Tag Archives: Gavin Extence

Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Adult Books With Teen Appeal-9/15/15

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is a Freebie topic. Blogger’s choice. This year I made a conscious decision to read more of the American Library Association’s Alex Award winners for 2015. The Alex Award is given to adult books with strong teen appeal. I haven’t read the entire list yet and probably won’t. Some of them really do not appeal to me. But I digress.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I have finished the first two books of this series and think it is the perfect series for readers not quite ready for Game of Thrones. It’s like a PG rated GoT, in fact. Magic, political intrigue, betrayals, murder…all the good stuff without all the sexy sex and brutality.

mistborn

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. Ok, admittedly private investigator Isabel Spellman is a TERRIBLE role model, but she comes to realize this because of her teenaged sister. For the teen looking for something funny and a little bit dysfunctional.

spellmansnew

Lock In by John Scalzi. This is on the Alex list for 2015 and one of my favorites this year. Science fiction, murder mystery, robots. It’s awesome.

lock in

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. This is a past Alex winner. It’s a comical and heartbreaking coming of age story. I can’t really do it justice. Just read it. Be prepared to laugh and cry and love it.

universe versesReady Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline. These two books are perfect for your science fiction fans. One is all about virtual reality and 80’s video games (Ready Player One) and the other is about a gamers chosen to save the world because of their video game skill. Tons of fun!

ready armada

Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This is epic fantasy. A powerful sorcerer known as the Dragon protects a village from the dark magic of the woods. In return the village sacrifices a young woman to him every ten years. These women never return home. That is, until The Dragon takes Agnieszka. A little romance, a lot of creepy evil forest and plenty of sass and magic.

uprooted

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. This nonfiction book about the phenomenon of public shaming in the age of social media should be required reading for high school students! A chilling look at how social media has the potential to run people.

publically shamed

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. This is another nonfiction title and it reads like fiction. It is a terrify look at the origin of the Ebola virus. Super scary and a bit timely.

hot zone

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. In this graphic novel blogger Allie Brosh lets readers into her life. She chronicles her struggles with depression as well as her hilarious struggles with a really stupid dog.

hyperbole

Happy Reading!

~Megan

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Waiting on Wednesday-12/17/14

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

mirror world

The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence
March 12, 2015

From Goodreads:

Dark, witty and painful, Gavin Extence’s follow up to the word-of-mouth hit, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS, will stir up strong emotions as readers follow its heroine as she spirals into depression.

The perfect follow up to THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS, this is a sensitive and astonishingly witty account of a woman’s descent into mental illness. The protagonist, Abby, is a very different but equally likely and endearing hero as Alex Woods.”

YES! The Universe Versus Alex Woods was one of favorite books of 2014. I am so excited for this one.

Happy Reading!

~Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Best of 2014-12/16/14

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is the hardest list of the year! I have already made one favorites of 2014 list. This one will be strictly YA. I mean, why not?

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. This is hands down my absolute favorite book of 2014. I will definitely be reading this again.

i'll give you the sun

2. Grave Mercy & Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to these. I just bought myself Mortal Hearts this weekend.

grave mercy dark triumph

3. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. I am still going through Karou and Akiva withdrawal. This was one of the most stunning and lyrical series I have ever read. I LOVED the audio.

dreams of gods and monsters

4. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. It was sad to say goodbye to my young demigod friends, but this was a satisfying ending and I look forward to new adventures with new heroes.

blood of olympus

5. Cress by Marissa Meyer. I think that this series improves with each book. I am desperate for more.

cress

6. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. This was such a sweet contemporary romance.

better off friends

7. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014. It is a wickedly delightful take on Oz.

dorothy

8. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I am very selective about historical fiction. My rule is: Always select anything Ruta Sepetys writes!

out of the easy

9. All Fall Down by Ally Carter. I was so fortunate to get an advanced reader copy of this first book in her new series. Fans will not be disappointed!

All Fall Down

10. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. This new-to-me series has become a bit of an addiction. Interestingly enough, it coincides with my new-to-me obsession with Supernatural. Totally late to the party, but so happy I made it!

skulduggery

I am not finished reading these yet, but they definitely have earned an honorable mention:

glory o'brien all the bright places

Finally, I know I said this list was going to be all YA, but I would wholeheartedly recommend these two adult books to teen readers. I loved them both for very different reasons.

vicious universe verses

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

universe vres alex woods

vicious

Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2014

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about the fantastic authors that I discovered this year. I spent plenty of time with my beloved tried and true favorites, but I also stumbled upon some new gems!

1. Derek Landy. I recently discovered Skulduggery Pleasant. This series is so much fun and quite possibly the best discovery of 2014. I am waiting for book 4 right now.

skulduggery

2. Leigh Bardugo. I discovered and devoured the Grisha trilogy in 2014.

shadow and bone

3. Jasper Fforde. In my quest to find fantasy novels for my middle school book club, I picked up The Last Dragonslayer and loved it.

last dragonslayer

4. Jennifer E. Smith. I have enjoyed all of her contemporary YA romances.

statistical probability

5. Robin LaFevers. I finally got around to starting His Fair Assassins trilogy. I still need to finish the last one. I don’t want it to be over, so I am dragging my heels.

grave mercy

I also enjoyed a number of 2014 debuts. I will be watching for more from these new-to-everyone in 2014 authors!

