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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*Blog Tour- Review & Playlist* If I’m Being Honest- Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

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Cover.jpgMean Girls meets The Taming of the Shrew in this romantic follow-up to Always Never Yours

     Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: b*tch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school–she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her brutal honesty. But when she slips up in front of her crush, Andrew, any affection he may have had for her quickly fades. To win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Shakespeare’s infamous shrew, Katherine. If she makes amends with everyone she’s ever wronged, Andrew will have to take notice. Thus, Cameron begins her apology tour with Brendan, the guy whose social life she single-handedly destroyed. At first, Brendan isn’t so quick to forgive, but slowly he warms to her when they connect over a computer game he’s developing. To Cameron’s amazement, she actually enjoys hanging out with Brendan; he appreciates her honesty in a way Andrew never did, and she’s left wondering: maybe you shouldn’t have to compromise who you are for the kind of love you deserve.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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My Review:

”If there’s one thing I’ve learned from kissing him- other than how nerdy junior boys can be unexpectedly proficient kissers- it’s that you can’t pick or predict the person you’ll fall for. You can’t figure it out with a list or a plan.”

This is Mean Girls meets Can’t Buy Me Love with a mix of Jenny Han. With a mix like that, this was adorably perfect. If you love romantic comedies, teen drama, mean girls, video games, classic literature, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show then you are in for a massive treat.

Cameron is one of the most popular girls at school and everyone knows that she is the resident top Bitch. She speaks her mind with blunt honesty and doesn’t hold back. Other students follow her opinion like a pack of lost puppies.

The person who she wants the attention from is Andrew but she blew her chance when she belittled a fellow student at a party in front of him. He uttered the words that now consumes her life. “You’re a bitch, Cameron Bright!”

Cameron devises a plan to make amends with the students she has wronged. She thinks that showing Andrew that she’s a good person will change his opinion of her.

As she starts on this process, she realizes that this isn’t as easy as she first thought. Some are easy to forgive but others like, Brendan are making this more difficult. She ruined his life in the sixth grade by giving him a horrendous nickname and he’s putting up quite the fight.

The apologies bring her closer to a group of people she never thought she would hang with. She starts to realize that they bring out the best in her. After spending time with Brendan, Cameron comes to some life-changing realizations.

Maybe love isn’t something you make happen, unexpected love surprises you in the best ways.

This was totally charming and I became addicted to finding out what was coming next. This fresh take on a feminist retelling and all on romantic comedies will make you desperate for more work by these two authors. It was divine!

If I’m Being Honest teaches us that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone. Stand up for yourself and others when you see that they are down and out. It’s great to speak your mind and be honest, but keep other people’s feelings in sight. This was super cute and an absolute delight from cover to cover. Teen romantic comedy lovers with rejoice at this interesting spin on a classic remake.

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Playlist:

*Clicking on the title and artist of each song will take you to the video on YouTube!*

Bitch- Meredith Brooks

Bad Reputation- Joan Jett

Popular- Nada Surf

1-2 Crush on You- The Clash

Teenage Dream- Katy Perry

Sweet Transvestite- Rocky Horror Picture Show

Time Warp- Rocky Horror Picture Show

Baby, I Love You- The Ramones

I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Whitney Houston

Toxic- Local H

Maps- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Fade Into You- Mazzy Star

 

 

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About the Authors:

downloadRaised by a school librarian, Austin’s always had a passion for books, especially books for young people. He met and fell in love with Emily in high school and went to Harvard University as an undergraduate. He studied English (focusing on Shakespeare) and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. Recently, Austin worked as a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter. He is currently a UCLA law student; however, there’s nothing he loves like writing with Emily. Emily, whose parents are screenwriters, has loved writing and story-telling since an age she hardly remembers. Since meeting Austin (she says it was middle school–accounts vary), Emily attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, studied psychology, and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. While at Princeton, she wrote the first novel in her self-published YA fantasy trilogy, The Last Oracle, which was featured in USA Today and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

 

Thank you, Penguin Teen for allowing us to be a part of this fantastic tour!!

Tour Schedule:

Week One

April 15 – Arzo_yo – Creative Instagram Picture

April 16 – A Court of Coffee and Books – Playlist

April 17 – Book Princess Reviews – Listicle: Disney Heroines that changed themselves for love

April 18 – Readerrewind – Creative Instagram Picture

April 19 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Playlist

Week Two

April 22 – Dazzled by Books – Review + Creative

April 23 – Bookish in Texas – Review + Playlist

April 24 – Amber After Glow Reads – Creative Instagram Picture

April 25 – Read by Tiffany – Review + Rainbow Moodboard/Aesthetic

April 26 – A Court of Crowns and Quills – Creative Instagram Picture

 

Week Three

April 29 – Lindseyybooks – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

April 30 – The Fandom – Review + creative content

May 1 – Forever Young Adult – Review

May 2 – Just Add a Word – Listicle: Top Ten Quotes

*Arc Review* The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik- David Arnold Blog Tour

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“Well the way I see it, a guy shows up with note cards and a boom box means he’s got some time on his hands. But a guy shows up with snow, that’s either destiny or wizardry.”

David Arnold takes you on an epic journey, one that leaves you gasping while flipping through your vinyl collection. This one was weird but a lot of fun to read.

From the synopsis, you know that you are going to be delving into the world of the weird and the bizarre. And that is what I’m all about. It’s like he looked at what was inside my head and turned those pieces into a puzzle of a book.

Everything about this book was powerful. It was a beautiful bizarre masterpiece and I’m ready to experience it all over again.

Noah is my new coming of age hero. He doesn’t care what people thought and walked to the beat of his own drum. Drum meaning David Freaking Bowie!!!

This is my favorite David Arnold book to date and you seriously won’t regret traveling through these hidden doors with Noah!!

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The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik Blog Tour Teaser 6

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“Sometimes I feel like a guest in a house full of loving people I barely know, and I see a wide-open yard out back, and I think, that’s where I want to be, and so I walk outside. But standing alone in the empty yard, i look back inside at a house full of loving people, and I think, why did I come out here again?”