WWW Wednesday July 26, 2017

Decided to try this one out from Sam at Taking on a World of Words .

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The three W’s are:  What are you currently reading?  What did you just finish reading? What are you reading next?

I am currently reading Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. 

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This is the story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan that starts off before Wendy ends up in Neverland.  I’m almost halfway through and Wendy hasn’t arrived yet.  So far there is a friendship growing between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, but it’s starting to hint at more.

The last book I finished was Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

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Invictus is a time travel book about a boy named Far and his crew on the Invictus.  Far works for a shady guy to go back in time and steal items that wouldn’t be missed.  When on the Titanic, he runs into another time travel thief, Eliot, who has a huge surprise for Far about his past and the future of the world.  Full review of Invictus.

I’m honestly not sure what I’m reading next.  I rarely pick ahead of time unless I have an ARC waiting to be read and reviewed.  I’m currently waiting on a few to be approved, so I won’t pick my next read until I finish Tiger Lily.  I also like to wait and see what my mood is at the time.  

Did you do WWW Wednesday?  If so, post your link in the comments so I can see your answers, too. If you’ve read any of these books, share your thoughts (no spoilers please) below.

 

 

Angie Thomas & Becky Albertalli book signing.

Becky Albertalli and Angie Thomas have quickly become some of my favorite authors, so I was thrilled to have an opportunity to meet them at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL yesterday. They spent about thirty five minutes discussing their books and answering audience questions before signing books.  

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There were some great questions and Becky and Angie had a great relationship.  They were very comfortable with each other and it seemed like they had a true friendship. That was great to see.   Both talked a little bit about their books that are being made into movies.  There was a big crowd there.  If I had to guess, I would say around 100 people. My friend and I were numbers 59 & 60 and there were a lot of people still waiting after us.  The crowd was respectful and you could tell that everyone there was a huge fan of the books.   Definitely a great experience. 

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This picture was one that Anderson’s took of some of the crowd early on.

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I cannot recommend these three books enough.  I really enjoyed them all and they have made my all time favorites list.

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Angie Thomas wrote The Hate U Give which I have recently reviewed on my blog.  This is such an amazingly powerful book that I think everyone should read.

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Becky Albertalli has two books out and I loved them both so much. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited.

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As usual, I did purchase a few other things from Anderson’s.  It has quickly become my favorite place to buy books.  I didn’t have quite enough time to really go through everything, but that’s probably good.  I still managed to grab these before the signing.

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ARC Review of Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus was the first book I’ve read by Ryan Graudin and I’m really glad I gave it a try. The book was a little slow for me at times, but overall, it was really interesting. I absolutely loved the time travel parts.

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Invictus takes place hundreds of years in the future.  Faraway (Far) McCarthy is training to be a time traveler.  During his testing, there are always issues with his date of birth. Far’s mom gave birth to him on a ship while they were in void between time.  She did the one thing she wasn’t supposed to do during time travel, interacted with someone from the past.  Not only did she speak to a gladiator in 95 AD, she got pregnant by him.  During Far’s final exam, he is spotted by Marie Antionette in the Sim.  She winks at him and Far is positive his Sim was hacked, but he fails.

Far receives a message to meet someone about his future.  He goes and ends up signing on to go into the past to steal things no one will miss.  Far not only wants to time travel, but he’s hoping to go on missions to find his missing mom.  He chooses the ship’s name, Invictus, and his crew.  His cousin Imogen was my favorite character in this book.  She is the ship’s historian and is very colorful and happy.  She also has a pet on the ship, a red panda. Far’s friend Gram is the engineer and his girlfriend Priya is the medic.

The Invictus crew goes back in time for heists and all go well until they get to the Titanic. Things are weird with the numbers and they land four hours later than they have planned.  While looking for a book, Far spies another time traveler from the future who steals the book before him.  Eliot ends up on the Invictus and says she wants to work with the crew.  However, Eliot is there for reasons Far and his crew will have a hard time understanding. They must find a way to make things right because Far should have never been born. 

I haven’t really read books on time travel before.  Historical fiction and science fiction are genres I’m pretty with.  I don’t read them often.  But this book ended up being better than I expected.  I enjoyed the writing and details and will definitely be picking up another book from the author in the near future.  I loved the future slang.  The swear words were hashing great. 

