Monday, September 30, 2013

The Lineup ~ UKYA


This is my closing post for Internationally Bookish! I didn't end up doing a lot for the theme, but I'm still glad I was able to fit in a few Lineups and blogger interviews to go with it. Next month's theme will be started later this week!

I did a Lineup for Books by Aussie Authors, and now I'm doing one by UK authors. This may not be all of the books I've read in this theme, but these are the ones I know about. I know some of the classics I've read could probably go on this list, but I'm keeping them off. 

UKYA books 
(Most books aren't in the picture)
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Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I really don't need an explanation, do I?

His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
This is one of the series that pulled me into the love of reading. The Golden Compass is one of my all-time favorite books The movie, though, was a huge disappointment. 

Being by Kevin Brooks
This book is just so . . . awesome and weird and . . . really cool. It's such a good, odd little book that I would love to reread and review on Reading is My Treasure sometime. 

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
I love good historical fiction, and this is a good one. I really like it when a book is set during the French Revolution and it was really cool how the author mixed a bit of magic/fantasy in with history. 

Let's Get Lost by Sarra Manning
This one is a quick contemporary that pulled me into it. I like to reread this one and read my favorite parts from it. It's not a light book, but it isn't a terribly heavy one. It's my type of contemporary, and I often times like reading books like this one.

Candy by Kevin Brooks
Kevin Brooks is one of my favorite authors despite the fact that I haven't given any of his books over a four star rating. I really like the feel of his writing and I don't read a lot like it. I'm not sure if I've ever read another book quite like Candy, but it is an awesome book.

City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
I couldn't get into the rest of the series, but this is such a cool book! I loved the concept and the world. It was an interesting read.

Numbers by Rachel Ward
The first half of this one went slow for me. I actually set it aside for a long time (a near DNF) before I picked it back up where I left off and finished it. The last half saved the book for me. It was a very good part of the book.

Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
The same thing that happened with Numbers happened with this one, except it wasn't as interesting. I still liked it.

Lucas by Kevin Brooks
This one was pretty slow, but there were still a few pretty good parts.

This one was pretty funny, but I'm not a huge fan of this type of light contemporary. 
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I really need to read more UKYA books. Any suggestions?

Internationally Bookish: Interview #4 ~ Mia from My Literary Jam (& Toast)



This is my last Internationally Bookish interview! I've interviewed Mia Hayson, a writer from Scotland. She has a huge personality and I'm glad to be featuring her today. :)

Check out Mia's blog, My Literary Jam (& Toast). (I really like that title.) Also, say hi to her on her Twitter!


Welcome, Mia. I'm glad to be interviewing you 
at Reading is My Treasure!
Thanks for having me! *PRODS INTERNET* *WAVES* *THROWS CONFETTI*
First of all, you write, right? What are you 
working on at the moment?
Yes! I write YA fiction of all descriptions (I once wrote a little something about time travelling kitchen appliances) but right now I'm polishing off a story called SEA OF FLAMES. It's about a girl broken on the inside and angry on the outside. She lives in a world tearing itself apart as its climate grows more extreme and so do the people within it. It's a coming of age story, she's looking for her name and her firesong, but it's also about finding acceptance. I like books that show how a person is much more than one thing, and I guess that's what this is.
Good luck with the book! 
What is your favorite genre within YA and why?
I have to be honest, I like all YA and sometimes this gets me into trouble and sometimes this takes me to wonderful places! My favourite YA doesn't have a genre necessarily, but involves books that cause you to really think and re-evaluate things. I like the unexpected, and falling in love with something or someone I thought I couldn't.
I like pretty much all YA genres too. 
What is one of your favorite places for a book to be set 
in (like country, city, etc.)?
Tricky! I'm not sure I have a place. Books open up horizons, so I enjoy trekking through the jungle and swaggering down the streets of New Orleans, but I also like books set in made up places. There's something meaningful in reading about an entirely new place, with new rules, and seeing something of your home in it. So, yes. Um. Hmm.
Is there a book set in Scotland or written by a Scottish 
author that you highly recommend reading?
I really enjoy Iain Rankin and his books set in Edinburgh. Not YA but crime, and very good! In many ways they describe the real city, the torn apart areas and the real problems faced, which is not something you see in a lot of other books. I'd recommend those if you were thinking of writing a modern book set in a Scottish city and wanted it to feel real. Fabulous! 
 Lastly, tell me something interesting about Scotland that 
probably don't already know about. 
It's different from you what read in the books.

