Monthly Archives: July 2012

Top Ten Tuesday-Characters I Would Trade Places With For the Day

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and The Bookish, is all about swapping places. This is a tricky one because I would never want to be some of my favorite characters. Not even for a day. I’m looking at you Sabba and Katniss! Talk about trouble. Here are my picks:

1. Amy Curry from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. While Amy has some baggage she’s dragging around, I would totally appreciate every part of a road trip!

2. Jacky Faber from Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. Ok, so being an orphan and part of a street gang kind of stinks. And life is hard for everyone in the early 1800’s. And there are pirates. BUT…her adventures are so amazing! I think I would enjoy a day of singing and dancing on the high seas. Without the pirates.

3. Katla LeBlank from Stork by Wendy Delsol. She certainly finds herself in some tricky situations, but her power is so cool! And she has fashion sense.

4. Gwen Shepard from Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. Time travel. Need I say more?

5. Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. I love a good prank!

6. Lucy Hamilton from The Drake Chronicles series. This girl is human, gets to stay human, and have vampire best friends and still be bada**, cool and hilarious all on her own. She rules. And she can eat chocolate.

7. Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was a real person, does that still count? I say yes! I would love to trade places with her for a day. But only for a day because I do enjoy indoor plumbing and sleeping past sunrise.

8. Cammie Morgan from The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter.  I wish I could go to a top-secret spy school. But I think in the end it would be totally exhausting, so one day would be enough for me!

9. Jessie Sloane from Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. Like Julie, I fully embrace my nerdiness (but secretly wish to be cool). This girl has a good thing going and I would be down with a day of D&D and pizza. A little known fact about yours truly: I totally rock at D&D.

10. Elizabeth Rew from The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. Elizabeth has The. Best. Library. Job. Ever.

I also would mind trading places with Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Mary Lang from The Agency series by Y.S. Lee, and Amy Goodnight from Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Who do you want to trade places with?

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan-So Much Summer Reading and Recommend A…#6

Good Morning Monday! Holy cow, did I get some reading done last week…and the only thing I neglected was yard work. Let’s just get down to business and check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? and Chick Loves Lit for Recommend A…

First up, time to brag about all the awesome reading I finished. I love spending my days off with a book and a latte.

I finished a whole lot of awesome: Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier, Fables: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham, I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (I have now read 4 of my 11 summer reads), and My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf.

I am still working on: 11/22/63 by Stephen King, The Litigators by John Grisham, and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

So excited to start: Broken Harbor by Tana French. I love her Dublin Murder Squad series.

Started, but feeling lukewarm about: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield. This 2012 debut has gotten some really good reviews so I am going to stick with it a little longer.

I have a little more time off this week too, so who knows what I’ll get through. What are you reading this week?

…First book in a series. Oh boy, I love my series! I always recommend Gone by Michael Grant and Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter and of course I highly recommend The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.

If you like The Hunger Games, try Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

If you like Gallagher Girls and paranormal, try Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

And two series I want everyone to read:

The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan and Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer.

                 

What are your favorite series?

That’s all for me today. Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s All About Location, Location, Location

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about awesome settings and vivid worlds. Obviously the world building in the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series is amazing, but I am saving spots on my list for some other awesome books. Some times I feel like I list the same ten books over and over again, but they deserve to be on the lists. They are that good.

1. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa – a fresh, unique spin on the world of fairies. Full of twists and surprises but with all the magic one would expect when entering the fairy realm.

2. Gone series by Michael Grant-an exciting and horrifying world run by teenagers…with superpowers.

3. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith-a vivid and disturbing imaginary setting. Or is it?

4. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare- all of these books have cool steampunk-y settings. They belong together.

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Ship Breaker by Paola Bagicalupi, and The Knife of  Never Letting Go-all describe super-cool futuristic worlds.

6. The Curse Workers series by Holly Black-mob meets magic in this alternate reality world.

7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire and Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier-any world that involves time travel is awesome.

8. The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix-totally trippy world building here.

9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan-awesome zombie world.

10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer-historical fiction set on the briny seas. Ahoy!

Runners Up-Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, and Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention some of my favorite settings in adult fiction.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-Barcelona, 1930’s, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books…sigh. Magic.

The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin-oh my gosh, the Seven Kingdoms leave me speechless and the show has done an amazing job bringing the setting to life. I cannot wait to read book 3! No spoilers.

Faithful Place by Tana French-I swear this working-class neighborhood in Dublin is actually a character.

Locke and Key by Joe Hill-creeptastic!

Anything Sarah Addison Allen-lovely and magical.

