Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Favorites (3)

This Friday's favorite book is:

Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I hope that by now all of you have read this book. I mean it has spent about 30 weeks as number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a depressing story, but the writing, characters, and plot make it one of the best books I've ever read. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Reading...

...No, not the good, light, campy literature that always seems better during the summer, while your laying out in the sun by the pool or beach. What I'm talking about is what my AP English Literature and Composition class is making me read during what should be my day's of freedom. Sigh. I signed up for this class, though, so I really should have no room to complain.

Anyways, the two books (there's more than just reading, but I'm not even going to get into that.) that I have to read are: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Great Gatsby

The Grapes of Wrath

So, someone lie to me and tell me that not only am I going to love reading these books, but I'll also love analyzing them to death.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Book Personality

I saw this quiz posted by Amy on Addicted to Books, and it looked fun so I gave it a try.

Your Personality: Involved Serial Reader!

Your responses place you into two different groups - the involved reader and the serial reader. Not only do you love to read, but you also love finding out about new and interesting books and the authors who write them. You're also a publisher's dream, because once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin - but even you need to discover some new blood from time to time!

That sounds about right!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What I'm Reading and Challenge Standings

I have some additions to my 50 Book Challenge list. Sadly, I haven't been reading as much as I'd like due to school. I swear they just want to stress kids out with giving so much homework!

The 2009 50 Book Challenge

21. The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold (328 pgs.)

22. The Kindling (Fire-Us Trilogy Book 1)- Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher (224 pgs.)

23. Hiroshima - John Hersey (116 pgs.)

24. Take Me There - Susane Colasanti (290 pgs.)

25. Days Like This (A 2004-2005 Student Anthology)

What I'm currently reading:

Much Ado About Nothing- William Shakespeare (For School)

Hard Love-
Ellen Wittlinger

I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy- Deena November

In My Mailbox + What I bought at Powell's

I thought I'd try this out. IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea. So I got two books in my mailbox this week, which were:

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti

Both of these came from a contest I won over on Elizabeth Scott's blog. I knew she was sending me Waiting For You, but Something, Maybe was a pleasent surprise! Thanks Elizabeth

I also bought some books this week. My friend Liz and I went to Barnes and Noble last night. Liz had gotten a gift card for her birthday so she picked up Are U 4 Real by Sara Kadefors and Memoirs of A Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin She also owed me for a book, so she bought me Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers.

Also, I'm one of those very lucky people that live in Portland, Oregon. Why is it a good thing to live in Portland, you ask? Because that means I am less than ten minutes away from Powell's Books. Seriously guys, if you ever travel to the Pacific Northwest try and stop by Powell's, you won't regret it. The best thing about Powell's is that you always find a book you can't find anywhere else, or even one that you've never heard of.

So while I was there I picked up:

Days Like This: 2004-2005 Student Anthology

In 2004-2005 Writers in the Schools placed 25 writers in 76 classrooms to lead weekly writing workshops with students in every Portland public high school. During this dedicated writing time, students experimented with poems, plays, short fiction and creative nonfiction. Students wrote about themselves, their ideas and what they care about. A sampling of their work---"bold, honest, imaginative"---is captured in this anthology.
I actually had no idea about these Anthologies (There's one for every year, I'm not sure when they started). It's pretty cool from what I've seen so far. I go to Parkrose High School, pretty much the only school in Portland that's not considered in the Portland Public Schools (I'm exagerrating, but it feels like it). I kinda wish I was apart of Portland Public now, though.

Fire-us #2: The Keepers of the Flame by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher

They have found others.
Five years after a deadly plague killed all the Grown-ups, the world's population has nearly vanished. But a group of children have survived and forged a new family, a new life, and together traveled up the coast of Florida, looking for answers.
To their shock, they've found a group of adults, the only Grown-ups they've seen for years, living in an abandoned shopping mall. It's a world the travelers had almost forgotten -- cupcakes, clean clothes, adults to depend on.
But something is terribly wrong. The family must find the truth before it's too late.