Some things are the same but there's this feeling in the highlands I've yet to see a book do justice. It's the small things, I guess, like a crisp afternoon in October as the sun falls, the shadows rolling out like sheets of pasta, and the first smell of snow brushes by you. Or a morning in the depths of winter, when you and your brother have waited until the sun is at its highest to brave oceans of snow again and try to make it home from your parents'. As snow tumbles towards the car, like stars rushing by a spaceship, you watch a man throw sugar out the back of his tractor. Hundreds of black wings against the ivory of the road. Calm in the heart of a snow storm because no matter how you try, you can't rush winter. Winter always wins. You might think the people mirror the weather — cold and sharp, harsh and unrelenting — but that couldn't be further from the truth. Our hands are cold but our hearts are warm. Life is short and winter is long, and maybe that's what the feeling is living here. Winter will always win, so you make the most of the summer. Winter is long, so let it be and accept the beauty of it.
You describe it in such a good way!
Thank you for answering my questions, Mia!
********************************************************
What did you think of the interview? How would you have answered 
some of the questions I asked? (or other question)

Internationally Bookish is now over! You can check out my other posts with the theme here. I'll have the kickoff for my next theme sometime this week.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review ~ The List by Siobhan Vivian


Series: N/A
Genre: Ya contemporary
Pages: 332
Publication date: April 1st 2012
Publisher: Push

Goodreads Description: 
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

Source: ARCycling and The Book Monsters

This book is about beauty and self-esteem. It's about being reduced to labels based on how "pretty" or "ugly" you look. It's about seeing someone on the surface and judging them before taking a deep and careful look at who they truly are on the inside. It has a great message: it doesn't matter what other people think or say about you--it's what you think and feel about yourself that matters because after all, people aren't going to remember those moments where you were the "prettiest," the "ugliest," or whatever-ist. However, how you handle yourself and how you take being labeled in whatever way is something that could affect you in the long run. So . . . why not stop worrying about what others think of you and start focusing on the more important things in life?
"Years from now, no one will remember this dance, no one will remember who made homecoming queen, no on will remember the list. What people are going to remember are their friends, the relationships they've made. Those are the things to hold on to." - Principal Colby
Anyway, that's message I got from the book.

I loved, loved the concepts, the messages, and the lessons learned in The List. Was it a fascinating read? Did is suck me in, make me cry, make me laugh, or make me fall in love with it? No. Honestly, based on my enjoyment level, I could've given the book three stars instead of four. It made me think, though, and I thought that deserved a higher rating. I could see a lot of development in the characters--each one changed in some way. Sometimes it was a very positive change, and others were a bit negative. Sometimes, the change was only a baby step towards an improvement. I really liked the variety in these changes in developments.

What I didn't like, though, was the number of characters. There were eight of them, and each had her own story told in third person. I felt like there wasn't enough of some of the characters. The story may have been more engaging if there wasn't so many characters alternating throughout the book.

Overall, The List as a meaningful book. It's one worthy of a discussion.You can discuss the messages or the changes in each character. You can talk about why each one changed, or what certain moments and actions meant. You can also discuss the closing of each character's story and why they ended the way they did. This is a book that you can actually get something out of. It's also a very easy and relatable read. For those reasons, I highly suggest giving this book a try.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Internationally Bookish: Interview #3 ~ Francoise from My Crazy Bookish World


I have another interview to share with you! I've interviewed Francoise, an Australian who runs My Crazy Bookish World, who is one of the nicest bloggers I know. Every comment she makes on posts is meaningful, and out of all of my followers, she's probably left the most comments. If you don't already know her, I would highly suggest going over to her blog out and saying hi! You can also find her on Twitter.

Hey Francoise. It's great that I get to interview you on 
Reading is My Treasure!

