Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Okay, so, this is a really hard topic for me. I tend to spend most of my time dying over authors inside my own head, so I don’t really know who’s getting a lot of recognition and who’s not. So … this list is my attempt to help boost some signals without knowing exactly what I’m doing. :P Some authors I like because of deep reasons, others are debuts I want to raise a glass to, etc. This list is in no particular order.

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Top Ten Bookish People I Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Once upon a time, I would have thought this subject would be really easy. But then I met Tamora Pierce, Cathrynne Valente, Kij Johnson and John Joseph Adams. And then I met Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare. Oh no, wait. This is still a really easy list because there are SO MANY AMAZING AUTHORS OUT THERE.

1. Rachel Hawkins

Do you guys follow her on Twitter at @LadyHawkins? Because if you don’t and you have a Twitter, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. There are few Twitter accounts that I actually search for updates on, and this is one of them.

2. Jodi Meadows

I’ve had far more Twitter conversations with this woman then I’d ever dreamed possible (YAY TWITTER), and now I would LOVE to meet her in person. She is clearly super awesome.

3. Courtney Allison Moulton

Another author I’ve been able to talk to on Twitter and have decided is supremely awesome. Also, writes kickass heriones. These two things combined makes for a very happy Gretchen (who talks about herself in the third person…?).

4. Richelle Mead

Her Vampire Academy books and Bloodlines books make me SWOON AND DIE. I love those books with a fiery, fiery passion and I would ADORE a chance to squeal about Adrian and Dimitri with her for just five seconds.

5. Sarah J. Maas

Though I’ve never spoken to her on Twitter, I stalk her mercilessly. (Really, Twitter is just a stalking tool.) She seems really awesome, and also writes AWESOME AMAZING BOOKS. Clearly she’s a winner.

6. Nina Berry

Not only did she write an AMAZING book called Otherkin, but we’ve also chatted on Twitter several times. More than that, she’s been a huge friend in retweeting several of my messages about my blog, which I’ve never been able to thank her properly for. I’d love to be able to do that in person.

7. Julie Kagawa

It’s Julie Kagawa. I fail to see why I must explain this to you.

8. Stephanie Perkins

Have you ever looked at her author picture? Followed her Twitter? Then you’ll understand how Stephanie seems like the kind of person I refuse to live without seeing at least once.

9. Katie McGarry

I want just five seconds to blubber about how much Pushing the Limits pushed my emotions. And I mean literally blubber, because OHMYGOD THAT BOOK.

10. Kat Zhang

What’s Left of Me was a SUPER FANTASTIC BOOK, and I would die for a chance to pick Kat’s brain about what it was like to write multiple people in the same bodies because OHMYGOD was that amazingly done.

Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish

Does anyone else here have an addiction to Goodreads quotes? Because I do. This is going to be the HARDEST thing, only picking 10. Well, let’s diver right in, shall we?

1. “You didn’t kill him. He would have killed you, but you didn’t kill him.” / “So? He was stupid. If I killed everyone who was stupid, I wouldn’t have time to sleep.” – Tamora Pierce, In the Hand of the Goddess

2. “Someday I must read this scholar Everyone. He seems to have written so much–all of it wrong.” – Tamora Pierce, Emperor Mage

3. “…at the time, King Herbert felt that to remain safe, the kingdom needed an effective intelligence force.” / “An intelligent force?” said Will. / “Not intelligent. Intelligence. Although it does help if your intelligence force was also intelligent.” ― John Flanagan, The Ruins of Gorlan

4. “Girl Scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys.” – Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

5. “Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?” / Jace said, “unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself.” / “At least,” she said, “you don’t have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland.” / “Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.” – Cassandra Clare City of Bones

6. “Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.” / “I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.” – Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

7. “It just seems like overkill when you already have a dagger and I have superpowerful magic at my disposal.” / “Superpowerful?” He stood up, a gold chain dangling from his fingers. “Let me remind you of two words, Mercer: Bad. Dog.” – Rachel Hawkins, Demonglass

8. “Names are just words. I know that. But learning that the last name I’d used all my life was fake… “So what should I call myself, then?” I asked. “Sophie Atherton? Sophie Brannick?” Both sounded weird and made me feel like I was wearing clothes that didn’t fit. Mom smiled and brushed my hair away from my face. “You can call yourself whatever you want.” / “Okay. Sophie Awesome Sparkle-Princess it is.” ― Rachel Hawkins, Spell Bound

