Tag Archives: Scott Westerfeld

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

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Top Ten Tuesday-Unique Reads 4/8/14

toptentuesday

This week The Broke and the Bookish are talking about unique reads. Get ready to see some awesome lists filled with strange worlds, great characters, interesting writing styles, and plain-old weirdness. Here are my picks:

1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. This tops the list not because it is my favorite, but because I just read it and it is so totally bizarre. The world ends with giant praying mantises eating their way through the human population. This account of the end is told by a sexually confused teenaged boy.

grasshopper jungle

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor remains the only series I have ever read that features chimera. I love it.

daughter of smoke

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a zombie book that never uses the word zombie. This is still my favorite zombie series.

forest of hands and teeth

4. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride makes necromancy look fun! It is dark and absolutely hilarious.

necromancer

5. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It’s like the British X-Files/secret society stuff. Plus monsters. And conspiracies. It’s just so strange. There is a sequel in the works, but no firm details. *sigh*

rook

6. BZRK by Michael Grant. This series scares the bejeezus out of me. Nanotechnology. Tiny little nanobots eating your brain. I hate love it so bad.

bzrk

7. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Welcome to a world of super villains. Without super heroes. It’s up to ordinary humans to save humankind. This book is all sorts of bad*@s. Love, love, love.

steelheart

8. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld features an alternate reality WWI that was fought between the Darwinists and the Clankers. I love the fabricated beasties and the steampunk.

leviathan

9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer puts a futuristic twist on classic fairy tales. Cinderella the cyborg? Heck yeah!

cinder

10. Mothership by Martin Leicht is Teen Mom + 80’s pop culture + aliens=total nonsense! Laugh out loud fun!

mothership

Honorable Mentions:

  • Any thing by A.S. King. She always slips in a touch of the unusual in her contemporary fiction. Whether it’s ghosts and a talking pagoda or bringing things out of dreams and talking ants, there is always a touch of the strange.

please ignore vera dietz everybody sees the ants

  • Stork by Wendy Delsol is another favorite of mine. Kat is a human stork, responsible for placing new souls with the proper parent.stork

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday-“Gateway” Books and Random Reads April 4/1/14

toptentuesday

This week The Broke and the Bookish are asking about our Gateway Books/Authors. These are books that sparked some new interest. Maybe the lead us to a genre we never expected to love or a similar new author. Either way, this it were things all began…

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This was one of the first YA Science Fiction books that I ever read. I chose it for a class while I was working on my MLIS. I loved it and have been a devoted fan ever since. With the exception of Extras, the man can do no wrong.

uglies

2. Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham. My first adventures with graphic novels! Love, love, love.

fables

3. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. This was my introduction to Steampunk.

airborn

4. Sarah Addison Allen taught me that contemporary women’s fiction can be magical.

garden spells sugar queen peach keeper lost lake

5. Song Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin. The gateway to high fantasy. It was so far out of character for me to read these books. My love for them was quite shocking. I hardly recognize myself anymore!

game of thrones

6. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This was the first time I was able to bond with both my mother and much younger brother (13 years separate us) over books.

harry potter7. Stephen King was my introduction to adult reading. In my mind and memories I went from Nancy Drew to Stephen King. I really have no memory of what I was reading in grades 5-7. I am pretty sure I was 11 or 12 when I started reading King. By the time I started high school I was a steady diet of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and John Irving.

it

8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This was my self-prescribed intro to Russian literature and my first step towards plugging gaps in my education. Honestly, I abandoned that task ages ago. I did however, enjoy this one and a few others.

crime and punishment

9.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. The gateway to all things zombie. I admit that my love of zombies has waned a bit, but this will always remain my first and favorite undead book.

forest of hands and teeth original

 10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. This series opened so many doors for me. First, it reminded me that historical fiction can be so much fun. Second, I learned just how much the reader of an audiobook impacts the listening experience. I was new audio user and Katherine Kellgren made it all worth while. Also, this series reminded me to read more pirate books!

bloody jack

random reads

In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. Feel free to do more than one per month, but since a lot of people have a lot of books to read each month, only one is “required” for the meme. I’m on Goodreads so I use my To Read list and Random.org to pick the book I’m going to read.

Last month’s Random Read was Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I LOVED it! Be sure to check out my review!

In April I will be reading #15 on my TBR list: The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) by Y.S. Lee. I added this to the list on September 3, 2011. It’s time to get caught up with this charming YA Victorian-era mystery series, especially since I think there is a new one coming out this year!

traitor in the tunnel

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Top Ten Tuesday-Rewind and Guest Post 2/25/14

toptentuesday

Hi, Megan here, reporting that I will be sitting on my hands and letting someone else have a turn making a Top Ten Tuesday list. This week The Broke and The Bookish have left the topic up to us, so I am turning things over to Sarah, the awesome librarian-in-training who has been learning the ropes from me and my colleagues.

