Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

The topic this week from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition. I found this quite a difficult topic as I wasn’t sure what counted as an author being recognised however I have just gone for the authors I think should be talked about more online as a couple have received awards.

  • Simmone Howell
  • Sophie McKenzie
  • Jenny Downham
  • Catherine MacPhail
  • Tabitha Suzuma 
  • Amanda Hocking 
  • Gena Showalter
  • Cat Patrick 
  • Michael Morpurgo
  • Jamie McGuire

Which Author Do You Feel Deserve More Recognition?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books With Tough Subjects

This week our topic from The Broke and The Bookish is perfect for me. Top Ten Books With Tough Subjects. I could’t pick just 10 however so I’ve picked 11 topics and shared some worthwhile reads about them as books about tough subjects are ones that I tend to go for. It’s not so much that I like them, in some cases the topic isn’t something you can enjoy reading about, it’s more that I find them interesting. That might sound odd and maybe even horrible to some people but for me I guess it’s partly about knowing that things could always be worse but more allowing myself not to be desensitized by issue that are always in the news and really understand the pain that people are feeling right now and hoping they can get help.

Self-Harm

  • Red Teas by Joanna Kenrick

Incest

  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  • Flowers in the Attic by Virgina Andrews

Death/Suicide

  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • If I stay by Gayle Formam

Illness

  • Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  • My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The puzzle Master be Heather Spiva

Teenage Pregnancy

  • Roxy’s Baby by Catherine MacPhail

Racism

  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Drugs

  • Junk by Melvin Burgees

War/Genocide

  • Malka by Mirjam Pressler
  • Before We Say Goodbye by Gabrielle Ambrossio
  • Between Shade of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
  • Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hannah Jansen

Loosing a family member

  • Many Stones by Carolyn Coman
  • The Shack by Wm Paul Young

Bullying

  • Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

Criminal Past

  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Rewind – Top Ten Movie Adaptations

This week I have picked from The Broke and The Bookish rewind list Top Ten Movie Adaptations. However I am not going to write the normal top ten layout I am going to share me favourite and worst adaptations and the couple that sit on the fence.

Favourite Adaptations – For me these are the adaptations that I think kepp well to the books of in the case of the last two are even better than the books.

  • Now is Good 
  • The Chronicles of  Narnia 
  • The Hunger Games 
  • The Hobbit 
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 

Worst Adaptation – For different reasons these are bad adaptations. The first is mostly due to bad actors, the second is because they put too much of the rest of the series in and the last because the completely changed the ending. Although I did still cry the first time I saw it.

  • Twilight 
  • Cirque Du Freak – The Vampires Assistant 
  • My Sister’s Keeper 

Adaptations on the Fence – These films are ones that I do actually really enjoy however they do waver from the book so I can’t say they are my favourite.

  • Harry Potter Series 
  • The Wizard of Oz 

What Are Your Favourite And Worst Movie Adaptations?

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?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite Characters In X Genre

This week from The Broke and The Bookish we have to pick a genre of our choice and share out favourite characters in that genre. I’m not very good with genre specific topics because I don’t usually pay attention to them but for this I am just going for Young Adult Fiction.

Travis from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Mikey from You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Gem from Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell

Cammie from Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Riley from Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell

Grace from Entangled by Cat Clarke

Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth

Mara Valentine from Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler

Bree Tanner from The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Theo from Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie

Who Are Your Favourite Characters?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite Romances

 With Valentines day just a couple of days away The Broke and The Bookish have given us a love themed topic for this weeks list. Our Top Ten Favourite Romances.

  • Bella and Edward – Twilight Saga 
  • Tris and Four – Divergent Trilogy
  • Willow and Alex – Angel Trilogy
  • Lena and Alex – Delirium Trilogy
  • Elizabeth and Darcy – Pride and Prejudice
  • Abby and Travis – Beautiful Disaster
  • Maya and Lochan – Forbidden
  • Cammie and Zack – Gallagher Girls Series
  • Mickey and Ellie – You Against Me
  • Kate and Taylor – My Sister’s Keeper

Who Are Your Favourite Romances?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Best Bookish Memories

 The Broke and The Bookish have given us another really good topic this week, out Top Ten Best Bookish Memories. This is  a really interesting topic because there are certainly a few things to consider. I’m including writing courses, festivals, visits and cinema trips in my list too because for me they are still bookish.

