Tag Archives: John Flanagan

Top Ten Tuesday-Ten Characters I Wish I Could Check in With 4/7/15

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about favorite characters that we would love to follow with long after their stories on the page end.

1. Jacky Faber from the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. This one is a no-brainer. I adore Jacky. I want good things for that girl.

bloody jack

2. Akiva and Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Despite the satisfying ending, I just know there is so much more to explore in this amazing world!

daughter

3. Cassel Sharpe from the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. I so desperately want more of this story.

white-cat

4. Will and Halt from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. These two are as dear to me as Jacky Faber. I miss them terribly.

rangers

5. June and Day from Legend by Marie Lu. I really loved how this series ended, but I sure wouldn’t mind finding out what happened next!

legend

6. Samantha and Annamae from Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. Oh, the stories there must be!

under a painted

7. Pretty much anyone from an A.S. King book. Her characters are so real and often flawed and in the end you always have a glimmer of hope for them. I would love to check in and just make sure that things truly did get better.

reality boy everybody sees the ants glory o'brien

8. Ed Kennedy from I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. Ed has so much potential. He’s such a good guy!

messenger

9. Todd Prentiss from The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. This series. I don’t know how to talk about these books. There’s just so much…

knife of neve

10. Darla and Alex from the Ashfall trilogy by Mike Mullin. This is another series with a great ending, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to more!

ashfall2

There are so many more, but I’ll stop at ten.

Happy Reading!

~Megan

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Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Want to Read But Don’t Own Yet 8/26/14

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is about books we not only want to read, but want to OWN. My bookshelves at home are currently full to overflowing so I am trying to curb my book buying habit (admittedly with little success and I am not actually trying that hard. But I have recently pre-ordered two books that I am very excited about. The rest of the list has titles that I am excited to read and will most likely end up buying at some point in time. Maybe after I get a new bookcase?

1. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFever. This is the third book in the His Dark Assassins trilogy. I am currently reading the second book. I am savoring it.

mortal heart

2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King. Oh man, I want this one so bad. I am excited to have pre-ordered a SIGNED copy. Apparently Amazon is not taking orders, so I got mine from Aaron’s Books.

glory o'brien

3. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. I have heard some rave reviews about this one from some trusted sources. I might have to add it to my collection.

we all looked up

4. The Invaders by John Flanagan. I bought a signed copy of the first book in the Brotherband Chronicles and feel that I should continue building my collection.

invaders

5. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. I loved In the Shadow of Backbirds (which I really should own) and will most likely purchase this new on.

cure for dreaming

6. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. I own all of his other YA books (oh, except for Goliath. I really need to get that). I will definitely be adding this new book to my collection.

afterworlds

7. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Why, oh why did they change the cover design for book two?!? I am so cranky about that, but I MUST own the book. Even if it won’t match my SIGNED copy of Diviners. Grr.

lair of dreams

8. Raging Star by Moira Young. I have matching paper back copies of the first two books in the series. I may just wait until this is available in paper back to complete my collection. I am nervous to read this last book.

raging star

9. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin. I know I am not alone with this one. Please, please, please give a book soon. Please?

10. Huh. I don’t have a number 10.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-My Favorite Characters Who Are Underdogs 4/22/14

toptentuesday

This week The Broke and the Bookish are talking about our favorite characters who ______ (fill in the blank). I chose to talk about my favorite characters who are underdogs. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an underdog is:

: a person, team, etc., that is expected to lose a contest or battle

: a less powerful person or thing that struggles against a more powerful person or thing (such as a corporation)

The underdog is at a disadvantage, often coming from a position of inferiority or adversity. Sometimes they are known as the loveable losers. I love a rousing underdog story. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Doug Swieteck from Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt. Doug is good kid who just can’t catch a break. He is bullied at home and unjustly labelled at school. He is full of potential, but is trapped in a horrible situation. I love Doug and his birds forever and ever.

okay

2. Ed Kennedy from I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Poor Ed is definitely a loveable loser. He is hopelessly in love with his best friend. His constant companion is a stinky dog called the Doorman. He is stuck in a rut at the tender age of 19, until he foils a bank robbery and begins receiving mysterious messages.

i am the messenger

3. Jacky Faber from Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. Jacky has it rough! She’s an orphaned street urchin who longs for a better life. She is tough and resourceful, making her one of my all-time favorite underdogs! This girl has a knack for finding and escaping trouble.