Ok, this was a really long cheater post! I am totally cut off as of right now!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays With Megan: Playing Catch Up, Summer Throwdown #2, and Recommend A…#5

Hi everybody! I am making the most of my mini-break from the Game of Thrones saga (Withdrawal setting in. Must read more soon.) and caught up on a big old pile of TBRs. I am even more motivated to keep up my current pace because I am once again representing The League of Librarians in Round 2 of The Summer Reading Throwdown (we won Round 1, we have a title to defend!).

For the last round I finished nine books, including the ginormous A Clash of Kings. I can totally do better than that, especially since I have vacation time coming up. I think I can read/listen to 15 books. *Fingers crossed*

Time to check in with my weekly reading list. Thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Finished:

The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton, Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas, Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey, The Technologists by Matthew Pearl, and The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. I had been working on some of these for a long time!

Audio Started:

11/22/63 by Stephen King. I am going to have to do a lot of driving to get through this monster book!

The Litigators by John Grisham. This is my first Grisham novel. I have heard good things about this one and look forward to many entertaining walks with the dog.

ARCs Started:

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Dec. 18, 2012)

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (October 30, 2012)

Also Working On:

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

*Update* I finished this one over the weekend. Very cute.

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan

It’s a big list, and I’ll be happy if I can finish Sapphire Blue and 52 Reasons. Anything else will be a bonus, and one step closer to A Storm of Swords!

This week Chick Loves Lit has asked us to

…a book you have read this year. Of course, I am going to recommend more than one. I can’t help myself. I have read over 100 books so far this year, with very few duds, so this is a tough one.

A Non-YA Pick:

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley.

She wakes up in the rain surrounded by dead people wearing gloves. The only clue she has to what happened is a letter that begins “Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine.” And so begins Myfawny Thomas’ strange new life. She soon discovers that she is a high-ranking official in a secret agency that protects the world against supernatural threats. There is a traitor in the agency and they are not only out to get her, they want to destroy the agency itself. Can she discover who stole her memories before it is too late?

This debut novel is highly imaginative and suspenseful. It is chock-full of suspicious characters, unique super-humans, and horrific villains. The mystery will keep you guessing until the end. A healthy dose of wit and humor add to this exceptional first novel. I highly recommend you check it out.

A YA Pick:

When Rory Deveaux arrives at her London boarding school from Louisiana, she has no idea that she will soon be in the midst of Ripper Fever. London is gripped with fear as someone begins to copycat the horrific murders of Jack the Ripper. Rory becomes involved when she becomes the only witness to one of the murders. From there things spiral out of control and it becomes clear that there is more to this case than meets the eye.

The first book in the Shades of London series is a spooky, suspenseful thrill! A great boarding school setting, a paranormal mystery, a touch of historical fiction, and just a hint of romance make this a series that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Thanks for reading to the end of this enormous post! Have great reading week.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas Review

Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
EgmontUSA
July, 2012
416 pgs

What begins as an ordinary first day of school at McKinley High School quickly turns into a nightmare as the adults begin to die in a swift and gruesome manner. The students learn that a virus, deadly only to adults, was accidentally released, infecting them and prompting a military-enforced quarantine of the school. Among the students trapped inside are brothers David and Will. As gangs and cliques begin to form, the brothers’ strategy for survival is to lay low and remain out of sight, avoiding all gang affiliation. This works well for them until David makes the impulsive decision to come to the aid of Lucy, a girl being targeted by a particularly nasty clique. This one move proves to be dangerous and potentially deadly for David and his brother. Living conditions deteriorate, food supplies run low, and violence and danger lurk around every corner. Can David survive until his “graduation” day or will one impulsive act cost him everything?

When I first heard of this book it was titled Quaranteen. I am relieved that someone had the good sense to chance that. Intentionally misspelled words are a kind of a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, that may be the nicest thing I can say about the book. Despite my interest in the topic, I found that this was not the book for me. I love the idea of teens trapped in a school with no adults, but I could not get past the overwhelming amount of graphic and gruesome violence. In the past I have read and enjoyed a number of books that are pretty brutal and while I didn’t love all the gruesomeness, I was able to look beyond it because the story and characters were compelling. In this case, the execution of the plot and the characters do not make up for the amount of gratuitous brutality. I feel that the book suffers from flat characters, pacing issues and most frustrating, serious plot holes. Dedicated readers will need to be willing to suspend all disbelief in order to accept some of the things the authors (Lex Thomas is the pen name of the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies) would have them believe. The cliffhanger ending is not enough to compel me to continue with this series. I will stick with Michael Grant’s Gone series for all of my “trapped teens” needs.

This book was provided by NetGalley for review.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday: If You Love The Gallagher Girls, Try These!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is all about readalikes. The hardest part was coming up with Book X. My pal Stacey suggested I offer readalikes for I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.

