So. I was tagged by Mafs Crazy Book Life, along with the rest of the No Blog Left Behind Crew, to complete The Taylor Swift Book Tag—a series of questions about books based on Swift’s song titles.
Truthfully, I don’t really listen to music unless it happens to be on the radio as I drive to and from work, so I can’t say that I’m a huge Swift fan, or a fan of any music artists, really, but I am a fan of all things books, and this is a book tag… so I’m all in!
I’m also tagging Val and Jess of Stuck In Books to do it, too–and all my readers are more than welcome to scoop up the questions and create your own blog/vlog post. Make sure you tag me back so I can read/watch your posts, too!
1. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.
This was hard because I feel like there aren’t a ton of red covered books—at least, not ones I’ve read. However, I did recently read Ghosting by Edith Pattou, and as you can see, that’s definitely a RED cover. Truthfully, I think the cover itself is actually kind of bland—there isn’t much to look at aside from the glaring red and the origami bird… but the story inside makes up for the cover tenfold. If you like poetic-like stories, then this free-verse novel is for you. It’s jarring because it’s so vastly different in style, but it’s a great read if you stick with it.
On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.
Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.
Read my review 4.5 star HERE.
2. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is definitely my nostalgic read. This story is a mashup of my highschool/college years. Many of the situations, thoughts, and feelings of the characters are spot on with events that happened in my life between ninth grade and my sophomore year of college, and every time I read this novel, it rips me apart, but also reminds me of everything good that happened in-between the struggles of love and loss.
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
3. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This novel actually has two forbidden loves—one due to Layla’s deadly kiss—she can never be with Zayne, the gargoyle boy she grew up loving, and one due to intense evil—she cannot fall in love with Roth, the prince of the demons, the very enemy she’s sworn to fight against. (Stay tuned to the blog—November 1 I’ll have a giveaway for a signed copy and lots of swag.)
One kiss could be the last
Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.
Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.
Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.
But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne
it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
Read my 5 star review HERE.
4. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.
My character, Heathcliff, comes from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I read this story long ago as a high school student, and I fell in love with Heathcliff almost instantaneously. He’s the underdog, treated like crap by his adopted relatives, but he betters himself and, using deceit and stealth, comes out on top. His adopted family hurt him irreparably emotionally, and while he’s technically a psychopath, I suppose, I understand where he’s coming from and I just adore him.
Emily Brontë’s only novel, Wuthering Heights remains one of literature’s most disturbing explorations into the dark side of romantic passion. Heathcliff and Cathy believe they’re destined to love each other forever, but when cruelty and snobbery separate them, their untamed emotions literally consume them.
Set amid the wild and stormy Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights, an unpolished and devastating epic of childhood playmates who grow into soul mates, is widely regarded as the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language.
5. Innocent: Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.
Well, that would have to be Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins. But the ending wasn’t ruined for me. Who ruined the ending, then? Well, I did. I ruined it for all my students last month when we were having a psychological discussion about characters and their motivations in novels. One of my students was saying that Gale was a stand up character morally, while Katniss and Peeta had ulterior motives and were less than honest… I called Gale a baby killer for what he ultimately does to Primrose, and the whole class gasped and freaked out. My bad. I thought they knew the ending—they started it. #notmyfault
My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.
6. Everything Has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.
Laila, the main character in The Tyrants Daughter, by J.C. Carleson, goes from complete ignorance about her father’s dictatorship and her country’s wars to seeing it from the perspective of the rest of the world. It’s just amazing; it made me really stop and think about how we see our own surrounding world and how others see something completely different.
THERE: In an unnamed Middle Eastern country, fifteen-year-old Laila has always lived like royalty. Her father is a dictator of sorts, though she knows him as King—just as his father was, and just as her little brother Bastien will be one day. Then everything changes: Laila’s father is killed in a coup.
HERE: As war surges, Laila flees to a life of exile in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Overnight she becomes a nobody. Even as she adjusts to a new school and new friends, she is haunted by the past. Was her father really a dictator like the American newspapers say? What was the cost of her family’s privilege?
Far from feeling guilty, her mother is determined to regain their position of power. So she’s engineering a power play—conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to gain a foothold to the throne. Laila can’t bear to stand still as yet another international crisis takes shape around her. But how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
Read my 5 star review HERE.
7. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.
