Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top 100 Most Popular YA Books - How many Have you Read?

I've seen this list on several blogs lately - I'm going to credit Rather Barefoot than Bookless, because several of them said they found it there. I'm not sure I agree with these choices for the Top 100, but I do agree with many of them, and I just think it's fun to pass these lists along so others can look at them.

My books read are in red!


1.Alex Finn – Beastly
2.Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3.Ally Carter – Callagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4.Ally Condie – Matched
5.Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6.Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7.Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8.Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9.Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10.Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11.Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12.Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13.Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14.Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15.Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16.Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17.Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
18.Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19.Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20.Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21.Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22.Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23.Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24.Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25.Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26.Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27.Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28.Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29.J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30.James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31.James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32.Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33.Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34.Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35.John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36.John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37.John Green – Looking for Alaska
38.John Green – Paper Towns
39.Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40.Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41.Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42.Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43.Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44.Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45.Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46.Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47.Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48.M.T. Anderson – Feed
49.Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50.Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51.Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52.Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
53.Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54.Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55.Mary Ting – Crossroads
56.Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57.Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58.Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59.Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60.Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61.Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62.Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63.Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64.Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65.Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66.Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67.Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68.Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69.Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70.Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71.Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72.P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
73.Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74.Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75.Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76.Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77.Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78.Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79.S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80.Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81.Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82.Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83.Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84.Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85.Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
86.Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
87.Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88.Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89.Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90.Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91.Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92.Stephanie Meyer – The Host
93.Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94.Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95.Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96.Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97.Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98.Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99.Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100.Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

So, do what you want with this list. Have fun, and Happy Reading!





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Book Review: The Darkening, by Maggie L. Wood


The Darkening is another episode of the story of Princess Willow and her family in the world of Mistolear.

This time Willow must do battle with the faeries in their world of Clarion. She will meet goblins, trolls, phookas, and other awful creatures in this new game. She is also playing the game with two fairies, Dacia and Theon, the children of Jarlath, which means they are the siblings of Nezzie. Remember Nezzie now lives in Mistolear, and Willow thinks of him as a brother.

It will take everything Willow has to figure out the trickery and overcome the obstacles thrown at her. Because when it comes to the Faeries, none of the usual rules of society apply.  Willow also has Brand at her side once again, and watching their romance develop is a very meaningful part of the story. If Willow doesn't win, Mistolear will once again be open to the control of the faeries.

The action never stops, and while there are dangers afoot, I still consider this a fun book. I just never had any doubt that Princess Willow would be able to figure it all out. The combination of crazy dangerous creatures, adventure, puzzling rules, and even a little love triangle makes this “game” a very interesting one.

Middle and High School fantasy lovers will enjoy this quick read with memorable characters and enough intrigue to keep you a bit puzzled throughout. Although this book could be read alone, you should definitely read Captured first to be fully invested in this story. The third book in the series will be published in the Spring of 2012.

Published by Lobster Press, May 1, 2011
Copy received for review from Linworth Publishing
283 pages

Rating: 4/5






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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Vanish, by Sophie Jordan

Vanish is an excellent second novel in the Firelight Trilogy.

Whatever I liked about Firelight, there’s more of it here. There’s more romance – and the triangle continues between Will and Cassian. There’s more action – some of our characters are once again hunted. There’s a surprise about Tamra, Jacinda’s sister. There’s more tension, and Jacinda continues to defy the customs of the pride. She tries to forget about Will, but finds that very difficult.

I’ve heard criticism that Jacinda and Will’s relationship is too rushed – that they couldn’t possibly love each other because they don’t really know each other. But remember, a love that is forbidden will sizzle whether it is true love or not. All my mom had to do was tell me not to date some boy, and that’s the boy I would want FOR SURE.

I do have to insert my (very vocal) hatred of books that stop in the middle. See my review of Wolfsbane if you want to see the entire rant. Just be prepared for no conclusion to the major plot whatsoever. Jordan just stops writing in the middle of an extremely tense part. Why don’t authors write the entire book before they publish it?????

I love (and hate) the characters. I’m really loving how the relationship between Jacinda and Tamra has developed. That was one of my favorite parts of the book. And Corbin? I don’t remember much about him from the first book but I really DO NOT LIKE him in this one. I anticipate more trouble from him in the future. I didn’t like what happened to Jacinda’s mom – I found it hard to believe that she would become so desperate and depressed that she wouldn’t care about her children.

