Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013


TTT again hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today is: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013. I really had to think about this one because I've lost track of how many books I've read so far this year >_<

So, here are a few of this year's highlights:

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
Splintered by A.G. Howard
the Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
How to Love by Katie Cotungno
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Books About Pre-teens/Teens with Disabilities

In light of the fact that I'm a New York City Special Educator, I decided to share my list of books about pre-teens/teens with disabilities, and pre-teens/teens that have relationships with people with disabilities. I figured maybe this list can help someone out there somewhere. (And this list was a lot of fun to make so I just had to share it ^_^)
Do realize, there are many more titles aside from the ones on my list that exist on this subject. Some fiction titles on certain disabilities are harder to find or may not exist, but I'm hoping as awareness and knowledge grows, so will the list of books.

*updated July 2015*

(book blurbs, links and info from bn.com and goodreads)

On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.
Until now.
Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.

Skinny by Ibi Kaslik -
Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student, is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of her beloved sister. Together, they can feel themselves slipping and are holding on for dear life.
This honest look at the special bond between sisters is told from the perspective of both girls, as they alternate narrating each chapter. Gritty and often wryly funny, Skinny explores family relationships, love, pain, and the hunger for acceptance that drives all of us.

Shawn McDaniel's life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle—he can't even move his eyes. For all Shawn's father knows, his son may be suffering. Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn's life is in danger.
To the world, Shawn's senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen—a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.
Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper -
Eleven-year-old Melody has Cerebral Palsy. She has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows…but she can't, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write.
Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice…but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

Rules by Cynthia Lord -
Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"---in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors.
But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine -
Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure— and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be black and white after all.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio -
In this novel, Auggie has  Treacher-Collins syndrome, a rare craniofacial deformality.
book blurb: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

Joey Pigza series by Jack Gantos
blurb for Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key:
"They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it - I'm wired."
Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot - and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.
In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders.

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.
Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.

Cameron Smith, a disaffected 16-year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.



Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler -
For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal's office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on "What You Did This Summer." Hank is terrified-writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he'll show what he did. But when Hank's "living essay" becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life.
Inspired by his own experiences with undiagnosed dyslexia, actor/director Henry Winkler presents this new series about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a fourth-grader with learning differences. When Hank Zipzer has to write an essay on what he did over the summer, he decides instead to "show" what he did. 

Written in the form of a computer diary, this refreshingly funny novel tells the story of 12-year-old Tru, a girl with big dreams and hefty goals. She is determined to find a cure for her developmentally delayed twin brother and to have her own television show.
Computer-literate, twelve-year-old Tru keeps an electronic diary where she documents her desire to cure her handicapped twin brother and her plan to create a television show. 

 
Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.
At the beginning of eighth grade, learning disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team. 

You couldn't really tell about Mama's brain just from looking at her, but it was obvious as soon as she spoke. She had a high voice, like a little girl's, and she only knew 23 words. I know this for a fact, because we kept a list of the things Mama said tacked to the inside of the kitchen cabinet. Most of the words were common ones, like good and more and hot, but there was one word only my mother said: soof. 
Although she lives an unconventional lifestyle with her mentally disabled mother and their doting neighbour, Bernadette, Heidi has a lucky streak that has a way of pointing her in the right direction. When a mysterious word in her mother's vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi′s thirst for the truth leads her on a cross-country journey in search of the secrets of her past. 

Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her. 

In this novel, Moose's sister, Natalie, has autism. His family moved to Alcatraz Island so she could go to a school nearby. 
book blurb: Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.

During her preschool years, Tara Sullivan lived in terror that something bad would happen to her mother while they were apart. Practice for what?, Tara asked. For the upcoming disaster that was bound to happen? In grade school, she panicked during the practice fire drills.
Then, at the age of 11, it happened. Tara heard the phrase that changed her life: Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Before Tara knew it, she was counting every crack in the sidewalk. Over time, Tara's "quirks" grew and developed: arranging her meals on plates, nonstop prayer rituals, until she developed a new ritual wherin she kissed her fingers and touched doorknobs....
Fourteen-year-old Tara describes how her increasingly strange compulsions begin to take over her life and affect her relationships with her family and friends. 