bloody jack

4. Ryan Dean West from Winger by Andrew Smith. Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year old junior at a fancy boarding school. His roommate is the school bully, he’s the smallest kid on the rugby team, and he is also hopelessly in love with his best friend. Ryan Dean is a total misfit who just wants to belong. He had me in stitches and in tears. I love this kid!

winger

5. Deryn Sharp from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Deryn is a brilliant airman in the British Air Service. Deryn has a huge secret. Deryn is a girl!

leviathan

6. The Princes Charming from The Hero’s Guide series by Christopher Healy. Want to know the real Prince Charming? His name is Liam. And Frederic. And Gustav. And Duncan. These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively. How they managed these heroics is a mystery because this League of Princes is full of bumbling goofballs!

hero's guide

7.  Will from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Will is too small to pursue his dream of being a knight, but he soon discovers his small stature is an asset to a king’s Ranger. People often underestimate Will and his little horse, Tug. It is a mistake they never make twice. I love this unlikely hero.

ruins of gorlan

8. Josie from Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Poor Josie is the daughter of a prostitute. She has dreams of college and a better life, far from New Orleans. Unfortunately, she faces adversity at every turn.

out of the easy

9. David from Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. David is the very definition of underdog. He is a mere mortal going up against super villains who have superhuman powers.

steelheart

10. Amber Appleton from Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick. Amber, despite being homeless, is a self-proclaimed optimist, but even her special brand of optimism might not be enough to save her from the tragedy that awaits her. I don’t know why this book isn’t more popular! It is such a feel-good story!

sorta like a rock starHappy Reading!

∼Megan

Teen’s Choice Reviews March 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 March:

My High School book club students are a bunch of little tricksters and they stacked the deck, guaranteeing that I would pick House of Stairs by William Sleator.

house of stairs

House of Stairs by William Sleator
First published 1974
Puffin
Paperback, 176 pages

What it’s about:

Five orphans find themselves trapped in an unusual building. With the exception of a machine in the floor of one landing that gives them food, the teens are surrounded by nothing but staircases. The machine is a fickle and demanding little thing and soon the food only comes when the starving kids complete certain tasks. As food deliveries become infrequent and the kids’ hunger grows some in the group are willing to go to extremes to please the machine.

Why you might like it:

Are you looking for old school science fiction? This one is for you. Unlike a lot of modern science fiction books (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.), House of Stairs does not have a lot of action. However, the patient reader will be drawn in by the escalating suspense. It’s a short book and has some slightly dated language, but the reveal at the end is pretty disturbing.

Want more like this?

For other accounts of bad things happening with groups of stranded teens, try Lord of the Flies by William Golding or Gone by Michael Grant. You might also want to try some of William Sleator’s other books such as Interstellar Pig and Singularity.For more classic sci-fi try 1984 by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Feed by M.T. Anderson (not quite as classic as the others!)

From my Middle School Book Club came this recommendation:

outcasts

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1) by John Flanagan
November 1, 2011
Philomel Books
Hardcover, 434 pages

What it’s about:

The Skandians are a sea-faring people known and feared for their size, strength, and pillaging skills. Every year the young men of the village participate in Brotherband training, where they will learn the ways of the sea and how to work together as a team. The training is challenging enough for the strongest and bravest in the group, but for Hal and his group of outcast friends, the competition will be grueling. They call themselves the Herons and they are the underdogs.

Why you might like it:

If you liked The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, you won’t want to miss this new series! At first I missed Will and Halt, but soon discovered that Hal and Thorn are just as awesome a pair. If you like action and adventure, you’ll find plenty of that here. Do you always cheer for the underdog? You’ll be rooting for Hal and his crew from the get-go!

Want more like this?

If you haven’t read The Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan, you’ll want to check those out immediately! For more seafaring adventures try the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.

The final verdict? My teen readers picked some great books for me to read in March!

Here’s a sneak peek at what I am working on in April:

universe versus chasers

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Mondays with Megan-Well, This Stinks…3/10/14

Hello Monday! I hope everyone had a smooth transition to daylight saving time. You know who didn’t have an easy transition? The skunk who has apparently been living under my back porch and one of my dogs! The skunk did not get the memo that the new 6:30 am is the old 5:30 am and even though it is still dark, it’s time for him to skedaddle. The dog did not get the memo to leave the skunk alone. So, not an awesome start to this week and I am pretty sure I still smell like skunk. I apologize to everyone who has to be around me. And yet, this is actually better than last week. Last week I was incapacitated with a bad back and it was not fun. The only good that came out of the whole ordeal is the obscene amount of reading I got done and my first totally awesome experience with acupuncture.

mondayreading new monday

Check in with Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? lists.

