Top Ten Tuesday: Old & New School YA

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

The topic this week: Back to School Freebie! I decided to do Old School & New School (Contemporary) YA. Which basically means 5 YA books published somewhere before my time/when I was a teen and 5 very recent YA’s  :). Each of these books I’ve adored at different stages of my life, they’re just amazing! I think every teen/young adult should read these. Many of them have made me like this:

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Here we go!

Old School:

 

1)

The Outsiders (1967) by S.E Hinton

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The Outsiders is an iconic teen novel, starring Ponyboy Curtis and his Greaser friends, who get into of crap due to their ongoing rivals with the Socs (Socials). It’s only a small book, but it packs a good punch and I love it. I think it’s a must read for teens and adults alike, and would ultimately be perfect as a book to start off the new term at school :).

2)

Letters From The Inside (1991) by John Marsden

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Letters From The Inside still gives me shivers to this day. John Marsden is such a skilled writer. The book is composed of letters between two girls who become friends and get to know each other’s different worlds. That sounds simple enough, but I’m telling you now, this novel will surprise you in ways you never expected. It’s tremendous.

3)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky 

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower is so much more popular today than it was when it was published (well, this is what I assume) and for only the reason that as the years have passed it’s gained wider recognition. I adore this book. I couldn’t not have it on my list. Charlie is an all-time favourite character of mine and the whole book is unforgettable, meaningful, heartbreaking and one of the most honest novels I’ve ever read.

4)

Raincheck on Timbuktu (2001) by Kirsten Murphy

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Raincheck on Timbuktu is one of the MANY novels I remember finding at my high school’s library and reading all day and all night when I should’ve been doing homework or socialising. It’s a great story about a girl who thinks she has everything planned, but learns you just can’t control life. It’s witty and heartwarming and very enjoyable :).

5)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003) by Mark Haddon

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is such a unique book. If you haven’t read it, get on it now, though I guess I should say I’ve noticed it’s a book some people just absolutely hate (I have no idea why, personally, as I think it’s wonderful). This novel gives you a massive insight into the mind of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, and it’s super fascinating. Read it, read it, read it!

 

 

 

New School:

6)

Paper Towns (2008) by John Green 

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I couldn’t make a list of YA’s without John Green on it and Paper Towns happens to be my favourite novel of his. I love it because I think there have been times in my life where I could really relate to Margo and her desire to get away from  social/capitalist constructs, because I did/do see the school > university > job > get married structure, when talked about as necessity and something everyone wants, as quite stupid, really. I can see why Margo would prefer to live a simple life, away from all those expectations. I could probably write a whole thesis on this, really, so I better stop.I think this novel has some brilliantly funny moments, which I loved, and the whole mystery of Margo is great to read :).

7)

Love Is The Higher Law (2009) by David Levithan 

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Love Is The Higher Law is a novel set during the 9/11. It focuses on the perceptions of this terrible event and aftermath of it through the eyes of a few teens. It’s a wonderful little novel that snapshots what ordinary teens were doing before, during and after 9/11, and I just think it’s a very clever and heartwarming story.

8)

Eleanor & Park (2012) by Rainbow Rowell 

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Set in the 90’s, Eleanor & Park is a great novel about a number of serious home and school issues that affect too many people in this world, nerdy things like music and comics, and the budding relationship of Park and Eleanor, two very different teens who find each other. I love this novel a great deal. I think it has the perfect mix of what you need in a YA novel and that it’s definitely worth reading of the many contemporaries out there.

9)

All The Bright Places (2015) by Jennifer Niven

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All The Bright Places is a very special novel to me. For many reasons. Theo and Violet are special characters, there are so many amazing lines and ideas that make your heart stop and it’s  book that’s true and real. It’s also the first book I shared with my boyfriend back when he wasn’t my boyfriend yet, so it’s not just special to me, but special to both of us :).

10)

I’ll Give You The Sun (2015) by Jandy Nelson 

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What a tremendous book. I love this book so, so much, I can’t even! I can’t even begin to say how much I adore this book and think it so amazing. The characters, the story, the writing…all of it is truly breathtaking. Please read this book if you haven’t already, it’s just the best and I know it’ll stay in your heart forever.

