Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Student Recommendation: DARK EDEN by Patrick Carman


Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (a HarperCollins imprint)
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 336

          When Will Besting approaches Fort Eden for the first time, he knows something isn't right. With more terrifying secrets at every turn, he discovers a hidden fear deep inside himself, a dark mystery a thousand years in the making, and the unexpected girl of his dreams. But can he save everyone from the dangers of Fort Eden before it's too late?
          Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, the power of memory, and the mystery of love.

Many of us have had a fear in our life ranging from many different things. Dark Eden (by Patrick Carman) was a book about fear itself; it had you experience it with the characters in a way that was stunningly realistic. Dark Eden was able to mix horror and mystery remarkably, each page it had you on your heels making you wonder what would happen next.
One thing I think the readers will love about this book is its whole plot; each page will have you wanting more and more of the story because Patrick Carman has a way of wrapping you in the book not wanting to let the book down. I would give Dark Eden a magnificent 5 out of 5 stars; this book would probably appeal to middle school students and older people just because of the horror aspect.         

 All in all Dark Eden was one of the best books I’ve ever read so far this year. Make sure to pick up a copy, I’m sure it will be worth your while.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TTT: Top 10 Books I'd Recommend to...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Books I Recommend to... my 8th grade girls looking for more mature/edgy contemporary romance books to read next
Typically my students start with PERFECT CHEMISTRY (& the rest of the series) by Simone Elkeles because they end up having it recommended by a friend, and after they read and love it, they ask me for more "books like this one." It's not always easy to decipher what exactly that means, but I've come to realize that in this case they're usually asking me for a more mature/edgy, realistic contemporary romance book. This year in particular, I've had to expand my book knowledge in this subset because I have a core group of girls who are reading tons of books and keep asking for more like these. I can always guide them toward other non-realistic genres for read alikes later, but for now they want the contemps, so here's my go-to list of next read alikes for this specific request. 
*Caution: Know your students well and what they can handle and what their parents would (not) be okay with them reading about before recommending these definitively YA titles. I did not recommend any of these until I had read them first and knew that the particular student reading it would be able to handle the mature content (and it I would rarely recommend to a 7th grader), but there is a reason for each one of these being on this list because they each have valuable messages to offer teen girls along with being engaging reads.



JUST ONE DAY (& JUST ONE YEAR) by Gayle Forman

SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers

SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger
THOUSAND WORDS by Jennifer Brown

MY LIFE AFTER NOW by Jessica Verdi
RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory

What would you recommend to readers looking for a mature/edgy contemporary romance book?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black (My Rec & A Student's Perspective)

I was so excited when one of my students took my recommendation to read THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN because I wanted to get a student's perspective on it. I'm thrilled that she loved it as much as I did, and she wrote her response in such a fun way, so I wanted to share some of my own thoughts along with an 8th grader's recommendation for this phenomenal book.

My Thoughts:
I LOVED The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I understand it is an homage to classic vampire stories, and although I never read any of those, I can still appreciate what Holly Black did as it is so different from the other YA vampire stories that I have read. This book is SO good! I thought I was over vampire novels, but not this one. It has an intriguingly and thoroughly built world, a likeable main character, and a vampire who says all the right things. The alternating chapters of present story and flashback history/context added to the depth. The pacing and the is cleverly written. It is without a doubt one of my top books of the year.


Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 419
Source of Book: ARC requested from publisher

          Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
          One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
          The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is the perfect example of a vampire book with originality. This intriguing novel is unlike any of its kind, containing a dangerous and mysterious plot. The author, Holly Black, wrote an amazingly written story that immediately sucked me in. This made me love the book a million times more, because there’s nothing better than getting lost in a thickening plot. Same goes for the characters. I was able to get lost in their personalities and traits while enjoying every moment of reading about them. They were fantastic; it was like I was tagging alongside on the adventure with them.  Truthfully, I think anyone interested in vampire books should read this. Even people who don’t like vampire books should read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown because honestly this book has the potential to blow anyone away with its amazingly, epic self.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TTT: Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait to Get My Hands On

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get My Hands On

CHAMPION by Marie Lu (Legend #3) 11/5/13 {Came out yesterday-reading now!}

THE RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer #3) 6/10/14
IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #3) 2/4/14

SNAKEROOT by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade #4) 12/10/13
GRADUATION DAY by Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing #3) 6/3/14

LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger (Let the Sky Fall #2) 3/4/14
THE TREATMENT by Suzanne Young (The Program #2) 4/29/14

DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) 4/8/14
ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Anna and the French Kiss #3) 5/13/14

THE SHADOW THRONE (The False Prince #3) 2/25/14

Not released yet and would've made my list if I hadn't already read them:
SPLIT SECOND (Pivot Point #2) 2/11/14
PERFECT LIES (Mind Games #2) 2/18/14

INTO THE STILL BLUE (Under the Never Sky #3) 1/28/14

INDEPENDENT STUDY (The Testing #2) 1/7/14
CRESS (Cinder #3) 2/4/14