Tag Archives: E. Lockhart

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-Top Ten Books of 2014…So Far! 6/10/14


As we approach the midpoint of 2014, The Broke and the Bookish are asking for a best of 2014…so far list. One things is clear to me: making an end of the year favorites list is going to be painful! After a little more than five months of reading I had to make two lists to accommodate all of my favorites. I made a best of YA and a best of Non-YA. It is obviously time for some cheating…

Favorite reads so far:

1. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. I loved this cute YA romance!

better off friends

2. Shadow and Bone & Seige and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I am late to the Grisha party, but I am so happy that I finally listened to this series. The final book comes out soon and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends.

shadow and bone siege and storm

3. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. This author is officially on my automatically-read-whatever-they-put-their-name-on list.

out of the easy

4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Two questions. 1. Why did I wait so long to read this book? and 2. Why have I not read the second book yet? Seriously. Excellent stuff.

grave mercy

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This book was so unlike all of her other books. So unexpected and awesome.

we were liars

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer. Why do have to wait so long for more? Love, love, love.


7. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This dark debut sucked me in, kept me guessing, and left me desperate for more.


8. Far From You by Tess Sharpe. This is another intense debut novel. A little mystery, a little heartbreak. Certainly a solid first novel.

far from you

9. Tease by Amanda Maciel. I just finished this debut novel and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. The content is so upsetting, but I think it is a powerful and important book. It is not often that we get the bully’s side of the story.


10. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. This is such a special book. It has all the feels.

universe verses

I also LOVED these Non-YA books:

rosie project this is where i leave you attachments vicious stories hyperbole lost lake girl you left behind

Happy Reading!



We Were Liars by E.Lockhart Review

we were liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
May 13, 2014
Delacorte Press
Hardcover, 240 pgs.

What it’s about:

The beautiful, blue-blooded Sinclair family sends the summers on their luxurious private island. The cousins have grown up together. They are best friends.  They call themselves the Liars. They are untouchable. Until the accident. Cadence Sinclair, the oldest, the heir, is hazy on the details, but she knows that one summer changed everything.

Why you might like it:

So you think you know E. Lockhart? Clever and sassy Frankie Landau-Banks. Charming and awkward Ruby Oliver. All true, but We Were Liars will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about E. Lockart. While her previous novels are smart and fun, this newest offering is dark and suspenseful. This short book packs a huge emotional punch.  If you like a story that slowly unfolds to reveal a surprise twist, then this book should be right up your alley! Do you like an unreliable narrator? Check! Flashbacks? You’ll find those too! How about dysfunctional families? You’ll find dysfunction in spades! If you are a fan of psychological thrillers you might like We Were Liars. It’s best to go into this book not really knowing what it’s about, so be on the look out for spoilers! The book description is cryptic for a reason!

Want more like this?

For a similar haunting atmosphere and psychological trauma you might try The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. You might also enjoy Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King.

Top Ten Tuesday-2014 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read 12/3/13

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and The Bookish have us looking ahead to 2014. At first I thought that there weren’t too many books coming soon that I am just dying to read, but upon closer examination of my lengthy TBR list, I managed to find a bunch! In chronological order, here are a few of the books I am excited about for 2014:

1. Going Rogue by Robin Benway. January 14. This is the sequel to Also Known As, a fun Gallagher Girls readalike.

going rogue

2. Avalon by Mindee Arnett. January 21. From the author of The Nightmare Affair (the sequel, The Nightmare Dilemma is also coming out in 2014 and I am excited about that as well!), comes a new science fiction series. For fans of Firefly? SOLD!


3. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. February 11. An unstoppable army of giant praying mantises? This sounds so weird. I can’t wait.

grasshopper jungle

4. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White. February 18. This sequel to Mind Games will no doubt be awesome.

perfect lies

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. April 1. Oh. My. God. This is the book I am most excited about. An evil Dorothy? This is going to be one wicked Oz retelling!


6. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell. April 1. A new serial killer book! This one sounds Dexter-ish, with a female do-gooder killer.

dear killer

7. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. April 15. I loved Fitzpatrick’s debut, My Life Next Door and am eager for more from her.

what i thought

8. The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt. May 6. You can always rely on Lindsey Leavitt to deliver a fun contemporary novel, and I am sure this one will be another winner!

chapel wars

9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. May 13. A suspense novel from E. Lockhart? How exciting!

we were liars

10. Raging Star by Moira Young. May 13. I am very excited for the final book in the Dustlands Trilogy. So much drama in book 2!

raging star

So that’s 10. But I am also SO excited for these too:

cress lair of dreams dreams of gods and monsters

AND I NEED a new Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga, a new Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French, a new Shades of London by Maureen Johnson, and a new Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

What did I forget?

Happy Reading!




Top Ten Tuesday-Favorite Authors in Genre X


It’s been a long and busy day and I just now starting to think about this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish. I don’t really think humor is an official genre like science fiction or mysteries, but that’s the list I want to make. For everyone looking for an anti-Halloween read, this is the list for you! No spooks here, just lots of laughs. Come back next week for spooks!

1. Rick Riordan-  Sure he has the action/adventure thing down too, but for me the real treat is the humor.

2. E. Lockhart- Frankie Landau-Banks and Ruby Oliver are both good for a laugh!

3. L.A. Meyer-Jackey Faber, my favorite heroine is hilarious.

4. Kiersten White- Evie from Paranormalcy is a bleeping riot!

5. Gordon Korman- Laugh out loud moments in No More Dead Dogs, Pop, and Born to Rock. He’s a funny guy!

6. Rosemary Clement-Moore- I will read anything and everything she writes!

7. Libba Bray-I mean, have you read Going Bovine or Beauty Queens? HI-larious.


8. Markus Zusak- Are you wondering if I have lost my marbles? The Book Thief is not funny. I know, but Ed Kennedy, hero of I am the Messenger is!