My school library had the first book in this trilogy, but not the other two. And since these books are out of print, they aren't easy to come by. Luckily, Powell's had the second book in stock, so I grabbed it up.

Girl Goddess #9: Nine Stories by Fracesca Lia Block

Movie stars, rock stars, pond nymphs, intergalactic superheroes . . . who are the real goddesses in Francesca Lia Block's world? Real young women--the kind who ache, bleed, dance, and talk to blue ghosts in closets. Famous for her lyric Weetzie Bat books, Block blossoms in this collection of short stories about love: straight, gay, familial, and otherworldly. Very few young adult authors talk as frankly as Block about sex and some of the other yearnings we feel in this world, yet she guides her readers toward the self-respect and courage necessary to make smart choices about those yearnings.

I've had my eye on this one for awhile, so I decided to just buy it when I saw it. I already know I'm going to like it. I dig short stories.

I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy collected by Liz Rosenberg and Deena November
The teenage years are a time filled with sadness, madness, joy, and all the messy stuff in between. Sometimes it feels that every day brings a new struggle, a new concern, a new reason to stay in bed with the shades drawn. But between moments of despair and confusion often come times of great clarity and insight, when you might think, like the poet Rumi, "Whoever's calm and sensible is insane!" It is moments like these that have inspired the touching, honest, and gripping poems found in I Just Hope It's Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, and Joy. After all, what's normal anyway? This collection includes poems by Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, T. S. Eliot, Edgar Allen Poe, W. B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Jane Kenyon, and many more, including teenage writers and up-and-coming poets.
This one was on sale, and I remembered it from my goodreads to-read list, so I got it. I'll probably keep it on my nightstand for something to read before bed.
So, that's it. A pretty good week, I think. Even if I am broke!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Favorites!

Yeah, I know, I forgot to post this last Friday. Truth is, my laptop charger has been broken for the past month. So, that means the only computer access I have is at school. I ordered a new one, but they still haven't sent it. I could go on a whole rant about that, but I digress.

So, this weeks favorite is:
Love, Rosie by Cecila Ahern

Summary (off of Amazon):

"Love, Rosie is the amusing story of Alex and Rosie, best friends who grow up together in Ireland and stay close throughout cross-continental moves, marriages, parenthood, family dramas. and professional triumphs. Friends for close to 50 years, the potential for romance between the pair is always under the surface, yet never seems to find the right time or place to become a reality.

Love, Rosie is written through a series of notes, letters, IMs, e-mails, and text messages between the two protagonists and their various friends and family members."

Sort of like The Year of Secret Assignments, One of the main attractions, to me, of this book is the fact that it's written through notes and letters. I dig books like that. I also am just in love with the characters in this book. They each are so unique and special, and even in the best books, those are hard to come by. Plus, it's just so funny. I cracked up may times in the one day it took me to read it.

Seriously, if you've ever been intrigued by a book written in only letters, etc. you should definitley try and pick this one up. You won't regret it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Favorites

I decided to try something newish. Every Friday I'll post a book that I loved and is one of my favorites.

To start out, I pick The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

In The Year of Secret Assignments, a tenth grade English teacher attempts to unite feuding schools by launching a pen-pal project. Best friends Cassie, Emily and Lydia initiate the correspondence, and are answered by Matthew, Charlie and Seb. Emily and Lydia are more than pleased with their matches, but quiet Cassie has a frightening experience with Matthew. When Lydia and Emily discover that Matthew has threatened their fragile friend, the Ashbury girls close ranks, declaring an all-out war on the Brookfield boys. Soon, the couples are caught up in everything from car-jacking and lock-picking, to undercover spying and identity theft.

This is definitely a fun read. I have reread it countless times and it never gets old. I just bought myself a copy of it when I went to Powell's last week, so I no longer have to keep checking it out from the Library. I love books that aren't straight narrative, like books that are told in letters and emails. I recommend this to everyone!