9. “Just because something isn’t practical doesn’t mean it’s not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.” – Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door

10. “Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his heavenly beings.” Mom gave a startled laugh. “Sophie!” / “What? You did. I hope you like hot weather, Mom, that’s all I’m saying.” – Rachel Hawkins, Hex Hall

There are SO MANY MORE, but this is just a random pickings!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Alright, now, total disclaimer here: books that I can read in a day are … everything. Seriously. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one day. I am a speed-reader like nobody’s business. I’m going to try to slow it down here as best I can and not add something like War and Peace to this list. :P (All title links go to Goodreads)

1. The First Test by Tamora Pierce

Now, seriously, I’ll let you in on something. When I read this one (the first book in Pierce’s Protector of the Small series) or, say, the first book in her Song of the Lioness series or – erm, really, any of her books up til the Beka Cooper series, I just read the entire series in one shot. As I see it, I own them all – why not? Every single one is a funny, exciting ride that brings back so many memories for me, so that’s just kind of become a tradition with me.

2. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Yet another blast from the past, I know, but a book I just adore. Don’t ask me WHY I own so many Ibbotson books, because after a while they all look very much the same, but A Countess Below Stairs has always been my favorite. Eva Ibbotson is classic and this book is cute. Enough said.

3. The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

My favorite of all Moran’s books (so far) is also, sadly, the shortest. Still, rereads happen FREQUENTLY. Nefertari is a very active character I wish was my best friend, and the genuine love story that develops between her and Rameses never gets old. This is also by far my favorite overall cast of characters when up against Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter.

4. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

If you’ve read my review of this book, then you know I squealed in it (and have squealed multiple times since) that this book and it’s predecessor Angelfire read like rapid fire shot guns. It’s AMAZING. These books ARE big, but you just HAVE to read them in a day because EVERYTHING just keeps HAPPENING. It kept me up til wee hours of the morning because there is just no way I could put it down.

5. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

The next two books in this series might have been a lot like repeats of this one, but there is a reason for that: this book was pretty good! It’s one of my guilty pleasure books when I’m in the mood for YA romance.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

As much as I try, I don’t think I will ever make any kind of favorites list without mentioning this book. I’m really sorry, guys, but again: HAVE YOU SEEN MY REVIEW? There is more CAPS than I ever care to write with. I just adore this book til the moon and back, and I just can’t seem to stop rereading it. Ever. It still makes me laugh so hard I cry. Speaking of which…

7. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Again, I believe we’ve been over this too. Several times. But GUYS. The ENTIRE Hex Hall series. (No matter what I said about Spell Bound!) I love these books. I want Sophie to be my best friend. I want Archer to be my boyfriend. (SHH, don’t tell my real boyfriend!) I want Jenna to be my best friend. I LOVE THESE BOOKS.

8. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I think it’s bad that I live for the end of this book. Nothing gives me more glee than to watch this love triangle set up, knowing what’s coming. I think that’s a sign that I need to either stop reading books with love triangles in them or get therapy. Or, you know, both. But seriously. Check out my book review! And read this if you want a fresh take on a love triangle!

9. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

TIME FOR MORE CAPS. Why? Because why not! I adore this book and I’m not ashamed to say it! (Seriously, have you SEEN my book review?) Anyways. This book is for people who want a fresh new world to explore, people who want to see some interesting characters AND people who want some real romance. It’s like you can’t lose!

10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Seriously? Did you think you could get out of one of my lists without a Cassandra Clare book? Because you can’t. Ever. READ THESE BOOKS. Okay, so, her Infernal Devices series is said to be better than this Mortal Instruments series, but these were the first ones I read and therefore closest to my heart.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

When I think of playing hooky, I think I better have a darn good reason. (Yes, I’m responsible. For the most part…) Anyways. If you’re going to play hooky, you have to do it right: with the best friends you can find; the kind you KNOW you can laugh and have fun with. So here are my top ten books that I would stop everything to go hang out with, again. (All title links will go to Goodreads.)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

You may or may not know how I feel about Cassandra Clare. Basically, the important thing is I LOVE CASSANDRA CLARE. Out of the entire Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass is probably my favorite. There is Alec/Magnus love, Jace/Clary love, Simon being badass and just general all around awesomeness. Plus, Clare is SO QUOTABLE. My brother and I can have Mortal Instruments quote wars. It’s a beautiful thing. I wasn’t a real big fan of City of Fallen Angels, but I’m still excited for City of Lost Souls to come out May 8th!

