Archive for September, 2010

Top 100 YA novels: Around the Internet

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Here’s a little tidbit from around the blogosphere that I found really interesting.
Persnickety Snark took a poll of the Top 100 YA books, and many people have been copying the list to see how many they have read. Out of curiosity, I’ve decided to do the same.

Books that I’ve read
Books I hope to read
*Books I never finished*

1. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorceror’s) Stone – J.K. Rowling
3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
4. Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
5. Northern Lights (The Golden Compass)– Philip Pullman
6. The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
7. *The Book Thief* – Markus Zusak
8. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
9. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
10. This Lullaby – Sarah Dessen
11. Looking for Alaska – John Green
12. Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
14. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
15. City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
16. On the (Jellicoe Road) – Melina Marchetta
17. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
19. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
20. Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen
21. Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
22. Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead
23. Graceling – Kristin Cashore
24. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
25. Sloppy Firsts – Megan McCafferty
26. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
27. Alanna: The First Adventure – Tamora Pierce
28. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
29. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
30. Uglies – Scott Westerfeld
31. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
32. Tomorrow, When the War Began – John Marsden
33. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart
34. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
35. The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin
36. Paper Towns – John Green
37. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
38. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
39. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – Betty Smith
40. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
41. Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
42. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
43. Evernight – Claudia Gray
44. Sabriel – Garth Nix
45. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
46. Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
47. Forever – Judy Blume
48. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
49. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
50. The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot
51. Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
52. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
53. The Dark is Rising – Susan Cooper
54. Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick
55. Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
56. Second Helpings – Megan McCafferty
57. Dreamland – Sarah Dessen
58. Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer
59. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
60. Fire – Kristin Cashore
61. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
62. Weetzie Bat – Francesca Lia Block
63. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
64. Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
65. How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff
66. City of Glass – Cassandra Clare
67. Keeping the Moon – Sarah Dessen
68. Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer
69. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison
70. If I Stay – Gayle Forman
71. The King of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner
72. Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
73. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast – Robin McKinley
74. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
75. Feed – M.T. Anderson
76. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – Ann Brashares
77. Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
78. Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
79. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
80. Someone Like You – Sarah Dessen
81. The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan
82. Jacob Have I Loved – Katherine Paterson
83. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
84. Poison Study – Maria V. Snyder
85. Shadow Kiss – Richelle Mead
86. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi
87. An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
88. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
89. A Ring of Endless Light – Madeleine L’Engle
90. Glass Houses – Rachel Caine
91. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party – M.T. Anderson
92. Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
93. Whale Talk – Chris Crutcher
94. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles
95. Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols
96. The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks
97. Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver
98. Hatchet – Gary Paulsen
99. The Pigman – Paul Zindel
100. The Hero and the Crown – Robin McKinley

If I’ve counted correctly that’s 40. 2/5 of the list isn’t that great. Of course if I would ever get around to finishing series’ like The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments and such, my total would probably jump. But this gives me something to work on, plus a bunch of books I’ve never heard of to look into.

How many have you read?

Book Blogger Hop 6

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Book Blogger Hop

You mean it’s Friday already? Geez where did the time go?! BUT long weekend this weekend =D I am SO getting stuff done!

This week’s question: Do you judge a book by its cover?

Answer: I think it’s hard not to really. When you’re choosing a book you have to pick one over the other based on something. So, when I choose a book I look at:

1) Title first – Does this sound like something I would like to read? Does the title make me curious?

2) Cover next – Does this look like something I would read? Let’s face it, companies have a tendency to design covers certain ways for certain types of books. So a YA cover is going to look completely different than an adult cover (look at the British Harry Potter covers) and a Fantasy novel will have a different cover than a mystery novel. Personally, I think “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a load of junk (in relation to books. Not necessarily in relation to other things). The publishers expect you to judge it by its cover, and therefore make it easy. Why not take the shortcut?

3) Blurb on the back/inside flap last – This one is usually weighted heaviest in my choice. I have, on occasion, put down a book with an amazing title and cover, simply because it doesn’t have an amazing blurb, or it doesn’t have a blurb at all. I hate doing that (I always feel disappointed somehow when the blurb doesn’t match an amazing title/cover combination – why couldn’t it be the book I was expecting, that would be an awesome book!)

Lots of people in response to this question seem to have answered starting with “Unfortunately I do…” Don’t think of it as unfortunate! You’re expected to, and frankly without the covers to help narrow down the books you pick up and look at the blurbs, you would probably be going through twice as many books! You’d never do anything else (or at least I wouldn’t).

I will admit, this strategy works best when you actually have the books on a shelf in front of you. But as I do most of my book “shopping” at the local library (I’m a poor college kid, and can only afford to buy my absolute most favorite books ever) it definitely works for me. And even with the process in place I have waaaaay more books on my “to read” list than will ever get read.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, leave a comment with your blog address and I will try to stop by sometime =)


Summer "Beach Reads" Challenge Wrap Up!

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Well. That went well don’t you think?

In all seriousness, I’m frankly amazed at how much I read, even with two weeks off in the middle. For anyone keeping track, in my original post I said I was aiming for Minnow level – 8 books. I can now say I have successfully hit Shark level – 16 books! Don’t worry, I’m just as surprised as you are.