  • Arvon Writing Course at Moniack Mhor – When I was in my first year of high I went for a 4 day writing course in a cottage in the middle of nowhere and spent the week writing with teen author Catherine MacPhail and poet Gerry Cambridge. It was great fun and learnt a lot about writing but it also rekindled my love for reading. 
  • Dad reading to me when I was little – I have really fond memories of my dad reading to me when I was very young. My favourite was The Owl and The Pussycat which he knew off by heart and made some great voices to go along with it.
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival – I have been going to this for quite a few years now and I love it. We started going as school trips with the English department and got to see authors such as Catherine MacPahil, Elizabeth Laird, Catherine Forde and Kevin Brooks. However since then I have continued to go with my friends to see Darren Shan and LA Weatherly. It’s so cool to actually see the authors and talk to them about their books as well as getting your them signed.
  • Getting Breaking Dawn – It looks really sad when you see that but this was the first series of books I ever completed. I was the first one of my friends to read them and so I had to wait on each book getting published so as I loved the books I couldn’t wait to find out how it all ended. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this one coming because he pre-ordered it and it came the day I was going to the Edinburgh book festival and I had to start it and then leave it while I went out, it was torture. However once I got back home I stayed up all night to read it.
  • Going to see the Twilight Movie (Twice) – This sounds just as sad as the last one but my friends and I were pretty excited about the film coming out. (It was before I realised how awful book movies are). It came out on the last day of school before Christmas so we all went after lunch and took our copies of the book with us. We all agreed that it wasn’t nearly as good as the book but that didn’t stop us going straight back in to see it again after. It’s an afternoon I wont forget.
  • Fife Book Festival –  A few years ago Fife had it’s on book festival and as members of the library book club I got to take part. It was a really fun afternoon where we dressed up as characters from books to go on a wee parade, listen to authors talk about their books and meet some cool animals. It’s not really bookish but one of the best bits was getting a free shot of the Aquaballs as we were staff.
  • Anne Frank House – Going to see the Anne Frank House was really something memorable. Reading her diary is really powerful but it was hard for me to really imagine the space they had. I found it really interesting going to see the building and I read an information book about it before I went so I really got to just imagine how small it must have been for them.
  • Seeing Now is Good – I know that in most cases they books are better than the films, and of course the book Before I Die is still better than the film but I did find this a very good film. I thought they stuck to the story really well and it brought about the same emotions for me, which my poor boyfriend had to deal with as I totally broke down in tears at the end of it.
  • Seeing Great Expectation’s performed at Adam Smith Theatre – This one is a bit cheeky because it isn’t really the re-telling of Great Expectations that makes it memorable. It was a school trip we went on and for me it’s a good memory as it was the first time I really paid attention to the boy I am now dating.
  • Loosing my copy of The BFG – This isn’t a happy memory but it is something that sticks very much in my mind. When I was about 7 we went on holiday and I left my copy of The BFG on top of the pull out bunks in our hotel room. When we went back before we left however it had gone. We have still no idea what happened to it, if it fell down somewhere or the cleaners took it but mum had to buy me a new one on the way home. I’ll always remember it.

It’s weird thinking about all these things again, but it makes me smile. 🙂

What Are Your Best Bookish Memories?

Now Is Good the film of Before I Die

When I seen the advert for this film I had a suspicion it would be based on a book but was surprised when I found out it was based on one Jenny Downham’s books, Before I Die.

Making films of books is always a risky business and at first I was mostly just annoyed they had changed the name. However having read the book I had to go and see the film.

My conclusion? I loved it !

The film was beautiful and I will admit I cried my heart out at the end. The best thing about it though was that I felt that it kept to the book very well. The casting was done well and the acting brought to story to life making it believable. The plot followed that of the book and I could match up the scenes with the chapters. I think most people will be happy with the interpretation.

Going on a Sunday night meant there was only 4 of us in the screening and the after the other woman there was speaking to us and made a great point about how unlike a lot of American films that are about being a show with famous actors and eccentric clothing British films are very down to earth and more like real life. I think that is what makes this such a good film. You can imagine it as if it was almost a documentary and it was that which touched my heart.

If you have read this book I would suggest you see the film. Please come and tell me if you agree with me about it. If you haven’t read it then GO READ IT! and then go see the film.

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. 

Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

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.

The Fault In Our Stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Hazel has a unique outlook on life. She wants to hurt as few people as possible when she comes to her inevitable end but her parents want her to get out and live. When she meets Augustus she begins to do just that. He too has his own philosophy on life too, he likes metaphors and he to start with isn’t quite as ill as Hazel. As the two become closer they try to for fill a dream to find out the end of what becomes both their favourite books and although Hazel wanted not to they fall in love. Of course it is also about dealing with a death they know is coming too soon and how in the end you can make your life worth something.

I think that this book is about life. About how we deal with what it gives us and what we really should be getting out of it. There are a lot of really good quotes throughout this book that make you think and question both how you feel and possibly how you think about seeing sick people. Although I think this is a really good book about life and dealing with illness and although I wouldn’t put it above similar stories such as ‘Before I Die by Jenny Downham’ it is of equal quality.