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

Far and above my favorite book in the Hex Hall series. I do usually prefer conclusions, but I’ve made my feelings about Spell Bound clear. Demon Glass had a bunch of awesome magic, a load of snarky Sophie and–my favorite–the best Archer/Sophie scenes ever. Archer and Sophie have some of the best lines EVER WRITTEN. What can I say? I love me some snark!

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

This may be devolving into a list of the best snarkiest characters ever, but hey. Rose Hathaway is both snarky and UTTERLY KICKASS. Plus, in this one the love drama was intense and there is plenty of battle scenes. Plus, Rose/Dimitri love. Guys. I have never shipped a couple as hard as I have shipped Rose and Dimitri.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors of all time, just fyi. Her Protector of The Small series has grown on me like nobody’s business. Though there is nothing wrong with the finale book, Lady Knight, I have just always had a soft spot for Squire. There is a lot of humor, some romance, great friendships and a great storyline. Oh, and battles and griffins and centaurs and a whole bunch of other awesome stuff. You can’t go wrong.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If you haven’t seen my review of this book yet, you’re about to be in for a surprise. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER RIGHT HERE. I reread this just a few weeks ago and thought it was possible that I’d become immune to this book’s awesomeness. I was so wrong. I tried to take a drink during one of the bunch lines and nearly spurted it all over. This book is ADORABLE and HYSTERICAL. READ IT, ALL OF YOU.

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

If you’re wondering about this book’s inclusion to this list, you also missed my review of this book, didn’t you? Guys. The Angelfire series is some of the best stuff ever. The main character is a kickbutt girl with, what else, snark, the guy is droolworthy and the mythology is A+. I chose Wings of the Wicked for this list because I can’t stop rereading it. SO MUCH HAPPENS, and–guys–ALL THE WILL AND ELLIE. I drool, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Adrian. Guys. Adrian. His presence is worth the inclusion to any list such as these. He is THE BEST. I had my opinions about Bloodlines as a book, but Adrian has ALWAYS been awesome, throughout the Vampire Academy series and now into the Bloodlines series. Pretty sure these books could turn awful and I would still adore these books because of Adrian’s lines. I can’t wait for The Golden Lily to come out soon!

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Pierce’s The Song of the Lioness series will always, always have a spot in my heart. They are one of those pieces of my childhood I just can’t live without. Abosutely no vacation is complete without these books. I enjoy the series as a whole, but all in all I’ve reread Lioness Rampant the most.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I walked into Divergent so, so wary, because I was sure there was NO WAY it could live up to HALF the hype it got. You know what? It actually met most of the expectations. Obviously, no book is perfect, but color me impressed. I even got my brother into this series. Anytime I need to lose myself into an interesting world with action and adventure, Divergent is always my go to book.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

There is no way we couldn’t finish off this kind of list the way we started it: with Cassandra Clare. The Infernal Devices series is, in some ways, even better than the Mortal Instruments. I chose this book because GUYS. THE WILL/TESSA/JEM STUFF GOING ON IN THIS BOOK. Even with none of the other awesomeness, that takes the cake any day. I just recently discussed how they are the ONE love triangle that works for me, and BOY DO THEY EVER.

Relationships and Love Triangles in YA Books DONE RIGHT

Okay, so, if you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know that I’ve been quite angry at YA authors lately. I’ve been annoyed with the horrible way they portray relationships and love triangles and a whole bunch of other nasty stuff. Therefore, I figured it miiiight be time to do a post that is positive rather than not, because a great many authors DO write amazing relationships and–sometimes–even love triangles. Here’s my list:

Love Triangle Done Right – Will/Tessa/Jem from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy

Seriously, guys. I have NO IDEA how Clare MAKES THIS WORK. Usually in love triangles, there is a clear guy who the author is pushing the torn female towards. Even if, somehow, they don’t, you seem to really start rooting for one and hating the other one. Or, at least, that’s what I think and, erm, do. A lot. :P However, I adore Will. I adore Jem. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH ONE IS BETTER FOR TESSA. It’s inconceivable to me that I have just fallen in love with all three characters who have somehow made this love triangle possibly the best I’ve ever seen.