I received a digital arc from Netgalley for review.  It did not influence me in any way. Invictus will be released September 26, 2017. 

Goodreads Monday

Trying out Goodreads Monday today.  You can find the original post from Lauren’s Page Turners here:  Goodreads Monday post.  

For this post, you pick a book from your TBR list from goodreads and post it here.  Make sure you include a link back to the original post, too.

My pick for today is Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza.  This book is being released November 7, 2017 from Harper Teen.

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The description from Goodreads:

Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.

It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—if they don’t kill each other first.

Kat and Meg Conquer the World will hit home for anyone who has ever been waist-deep in fandom, doubt, or new relationships; Kat’s and Meg’s unique voices are outstanding, and their friendship brings this story to vibrant life.”—Francesca Zappia, author of Made You Up and Eliza and Her Monsters

I’m really looking forward to this one!  Make sure you add it to your TBR list.  Goodreads

This Week’s Book Haul

I was able to pick up eight new books this week.  

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I received two books from OwlCrate.  The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee was the July OwlCrate book.  The OwlCrate Jr was The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K Ogburn. If you’re not already subscribed, I would highly recommend checking them out. 

I purchased two books from Book Depository.  What I love about Book Depository is that I can purchase UK editions and I get free shipping.  This time I bought the 20th Anniversary Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Hufflepuff edition) and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

I was able to visit a Half Price Books yesterday and picked up two books I had been looking for.  Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson and Endsinger by Jay Kristoff.  I’m pretty picky when buying used books, but both of these were in very good condition with no writing or marks.

My last purchase yesterday was from Barnes & Noble.  I had a few 20% off coupons to use and found two books I wanted that were already marked down 20% and I saved an extra 10% with my membership card.  I got two books for just over $25.  Both books are by Victoria Aveyard.  A signed first edition of Glass Sword and the b&n exclusive edition of King’s Cage.

No, I probably didn’t need to buy books since I have so many here to read.  But I’m a book addict.  I’ll be going to a book signing tomorrow night with Becky Albertalli and Angie Thomas.  I already have their books, but I’m sure I will pick up a couple books while I’m at Anderson’s Bookshop.  

What have you purchased lately?  Comment below and let me know. 

Help me choose what to read for the Make Me Read It Readathon

I saw this readathon on Kourtni’s blog Kourtnireads and decided to try it out, too.  This readathon is by theinnocentsmiley and teaandtitles and runs from August 6th through August 13th.  #MakeMeRead

“Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It’s up to you how many you pick, personally I’d pick a few more than you expect to be able to read in a week. Example: if you think you’ll only read two, pick out five books or if you think you can read seven, pick out ten.
 
Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers/bookstagrammers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read.
 
When the readathon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. If there’s a tie, then it’s your preference. The goal is to read as many as possible.” 
 
  
You get to choose what I will be reading.  Please vote on this poll and I will attempt to read the top 3 books chosen during this time period.  
If you are doing the readathon, comment below and let me know.
I will close the voting for this around August 3rd and announce the winners in a new blog.  

Rapid Fire Book Tag

This is my first time trying a book tag.  I found this one from Thrice Read who posted it today.

Question 1 : E-Book or Physical Book?

It really depends on my mood.  I prefer to have the physical book, but sometimes it’s easier to carry my kindle with me.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback for most.  I still have paperbacks, but I try to buy the hardcover whenever I can find it. 

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

I love shopping in stores.  There’s something about going and touching the physical book. But I do buy a lot online.  It’s just cheaper and I find a lot of great deals.  

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Trilogy for most.  I don’t like waiting for new books to come out and it’s easier to binge read a trilogy.  I do like series, too, though.

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Depends on the book.  I tend to like reading about the villains more, but I tend to cheer on the good guys. 

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

Everything?  I don’t know that I can pick just one, so I’ll go with my favorite read this year.  Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (make sure you read This Savage Song first).  

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

I don’t pay a ton of attention to ratings, but one that probably isn’t well known is Pushing The Boundaries by Stacey Trombly.  There was something about that book that really got to me. 

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (go read it now!) 

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

The Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition (hufflepuff)

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

A piece of paper towel or toilet paper.

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Only if they’re in excellent condition.  I’m super picky. 

Question 12 : Top Three Favourite Genres?

YA Fantasy, contemporary and mystery/thrillers. 

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Definitely buy.