First of all, what are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading Throne of Glass and I'm about 10 chapters in and it's amazing. It definitely deserves the attention it's been receiving and I was worried the hype would destroy it but thankfully it hasn't.
I'm glad to hear you like it!
What is an Aussie YA book you highly recommend?
I read Friday Brown by Vikkie Wakefield and I loved it. It was one of the first Australian Literatures I've read which is quite sad because I'm Australian. But Australian Literature isn't very popular which is sad because I think this genre has a lot of potential. I'm just waiting for an Australian author to come up with a new and original idea to blow away all the YA fans.
What is something interesting thing about Australia?
Most of Australia's exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world. I think that's probably one of our main tourist attractions.
 That is probably one of the main reasons why I think 
it would be cool to go to Australia. What is one of your 
favorite locations (cities, countries, etc.) for a book to be set in?
I like it when novels are set in America and England but I really want a change. Why can't books be set elsewhere like Germany or something. I think it could be a good read because you would get a better sense of other cultures and it would be different from what we're used to.
I totally agree! 
Lastly, if you were a demi-god, which Greek god/goddess 
would you want as a parent?
Oh my god...this is a hard question. As a major Greek Mythology fan...this is a difficult question to answer because each god/goddess has there own qualities and special powers. But me who loves the beach and swimming, I would have to choose Poseidon. (I blame Percy Jackson)
 Thank you for answering my questions!
Thank you for having me on your blog! It was fun answering all the questions. And can I just say as a last note...Australians don't ride kangaroos to school.
What?! Darn, that's a big disappointment. ;) 
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Since she answered my questions, Francoise has finished Throne of Glass. You can read her review of it here.

Guest Post ~ Meredith from Pandora's Books: Time Travel in YA

Please give a warm welcome to this week's guest poster! Meredith is a blogger from Pandora's Books, and if you don't already know who she is, go visit her blog and say hi! She's an awesome person, and I'm glad to have her here today (this is actually her first guest post). She's also a serious tweeter, so I would also recommend you go follow her on her Twitter account.

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Time Travel in YA – Meredith Maresco

A few years ago, I read a YA book with time travel in it. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it at all. I didn’t enjoy the plot, several things that happened throughout the book, or the ending. It’s rare for me to dislike a book as strongly as I did this one. I won’t name the book, but I will say that it is a popular YA trilogy now.

I stayed away from YA books with time travel for a long time after that - far, far away from them. Even ones that looked like they had potential. I just didn’t trust them after having such a bad experience.

And then something pretty awesome happened. As with most awesome things, this has a back-story.

In June, I played a game on Twitter, hosted by Foreword Literary called Foreword Jeopardy. They ask questions, and the first person to reply with the correct answer, using the Foreword Jeopardy hasthag, wins a prize. Well, I won! What did I win, you ask? (Since this seemingly has nothing to do with time traveling... I promise, I’m getting to the point!) I won an eARC of Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris.

Now, I don’t normally read adult romance and I don’t normally read contemporary. But Taste the Heat sounded really interesting, so I gave it a shot. And I LOVED it! Rachel Harris is such an amazing writer. The plot, the characters – everything about it was amazing and enjoyable.

Later, I found out Rachel also wrote YA books! I was thrilled to read more of her books, especially since they were YA and I enjoyed Taste the Heat so much! At the time, only one was available: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Which had time travel (See? Told you I’d get to the point!). I was wary of time travel books, but knowing what an amazing writer Rachel is, I wanted to give it a shot, so I added it to my TBR.

And then what happens? I see an announcement on Twitter. Entangled Teen had posted sign-ups for those interested in receiving an eARC of A Tale of Two Centuries, the second book in Rachel’s My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series. 

So, I’m not sure if someone told me this or if I’m totally making it up, but at the time, I thought you could read these two books out of order. I was under the impression it was more of a companion book than a sequel. So I jumped at the chance to read it! And honestly, I really didn’t get that lost, despite having not read the first book!

What’s the point to this whole long-winded story, you ask? Well, I LOVED A Tale of Two Centuries! Rachel Harris had done it again – an amazing book, amazing plot and great characters! The time travel was hilarious, too – a sixteenth century girl, Alessandra, lands in twenty-first century California, and has to navigate the unfamiliar century with the help of her cousin, Cat (who time-traveled BACK to sixteenth century Italy in the first book) and a hunky bad boy, Austin – And let me tell you, Rachel Harris knows how to write a truly swoon-worthy male love interest!

Rachel renewed my faith in YA books with time travel in a major way! I’ll read anything she writes from here on out! And, thanks to her amazingly awesome writing, I’ll definitely be giving other YA time travel books a shot in the future!