Well, that’s my Top 10 this week. What do you think of my choices? And what’s yours? 🙂

Friday Finds

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Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by A Daily Rhythm in which we share books we’ve recently added to our tbr:).

Here are four books I discovered this week that I’d love to get my hands on and read read read🙂

 

1)

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman 

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Summary:

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

Why I want to read it:

This is an older YA novel from 10 years ago. It has a lot of things in common with many YA novels, the whole alternate society/forbidden love deal. But, I like the Noughts and Crosses concept and the themes sound really good and so, so relevant to all the horrible racist crap and terrorism that goes on in our world.

2)

Highly Illogical Behaviour by  John Corey Whaley 

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Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

Why I want to read it:

I was a little bit iffy on this one at first, because I often find the whole characters trying to “fix” someone pretty blahh, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and I’m intrigued enough about the story that I think that part of it won’t bother me much. Plus, the cover is so beautiful! I actually just ordered a copy of this book and I’m very excited to read it 🙂

3)

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider 

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Summary:

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it’s easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down.

Why I want to read it:

First of all, the cover is amazing and I need it in my life. Secondly, it just sounds like a novel I’d easily enjoy. Probably a little predictable, but still. I think I’ll really like this one :).

4)

The Fifth Season (Broken Earth no.1) by N.K Jemisin 

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Summary:

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve seen this floating around the bookosphere a lot lately. I’m quite keen to read some more fantasy series, and I really like the look of this one. Sounds very interesting and mysterious! I like that the blurb doesn’t give too much away, but hints at enough 🙂

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That’s it! What books have you discovered recently?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

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This is a wonderful weekly event created by Uncorked Thoughts and  hosted by  Lunar Rainbows. Join in!

This week’s question: Which non Harry Potter characters would do well at Hogwarts?

Hmm…. good question!

Little bit of a tricky one. I mean, I can think of lots and lots of characters who would probably do great at Hogwarts but which one is the perfect choice….

In the end I went with:

Noah and Jude Sweetwine from Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun 

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This is one of my favourite books and Noah and Jude are also my favourite set of twins. They are amazing characters. They’re magical enough with their art as it is, so I can only image what they could do with magic at Hogwarts. I think they’d do well, and get themselves into all kinds of mischief.

 

 

Book Traveling Thursday: A Book That Makes Me Think About Traveling

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Book Traveling Thursday is an awesome weekly event held by Danielle and Catia over on Goodreads. There’s a new topic every week and the deal is to share why you chose the book and four different covers of the book: The Original Cover, Your Countries Cover, Your Least Favourite and Your Favourite:).

This week’s theme: Because reading takes us to a lot of different adventures choose a book that makes you think about traveling.

At first the only books I could think of for this topic were ones I’ve already used, like The Shadow of the Wind and Watership Down. A couple of YA books floated around in my head for awhile too, ones like Anna and the French Kiss and Paper Towns. But they weren’t quite right.

Eventually I decided on the book I chose. I chose this book because it’s a wonderful story about a young boy traveling through the Eygptian desert in search of his own meaning of life. I think it’s a really important novel, and it makes me think about how life-changing traveling to and being in new places can be :).

 

The Alchemist (1988) by Paulo Coelho

Original Cover:

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As far as I know, this is the cover of the first ever edition of The Alchemist, published in Portuguese in 1988 by either a very small publishing company in Brazil that first published the book or the second publishing company that published it before it was eventually translated into English.

Australian (My country) Cover:

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I couldn’t really find a cover that was specifically in Australia, as Australia is often linked with other Publishing companies in UK and US, such as HarperCollins, who published both of these editions :). I quite like the spiral one!

Least Favourite Cover:

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This cover is the first English translation, published in 1993. The only thing I like about it is the purple background. It’s just a bit too busy for me, too much going on. And the art looks a little childish.

Favourite Cover:

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This cover is easily my favourite :). It’s the cover of the copy I own, which my boyfriend bought for me so it’s very special to me. It’s a beautiful cover for a beautiful book :).

Well, there you go! What do you think of the different covers?

