top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books from Childhood Revisited

I’m not sure I’m 100% on board for revisiting these books. Generally when I’ve re-read a book I loved as a youngster, I start to question my sanity – especially as a teen. However, these books stick out in my brain as formative for whatever reason. Some are from when I was a kid and some were teen years. They’re all what they are.

And this is by no list all inclusive. It could go on forever. I keep remember more and more books.

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Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike

I remember hiding in corners of the school so I could read this book without interruptions. It was my favourite Pike book. I remember it kind of freaking me out. Now, I can hardly remember what it was about, but I think it’s probably better to live with the happy memories than to actually re-read. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday – Spring To Be Read List

I love seasonal TBR list week. Honestly, this is because they’re super easy. Often, the ttt topics from the girls at the B&B take me a while to think about and write. But for these I can just go look at my physical pile, my library holds list, and if needed (which it rarely is), my goodreads to-read list and decide which books appeal to me most at that exact moment. This week’s list is getting 11 books though instead of ten. For one simple reason – I discovered that there’s a Forever Young Adult Book Club in my town!!! And this is the April topic book. This is so exciting for me. I’m always looking for people to talk about books with, especially YA books. Hopefully, I’ll get to be part of the meet up next month.

I’m excited about this TBR pile because it’s full of authors I’ve never read before. I think there are only two go to authors on this list. Everyone else is new. I love finding new voices!

 brezenoff

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

This is the book for the FYA book club read. Not one I would normally choose, but might be pretty rad.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again. But they don’t. Continue reading

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This is one of the books in my #reread2015 challenge. I read it a few years ago and have been wanting to re-read it for quite some time. I’m glad I finally got around to it. I’ve put this book on several of my lists. It’s about time I reviewed it. So, what drew me to read this book twice? A book about teen suicide – since I am neither a teen nor suicidal. Well, it’s partially the thing that first drew me to the book – the format. The story of a girl’s suicide told through a series of audiotapes. And yes, it was the use of cassette tapes that attracted me to the story. In my edition of the novel, there’s a Q&A with Asher that asks very directly about the choice to use such an outmoded technology. I love that Asher made a conscious decision to use something old to prevent it from dating the novel. It makes so much sense. I love that he chose to do this.

Strangely, I actually found this book the first time through the Wattpad website. Someone had posted a story that caught my eye and one of the comments said that that story was reminiscent of this one. I didn’t get past the first couple pages of that posted story, but I later stumbled across 13RW on a clearance table somewhere and remembered the name. It was a lovely addition to my bookshelf.

To really enjoy this novel, I had to set aside some of my own personal feelings about suicide and just go with the story. To not think of Hannah as selfish, but as a troubled young girl who was very good at hiding the fact that she was in deep, deep trouble. One of the criticisms I’ve read about this novel is that it doesn’t accurately capture someone who suffers from depression/suicidal thoughts. That a person with those thoughts wouldn’t make a list. That there are no signs that Hannah was suffering from any mental illness. But I don’t agree. First, the assumption that the only people who suffer from suicidal thoughts are those with a mental illness, or that there’s only one way to reach a critical point in your life, is just wrong. Everyone’s experience is their own. But I also think that there are many signs in the novel that Hannah might be suffering from something more than just teen angst. The fact that she’s stored these moments away. That’s she’s let them take up so much head space. That she’s made a list with dozens of names on it. That she’s obsessed with how other people influenced and directed her life. Hannah’s obsessive personality was a clear indication that there was something wrong on a deeper level. That she clearly needed help with. Hannah ended up where she was probably always going to end up, but that doesn’t make it less sad. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books for People Who Like Their Novels Bleak as Hell

You know how sometimes, you just want to read a depressing as crap novel full of wholly unlikable characters? No? Weird. I get that feeling all the time. Well, not all the time, but often. These are the books I find myself drawn to the most. The ones that get the highest ratings from me. Books where there characters are strong and detailed but not entirely/remotely likable. These novels usually involve some pretty intensely depressing storylines.

This week, the ladies over at the B&B have asked us to recommend books for people that like a specific genre/style/format/whatever. So, I’m picking the type of book I just described. The one where you can just sink into someone else’s misery. Not to hide from your own or whatever, but just because you can. One of the things I hate to read in reviews is that a book is crap because the characters are unlikable. I’ve said it multiple times- I do not hate unlikable characters. In fact, I often prefer them. I don’t need to like a character to like a novel. A completely unlikable main character will draw me in more than someone who’s polished and inviting. These are people I would never want in my real life, but in books, they’re just too enticing. Nice characters are just so dull.

I’ve divided these into three groups for those of you with genre preferences.

Young Adult fiction is a smorgasbord of offputting characters, but let’s face it, teens are pretty awful when they want to be. So, there were lots of novels to choose from in this genre (I’m pretty sure Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers will live here – I’m only 40 pages in and Parker is one of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever read – but I’m not finished it yet, so this is its honorable mention).

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Dare Me by Megan Abbott

A book about the way teenage girls hate – not only the people that don’t fit into their circles, but themselves and their friends. Obsession and hatred in perfect bodies. Abbott handles the subject matter expertly. Continue reading

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays – Best Reads from 2012-2014

Today’s TTT prompt is favourite books from the last three years. Okay, it’s actually all time favourite books from the last three years, but I can’t justify calling books restrained to the confines of when I read them all times. All times are their own category, and if usually takes more than three years and one or two readings to classify as such. But I digress. Best reads of the last three years (that I’ve read not that have been published in).

At first blush, this list came in at a whopping 25 books. 25 amazing books in just three years. Now, I read quite a bit (not as much as many other bloggers though), so 25 is actually a pretty small percentage, but that’s 25 books I would go back and read again. That I would buy not just borrow. That I would actively and happily recommend to other people. So, how do I whittle this down to just ten? Pick the ten best? I started by removing books I’ve read in 2015. I haven’t had long enough to ruminate and make sure they’re long lasting favourites. From there… who knows. I just kind of randomly picked eleven – cause I just couldn’t get it down to ten – that I think will stand the test of time (ie – I’ll end up reading them several times).

 levithan

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Continue reading