or melodramatic; there was no in between that most people show. I understand that under certain circumstances there are extremes, but these felt too…I don’t know, just under- or over-dramatic.

Books I found very similar to this is the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie and the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. Both societies are controlled and somewhat robotic, in my opinion. And they take away creativity.

Overall, I loved The Giver, so please read it! And then go see the movie! But don’t see the movie before the book!

I hope you enjoyed my book review of The Giver. Did you like this book, if you’ve read it? I’m going to the bookstore tomorrow, so I will begin reading then.

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Top Ten Tuesday, Book Review, and An Announcement!

Contrary to the title, I am announcing first. I just passed 2,250 views on my blog! And, yes, I know, many of them are visits from the same person. But it means you care enough to come back! You have faith in me and my writing. So, thank you, to everyone. At least I know you’re there, even if you don’t subscribe or comment. [Take the hint!] Back to the awesomeness.

*Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou*

I love all of you so much! Thank you for reading my posts, for reading my rants, and book reviews, and maybe even stopping by to check out my novel. You are the reason I have over 2,250 views.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Fictional Characters I Would Want to Sit At My [Awesome] Lunch Table

1. Hermione Granger Because we are soul mates. Besides Evi, of course. Won’t forget you, bae. :)

2. Leo Valdez He is my OTP. So, um, duh?

3. Annabeth Chase We can talk about how annoying Hera is. ;) And how Seaweed Brain, is well, a seaweed brain.

4. Cinder She is so amazing! Just to have a conversation with her would be like, woah… But then again, all these people are pretty amazing.

5. Sabrina Grimm She has a wicked sense of humor and sarcasm. We both have little sisters.

6. Isabelle Lightwood Her sense of fashion is truly awesome. She is the best stylish, kick-butt girl I know.

7. Simon Lewis I mean, he just might top Leo Valdez. Although, kinda hard to beat Izzy…

8. Augustus Waters Another OTP.

9. Sadie Kane She’s British. An she can give me tips on hair-dyeing!

10. Tris Prior She is just so cool, I mean, come on.

That was my TTT; I loved doing it, by the way. Sorry I didn’t have pictures! I was too lazy.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Number of Pages: 324

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. [By the way, “pathos” is actually a word. Crazy, right? It means “a quality that evokes pity or sadness.]

Discussion: God, did I love this book. I heard such wonderful things about it from many other bloggers, and when I found it in my homeroom teacher’s classroom, of course I had to pick it up!

The first few chapters were really too slow for me, and I began to think that To Kill a Mockingbird would be my first bad review. The plot moved slowly and many big words were used that I didn’t understand. Finally, though, the plot sped up with Boo Radley and Dill and such, and I was happily entranced.

Boo Radley fascinated me, along with the trinkets in the tree. In fact, the whole town fascinated me. Each member was lovely in some way, but had their hamartia. Maybe their hamartia wasn’t exactly huge, but I loved how none of the residents were peachy perfect.

I enjoyed seeing Scout and Jem mature, growing up past Boo Radley and ghosts and the like. Jem’s stage of being very adult-like reminded me of myself. My sister (think of her as Scout) is always pestering me to play with her, while I don’t want to (think of me as Jem). I sympathized with Jem, and learned more from Scout about this and why my sister gets sad when I don’t play with her.

Although this book is funny and sweet, it also has some huge themes that I thought were snuck in nicely. Lee didn’t make the book a lesson, but she also told the truth.

Sexism actually shows up a lot, and from a feminist’s point of view, I was disappointed with parts of it. Scout is scolded for “acting like a girl,” and then Aunt Alexandra says it isn’t proper for a girl to be wearing pants instead of a skirt. Scout is very sexist, too, but only by listening to her elders and observing those around her.

Racism: the second of two -isms that frequent the pages. The whole second part of the book is about racism. Black people are often referred to as a racist term I cannot repeat, but I bet you can guess. And the whole court trial and the final verdict is about race, and not at all about justice and facts.

I think Scout and Matilda would be best friends. Both are scolded for learning early and are wise beyond their years.

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All in all I adored this book, but think the slow parts were a bit…well, slow. They are the only reason I give To Kill a Mockingbird 4 stars. Read it!

Next, I’m reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, and already I’m more than halfway through.

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