Top Five Wednesday: Books I Want To Read Before 2016 Ends

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Top 5 Wednesday is held hosted by mods Lainey and Samantha over on goodreads  🙂

This week’s topic: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

I’m not having the best year of reading I’ve ever had, and it’s easy to say, having only read 26 books this year so far, that I won’t be matching or beating my 50 book record of the last year. There are so, so many books I’d love to read this year that I just realistically don’t think I’ll be able to. So, here are 5 books I WILL read! (And these are all books that have been on my blog recently).

 

1. Northern Lights (His Dark Materials no.1) by Philip Pullman 

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Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials is a series that’s always been in the back of my mind and I think it’s about time that I finally start reading it!  So I’m definitely planning on starting with the first one before this year ends 😀

2. The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard 

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I’m keen to read more mystery/crime novels after reading all the Cormoran Strike novels, and as The Library of Shadows sounds quite similar to other favourite books of mine (namely The Shadow of the Wind) I’m very keen to read this one this year. It also helps that it’s actually one of few books available for me to borrow at my local library :).

3. The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle 

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I’m really excited by the plot of The Great American Whatever and decided to purchase this novel with some birthday money 😀 So, obviously, I’m planning on reading it asap 😀 😀

 

4. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

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Originally my boyfriend and I were going to read The Prisoner of Heaven together this month, but because we’re going to BARCELONA (which is the setting of this series, by the way) in October, we’ve decided to wait until then. I’m so very excited to start reading this and for our holiday!!

 

5. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven 

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It’s pretty much a given that I want/NEED to read this book as soon as it comes out! I can’t wait! I’ve pre-ordered this with money I got for my birthday and I’m extremely excited to read it!!!!!! JDJDJDSJIIJIFWJIWEJOIWJ 😀

Well, that’s my top 5 wednesday this week. What books do you want to read before we say goodbye to 2016? 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR For Years and I still Haven’t Read Yet

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

The topic this week: Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet.

It’s my birthday today so I’m only making this a quick one! 🙂 🙂 ❤ hehe

I started planning for this yesterday as there are so many books that have been on my Goodreads tbr/my bookshelf at home/in my head since the beginning of time and for whatever reason I just haven’t read them yet. These books are also books that I’ve kind of forgotten about, so I had to have a think and look back on my tbr for them 😛 Hopefully I’ll actually read these some day! I know that I’m embarrassed that I still haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird!! 

 

1. Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey

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2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

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3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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4. The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath

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5. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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6. Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix

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7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

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8. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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The Raven King: Book Review

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I was pretty excited to read this book and find out how it all ends for Blue, Gansy, Ronan, Noah and Adam. I read the first three books of The Raven Cycle pretty much one after the other last year and enjoyed them a lot, especially the first two. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much. I don’t know if that’s because I’d moved on from Cabeswater in the last year, which could easily be the case. But I also have a suspicion that it’s because a lot of things just didn’t sit right with me this time around, and this is the main problem I had:

It didn’t feel like a finale to me. It felt…slow. It felt like nothing really happened until the last quarter of the novel. It felt like the characters (and thereby the story) was kind of just…dawdling. Dawdling along to fill in the time until we would find out what happened in the end. It confused me. The characters and the story just didn’t fit together as well as they had in previous novels. It was like they just weren’t talking to each other. There was, a times, this strange, disconnected vibe. Not just between the characters themselves, but also, I guess, between myself and the story.

I’m probably not really explaining this really well.

Basically, the novel wasn’t the exciting finale I was expecting. It felt mainly like filler and unfortunately this meant that by the time I reached the ending, it was simply just anti-climatic to me. A little disappointing.

Having said all of this, there were some things I quite enjoyed about this book. I like Maggie Stiefvater’s witty and unique way of writing. Her snarky style had me giggling a fair few times. I enjoyed the banter between the characters, and the group interactions were nice when we did get them. There were some particular developments I liked (not that I can mention them because of spoilers), even if some were a little predictable. I quite liked Henry, which I hadn’t expected. As always, I really liked Blue’s interaction with her family. And the magical, often dark, element of the book was really good.

I read this novel half-entertained and half-confused/bored. It was an odd reading experience. It’s a shame I didn’t like it as much as did the others. I’m sure there are a lot of fans who really enjoyed this book, as I can see why some people would enjoy it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t anything special to me.

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Read my review on the first three books of The Raven Cycle here.

Have you read The Raven King or the prequels? What did you think of it? 🙂