Books I’d Want on a Desert Island 

1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes  by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes, but to be honest I never owned the complete works until a few years ago when it was given to me as a birthday present. That being said, this would be the first book I would take with me to a desert island. Of course if I was going to be stranded there I might consider grabbing a few other things first, but as far as reading material – this would be it.
sherlock
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – This is probably one of the classics that I can safely say I could read on a regular basis, so it makes the cut. I just love the time period and the way F. Scott Fitzgerald paints it. It kind of embodies everything that was good and disastrous about the ’20s, and even though I’ve read it dozens of times it always manages to pull me back.
gatsby
3. Ready Player One  by Ernest Cline – I will read this book all day long and then read it all over again. I love it that much. Maybe it comes from an excessive love of video games or being a self-proclaimed geek, but I always find something new to love about this book when I read it. Even if it’s just from researching an 80’s reference I missed the first time around.
ready
4. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – If I’m going to be stranded on a desert island then I’m going to bring a John Green book with me, end of story. And as much as I would love to bring TFioS, I don’t want to spend all of eternity on this desert island in tears. This is one of my favorite road trip themed books, and is just a fun story all around. And also, Hassan is probably one of my favorite characters in any John Green book.
abundance of katherines
5. X-Men: Magneto Testament by Greg Pak – I know. This isn’t a book, it’s a graphic novel. And admittedly, I’m not a huge graphic novel person (I’m working on fixing that!). This, however, is probably my all time favorite. It’s historically accurate, and impressively so – the footnotes alone are proof of that. The illustration is beautiful, and the way some panels are left completely black so the reader can really use their imagination makes the story even more pronounced. And then there’s the story itself, which is just…phenomenal, is probably the best word I can come up with. It’s an excellent read for X-Men fans (or history buffs!).
xmen
6. Zombies vs. Unicorns – Probably one of my favorite compilations, with stories by a really great group of authors answering the age-old question…who would win in a battle between zombies and unicorns? I usually don’t read a ton of short story collections, but it was hard to ignore a collection with so many of my favorite authors. But really, how can I pass up Libba Bray, Scott Westerfield, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Clare in the same book?! For the record, my bet is always on zombies.
zombies vs unicorns
7. Leviathon by Scott Westerfield – If this wasn’t a top ten list and I had the ability to take an infinite amount of books with me, I would take this entire series. As it stands, though, I’ll gladly settle take one rather than none. I love the steampunk/sci-fi world that Westerfield created and, possibly even more so, I love getting lost in it. This is definitely a “just one more chapter” kind of book.
leviathan
8. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – This one is an interesting re-telling of Robin Hood that doesn’t quite focus entirely on Robin Hood, and ended up being more fun to read than I expected. In any case, the Robin Hood legend is one of my guilty pleasures, so I find myself gravitating toward those stories quite a bit; and I really enjoyed the female-in-disguise aspect of this one. Plus, Scarlet was a really well written character who – to be perfectly honest – kicked butt and did a really good job of it!
scarlet gaughen
9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I just finished this three months ago, but I have no shame in saying that I would definitely grab this one to read again. I love Cath and Levi and Reagan and Wren; I relate to them and what they’re going through in this story. And I think everyone, at some point, has known someone similar to at least one of these characters.
fangirl
10. Eon by Alison Goodman – Finally, one that I actually haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for at least a year, if not close to it. It was the cover that caught my eye first, but the idea of the Dragoneye really appealed to me – and “energy dragons”? I’m intrigued! Now I just need to keep reminding myself to actually read it…
eon
Happy Reading!
˜Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Would Recommend to Adults Wanting to Read YA

toptentuesday

This week The Broke and the Bookish asked us to make personalized lists for a particular type of reader (Reader X). Well, given that I am the Teen Librarian who also tries to sneak my books into the hands of adult readers, when I solved for X I realized X=Adult who want to read/read more YA, but don’t know where to start. And that is how a librarian does math 😉

1. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Adult readers may already be familiar with Donnelly’s Rose series or A Northern Light, so this shouldn’t be a difficult sell. It’s historical fiction…with a fun little twist. This is the book that made me realize that I do in fact like historical fiction. I also realized that I knew nothing about the French Revolution.

revolution

2. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. I used this book for a intergenerational book discussion. It’s a book about bridge. Seriously. Sort of. It’s a touching story about teenaged boy and his elderly uncle. I have given this to a few adult readers with great success.

cardturner

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray. This book is for the reader who likes a touch of supernatural horror in their historical fiction! I have made all of my friends read it (my friends are all adults) and everyone seems to like it, though some were not as terrified as I was. Proving once again, that I am a giant baby.

diviners

4. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Hmm. There seems to be a historical fiction theme here. Maybe I am on to something…anyway. I gave this to an adult patron. He loved it so much that he told his adult son and his golf buddy. He finished the series and listened to the audiobooks. He’s a regular here and sometimes if he can’t find something new that strikes his fancy, he grabs one of these books. I also gave this book to my uncle, a high school history teacher, and my cousin. This is a sure bet. I promise.

leviathan

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I am not even finished with this and I know I will be recommend it left and right! Give this to the “new adult” or the parent of a teen heading off to college. I would also give it to an adult who is feeling nostalgic about Harry Potter.