In preparation for this post, I went to Twitter to ask other people which YA time travel books people loved the most. Here are the top five that were recommended to me, ordered based on how many people recommended each book:

  1. Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir
  2. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
  3. Tempest by Julie Cross
  4. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
  5. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris





There were several other books recommended, but these five came up the most.


I think the lesson learned here was this: Sometimes, you read a book and you don’t enjoy it. At all. And it’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean you’ll dislike all the books in that particular genre/with that particular topic. If I hadn’t discovered Rachel Harris, I would likely STILL be avoiding time travel books and then I would have missed out on some great books – like Ruby Red, Time Between Us, Unraveling and All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell (not listed). I haven’t actually read any of these yet, but I WANT to. And before reading A Tale of Two Centuries, I wouldn’t have even bothered picking those books up!


So thank you, Rachel, for being an incredible writer and for opening my eyes to a genre that I might otherwise have missed out on!

Now, tell me in the comments: What is your favorite YA time travel read? And have you guys had a similar experience? Did you read and dislike a book, but then discover another book with a similar topic that you loved? Have any books renewed your faith in certain genres or topics?


********************************************************
My response to Meredith's questions:

I used to think that I didn't love dystopia books because there were three or four books in that genre that I started but didn't finish. Then, sometime over the summer, I realized that most of what I was reading was dystopia, and I realized that I really do love books in that genre.

I don't believe I've read many time travel books, but I here's a couple that I liked:

Book Blitz: Excerpt + Giveaway ~ Waterborn by Kimberly James


I thought this book looked like an interesting one, so I decided to take part in this book blitz and share it with you! I really like the fact that it's NA because I don't get around to reading much non-contemporary NA.

Enjoy the excerpt!

Waterborn by Kimberly James
Publication date: September 6th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
“You don’t have to choose. You can be both. The girl with the charm, the girl without. They both suit you.”

Caris Harper lives a charmed life. Literally.

When her dad offers to take her to the Emerald coast of Florida for summer vacation, Caris jumps at the chance. The chance to get answers to questions she’s always been too afraid to ask. The chance to be normal. Isn’t that what her dreams have been telling her, that here in the place of her birth she can be normal? But from the first moment the wind caresses her face and the sun touches her skin, the charm begins to fade, revealing a girl Caris never knew existed, one that is anything but normal. The long-buried Song that awakens is only the beginning of a transformation that will challenge her ideas about loyalty and family.

Noah Jacobs is a waterbreather—a species of human fully adaptable to life in the water. Like his older brother Jamie, Noah wants to prove they can use their abilities and be heroes in service to their country. When a simple mission goes wrong and Jamie goes missing, Noah exiles himself to the Deep in a desperate search. MIA is a classification Noah is not ready to accept. But instinct can’t be ignored. Not when he hears her Song. Caris is not what he expects and Noah is determined to get her out of his head. Instead he finds himself acting as her mentor and the more time they spend together, the more Noah realizes he just wants Caris.

When a startling truth threatens their newly formed trust, Noah straddles the line between love and obsession while Caris struggles to find a balance between the girl she thought she was and the young woman she wants to be.

Excerpt:

