Tag Archives: Matthew Quick

Top Ten Tuesday-Books That Were Difficult to Read 9/30/14

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, was suggested by readers. They are asking about books that were hard to read. There are a number of reasons a book may be hard to read. I made a deal with myself a long time ago to only read books that I like, but sometimes I feel an obligation to read things that make me uncomfortable. Also, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and then.

Hard to read because of the subject:

1. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. This was harder than Code Name Verity because of the disturbing and graphic descriptions of life in a concentration camp. I really try to avoid Holocaust books as much as possible. Definitely well-written and deserving of all the praise, but difficult for me to finish nonetheless.

rose under fire

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I knew better than to read this one, but I allowed myself to get swept up in the John Green craze and boy, did I regret it. My #1 reading rule is NO CANCER BOOKS. This is what happens when I break the rule. I have to officially and forever break up with John Green. I am done.

fault in our stars

3. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. Oh, man. This book about bullying and mean girls is brutal. You should feel uncomfortable reading it. It’s fantastic and terrible.

some girls are

4. Tease by Amanda Maciel. Another disturbing book about bullying, with slut-shaming added to the mix. And suicide.

 

tease

5. Reality Boy by A.S. King. This one really made me stop and think about reality television, and I didn’t like what I came up with. It’s gross. I just felt to bad for Gerald the entire time I was reading. I love A.S. King and I love the way she tackles tough topics!

reality boy

6. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. I am noticing a pattern here…So Holocaust and cancer books are hard and they tend to be no-nos, but bullying? Just as hard, but I read A LOT of them! I am not sure how I feel about this realization.

forgive me leonard

7. Monster by Ilsa Bick. This one was a surprise to me. I read and liked the first two books in the trilogy, but I actually never finished though because of the graphic violence. It was too much for me!

monsters

Because I just wasn’t buying it…

8. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner. I just wasn’t able to completely suspend by disbelief. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and More Than This by Patrick Ness are much better choices. I read this one because a teen reader recommended it to me.

eye

9. Small Town Sinner by Melissa C. Walker. I am not sure why this even on my radar, but is was a Random Read selection so I toughed it out.

small town sinners

10. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. It pains me that I feel this way, but I thought this was let down. I was expecting something so fresh and new and exciting in the vampire world and I just didn’t get it.

coldestHappy Reading!

∼Megan

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Recommend If You Never Read X 8/5/14

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and the Bookish want to know what we would recommend to people who never read X. I solved for X and came of with recommendations in a variety of genres.

If you never read TEEN HISTORICAL FICTION, try these:

1. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Josie is the seventeen-year old daughter of a prostitute. It is 1950 and the French Quarter is home to organize crime, brothels, and bars. It is also home to the small bookshop where Josie works. The money she earns there will be her ticket out of the Big Easy. Her dreams are close to becoming reality when her mother is implicated in the death of a tourist. Plenty of local flavor, a murder mystery, and a girl with big dreams make this one a winner.

out of the easy

2. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. In 1918 Americans were dying at home and abroad. At home the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic had the nation gripped with fear. Abroad, WWI would eventually claim the lives of 110,000 Americans. In San Diego, sixteen-year old Mary Shelley Black watch as streams of mourners turn to seances and spirit photographers to contact their dead loved ones. The historic photographs only enhance the haunting text. A hint of romance and a whole bunch of creepy!

shadow of the blackbirds

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The year is 1914, and Europe is on the verge of a war. Prince Alek, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne is on the run from the Clanker Army. Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, is an airman for the British Air Force learning to fly the genetically engineered air beast, the Leviathan. The two form an uneasy alliance as they struggle to protect their secrets and stay alive. Leviathan will appeal to readers of science fiction and steampunk, but one can argue that it also has a strong historical component!

leviathan

4. In Darkness by Nick Lake. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, a teenaged boy is trapped alive in the rubble of a hospital. Alone in the dark, “Shorty” counts the story of his life, his involvement with a gang, the family members he lost, and all of the violence he witness and caused. Along side his story, readers learn the story of Toussaint L’Ouverture, a Haitian rebel who led a slave rebellion and helped to drive Napoleon and the French out of Haiti. This powerful story is truly deserving of the Printz Award.

in darkness

If all you know about TEEN CONTEMPORARY FICTION is John Green, you need to branch out and try these:

5. Reality Boy by A.S. King. Seventeen-year old Gerald Faust was the child star of a reality TV show. Twelve years later, Gerald is still haunted by his anger-filled past. Convinced that nothing will ever change, despite the fact that he works so hard to be nothing like that TV boy, Gerald is ready to snap. When a new girl at work shows interest in him, he is naturally weary. He tries to avoid her, with no success. This book is disturbing and heartbreaking, like most A.S. King’s books. However, her characters always manage to find some thread of hope, some form of redemption or have some realization that things can get better.

reality boy

6. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. Callie has spent her entire childhood on the run. Kidnapped from her family by her mentally ill mother, she can’t even remember what it is like to be normal. When her mother is finally arrested, Callie is reunited with the father she doesn’t know anymore. Living in a small town with big family is overwhelming as Callie has to learn to live in the present and be a part of a family. This one is gritty and sexy!

where the stars still shine

7. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Eighteen-year old Leonard Peacock plans to spend his last birthday on earth saying goodbye to the four people he cares about. Leonard is sad and weird and the target of his former best friend’s torment. He has had enough and he has a plan to put an end to all of the pain he is in. This is a powerful and haunting novel.

forgive me leonard

If you don’t read TEEN SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY because you think it’s all supernatural romance and Hunger Games-type dystopian, think again and try these:

8. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. In an alternate reality past, the American Isles are being threatened by Wild Chalklings (yes, chalk monsters). Rithmatists have the power to bring two-dimensional figure to life to battle these creatures. Joel, the son of a chalkmaker, must satisfy is desire to learn Rithmatics by sneaking into lectures at the Armedius Academy. When students start disappearing, leaving trails of blood behind, it is up to the Rithmatist to solve the mystery. As the professors work to find the missing students they also discover that Joel, despite not being one of them, has some unique talents of his own. Unique, unusual, steampunk-ish.

rithmatist

9. BZRK by Michael Grant. In a not-so-distant future a battle is taking place. What is at stake? The human mind. Free will. The combatants? On the one side you have the batsh*t crazy conjoined twins, the Armstrong brothers. They want to create utopia. Opposing them is a radical fringe group known as BZRK. The battle ground is the brain and the weapons are nanotechnology. Things end one of two ways: victory or madness. This series is both exhilarating and terrifying.

bzrk

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This fractured fairytale of a story features a cyborg Cinderella, a handsome prince, a wicked stepmother, and an evil Lunar queen. An orphan and a cyborg, Cinder is a second-class citizen, but she is also a gifted mechanic. It this skill that brings the young Prince Kai to her stand at the market. A malfunctioning android, a mysterious plague, and the threat of war loom large and Cinder may be the key to saving everyone. Fans of sci-fi and fairy tales alike will love this fresh twist on a classic story!

cinder

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