Tag Archives: Antony John

Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Character Driven Books-10/7/14

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and the Bookish are asking for our favorite character-driven books. These are books were the characters come alive for readers. They grow and develop and they are the ones driving the plot forward rather than heart-racing action. For me, these books are the ones I savor and the ones that tend to stick with me long after I have closed the book.

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This one is a slow burner of book. It may take a while to get into it, but the patient reader is in for a treat.

jellicoe road

2. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. One of my all-time favorites. I just love Ed and The Doorman.

i am the messenger

3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I could gush about this one all day long.

i'll give you the sun

4. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. It’s really difficult to pick from A.S. Kings books. They are all character-driven and they are all beautiful and amazing.


5. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. I love this book about an unlikely friendship.

universe verses

6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. See all those awards on the cover? This book deserves every one! Ari and Dante are fantastic.

aristotle and dante

7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This is one of the best unreliable characters I have read in ages.

we were liars

8. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. This one features a colorful cast of characters and readers will be rooting for Josie from the start.

out of the easy

9. Pointe by Brandy Colbert. I really enjoyed this debut novel. Theo is such a complex character. She has a lot going on!


10. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. I haven’t mentioned this old favorite in a while!

five flavors

It was hard to limit myself to just ten!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Made Myself and Others Read 10/15/13


I decided to tweak this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. The Broke and the Bookish asked about books we were forced to read. I haven’t been forced to read anything since I was in school (and for the most part I  enjoyed what I  read). I have been told by friends and coworkers that I really needed to read certain books, and for the most part I have obliged, but I never feel obligated to finish a book that is not for me. So, I decided to make a list of the books that I forced myself to read because I felt that I should. I will also throw in some books that I have pressured others to try to a few that I was encouraged to read by others.

Most recently I was totally peer pressured into this:


Everyone at work was reading it. All the cool kids were doing it. This was the best peer pressure ever!

Books I Forced Myself to Read

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

book thief

Everyone was raving about this one, so I of course had to see what all the fuss was about. I tried to read it. I really did. I could not get into it so I gave up. Then I felt guilty so I really did force myself to try again. The second time I took the audiobook home and that made all the difference in the world! I am so glad I made myself try again.

2. The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

ruinsA couple of years ago I realized that I only had a few go-to “boy” books to recommend to my teen readers. I needed to remedy that and branch out in terms of my reading. So I wandered around in my collection and randomly picked up the first book in the series. The cover screamed BOY and I was skeptical. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! I have so much love for this series.

3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young

blood red road

Out of the blue I received an ARC of this book. I read the back and scoffed. I skimmed the first few pages and was immediately put off by the dialect. Fast forward a few weeks…I guiltily dusted it off and tried again. After about 20 pages I was used to the dialect and knew I had discovered a new favorite.

4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

enders gameIt’s the Holy Grail of Sci-Fi! It’s going to be a movie! It’s a must-read for everyone! Nope. Not. At. All. I tried and quit and I am a-ok with that. No looking back. That is not the book for me.

5. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

jellicoe road

*See The Book Thief above.

6. Germinal by Émile Zola


I am so proud of myself for finishing this! Talk about a challenge.

7. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R Tolkien


This is another series that I found incredibly challenging, but I stuck with it and really enjoyed the story.

Books I Strongly Encourage Others to Read:

8. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley


This one requires a little force. It’s so weird, but I loved it!

9. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John


Yeah, I have forced many people to read this favorite of mine. Go do it!

10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

bloody jack

I like to push the audio version of this series. Not familiar with Jacky Faber? You should be! Hands down my favorite audio series ever. No pressure.

Happy Reading!





Top Ten Tuesday-Books on the Big (or Small) Screen 9/10/13


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about TV and film adaptations of books. When compiling this list of titles that we would love to seen on the big screen we can assume that the adaptation will be done in a perfect world and will therefore not suck.

As Seen On TV (Please?):

1. Gone by Michael Grant. Shove on over Under the Dome (and network television), this is how you do horror.


2. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. Vampire never go out of style, right? I think this would be a fun series to see on TV.

hearts at stake

3. Ashes by Isla Bick. This woman is giving Michael Grant a run for his money in the freakishly disturbing horror category. This is a new twist on zombies and I can’t wait to see where things go in the final book.

ashes new cover

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I’d watch those broody boys search for a ley line any day. I am sure the series would provide enough material for a few seasons.

raven boys

5. The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I don’t want a movie. I want season after season of Halt, Will, Horace, and Tug.