********************************************************
All my life I wanted to be like my mother, hoped I was like her. And now that I knew I was, the knowledge felt like a burden instead of a blessing. A dream turned nightmare.
As I stood on the beach, a few yards away from where the foamy waves rushed over the sand, I wished it weren't true. Maybe my dad was wrong. Maybe my mother had been wrong.
My hope was dashed as soon as the Song came, easy and instinctive. Echoes built and swirled in my head like the breaking of so many waves. I felt the purpose of this Song in a way I hadn't felt before. I recognized it for what it was now. What before had come as the result of wayward thought, produced by uncontrolled feelings, now came with a violent edge.
A command.
A part of me prayed he wouldn't answer, that he wouldn't succumb to the power even as it seemed to fill me with a sense of vitality.
Minutes later, Noah emerged from the surf, surrounded by the foamy break. He radiated power. Somewhere in the fog of my mind, I remembered his strong arms wrapped around me as he wrestled me from the force that held me to the bottom of the ocean. Was it because I knew what he was that I could see him so clearly, or was it that he no longer had to hide that part of himself from me? Did we all wear a charm of some sort? All I knew for sure was that no mere human had eyes like that. No mere human moved with such graceful strength as though he commanded the water itself.
Our eyes locked and held. We circled each other with wary steps. This wasn't the same boy I'd rescued from a pack of bullies. This boy was wild, defiant and snarling silently, caught in this invisible trap of my Song.
Where did we stand? Yesterday I would have said we were friends. Now I didn't know. He stopped an arms length away. Was he afraid to come closer? No wonder he had looked at me with such animosity before. He didn't like it, having to come when I called. But despite that, despite what my dad had told me about my real father hurting my mother, I couldn't believe that Noah would hurt me. I told him that day he'd rescued me from a pool of horseshoe crabs that he wouldn't hurt me and I still believed that. Maybe even more now.
“Are you afraid of me now?” I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a sense of empowerment, a tiny thrill that he was here only because I'd asked him to come with just a thought.
“No.” As if to prove it, he closed the space between us with one long stride, eyes intent, bold as they raked over me. I had discarded my dad's t-shirt, eager to feel the wind on my skin, the spray from the surf. I wore my bikini top and bottoms, but I might as well have been naked the way Noah looked at me. Noah's bare chest glistened with moisture and I had the absurd thought to rub up against him, let that moisture soak into my skin. Something must have shone on my face, some yearning I couldn't name, because he shook his head and tiny drops of water rained down on me. I massaged them into my arms, let them drip down my face, craving more. They sang through my blood and every nerve ending in my body responded. Even my scalp tingled.
His eyes scoured my face, questions swimming in the green depths. But he also looked as if he too had no idea what happened next.
“How long have you known?” I couldn't quite keep the edge out of my voice. The accusation. I knew this wasn't his fault. The fault lie with my dad, but still, he had been keeping this from me. He should have told me.
“Since the first day I saw you.”
“The day behind the shops when Jax took your hair?” How had they done it? Cornered and trapped him like that? It didn't seem possible, even though there had been three of them.
“No.” He averted his eyes. I watched his throat move as he swallowed. “Before that.”
Realization dawned. My first night here, when the water grabbed at me. I remembered the swell I'd felt in my chest, the Song that had burst through my head almost without me knowing.
I called him that first day, and he'd come, not knowing who I was. I didn't want that kind of power over him. Yet, here he stood.
“Why you? I mean, there are others like you…” I gulped, still barely able to grasp the idea of another species, even with the proof of it standing in front of me. The proof of it humming under my skin. I still felt human enough, but Noah was definitely more. So unquestioningly, obviously more. “Like us. Why you?”
“I don't know.” He said the words almost like a tired sigh, as though it was an unanswered question he'd asked himself over and over.  
“So, we're not really friends. It's just this…” I waved my hand between us, not knowing what to call this connection we shared.
“I can't speak for you, but I am your friend, Caris. I will always be that.”
My throat tightened and I looked away, not wanting him to see how his words affected me. They soothed the raw edge of my raging emotions. Grounded me to center when everything felt like it was spiraling out of my control. “You must hate me.”
His mouth quirked in a half smile. “No. I don't hate you.”
Copyright 2013, Kimberly James
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Kimberly is a Crossfit junkie and a connoisseur of french fries.

She likes to make stuff up and write it down. Her stories usually have a contemporary setting with a fantastical twist. Waterborn is her debut novel.

Kimberly lives in Alabama the beautiful with her husband, three dogs, Kevin the cat, and four new adults of her own. A couple of which are off at college.


I've been given the opportunity to give away one e-copy of Waterborn!
Terms
-It's open internationally. 
-You must be 13 years or older. 
-Your entries will be verified to make sure you did each task that you said you did.
-The winner will be notified by me through email (and Twitter if I know your Twitter handle) and will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I choose another winner. 
-The giveaway ends on October 14th at 12:00 am PST. The ebook will be sent after October 21st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Blitz: Q&A + Giveaway ~ Eramane by Frankie Ash



I signed up to participate in this book blitz because I thought the cover was really cool and I thought you guys would find it interesting. There's an interview (not one that I did) for you to read a giveaway for you to enter. Enjoy!

Eramane by Frankie Ash
(Eramane Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: Summer, 2013
by Archway Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis:
In the village of Eludwid, seventeen-year-old Eramane Fahnestock goes about her life, cheerfully disregarding a prophecy made to her parents that she would have a great gift. Not yet wed and beset with boredom, Eramane cannot shake the feeling that something exciting awaits her beyond Eludwid. But when she is invited to picnic with a handsome young suitor, Eramane has no idea that her life will soon change forever.