The reviews are as follows:
Gideon the Cutpurse
CloudWorld (that reminds me, I need to go looking for the sequel)
The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries Take Two
The Healer’s Keep
The Princess Diaries 3-6
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Roger and Amy’s Epic Detour
Shades of Grey
A Year of Secret Assignments
The Iron King
and finally, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie

Phew! I think I might slow down for a few days, maybe get caught up on some of that homework I’ve been neglecting.

Finally, I’d like to say Thank you to Jessica, Raila, Heather andLinna for hosting. It’s been fun!

For those of you who are tired of post after post in your feed, I promise I’ll take a (short) break. Next up: Media review of Vampires Suck and Book Review of either Going Bovine or The Shadow Dragons

Book Review: The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie

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I really wasn’t going to put up this review until after the challenge was over, but as I was putting up my “last” review I realized I was only one book below “Shark” status. That was just a little disappointing, and since I already had a book read and had planned to review it… well here it goes! (P.S. Sorry for bombarding your feed with reviews, but I really did have to catch up somehow)
The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by
Series: Ashbury/Brookfield #3
Published by in 2006
Genres: ,
Pages: 496

Once again the setting is Ashbury High, in Sydney, Australia, and Bindy Mackenzie, who had a pivotal cameo in Assignments, returns as the central character. Brilliant, precocious Bindy (who wrote in her diary at age 10, "I've been struggling a bit with Ulysses by James Joyce") is frustrated when her gestures of kindness toward fellow students go unappreciated. Her aggressive resistance to a new required course, Friendship and Development, sharply alienates a group of her fellow classmates, whom she nicknames the Venomous Six. But as she gradually gains self-awareness, it's these students, along with a dreamy transfer student, Finnegan, who embrace, support, and even save her.


I’ll be honest. I didn’t enjoy this book. When I finished A Year of Secret Assignments I decided to pick up this one, because I enjoyed it in the way you enjoy a fluff piece. I don’t know what it was with this one- Bindy was too unlike-able, the plot seemed full of holes and even more unlikely than any variety of fantasy/paranormal novels that have come to be the rage recently. I just did not enjoy reading it.

I did finish though, so I must have found something interesting. I guess what kept me going was this idea that something was going to happen to Bindy (something had to, honestly. She was so thick about the whole feeling ill thing). I wanted it to be something she was doing to herself. There’s some kind of poetic justice to a novel that has it’s particularly odious main character fall ill because they’ve accidentally poisoned themselves. I was really quite disappointed when this didn’t happen (sorry, slight spoiler there). If felt very Deus ex machina when she finally did get around to explaining the situation. Sure the hints had been there, but it felt like she was pulling the mystery out of thin air after nearly 400 pages of a completely different story. For me, I needed the mystery to relate to the rest of the book, and it just didn’t.

I suppose I should put a disclaimer here. I don’t hate smart people. It’s the holier than thou attitude that I absolutely detest. And the problem is, I see myself (or at least my younger self) in Bindy a lot. I hate that, because I don’t want to even think about what people thought of me in high school. I was that kid. I was smart, and I wasn’t afraid of what people thought of that. Granted, I was a little terrified of becoming someone like Bindy, so that may have helped, I really don’t know. But I think because of the similarities between my younger self and the main character, I have a difficult time laughing at her “comic” obsession with grades and being better than everyone else. To me, it’s just not funny.

And that’s me done for the “Beach Reads” Challenge! Look for a wrap up post soon, and I’ll be back to normal reviews as soon as I finish the next book (Either Going Bovine by Libba Bray or The Shadow Dragons by James Owen)

Book Review: Iron King

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WOOT!!! First day since school started a week ago that I’ve finished homework before 11 pm!!! Lemme tell you a secret guys: Senior year at Uni kills. Like no kidding. If there were a most wanted list of things (instead of people), it would probably be in the top ten. I know, I know, Grad School is going to kill more. But geez!

Anywho! On to another review
The Iron King The Iron King by
Series: Iron Fey #1
Published by in 2010
Genres: , ,
Pages: 368

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined… Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


Um, ok, wow! This book was pretty much amazing. I loved recognizing all the characters and the real bad guy? Wow, what a twist, and yet I so should have seen that coming! I loved it! I already have the next one on order – I wanna know what happens!

I will say, I didn’t love everything. It took forever for me to get into the book. It felt like it just dragged at the beginning, though that’s possibly because I had just started it the day before school started so it took forever for me to read past the first few pages. Ash drove me nuts – often in a good way, but sometimes in a bad way. There were times when I was just like “Seriously? Enough with the tall, cold, mysterious, handsome schtick! It’s getting old!” I guess I’m just not one for bad boys, or if they are, I want them to have some sort of redeeming quality. I haven’t found one for Ash yet, and Puck is so delightfully mischievous! Puck is my kind of bad guy – he plays pranks and does small evil things but at heart he’s really a good guy.

I guess I don’t have that much to say about this one. That always seems to happen with the ones I like. I go into it wanting to write a really long review about all the things I loved, and then I start cutting stuff so I don’t spoiler too much and then… well this happens. Ah well. GO READ THE BOOK! ‘Nuff said!

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