Runners up:

life as we knew it tell you i love you iron king

Dreaming of the Big Screen:

1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Can you imagine the special effects for this one?


2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. There has to be a role for Wil Wheaton in this one.


3. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy. I can totally picture this as an animated film. How about it, Pixar?

hero's guide

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Fairy tales are all the rage!


5. The Diviners by Libba Bray. Actually, maybe not. I might be too afraid to watch!


Runners up:

mothership fiveflavorsof dumb please ignore vera dietz ship breaker white cat

Dear Hollywood,

There is some AWESOME material here. Don’t ruin it. Please.



Top Ten Tuesday: I’d Buy That, or My No Questions Asked Auto-Buy List


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Books, is all about the authors who write books that we will buy with no questions asked. What’s that one about? WHO CARES, XXX WROTE IT SO IT WILL BE A.MAZ.ING. End of story. I try really hard to take advantage of my awesome library collection (I am the one who orders it after all) but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I must own the books personally. My list contains both auto-buy and auto-read authors. As much as I wish I could, I just can’t own all the books.

1. Michael Grant. Genius. I have a copy of Light, the final book in the Gone series and I am afraid to start it. I don’t want the madness to be over. I guess I can catch up on Magnificent 12 while I wait to see what new insanity is unleashed upon us.

gone bzrk eve maginificent 12

2. Ally Carter. I have so much love for The Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series. Gallagher Girls is almost finished and I will anxiously wait to see what comes next.

i'd tell you heist society

3. Scott Westerfeld. All time favorite. With all due respect, I wish he would spend a little less time on his graphic novel adaptations and more time writing something shiny and new for me.

uglies leviathan

4. Marissa Meyer. She’s a new favorite! I actually need to go out and purchase her books. My shelves are lacking in cyborg awesomeness.

cinder scarlet

5. John Flanagan. I never expected to fall in love with a cranky old ranger and his young apprentice, but alas, I did. I can’t wait to start his new series.

ruins of gorlan brotherband

6. Libba Bray. I have read everything she has written and after meeting her in person I must confess that I have a little author crush on her. My home collection of her works is missing pieces, but I am working on that. Desperate for more Diviners.

great going bovine beauty queens diviners

7. L.A. Meyer. Keep the Jacky Faber stories coming, please!

bloody jack

8. Kiersten White. I loved Paranormalcy and can’t wait to get my hands on her new series. I really should just buy it!

paranormalcy mind games

9. Rick Riordan. Mythology has never been so much fun! I need to start collecting the complete works of Rick Riordan. Well, maybe just the middle grade ones. My nephews are almost old enough to start some Percy Jackson. Can’t wait.

percy red pyramid lost hero

10. Cassandra Clare. I actually only obsessively hoard her Infernal Devices series (they have prettier covers). Maybe some day I will go back and add The Mortal Instruments.

city of bones clockwork angel


Lish McBride, Moira Young, and Antony John.

hold me closer blood red road fiveflavorsof dumb

Non-YA authors

Lisa Lutz, Sarah Addison Allen, Bill Willingham, Christopher Farnsworth, and Alan Bradley

spellmans garden spells fables blood oath sweetness

Ok, I have to cut myself off. I could keep going…

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Dear Santa, I Would Not Mind Finding These Books Under My Tree

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is one big Dear Santa letter. I like to think big when it comes to Santa. I mean, he’s all about magic, right? I am sure he will have no problem squeezing these ten little gifts onto his sleigh. Also, I am totally ok with taking a rain check. Get all the prezzies to the good little boys and girls and swing by my place later. December 26 works for me. Here’s my Santa wish list:

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. I have read them all and would love to own them. You know, for when my nephews come hang out.

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I used to have a complete set, but I am missing pieces. The books that are gone have been loaned out and not returned and I am fine with that, but I think it’s time to rebuild my collection. Santa could help with that!

3. Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. I have Leviathan and Behemoth. They are sad and lonely with out Goliath.

4. The Map of Time and The Map of the Sky by Felix Palma. I have been meaning to read these books ever since I saw them at the library. The covers are gorgeous and Scott Westerfeld blurbed them. I even have reliable confirmation from my friend that they are awesome. Maybe I should have them permanently at my house. What do you say, Santa?

5. Endlessly by Kiersten White. See #3. Paranormalcy and Supernaturally are so lonely on my shelf.

6. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. I have read the first book in the series and really want to finish the second and third books. Maybe if they were handy at home…

7. A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is Christmas, after all and this is one of my favorite Christmas books.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Why don’t I already own this one?

