Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why Should I Trust You?

Hello Lovelies!!

It's my finals week, so I'm going to make this one quick. 

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (by the Broke and the Bookish) allows us to fill in the blank! So I will be bringing you...

The Top Ten Books with Characters Who are Unreliable Narrators (AKA BIG OL' LIARS).

I love unreliable narrators because you never know if they're actually being unreliable or not. Occasionally they tell the truth, but occasionally they lie. So here we go...

1. Nothing by Janne Teller
2. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
3. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
4. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
5. Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
10. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Many of these books feature the unreliable characters as side characters and not main characters. Plus I don't want to ruin the surprise if you dive in to read these!! Who's the biggest liar??

What about you lovelies? What books do you love with unreliable narrators? Let me know in the comments!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

All-Time Favorite Authors

Hello Lovelies!!
As usual today's Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is Top Ten All-Time Favorite Authors. So in no particular order, and without further ado...Author's whose books I've read all or almost all of and will pick up a new one immediately.

Jon J. Muth - Technically as an illustrator but y'know.
Gene Luen Yang
Kate DiCamillo
J. K. Rowling
John Green
Emily Bronte
Rainbow Rowell
Jandy Nelson
Stephanie Perkins
Patrick Ness

What about you lovelies? Who are your favorite authors? Anyone I should try out? I've got a million authors whose books I just haven't read yet. Let me know who your favorite is in the comments!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A New Set of Rules

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas is an excellent sequel to Throne of Glass. 

This sequel finds Celaena working as the King's Champion: murdering people who dare to cross the King. But Celaena can't actually bring herself to kill them. Instead, she helps them fake their deaths. She's the only one who knows. But when a childhood friend of hers is next on the chopping block, she finds herself revealing her secret again and again. When the unexpected occurs, Celaena must call on every ounce of self-possession to do what's right.

I loved a lot of aspects of this book. I loved that we got to see more of Celaena and Chaol. I loved that we got to learn more about Celaena and the country. But it also just didn't measure up to the first book for me. I wanted more than what I was given. I wanted less of the back and forth romance than the first book (where it was understandable and less contrived). I wanted more trust and more commitment on everyone's behalf. I'll definitely continue with the series--I liked this book. I just wanted to love it.

I would recommend this to fans of the first one. And the series as a whole to fans of series with a hint of magic and lots of fighting.

Favorite Quotes: There had never been any line between them, only his own stupid fear and pride. Because from the moment he pulled her out of that mine in Endovier and she had set those eyes upon him, still fierce despite a year in hell, he'd been walking toward this, walking to her.

"How are you feeling?" Like she was everywhere and nowhere all at once. Like she'd somehow been half-blind all her life and could now see everything clearly. Like she could stay here forever and be content.

It was war upon them all. Let them tremble in fear at what they had awoken. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Tale Gone Awry

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman fantastically describes a father's adventure on his quest for milk.

I've been a fan of Gaiman since I read Good Omens in high school. His younger works have been hit or miss for me (loved Blueberry Girl, but The Wolves in the Walls just leaves me adrift). Skottie Young's illustrations definitely drew me to this book as well. Look at that cover! It's so beautiful and intriguing!

The story is delightful and creative. Gaiman ties off every loose end except for the ultimate question of: is the father making up the trip? I loved his open ending. The illustrations accompany every twist and turn with exactitude. 

This would make an excellent read-aloud in a classroom or at home. Perfect for beginning readers or those who have moved on to transitional novels (think Alvin Ho!). I read a library copy and bought one for myself within days of reading it.

Favorite Quotes: We have spoons. Spoons are excellent. Sort of like forks, only not as stabby.

If we are going to be rescued, it will always be while walking the plank.

Dinosaurs LOVE breakfast cereal.

"Thank you by the way," said a little thin man. "I was going to be the sacrifice if no one else turned up. Much obliged."

WCW: Rainbow Rowell

Hello Lovelies!! One of my all-time favorite authors is my WCW today! Her books have changed my life for the better.

Rainbow Rowell writes books for both adults and young adults. Her first published novel was Attachments in 2011. Probably her two biggest novels came out in 2013: Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Both books have devoted followings. Landline was released last year, and Carry On will be released this fall. In the mean time, fans (including me!) are anxiously awaiting news about the Eleanor & Park film which has been optioned and for which Rowell has drafted a screenplay. 

You can find Rainbow on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or at her website. She's hilarious and delightful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quote Me

Hello Lovelies!! As usual, today's Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's prompt is technically Inspirational Quotes from Books, but I'm usually drawn to love quotes cause I'm a romantic. 

So here for you today... My Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books:

(Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

(Every Rainbow Rowell book)

(The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane)

(Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte)

(The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint - Exupery)

What are your favorite book quotes? Let me know in the comments!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TBT: 1984

I didn't read this classic in high school, but I tackled it in college, and I'm so glad I did.

1984 (or Nineteen Eighty-Four) by George Orwell is a futuristic dystopian. It's a difficult little book. It presents many concepts that are hard to understand and wrap your head around because it features a lot of contradictory ideas and phrases.

I didn't enjoy it at first, but I kept pushing through. Sometimes classics aren't very enjoyable until the end. And about two-thirds of the way through this one, I finally liked it. And I liked it a lot. 

It's been a few years, and I'd sort of like to re-read it. It's difficult to decide to reread classics though because they typically are more difficult and time-consuming to read. 

I would recommend this to people who enjoy dystopians and don't mind slow building books that are a little difficult to follow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WCW: L.M. Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote fantastic books.

Look at that peach! She's amazing. L.M. Montgomery gave us Anne of Green Gables, and I am so thankful to her.

Montgomery published Anne of Green Gables in 1908. It was her first novel, and it was wildly successful. It allowed her to continue writing the rest of her life. She went on to publish 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays.

She's remembered most for Anne and the subsequent novels in her series. However, she also wrote Emily of New Moon and The Story Girl, two other children classics.

She might not have been a pioneer, but without her, the landscape of children's literature would look very different.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What Are You Up To?

Hello Lovelies!! Are you enjoying some discounted candy? I am!!

As usual Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week's theme is Top Ten Characters I'd Like To Check In On.

So if I had to pick some book friends to check in on after the story has ended, see how life's going these are who I'd ring...

1. Harry Potter. I know Rowling gave us an epilogue, but it just didn't do it for me. I want more on both ends--how did the weddings? What was life like before they had kids? Did they ever panic that their life wasn't going to be normal? How is it raising kids? Do the kids bring as much trouble as they did?

2. Cathy from Wuthering Heights. Is she happy? Are they married? I want more!!

3. Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games: Why did they decide to have kids? Do they still have nightmares? What's the world like now? 

4. Celia and Marco from The Night Circus: How's life? Is everything good? 

5. Eleanor & Park : Are you happy?? Is life amazing?? I hope it is.

6. Todd from the Chaos Walking series: How is everything? What's the world like? Tell me everything!!

7. Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars: Did you make it? 

8. Death from The Book Thief: Has someone else caught your eye? 

9. Ella from Ella Enchanted: How's life? Tell me what other adventures you've found!

10. Karou from The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy: How's the world? How's life? Tell me the news!!

There's others for sure, but these are the few that I want more of outside the series. I was tempted to put a few others whose series I haven't finished yet, but I figure I'll get more of them when I read the next book.

So there we are, 10 friends I want to check up on. What about you lovelies? Who do you want to check in on? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

TBT: His Dark Materials

One of my very favorite series (outside of HP of course) was one I read in fifth or sixth grade. It's popular to the point that I'm always amazed when someone else hasn't read it, but when I read it, I was a one-man fandom.

I honestly read The Golden Compass like four times in one year. I still love the book with the fire of a thousand suns. I have never been so disappointed in a movie adaptation as in the one for the Golden Compass. I more-or-less refuse to acknowledge its existence. Except for when I need to point out that people should totally read the books if they've only seen the movie. 

The Golden Compass follows Lyra on her quest to save her best friend, Roger. 
The Subtle Knife finds Lyra in a new world with Will.
The Amber Spyglass leads Lyra and Will into a world of terrible danger where everything depends on their choices.

I am obsessed with The Golden Compass. The Subtle Knife was good but not as good. And I've only read The Amber Spyglass once which I'm not sure if it's because I didn't like it or because I wasn't ready for it to be over.

I really want to reread these books. I definitely get something new from them each time. I was also shocked to find out how controversial the books are when I got to high school. I was also deeply offended by it (in the way that happens when someone takes something from your childhood and calls it "bad and evil"). I would stand up for these books to the very end, regardless of what critics say. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WCW: Stephanie Perkins

This is another author who I have read literally all of their published works. I've loved every moment of reading it too.

Stephanie Perkins has three successful teen contemporary novels and a holiday anthology under her belt and she has only been published for just over four years. That's a lot of work! She has another anthology set to release next year, as well as her first foray into horror. I cannot wait to see how she tackles the genre.

Perkins gives me so much hope as a (hopefully!) future writer because her life trajectory mimics mine: bookseller to librarian to author. I would be thrilled to follow in her footsteps. She has more than 45,000 fans following her on Twitter, and her books are best sellers nationally and internationally. Her books are the kind of books that give you heart flutters and make you want to goofily smile into a pillow. They are not the kind of books which will allow you to maintain angry resting face on public commutes.

I would love to see Perkins' work honored by an awards committee, but for the time being, I'm happy to recommend her books when people want books to bring them joy.