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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Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

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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 Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

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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.

Top Ten Books for People Who Liked “Anna and the French Kiss”

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

You guys may or may not know that Anna and the French Kiss was my first 5 star review. This was even more shocking because I haaaate teenage romances. Usually. Unless they’re done REALLY WELL. So I decided to take that book to show you just how picky my tastes are!

1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This one made me laugh and cry. It was absolutely fantastic. I just…I just can’t even put my feelings into words. Oh wait, yes I can. I reviewed it.

2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Alright, alright, I know this one isn’t a contemporary, but bear with me. I’m going with the criteria of FANTASTIC ROMANCE with this one. This one doesn’t have a love triangle or a cliché ANYWHERE. It’s just … awesome. See my review for more.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Yeah, this one is a semi cop-out, but c’mon. You know it’s true! (Although, I don’t actually think this one measured up to Anna…)

4. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

No, this isn’t a contemporary EITHER. I didn’t say they all would be, did I? This was a fantastic ride on several levels, not to mention the cute romance to be had. I’ve gotten several people hooked on this series and I’m proud of it!

5. Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Okay, so, these aren’t particularly romance heavy, but the romance in them is done really well. They (it’s a duology) are also ridiculously powerful books that I’ve checked out multiple times from my library. They are just EXCELLENTLY written.

6. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot

Again, cop out, because Meg Cabot is like the queen in certain circles, but to be honest I never really enjoyed much of hers. This one, though, is SO EXTREMELY CUTE I COULD DIE. I love it. It’s like candy.

7. When it Happens by Susane Colasanti

Again, cop out, because it’s SUSANE COLASANTI. But still. This book. SO CUTE. I love it. It’s amazing. It makes me SO HAPPY.

8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Not a contemporary, but people who’ve read both series can’t tell me that Anna and Sophie wouldn’t be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER if they met in “real” life. I certainly think they would. 😀 (Plus, Archer? HELLO SEXY. He and Entienne could burn down buildings just by walking into them.)

9. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

This is actually a second book of a series that is connected but doesn’t particularly have to be read in the same order, but I think it’s the best one for Anna fans.

10. Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

No, not a contemporary. But I still think Anna and Aly would make fiiiiine friends. OHMYGOD, SOPHIE, ANNA AND ALY. THIS WOULD BE THE BEST BOOK. Someone help me get these guys on that…