It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/17/20

Happy President’s Day!

This week I’m going to read an unsettling book, a classic, a graphic novel that I picked up at ALA in Philly, and a book that I purchased last week.

What are you reading?

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My Dark Vanessa- Kate Elizabeth Russell

44890081Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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The Outsiders- S.E. Hinton

1191522The Outsiders is a book that delves deep into the hearts, minds, and stories of a group that had no voice before S. E. Hinton gave them one. She began writing the book at age 15, spurred on by the disturbing trend she saw growing in her high school towards a division between groups. “I was worried and angered by the social situation,” Hinton writes. “I saw two groups at the extreme ends of the social scale behaving in an idiotic fashion — one group was being condemned and one wasn’t…. When a friend of mine was beaten up for no other reason than that some people didn’t like the way he combed his hair, I took my anger out by writing about it.”

Thirty years after it was first published, The Outsiders still carries the same frightening and unifying messages for teens (and readers of all ages). The ruthlessly realistic and violent story of the Greasers and the Socs, rival gangs from very different sides of the railroad tracks, is narrated by Ponyboy Curtis, a smart, sensitive kid who has grown to become one of the most recognizable figures in the history of young adult literature. Any teen who has ever felt isolated or different can identify with Ponyboy, a kid forced to be tough on the outside, but who underneath is just as scared and needy as anyone. Hinton herself has said that she has never written a character as close to her own self as Ponyboy is. Young Adult fiction was shaped and defined by Susan Eloise Hinton, and the realism she attached to the genre became the norm, enabling later writers like Robert Cormier and Judy Blume to find characters and voices that actually spoke to adolescents. Since 1967, Ponyboy has become the hero for countless teenagers nationwide as The Outsiders stands to influence an entirely new legion of adolescents who need Ponyboy as much as ever.

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Gotham High- Melissa de la Cruz

51135390. sx318 sy475 From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East Endcomes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!

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Cracked Up To Be- Courtney Summers

45046784When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 1/6/20

It’s Monday again and my first full week back after the holidays.

I’m going to be trying new this year with my reading and try to read at least one classic a month. This month I’ll be reading something that will make me stay out of the sunshine…

This week I’m going to read an arc that I won off of Goodreads and a classic horror novel.

What are you reading?

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Universal Love- Alexander Weinstein

45186616A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World

Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping stories, a young boy tries to understand what keeps his father tethered to the drowned city they call home. A daughter gets to know her dead mother’s hologram better than she ever knew her living mother. And, at a time when unpleasant memories can be erased, a man undergoes electronic surgery to have his depression, and his past, forever removed.

In an age when technology offers the easiest cures for loneliness, the characters within these stories must wrestle with what it means to stay human in an increasingly cybernetic future, and how love can endure even the most alluring upgrades.

In the vein of Weinstein’s critically-acclaimed first collection, Universal Love is a visionary book, written with one foot in the real world and one stepping bravely into the future.

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Dracula- Bram Stoker

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When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

 

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stacy

 

Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag

The Holidays are right around the corner and I can’t wait to have a few days off from work to relax and get some much-needed reading done.

How are you spending your holidays?

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We were tagged by the amazing Chelsie over at My Reading Escape to join in on the book tag fun. Thanks for including us 🙂

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It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

I’ve asked for a few books that have been on my TBR for a while but the main one I really want and hope to receive is Normal People by Sally Rooney. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her books and I want to start with this one.

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You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

I get asked this question a lot and we joke around at work about which books we would use as weapons if the occasion arose (yeah, we are kind of morbid). I always go for Stephen King. IT is over a thousand pages long and so worth the damage it does to your hands after holding it while reading.

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It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

I usually don’t like to have food/snacks around books because of crumbs or stickiness. But sometimes I make an exception for a cute contemporary book. It puts you in the right mindset for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a decent cookie or two.

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Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

Yes, I know that they changed the cover for this one but it still drives me crazy that they first decided to go with that cover. It made me feel as if they were trying to sabotage her.

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You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

Anything by V(E)ictoria Schwab is a super quick read for me. Her books draw you in and you sit and read her entire book in one sitting.

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You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

I know that I’m so late to the party with this book but I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now and I need to own it for my book collection.

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You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

I wanted to throw this book across the room because it was one of my highly anticipated reads but it was just awful.

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You’ve just visited Hogsmeade for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

I own this book but just haven’t read it yet.

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Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

This book is just the cutest and puts me in a better mood.

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You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through some dark times?

This is not your typical pick me up book but it took my mind off of things that were going on around me.

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We Tag:

ABellaFairyTale

ABronxLatinaReads

 

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 4/29/19

This week I’m in some kind of nostalgia kick, so most of my reads will be books I remember from when I was younger.

What are you reading this week?

Last Things- Jacqueline West

41154322When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?

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The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

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We follow Esther Greenwood’s personal life from her summer job in New York with Ladies’ Day magazine, back through her days at New England’s largest school for women, and forward through her attempted suicide, her bad treatment at one asylum and her good treatment at another, to her final re-entry into the world like a used tyre: “patched, retreaded, and approved for the road” … Esther Greenwood’s account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.

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Terror Academy: Lights Out- Nicholas Pine

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Located in a small New England town, Central Academy seems like a normal high school . . . Some unfortunate students are about to discover the dark side of Central Academy–and learn firsthand the true meaning of terror.
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Sweet Valley High Super Thriller: On The Run- Francine Pascal

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A shadowy past …After a chilling encounter math murder, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are now ready for a calm summer in Sweet Valley-until Eric Hankman appears.

Like Elizabeth, Eric is a quiet, sensitive writer, and the two of them immediately become friends.

But Jessica’s not convinced that Eric is as perfect as he seems. Her suspicions are aroused when her new friend, Darcy Kaymen, thinks she recognizes Eric as a boy from her hometown who has a mysterious past. Jessica knows Elizabeth won’t believe a word of Darcy’s story mathout evidence, but by the time she has all the proof she needs, it may be too late to save her sister.

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stacy

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday! 3/5/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is: Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

  1. Jude- The Wicked King by Holly Black
  2. Donatella Dragna- Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  3. Brynn Hilder- The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons
  4. Scarlett Copeland- Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
  5. Noah Oakman- The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold
  6. Brooklyn Stevens- The Merciless by Danielle Vega
  7. Marla Singer- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  8. Hannah- Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  9. Quincy Carpenter- The Final Girls by Riley Sager
  10. Emika Chen- Warcross by Marie Lu

Which characters made your list?

stacy