Ruler of Books Tag

This week’s Betwixt content comes in the form of tags! This is my version of the Ruler of Books Tag, originally created by Ariel Bissett, and Michaela’s is coming later today. Once again, apologies for being super sick during filming, and I’m not quite on the mend yet anyways, but! That doesn’t change a thing about my devotion. ūüėõ

Posts mentioned in video:

From the Notebook: Top 10 Series I NEED to Finish!

So, last week’s video was made of some rather unpopular opinions, as I discussed the Top 10 series I would never finish. On the heels of that, I boomeranged back the other way this week with a MUCH more positive (but no less expressive) video about the top 10 series I could have finished … but haven’t. Ergo, I need to get on finishing these series RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Ahem. Anyways, enjoy!

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Worth It Wednesdays: “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

Code Name VerityTitle: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Goodreads Description:¬†I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf√ľhrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

Why it’s worth it: I should note that I had no reason to like this book. No reason. I don’t like war books, I don’t like books that switch perspectives and are written in this strange, shifting POV. (Read more about that in my review.) But did I like this book?

I BLOODY WELL LOVED IT.

I am not one who cries easily over books. I’m not one to say, “Wow, that book really stuck with me.” But with this one, I did both. I laughed, I cried, I screamed and at the end of it I sat there in a stunned silence and just FELT THINGS. So many things. Wein has crafted such a technically skilled and gorgeous novel that any other book that I’ve read like it has paled in comparison.

Back when I did Top Ten Tuesdays consistently, I listed this book for just about everything: Top Books about Friendship, Top Books I Wish were Taught in Schools – you name it. I also made my book club read this book, to intensely favorable reviews. It’s WORTH READING as few others are. Just have Kleenex handy.

Read it if you’re looking for: strong female friendships, historical fiction: WWII, female spies, female pilots, tears, feelings and emotions, beautiful writing, strong storytelling, action and adventure

Bibliomancy for Beginners: “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein

It’s another episode of Bibliomancers, and today is my pick for books you should ALL READ! I chose Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which I have talked about over and over again. (For kickers, check out Marina’s review of the follow up book Rose Under Fire.)

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Top Ten Books That Will Make You (Or At Least Me) Cry

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

So, it’s actually really hard for books to make me cry. ¬†And honestly, often I don’t read the kind of book that does. ¬†I have to be in a very specific mood to intentionally put myself in the way of a thing that will make me THAT miserable. ¬†So this is a very specific list of books that have made ME cry, instead of the more general ‘you’ mentioned in the meme.

1.  Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein: seriously, how do you NOT cry when reading this book?  Verity is so beautiful and so brave and Maddie is so stubborn and courageous and FRIENDSHIP and TRAGEDY and EVERYTHING IS HARD OKAY.

2. ¬†Rose Under Fire, also by Elizabeth Wein: in case Code Name Verity didn’t make me cry hard enough, the exact same author turned around and came out with a book that was¬†even harder to read.

3. ¬†The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver: one of these days I’m going to get around to talking about why this is NOT the middle-aged mom book that everyone thinks it is, and why it was perfect for my fifteen-year-old angst-ridden self, and why I love it so dearly. ¬†But in the meantime, know that her descriptions of grief and mourning, especially the numb few days after a death, are spot-on, and made me cry.

4. ¬†Speak,¬†by Laurie Halse Anderson: this book broke my heart the first time I read it and I ended up crying in the backseat on the way home from the bookstore. ¬†(The bookstore was an hour away, I had a while to read it.) ¬†Then I read it again, a few years later, when I’d been much closer to similarly horrible events, and my heart broke all over again.

5.  Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes: did they make you read this one in school?  Apparently they do that, but I read it on my own.  Fun fact: losing my mental facilities is one of the deepest, most poignant fears I have.  Yeah.

6. ¬†Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater: okay, this one’s not quite fair, but I don’t read a lot of books that make me cry! ¬†I read it after a breakup and the genuine sweetness of the romance in this book was beautiful and hopeful and incredibly hard to take.

7. ¬†Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater: this one IS fair. ¬†There is a scene in this book in which Grace is sick–maybe dying–and her parents, because they don’t like or trust her boyfriend, won’t let him see her. ¬†Hospitals have a deep sort of horror for me–I’ve spent too much time in them, not as a patient but as a loved one–and the fear of not being able to be close to someone I love when they’re dying, to lose out on what could be their last moments, is something I absolutely would have had to face, if my parents hadn’t been so understanding about my desire to stay close. ¬†Other people’s parents made it abundantly clear to me that they wouldn’t have let me stay, and that terrified and saddened me. ¬†The utter powerlessness of a hospital is incredibly hard to take.

So yeah that scene made me cry.

8. ¬†Last Night I Sang To The Monster, by Benjamin Alire Saenz: wow, it’s been forever since I’ve read this book. ¬†I don’t know if it’s as good, or as sad, as I remember it being. ¬†But it’s another book that had me crying on the way home from the bookstore.