Scare Crow by Julie Hockley. It took years for this sequel to Crow’s Row to release, but I was so in love with Cam and Emily’s story that I never forgot them, and reading the sequel felt like I’d never had down time in between the two stories. For many sequels, I have a hard time remembering all the details and I have to go back and re-read the first installment in order to remember everyone, but Hockley’s novels were seamless for me. It was just so beautiful when it finally did release. Now I’m waiting on book three.
Nineteen-year-old Emily Sheppard is losing her sanity.
Ever since her mob king boyfriend, Cameron Hillard, abandoned her for her own good, Emmy has been attempting to move on with her charmed college student life as if nothing happened.
Now rejected from the underworld and left grieving over Cameron’s alleged death, Emmy realizes she belongs nowhere.
Worse yet, she is now keeping a dangerous secret.
After just a short time with Emily, Cameron has lost control over his world.
As he miserably attempts to return to what is left of his life and unravel the mess he has made of the underworld, Emily’s hate turns to desperation. She needs to kill the kingpins responsible for Cameron’s death before they come looking for her.
As Cameron secretly observes Emily, he has no idea of the danger he has placed her in—or that it may already be too late for him to save her.
Scare Crow is a tale of revenge, terror, and love as Emmy and Cameron embark on separate journeys to face enemies, correct past mistakes, and…………..
find their way to their destinies.
Read my 5 star review HERE.
8. Forever and Always: Pick your favorite book couple.
That would have to be Kyra and TaeDane from Return of the Ascendant by Raine Thomas. Kyra and Tae are absolutely AMAZING and swoonworthy and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! The third book is going to release soon enough, and I just can’t wait! This has been an extremely amazing series and I just adore Kyra and Tae. Mmm.
Expecting to enjoy another typical college night at a frat party with friends, Kyra Vaughn’s plans derail when she’s almost killed…twice. Her savior, a tall, sexy stranger who calls himself TaeDane, claims that he’s the personal bodyguard for the Ascendant of Alametria. She’s convinced he’s crazy.
Especially when he insists that she’s the Ascendant.
With dark enemies hunting her down, Kyra has no choice but to trust her supposed bodyguard. Ty vows to help her remember her past and return her safely to Alametria, but someone seems intent on interfering, challenging his abilities at every turn.
As Kyra’s memories emerge, she remembers that Ty is more to her than he’s let on…much more than he’s allowed to be. She’ll also discover that there are many things about her planet and herself that she’d rather forget. In the end, she’ll have to make a choice: cling to the life she knows, or risk it all to become the person she’s destined to be.
Read my 5 star review HERE.
9. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.
Alienated by Melissa Landers. This “out of this world” novel swept me away from the very beginning. It is so so so very good, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. February is too far away. I gushed about it was weeks to my students after I read it, and now I’m the proud owner of a personalized, signed copy that my friends picked up for me during RT this past year.
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Read my 5 star review HERE.
10. Teardrops On My Guitar: Pick a book that made you cry a lot.
River in the Sea by Tine Boscha. I mean, wow. This novel is intense and absolutely amazing. I don’t think words can do it justice. You just have to read it, and make sure tissues are on hand.
At fifteen, Leen De Graaf likes everything she shouldn’t: smoking cigarettes, wearing red lipstick, driving illegally, and working in the fields. It seems the only thing she shares with her fellow Dutchmen is a fear of the German soldiers stationed nearby and a frantic wish for the war to end.
When a soldier’s dog runs in front of Leen’s truck, her split-second reaction sets off a storm of events that pitches her family against the German forces when they are most desperate – and fierce. Leen tries to hold her family together, but despite her efforts, bit by bit everything falls apart, and just when Leen experiences a horrific loss, she must make a decision that could forever brand her a traitor, yet finally allows her to live as her heart desires.
Inspired by the life of the author’s mother, River in the Sea is a powerful and moving account of one girl reaching adulthood when everything she believes about family, friendship, and loyalty is questioned by war.
Read my 5 star review HERE.
11. Shake It Off: Pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. This is the series that got me back into reading way back when… I also feel like it really was the turning point for YA literature—they’re the books that got my students interested in reading again. Since then, so many amazing novels have released, and I love it!
About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back…
12. Out Of The Woods: Pick a book couple that is so frustrating because you just need them to be together already!
Definitely Kricket and Trey from Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol. I was frustrated with theie “relationship” in the beginning. Though Trey was kind of a jerk in the beginning, I just knew that they needed to be together–to throw off their pretentious dislike of one another, so I was beyond happy when they finally did. Dying for book two!
All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS
Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.
Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.
Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.
When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?
Read my 5 star review HERE.