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

It depends on the genre, but I do usually need to enjoy the characters to enjoy the plot.

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

I like the ones that are 300-400 pages, but I will read any size if the book is good.  The long books are a pain to carry around though.

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

Short. 

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

This Savage Song, The Upside of Unrequited, The Hate U Give

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Depends on my mood.  I love ones that do both.

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional worlds. 

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

I’m not sure yet.  Going to try some out soon and see if I like them or not.  I think I’ll be picky.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Usually movie, but I’m ok with a TV series for a long book series.

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

I don’t know if I have one. 

Question 24 : Series or Standalone’s?

Both, but I really love series.  I like to find myself in another world and get attached to the characters. 

I don’t really have anyone to tag since I just started this blog.  But if you do it, please comment below and let me know so I can read it. 

July 2017 OwlCrate Box

The theme for July’s OwlCrate box is Wanderlust.  I received my box today and wanted to share it with you.

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There is always a card inside that has the theme with picture on one side and a list of everything in the box on the other side.  I didn’t take an individual picture of that.  The box also comes with a card that gives a sneak peek of next month’s box. 

The first thing in the box was an Owlcrate exclusive backpack inspired by The Lord of the Rings.

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The next item is an owl luggage tag created by Mudpuppy.  (This is also in the Owlcrate Jr box this month.)

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This month had an adorable Newt Scamander keychain by Funko.  This was especially cool for me since I recently found out that I’m a Hufflepuff. 

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I was really excited to find out that there was something inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic.  This is a pocket mirror designed by Miss Phi.

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One of my favorite items in this box is this gorgeous art print designed by Shailey Ann Designs.  It’s inspired by Looking For Alaska.

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Another cute item included in this box is this pocket journal from Ooly.  There were 8 different styles sent out.  Which one did you get?  Comment below.

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As always, there is a pin that comes in each box.

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Finally there is the book.  This month’s selection is The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.  The cover is an Owlcrate exclusive.  The book came with a letter from the author, a signed book plate, and a beautiful map.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is about a young lord, his best friend, and sister. They go on a road trip through 18th century Europe.  Everything I’ve heard about this book so far has been really positive.  The most common comment I’ve read is that it’s laugh out loud funny.  I’m really looking forward to reading it.  I put off purchasing it since I was pretty sure it was this month’s book choice. 

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This was my second month for my OwlCrate subscription and I can’t say enough good things about them.  The book choices have been good, they send a ton of great bookish items, and the box arrives quickly.

Next month’s theme is Something Wicked This Way Comes.  If you’d like to subscribe, please click on my referral link here.  https://owlcrate.com/refer/Krist-KDSWOMHL

You can find more about the author, Mackenzi Lee on her website.  http://www.mackenzilee.com/

 

Review of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Wow!  Just wow!  This book really lived up to the hype.  How is this a debut?  Not only is this probably the best YA book of the year, it’s probably one of the best books of any genre.  An instant favorite for me.  I can’t say enough about it.

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This book is intense.  I think it should be required reading in all high schools.  Yes, I know there is a lot of swearing.  But let’s be honest.  Kids hear it in school every single day. They hear worse.  So please get past that.  As a parent, I would have let my daughter read this in school.  I would have encouraged it.

The Hate U Give is about a sixteen year old girl named Starr.  I loved her so much.  Starr lives in The Gardens which is an inner city filled with gangs and shootings all the time. Her dad used to be in a gang and spent three years in jail while she was young.  He was one of the few that was able to get out and he wanted better for his kids.   Starr saw her best friend get shot and die right in front of her when she was ten.  After that, her mom convinced her dad to put the kids in a private school forty five minutes away.  Starr is one of the few black kids in that school.  Because of this, she convinces herself to be two Starrs.  The Starr at Williamson speaks properly and is always worried about being too ghetto.  She’s dating a white boy, Chris, and keeps her two lives separate.

“I’ve taught myself to speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people. I’ve mastered it.”

“I never know which Starr I should be. I can use some slang, but not too much slang, some attitude, but not too much attitude, so I’m not a “sassy black girl.” I have to watch what I say and how I say it, but I can’t sound “white.” Shit”

Starr meets up with an old friend, Khalil.  A shooting breaks out during this party and Khalil and Starr leave in his car.  A cop ends up pulling them over and shoots Khalil right in front of Starr.  Khalil was unarmed and was just checking on Starr to make sure she was ok.

“Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do,” he said. “Keep your hands visible. Don’t make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you.”

I won’t pretend to know much about cities and gang life.  I was born in the midwest.  A white farm town.  But this book made me want to do something.  It made me angry and sad.  It’s just that powerful.

The rest of the book is about what happens after the shooting. Starr must decide if she is brave enough to speak out.  She wants justice, but also knows there hardly ever is.  She finds herself torn between her two very different worlds.  We also see how her family struggles along with others in the community.

“I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

This is such an important story.  It covers black lives matter and 2 Pac.  But it’s so much more.  It’s a story about family, community, love, poverty, gang life, friendship, and activism.   It’s about having a voice and making a difference.

I’m not doing this justice with my review.  Just please go read this book.

My top ten favorite reads of 2017 so far.

Not all of these books came out in 2017, but I read them in the first 6+ months.  There are technically more than 10, but I’m counting series as one book for this one.

1.  This Savage Song & Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

I’m not even sure I can begin to describe how amazing these books are.  This was my first time reading Victoria Schwab and she’s already become a favorite author and these are on my all time favorite books now.

I’ll try to briefly describe each book without spoilers.  These books follow Kate Harker and August Flynn in a city called Verity.  Verity is split with Kate’s dad running the side where people pay for protection and August’s dad runs the other side and a small army.  Kate is human, but August is a monster.  There are three types of monsters living in Verity (book two partially takes place in another city with other types of monsters).  August is a Sunai which is the rarest type.  They steal souls of sinners with songs.  August is a very gentle person who really wants to keep some humanity.  Kate is trying to prove herself to her dad and is a bit more vicious.  Kate and August meet and find themselves working together to bring peace to Verity after some monsters try to take control.  I’m doing a horrible job trying to explain it, but it’s so good.  The first book starts a bit slow, but there is a lot to the world and monsters that is important.  The second half of the book flies and the second book picks up right away.  So many emotions in this book.   Loved them both so much (the second even more than the first).

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2.  The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

This book is adorable and I love Becky Albertalli.  This is one of those books that just make you smile.

Molly Peskin-Suso has loved many boys, but none of them have loved her back.  Not really love because most were just crushes. She’s a little chubby and it makes her a bit insecure with boys.  Her twin, Cassie, falls for a girl and finds herself in a serious relationship.  She starts pushing Molly to finally kiss a boy.  She ends up meeting two boys and one might just be one who will finally love her back.

This book is full of cute quotes and fun characters.  There is even a small cameo by Simon. Molly’s parents are both women and they are sperm donor babies.  I love the mixture of cultures and sexuality in this book.  There really isn’t anyone who is unlikeable.  I can’t say enough how adorable this book is.

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”

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3.  Illuminae & Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Yes, this is another with two books.  I recently wrote a review for both here on another blog, so I won’t really get into it much here.  You can read that here https://confessionsofayareader.blogspot.com/2017/07/combined-review-of-illuminae-and-gemina.html

These books are so unique and different from anything I’ve read before.  They are told in e-mails, chats, pictures, journal entries, etc.  It’s a great science fiction series with book three coming out sometime next year.  Not soon enough for me!

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4.  Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

This is a great book for anyone who loves forensics and Jack the Ripper.  Audrey Rose is a 17 year old girl who doesn’t fit in with the females of her time.  She studies forensics with her uncle who is the local coroner.  Bodies from the ripper start showing up and Audrey wants to solve the mystery.

This is my review I wrote right after finishing the book:  I loved this book and it was just what I needed right now. Jack the Ripper has always fascinated me and I loved how the author wove this story and changed small things to fit. Audrey Rose is the perfect protagonist. She was smart and feisty, not wanting to fit into the mold for a proper girl. She is ahead of her time and wants so much more. I also loved Thomas and they were a perfect match for each other. I loved his sarcasm and flirting. The book is not for the squeamish and does discuss a lot with the bodies and murder scenes (as you would expect when studying forensics). I did guess pretty early on who Jack was, but it was still a great mystery. It does make you realize that so many people during that time were looking at everyone in their lives wondering if they might be the Ripper.

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5.  Eliza And Her Mosters by Francesca Zappia

I recently wrote a full review for this book https://confessionsofayareader.blogspot.com/2017/07/review-of-eliza-and-her-monsters-by.html, so I’ll keep this one short, too.

