Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fellow Book Nerds

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish

Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

From Books

Cath - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“You’ve read the books?”

“I’ve seen the movies.”

Cath rolled her eyes so hard, it hurt. (Actually.) (Maybe because she was still on the edge of tears. On the edge, period.) “So you haven’t read the books.”

“I’m not really a book person.”

“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me.”

Liesel - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The book thief has struck for the first time – the beginning of an illustrious career.

Jo March - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.

Celaena - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

"Over a million? A million books?" Her heart leapt and danced, and she cracked a smile. "I'd die before I even got through half of that!"

"You like to read?"

She raised an eyebrow. "Don't you?"

A dead, empty space opened inside her. Needing to change the subject, she asked, "Why are none of your folk here?"

"Guards are of no use in a library." Oh, how wrong he was! Libraries were full of ideas - perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.

Tessa - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

From Movies / TV

Belle - Beauty and the Beast

Rory Gilmore - Gilmore Girls

Tyrion Lannister - Game of Thrones

Lisa Simpson - The Simpsons

Alex Dunphy - Modern Family

Who are some fictional characters that share your love of reading? Do we have similar lists or did you think of some that I missed? Be sure to leave me a link to your TTT!

Monday, July 27, 2015

In A Handful Of Dust (Not A Drop To Drink #2) by Mindy McGinnis (Review)

Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic
Publication.Date  September 23rd 2014
Published By:  Katherine Tegan Books
Author's GRMindy McGinnis 

In A Handful Of Dust on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss
Where to get:
http://www.amazon.com/In-Handful-Dust-Mindy-McGinnis/dp/006219853X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397930331&sr=8-1&keywords=in+a+handful+of+dust http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-a-handful-of-dust-mindy-mcginnis/1117907038?ean=9780062198532 http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062198532

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

"In a world like this, you pay it forward, 'cause more than likely you didn't deserve it when you got it the first time."
"It's going to be hard––everything worth doing is."
"I’ve been trying to do better about killing people,” Lynn said. “Then fate puts you in my path."

“That’s life, little one—lots of little maybes and what ifs all lined up in a row. And if you put your mind to following some of them that never came about, you’ll get lost and not find your way back to the way it really is.”

     Mindi McGinni's books are exactly my flavor of dark, atmospheric and incredibly intelligent. I loved Not A Drop To Drink - it was one of my favorite novels in 2013. I didn't think Mindy would write a follow-up, but was beyond thrilled to learn about this companion novel. It was just as good (if not better), as Not A Drop To Drink

    These two books sport one amazingly gritty atmosphere. What we have here is a world driven to the brink of extinction by its own inhabitants; humans. Almost all of the world's water supply is gone, and whatever little there's left is either protected by the government, or guarded by people who won't hesitate to shoot you if you come to close to their precious water source. But Lynn's little pond is now the source of danger, rather than hope and life. The water is infected and potentially lethal. And so Lynn makes the decision to abandon her childhood home and leave in search of a new place to live - a new home for Lucy and herself. Together, they will journey to California, where desalinization plants are rumored to be purifying water. 

    In A Handful of Dust, to me, is a work of utter brilliance. It's a book so skilfully plotted, so thought-provoking and illuminating, it's not only mesmerizing but also completely breathtaking. Filled with moments of true heartbreak, beautiful and meaningful thoughts and observations, disturbingly vivid portrayals of a world gone oh-so-very-wrong, it's a truly unique and important book. Admittedly, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. I find Mindi McGinni's books to be very different from the mainstream YA dystopians and post-apocalyptic thrillers. You don't read her books for cheap thrills and cheesy forbidden romance, you read them for the slow-burning action, brutality, honesty and cathartic emotional load. They are deeper, darker and more densely plotted than your usual YA. Often times they are even shocking and thoroughly devastating. Most of all, they are smart and insightful, with top-notch character development and world-building. 