fangirl

6. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. The Book Thief is a popular book among readers young and young at heart and it’s fame has only increased with the recent film release. Take advantage of the name recognition and put I am the Messenger in the hands of your adult readers! Zusak wrote New Adult before it was even a thing! Ed Kennedy is an unforgettable character.

messenger

7. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. This science fiction series is dark and disturbing and Ness doesn’t take any easy ways out. It’s not pretty, but it is riveting!

knife of neve

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. No zombie lover should miss this series! Give this to your Walking Dead fans looking for more zombie action. I guarantee they will be surprised by what they discover between the pages.

forest of hands and teeth original

9. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Give this to fans of Sookie Stackhouse. Lots of bizarre paranormal action and wickedly dark humor.

hold me closer 2

10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Give this to adults skeptical of teen paranormal romance. Definitive proof that it’s not all swoony vampires and werewolves. Chimera anyone?

daughter of smokeHappy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Best and Worst Series Endings

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and the Bookish are asking about our favorite and least favorite series endings. No problem!

Best:

1. Stork by Wendy Delsol. I have a lot of respect for the difficult choice the author made. Loved it.

stork frost flock

2. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness. Talk about an emotional roller coaster….One of the most thought-provoking series I have ever read.

knife ask and answer monsters of men

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. It took a minute to warm up to this series, but I loved each book more than the previous.

leviathan behemoth goliath

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. This was such a fun series! It certainly went out this a bang in The Last Olympian. I love the spin-off series even more and have no doubt that will top a similar list next year.

lightning thief sea of monsters titan battle last

5. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I had a few nit-picky issues, but overall Emerald Green was a satisfying ending to a fun series.

ruby red sapphire blue emerald green

6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. I was so sad to say goodbye to Evie and friends!

paranormalcy Supernaturally_Front cover endlessly

Runners up for best endings:

light clockwork princess iron knight last word black heart stupid cover

Not a Fan:

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I feel so ripped off. I wish there was a do-over!

mockingjay

8. Extras by Scott Westerfeld. The fourth book in the Uglies trilogy (right there is the problem!) was a huge disappointment. All is forgiven. I have moved on. Now, can we have a new series please??

extras

9. Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins. It maybe slightly unfair to put this in the works category. It was not the worst. I liked a lot of things about it. But then. Oh, no. Nope. That one thing happened and I can’t get over it. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

spell bound

10. Infinityglass by Myra McEntire. I never connected with the POV characters and everything felt rushed. I wish this series had a stronger ending. I still love Hourglass!

infinityglass

Bonus list:

I have HIGH HOPES for these series enders:

united we spy allegiant champion royal ranger monsters

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Sequels 9/24/13

 

toptentuesday

This week The Broke and the Bookish are talking sequels. You know that dreaded Second Book Syndrome? No? Well it is a strange literary phenomenon where the second book from an author fails to live up to the amazing standards of the first and/or subsequent books. It is sad when it happens, but I can’t even imagine the pressure on authors. Anyway, there is none of that here! These sequels are just as, if not more, brilliant than the first book.

1. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. This sequel to The Daughter of Smoke & Bone is freaking brilliant. It is absolutely devastating and I really, really need Dreams of Gods & Monsters. Now.

days of blood

2. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. I must confess that first time I read Leviathan I was slightly underwhelmed. I know, I know. What was I thinking? In mydefense…My first time with Leviathan was audio and while Alan Cumming is a brilliant narrator, I did not get to experience the illustrations. I loved it so much more the second time, when I actually read the book. But my own level of enjoyment does not actually change the fact that I thought Behemoth was even better.

behemoth

3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. If I Stay was great, but Adam’s story brought me to tears. And I am not much of a book crier.

where she went

4. Game by Barry Lyga. I loved meeting Jasper Dent in I Hunt Killers, but Game really upped the ante. This was an intense and creepy sequel. I am ready for more!

game

5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Is it possible to top Cinder? Apparently it is. Great new characters, layers and layers of story. I can’t wait to see how she weaves two more story lines into the mix.

scarlet

6. The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy. Readers met the bumbling band of Princes in The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.  Hilarity ensued. The sequel was just as funny, but what I loved most was the character growth. And the hilarity, of course.

hero's guide

7. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Legend was an exciting and fast-paced debut and I really enjoyed it. Prodigy was even more awesome and I am looking forward to the series conclusion with Champion.

prodigy

8. Red Glove by Holly Black. I LOVE Cassel Sharpe and his crazy con artist story. There are plenty of surprises in this sequel to White Cat.

red glove

9. The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan. I enjoyed the first book in The Ranger’s Apprentice series enough to pick up the next book. Each book was better than the one before! Before I knew it, I had devoured all eleven books and now I am anxiously awaiting the final book!

burning bridge

10. Frost by Wendy Delsol. Honestly, the Stork series does not get enough love. Norse mythology? Sassy heroine? Win-win.

frost

Honorable Mentions:

as dead as it gets spirit and dust catchingfire

 

Happy Reading!

˜Megan