Tag Archives: holly black

Favorites this Year (So Far)

31 Jul

So this post would have probably been better to write in June, but I just did not get to it.  Here are some of my favorite books I have read (or listened to) so far this year.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I cannot explain how much I love this book!  When it won the Printz, I cheered out loud.  I could not stop reading this one no matter what I was doing.  The night I finished it, I was also cooking dinner.  I let out a sigh and said ‘Wow!’ when I was done.  Make sure you read this one if you haven’t yet.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is another Printz winner, but I just discovered it this year.  I loved this story.  I was kind of confused when I first started reading it, but once I was into Taylor’s story, I could not stop reading.

Columbine by Dave Cullen 

I was a freshman in high school when Columbine happened.  Reading this brought back memories from that time and I also learned how much I did not know about the tragedy.  Or, rather, how misinformed I was.  Cullen handles this topic very well.

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen 

I really meant to review this book.  It has been so long since I have read it, I am not sure I can do it justice.  I absolutely love Maya’s voice as she tells her story.  She was funny, engaging, and honest.  I wish I book like this existed when I was in middle and high school.  I think every middle or high school girl should read this because of the strong message Maya sends about self-esteem and loving yourself.  I hope to read more from this talented young lady.

White Cat by Holly Black

I listened to this one.  I really love Holly Black’s writing which first caught my attention on this one.  Then, I saw that Jesse Eisenberg read it.  I borrowed it from the library.  I liked this so much more than I expected.  The world Black creates that is much like ours bu included Curse Workers is very engaging. I was intrigued to learn more about them as the novel progressed. Plus, Cassel is a pretty interesting character himself.  I plan to listen to the second book, Red Glove as well.

The Martian by Andy Weir

This is the last of my “favorites so far” I am going to share.  I picked this up for a vacation read with some gift cards from my birthday.  I loved this from the very first line.  I love Sci-Fi and this one did not disappoint.  I love the voice of Mark Watney (and like my friend Dana said, I now think ‘What would Mark Watney do?’).  I also love how all the science and technology is explained in a way that wasn’t too difficult or boring.  It is a very engaging, exciting read.  I immediately handed it off to my brother, then my mother. I look forward to the movie in the fall.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Heroines

24 Feb


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Ten Favorite Heroines From Books.

1. Hermione from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I know it is probably very obvious and we will see a lot of her today, but she is pretty amazing!  Hermione is smart and pretty tough as well.  She is an excellent role model for readers.

2. Vix from Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

This is my favorite book of all time.  I always loved Vix as a character and felt a connection to her even the first time I read this book as a teenager.  Every time I read this book, I connect to a different part of Vix’s life.  She is a character that will always stay with me.

3. Juliette from Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette begins very afraid, being especially fearful of herself and her power.  I love how she grew in the series and learned to control her power and gain confidence in herself.  She was a character I rooted for and loved to watch develop.

4. Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda is a character I will never forget.  She went through hell and had to fight her way back, but she made it.  I love her voice and her views of the world as well.

5. Tana from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana is another tough girl.  She handles her situation with nothing but fight.  She doesn’t give up even when things seem hopeless and she does whatever is necessary to do what needs to be done.

6. Astrid from Ask the Passengers by AS King

Astrid is all about giving love, even to people she doesn’t even know flying in the airplanes above.  And she just wants to be herself, not just a label.  She is another strong character whom I adore.

7. Rory from The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I am seeing a theme…I love tough heroines that fight on their own.  Rory works with ghosts and is hilarious!  I can’t wait to continue reading her story.

8. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is another character I really connected to.  I loved watching her grow to accept herself.

9. Skeeter from The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Skeeter is a girl who strives to be true to herself.  She follows her dream and she strives to stand up for what she believes is right, even if it means going against the grain.

10. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen

What is not to love about Lizzie?  She is another tough girl who stays true to herself through and through.

Who are some of your favorites?

Favorite Books of 2014

31 Dec

As 2014 comes to an end, here are my favorite books I read this year.

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

There is so much I love about this book!  And students are reading it more and more, which has led to amazing conversations about it!

2. The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Technically, I read this in 2013.  But as it was a 2014 release and just that good, I am including it on the list.  This story both broke my heart and put it back together.

3. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson is one of my absolute favorite authors.  This book did not disappoint.  And I loved that there was some romance in this one.  A memorable book on such an important topic.

4.  Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

I am so thankful I got to read an ARC of this title.  It comes out in February 2015.  If you are a teacher, parent, or just work with kids in some way, you need to read this book.  It also included my favorite quote that I read this year: “I look down at my Mercury dime and it’s date, wishing people could last as long as coins.”  Amazing writing!

5. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

I love Blake’s work.  I love mythology.  I could still rave about this one months later. I need to get my hands on Mortal Gods very soon!

6. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This book reminded me why I love science fiction.  The second book, This Shattered World, just came out at the end of December, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!  Christmas gift cards are going to come in handy.

7. The Living by Matt de la Pena

This book hand me at the edge of my seat and frantically turning pages.  It was so intense at some parts!  I really loved it and cannot wait to read more of the story when The Hunted comes out in May 2015.

8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I raved about this on Monday and I’m still thinking about it.  If you love horror and vampires, you need to read this book!

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorites and she becoming very popular in my classroom.  I really loved Cath and how she developed throughout the story.

10. Peak by Roland Smith

Again, I cannot believe that I waited so long to read this one!  The adventure had me hooked and I loved learning so much more about mountain climbing.

It’s Monday 12/29/14 – What Are You Reading?

29 Dec


It is hard to believe that 2014 will be over in just a few days.  I may not have read anywhere near my goal of 100 books, but I am still pretty proud of having read 52 books at this point.  Here is a little bit of what I have been reading lately and plans as I wrap up break.

What I have read lately

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

I bought this over the summer and just got to it this month.  What an awesome book!  I am looking forward to sharing it with my students when I get back.  I really appreciated Steven’s honesty; he is a believable character.  It was one I couldn’t stop reading. 5/5 stars

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

I actually have owned this one for a few years.  I think I found it at a warehouse sale.  I had no idea it was a companion to Drums. I came across it in my bookshelves while looking for another book for a student.  I enjoyed Drums more, but I did still enjoy this book and an opportunity to see the story continue. 4/5 stars

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I picked this one up at the library.  For the most part, I really like Elise as a character and even related to her at times.  Other times, I did feel a little annoyed with her, but I think that is because I’m older.  I think teenage me would have really liked her.  It was an interesting story line and kept me reading.  3.5/5 stars

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

This one has been on my radar for awhile as so many friends were singing its praises and giving it very high reviews.  I bought it with birthday gift cards, and then it sat on my shelf.  Why did I wait so long?  This is an amazing vampire book! It is creepy and bloody and suspenseful and hard to put down.  I read all 419 pages in just 5 days (being on break helps, of course).  I really loved Tana as the main character; she is pretty BA.  And I am happy to have another horror book to share with students as this is what they are asking for.  5/5 stars

What I’m reading this week

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I loved Giles’s book Shattering Glass and cannot keep it on my shelf. Ever since I read the summary of this one, I have been looking forward to reading it.  I started reading last night and I am already hooked.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

I adore Neil Patrick Harris.  I also loved Choose Your Own Adventure stories growing up.  And I love autobiographies and memoirs.  I just had to ask for this one.  I received it as a gift and I am looking forward to reading it.  I can’t wait to share my thoughts on it.

I also took a trip to the library today, even with stacks of books at home.  With this being the last week of break, maybe I’ll squeeze in another book (or two) this week as well.

What are you reading this week?