As Eramane prepares for her date, she is suddenly hypnotized by a strange voice that tells her he will be coming for her that night. Unsettled but determined to press forward, Eramane and her suitor, Lebis, head to the woods to enjoy their picnic. As darkness falls on the forest, however, a beast emerges, transforming their beautiful outing into a terrifying scene. Taken captive and carried away to a mountain hideaway, Eramane finds her memories are soon clouded, even as her family frantically searches for her back home.

In this gripping fantasy tale, evil is summoned to the mountaintop, forcing a young woman to discover her magical gifts and exact revenge against a beast determined to destroy everything she has ever loved.
Q & A with the Author

What inspired you to write ERAMANE?
I really don’t remember. It was over ten years ago when the idea popped in my head. I think I was driving in my car. But that’s the awesome thrill of being a writer, when those great ideas just peek-a-boo in on you.
What are some of your favorite books/authors?
The Hobbit, anything from Poe or King, I added a new fav when I read The Hunger Games, Ann Rice has a special place in my heart, and I read every single R.L Stein book I could get my hands on when I was a kid.
How did you get in to writing?
From reading, there is something about a really great book that takes hold of you and won’t let go, and you find yourself thinking, “Man, I want to create something that awesome too!”
What do you like to do other than write?
I love listening to music and hanging with my family. I like catching a movie here and there. I really like to drink coffee and think about writing. Umm, does that count?
Did you listen to music when you wrote ERAMANE, and if so, who were some of the artists?
I sure did. But the experience of music is so individual, and tagging Eramane with the music that helped inspire me to write it might spoil the experience for others. It might not be that big of a deal, I don’t know.
How long did it take to write ERAMANE?
Well like I said, the idea came to me over ten years ago. I began writing immediately but not steadily. I didn’t actually finish it until 2005. Then I sat on it for several years before deciding to publish. And there were some developmental changes made during the editing process, but for the most part my initial story remained. So in short…haha…about 13 years. Don’t worry though; book two is moving along at a much faster rate
Did you have the whole trilogy planned before you began writing book #1?
Not even close. I know how I want ERAMANE to end, and I know certain things that I want to happen in the story, certain things that have to happen, and with that I will take her to the end…the path is plotted daily.
Frankie Ash is the author of the YA novel Eramane, COMING SOON! She holds a B.A. in English and resides on the east-coast somewhere between “Will it ever be warm again?” and “The summers here are too short!” She is currently writing book #2 of The Eramane Trilogy, to be published in 2014.

Website / Goodreads / FacebookTwitter 

Grand prize giveaway

50$ Amazon Gift Card + eBook of Eramane (Open internationally)
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Internationally Bookish: Interview #2 ~ Kate from Reading Under the Willow Tree


My second blogger interview is of Kate from Reading Under the Willow Tree! She's from the UK and has a very cute-looking blog where she reviews YA, NA, and Adult books. Feel free to go visit her blog and say hi! 

Welcome to Reading is My Treasure. I'm glad to be interviewing you!

First of all, tell me a little about yourself and your blog.
My name is Kate and I live in the UK. I am currently in my second year at Uni studying Environmental Sciences focusing on Oceanography & Geology. I run a book blog called Reading Under the Willow Tree. The blog has been alive for about a year and a half now and I try to post something everyday. I am a manic reader and can read really fast which means I normally get through a book a day. When I am not studying or reading or blogging I am at the cinema because I LOVE movies. I nearly started a movie review blog as well but decided that I would never have a social life if I did.
That's so cool that you're going to school for Environmental 
Sciences! That's one of my possible interests for school. :)
What was the last five star worthy book you read?
The last 5 star book I read was Maybe One Day by Mellisa Kantor which comes out early next year. It was amazing and had be in tears by the end. I hope it does really well.
I'm so glad you liked it! I got that book from Edelweiss, 
but I haven't read it yet.
What is your favorite genre and why?
Impossible question to answer! I have a very eclectic taste in books I literally like every genre and will read anything. I guess if I had to pick I would lean towards romance or science fiction but I also love fantasy, dystopian, contemporary & historicals as well.
I don't think I've read many UK YA books. What is one you would 
recommend reading?
I would recommend anything by Malorie Blackman who is the current Childrens Laureate. Slated by Teri Terry, anything by Elizabeth Wein, oh of course Harry Potter!
Lastly, can you tell me something interesting thing about the UK?
The river Thames is crossed by over 200 bridges

or

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That’s where the phrase, “goodnight, sleep tight” came from.
I didn't know either of those things! I always find it interesting 
where those little sayings come from. 