Love Triangle Done Right – Humberto/Elisa/Alejandro from Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Okay, I’m not entirely sure this counts as a love triangle because I never really thought Elisa was actually in love with Alejandro, but still. There was a definite love triangle set up here since she was married to Alejandro but fell in love with Humberto and well you can kinda figure out the plot line from there. OR CAN YOU? This isn’t on this list because of the relationships, or the fact that I totally couldn’t make up my mind which one I loved more, but rather HOW THE BOOK ENDED AND WHAT CARSON DID. GUYS. I want to build her an altar. She took everything cliché plotline I’d already thought up for how the book would end and THREW A BOMB ON IT. And therefore, this is here. See my review for more.

Relationship Done Right – Anna/Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

GUYS. GUYS. I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SPEAK WITHOUT CAPS LOCK. GO CHECK OUT MY REVIEW FOR MORE. Besides this book being AMAZING IN EVERY WAY, this relationship was so real I fell in love head over heels AND THEN SOME. Rarely have I ever seen teen romance done this amazingly. Actually, put this at the top of my list for top teen romance EVER. Sure, the setting is kinda out there, but screw it. Everything else about this book is the best thing ever.

Relationship/Love Triangle Done Right – Dimitri/Rose/Adrian from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

It’s very rare when a series of books goes like this one. You know why? IT’S A REAL RELATIONSHIP PROGRESSION. I don’t want to ruin this for people who haven’t read the series, but trust me this one is totally swoon-worthy. Rose and Dimitri are obviously the couple pushed from the beginning, since Adrian isn’t introduced until about halfway through, but then he’s in love with Rose and you’ve got this psuedo-triangle on your hands because Rose is totally head over heels from Dimitri. But then something bad happens to Dimitri and Rose decides to try to move on with Adrian. And then Dimitri comes back and then HELLO. That’s a really bad description because I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but this point is this is real. Nobody here is perfect. All three of them try to fight the way they feel, do the best in the situation and then they all screw up in their own way. There is a real show of love triangle fallout which KILLED *spoilerhiding* fans, but come on. He came back in Bloodlines and was freaking awesome, so the readers aren’t left completely bereft and hating Mead.

Relationship Done Right – Sam/Ana from Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

If you know me, then you know there is nothing that I hate more than insta-love. Well, Incarnate was my answer – THERE IS REAL RELATIONSHIP BUILD UP HERE. I wanted to jump up from reading and shout “Hallelujah!” But couldn’t, because I was, you know, reading. They have a REAL relationship with REAL issues and it doesn’t happen instantly. Other people, take note. For more, see my review.

For sure, there are plenty of other examples out there, but those are my top 5 of the moment! How about you?

Books are the Best Medicine – Here’s My Preferred Prescription!

Today’s post is going to be a little bit of a shorter one, because as you may have guessed I’m so ill as to be seeing stars and hanging out all day in bed. Of course, hanging out in bed all day DOES come with the awesome upside of having a lot of quality time to spend with one’s bookshelf. Therefore, I decided today’s post would be all about those books of mine that I just read over and over and over again when I’m feeling down. After all, who needs meds when you’ve got books? (Let it be noted that the following are just a sample. My books number in the thousands. :P) If you have a book that helps YOU feel better, let me know in the comments! My cough tells me I’m going to have a loooot more time to kill before I get much better. ^.^

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This is probably the newest book I’ve added to this list, but I just can’t get enough of it. You can check out my initial review of the book here–it still shows how I feel about this book quite well. I just CANNOT get enough of these characters or the story or … anything. I actually reread it just the other day and discovered that–despite how many times I’ve read this–I still have to be careful while I’m reading, because I STILL laugh hysterically at the jokes that always happen to show up every time I want a drink.

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

Yes, Hex Hall too, but at the moment I’ve been reading Demon Glass a bit more with the reason that the third book IS coming out March 13. These books are action packed AND include cute guys and awesome one liners. I’m not one who easily laughs out loud at books, but when I’m STILL doing that on my one gajillionth reread, I know I’ve got something special that I just refuse to let go.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

I COULD have titled this entry “anything by Cassandra Clare” and still be telling you the truth, but I really have a thing for City of Glass. Probably because of all the Jace/Clary-ness but whatever. I just had a new urge to reread the entire Mortal Instruments series (if you want to know just what these are, check out my article here) again after going through Clare’s section of Goodreads quotes and laughing so hard I tipped over my chair. All that goodness undiluted can kill, I swear. These books are also so awesome and widely appealing that my brother read them, so we have quote wars. It’s amazing, let me tell you.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Now, throughout this post you’re going to notice I have a thing with rereading the final books in series. If you know anything about Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, however, then you’ll know Squire is actually the 3rd of 4 books. Don’t ask me why, but I just adore this book like nobody’s business. I actually broke the spine of the library’s copy before I realized I should prooobably get my own. But hey, how can you go wrong with Kel, Raoul and a baby griffin? (The answer is, you can’t.)

