A Note of Madness

Life as a student is good for Flynn. As one of the top pianists at the Royal College of Music, he has been put forward for an important concert, the opportunity of a lifetime. But beneath the surface, things are changing. On a good day he feels full of energy and life, but on a bad day being alive is worse than being dead. Sometimes he wants to compose and practice all night, at other times he can’t get out of bed. With the pressure of the forthcoming concert and the growing concern of his family and friends, emotions come to a head. Sometimes things can only get worse before they get better.

This was a powerful book, made more powerful but its uncomplicated writing. It did take me a little while to get started with this book but once I did it was very easy to read. For me this is important to the story because it shows how easily mental illness can become part of you life. Flynn was a perfectly happy and normal student who was hit out of nowhere with Bipolar. He goes from manic highs to immobilizing lows and his descriptions allow you to feel the emotional journey and how sudden it is. He tries really hard to continue his normal life as a music student and to socialize with his friends but all becomes to much. He is a really good pianist ask to perform at a the Royal Albert Hall but music becomes his obsession. Romance is out of the question for him as he cannot see himself as worthwhile and friendships break down around him. It isn’t a book with a massive plot and and a fast pace though, but that isn’t the point of the story. I think the message here is about mental illness and everyday life. how it really effects people and how we might be able to recognize it and help.  

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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?

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 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?

Friday Finds 14/12

Friday Find is a meme I found through Should Be Reading. It is a weekly post where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week. These can be books you were told about,  discovered while browsing online or you bought.

I may have gotten a bit carried away this week with adding new books to my to-read list. Between last weeks Friday Finds and Monday I had already added 11 book. Here are this weeks finds;

           

  • Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse
  • Lady of the Shades by Darren Shan
  • Torn by David Massey
  • Girls, Stolen by April Henry
  • The Watch That Ends The Night by Allan Wolf
  • Trackman by Catriona Child
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • By The Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
  • Cut by Patricia McCormick
  • Willow by Julia Hoban
  • Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma
  • The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Sister’s Grimm #1) by Michael Buckley
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What Books Have You Discovered This Week?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books/Authors I’m Thankful For

This week the lovely people of at The Broke and The Bookish have given us the topic of Top Ten Books/Authors I’m Thankful For. This wasn’t the easiest of topics I think. Mostly because I didn’t want to repeat all my favourite books that I have posted about so much already. So I have decided just to go for authors that I think have influenced my reading in various ways.

The Author that got me into reading

1. Roald Dahl. Although I have memories of reading before this it is his books that I remember being the first books that I really read on my own. We read them a lot at school and they were so good I always wanted to read them myself. 

Author Of My Pre-Teen Years

2. Michael Morpurgo Like Roald Dhal Michael Morpurgo was another author my teachers introduced me too and I got addicted to. I read quite a few of his books and I think enjoyed them all. 

Author Of My Early Teen Years

3. Catherine MacPahil Once I got to High school I moved on to Catherine MacPhail books. In my first year I went on a writing course with her and that was me hooked. I looked how her books seemed so much more grown up to me and they were always an interesting topic as well as a good read.

 Author Of  My First Adult Novels

4. Jodi Picoult I picked up my first Jodi Picoult book because one of the main characters had the same name as me and luckily for me it was also an amazing book. After this I felt more able to start reading adult books so that’s why she is on my list. 

 Authors That Got Me Into Reading Series 

5. Stephenie Meyer The Twilight series was the first series of books that I ever finished and my reading habbits have been totally changed ever since. 

6. Darren Shan I read his vampire series along side the Twilight series as I had to wait on Twilight books coming out while I think this series was finished or just about to be. I feel Darren Shan plays just as important a part for me becoming a series lover.

 Authors That Changed The Style Of Books I Read

7. Eleanor Updale I read her Montmorency series about a criminal who becomes a gentlemen to hide his crimes when I was just starting high school and it was the first time I had read anything like this. I tended to read more girly books and ones set in the present so this was a total change. 

8. Sophie McKenzie Once I got a bit older I started reading Sophie McKenzie. I read two of her series, one starting with Girl, Missing and the other Blood Ties and I was surprised to find that even though it was more action I really enjoyed it. I think she opened up my mind to more action based books and possibly the start of my love for dystopian. 

Authors Whose Writing Makes Me Think 

9. Malorie Blackman When I read her Noughts & Crosses series my mind was totally blown. I think it was the first time a book had made me really look at our society and I love her for that.

10. Tabitha Suzuma Although I have only read two of her books so far there are more on my to be read list because the topics of her work are always controversial. I love that she picks such interesting topics that really make you think about a variety of different things in life.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island

This weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island. This is both a really good and bad topic and there are some great books I would love to take but how to cut them down to only ten!. Here are my choices.

1. The Cay by Theodore Taylor This book is about getting stranded on an island so it would be helpful as well as a good read.

Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curacao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand — until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed.When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”

2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling I know there are 7 so this is a little be of a cheat answer by a bit of magic to get away from it all would be great.

Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The mainstory arc concerns Harry’s quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aims are to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter.

3. The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Edward Lear This is my favourite book from when I was little and I would love to have it with me.

Edward Lear’s nonsense poem about two unlikely sweethearts–an elegant owl and a beautiful cat

4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire My favourite book of 2012 and maybe ever…

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer I just love this books

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

6. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma An amazing book to pass a day

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.

7. Holes by Louis Sachar Another good books that may be useful

Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: “if you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn’t think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb–a mountain so entwined in Stanley’s own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.

8. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian Yet another childhood favourite I would love to have to pass time

The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

9. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank To remind me to have hope and it could be much worse

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

10. Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking Another cheat but I enjoy this trilogy 

Seventeen-year-old Wendy Everly has always been different, but she never thought she was more than human. However, when she’s thrown into a world unlike any she’s ever imagined, Wendy must uncover her heritage, tap into her powers, and fight against those who want to use her gifts for evil. Enter a world of magic, mystery, and romance in Amanda Hocking’s bestselling young adult series that takes readers to Trylle, a world as beautiful as it is deadly. Torn between worlds, Wendy must decide who she really is and what she wants, between love and duty, in a struggle for her very survival.

The Booker Award!

This post is a little late but on Friday I was nominated for The Booker Award by Alice at Aliceinreaderland.

I love the tag line of this award, ‘for those who refuse to live in the real world’. I think it reading definitely allows us to explore far more worlds. Thank you to Alice for nominating me for this award 🙂

Now comes my part in the process. The requirements of the award are to post up a list of;

  • your 5 favourite books
  • what you are currently reading
  • and 5 blogs you would like to nominate for the award

So for my top 5 books

  1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

  2. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  3. Fordidden by Tabitha Suzuma

  4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

  5. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Currently Reading

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected – and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn’t by Lena – and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

My 5 Nominations 

Should Be Reading

The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh

The Cheap Reader 

The Picture Book Review

The Bookshelf Of Emily J

What would you’re answers be?

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.

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.