First of all, if you have not read the Gallagher Girls series yet, I highly recommend you do that. Unless you don’t like action-packed, humorous books about awesome girls at a top-secret spy school. In that case, you should definitely not read this series. And once you are finished, you’ll want to check out some of these:

1. Heist Society by Ally Carter. Obviously. More Ally Carter is always a good thing.

2. The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks by E. Lockhart. This has a boarding school, a brilliant and hilarious girl and pranks. The Gallagher Girls would applaud Frankie’s cleverness and sass.

3. Enthusiasm and The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. Again, Enthusiasm features boarding schools and spirited, stubborn girls. It’s charming fun. The Grimm Legacy, on the other hand, has the secrecy and adventure that you’ve come to love and expect from Ally Carter.

4. Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch. D.J. Schwenk is one tough girl! When she’s not milking cows she’s playing football and has her heart set on a spot on the varsity team. The Gallagher Girls would approve of D.J.’s badassery. Yeah, that’s totally word.

5. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. Jacky Faber is one clever cookie. She’s also a tough girl-orphan, ship “boy,” pirate…she earned the nickname Bloody Jack after all. The Gallagher Girls would totally hang with Jacky if they lived in 1800.

6. The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. So you have read this far and are thinking something like this: “Well, this list is all fine and dandy, but it’s a bit too girlie for me. I like adventure and humor and cool fighting skills, but I could do without the cute plaid skirts.” I can respect that. For you, I would recommend the Ranger’s Apprentice series. The Gallagher Girls are totally fine with that. In fact, they are a little jealous that Will gets a pony.

7. Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez. Oh wait, I was confused. You like the plaid skirts but wish there was a touch more of the paranormal in your action-packed, tough-girl book? No problem. I’ve got you covered. The Gallagher Girls would gladly lend a hand to the Giordano sisters as they solve strange mysteries in the town of Nightshade.

8. Prom Dates From Hell, a Maggie Quinn: Girl vs Evil book by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Maggie Quinn is such an awesome fighter of evil, she may qualify as an honorary Gallagher Girl. You should see some of the things she’s had to battle. Yikes!

9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. Both of these are like Gallagher Girls with paranormals. Both books are hilarious, both star tough girls, there is danger, mystery, action, and hot guys, like in the Gallagher Girls, PLUS there’s demons and vampires and fairies…Oh My!

 

10. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Antony Horowitz. It seems appropriate to end this list with another teen spy series. I myself have not read the Alex Rider series, but I hear it’s another thrilling adventure series with a James Bond-like character. *cough* Blackthorn Boys Rule *cough*

I hope you find something here to add to your TBR lists.

*Updates*

This list continues to grow! I also recommend you try these:

also known as texas gothic spy in the house

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays “YAWN” With Megan-I Stayed Up Too Late Reading!

My reading life has come to a screeching halt because of one monstrously huge, complex and compelling book:

Well, I FINALLY finished and I am desperate to start the next one (my friends won’t talk to me until I have caught up), I need to read something else for a while.  So, let’s get down to business.

First, let’s play Recommend A…, hosted by Chick Loves Lit.

This week we are recommending books by male authors. I have a bunch of favorites but I’ll keep it short.

1. Scott Westerfeld. I love both his Uglies series (dystopian/sci-fi) and his Leviathan series (steampunk/alternate history). He is currently working on Uglies manga, which is fine, I guess, but I would love a new series!

 

2. Michael Grant. He is the YA king of creepy. In person he is quite lovely and hilarious. In print he is an evil genius. His series include Gone, BZRK, The Magnificent 12 and a new series with his wife, Katherine Applegate, Eve and Adam.

   

3. John Flanagan. I LOVE The Ranger’s Apprentice series. I am sure I will also love The Brotherband Chronicles as well, but I need to finish the rangers series first. I am a little sad to say goodbye to Will, Halt, Horace, and Tug.

 

4. L. A. Meyer. Jacky Faber, heroine of Meyer’s Bloody Jack series is one of my all time favorite characters. If you enjoy audiobooks treat yourself to Bloody Jack. Katherine Kellgren is brilliant.

Ok, those are just a few of the guys I love to recommend. It’s time to move on to another list. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey and a YA version is found at Teach Mentor Texts.

 

You already know that I finished Clash of Kings (phew!). I also finished Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas. I will have a full review later in the week, but I will say that I probably won’t continue following this series. I am taking a break from George R. R. Martin and have lofty reading goals for the week.

To Finish: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa, The Technologists by Matthew Pearl, and The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton.

New Book to Start:

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier. I am so lucky to have a friend who shares all of her awesome advanced reader copies!

Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey. Oh how I love the Drakes!

These should be quick reads so, I am hoping to also read either:

 and/or

I also have to pick some new audiobooks, but I really don’t have the energy right now. What are you working on this week?

Happy Reading!

˜Megan