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Alright, here we go, back to the “last book in the series” trend. Well, I’ll be honest, any time I name one book in a series it’s a good bet I just spend all day rereading the ENTIRE series, but this is just my favorite. You’ve got the Shang Dragon AND George AND Thom AND Jon AND her friends AND–erm. Everything. This book has everything. I better just leave it at that…

The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Full disclaimer: I usually don’t reread the entirety of this book. In fact I usually don’t read the entirety of this series. I reread all Rose and Dimitri sections and flip through the rest. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the other characters–Adrian especially after Bloodlines–but…AAGH. Rose and Dimitri. Never have I shipped a couple so hard. Seriously. (Although Sydney and Adrian are coming up close second.) I have reread this book quite a few times, but I have mauled the end pages that include Rose and Dimitri’s “happily ever after.” I may be a sucker, but you can’t tell me it isn’t reasonable with this two.

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

 

5 stars

“Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken—and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?”

When I started this blog, I swore I would be analytical. I swore that I would look at a book with a critical eye no matter how much I enjoyed the storyline. Since then, I’ve done that. Or at least, I think I have. (Drop me a line if you think there’s a way for me to improve my reviews!) Either way, if you like a critical book review…stop reading here. Almost nothing in this book is going to be critical. I am going to allow myself to be the 17 year old girl that I am and just…gush.

Because I loved this book.

I’ll admit, I nearly gave this book 4 ½ stars simply for the fact that I don’t want to be one of those people who throws around 5 star ratings. But then I stopped and thought…why? There is absolutely and utterly no reason.

I should start this off with a disclaimer: I usually HATE books that are entirely teen romance. I hate them. I literally hate them. It’s like all YA authors think that these things need to be filled with a bunch of clichés and fantasy. (Disagree? Comment and give me a book as an example!) When you pick up Anna and the French Kiss, the synopsis doesn’t seem promising. Girl goes to boarding school, girl meets guy, they fall in love, PLAY THE SAPPY HAPPY ENDING! It is the plot of ten dozen different teen novels with the same exact premise as this one.

But that is not what happened here.

Anna and the French Kiss was REAL. In some YAs—and this is especially horrible in the first person, as Anna and the French Kiss is written—the main character is clearly being written by an adult. There are a myriad of ways that this shows itself, but all us teens know it. During this book, however, Anna was either absolutely and utterly exactly like me or at least a girl I would kill to have as my best friend. She was actually a teen like me, who thought like me and talked like me and related in every which way to me. Even if this book hadn’t had some other amazing qualities, I could have liked it just on that alone. But it got better.

The plot was REAL. Alright, it was fairly fairytale, what with the Paris setting and the hot English guy, but I’ll forget about that for now. Anna was not a sad, swoony girl who knew that she and Etienne were soul mates from the first second. Etienne did not fall in love with her at first glance, nor was he a jerk who changes his ways because of her or some other cliché. He was a real guy. She was a real girl. They both had their issues that weren’t just limited to their families (though there was certainly some fairly cliché family/father drama). They both had their own personality issues, and they both made some choices and had views that weren’t necessarily correct.

Hallelujah for an author who gets it.

Alright, the ending is pretty fairytale. They all live happily ever after in the most swoon worthy fashion. That didn’t bother me all that much. Maybe a little bit of fairytale isn’t that bad after all. The plot was real enough and I loved the characters so much that I honestly wanted that happily ever after. Despite its premise and ending, though, Anna and the French Kiss has been an answer to my prayers. It’s a teen romance I can stomach, has a main character that’s real and has a love story that’s parameters weren’t set up by the Brothers Grimm. It’s well written, it’s cute, it’s funny and it’s REAL. I hear that Perkins’s next book, Lola and the Boy Next Door (on shelves now), has a more realistic setting and I am jumping up and down to get a hold of it. Anna and the French Kiss isn’t just a good read; it’s my new best friend.