9. ¬†The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman: this one made me cry IN THE FIRST FREAKING CHAPTER. ¬†SERIOUSLY THE THING WAS NOT OKAY. ¬†…beautiful amazing book, though, please read it?

10. ¬†The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: I reread this recently, after my boyfriend, who gets very literary when he’s tired, read some pieces of it to me in French. ¬† I originally read it when I was extremely little, and although I didn’t remember much of it, the¬†feeling of it stayed with me.

I have no idea why it made me cry, but it did. ¬†Maybe it’s the clash of childhood and adulthood, maybe it’s the simple childlike sadness. ¬†I know the themes of regret really do me in–and I know it wouldn’t hit me so hard if it didn’t carry associations from my very, very early days of reading, when I was too little to have a barrier between my feelings and the page. ¬†But it’s as beautiful as I remember it being, more like a poem, really, than a story.

Reading in School Tag

So, a little while ago I was tagged in a post about reading in schools by Michaela at The Pied Piper Calls. (You might remember her from a few guest reviews that she did. You can find her post here, with links to the originator of this tag, Ariel Bisset. There are three sections to this tag: elementary school, high school and beyond. Let’s talk!

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ARC Review: “Rose Under Fire” by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire

 Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein

Goodreads |  Amazon

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbr√ľck, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that‚Äôs in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Five Stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for this eARC.  This title will be released September 10th, 2013.

As of typing this paragraph, I finished Rose Under Fire about five hours ago and I still feel…humbled.¬† I‚Äôm not quite sure how to review this book.¬† How do you even begin to review something this important?

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TOP TEN MOST MEMORABLE SECONDARY CHARACTERS

toptentuesday

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

I tried to remind myself that ‘memorable’ does not always mean ‘awesome’, but this came out mostly good guys anyway, with the exception of Kossil and the technical boy. ¬†Do the bad guys not get fleshed-out secondary characters? ¬†Or am I just low on imagination right now? ¬†(Also, hi everybody! ¬†First Real Marina Post is apparently a Top Ten post! ¬†Welcome to my literary tastes!) ¬†Anyway, in no particular order…

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Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

toptentuesday

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

So, for this TTT, I tried really hard to stick to stand alone books that I wanted more out of. I could have gone on and on about series that I wanted to continue, so this made this a little bit more challenging and–I think–a little more true to the spirit of the topic. So here we go, in no particular order!

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Top Ten New To Me Authors I Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Okay, this list is HARDLY the only awesome new to me authors I read in 2012. They’re just as far as I could go back in the year before I hit 10, and honestly I didn’t get very far.

1. Gennifer Albin (Crewel)

Yeah, I had my issues with Crewel, but I can’t deny the sheer awesomeness of this idea and the book and the cover and– and– just *drool*.

2. Jay Kristoff (Stormdancer)

GUYS. HE WRITES JAPANESE STEAMPUNK. THERE IS A THUNDER-TIGER. Enough has been said. (But I said more in my review!)

3. Kat Zhang (What’s Left of Me)

I have so much respect for Kat. Not only did she manage to successfully narrate this novel from a body that has 2 personalities inside, but she managed to write OTHER characters that have TWO PERSONALITIES. Oh, and did I mention the book is awesomesauce? Because it is. I said so HERE.

4. S. J. Kincaid (Insignia)

Not only did this book have me laughing out loud, but I gave it to my brother and it made HIM laugh out loud and it gave us something to talk about. Both him laughing and us talking are like miracles. Read more HERE.

5. Anna Banks (Of Poseidon)

Up until this point, I was NOT a fan of the new mermaid trend. But Banks won me over, and I actually really ended up enjoying this one! You can read why HERE.

6. Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits)

It takes a seriously good book to a) almost make me cry and b) actually like anything in the contemporary YA genre. McGarry did BOTH. I explain more HERE.

7. Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass)

I think this book is like my most recommended book all year. Like¬†seriously. Because you know why? I CAN’T HANDLE HOW AWESOME THIS BOOK IS OHMYGOD I JUST– Ahem. Read my review for more (CAPS).

8. Nina Berry (Otherkin)

Okay, so for one, Berry wrote a school setting that I didn’t hate, and for that I give her huge props. Also, she’s awesome to talk to on Twitter, and that makes her doubly awesome. You can read more about the book HERE.

9. Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity)

Okay, we’ve discussed how hard it is to make me cry. WEIN ALMOST SUCCEEDED. Also, the way the book was written I should have HATED it. But I didn’t. I loved it. And I sang it’s praises so loudly and haven’t stopped since.

10. Robin LaFevers (Grave Mercy)

Basically anyone who writes historical fiction is instantly my bestie. But this was historical fantasy, which was even better, and then there was the ASSASSIN NUNS. It doesn’t get much better than this. Check out my review for more!