ONE MISTAKE. ONE BAD NIGHT. ONE TOO MANY DRINKS. A powerful and heartbreaking debut novel about a guy who had it all...until he drank that fifth beer and got into the car.
Frank Marder is a head, paralyzed from the neck down, and it's his fault. He was drinking. He was driving. Now Frank can't walk, he can't move, he can't feel his skin. He needs someone to feed him, to wash him, to move his body.
But if you ask most of the people who are posting on www.quadkingonthenet, he hasn't been adequately punished. Two people are dead because of him. Frank should go to jail. Only "Annonymous" disagrees.

Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.
Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he's terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is.By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy's struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

This Schneider Family Book Award winner changed the face of Tourette's Syndrome for modern teens. Wrought with tension, romance, and hope, Jerk, California tells the story of Sam, who sets out on a cross-country quest to learn the truth about his family and his inherited Tourette's Syndrome, along the way finding both love and acceptance.

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig. The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.
The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?
Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.
When Jason Milwaukee’s best friend, Sunshine, disappears from the face of the earth, the whole town, including Jason, starts searching for her. But the insistent voices in Jason’s head won’t let him get to the heart of the mystery—he’s schizophrenic, and the voices make it hard to know what is real and what is not. As the chase becomes more panicked, Jason’s meds start wearing off, and he is looking more and more guilty. But of what, exactly? Both brilliantly witty and intensely honest, this poignant novel draws upon the author’s many years as an adolescent psychologist, but it’s Vaught’s powerful voice and expertly crafted mystery that will keep the pages turning.

Hailed by The New York Times as "convincing and emotionally gripping" upon its publication in 1964, Joanne Greenberg’s semiautobiographical novel stands as a timeless and unforgettable portrayal of mental illness. Enveloped in the dark inner kingdom of her schizophrenia, sixteen-year-old Deborah is haunted by private tormentors that isolate her from the outside world. With the reluctant and fearful consent of her parents, she enters a mental hospital where she will spend the next three years battling to regain her sanity with the help of a gifted psychiatrist. As Deborah struggles toward the possibility of the "normal" life she and her family hope for, the reader is inexorably drawn into her private suffering and deep determination to confront her demons.
A modern classic, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden remains every bit as poignant, gripping, and relevant today as when it was first published.
The strange and seductive world of insanity is charted clearly, explicitly, and beautifully as a young girl spends three years in a mental hospital. 

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP [Cerebral Palsy] named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

Connor knows that Izzy will never fall in love with him the way he’s fallen for her. But somehow he’s been let into her crazy, exhilarating world and become her closest confidante. The closer they get, however, the more Connor realizes that Izzy’s highs are too high and her lows are too low. And the frenetic energy that makes her shine is starting to push her into a much darker place.
As Izzy’s behavior gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasingly desperate to stop her from plummeting. He knows he can’t save her from her pain...but what if no one else can?

Sixteen-year-old Scarlett Blaine discovers growing up on a farm and caring for her autistic brother amidst family tensions, is far from peachy. When a tragic accident and financial difficulties place more pressures on Scarlett's shoulders, she has to find a hope to cling to before it's too late.


In this novel, Karl has dyslexia.
book blurb: In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. She has asked him to write her a letter in which he reveals his true self. But Karl isn’t convinced he’s good enough with words, so he tracks down Fiorella’s favorite author and begs him to take up the task. The writer reluctantly assents, on the condition that Karl agrees to a series of interviews, so that the letter will be based on an authentic portrait of Karl. The letter, though effective, has unexpected consequences for Karl, Fiorella, and the writer. 

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit
Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.
After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.
Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles -
In this novel, Kiara has a stutter and goes to speech therapy
 When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for the past year, he doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Colorado. When he meets Kiara Westford, a good girl totally unlike any of the girls he's usually drawn to, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she's too good for him. But will he put his pride aside when he realizes that being with Kiara might finally allow him to be his true self?

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller -
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s
stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Break by Hannah Moskowitz -
Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow
back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah’s only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.
When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.


Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin  
Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.


Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern  
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

 
Epileptic by David B.  
David B. was born Pierre-François Beauchard in a small town near Orléans, France. He spent an idyllic early childhood playing with the neighborhood kids and, along with his older brother, Jean-Christophe, ganging up on his little sister, Florence. But their lives changed abruptly when Jean-Christophe was struck with epilepsy at age eleven. In search of a cure, their parents dragged the family to acupuncturists and magnetic therapists, to mediums and macrobiotic communes. But every new cure ended in disappointment as Jean-Christophe, after brief periods of remission, would only get worse.

Angry at his brother for abandoning him and at all the quacks who offered them false hope, Pierre-François learned to cope by drawing fantastically elaborate battle scenes, creating images that provide a fascinating window into his interior life. An honest and horrifying portrait of the disease and of the pain and fear it sowed in the family, Epileptic is also a moving depiction of one family’s intricate history. Through flashbacks, we are introduced to the stories of Pierre-François’s grandparents and we relive his grandfathers’ experiences in both World Wars. We follow Pierre-François through his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, all the while charting his complicated relationship with his brother and Jean-Christophe”s losing battle with epilepsy. Illustrated with beautiful and striking black-and-white images, Epileptic is as astonishing, intimate, and heartbreaking as the best literary memoir.


White Crane (Samurai Kids #1) by Sandy Fussell
 Niya Moto is the only one-legged Samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. The one school that will accept him is the Cockroach Ryu, led by the legendary sensei Ki-Yaga. He may be an old man overly fond of naps, but Ki-Yaga is also known for taking in kids that the world has judged harshly: an albino girl with extra fingers and toes, a boy who is blind, a big kid whose past makes his loath to fight. A warrior in his time, Ki-Yaga demands excellence in everything from sword-fighting to poetry. But can the rag-tag Cockroaches make the treacherous journey to the Samurai Trainee Games, never mind take on the all-conquering Dragons? In a fast-moving, action-filled tale that draws on true details of feudal Japan, Niya finds there's no fear they can't face as long as they stick together - for their friendship is more powerful than a samurai sword.

 
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork  
 Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.

He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.


 Feathers by Jacquelin Woodson
"Hope is the thing with feathers," starts the poem Frannie is reading in school. Frannie hasn't thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more holy.”There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he’is not white. Who is he?
During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light:—her brother Sean's deafness, her mother's fear, the class bully's anger, her best friend's faith and her own desire for the thing with feathers.”



 

Here is a website with a list of fiction titles about children with disabilities and children that have relationships with people who have disabilities written for ages 14 and under: 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Antigoddess



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by breaking the spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.
My pick for this week is:

Antigoddess

title: antigoddess
author: kendare blake
book birthday: september 10, 2013

blurb from bn.com:

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Summer 2013




TTT again hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. For my new readers, Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the lovely ladies at the Broke and the Bookish.

Today is: Top Ten Books on My TBR (to be read) List for Summer 2013.

1. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

2. Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

3. Arcadia Burns by Kai Meyer

4. Clockwork Angel (or basically just the Infernal Devices series) by Cassandra Clare

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

6. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

8. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

9. Lullaby of Polish Girls by Dagmara Dominczyk

10. Everyday by David Levithan

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: How to Love



title: how to love
author: katie cotugno
book birthday: october 1, 2013
rating: 4.5 stars

i love a good unconventional romance. this book just felt real. everything about it felt like out there somewhere someone is going through what reena and sawyer are going through. just a warning. this is not your typical romance ya. this book to me falls under new adult fiction, mostly because of the "after" chapters and drug use content.

sawyer is not a typical bad boy. okay, maybe he is... but he isn't the quiet in the corner brooding bad boy type. he is a party animal with a rebellious attitude and there are times where you just want to shake reena for being with him. reena and sawyer's relationship is so dysfunctional that i was really questioning if they would ever get together or not. she was really starting to move on with her life when he showed up two years after he left.

there were some things left unanswered like when did reena get pregnant exactly and what was the confrontation between her and lydia (sawyer's mom) that made lydia hate reena so much? the parts about allie and reena's relationship were true to how friends could grow apart and how a guy could get between best friends. i am happy that reena did have shelby, her brother cade and other minor characters supporting her. i wish i got to know them a little bit more. oh and also more about reena's mom and their relationship.

on a side note, i also liked the touches on the catholic faith. it brought an interesting twist to the book. it kind of reminded me of small town sinners by melissa walker but not to that extreme.