Thank you for answering my questions!
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What did you think of the interview? How would you have answered 
some of the questions I asked?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mini-Review ~ Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Series: Of Poseidon #1
Genre: YA paranormal
Pages: 337
Publication date: May 22nd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads Description:
Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.
Source: Bought for Kindle
*This book was chosen for me to read through the September Secret Readers program

I have a confession to make: I don't really like mermaids. I just don't find them to be interesting, even though I keep trying to find them so. There's not a lot of mermaid books that I have read, but the ones that I have just don't seem to pull me in as much as books with other supernatural creatures. 

Of Poseidon had quite a few humorous moments. It wasn't a boring book. It just didn't leave a huge impression on me. Not a lot stood out. The characters weren't fantastic, though I did like most of them. There wasn't a hugely interesting plot, though it wasn't quite boring. I'm sorry I'm not being very detailed, but this is just one of those books that don't inspire me to write much of anything about it. 

Overall, I liked Of Poseidon, and I may even read the sequel sometime, but I am at a loss of what else to say about it. 

The Lineup ~ Challenged Books


This Lineup has to do with a current event: Banned Books Week. (If you don't know what that is, you should stop by real quick because I'm bad with explaining things and I'm just going to get down to the listing). I'm lining up the books I've read off of the Top Ten Challenged Books Lists by Year: 2001-2012 that I found. With each book, I included the title, reasons why they were challenged (I went with the reasons under their most recent year), and the years they showed up on the top ten list. 

These books are not ranked from most to least favorite like I usually do. Take a look at the titles, and you'll see why. They are some of the best books I've ever read and I refuse to say one is better than the other. So, I just made two different groups. 

*Click on the book covers to go to the Goodreads pages*

Challenged 
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Valuable Books - The Ones that are Worth Every Second of Your Time

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Year: 2012, 2008

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
Year: 2012

Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Year: 2012

Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling 
Reasons: occult/Satanism
Years: 2003, 2002, 2001

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: offensive language; racism
Years: 2011, 2009

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
Years: 2011, 2010 

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
Year: 2010

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence
Years: 2004, 2003, 2001

His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
Years: 2008
2007 (for The Golden Compass

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group 
Years: 2012, 2011, 2010

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
Reason: offensive language
Year: 2002

Other Books

ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
Years: 2011, 2009, 2008
 2007 (for ttyl only)

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence
Years: 2010, 2009

Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Year: 2001
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I'm sorry I didn't include my thoughts with each one, but chances are, these books will pop up on later Lineups where I will talk about them. The first nine books/series are some of my favorites of all time, and I definitely recommend each and every one of them. 

I do understand a little bit why some of them are on the challenged list (like Crank and Thirteen Reasons Why), but many of the reasons just seem so silly, like these ones:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird was challenged because of "racism," and yes, the book has a lot of racism it it (which isn't surprising) but I don't believe it should be challenged for that. 
  • Harry Potter . . . it's one of the most beloved series ever, so it's funny that it's on the list.
  • The Hunger Games is "anti-family," apparently. Am I the only one who thinks that makes absolutely no sense?
  • I honestly don't get the whole "religious viewpoint" for Twilight.
  • For all the books that say "unsuited to age group," I actually think are well suited for YA.

  • The one I'm most confused about is the ttyl series. I don't see why it's been challenged so much. There are much more challenge-worthy books out there. 

I have some questions for you:
How are you celebrating Banned Books Week?
Which books are you confused about why they've been challenged?
Which banned/challenged books have you read and loved?
Lastly, do you think most banned/challenged books are actually some of the most valuable ones to read? 

Check out other Banned Books Week related posts around the blogosphere
(If you have a post and I missed it, please let me know and I'll include it here.)

Emily @ Forever Literary 

Octavia @ Read. Sleep. Repeat. 

Jen @ The Starry-Eyed Review
One of the stops on the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Teen Librarian Toolbox
Teens NEED Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell