Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With

toptentuesday

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

So, even though I do read a lot of stuff with different worlds, I found that most of my answers for the top 10 worlds I’d never want to live in depended a lot on who I would be in that world. Given that, I decided to go with the second topic to make things a little easier on myself. So. Here we go!

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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 Most Intimidating Books

toptentuesday

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

Okay, this is going to be the loosest use of the definition of “intimidating” in all of time and space. I taught myself to read at 3 and read and can read 700 page books in a disturbingly short period of time, so “intimidating” isn’t usually what I apply to books–I tend to look at challenging books as a challenge of how long it’ll take me to finish them. But anyways. Here we go (in no particular order)!

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Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

toptentuesday

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

I’M SO EXCITED I’M BACK TO DOING THESE! It actually required the CAPS. I’ve been away at school for so long and so busy that these have been impossible because I wasn’t able to visit all the blogs that visited me. But now I’m home and finals are over and I’M BACK!

This Top 10 list is probably the weirdest, most eclectic list I’ve ever put together, mostly because I’m not ashamed to admit I usually avoid books entirely about tough subjects. These are most certainly not all young adult books, and some of them are historical fiction because why cheat halfway?

whiteoleander1. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

I was given this book at way too young an age, but the details of the story stuck with me. This book is a visceral showing of the foster care system, neglecting mothers, violence and sex. I honestly can’t believe I finished it.

2. Beloved by Toni Morrisonbeloved

This is a classic for a reason. It makes this list because I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as it did. What do I know about slavery or rape or killing my own children? Nothing, thank God. But this book made my stomach churn and my eyes water and left me thinking, hard.

Who I Kissed3. Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Look, a young adult book! When I heard the premise of this book–that the main character kills a boy with a kiss because there was peanut oil in her lipstick and he was allergic–I wasn’t sure it was going to go over well with me. I wasn’t sure it would work. But there is a real dealing with of grief throughout this book, both in terms of the main character, the victim’s family and even the main character relating this to her dead mother. It worked much better than I thought.

4. Nerve by Jeanne RyanNerve

I didn’t read this for handling of tough subjects, but I got it. Throughout this story, the main character deals with peer pressure, how far you’ll go for fame – and what happens when a room full of teens are given guns and told only one survives. My stomach was rolling with the action, and it stuck with me long after.

League of Strays5. League of Strays by L. B. Schulman

I’m still not sure how I feel about this book, but one thing’s for sure: this is one of the more candid, stomach churning pictures of bullying I’ve allowed myself to read.

6. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits

The levels of adoration I have for this book are limitless. Despite the fact that this is billed as a contemporary romance, it really is so much more. The themes of family, love (besides relationship!) and healing after a huge traumatic incident are really strong and truly touching.

Code Name Verity7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Technically, this is historical fiction. Personally, I think this is about so much more. I mean, the tagline is “I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.” This book deals with the bonds of friendship and the horrors of war all in one. I mean, the book OPENS with the main character being interrogated by the Gestapo. I very rarely cry for books, but this is one of those times.

8. The Last Song by Nicholas SparksThe Last Song

I know that these books are pretty cookie cutter and all, but this book had such a personal bent for me that by the end of the book I was bawling my eyes out. I still can’t read about the character of the little brother without sniffling.

mistress of rome9. Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Okay, this is historical fiction, so I’m kind of cheating. I mean, these “tough subjects” are somebody’s life. However, what I was struck by was a rather smaller part of the book, which is the physical and sexual abuse that Thea goes through at the hands of the Emperor. It was striking in how little it was underscore.

10. Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Uccistreams of babel

I had almost forgotten about these books before I went looking for ones to fill this list, and now I’m struck with the need to read them all over again. These books are striking examples of what happens when you find yourself at Death’s door, when your mother overdoses and leaves you to die on your own and just about love in the face of death in general. Both it and it’s sequel just floored me.

Blog Tour: “Nerve” by Jeanne Ryan – Review + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop of this great blog tour, as hosted by A Tale of Many Reviews and made possibly by Dial Books (Penguin)! I’ve got some great stuff for you guys today, so let’s get going! Don’t forget to check out the other blogs that are participating in this blog tour HERE.

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Author Website

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

3 1/2 stars

Thank you to A Tale of Many Reviews and Dial Books (Penguin) for this eARC! Nerve is now available for your reading pleasure!

Holy hair raiser.

Holy stomach churner.

Dear sweet “I WANT TO STOP READING BUT I CAN’T.”

That, in three sentences, was Nerve.

To be honest, this book didn’t set off on a good foot with me. The prologue chapter takes place at the end of the book, with the first chapter backing way up in time. This is a pet peeve of mine, and personally I thought it took a ton of suspense out of the ending, which upon reading the prologue still didn’t make any sense. But once you hit the first chapter, all that is forgotten.

It actually goes through that whole, “everything is perfect” phase before heading into hair rasing territory. Vee is the best friend of the most popular girl in school but pining for the hottest guy. She is quiet, she’s more of a loner–she’s basically the best friend cliché. It is this normalcy and the distinct want to feel something different that forces Vee into the game of NERVE in the first place. As far as reasons go, it was a fairly believable one, even if it was never developed as fully as I’d have liked.

The game of NERVE is sickening on several levels–and it’s meant to be. Vee is forced to do a whole lot of things that NO sane person would do. The reasons she keeps going after things clearly start getting sketchy were, again, not as developed as I’d have liked, but this book seemed to sacrifice fleshing out of the plot in a lot of places to make room for the pacing.

And OHMYGOD was that some pacing.

Nerve never stops. Not once. Even when you want to because your stomach is attempting seven kinds of sailor’s knots. Vee’s rationale towards NERVE at the beginning is one I’ve used a thousand times to scoff at reality TV shows: it’s scripted, it’s fake, it’s just a game. NERVE pulling information about her from her ThisIsMe page sounds creepily similar to the kinds of things people maintain Facebook does. The book takes on all these secret fears we have about technology and throws them into one fiery explosion. There were several times when I felt like I had to step back and breathe or even stop reading all together because OHMYGOD, but I couldn’t do it because the book just kept charging forward into darker and darker territory.

As I said, though, the downside of this was that many aspects of the plot were never fleshed out. This goes for characterization and key plot points alike. There were passing comments made for some things and half-baked explanation for others, but all in all many parts of the story almost became useless in the HOLY CRAP THIS IS MADNESS of NERVE. Though I’d say Ryan managed to make it work because of her awesome pacing, the nitpicky side of me can’t let it go.

Personally, I was not entirely satisfied with the ending. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why because part of my blog tour compliance is that there are no spoilers. Sorry! However, I CAN tell you that I’m begging someone to tell me there’s a sequel coming, because you CANNOT end it like that and leave us all hanging. But then, there were several things I thought you could not do and then Ryan did them and left me reading faster with a dryer mouth.

IN FOR A THRILLER? THEN ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

That’s right, GIVEAWAY! The prize is one hardcopy of Nerve, SIGNED. The giveaway is open to US/Canada only. Please click HERE to enter!

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List!

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

(Yes, I am aware that this is last week’s topic. I had this post done up but then things happened and I never got to posting it, and as you will see down below I am WAY behind on reviews SO– Here’s a feature on just how behind I am. :P)

So, I talk a LOT about my “have-but-need-to-read” shelf on Goodreads. It’s … long. And I’m behind on reviewing, so I have a LOT of books to get through. Here’s what’s coming at you this fall! …at least, the first ten of them.

1. Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Blog tour time! 😀 This post is coming at you this week, actually, on September 13. No, I don’t actually have it read yet – that’s what I’m going to go do RIGHT NOW, when this post is done. I’m that behind. >.>

2. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Being contacted to do this by the publisher was possibly the happiest day of my life. This hits the blog Sept 17 and I literally couldn’t be more excited. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and it just SOUNDS like the best thing.

3. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Another blog tour! This one coming at you Sept 20, and it promises to be awesome as well. Don’t know if you’ve checked it out yet, but it sounds rather Hunger Games-esque–which can either be a good thing or a bad thing, really, but you know. I’m excited, at least!

4. Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

I’ve been sitting on this one fore a while and it’s KILLING me. The review is finally coming out Sept 21 and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve sort of outgrown my dystopian fad for now, but this one still has so much potential I can’t pass it up. (Besides, I’ve been told it’s dystopian but it doesn’t SOUND dystopian.)

5. Crewel by Gennifer Albin

GUYS. GUYS. HAVE YOU NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS BOOK YET? Because now would be a FANTASTIC time to start. Not only am I reviewing this book on Sept 24, but I’m ALSO a part of the Crewel Street Team which is FANTASTIC. I’m so in love with this book that I’m not actually participating for the points thing; I’m just doing it for idea love and worship. I cannot WAIT to read this.

6. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

I have high, high hopes for this one. It sounds really interesting. Of course, I could do without the “complusive love” bit in the synopsis on Goodreads, but you should all know how I feel about those. And, if you don’t, if you check out my review on Sept 27, you’ll hear about it, I’m sure. I can never NOT comment on insta-love.

7. My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis

BLOG TOUR AGAIN! I’m reviewing book one of this series on Oct 1, but a whole bunch of other blogs are reviewing and otherwise featuring the two other books in the series as well. Sadly, I couldn’t get a handle on all three of them like I wanted. 😛

8. The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges

Do you know how awesome it is to have Random House email you and ask you to review an ARC? I know a whole bunch of people will tell you that happens to them all the time, but this is the FIRST time it’s happened to me and EEK! So happy. PLUS, not only am I reviewing this one on Oct 4, on Oct 5 I’ll have an interview with Robin Bridges AND a giveaway of The Unfailing Light coming at you and it will be THE BEST. 😀

9. Katya’s World by Jonathon L. Howard

This sounds darker than my average fare and I LIKE IT. I’ve been looking for something a little different, and I think this could be just the ticket. Review goes live Oct 8!

10. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

I have been sitting on this one for FAR TOO LONG. I cannot wait to read it because it sounds SO SWEET. (Er, that’s a switch from Katya’s World… XD) I’ve heard good things, and I hope to add my own on Oct 12!

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews!

Hey guys! Let’s hear it for another edition of Stacking the Shelves here at My Life is a Notebook. I missed last week, but it was NOT for lack of books. I’ve got some gooood stuff this week. (Plus, two of them were bought because of bloggers! BLOGGERS SELL BOOKS!)

I apologize for the attempt at humor. And for the buzz at the beginning – it goes away after a while, please bear with it. >.<

If you don’t watch the vlog, don’t forget to vote for which book series you want to win from my 1000 followers giveaway AND enter to win Flicker by Kaye Thornbrugh PLUS a CD and a bookmark! Both links are right there on the sidebar!

Blog Tour:

My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis – Goodreads

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan – Goodreads

For Review:

Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard – Goodreads

Bought:

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber – Goodreads

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Goodreads

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter – Goodreads

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – Goodreads

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards – Goodreads