Tuesday Top Ten

tuesday top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books you would like based on a favorite movie/TV show.  Here’s the problem – I don’t really watch much TV, we don’t have cable, and if we watch something it’s usually something that the kids want to see.  And we don’t go to the movies much either, unless it’s a movie based on a book, so I completely cheated and decided to list the top 10 books to read if you loved Divergent (at least it’s a movie, even if it was a book first!).  And I stuck only with books/series that I have personally read – I know there are many more out there!

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness
  4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  5. The Matched trilogy by Ally Condie
  6. The Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
  7. The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
  8. The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  9. The Host  by Stephanie Meyers
  10. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
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Matched Trilogy

I recently listened to the audiobooks for the entire Matched trilogy over the course of a week and half. I love it when all the books in a trilogy have been released and I can follow the entire story arc without waiting a year for each installment!  The trilogy is nothing new and original and exciting – another YA trilogy set in a dystopian society with a love triangle – but I thought it was fun, entertaining.  I also loved the use and importance of poetry throughout the series.  There’s no way to discuss the series without giving some things away, I will try to minimize the spoilers, but consider yourself warned!

matchedThe Society controls everything – where you live, your work, your schooling, your food, your spouse, your entertainment, when you die …  Cassia Reyes is headed to her match banquet where she will find out who The Society has paired her with – and surprise!  Lucky her!  She has been matched with her best friend, the handsome, smart, sweet, and loyal Xander.  She couldn’t be happier until a brief flash of someone else’s face shows up on her match card – that of another childhood friend, Ky Markham.  The Society assures her that it was a simple glitch.  But when her grandfather gives her handwritten outlawed poetry (no one’s allowed to write…) at his final meal, she begins to see a world of possibilities.  What if she could choose?  As she begins to learn to write, and to fall in love with Ky, everything about the world she has known and trusted becomes confused and suspicious.

This first installment was told in Cassia’s voice, and while parts moved a little slowly, and there were some weird plot holes (if you can type on a computer, even if you haven’t been taught handwriting, why is the idea of writing so foreign?), it went quickly and I liked the characters.  I was engaged in watching Cassia awaken from her naiveté even though it sometimes felt like she was falling in love with Ky simply to be difficult when she’d obviously been head-over-heels for Xander a week earlier…

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 384
Publication: Dutton Juvenile, November 2010

crossedKy, who happens to be an aberration (someone whose parents have committed an infraction against The Society), has been sent outside of the society and Cassia is determined to find him.  Of course, as Cassia is running from place to place trying to find him Ky is running from place to place trying to get away from The Society, or The Enemy, or somebody.  Apparently there’s a war, and Ky and his buddies are being used as bait, but it’s never clear who the war is with or what is actually happening.  But anyway, he’s running (with his new friends Vick and Eli) and Cassia is chasing (with her new friend Indie).  There are also rumors of The Rising, a group of people who want to overthrow The Society.  Cassia wants to find Ky so they can find and join The Rising together.  Ky just wants to find Cassia.  Once they find each other, where will they go from there?

Crossed was told in alternating voices, switching between Ky and Cassia.  That wasn’t a problem, except I found Ky to be annoying – overly dramatic or something – he just grated on my nerves.  I still liked Cassia and while I wanted her to find Ky and The Rising because she wanted to, I wasn’t convinced that what she was doing made any real sense.  It still felt like she was doing all of this simply because someone told her not to, not because of some great destiny.

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 367
Publication: Dutton Juvenile, November 2011

reachedCassia and Ky have joined The Rising, only to be separated again.  Cassia has been sent to Central to work from inside The Society while Ky is a pilot for The Rising and Xander is working as a medic.  There is a rebellion, and a plague is unleashed.  When the plague mutates things start to fall apart.  Will a cure be found?  Who will be in control – The Society or The Rising or someone else?  And of course, who will Cassia choose?  Or will she even have a choice anymore?

Reached was also told in alternating voices, but this time the chapters alternated between Ky, Cassia, and Xander.  Ky was less annoying, but still too emo for me.  Xander’s voice was actually my favorite. Overall, I guess I was OK with this book and the way the story ended.  While the actual uprising seemed anti-climactic, the search for a cure was far more engaging.  Things moved quickly.  Parts of the book were still a little weird for me, it felt like there were parts of the story that remained unexplained.  Having said that, there is character growth and change, particularly with Xander, and the main storylines do get wrapped up, and for the most part I was fairly satisfied with where things ended.

Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 512
Publication: Dutton Juvenile, November 2012

Wednesday WWW

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WW is hosted by Should Be Reading.

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Wednesday WWW

wednesday www

WWW is hosted by Should Be Reading.

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Top Ten Series I’d Like To Start But Haven’t Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to list the book series that we’d like to start, but haven’t gotten around to yet.  I’m going to cheat a little – well, maybe more than a little – and include series that I have started, at some point in my life, but never got around to finishing, series that I want to start over – and make it through the whole darn thing!

  1. Wonderful World of Oz by Frank L. Baum – I read The Wonderful World of Oz when I was a kid, but I’ve never read the rest of the series.  I just bought them all in hardcover and am looking forward to sharing these with my kids!
  2. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – What can I say, some of these classic series for younger audiences I started as a kid, but never moved past the first book for some reason.  So add this to the list as another great series that I could read out loud with the kids!
  3. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I read The Hobbit and I attempted at one point in my middle-school years to tackle the rest, but never made it.  Since my hubby is such a fan I should probably give them another try!
  4. Matched by Allie Condie –  I have made a vow not to start any more trilogies until the last book has been released – I hate that year-long wait between books – it makes me crazy!  And then there’s always the effort of trying to remember where I left off when the next book comes out!  Now that Reached was released at the end of 2012 this is a trilogy that I have put on my to-read list.
  5. Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – I read her Infernal Devices series and the last book is coming out this month, finally!  The Infernal Devices series is a prequel to the Mortal Instrument series, so once I finish Clockwork Princess I will add this series to my to-read list.
  6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I have heard a ton of great things about this series, but have never started it.  Travelling back in time, Scotland, intrigue, romance – how can I go wrong?
  7. Miss Marple by Agatha Christie – I’m a lover of mysteries and have never spent any real time with the queen of mystery!  I picked up a bunch of her books at a used book sale a couple of years ago and keep meaning to start working my way through them – they’re not too long so it shouldn’t be too hard!
  8. Stone Barrington by Stuart Woods – I like a lot of the books in this genre – mystery/thrillers with a recurring character – good quick reads that are entertaining.  I know that this series is popular in my library with folks that like many of the authors that I do, so it’s probably worth a try.
  9. Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin – I’m generally not a huge reader of fantasy, but given the popularity of the HBO series (which I have not seen), I would like to give the first book a try and see how it goes.
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth – A dystopian series that looks interesting and I hear positive things, I just need to follow my own rules and wait until the last book is released in October!