Finished:

house of stairs outcasts evolution of mara dyer selection perfect lies

  •  House of Stairs by William Sleator was chose for me by my high school book club readers. They thought they were being clever by assigning me the worst book they have ever read. Too bad I kind of liked it! This is old-school science fiction here. Five orphans trapped in a building that is all stair cases and nothing else, except for the machine that gives them food. The machine is a fickle and demanding little thing and soon the food only comes when the starving kids complete certain tasks. I get why my teen friends did not enjoy this book, but I thought it was pretty disturbing.
  • The Outcasts by John Flanagan is the first book in The Brotherband Chronicles. This new series takes place in Skandia and stars a new cast of young men who are basically training to be sea-faring men. I miss Will and Halt, but I think I am going to enjoy Hal and Thorn just fine.
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is a 500 page book that I devoured in one sitting. What is it about this series? It is so strange and intense and utterly compelling. I really need the third book now.
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass is a book I had not intended to read, but some of my avid readers really enjoyed it, so I gave it a shot. It’s pretty fluffy, and yet, it interested me just enough that I want to know what happens next.
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White is the sequel to Mind Games. I really enjoyed getting to know Annie better and I loved the ending, but I struggled to keep up with the wacky timeline. I also seemed to have forgotten a lot from the first book and there was very little recapping. Still, an exciting and fast read.

Current Audio:

cuckoos calling call the midwife

I didn’t do much walking or driving, so I am still not finished with these audiobooks.

Currently Reading:

crash grave mercy

On Deck:

ring and crown across

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays with Megan 3/3/14

I have nothing to contribute to all of the Oscars talk because I didn’t manage to watch the awards. So I will just jump right in to a quick It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post. As always, thanks to Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for hosting.

mondayreading new monday

 

Finished:

vicious we were liars going rogue

  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab was amazing. Full review here.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockart was also amazing. Full review coming soon.
  • Going Rogue by Robin Benway was so much fun. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Also Known As, but Benway really hits her stride with this second book. I LOVE the banter, the best friends and Angelo. I gobbled this one up in 2 days.

Current Audio:

cuckoos calling call the midwife

Still plugging away at these two. I am enjoying both.

Currently Reading:

crash house of stairs brotherband selection

On Deck:

across out of the easy

That’s all I have in me today! Short and sweet. Have a great reading week everyone.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house is one little mess after another, but I am ready for tomorrow! Anyway, I didn’t have a chance to put together a Top Ten Tuesday list. My apologies to The Broke and the Bookish who managed to have their act together! I am hijacking your TTT and switching it up. I would love for Santa to bring me some books, but I don’t have time to think of the ones that I really, really want so I am going to tell you about the books that I am giving as gifts this year.

toptentuesday

1. For my 9-year old nephew: D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire.

greek myths

I love this book and I think my nephew will be able to read a lot of this on his own.

2. For my 8-year-old nephew: Volumes 5-7 in The Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan.

sorcerer of the north siege of macinday erak's ransom

He loves this series and my brother loves to read them to my nephew. I have already advised my brother to read them out of order and read #7 before #5.

3. For my 7-year-old nephew: The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins.

animal book

Unlike his brother and cousin, this guy needs to be encouraged to read. It’s not his first choice of activities, but once he settles into it, he enjoys a good book as much as the rest of us! Animals are top on the list of things he is passionate about and I hope this book will keep him occupied! All three boys are getting a zoo membership as well, so I am sure he will study this book before and after zoo trips.

4. For my favorite aunt who ALWAYS bought me and my siblings books for Christmas (I LOVE being that aunt for the boys!): My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short.

alaska

I was fortunate to get a signed copy for my aunt. She and her sister (my mother) took a trip to Alaska about ten years ago. We lost my mom about five years ago, but I know that my aunt always thinks fondly on that trip. I hope this brings back happy memories for her!

5. And for my youngest sister who has gone off to live on a ranch in Montana with a dreamy cowboy, a pair of horses, and a flock of chickens: The Venison Cookbook by Kate Fiduccia.

venison

This has the look of a gag gift, but I know for a fact that she has a freezer full of deer meat and she will love this!

Merry Christmas!

˜Megan