Top Ten Tuesday! (44)

TTT3W

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme create at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is a REWIND week! That’s where I get to pick any topic I want! Mwahaha! So I have decided that…

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books I Want to Push Because They Don’t Get Enough Attention!

I am an extremely eclectic reader. I love every age group and [mostly] every genre! So I am always reading a wide variety of books, both the super popular and the less known. So here is a list of ten books that I have read fairly recently that I feel haven’t gotten enough attention in the book-blogging world!

Juvenile/MG Reads

15818082Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice:  “Des·tin·y: |destinē/
(noun) The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.

Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn’t even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then a seeming tragedy strikes: just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she accidentally loses the special copy of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily’s understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.”

This book was just published a couple of months ago, but this book is such a fantastic and quick read. Magical, whimsical, and a little sassy. Emily and company offer a sitting of excitement and laughs. (Review coming later this week!)

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Storybound by Marissa Burt: “In the land of Story, children go to school 10194224

to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself….”

Such a wonderful story for story-lovers! A magical world with some pretty great characters! And the follow up novel Story’s End just came out! So you can read them both now! =) (My review here!)

Young Adult Reads (and Listens!)

2012 Best Contemporary/Realistic ReadsWhere Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: “When you read a novel expecting to be entertained with a lighthearted tale of adolescent love, you may come to the last page to realize you’ve read something quite different.

Will you be left still thinking about the inexplicable disappearance of a perfectly innocent little brother?

Will you be picturing what it would be like to finally get the girl of your dreams?

Will you be shocked by how the reappearance of an extinct woodpecker can change an entire town and the lives of the people in it?

Or will you just obsess over those zombies and talking birds?

Maybe when you read this story, you’ll find that even in a small Arkansas town where everything familiar can disappear, there is wonder in the ordinary and the hope for a second chance.”

Guys, this book is absolutely spectacular in all the right ways. A literary ya fiction with a hint of magical realism. Read my review here!

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Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter on audiobook: Book One–I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You852470

“Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.”

If you are a lover of audios and always on a mission to find some great listens, I’d definitely recommend this whole series! It’s a great storyline with great characters that are brought to life by a FANTASTIC narrator! Read my review here!

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2012 Best Contemporary/Realistic ReadsThe Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg on audiobook:  “Love is all you need… or is it? Penny’s about to find out in this wonderful debut.

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It’s a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there’s this certain boy she can’t help but like. . .”

This is one of my favorite YA authors, guys! Why? Because Elizabeth Eulberg writes about the importance of friendship over boys. And she writes some great characters who learn more about themselves and grow! And Khristine Hvam does a spectacular job at narrating this story! One of my favorite narrators ever! Read my review here!

.

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The Twisted Mysteries:

657034Heartsick by Chelsea Cain: “Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.”

If you like psychological thrillers, then you need to pick up this series PRONTO! Chelsea Cain takes psychological mystery/crime to a WHOLE new level with Archie and Gretchen. This series is super addicting, so just go ahead and get them all at once! Definitely dark and twisty! (No review yet.)

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: 66559 WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.”

It seems like everyone I know is talking about Gone Girl, which is an okay read overall (Gone Girl review here). But Gillian Flynn wrote two other books before that one, both of which are better! This debut novel is unlike any mystery/crime novel I have ever read. It is eerie and creepy and dark and twisty and THRILLING and ADDICTING and YES! Don’t judge Gillian by Gone Girl. Pick this book up and judge her by this! (My review of Sharp Objects here.)

The Literary Story-Telling Genius

15811543The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma:  “From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.

From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian’s enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.

As much a story about a young man and his friends trying to make their way in the world as a profoundly affecting exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards will appeal to readers of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with its elegantly constructed exploration of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.”

I just finished this book yesterday, and guys…..this book is MIND-BLOWINGLY FANTASTIC! A complex story with complex characters, this is story-telling on steroids. Definitely for the fans of Phillip Roth, Haruki Murakami, and other authors who just make you go “SAY WHAT?!?!” (No review yet, but stay tuned!)

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey2012 Best Fantasy Reads:  ““Homesteaders Jack and Mabel have carved out a quiet life of hard work and routine for themselves in the wilderness that is 1920 Alaska, both still deeply longing for the child it’s now impossible for them to have.  Yet their love for each other is strong, and in a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they play together, builiding a child out of snow.  The next morning the snow child is gone–but a trail of tiny footsteps remains.  For weeks following, they both catch glimpses of a blond little girl alone in the woods but neither dares mention it to the other, afraid that long-buried hopes have overruled common sense.

The the little girl, who calls herself Faina, shows up on their doorstep.  Small and fair, she seems truly magical:  she hunts with a red fox at her side, she leaves blizzards in her wake, and somehow she manages to survive alone in the harsh Alaskan wilderness.  As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand Faina, they come to lover her as their own.  But in this beautiful, violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform them all…”

This story is so magical and lovely. This novel combines the appeal of family/relationship stories with the intrigue of magical realism. See my review here.

The Science-Fiction Say What?!

6171892Genesis by Bernard Beckett:  “Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be. In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax’s examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly developing technology. What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status could humanity still claim? Outstanding and original, Beckett’s dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.”

I always am looking for that story that just kind of hits you in the face with wowness. And this is one of those stories. Completely unique twist on the dystopia/post-apocalyptic genre for sure! See my review here!

Nonficiton/Memoirs:

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma: “When Alice Ozma was in 4th grade, she and her father decided to9862827 see if he could read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights. On the hundreth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called “The Streak.” Alice’s father read aloud to her every night without fail until the day she left for college.

Alice approaches her book as a series of vignettes about her relationship with her father and the life lessons learned from the books he read to her.”

A nonfiction memoir that is so appealing to book lovers and librarians. A wonderful and inspiring story of a love of reading. Keep this in mind if you or your kids ever need to read a biography/memoir for school for sure!  See my review here!

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So those are the books I want to push today! Have you read any? Do any spark your interest? What topic did you choose for TTT today? Leave a comment and let’s talk!

Love and Cherry Coke,

Jennifer

15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday! (44)

  1. Lucy says:

    Awesome topic! I happen to have Destiny Rewritten on my bookshelf – guess I better crack it open soon. And I’ve been wanting to try Gillian Flynn’s other books ever since I finished Gone Girl. Thanks for sharing your recs!

  2. Karis (YA Litwit) says:

    Where Things Come Back! ❤ The most underrated book of 2011, and that's WITH the awards it won. I can't express my love enough! One that I would add to the list is And Both Were Young by Madeline L'Engle. ❤

    Check out my Top Ten!

  3. Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) says:

    I guess I am proving your point because although I’m also a very eclectic (and insatiable) reader, I’ve only read one of these. I’ve got copies of several of your other picks, just haven’t gotten to them yet. One of these days!

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