Tag Archives: Andrew Smith

Top Ten Tuesday-Unique Reads 4/8/14


This week The Broke and the Bookish are talking about unique reads. Get ready to see some awesome lists filled with strange worlds, great characters, interesting writing styles, and plain-old weirdness. Here are my picks:

1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. This tops the list not because it is my favorite, but because I just read it and it is so totally bizarre. The world ends with giant praying mantises eating their way through the human population. This account of the end is told by a sexually confused teenaged boy.

grasshopper jungle

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor remains the only series I have ever read that features chimera. I love it.

daughter of smoke

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a zombie book that never uses the word zombie. This is still my favorite zombie series.

forest of hands and teeth

4. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride makes necromancy look fun! It is dark and absolutely hilarious.


5. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It’s like the British X-Files/secret society stuff. Plus monsters. And conspiracies. It’s just so strange. There is a sequel in the works, but no firm details. *sigh*


6. BZRK by Michael Grant. This series scares the bejeezus out of me. Nanotechnology. Tiny little nanobots eating your brain. I hate love it so bad.


7. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Welcome to a world of super villains. Without super heroes. It’s up to ordinary humans to save humankind. This book is all sorts of bad*@s. Love, love, love.


8. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld features an alternate reality WWI that was fought between the Darwinists and the Clankers. I love the fabricated beasties and the steampunk.


9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer puts a futuristic twist on classic fairy tales. Cinderella the cyborg? Heck yeah!


10. Mothership by Martin Leicht is Teen Mom + 80’s pop culture + aliens=total nonsense! Laugh out loud fun!


Honorable Mentions:

  • Any thing by A.S. King. She always slips in a touch of the unusual in her contemporary fiction. Whether it’s ghosts and a talking pagoda or bringing things out of dreams and talking ants, there is always a touch of the strange.

please ignore vera dietz everybody sees the ants

  • Stork by Wendy Delsol is another favorite of mine. Kat is a human stork, responsible for placing new souls with the proper parent.stork

Happy Reading!





Mondays With Megan, In Which I Confess My Addiction to Plants vs Zombies4/7/14

Hmm. It’s Monday already? I don’t know about you, but I crammed a lot in to my weekend. In a nutshell: baseball, plants vs zombies, yoga, doughnut, new outfit, read, plants vs zombies, nap, grown-up birthday party, plants vs zombies, read, work, read, plants vs zombies, walk the dogs, cook, plants vs zombies…notice a pattern? What is wrong with me?!? So, yeah. Plants vs Zombies. Ugh. I did manage for finish some books!

mondayreading new monday

Thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Text for hosting It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


siege and storm grasshopper jungle far from you million suns

  • Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo continues the story of Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. Alina and Mal have escaped the Fold, but the Darkling has raised a new and even more terrifying army. I am loving this series so much and can’t wait for Ruin and Rising. Also, the covers are gorgeous. I may have to own these books.
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is THE IT BOOK at the moment. The world as we know it ends when genetically engineered Unstoppable Soldiers (giant praying mantises) take over, beginning with the small town of Ealing, Iowa. The end of the world is recorded by 17-year old Austin. He faithfully documents all of the events leading up to the end of the world, including all of the anxiety he feels about loving both of his best friends, Shann (his girlfriend) and Robby. This book was super weird and I get the appeal, but I did not love it like I loved Winger and Marbury Lens. I am still glad that I spent time with it to see what all the buzz is about.
  • Far From You by Tess Sharpe is a 2014 debut novel. Sophie Winters became addicted to pain medication after a car accident. Despite finally being clean, when drugs are found on her at the scene of her best friend’s murder, no one believes that the crime was not a drug deal gone wrong. After months of rehab, Sophie returns home to face the tragedy of her loss. She makes her mission to solve Mina’s murder and find a way to say goodbye to her best friend and first love. I really enjoyed this one. There is a lot going on in the story, but it never feels like it’s too much. I should have a review up this week, but look for this one on shelves tomorrow!
  • A Million Suns by Beth Revis is the second book in the trilogy and it is even more thrilling than the first! I don’t want to give anything away, but life aboard Godspeed has taken an interesting turn! I am listening to this series and had Shades of Earth ready and waiting for me.

Current Audio:

more than this shades of earth

  • More Than This by Patrick Ness is totally unlike his other books. I haven’t yet decided how I feel about it.
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis is the conclusion to the trilogy. Bad things are currently happening and I am suspect things are going to get worse!

Currently Reading:

universe verses chasers elite

  • The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
  • Chasers by James Phelan
  • The Elite by Kiera Cass

On Deck:

accident sunrise

  • The Accident by Chris Pavone will be my next book on CD
  • Sunrise by Mike Mullin-I am so nervous to read this one!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Books That Will Make You Cry 2/4/14


It’s Tuesday, which means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday list, hosted by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books that will make you cry. True confession time: I apparently have a heart of stone because I really struggled with this one and in the end accepted that I am not a crier and stopped trying to come up with ten titles. Another possible theory is that I *am* a big crier and therefore intentionally stay away from books that will make me cry. I like that theory. Let’s go with that.

1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. This book full of raw grief, heartache, hope, humor, romance, and healing. Me=big, blubbering mess.


