Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’d Like to Meet

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Have you ever read a book or series so wonderful you’d love to meet the author?  This is my top ten list of authors, living or deceased, I’d like to meet.  Their books are special to me.  I’d jump at the chance to spend an afternoon with any of them talking about their stories, inspirations, or simply to thank them for sharing their work with the world.

1. Robin McKinley-Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast captured my imagination and my heart the first time I read it.  The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown are wonderful as well.

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder-I was captivated by the Little House series as a child.

3. L.M. Montgomery-I’d love to speak to the woman who created Anne Shirley, one of my all time favorite characters.

4. Lois Lowry-The first time I read The Giver I was blown away, and I immediately read it again.  I’ve read it many times since then.

5. C.S. Lewis-The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is another favorite of mine.

The Chronicles of Narnia Book

6. Ursula K. Le Guin-I didn’t discover A Wizard of Earthsea until I was in college, but it is a book I find myself turning to again and again.

7. Dr. Seuss-His books are so imaginative, and I love the rhyming and made-up words.

8. Kaitlin Bevis-Her Daughters of Zeus series is an interesting take on Greek mythology.

9. Richelle Mead-I enjoyed the Vampire Academy series, but I prefer the Bloodlines series simply because of the dynamic between Sydney and Adrian.

10. Suzanne Collins-I devoured the Hunger Games series in a matter of days.  I could not put those books down!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Can you believe that spring is right around the corner? One of my favorite things to do on a warm spring day is to spend an afternoon at the park. After I’ve played frisbee or gone on a bike ride, it’s nice to sit underneath a tree and read a good novel.

These are the ten young adult books I’m most looking forward to reading over the next few months as the weather warms up.

1. The Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs.  I adored the first and second tales in this trilogy, so I can’t wait to find out what the fates of all of the character will be. This is such a whimsical and original series that I can’t begin to imagine how it will end.

2. Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky.The title alone immediately makes me want to read it. Imagine kidnapping your favorite celebrity and then not being sure what to do with him once you’ve captured him! I couldn’t stop giggling at this mental image.

3. The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming. I have been fascinated by the lives of the Romanov family for many years. It will be interesting to see if this author has dug up any new information about this case.

4. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. What do supporting characters do while the chosen one is off fighting battles? I have never heard of anything like this before. It’s such a creative idea.

5. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I’ve never read anything from this author before, but this was another time when a fantastic title caught my attention right away. It will be fun to see if the storyline is as fascinating as I think it’s going to be.

6. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. A friend of mine spent a lot time worrying about her father’s life-threatening illness when we were in high school. It was an extremely difficult situation for their entire family, and so I’m curious to see how that same kind of situation will be handled by these two teenage brothers.

7. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. Depression is a terrible mental illness. The suicide pact that the main character makes when she’s at her lowest point sounds so sad. I’m intrigued by the hints of a possible romance in it, though, and would like to see how that all pans out.

8. Half Bad by Sally Green. Most witches are either white or black ones. The fact that Nathan is half black witch and half white witch was intriguing. I’d like to know more about how this works and if he has any special powers as a result of his unique heritage.

9. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. The only thing cooler than street art is street art that starts weeping real tears when bad things happen in the neighborhood. As soon as I read that part of the blurb, I knew this had to be added to my to-read list.  

10. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel. I love scary ghost stories. This one sounds like it will be full of plenty of spine-tingling moments.

What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

Book Covers: It’s a love / hate relationship

MiscMusings copy

Is it just me, or do you buy (or not buy) books based on their covers?

Here are some covers I absolutely LOVE… a few books I bought based solely on the covers alone.

A BREATH OF FROST: I love how the color integrates to the text, and that the text is completely legible. The cover, the smoke graphic that extends up the spine. It all speaks to me.


JACKABY: This is an example of a book I bought based on the cover. The color and that pop of red! It gives the feel of the genre — it’s clearly historical and a thriller/mystery because of the damsel in distress. I love the girl superimposed on the boy’s face.


SECOND CHANCE SUMMER: Another book I bought based solely on the cover. I didn’t even bother to read the blurb. I adore that the text takes up so much room on the cover. The picture is soft and clearly defines the genre (YA Romance).


WITHER: It’s unique (sometimes covers start to blur because they all look the same). The circuit board + text is eye-catching and directs attention, plus it helps to identify the genre. I actually keep the book because of the cover (because I don’t love the story).


ALL THE BROKEN PIECES: Do you see it? See how the broken mirror separates the eyes of two different people? I was utterly intrigued, and the cover made me pick up the book.


ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD: The covers are brilliant, eye-catching and reflect the genre — creepy. Love the hints of red amongst the black and white.


There are so many more … like the Red Queen series and the Mara Dyer trilogy. Both sets of covers reflect the storyline changes in very subtle ways. They’re clever and neat and eye-catching and it’s like knowing a secret when you look at the covers AFTER reading the books.

Now onto covers I don’t like…

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT: The text is difficult to read. The picture looks like it’s a middle grade book and it isn’t, I can’t tell the genre from the cover at all, looks very juvenile and it’s not.


GOLDEN: I couldn’t tell it was a bowl of porridge…it doesn’t look like it at all. The cover is boring, and it doesn’t reflect the genre at all (it’s contemporary but looks like a fantasy).


KILLER INSTINCT (ARC cover vs. Final cover … it’s love/hate): The ARC was original, it reflects the genre (the protag is a teenaged girl, the tagline “everyone has a dark side” indicates suspense) and I love that the book has a picture under the jacket. I hated the final, public cover. It has a barbie hand in a vacuum seal bag which doesn’t really indicate the genre (YA serial killer/suspense) and the tagline is missing, which really added to the cover for me. Unfortunately, I have the ARC for the first book, and the final cover for “Killer Within”, which honestly drives me a little wonky.


Lastly, the series by Carrie Ryan, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series: I hate that the covers don’t match, and they don’t reflect the genre at all (dystopian). Most look contemporary and they just aren’t. Frustrates me terribly! But the worst thing for me is that they don’t even appear to be a series…


So what about you? What do you love (or hate) about covers? Share your favorites in the comments below, or gripe about the ones that make you crazy…

YA Books to Film: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Young Adult books are all the rage lately to make into theater movies and TV shows. They’re HUGELY popular (“Hunger Games”, anyone?) and teens are clamoring for more … mostly. There are the ones that tank, and there’s a big reason why: the story in the movie or show straying too far from the book’s plotline.

The Good:

Sometimes they do a decent job. Obviously, they can’t pack everything from the books into a movie, even when they break it into two pieces, so we shouldn’t be too critical.

For instance, I think they did a good job with the Hunger Games trilogy.

hungergamesposterSure, I missed some of the secondary characters like Madge and it’s true Peeta didn’t lose his leg, and the cat changed from black and white in the first movie (wrong!) to orange in the last ones (right!). I always pictured Haymitch fatter and Wiress dingier and not as childlike as she was… but those are all nit-picky things.

Fact is, they held to the heart of the story. The bones were all there, even if the skeleton was missing a few of the less important ones. The movies were solid enough and close enough to the books to satisfy most people. And one thing in the movie — the ship with Effie and Haymitch — wasn’t in the books. But, according to my teen daughter, she’s glad that ship sailed.

the-shannara-chronicles-posterAlso recently, MTV did a mini-series based on The Elfstones of Shannara. This is actually a book I read as a teen. My kid hadn’t even heard of it, but liked the idea, so we watched it.

It’s been awhile since I read the book, though I very clearly remembered the end because it upset me terribly. However, I re-read it after watching the show and I think they did a decent job … right up until the end. Yes, the traumatic thing that happened in the book still happened, but they ended with one of the characters in peril and Will heading out to save her. I think they did it so next season has the same characters, but in the books, their story was ended. So … that was frustrating. Still, all-in-all not a horrible adaptation.

The Bad:

The Mortal Instruments

mortal_instruments_city_of_bones_ver11So … these books are hugely popular. Several years ago, there was a movie made based on City of Bones and it was horrible. The casting was bad (Alec should have been younger, Isabel should have been taller, Valentine should have been older…) and the story omitted some very important characters. They made it into some odd love story between Jace and Clary, which honestly ended up being a little creepy. Jace came across as a creepy stalker and Clary was incredibly stupid in the movie.

shadowhuntersNow, years later, there is a new TV show being made based on them called ShadowHunters. The author has said she’s going to change some things in the storyline so readers won’t always know what to expect. And they have changed some things. But, the show is certainly better done than the movie was. No, it’s not perfect, and some of the casting is weird (though I think they got Jace and Clary pretty close and that’s really the biggest thing). The Mortal Instruments is pretty diverse, but the show has turned things on their heads. Yes, it’s still diverse but characters that were latino in the book are white, white ones are black and so on. I don’t suppose it makes that much of a difference, but I don’t understand why they did it when the books’ characters were already pretty “colorful”.

The Ugly:

The Divergent Series:

divergentOkay … the first movie was pretty decent. Like Hunger Games some things were left out, but the meat of the plot worked. Yeah, Four was “security” instead of working IT so they had to give him a different way to figure things out and a different way for him to be used at the end. And, yeah, Edward just sort of disappears from the story. One minute he’s there, topping the board and the next we never hear of him again. IMHO, it matters that he joins the factionless … but … it wasn’t a deal breaker.

Then came Insurgent. And here’s where it got ugly. “The Box” was the be all, end all of the story. When I saw the previews I looked at my kid. “What box?” She shrugged. There’s not a locked box anywhere in the book. And the story totally went off the rails. I left the movie feeling a little shell-shocked. They were so focused on the flash of the filming, the entire plot changed. And it mattered to the fans who’d flocked to see the movie. Because they didn’t flock to the next one … Allegiant was a flop. Worse, as Hollywood is apparently wont to do, they broke the final book into two movies. And now there is discussion as to whether part two will be made and released theatrically. Or if it’ll end up a TV movie. Or maybe even straight to DVD. And some of the stars are talking about not participating. It’s a hot mess, people. Hollywood screen writers should learn a lesson from this: DON’T MESS WITH THE STORY.

There are others we could talk about, too, and I’d love YOUR input. What did you think about the Harry Potter movies? Or The Maze Runner, The Giver, The Fifth Wave, The Lightning Thief or other teen book to movie adaptations? I’d love to discuss it with you! Leave me a comment and let’s talk.

Teen Talk – YA Book Boyfriends

We all have them … our book boyfriends. The ones in the books we read that make our hearts swoon a little.  It’s not every book, or every guy, but some really stand out.  Today, we’re listing a few of our favorites from Young Adults books.  We’d LOVE for you to add comments about yours (especially since we might find more awesome books to read)!

Peeta Mellark (Hunger Games)

peetaWhenever someone reads the Hunger Games series, they get stuck in the same love triangle that Katniss got stuck in. I, personally, was #TeamPeeta, because he is a sweetheart. Not only did he care for Katniss from the start, but he would do anything for her. He completely defines unconditional love very well, and grabs our hearts from beginning to end. The amount of love he gives to Katniss is incredible, even when she turns away and leaves him in the dust.

“And then he gives me a smile that just seems so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through me.”

Katniss can’t help but fall in love with him, and doesn’t really understand what she feels until Peeta is ripped away from her. She suddenly understands she had already given her heart to him, and would do anything for him. This part from Mockingjay destroyed me…and Katniss, too.

“You’re a painter. You’re a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.”

She and Peeta went through hell and back more than once, and have to lean on each other to discover what it really means to live a normal life. Peeta guards Katniss against her nightmares, and she does the same, once they finally have a moment to live in peace.


Julian Blackthorn (The Dark Artifices)

julianJulian stole my heart from the moment I met him in the first installment of Cassandra Clare’s books. He was only 12 in the Mortal Instruments, but even then he devoted himself to his family and more even to his parabati Emma. Now, older and more responsible than ever, he has a deep burden to take care of his siblings and Emma, and sometimes that takes a bit of a toll on him. He pushes all of his hurt and love into his paintings, and locks them away where he won’t weigh down other people with what he’s concerned about. He’s an absolute love and would do anything for Emma, but he won’t tell her that.

“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them. You want—”

He broke off then, as if realizing everyone was looking at him again.

“You want what?” said Dru with enormous eyes.

“Nothing,” Julian said. “I’m just talking.”

His ability to simply give pieces of himself up to make other people happy and live a better love at the expense of his feelings and his emotions made me love him even more, because he was so selfless and giving to his family and his parabati.


Magnus Damora (Falling Kingdoms)

magnusMagnus Damora is my kind of character. He’s got emotional damage (My personal favorite) and he’s snarky and rude and just generally kind of a jerk. I liked him from the start, and he was really the only reason I started reading the Falling Kingdoms books. He seems outwardly annoying and rude, but inside he does have a heart and feelings, no matter how much he tries to deny it. He simply just doesn’t want to get hurt, which is why he shoves people away and keeps to himself. One girl manages to weasel her way in to his heart, no matter how much he claims he loathes her. I love the fact that eventually he came to terms with the fact that he does, in fact, have feelings, and that love can be used as a deadly weapon.

“Magnus had come to a horrible realization. One that he knew would cause him nothing but pain and suffering from that day forward.

But there was no changing the truth of it.

He had fallen in love with her.”


Han Alister (The Seven Realms)

hanHan has the capability to steal anyone’s heart. Streetlord, accomplished criminal, and devastatingly handsome with stunning blue eyes and blonde hair, he couldn’t have needed anything else to make him more desirable, yet he manages to become powerful and inherits power he couldn’t even imagine.

“His aster-blue eyes shown out from a face blackened by bruises and soot, his fair hair glittering in the firelight. Dressed all in black, silhouetted against flame, he looked rather like a demon, raised from the dead, trading for souls on the other side.”

It also happens that he’s probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and is loyal to the end when you are worth his effort. He would do anything to protect the people that he loves, and won’t stop to be the best leader he could be. He cares for innocent people, and tries to keep the peace as much as he can , even with the hatred he has for certain people.

“Haven’t you heard about me?” he said, with a tight smile. “I’m really a very dangerous person.” And he did look dangerous until he said, “Look, could you watch Dog for me while I’m gone? I can’t take him where I’m going.”

He’s calm, collected, an excellent diplomat, and doesn’t make stupid choices, which I admired quite a bit about him. Alister is one of the few most well written and rounded characters I have ever read, which made him seem more human to me. I definitely have a crush on this one…

“So here’s the truth – I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you’re not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You’re as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what’s best in themselves. You’ve changed my life. You’ve given me the words I need to become whatever I want.

I love how you talk to lytlings. You don’t talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you’re actually interested in what they have to say.

I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it’s kisses or a queendom.

I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they’re the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about.

I love the scent of you – when you’ve been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes.
Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool.

I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.”


Captain Thorne (Lunar Chronicles)

thorneAll I have to say is: what a sass-ass. Thorne, a little like Jack Sparrow, is such a egotistical, smart, jerky, and actually very kind and compassionate at the same time. He’s the comic relief of the series, and provides an extra laugh when times get tough.

“Yes Kinney?” said Cinder.

“The captain and his crew are requesting an audience.”

“Ha!” Thorne’s voice carried from the corridor. “I told you I could get him to call me the captain.”

Cinder rolled her eyes. “Let them in.”

Cress has such a crush on him, and Thorne, used to flings and one night stands, doesn’t really get “feelings”. But, it’s the sweet side that makes me melt, and the sassy side that makes me laugh. He’s a perfect balance of the two, and totally worth the read of the Lunar Chronicles.

“With a nod, Thorne started down the street. ‘This way.’

Five steps later, he paused, pondered, turned around. ‘No, no, this way.’

‘We’re dead.’

‘No, I’ve got it now. It’s this way.’

‘Don’t you have an address?’

‘A captain always knows where his ship is. It’s like a psychic bond.’

‘If only we had a captain here.’

He ignored her, marching down the street with spectacular confidence.”


Adrian Ivashkov (Bloodlines)

adiranAdrian has a lot of walls put up, he hides behind them. He acts out and acts like a rich spoiled brat, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for anything. He’s an artist who feels deeply , he’s not perfect and he has many flaws. He makes mistakes, but he lives up to them, and he tries to fix them. The thing is with Adrian Ivashkov once he lets you in, you have all his love, and he would do anything for you.

“He was too perfect despite being the most imperfect person I know”

So … those are mine. What are some of yours? Don’t forget to tell me what book they’re from and why you love them. I’m always looking for new reading material!

Teen Talk – The Comforts of Reading

That can be taken literally or metaphorically.

Literally: Reading is comforting.
Metaphorically: There are comforts required for reading.
My point: Both are needed in order to have a relaxing time.

Don’t get me wrong, I read all the time, but reading at school or if you have really noisy siblings or just general annoyances don’t go over well with “relaxing” and “enjoyment”. At least I don’t think so….it’s hard to sit back and chillax if all you have is obnoxious people around you. QUIET people are cool, or loud people away from you….bit off track but noise isn’t my cup of tea. Speaking of tea it’s awesome and you should try to drink some when reading. Also coffee. Or hot cocoa. Blankets too. Those are nice to have especially if you have a wood stove and you can curl up by it.

Then there are lucBook-Nook5ky people who get to have book nooks they can go into to read which is so cool…

But anyways… For those of us who love books, aside from being comfortable and warm or drinking a nice beverage, reading is a way to escape reality for a little bit and forget about everything that’s happening around you, and that is one of the reasons reading is so important for me. If I can’t forget about real life for at least an hour, then I get stressed out simply for the reason that I haven’t stuck my nose into a book.

Plus, there’s a lot of satisfaction when you finish a book (though sometimes I’m sad especially if it’s the end of a series) but when you do it’s like YES I AM THE CONQUEROR and now I can check it off my list of 8,000 books I have to read. Woo hoo.

So that’s me in a nutshell. However, I want to know what you love about reading (like, do you like the calmness or the relaxation) and where you prefer to be when you pick that book up. Comment below! :)h

Teen Talk – Decorating

So, I don’t know about you, but when I have the opportunity to do some room decorating it makes me super happy. This usually comes about when I grow out of things or when I just get tried of looking at the same colors on my walls. There are so many opportunities to get up and redo your room that I jump on projects whenever I can. I LOVE cute new DIY ideas for decoration or organization, especially because I am…super…messy. So any cool new idea that I pull off Tumblr or YouTube MUST be tried immediately.

Call me whatever you want, but I LOVE string lights. They must be hung up in my room or I just can’t be a happy human being. They just make the mood a lot more relaxed, and I don’t know why, but they just do. I love my lights more than anything in the world…totally would suggest these for a room decor.white-christmas-lights-in-bedroombedroom-string-lights-thefairs-ault8vgt



Ugh. I love them. I’m sorry but they’re just amazing.

Gahhhhhh <3

Another thing: MASON JARS.

Admit it. ADMIT IT THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING. They can go rustic if you’re a redneck like me, or you can spray paint them funky colors, throw…*gasps* GLITTER on them (God forbid you use glitter)(It’s too…shiny and sparkly) AND you can use them for EVERYTHING.








Also. You need throw pillows. And not just the kind you buy from the store: I’m talking DIY pillows because YOU WANNA BE ORIGINAL!!!

Lookit these wonderful ideas:

5fdc1d8a05dfb2ddcdecf52b4a181a01 tumblr_mmxmetxXsg1rspbako1_400Just thing how amazing those would look on your bed. AREN’T THEY COOL????

Oh. We cannot forget. BOOKSHELVES! Bookshelves are totally YOU. Because no-one will have your taste in books or in organization, your bookshelf might look like this:


Or it might look like this: 55769-The-Bookworm-Bookshelf

Either way, YOUR creativity will shine through on your shelves. Mine in particular has nails hammered in all over the freaking place and I’ve got bookmarks and scarves and jewelry dangling off the edges all over the place. But, that’s how I love it and STRING LIGHTS MAKE IT BETTER but customize your shelf exactly how you imagine and not how someone else thinks it should look like! Have fun decorating!

Teen Talk – Night Alone

Do you ever just have one of those days where you go to school or you go out for a few hours and it’s just amazingly stressful and really all you want to do is GET AWAY from thquestionmarke WORLD? Yeah. I feel for ya. So, in that case, what would you do if you got home early and didn’t have anything to do? Would you read a book, listen to music, draw, go for a walk, or just hang out on your couch (or bed) and watch Netflix?

Or say, even on an average day schedule? You know, school for a good six or seven hours…you come home and you’re just like:

Too much social time. Need computer. Need book. Need to hide under blankets and ignore life.


NOT ENOUGH SOCIAL TIME! MUST TEXT FRIENDS! YAY! (Nope. We’re not going to go there. Sorry you normal social people.)

Personally, I find myself the type to stay up until three in the morning watching my favorite television series or reading with music. Both of these things cause me to completely lose track of time and the next thing I know it’s way too late on a school night and I have to scramble to get all my homework done before I can get those precious two hours of sleep when I was really planning on nine.

Whoopsies. I’m a bad example aren’t I?

Then again,  I like to multitask so usually what ends up happening most of the time is I have this brilliant idea to go on Hulu or YouTube and do my homework at the same time.


girlwbooksThat never works.

Five minutes later, I’m staring at the computer screen like it owns my soul. PFFT WHAT IS THIS GPA YOU SPEAK OF? I don’t need it! (*disclaimer* You need this to actually live life after you graduate highschool/college/etc.) (It is important) (I promise it’s worth it) (I swear)

It is a really good thing I can do my homework as fast as I do. *awkward smile* (BEFORE you make those assumptions that I’m failing classes…I know you are. You can’t hide them. Stop that. Stop that right now. BECAUSE I’M NOT HAHA! 😉 #dealwithit)


I told you I’m a bad example. (*disclaimer* Do not follow my example.)

Now that THAT tangent is over, I usually include food on these relaxing days with no responsibility. Pizza. Popcorn. Chocolate. Potato chips. All the loves of my life….and then there’s coffee which pretty much rules my entire existence. Yep. Huge mug full of black coffee. Ahhhhh. Yum.

Of course, after I’ve gone and eaten my food and watched seven hours of TV shows on the internet, I realize it’s like 2:30AM. Oops. I never did get to finish my book, so then of course I have to stay up LATER just to get to the next chapter. Then the next. And the next. So on and so forth.

So there’s my night in a nutshell…what about you?