9. Lish McBride- I just finished Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and there is a witness to the fact that I was laughing out loud in public while reading this one.

10. Martin Leicht- This is one to watch guys! His debut, Mothership, is the funniest thing I have read in ages. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing.

Ok, brain is mushy. I go now.

Happy Reading!


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!


Mondays With Megan-Summer Throwdown and What Are You Reading?

Did you ever wonder who reads more, teachers or librarians? Well, we will finally learn the answer to that burning question! The gauntlet has been thrown and the summer throwdown was born! You can find all the details here, at Heise Reads and Recommends. I am all signed up and ready read!

What am I reading for the throwdown? Funny you should as because it’s time for another reading list check in. Thanks to Book Journey for hosting It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? and Teach Mentor Text for offering a children’s/YA version.


I finished: (these don’t count for the throwdown)

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. There is something about this series (start with I am Number Four) that compels me to continue. There are some pretty big flaws and yet, I need to know what happens next. I am totally ready for The Rise of Nine.

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart. This is the final installment of the Ruby Oliver series. It’s fun and charming and offers a satisfying end. Also, I feel relief at finishing a series. I need to keep chipping away at my incomplete series.

Locke & Key, vol 2: Head Games by Joe Hill. The mysteries of the keys continues to unfold as the Locke family continues to explore Lovecraft. Not as bloody as the first, but very creepy and suspenseful!

Gave up on: 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Despite the rave reviews, after 10 chapters I still didn’t care. I didn’t like any of the characters and I really disliked the names. While I admire the detailed world-building, I would have liked more explanation as to why. I tried, but this one just wasn’t for me.

Listening to: (this counts)

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. This is a loose companion to Ship Breaker. I am excited to learn more about Tool and I am looking forward to getting to know Mahlia and Mouse, the main characters of this story.

The Technologists by Matthew Pearl. This one is a bit slow-moving, but I have read a few reviews that say it picks up after a slow start, so I am hanging in there.

Reading: (these totally count too!)

Flock by Wendy Delsol. I am so lucky to have an ARC of the final book in the Stork trilogy!

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. Confession time: I am a neglectful friend. I got my friend Kim started on this awesome series and then abandoned her. She is already on book 4, with no one but a battle-crazed guy at work to talk to about the series and I am putzing around with book 2. It is my solemn vow to get crackin’!

I think this will keep me busy for a while. What are you reading? Are you joining the throwdown? What are your predictions for the outcome?

Happy Reading!


The Ruby Oliver Series by E.Lockhart Review

Hey y’all it’s Friday! I’ve had a great reading week so far (despite the Friday Night Lights marathon sessions that have been keeping me up past bedtime and causing me to say things like hey y’all. Sorry.), I am right on pace with my yearly reading goal, and I am pleased with my decision to stop listening to a book that just wasn’t working for me (Under the Never Sky). The book I replaced it with is fantastic so far (The Drowned Cities). My point is that knocking out a few book reviews will be the perfect way to end this week. I started The Ruby Oliver series in January and I just finished the fourth book this week, so here is a series overview for you.


The Boyfriend List, 2005
The Boy Book, 2006
The Treasure Map of Boys, 2009
Real Live Boyfriends, 2010

In The Boyfriend List readers are introduced to 15-year old Ruby Oliver. Ruby is a scholarship student at a private school in Seattle. She lives on a houseboat with her performance-artist mother and retro metal-loving father. She loves films, vintage clothes, swimming, and is a vegetarian. She also has panic attacks. The attacks land Ruby in therapy with Dr. Z. Through her sessions Ruby starts to work out why she is having these attacks. The items on her long list include breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, and intrusive parents. Sound familiar? Pretty typical teen stuff. The second book of the series, The Boy Book, is all about Ruby enjoying her new-found freedom as a licensed driver. She also continues her quest to gather and interpret data about that mysterious creature known as the teenaged boy. She deals with a damaged reputation, girlfriend issues, and of course, boy drama. In The Treasure Map of Boys, Ruby juggles work, school, and extracurriculars. She struggles with the loss of a long-time friend, conflicting feelings for an ex and potential new boyfriends. The series concludes with Real Live Boyfriends. Poor Ruby, just as her social life seems to be on the mend, her family goes into full-on self destruct mode! She needs Dr. Z’s help as much as ever, even though she notices her panic attacks have disappeared. Followers of the series will certainly be rooting for Ruby and they won’t be disappointed, despite the roller coaster of ride.

I really enjoyed this series and I think it will appeal to a variety of teens. The books themselves are small and slim, making them a quick read. Ruby is quirky and funny, but really she is just an average teen dealing with average problems. There are no super powers. There are no Earth-shattering disasters. There are no hotter than hot hotties. Just boys. Average boys. And pod-robots, but you’ll have to read the books to learn more about that. Do not mistake average for boring. There is plenty of conflict. This series is chock full of conflict of both the external and internal variety. Who wouldn’t angst over losing a boyfriend, and best friend, and a good reputation? And while Ruby does suffer from a touch of self-loathing and can be a little neurotic at times (again, who among us isn’t?), she struggles through her problems and comes out in the end a little bit older, much wiser, and definitely happier. Movie aficionados will love the film references, retro-metal lovers will find themselves head-banging with Ruby and Hutch, romance lovers will rejoice with all the kissing, and animal lovers won’t be able to stop themselves from falling for Robespierre, the pygmy goat.  And if you like Ruby Oliver, you will love Frankie Landau-Banks, the title character from my favorite E. Lockhart book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I encourage you to treat yourself to a little Lockhart-fest!

You may also enjoy The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler and The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison.

Happy Reading!