i did like the alternating chapters; the "before" and "after" was fun to read, like putting a mystery together of what happened to them and how it affected the now. there was hurt, love, confusion, happiness, anger, all sorts of human emotions when sawyer came back into the picture and the parts with aaron were just heartbreaking to read because he was such a good guy. so many ups and downs, truly a roller coaster romance. this is definitely one i will have on my shelves.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Review: Of Poseidon and Of Triton


title: of poseidon
author: anna banks
book birthday: may 22, 2012
rating: 4 stars

ok, first off i adore the cover. i think it is so mysterious and lovely. i was hesitant to read this one at first because other y.a. about mermaids i've read have been completely cheesy and the underwater scenes were horribly written. of poseidon turned out to be a pleasant surprise. it felt like anna banks did not want to leave any room for questioning her twist on mermaid folklore.
as most of you know, i'm a sucker for a book from split perspectives. emma and galen are interesting characters. it was awkward at first to get used to emma's first person narrative and galen's third person narrative but i got into the story anyway. their relationship was fun to read, especially their bickering scenes. galen's character was the most plausible to me (believe it or not). his prince-who-is-curious-for-the-human-world character is exactly what we as the readers would hope he would be. to me, his character's point of view carries the majority of the story. emma's sarcasm and one liners were hilarious and brought a lot to the table. part of me wonders how the book would have come out if it was completely written in third person narration.

over all, there was a good plot, some action, and a dramatic mystery. the story was a fun, light, new read. i think this is a good summer beach read. my only complaints are that emma's voice gets annoying sometimes and the cliff hanger ending left me wanting to chuck the book across the room (in a good way if that makes any sense).


 title: of triton
author: anna banks
book birthday: may 28, 2013
rating: 3 stars

*contains spoilers*

i was so excited for this book. after the cliffhanger in of poseidon i just had to know what happened next. i am so happy that the book picked up right where of poseidon left off. i love that we enter emma's confused perspective and i wanted more.
BUT the part where nalia and grom were united so early in the book was also the part where the book fell apart for me. 
ok, first, the split perspective wasn't working for me. i tolerated it in the first book, but it completely threw me off in this one. i was confused and bored. oh and emma's voice was soooo aggravating. it was like she kept talking in circles. the humor her character had in the first book was out the window in this one. i understand that this book is a little more intense, but there were intense parts in of poseidon and she still had sarcastic one liners that made the scene. in of triton i was left wondering what happened to her.
oh and the trial! what was up with that?! i was so confused O.o it was so cheesy how emma saved the day, it went back to those other mermaid novels where the underwater scenes were just slapped together with ideas. the whole serenas stabbing each other behind the back and the conspiracy to have nalia prove that she is the poseidon heir was ridiculous.
the whole thing felt like a made for tv movie. i was seriously let down. i can go on about the issues i had with this book.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Top Ten Books that Feature Travel in Some Way



TTT again hosted by the broke and the bookish. Today is: Top Ten Books that Feature Travel in Some Way. This one was a little harder for me. I had to really sit and think, stare at my book shelves and go through my library history to see what books I've read that have to deal with traveling in the real world. Here is what I came up with.

1. sisterhood everlasting by ann brashares- the girls from the traveling pants series reunite ten years later in greece. stuff happens (i won't say, it's some major events) and the girls travel on their own, have their personal adventures and eventually come together in the end.

2. two way street by lauren barnholdt- road trip to college with the ex.

3. return to paradise by simone elkeles- caleb and maggie return in this sequel to leaving paradise. they travel around the country with a group talking about how car accidents can change lives forever.

4. the statistical probability of love at first sight by jennifer e. smith- hadley travels to london for her father's wedding and meets a boy on the plane.

5. anna and the french kiss by stephanie perkins- anna is sent to boarding school in france.

6. dash and lily's book of dares by rachel cohn and david levithan- they travel around new york city. does that count?


some in the fantasy genre that feature travel:

1. graceling by kristin cashore- katsa and po travel to find answers

2. east by edith pattou- rose travels to find the isbjorn in the troll kingdom

3. forest of hands and teeth by carrie ryan- mary with her friends run through the forest of hands and teeth from the unconsecrated towards the ocean