Eliza And Her Mosters is about a girl who writes a super popular online comic series.  She doesn’t really talk to many people in real life and no one knows she’s the author.  Eliza meets the new kid at school, Wallace, and finds out that he’s the most popular fan fiction writer for her series.  She doesn’t tell him who she is, just that she loves the series, too. Wallace starts getting Eliza to do things more often and they become close.  But then Eliza’s secret gets revealed and things don’t go well.

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6.  The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

This is a powerful book.  I read it early this year and I still find myself thinking about it. Warnings for violence, sexual assault, and teen drinking.

Alex Craft’s sister was killed and while everyone knew who the killer was, he was never convicted.  He went unpunished until Alex got to him.  Alex has some issues.  She is violent, but she feels it’s just for vengeance.  She does try to hide who she is, but ends up making some friends.  Peekay and Jack are nothing like Alex, but they all end up spending a lot of time together.  There is a party one night that gets out of control and everyone starts to see who Alex really is.

I won’t get into any more so I don’t ruin the book.  I will say that this is a book everyone should read.

“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”

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7.  Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

This is just one of those super cute reads.  It would be perfect for a summer book if you haven’t picked it up yet.

Bailey (Mink) has been living on the east coast with her mom and talking with a boy, Alex, online.  Alex lives in California and has been trying to get Bailey to visit.  She ends up moving with her dad to the same town Alex lives in , but she doesn’t let him know.  Instead, she tries to figure out who Alex is.

Bailey finds a job working at this local museum and meets this cute surfer boy, Porter.  They don’t get along right away and are always fighting, but Bailey finds herself falling for Porter. She’s torn because of her feelings for Alex.  They share a love of old movies and this book has tons of cute book quotes throughout.

Porter quickly became my new book boyfriend.

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8.  The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

This is a series of five main books.  The first three is sort of like a trilogy with another two books that take place much later.   There are a lot of mixed reviews for these books.  People either love or hate them, but I found them fun to read.  I did like the first three best.

I don’t want this to get too long, so I won’t go into each book separately.  The first three books are about a boy, Maxon, who is the prince.  He must find a wife soon and the royal family participates in a “selection” to find the right match.  They bring girls from different castes to make it more fair, but Maxon’s father expects him to marry a higher caste girl. America Singer is from the lowest caste brought there.  She already loves her childhood friend and doesn’t fit in at all.  Over time, she finds herself falling for Maxon and is often times conflicted and torn between the two boys (I was team Maxon for this one).

The fourth and fifth book is about Maxon and his selection pick’s daughter.

These books were a light, fun read and I read all five in a row earlier this year.

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9.  Dumplin by Julie Murphy

This one is a little older and I finally got around to reading it just in time for a book signing with Julie Murphy.  I’m not sure why I waited so long.

Willowdean “Dumplin” is an overweight teenager with a beauty queen mom.  They live in a town in Texas where the beauty pageant is everything.  Her mom still runs it.  Willodean is usually pretty content with her weight, but she finds herself freaking out when a boy who likes her touches her.  We see her struggle with her feelings of normally accepting herself with her feelings of insecurity in certain situations.  Her mom is always trying to get her to lose weight, but it usually doesn’t bother Willowdean.

Willowdean is obsessed with Dolly Parton.  Her aunt who died was and she also bonded with her best friend over it.  But Willowdean is finding herself alone a lot because her best friend has started hanging with the more popular, skinny girls.  Willowdean decides to enter the beauty contest and finds herself as a role model to some of the not so pretty girls who enter with her.

Dumplin is a fun book.  I loved the drag queens and wish there was a bigger part with them. But I ended up really enjoying this book.

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10.  Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

I was a little torn on which book to make number ten.  I chose this one because of how different it was.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love reading about other cultures and diversity is a huge reason why I read YA.

Alex is a Bruja, but she hates magic and doesn’t want to come into her powers.  She does a spell on her deathday hoping to keep her real powers away, but it backfires and takes her whole family to Los Lagos.  Alex must travel with a boy, Nova, who she doesn’t know well to Los Lagos to try to get her family back.

This book is full of magic, a neat world (Los Lagos), and family.

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Were any of these your favorites, too?  If not, what were yours? Comment below and let me know.  Please make sure you follow my blog, too.