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Top Ten Tuesday: They did WHAT?

Apr
09

5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS THAT WERE TOTALLY DECEIVING


Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares. I’d been taught from the Traveling Pants series that there were always happy resolutions for the girls. But this was not the case at all in its conclusion. It was very unsettling.

The Duff by Kody Keplinger. The concept of the Duff barely made a lasting appearance in the story. I felt cheated into reading a cliched teen romance.

Love Story by Jennifer Echols. I’m not sure this counts as an instance of deceit, but, c’mon. That ending? What’s up with THAT?

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Going by the cover alone, I expected some sort of masquerade. It just led my mind in a different direction entirely. Thankfully the story ended up being TOTALLY AWESOME.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I thought this would be a cutesy winter read, but it ended up being chaotic and the Book of Dares was left by the wayside maybe halfway through. The title was misleading.

Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy. The cover is a coffee cup with a heart in its foam. Yet, the story is about a spunky tomboy being in a band. What’s up with that?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. I was expecting a cute, romantic read focusing on a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Instead the story revolves around the protagonist and her relationship with her father – which is okay, just not what the summary sold me.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I expected a cute, beach read. Instead the story is very serious (and, consequently, boring). It didn’t live up to its description.

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*I know there’s only 8, but this post decided to eat itself before posting, and I had to recreate it from memory in a shorter amount of time.

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS TO READ IN ONE DAY!


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When I opened this book, I literally could not stop reading. It demands reading in one sitting. IT’S THAT GOOD.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. I understand that this is the last in the Iron Fey series, but it was my absolute favorite in an It-All-Leads-Up-to-This! way. I tore through this book. So good, and Ash is just so swoon-worthy.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. This one gets overlooked a lot, but I consider it a treasure. It’s ridiculously cute, and ridiculously short, so there’s no way you CAN’T finish this in one sitting.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan. I’m sorry, but I love this man’s writing, and this is another overlooked gem of his. It was one of the first verse novels I ever tried and ended up falling in love with it.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Um, hello? Marcus Flutie. ‘Nuff said.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I’m sorry, but there’s just something so wonderful and magical and youthful that keeps me coming back to this tale!

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund. You probably know her for her killer unicorn stories, like Rampant, but did you know she has this other incredible series? About people IN COLLEGE? I bet you didn’t, or haven’t given it a shot. It’s humorous and just makes me feel good all-around. It takes me to another school and makes me want to be in a secret society for a day, too.

All American Girl by Meg Cabot. This book completely won me over, way back when. It’s just full of good vibes and teen angst, and would be perfect for a day-long reading marathon.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. It’s not a perfect day if you’re not at Hogwarts.  Granted, this would be a more lengthy challenge for one day, if you’re also trying to tackle nine other books, but. Totally worth revisiting again and again.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. This is just a wonderful, summery, day-brightening book. I would love to go traveling with these girls again, even if only for a day.

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Why I love Contemporary YA – Just Contemporary, week 1!

Nov
02

5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

WHY I LOVE CONTEMPORARY YA
Learn about the Just Contemporary event here.

Contemporary means present or modern.  And in the world of YA books, it typically means teens just living their lives, taking one step at a time, dealing with school, family and boys, of course.  But why is this appealing? Why do I read it when there are blood-thirsty vampires and wizards running about?
Because contemporary YA is real. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, because it can’t. It’s real life. It’s relatable. It’s knowing you’ve got something in common with someone. It’s knowing you’re not alone, no matter the subject.
What would my teenage years have been like without Meg Cabot? The old Meg Cabot. I’m talking Princess Diaries and All American Girl, with their awkward, nerdy female protagonists, looking for ways to embrace their weirdness.  What would I have done without Sam and Mia? They helped me think that just maybe high school could be bearable.

Or what about Rachel Cohn’s Gingerbread series? If not for those, I’d have never gotten an up-close look at the constructs of long-distance relationships, or the matching of fun with work.  I’d also certainly not have longed for a surfer boyfriend.
?And I can’t not mention Sarah Dessen, who is probably considered the Mother of all Contemporary YA. (And rightfully so.)  Her stories illuminate the lives of teens everywhere, dealing with issues of friendship to family hardships to medical problems.  She takes the pain and coaxes it, showing that things really will be all right, if you give them the chance to be.
And then every once in a while, you come across those special books – the ones that will stay with you for a long time.  They’re not just beautiful, they’re powerful.  They take your world and turn it upside down, leaving nothing but raw emotion in their wake. For me, this type of special book is, and always will be, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  It deals with a controversial topic, and is often banned, but in all honesty, it’s moving. Touching. Poignant. I can’t imagine anyone reading Speak and not being sucked into the contemporary YA circuit. It’s that wonderful.
There’s a lot to learn from contemporary YA, and I think that’s what keeps me coming back for more. The lessons never end.  I can read ten books about boyfriends and breakups and rotten friends, and still see a different perception – a different angle to the story – every time. It never gets old.
Contemporary YA is me.

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REVIEW! Sisterhood Everlasting.

Jul
14

8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING by Ann Brashares
Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

My rating: 4 stars.

MY THOUGHTS:
Sisterhood Everlasting is a constant struggle. Even now I am still sorting through my feelings about it. 
Having read and followed all of the girls throughout the Traveling Pants series, I do have an attachment to them. How can I not? I followed them for four summers of their lives, and am now transported ten years into their future. There is a reader-story-character bond going on. 
That said, I think it’s this bond that threw me for a loop with Sisterhood Everlasting. To a reader that’s never encountered Bridget, Lena, Carmen or Tibby before, the story will just appear heartbreaking, depressing, sad. But to me, as someone that has followed them, it’s utterly devastating; there is no relief from what these girls go through. But while I don’t believe every story needs a happy ending, this just seemed very out of place to me. The mood in Sisterhood Everlasting is incredibly – surprisingly- painful. Sure, the Traveling Pants series showed their fair amount of pain and strife, but not to this degree. This, to me, seemed overdone and like overkill.
These girls don’t bloom – they plummet. They plummet deep into the worst parts of themselves, unable to get a grip on how they once were. Actually, they’re struggling to be what they once were, utterly unable to let go of the past. Honestly, it was painful for me to read. Their transformations are like nothing I ever expected. So, of course, this ruined the entire finale for me. 
But I can’t pretend that Sisterhood Everlasting is a bad read. It is, in fact, a good read. A very good read. The pacing is tremendously slow, and the story drawn out, but the emotion cuts so deep and so true. Brashares has this way with words that works to present the girls out of their teenage years; the writing is truly beautiful and thought-provoking. 
Just don’t expect a feel-good experience. This is rough, deep and will leave you with a heavy heart.

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In My Mailbox (15).

Jun
26

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Sisterhood Everlasting  by Ann Brashares.
Finally got it! Going to have to bump this up on my TBR list because I can’t wait to read it. I’m anxious to see how life is now for the Traveling Pants girls.

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Waiting On Wednesday (12).

Jun
22

8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Waiting On Wednesday is from Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Return to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants … 10 years later.
Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.
Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.
Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.
Okay, this is more of a Waiting on My Mailbox kind of deal. The release date for this was the 14th, and somehow I missed any and all publicity for it. I still have no idea how it slipped under my radar. I haven’t read the series since I was about twelve, but I was immediately drawn to this. It’s kind of like how I was with Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series; I finished it, then time went by, then a closing book was released and I was hooked all over again.
So, needless to say, I ordered this the moment I stumbled upon it. Now I just have to wait for it to get to me!

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