I like the way the story is heading. I really had a hard time putting this one down; I just wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the rest of the story.

I highly recommend this one if you have read Firelight. If you haven’t read Firelight, then you need to read it, so you can read this one!

Published by HarperCollins, September 6, 2011
ARC ebook obtained from the publisher through NetGalley
304 pages

Rating: 4/5




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Monday, August 29, 2011

What if I Disagree?


I read a lot of book reviews, and often, if a review is of a book I’ve read, I do not agree with the reviewer.

Sometimes I feel like the reviewer didn’t understand the intent of the author. Or they are trying to assign adult morals and attitudes to teens in a YA novel (this happens a lot.) I’m tired of reading “these teens were too winey.” I work with teens every day. They do not respond like adults. They are winey! They are compulsive, and sometimes not very nice. They cheat on each other’s boyfriends, and talk behind each other’s backs. They can be friends one day and enemies the next. Yes, sometimes adults have these characteristics, but they are common in adolescents. I sometimes want to tell reviewers, “if you don’t want to read about real teens, then read adult books!” But I would never say that, because that would be mean. But, what should I say?

Sometimes I read “this character fell flat” or “I didn’t care what happened to this character” about a character that I said that I cried for, I felt connected to, and my heart pounded right along with them. Are we reading the same book?

Another example is, “the plot was well paced and I found myself enthralled by the writing (or the setting)” when I thought, “the plot plodded along and there were way too many details about characters or settings.” Hmmmm.....

Don’t you think we all bring our own experiences and histories to our reading? Perhaps I interpret a character (or setting, or plot) differently because I have been through a similar experience, or I’ve had educational background or travel experiences or relationships that allow me to view characters (or settings or plots) in a different way.

A great example of this is the book Sisterhood Everlasting, by Ann Brashares. I loved this book. I’ve read several reviews that didn’t like the book because the characters had grown apart, and they had changed so much. They just weren’t the same and the book didn’t have the same feel-good sentiment. I thought the characters were spot-on. Totally agreed with their new grown-up lives. Maybe because this is what happened to me. Most of my best friends were those I made in college. But we all have kids and lives and jobs now, and we are literally spread all over the country. My relationships with them have deteriorated greatly.

I hesitate to comment on reviews that I don’t agree with. But, on the other hand, maybe this could begin a fun discussion. I don’t want the reviewer to think I’m criticizing their review, or that I think they are stupid. But it might be fun to find out a little more about why we disagree. What do you think about responding to reviews you disagree with?

I appreciate your comments, even if you disagree....





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Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox - Another Borders Bonanza!

These Borders discounts are killing me! First, a few other books, then we'll talk about Borders....

From the Library:



Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld
I had to get this one, since I recently got Goliath and haven't read this yet!

Purchased for my Kindle:

Hare Moon, by Carrie Ryan

I loved this series, and never got around to reading this short story.

From Borders:

Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda


Friendship Bread, by Darien Gee


Step-by-Step Vegetarian
How can you pass up a $2.50 cookbook full of color pictures?

For My Daughter:

Voluntary Madness, by Norah Vincent


The Book of Joe, by Jonathan Tropper

I also bought three more books to put in the library, but I'll tell you about those when I bring them home to read.  All-in-all, a pretty good trip!

Well, that's it for me. Thanks to Kristi again for hosting. This is always a fun weekend activity for me. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be interested in your mailboxes. (Well, actually, if you have an interesting mailbox, I'll look at it, but I'm more interested in what books came in it this week....)





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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Draw the Dark, by Ilsa J. Bick

I’m not sure what to say about Draw the Dark. This book has a very unique plot that still has me thinking about Christian, the main character.

When Christian was young, his father and then his mother disappeared. He is convinced they are in “the sideways place,” which he has depicted in a mural on his bedroom wall. Christian draws things in his sleep, and when he draws some evil things on the side of a barn, he is sentenced to clean up and repaint the barn, do community service at a home for the elderly, and see a psychiatrist. But he doesn't remember doing this.