9. Elemental by Antony John. It’s no secret that I have a little author crush on Antony John. I mean, how could I not? His books are wonderful and he is such a nice guy. But anyway. I really need his new book.


10. Fables by Bill Willingham. I want to own them. And read them over and over. And since I am being greedy, dear Santa, can I have the hard cover volumes, please?


One last thing and it is not a book, but I MUST own them.


Thanks, you’re the best Santa!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Books That Make You Think (About Life, People, the World, etc)

It’s Tuesday and that means another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about books that made us stop and think. I admit that I do love a good fluff book or an action packed adventure that is so perfectly executed that there is not time to think about how I would have escaped the zombies/evil angel/crazy vampire queen. But sometimes you find that book. You know the one. The one that makes you pause. Makes you wonder what you would do or say or feel. Makes you think what if…That book that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last word. That book is amazing.

Let’s get the slightly cliche classic out of the way first.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone lived like Atticus Finch?

2. I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. Oh, Ed Kennedy, I love you and your smelly dog. This book reminds me that small actions can have a big impact on someone.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. There is so much to ponder in this one. The story is heartbreaking and the medical ethics involved is thought-provoking. This is an amazing story.

4. Speaking of medical ethics…The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson. This one will leave you pondering what exactly it means to be human. Literally. I can’t wait to give my book club this one.

5. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This one will have you thinking about conformity, beauty, and popularity. Bonus points for an action-packed adventure with hover boards.

6. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth. The ultimate what if… What if there was a crazy natural disaster that forever altered life as we know it? I would totally miss ice cream. And TV. And the warmth of the sun, of course.

7. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. This book haunts me. The lines between reality and fantasy are non-existent. It’s dystopian, it’s steampunk. It’s totally messed up and fascinating and disturbing. It’s about post-traumatic stress and friendship and IT HAS A SEQUEL. Oh. My. God. I don’t know if I can handle it!

8. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. If you have ever read my blog, even just once, chances are pretty good that you know how I feel about this book. I love it. I love Piper. I love her transformation. I love that she does not let her disability define her or hold her back. I like to think about that.

9. Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s set in a fictional place, in a fictional time, and the fictional kids are fighting a fictional war, but this really made me think about the real life impact of war on children. This is a tough read, but worth it. You also get healthy dose of nature vs free will with the character Tool.

10. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This one is all about changing the past, the Butterfly Effect, the what ifs. When I think about some of the major events in my life I can’t help but wonder what if things had been different, what if I could go back and change things. In the end of this book you learn the answer to that what if question. It’s shocking. I loved this book.

Honorable Mentions:

What books are on your list?

Happy Reading!






Top Ten Tuesday-My Fall 2012 TBR List

It’s time for a new Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are looking ahead to fall reading. There are quite a few new books that I am eagerly anticipating! So, here, in order of publication date, is my Fall TBR list:

1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil Sept. 18. This one has been getting some buzz. Teens stranded on an island, falling victim to a murderer. Yeah, I’ll read that.

2. Shadows by Ilsa Bick Sept. 25. I really liked Ashes and I am looking forward to more of the story. I believe I read somewhere that this one is told from a different point of view. I kind of like it when authors switch it up like that.

3. Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling Sept. 27. One ticket for the bandwagon, please.

4. Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan Oct.2. I am going to go on record saying that I like this Percy Jackson spin-off series even better than the Olympians series and I firmly believe that this book is going to be the best of the series so far. I actually think the last book in the series will combine all three of his sets of half-breeds and be totally mind-blowing, but until then, Athena is going to rule!

5. Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant Oct. 2. Bioethics? Sounds like it! And you all should know by now how I feel about Michael Grant! Fans of the Animorphs will be delighted that the old team is back together.

6. Viva Jacquelina! by L.A. Meyer Oct. 9. More Jacky Faber! YAY!

7. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick Oct. 23. I kind of need to know how things end for Nora and Patch. I also hope that is indeed the finale for these two star-crossed love. I do not trying to be mean, I just get tired of dragged out series. Wrap it up and let’s move on!

8. Rebel Heart by Moira Young Oct. 30. This might be my most anticipated book of the fall. I loved Blood Red Road so much and I cannot wait for the next one.

9. Elemental by Antony John Nov. 21. You  guys know how much I love Antony John, right? I do. So I am super excited about this new project!

10 & 11. A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I NEED to read these books. I want to read them right now, but I really need to take a tiny break and read some other things.

I didn’t do so well on my Top Ten Summer Reading list (only read 5 of 11). Maybe I will do better with this one.

Happy Reading!