Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite Covers Of Books I’ve Read

The Broke and The Bookish having given us the topic this week of Top Ten Fourite Covers Of Books I’ve Read. Seen as I did this one last year I’m just going to pick my favourites from the books I have read so far this year. A lot of my reading this year has been re-read so there may be a few the same but there is plenty of new ones too.

    

  • Girl, Defective by Simmone Howell
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Dead Time by Anne Cassidy
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Reached by Ally Condie
  • How Girl Guides Won The War by Janie Hampton
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

    

What Are Your Favourite Book Covers?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Was Also A Fictional Character

After a few weeks of what have been easy topics for me this weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish I found quite difficult. I think because a lot of the male characters I read about are seen from a girls point of view and many are the romantic interest in the books so they are written to be crushed one. However I tried to imagine me as a fictional character with all my interests in a boy and how characters compared to that and I do have a list, just not quite of ten.

  • Xander from Matched by Ally Condie Although I appreciated that Cassia was in love with Ky for me Xander would have been the one I think. There was just something about him and the way he thought that drew me to him and I liked that he had made the decision to be part of the rising before anyone else. He was clever and I like clever boys.
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Edward was my very frist fictional crush. I am quite old fashioned and his traditional views on relationships won me over straight away. Don’t get me wrong he frustrated me too but I saw so much of the guy I fancied at the time in him too that I definatly crushed on him when reading the books and I’m sure would if I was in then.
  • Peeta Melark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins This is a bit of an odd one to admit if I am honest becuase when I read the books I wasn’t convinced who I liked. When he lost his memory however I realised just how much I like his devotion to Katniss and I missed their romance. Its this devotion and his innocence that would make me fall for him if I was a charcter but it also helps his actor in the film it really cute. 
  • Alex from Angel by LA Weatherly Alex is probably the only real bad boy on my list and he isn’t really that of a bad boy. I just enjoyed reading about him when I read the books. I was furious when Seth was introduced because to me Alex is so lovely and the person I think Willow should be with.
  • Mikey from You Against Me by Jenny Downham Mikey is just a really good guy. He wants the best for his sister but also the truth. I think I could easily fall for him.  
  • Adam from Before I Die by Jenny Downahm I am unsure about putting Adam on my list because I think he is partly here because of the gorgeous actor that plays him in the film. However in the books he is also lovely and I feel like we could help each other through this madness of making decision about uni. 

Which Fictional Characters Do You Have A Crush On?

Reached

Book Blurb

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

My Synopsis

In the final part of the Matched trilogy all three of our characters are in someway or another back in the society. Now however they are following new orders. 

Xander has his final work placement. He has been helping the rising by changing the medication given to protect new-borns however people are starting to get sick and he knows this is the sign.

Cassia is working as a sorter but also continuing to trade for information from the boys. The museums are no longer open however and have been walled off as the society tries to hide that more and more people are becoming ill.

Ky is working as a pilot back at base looking forward to seeing Cassia again. This is the moment however The Pilot chooses to start their take over and he finds himself reunited with Indie to take the cure into another province. 

Although they are all doing what they can for the raising and believe that it is right Cassia still hates being separated from Ky and she missed Xander. As the illness begins to brought under control she embraces the new freedom by bringing together words, picture and music. But these as well as her trades bring her to the attention of the Pilot and although she finds herself reunited with both Ky and Xander and other people from her past she realises not everything has gone to plan and there is a lot more still to be done and learn about herself.

Review

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book. The situation they are in and the lack of knowledge about the Rising from the previous books made it difficult for me to predict how this book would turn out and I felt that it was actually resolved in a more peaceful way than I could ever have considered. There was some quite exciting moments throughout the book that kept me reading and I felt that we finally learnt a lot about the people each of our main characters had become as well as the pasts of people important to them. 

Having the three points of view in this story really worked for me. I think that although I agree with the way each book added a new character in it was always a story about all three of them and as this book emphasises more than the others they all had important roles to play in not shaping the future of their society. I found it very easy to like Xander in particular as I think his story was the hardest. He has had the easiest life and yet he couldn’t get the one thing he wanted, Cassia. Yet he still had hope and he believed in her and Ky and the Rising. 

For me there was a lot in this story that talked about the how countries are fun and about power and how it is used, controlled and passed on. All of this was really interesting and of course really important but there was also the continuing theme about culture and creativity. The use of poetry and paintings, the desire to be able to sing and dance and teach everyone in the world to write. These added a new dimension to the story and you really felt that these actions where a powerful expression of the people’s right to choose. 

This has been an enjoyable series to read. As with all dystopian novels it has got me to think about things in our lives now and consider how things could become and the problems with it. Although it was a love story, and this part is resolved in the book what I liked was that with many similar stories the society is left about to begin rebuilding itself and it is the feeling of hope that you are left with when you close the book. 

Matched

Book Blurb

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Synopsis

Cassia has always dreamed that her she might be lucky enough to have her matching banquet on her 16th birthday and when this happens she feels her future is going to be perfect. She is well on the way to becoming a professional sorter and everything else in her life is perfect. When her best friend Xander is announced as her match although at first a little take a back she continues to put her faith in the rules of the society.

When she puts her microchip in to see what is says about Xander however the face that flashes before her is not his. It is of someone else she knows. Ky. 

For Cassia this is a seed of doubt in her mind that is about to grow into many questions about how good her society really is. Slowly but surely things begin to change around her. She can’t keep herself away from Ky and the more time she spends with him the more questions she has. However she is about to see different sides to all the people in her life and how their love for her will help her achiever her new desires.

Review

The society in this book I find very easy to imagine. It has worked out the prime of everything, from putting together couples at the right age to food and exercise and even the perfect life span. As with everything though it too has it’s flaws. Cassia describes in the book that they have a good control over people because they give them just enough freedom to reign people in when they feel least faith in the system and that for most people providing the optimum conditions for living prevents people questioning the rules. The mistakes that leads to Cassia’s lack of faith however begins to show the flaws in their perfect world. 

I like the way the characters are introduced in this book. We are aware of many of them from the start but their stories are slowly dripped in and allow us to appreciate them all as interesting people. They all have their own story and I think these are really important to Cassia because she learns that it is ok to doubt and that she is still loves and surrounded by love. 

This is the second time I have read this book and I am re-reading it so that it is fresh in my head for reading the final book in the series. I’m not sure if I found it as good as the first time I read it but I just enjoyed it and I’m excited to read on.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

All though we have snow on the ground spring is just around the corner and so this weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish is our Top Ten book on my Spring TBR list. This was easy for me because I have a plan for my reading over the next few months. I need to catch up on my Dystopian Challenge Reading so with new book in series around I’m going to be doing some re-reading but I am also trying to catch up on John Green reading as a recently joined Nerdfighteria.

  • Matched, Crossed & Reached by Ally Condie                                                                                         
  • Slated & Fractured by Teri Terry                                                                                                                   
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green                                                                                                             
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green                                                                                       
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan                                                  
  • Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire                                                                                                             
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak                                                                                                                   

What Books Are You Excited About Reading This Spring?

Dystopian Reading Challenge 2013

 

So after not very much consideration I have decided that I am going to challenge my love of Dystopian and take part in Blog of Erised’s Dystopian Reading Challenge 2013. The aim of the challenge is to try and read 24 dystopian novels between 1st January 2013 and 31 December 2013 although there are different levels and badges are gained as you reach each one.

Levels
Level 1Recruit (1 to 6 books)
Level 2Rebel (7 to 12 books)
Level 3Revolutionist (13 to 18 books)
Level 4Leader (19+ books)
I am hoping that I can reach at least REVOLUTIONIST as I have plenty of dystopian books on my to-read list and I am hoping to re-read some of my favourite series as new books and films are released.
As with all challenges there are a few rules set by the host;
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Each month will have its own link form so you will be able to share your book reviews. You do not have to review the books you read to participate, but only those who read/reviewed at least one dystopian book will be able to participate in the giveaway (you can track your reading without the reviews with Goodreads, Shelfari etc.).
  • Books that count in this challenge must include any form of post-apocalyptic theme (book sites like Goodreads are good sources of genre information). The books must be full-length.
  • All formats allowed.
  • Rereads allowed.
  •  It does not matter whether it’s a series or a stand-alone book.
  •  If you are participating, grab the challenge button from below and post it on you blog. You can also make a post with the header (the code is also below). Please include the link back to this post so others will be able to participate as well.
  • If you will participate, put the sign-up link to your blog post (about the challenge) or blog (for the button) directly into the linky below. Sign-ups will be open until December 20, 2013.
  • You do not have to list your books in advance, go and do as you please. Read as many as you want (you can read more than 24!) and whenever you want, as long as you have fun!
  • Info about the giveaway will be available in December 2013.

If you want to join in you can sign up here where you will also find a list of some of the dystopian novels you could read for the challenge.

I can’ t wait to get started on this challenge and I have created a  page  for this challenge where I will put links to the posts of the books I have read as I review them.

So far I have a rough idea of the books I want to get through for the challenge. There are a lot of next books in series coming out and even a few films so I am going to re-read whole series. This means a lot of them so far on my list are re-reads but you can’t beat a great dystopian novel.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  3. Mokingjay by Suzanne Collins
  4. Slated by Teri Terry
  5. Fractured by Teri Terry
  6. Matched by Ally Condie
  7. Crossed By Ally Condie
  8. Reached by Ally Condie
  9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  10. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
  11. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  12. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  13. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  14. Next in Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  15. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  16. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
  17. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
  18. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  19. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden
  20. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
  21. The Program by Suzanne Young
  22. The Declaration by Gemma Malley
  23. The Resistance by Gemma Malley
  24. The Legacy by Gemma Malley

This list covers me for the challenge but I do have other dystopian novels on my to-read list that I may get into instead or as well.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books for People Who Like Noughts & Crosses

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Books for people who like X book. I have chosen Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. The books I am recommending that you may like if you like this ones are not all one that I think are written similarly but other books that I think challenge the way we think about our society just as I think this book does.

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?

In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.

1. Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter

Jade Leigh is a nonconformist who values individuality above all else. She has a small group of like-minded Goth friends who wear black, dabble in the dark arts, and thrive outside the norm. They’re considered the “freaks” of their high school. But when Jade’s smart mouth lands her in trouble—again—her principal decides to teach her a lesson she’ll never forget.

Taken to a remote location where she is strapped down and sedated, Jade wakes up in an alternate universe where she rules the school. But her best friends won’t talk to her, and the people she used to hate are all Goth. Only Clarik, the mysterious new boy in town, operates outside all the cliques. And only Mercedes, the Barbie clone Jade loathes, believes that Jade’s stuck in a virtual reality game—because she’s stuck there, too, now living the life of a “freak.” Together, they realize they might never get back to reality… and that even if they do, things might never be the same

As with Noughts & Crosses this book will make you think about how we judge people on how they look. It is about how we choose to dress at high school though but I think although my of a action book still shows that we should learn about the person not what they look like.

2. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license — for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Is also challenging our societies obsession with looks. It is a world were everyone becomes pretty at 16 so we are all the same. However I think it makes you realise how ubsurd it is that we value looks so much that we put our lives at risk.

3. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Not about looks but still challenging society Forbidden is also a story about unconventional love. Written like Noughts & Crosses the chapters alternate between characters and provide a powerful love story with a strong message and emotional ending.

4. The Hunger Games Triology by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love

Is a story about challenging the government, survival and love. Although in a dystopian society Katniss wants to change the way certain groups are treated just like the groups in Noughts & Crosses and it leads her into a dangerous life.

5. The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.

Children are all but extinct.

The world is a better place.

Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth.

Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status.

Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death

Is about the consequences of discovering the secret to living forever. This is something that a lot of people want and we are already living for longer but this book shows what happens when there are too many people and it is children that are deemed the problem.

6. Bumped by Megan McCafferty

In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, 16-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

Will make you see teen pregnancy in a whole new light. In a society where adults pay teenagers to get pregnant for them love is compromised and the main characters are fighting to be able to be who they want to be not just a womb for rental.

 

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picout

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged…until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. 

Tells the story of a family when one daughter sues her parents to stop having to help her dying sister. Also written like Noughts & Crosses with alternating chapters it has a similar ability to capture your emotions and will also make you think about how we will do anything for our children.

8. Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

Like Noughts & Crosses is about going against what is expected to be right and falling in love with someone you are not suppose to. When the government decides everything about your life including who you will spend the rest of your life with it your whole life can be turned upside down due to what appears to be a simple technical error that leads to real feelings.

9. Slated by Teri Terry

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

This book provides a dramatic solution to dealing with criminals in society. What at first might seem like an appealing solution to a problem we are having to deal with this book provides the dangers that could occur. It includes like Malorie Blackmans book a ‘terrorist’  group that disagree with how society if being disciplined and the impact that has on our main characters life could be just as dangerous as it was to Callum’s.

10. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Later that day, only two of them came back. Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago, though it’s still hard for her to believe it. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life—she has a job, friends, and a boyfriend whom she adores. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad… and it’s about to rip her new life apart.

Will make you think about how you would feel if you were in the position of having to start your life again as someone new. It will make you decide if you think people who commit very dangerous crimes should be given a second chance, particularly if they offended as children. It is again looking at dealing with crime in society but unlike Callum JJ has a chance to live and prove she can be a useful member of society again.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books In The Dystopian Genre

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Books of ‘x’ genre. I have decided to go for Dystopian. This may be a popular one but it is the books I have been reading most of recently and I do really really enjoy them. For a change I am also going to put these in order of my favourite first too.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth I have already blogged about this book on my page, however in a brief summary, it is a society of 5 factions and one girls choice of which to belong to. I really enjoyed this book, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it was interesting from the start and not like others I had read. 

2,3. Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie This series is still in progress and I can’t wait for the third one. In these books, the heads of society control everything about it’s member lives however an experiment leads to the main character feeling uneasy about how they live and causes problems for everyone involved. 

4,5,6. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins This is another unusual idea, where the members of society are split into 12 districts and two tributes a year a expected to fight one another to the death to remind them of the power of the capital. In these books however things don’t go to plan and it makes for an exciting trilogy.

7. Bumped by Megan McCafferty This is the most like our lives. However there is a virus that prevents adults (18+) from becoming pregnant. As a result people pay teenagers to have children for them. There are two main characters in this story, and when their lives come together everything begins to go pair shaped for them both. 

8. Ugliest by Scott Westerfield This book started off my liking of this type of series of books. I have only read this one, out of the four but I am about to read them all. The story finds us in a world where children are kept together as ‘uglies’ until they are old enough to be made pretty and go out into the real world. It is something the main character has never been happy with and when a new girl come to her dorm her live turns around. 

9. The Declaration by Gemma Malley This was another book of this genre I read early on. I liked the idea of it, however it is my least favourite of the genre. I haven’t read the second one yet but this one as many of the other see’s the main characters life turned abound when a new person arrives in her life. People are not allowed to have children in this society, as they have worked out how to live for a very long time, so children that are born are taken away to live in boarding school type places and learn to be useful, 

I know this is only 9 but I am still reading books from this genre. I am about to read the rest of the Scott Westerfield books, I will probably read the next two books in The Declaration series ( The Resistance and The Legacy)  and I would also like to read Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. So I guess having this Top Ten unfinished is just a sign that there are still books to read and that may fit in this list.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Front Covers

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish (http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/p/features.html) is Top Ten Front covers. They are in no particularly order but I have given some, if poor, reason as to why I like them. ( P.S. I never did last weeks Top Ten as I found it too difficult in to short notice)

1.  Twilight I am ashamed to say that the reason I bought Twilight was because I liked the cover. So for that reason it has to be on here. 

2,3,4,5    The Saga of Darren Shan (trilogies) I like the way that the land on the trilogies joins us, but I also enjoyed speculating who the character in the front was. I guess it is meant to be Darren but it could easily be Mr Crepsly or Des Tiny ??

6,7  Matched and Crossed I love how these covers portray the overall idea of the story. They are very pretty but also symbolic. I hope the third one keeps to the same theme. 

  Switched I read this book before it was published as a paper book and it was the first of those covers it came with, however I love the new cover now she has them out in shops. I don’t know if this should count as two but it’s the same book so tough.

 Forbidden I love this cover, it is so simple but shows just how complicated love can be, it is both strong and dangerous.

10  Private Peaceful I think this cover very respectful portrays that the story is about war without putting of the younger readers it is aimed at. It isn’t the cover on the copy I read but I find this one far nicer.