Christian begins to be able to enter other people’s thoughts, and he can draw what they are thinking or scenes from their past. He doesn’t understand why this happens, or how to control it. Fortunately his doctor is sympathetic and open minded.

There is a mystery about a murder that happened in the barn many years ago, and also a baby’s body was found buried in the hearth of an old house. Christian begins to investigate and finds out about Nazi war prisoners that worked at the local factory. He also finds out about a population of Jews, and the fact that their synagogue was burned. But does this fit together with any of the mysterious happenings?

There are so many facets of the story that Bick weaves together at the end. Every page brings a different and unexpected twist as the mysteries are explained. And the biggest mystery for Christian—his mother and father’s disappearance—is that a mystery that he can solve? Or should he just try to be happy with the life he has been given?

I just read what I wrote, and I feel like I haven’t really explained this book. I can’t. You just have to read it. It’s very dark, and macabre. Christian is a sympathetic character, but he’s also kind of crazy. He believes that his drawings have killed people.  He has a support system in the form of his doctor and his uncle, which gave me some hope as I worked my way through these horrible episodes.

Bick has created a unique, supernatural mystery that will appeal to teens, boys or girls, and adults that like a twisted, dark tale. Ilsa J. Bick has a new book, Ashes, that comes out in a couple of weeks. I think it’s very different than Draw the Dark, but after reading this one, Ashes will definitely be on my reading list.

Published by Carolrhoda, 2010
Copy obtained from the library
336 pages

Rating: 4/5
   




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Friday, August 26, 2011

Follow Friday! (and) TGIF! Yeah!!!


Thanks to two lovely blogs for hosting the Friday Fun this week:  Parajunkee's View, and Alison Can Read.  Here's the question:


Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?


I guess I'd like to know I have a guardian angel. Or, maybe ghosts -- if they were my ancestors or something. I've not really thought much about this one, even though I read a lot of paranormal. I think I'll go with angels (only good ones, though -- I don't want to know about those bad ones!)


Ginger at GReads! has an interesting question this week:

Book Associations: Which genre, authors, or particular books do you think people associate with your reading style?

Wow. I'm not sure. I'm going to do genres because those other things don't make sense to me.  I think it's pretty obvious that "YA" would be one label I would get (I know, that's not a genre.) I've said very often that "Historical Fiction" is my favorite, but I really am a very "Eclectic" reader -- I read almost everything, except not many non-fiction, and not many short stories. I would NOT call myself a high fantasy reader, either, but I've certainly read plenty of those. Maybe "Old" is appropriate. I'm an "Old Reader" with many years of reading under my belt. But, I think I like "Eclectic" better! Wouldn't you like to know how many books you've read in your entire life? That would be interesting. 

Looking forward to visiting some of your posts and seeing how YOU answered these....Thanks for stopping by; the door is always open. Please come back soon!





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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Captured, by Maggie L. Wood

Captured, Book 1 of The Divided Realms, is a typical fantasy about a princess, some knights and some kings and queens, but adds a unique element because these kingdoms are under a spell and are caught in a chess game!

Willow is our main character and is raised on Earth, but when she’s 15, she gets transported back to her true world where she is a princess. Her parents were from two different kingdoms and these kingdoms are under the spell of an evil faerie prince who has pitted them against each other in a chess game. Willow’s parents have already been captured, as well as many other chess pieces. Does this mean they are dead? It’s up to Willow to bring these kingdoms back together and fight for their freedom from this curse.

Wood has managed to include some magic, action, adventure, danger and romance. The fantasy is believable, the settings are convincing, and Willow is a loveable character who handles the confusion and challenges of her new existence with maturity. I haven’t played chess for a long time, but I remember that pawns can’t move backwards (you’ll see what I mean when you read it.) I thought the obstacles of the chess game added much to this fantasy.

The only complaint I had about the book is the number of characters. I got confused at times, but there’s a list, by kingdom, at the beginning of the book, so that helped.

Anyone who loves fantasy adventure stories would enjoy this, and it’s certainly appropriate for middle school students. Book 2, The Darkening, is already published, and the third book in the series will be out in Spring of 2012.

Published by Lobster Press, May 1, 2011
Copy obtained for review from Linworth Publishing
284 pages

Rating: 4/5





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