     Where Not A Drop To Drink was more about a stationary kind of survival and defending what belongs to you, In A Handful Of Dust is about the challenges of a long and dangerous journey and the hope that lays behind the horizon. I absolutely adored this book. Mindi McGinnis is one of my go-to authors and I know I can't wait for her next book, A Madness So Discreet, to be published. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date:July 1, 2014
Pages:296 (paperback)
Published By:  HarperTeen
Website:Kasie West 

On the Fence on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

http://www.amazon.com/Vanishing-Girls-Lauren-Oliver/dp/0062224107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419282259&sr=8-1&keywords=vanishing+girls http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vanishing-girls-lauren-oliver/1119705373?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-mdxm68jzjz8-_-10%3a1&ean=9780062224101&isbn=9780062224101&r=1 http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062224101&aff=hcweb

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


I dropped to my hands and knees on the floor and collected the soda cans, then carried them toward the kitchen. As I reached the door, I looked over my shoulder. All their eyes were glued to the television. Warmth surged through my cold heart. I loved these guys so much. They were my life and I couldn't think of anything better than all of us together, just handing out and doing nothing.
I didn't know why I texted him to come out here. It wasn't like I had anything important to discuss. In a way it was nice to know I wasn't alone in my middle-of-the-night world. My brother's slept like the day. How was it my brain wouldn't shut off? I felt guilty asking my brothers about my mom. I didn't want to be the one to make everyone else miserable when they  had moved on. Maybe they'd moved on because they had real memories to hang on to while my brain had to make up its own. Why did my brain have to be so morbid about it?
"Charlie!" A loud cry echoed from upstairs, then what sounded like a stampede came rushing down. Gage wrapped me in a hug. "Be a big girl. Don't work so hard that you barf like you did last year."

"Your words of wisdom are invaluable."
It was amazing what happened when you let yourself be open to new things.

I'm not going to lie, I am a sucker for friends who turn into lovers, especially when it comes to the boy next door. What I like about how Kasie's has approached this is that Charlie hasn't been secretly pinning away over Braden, but their romance is something that occurred after these two begin late night chats between their fence.

Kasie's mother died years ago and growing up in a house with three brothers and her dad has left her a perpetual tomboy. She loves sports and all "guy" things and avoids anything "girly." (We're talking stereotypically here, don't start coming after me with pitchforks for not being PC.) It's not until she gets a job in a new age clothing store, and becomes a weekly makeup "model," that she starts to wear more feminine outfits and wearing makeup. Part of me feels bad for Charlie because as she is learning who she is and that she has likes outside of sports, she is hiding the new clothes and makeup from the guys in her life for a variety of reasons. Not that I can blame her, there is one scene where the guys talk about whether the girl whose disc golf frisbee they found is "probably a dog. Some aggressive, burly thing."

Charlie is your typical teenager, trying to navigate through the rough years and figure out who she is while trying to appease those around her. She doesn't want her brothers to mock her for wearing dresses and makeup and she doesn't want her father to be angry about it or feel bad that he cannot do more for her in terms of feminine issues (makeup, relationships, periods, all that good stuff that comes with being a woman). At the same time, Charlie is dealing with night terrors about the night her mother died and her lack of being able to sleep is what brings her outside in the middle of the night, leading to her chats with Braden that serve to deepen the relationship between the two.

Charlie's brothers are just that . . . Charlie's brothers. They're over protective in the way that older brothers are and sometimes treat her as if she is a fragile doll when she is in fact stronger than any of them realize. We do see a lot of interaction between the group, but it's really Gage we get the most from. I wish we got to see more interaction from her two other brothers, but at the same time the, Charlie states that she and Gage are the closest so it makes sense that we see more from him than from Jerom and Nathan.

The romance aspect of On the Fence is cute and innocent. There is the misunderstanding troupe that is found in all books of this nature, but it's a more believable misunderstanding and not one of the "that girl you saw me with was my cousin" type misunderstandings - which always cause me to roll my eyes and wish the characters could just grow up.

Kasie West is one of those authors whose books you can easily read in a day. They're fun, lighthearted, and full of super cute romance. She was able to accomplish this with The Distance Between Us and once again with On the Fence. A perfect summer read for when you're on the beach, by the pool, or just hanging out in the hammock.

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