6. Brandy Colbert. Her debut, Pointe, was an intense read.

point

7. Tess Sharpe. Far From You was another dark, emotional debut.

far from you

8. Danielle Paige. I am thoroughly immersed in this twisted version of Oz.

dorothy

9. Gavin Extence. I loved his debut novel and am pleased to see he has another book coming in March!

universe verses

10. Mindy McGinnis. This fellow Ohioan’s debut novel was really interesting. I have the follow-up waiting for me at home.

not a drop to drink

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.

ask

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!

pointe

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!

~Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Authors I Have Only Read One Book From But Need to Read More! 9/16/14

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about authors we would like to read more from. Whether they are debut author who needs to hurry up and write more books, or a new-to-you author with many books to their name, these are people we plan to follow after getting a taste of their work.

 

1. Ernest Cline. I loved Ready Player One and can’t wait to check out Armada.

ready armada

2. Trish Doller. I really enjoyed her second novel, Where the Stars Still Shine and need to go back and read Something Like Normal. Her new book, The Devil You Know is also on my TBR list.

where the stars still shine something like normal

3. Morgan Matson. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is one of my favorite road trip novels. I can’t bring myself to read Second Chance Summer (I have a self-imposed, life-time ban on all cancer books), but I really want to read Since You’ve Been Gone.

amy&roger since you've been gone

4. Danielle Paige. I loved her debut, Dorothy Must Die and can’t wait for more of the story!

dorothy

5. Tess Sharp. Another debut author. After reading Far From You I knew she was going to be an author to watch.

far from you

6. Jennifer Brown. It has been years since I read her debut, The Hate List. I have gone on to add every one of her subsequent books to my TBR list as they are published. I have a lot of catching up to do!

hate list bitter end thousand words perfect escape torn away

7. Cat Winters. I *might* be just a little obsessed with her debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I kind of need A Cure for Dreaming right now.

shadow of the blackbirds cure for dreaming

8. Colleen Clayton. I am so happy that I read her debut novel, What Happens Next? Ms. Clayton is a local author and she was kind enough to come to my library and speak about bullying. Before the event we had dinner together and she talked about one of the projects she is working on and I want more! Please!

what happens next

9. Gavin Extence. His debut, The Universe Versus Alex Woods, was a wonderful and moving story and I will eagerly await a new release from Mr. Extence!

universe versus

10. Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was the first book by this author that I read. He has many, many books to his name and would like to read more from him.

aristotle and dante

Runners Up:

Daniel O’Malley-Please hurry up with a sequel to The Rook!

Nick LakeIn Darkness was awesome! Hostage Three is on my TBR list.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

 

Teen’s Choice Reviews April 2014

At the end of last year I decided to start having my book club students recommend titles for me. I have each person pick three titles that they would like me to read and then I randomly select one. Here are the two Teen’s Choice books for April:

At my high school book club, I drew Maggie’s suggestion:

universe verses

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
June 25, 2013
Redhook
Hardcover, 407 pages

What it’s about:

When he was ten-years old Alex Woods, the bookish son of a fortune-teller, was hit in the head by a meteorite. This event left him scarred and seizure prone and made him the perfect target for the village bullies. Life isn’t easy for him, but he has the bullies to thank for introducing him to Mr. Peterson, a reclusive American expat and Vietnam veteran. What begins as a punishment develops into an unlikely friendship between the two. It is the story of this friendship that Alex tells the police after he is stopped at customs with an urn of ashes and 113 grams of marijuana. Despite the potential trouble he faces, Alex knows he has done the right thing.

Why you might like it:

Do you like quirky stories with memorable characters? Alex and Mr. Peterson certainly are a memorable pair! Are you interested in issues surrounding death and dying? This book tackles assisted suicide and euthanasia. Do you enjoy books about books? You might enjoy all the discussion about the works of Vonnegut and you may be inspired to check out some of the other works Alex reads. Do you appreciate a tear-jerker? You might want to have a tissue handy while reading this one! The Universe Versus Alex Woods quietly worked its way into my heart. This debut is lovely and moving and I loved the experience.

Want more like this?

You might enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Staniford, and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

 

This next suggestion came from another high school book club reader, Olivia. She wasn’t a fan of this one, but thought I might like it because it has zombies and is creepy.

chasers
Chasers by James Phelan
First publish May 25, 2010
K-Teen
Paperback, 256 pages

What it’s about:

Jesse and three of his friends from a Youth Ambassador Camp in New York City are on the subway when the explosion happens. As the four crawl from the wreckage the carnage is immediate. People are dead, buildings have collapsed, and the other survivors seem to be infected in some way. In a once crowded and bustling city the only signs of life are the predators who used to be human.

Why you might like it:

If you like creepy, post-apocalyptic stories you may enjoy Chasers. If you are a fan of psychological suspense you might want to try this one. Do you like survival stories? Jesse and his friends have some pretty clever survival techniques. Do you like a book with a surprising twist at the end? Chasers certainly ends with a shock. I did not love this book, but after the twist at the I may go back to the second book. I need answers!

Want more like this?

For more post-apocalyptic survival stories you might like Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Ashfall by Mike Mullin, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and Ashes by Ilsa Bick.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan