Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature from The Broke and The Bookish that allows us to write a list each week on a topic they have set. This week it’s our Top Ten Most Anticipated Book for 2013.

1. Angel Fever by LA Weatherly When I went to see her at the book festival she said the book would be out early next year but amazon says November. Hopefully its before then.

2. Fracture by Teri Terry Due 4th April 

3. Requiem by Lauren Oliver Due 5th March 

4. Next Divergent Book by Veronica Roth Due 26th September

5. Rumoured; Gallagher Girl’s Book 6 by Ally Carter

6. Pivot Point by Kasie West Due 12th February

7. Hidden by Marianne Curley Due March

8. The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson Due 12th February 

9. Imposter by Suzanne Winnacker Due 11th July

10. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire Due 16th April

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten ‘Older’ Books You Don’t Want People To Forget

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten ‘Older’ Books You Don’t Want People To Forget. They definition of ‘Old’ was left up to us so I have gone for the books that I loved reading when I first started read as a kid and think kids might miss out on in the future. These are the modern covers of the Ladybird publishers Favourite Tales so hopefully that means they won’t get forgotten in the future but these are my ten favourites from when I was little and I hope kids get to read.

  

  

  

Banned Books Week 2012

Since joining the world of book blogging I have discovered many interesting things however I think this is the most interesting so far. The 30th September saw the start of the 30th Banned Books Week. This is  an annual event in America sponsored by the American Library Association and highlights the value of free access to information. Bringing together people from all area’s of the book community the week shows how people are trying to prevent censorship and the harm preventing access causes. The week celebrates however that although many books are challenged they are often still available for reading and for two years now the event includes a Virtual-Read-Out where people can post pictures of themselves reading challenged books. This year for the 30th Anniversary they are also holding a 50 State Salute to Banned Books and videos are going to be uploaded to show how each state is celebrating their right to read.

It is surprising to hear that still in 2011 326 books were challenged. The top ten of these were;

  • The Internet Girls Series by Lauren Myracl

Reasons Banned: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Color Trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa 

Reasons Banned: sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins 

Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

  • My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy  by Dori Hillestad Butler

Reasons Banned: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

  • Alice Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Reasons Banned: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

  • Gossip Girl Series by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Reasons Banned: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism

Some of the most popular from other years include;

  • The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers
  • The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult 

I just find it mad to think some of my favourite books of the past few years have been consider unsuitable.

For more information check out http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned or http://bannedbooksweek.org/

Alone On A Wide Wide Sea

When orphaned Arthur Hobhouse is shipped to Australia after World War II he loses his sister, his country and everything he knows. The coming years will test him to his limits, as he endures mistreatment, neglect and forced labour in the Australian outback. But Arthur is also saved, again and again, by his love of the sea. And when he meets a nurse whose father owns a boat-building business, all the pieces of his broken life come together.
Now, at the end of his life, Arthur has built a special boat for his daughter Allie, whose love of the sea is as strong and as vital as her father’s. Now Allie has a boat that will take her to England solo, across the world’s roughest seas, in search of her father’s long-lost sister. Will the threads of Arthur’s life finally come together?

A lovely story about life and hope.

Arthur isn’t entirely convinced that he hasn’t made up the memory of his sister, but with a key round his neck he has hope. When he makes best-friends with another boy on the boat to Australia the pair find themselves on a bus full of boys driving through a new world full of wonder. Where they end up however turns out to be more of a hell. The boys help each other through though and as time passes their anger grows enough to give them the courage to do something about it.

Where they end up finally allows Arthur to feel like he belongs but the troubles of his life aren’t over yet. It will take a lot more battering for him to finally give up on himself and lead him to the woman who will save him. Giving him a life he loves with a wife and a daughter and a promise to find out if Kitty exists.

Arthur’s story however is unfinished. Does his sister Kitty exist. Daughter Allie wants to know and she is willing to go around the world to find out. Putting herself through a physical and emotional journey she sets off for England hoping to answer the question of what her father’s key opens.

I bought this book a long time ago and I would say it is aimed at people around 9 -13. Despite of this I am so glad I have finally read it. It has turned out to be a lovely book. With well written characters and a plot full of hope and loss I enjoyed every minute of it. Michael Morpurgo was one of my favourite authors when I was younger and yet again he has delivered.

The Da Vinci Code

Harvard professor Robert Langton, visiting Paris, is called in when the curator of the Louvre is murdered. Alongside the body is a series of baffling codes. Langton and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, are amazed to find a trail that leads to the works of Da Vinci – and beyond.

I’m not going to say too much about this book as I think the plot line is pretty well known.

Mostly I am just excited to have finally finished the book. Having first attempted to read it what must be 2006 I have since tried to read it a few times and never made it past chapter 5. I started reading it again probably a year ago now and I did actually enjoy it. With its short chapters and racing plot I found it easy to keep going and wanted to find out what was happening. However I kind of hit a wall with it. I think because it is so long and having seen the film knowing what was roughly going to happen I got to the stage where I just wanted to be done with it.

Having been abandoned for a while I finally picked it back up last weekend and can now finally say I have finished it.

Sugarcoated

Cloddy is stuck in her dad’s optician’s shop working for little to nothing every Saturday, bored out of her brain in the middle of Greenwood Shopping Center—or Deadsville as she prefers to call it. One Saturday she closes the shop to get some peace and quiet to eat her lunch, but as she’s picking at her food, a trio of youths skulk out of Gluehead Alley down the side of her dad’s shop. Out of nowhere a massive hand gushing blood is splayed across the window of the shop. And then a head is thumped against the window. Neither the victim nor attackers see Cloddy, but she sees everything. Afraid for her life, she decides not to tell anyone what she’s seen. Who wants to think about such things anyway when there’s gorgeous Stefan to think about? Stefan who is cool and charming and has plenty of cash. Stefan who has come out of nowhere and sweeps her off her feet. Stefan who wouldn’t normally look at a girl like Cloddy, let alone make her his girlfriend. At her most vulnerable time he’ll look after her—or will he?

After witnessing terrible violence Clod just wants to forget. As far as she is concerned she has seen nothing and that it the story she is sticking to. Lucky for her she is about to meet a good-looking stranger in the news agents who shares her love for minstrels. At first the mysterious Stefan is Clod’s dream heart-throb, her first date with a fancy meal and champagne. She is able to avoid the police and their questions and although it seems strange that Stefan has a posh apartment Clod convinces herself she is just lucky.

However, things aren’t quite right and they are about to get even more mysterious. When a trip to the shops not only raises questions about Stefan’s identity but turns violent and a trip to the dentist causes even more confusion Clod finally starts listening to her doubts. But is it too late?

This book is defiantly for younger teens. I have only read one other book by Catherine Forde and I found that just plain strange. I didn’t find this as bizarre but I didn’t find it gripping and interesting either. Although I appreciated the fact that she tried to make the character someone you could relate with I just found the descriptions a little unrealistic. For younger teenagers this may be a good book if they are interested in books where there is mystery and suspense but for me it was just OK.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. 

I think the blurb of this book sums it up quite well really. Charlie makes friends at school who are older than him and he learns a lot from them. He also becomes very close to his English teacher who gives him extra books to do and reports to write on them. He however isn’t a normal boy and he is still dealing with a loss in his family that has continued to effect him more than everyone knows.

The book is written as a series of letters to an unknown ‘friend’. This is a style I like as I find it easy to read. Although I enjoyed this book I feel a little bit underwhelmed by it. There wasn’t a major incident in it and it just felt a little bit ‘meh’. Maybe I have missed the point a bit and it is a really good English book but I never liked English at school. Overall I’m glad I read the book and I think I will go and see the film.

‘An untitled poem from an unknown author’ from The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Once on a yellow piece or paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Chops’
because that was the name of his dog
And that’t what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door 
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of Xs
and he had to ask his father what the Xs meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And it was called ‘Autumn’
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of the new paint
And the kids told him 
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got classes 
with thick lenses and black frames 
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Clause
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end 
of the Apostle’s Creed went 
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kiss
or even talked
And the girl around the corner 
wore too much make-up
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag 
he tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
because that’s what it was really all about 
And he gave himself an A
and a s;ash on each damned wrist 
And he hung it on the bathroom door 
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books That Make You Think

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Books That Make You Think. They have suggested books that make you think about the world or people or life. I think my list has books that cover all those area’s although I think most books have some element that makes you think.

1. 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.

For me this is the most contreversial book I have ever read. Put bluntly it is about incest. Although I don’t like to put my Top Ten Books in an order this is my number one this book because it  is an issue people I have discussed this book with feel very strongly about and I really feel that reading this book will make you reconsider you feelings towards it. 

2. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

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?

I love this book! Although great changes are occurring we still live in a world where white people are dominant. What makes this book so good is that in a world where black people have all the power we are made to question how we would feel if we were in that position and as a result how people are really feeling right now. I think  Blackman’s idea to change what we see going on is what makes this book so powerful and I hope it makes people think as much as it makes me. 

3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

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. 

This book I think raises several issues that will make you think. Should you be allowed to have a genetically engineered child to help its sibling? Can you put one child through hell to save another? Should a young teenager have rights of their own body? This book I imagine must make parents think the most as in essence it is almost like having a favourite child. 

4. 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.

This book challenges our growing obsession with our looks. What would the price really be if we were all pretty? and is it worth it so that we can all feel equal? Personally I don’t think it would be that simple and I don’t think it is worth risking our health for our looks. 

5.You Against Me by Jenny Downham

If someone hurts your sister and you’re any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother’s been accused of a terrible crime and you’re the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn’t that what families do? When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie’s brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn’t do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It’s a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it’s a book about love – for one’s family and for another

Does loyalty to your family come before love? On You Against Me we have too characters who’s siblings have had more than a large fall out. When they meet they are unaware of who each other is and fall for each other however when they realise who each other is they are caught between how they feel about each other and their families. This books make you think about loyalty. If someone in your family gets into trouble should you have to suffer to? 

6. Red Tears by Joanna Kenrick

Emily Bowyer is a normal, confident teenager. But beneath the surface she has a wretched secret. Because, for Emily, life isn’t as much fun as it would appear. Her friends are going off her and her parents only seem to care about her troubled brother. Tension, pressure, anxiety, anger and self-hatred – where does it go when no one will listen?

Red Tears deals with depression and self-harm. When I read this book self-harm was very openly going on in my school and I think this book does give some insight into why teenagers feel they need to turn to drastic actions. For me the book was very powerful but I think it will make everyone that reads it think. 

7. Roxy’s Baby by Catherine MacPhail

Roxy was shaking with fear. She drew in a deep breath. She would not let her fear take over. She couldn’t. She had too much to lose. She had to be strong, to be brave. For once in her life she had to think of someone other than herself. Roxy is wild, uncontrollable. She hates her parents – and her goody-two-shoes sister. Her only solace is her equally wild friends, Pat, Tracey and Jacqueline. Then there is the night of the party, where she lets that boy kiss her, and more …and Roxy is pregnant. Wilfully, she won’t tell her mother, her family. She decides to run away to London. And in London Roxy is found by Mr and Mrs Dyce. They are understanding, sympathetic, and promise her a way out of her troubles. They will take her to a comfortable place, along with other girls in the same position and look after her and her baby – which is exactly what happens. Roxy cannot believe her luck. But Roxy eventually works out the dark truth of the outwardly genial Dyces. 

When a young teenager gets pregnant what should she do? Teenage pregnancy is becoming more and more common. I read this book many years ago when the issue wasn’t so prominent and I think it shows how easily girls can get into trouble if they feel they have no support no matter what happens to them. It will also make you think about being careful trusting people just because they seem older, friendly and helpful.

8. 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.

Should you be allowed to have a new live after being convicted of a violent crime? If you were a child and it was an accident shouldn’t you be allowed a second chance? You still have to live with what you have done and trying to be someone else is not an easy way to live. JJ’s story will allow you to consider these questions with a new perspective in your mind. 

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?

Also about giving criminals a second chance, Slated is a world where criminals have their memories wiped. However could it be that easy? Is this a solution we could seriously consider for our future? 

10 The Shack by Wm Paul Young

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his “Great Sadness,” Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

The Shack is a story about finding God. Who exactly is this figure? and how can we deal with the most terrible thing that could happen to us?  This isn’t your traditional image of God and it will make you consider the many possibilities for God.