Tag Archives: boarding school

Top Ten Tuesday-Favorite Settings 8/13/13

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and The Bookish asked us to pick a setting and list our favorite books with that setting. I am tweaking this one a little. I selected a few of my favorite types of settings and listed a few books in those categories.

FOREIGN LANDS. I don’t have a lot of world travel experience, but I can always count on a book to take me away!

1. Ireland


I love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Each book in the series is a riveting psychological thriller, but my favorite thing about the series is the setting. I have never been to Ireland, but French describes Dublin in such vivid detail that the city comes alive. It’s as if Dublin itself is a character in the story.

2. Czech Republic


The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is the only book I have ever read that is set in Prague. The unique setting makes this one stand out in a crowd.

3. Australia

jellicoe road i am the messenger

It’s a toss-up between Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I must admit that one Ed Kennedy plays a big role in latter being on the list.

SPECIAL SCHOOLS. Thank you J.K. Rowling for introducing me to the joys of Hogwarts! I now have a special fondness for boarding school settings. Here are a few of my favorites:

4. The Arkwell Academy is home to a variety of magickind, including Dusty Everhart, the only Nightmare at the school. This was a fun debut by a local (Ohio) author!

nightmare affair

5. Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers is a spaceship! Seriously. I LOVED this book and can’t wait for more!


6. Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a top-secret spy school for awesome girls.

i'd tell you i love

ON THE ROAD. I LOVE road trip books so much. These two are truly gems:

7. Going Bovine by Libba Bray is so delightfully bizarre.

going bovine

8. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is the opposite. Nothing weird here, just a lot of sweet fun.

amy and roger

DISTURBING SETTINGS. I just invented this category so that I could include some of my favorite disturbing books. It feels weird saying that.

9. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. Marbury is a horrifying place, and yet I could not put this book down. Of course, I am still too scared to read the sequel, Passenger, but I will some day.

marbury lens

10. Gone by Michael Grant. Perdido Beach is a hot mess and even though the series is finished, I am still freaked out about all the sh*t that when down under that barrier.


Happy Reading!


How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller Review

how to

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
February 21, 2013
358 pgs

Flick is a teenaged pick-pocket living on the streets of New York. At least, that’s the story he tells everyone, including Joi, the self-proclaimed protector of street kids. In reality, he comes from power and money, which he left behind when the unthinkable happened. His move to New York is about biding his time and plotting his revenge. His plans get a kick-start when he is recruited to attend the exclusive Mandel Academy, a school that has been secretly training criminal masterminds for over a century. As luck would have it, the one person he despises most is a Mandel graduate and board member and the current headmaster has all the dirt Flick needs to destroy him. Flick quickly rises to the top of his class, but along the way he learn that there is no such thing as coincidence and he can’t trust anyone. The cost of the truth he desires is steep, but he is willing to pay any price. Or so he thinks.

Basically the Mandel Academy is a boarding school for the criminally insane. Life inside is more than dangerous. It is deadly. How to Lead a Life of Crime is an uncomfortable read. That is not to say it is not good. I found this book so compelling. Even as I was going batty over trying to wrap my head around the layers of horror, I could not stop reading. I had to know happened. Thankfully, I was rewarded with a satisfying and somewhat surprising end. This book is definitely meant for an older reader. It is dark, gritty, and quite graphic. I would not recommend this book for your favorite conspiracy theorist-it will only fuel the flames! Ms. Miller has created a world that is truly terrifying and yet it is not hard to believe that there is an element of truth in her tale. Yikes. This one won’t win any feel-good awards, but it will keep you turning the pages! It was also refreshing to find a creepy book that did not rely on a post-apocalyptic or supernatural scenario to scare the bejesus out of me! Bottom line: fresh, original, and intense.

You may also enjoy the Curse Workers (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart) series by Holly Black and I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.

Happy Reading!