2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I don’t remember being so moved by If I Stay, but Adam’s story brought on the waterworks for me.

where she went

3. Winger Andrew Smith. I felt all the feelings! AND now I have get to feel them all over again since it has been revealed that there will be a sequel!!!


4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I sat in my car in my own driveway bawling…

book thief

5. I am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. If I remember correctly, these were tears of joy. That happens sometimes.


6. The Eightly-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts. This one caught me off-guard. It shouldn’t have surprised me when Snowman met his end (after living a long, long time) but the story of his passing was so touching. Yeah, I cried.

eighty dollar

7. Champion by Marie Lu. Happy tears.


8. Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. The only books I run away from faster than cancer books is Holocaust books. I broke my own rule and I paid. Go figure, 3 of my teen tear-inducers are Holocaust books.

code name verity rose under fire

9. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This book was surprisingly beautiful.

jellicoe road

10. Pretty much anything A.S. King writes. Sometimes tears of joy, sometimes tears of heartbreak, always tears of triumph. She writes such poignant stories.

please ignore vera dietz ask everybody sees the ants reality boy

Ok, in retrospect, I guess I am actually a big cry baby. Fine. Pass the tissues, please.

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-Veterans Day Reads and What Are You Reading? 11/11/13

On November 11, 1918 a temporary armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect, marking the unofficial end of “the war to end all wars.”  The following year this event was commemorated on the first Armistice Day. This holiday was celebrated until 1954 when Congress changed the day to Veterans Day in order to honor WWII and Korean War veterans. Since that time military conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq have brought the total of American Military Veterans to a staggering 21.2 million in 2012. I found that number here. Here are just a few of the countless books dealing with the veterans of war.

Iraq and Afghanistan:

personal effects something like normal somebody please tell me who i am purple heart

Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick and Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer.


falling objects okay for now everybody sees the ants

In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith, Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, and Everybody Sees Ants by A.S. King.


rose under fire flygirl war torn sky

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith, and Under a War-Torn Sky by Laura Elliot


crossing stones shadow of the blackbirds moon over manifest

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost, In the Shadow of the Blackbirds by Cat Winters, and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

And now for a totally different kind of list!

mondayreading new monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop by and see what everyone else is up to this week.


allegiant reality boy grayson ptolemy's gate

I finished reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. The more I think about it and talk about it, the more I dislike it. So disappointed. Thankfully I had Reality Boy by A.S. King to jump right into. It was brilliant. I loved every minute of it. I also finished both of my audiobooks. Grayson by Lynne Cox continues my nonfiction audio trend. It was a short, satisfying account of swimming with a lost gray whale. I also finally finished Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud. I did not love this series. I thought the ending was pretty awesome, but it took to long to get the thrilling and surprising end. I am not sure if I will pick up the prequel, The Ring of Solomon, but I will definitely be listening to The Screaming Staircase! The final score: 1 dud, 1 awesome, and 2 just fines.

Current Audio:

fangirl power of habit

I just started Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I am loving it! I also started The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which is also really interesting. I think I can safely say that I like to listen to nonfiction. Reading nonfiction is an entirely different thing, but listening is perfect for me.

Currently Reading:

no more royal ranger born of illusion iron traitor

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman is a quick reread for book club. I am going to start The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan tonight. I am very excited! I am still plugging away at (and enjoying) Born of Illusion by Teri Brown and Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa.

Up Next?

bzrk reloaded champion stranger thing

Happy Reading!


Mondays With Megan-It’s Monday Already? 6/17/13

My coffee cup is empty and that is a problem. I’ll get a refill soon, but in the meantime I will attempt to form coherent thoughts and sentences. What an exhausting and fun weekend! I hope you had a good one too. Friday night I sat on my porch and read. Saturday was haircut, Firefly, and pizza day. Sunday was yard work day. I have to admit, I love working in my yard. Especially when my project involves removing grass. I really don’t like cutting grass.

yard 1 yard 2yard 3

With a lot of help from my sister, nephews, and brother, I moved a literal ton of rock, dug up grass, and laid the first level of stones for my new shade bed. I am clearly a giant nerd.

I am also totally excited about summer reading. We have completed our first week and sign ups and participation have been phenomenal! So far 72 teens have signed up. This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it’s huge. Last year at the end of 9 weeks we had 106 teens sign up. See? Big deal.

Moving on to the books….Check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great book lists!

mondayreading monday2


in darkness far far away as dead as it gets nothing can possibly go wrong

I love when a book sticks with me long after I have finished. In Darkness by Nick Lake and Far Far Away by Tom McNeal are two such books. As Dead as it Gets by Katie Alender was the final and creepiest book in the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. Finally, I read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen. This was a really fun graphic novel! It’s cheerleaders vs. nerd in the battle for school funding. Bonus points for a robot rumble! I definitely recommend all of these titles.

Current Audio:

art forger

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. It’s so good! I had to return Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker before I could finish it so I am currently without a Playaway. I should pick something today.

Currently Reading:

winger sixteen proxy

I am in love with Winger by Andrew Smith. I couldn’t resist another Stephanie Plum. Proxy by Alex London is my current e-galley. I am having a hard time getting into it, but to be fair, I really haven’t had much time to devote to it.

On Deck:

I have no idea. Here are a few titles that I have at home. Feel free to tell me what I should read next!

earl program end games originals

Or maybe something totally different? Who knows!

Happy Reading!