Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for Students

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Hey everyone we are back!!! And we are so happy to be doing another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by those lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week the theme is ten book recommendations for a group of our choosing. Since we are getting into mid-August (I know we can’t believe summer has gone by this fast either!), we decided to do ten book recommendations for students. More specifically we are going to each do five recommendations of our favorite required reads from when we were in school. We don’t know about you but we definitely had a few really good reads that were required when we are in school, so we hope that you can enjoy them too!

Arika:

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis | To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee | Was God on Vacation? by Jack Van Der Geest | Beowulf by Unknown

Emily:

The Outsiders by SE Hinton | The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi | The War of the Worlds by HG Wells | The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien | Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

Question: What book did you most enjoy reading in school?

 

Make Me (Emily) Read It!

Hey everyone! I have been struggling in my reading life as of late. Not really sure what is going on, but I just can’t seem to sit and focus on my reading. I absolutely love the books that I have read this summer, so you can see why I am so confused.

Thankfully this really cool readathon was brought to my attention. The Make Me Read It Readathon is hosted by Val at The Innocent Smiley and Ely at Tea & Titles. This is my first time participating in it, but their 3rd year of doing it. I am super excited for this.

are2bgetting2bmarried25212b252842529

Basically, for the week of August 6th-August 13th I will read the books that YOU choose for me. In my poll I have 5 listed and am HOPING to read the top 2, but will continue on to the rest if I find I am flying through these books. It was tough to decide what to put in this poll, because there are so many books that I am dying to read. But with me being unable to decide this is the perfect challenge to join. I picked a random 5 books from my TBR that I own and am leaving them in the poll below for you to pick.

My poll closes the day before the readathon starts, so vote away my friends! Thanks for your help. I am super excited about this!

emily

3 Reasons to Read: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

no good deedEllie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

Add to your Goodreads | More about the Author | Purchase this book

*We both received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes our thoughts.*

Our reactions after finishing:

Arika:

I am a fanatic when it comes to any kind of retelling. And when I saw the description for No Good Deed, I knew I would need to read it. Especially it being Robin Hood. I mean, who doesn’t love adventures in the medieval times with some awesome archery skills included! I have to say this was a different retelling then I am used to…but I really enjoyed it and I was entertained by all the characters in the book. Whether I was laughing out loud at Will Scarlett, or holding my breath when Ellie decided to try a crazy shot with her bow, there were many enjoyable moments in Nottingham. And with that, here are my 3 reasons you should grab this book.

  1. Humor: There was a good bit of humor, especially in the scenes with Will Scarlet. Oh there were a few times that I was actually laughing out loud. I really enjoyed all the scenes with Robin’s “Merry Men” and even had a few giggles when Ellie had to try and explain herself because of how she acted (the darn time travel).
  2. Main Character: Ellie was a very relate-able and cool main character. She is a competitive athlete in archery and is actually in the Olympics at the beginning of the book, which was a good set up for this story. I was immediately drawn to her and really loved her witty sense of humor when communicating with other characters. I also really enjoyed how she adapted to the time travel, being a 21st century young adult in the 1200’s would have seemed impossible for me!
  3. Setting: I am a sucker for stories set in England/The United Kingdom. I have always loved that area of the world and especially the folktales that come from that area during the medieval time period. It seems like it is always a good adventure going on and this book was no exception. Camping out in the woods, being in a convent, or even the Nottingham castle where the infamous sheriff lived, there was a lot of different places explored in the book. All the descriptions transported me across time and places, and I never felt bored.

Emily:

Time Travel + Robin Hood retelling!? Sign. Me. Up. I am a sucker for Robin Hood retellings and just knew that I had to read it. Honestly…I was not disappointed. This was a very unique and fast paced retelling that had me constantly guessing. I read this book in just a few short sittings, which is not normal for me. I was completely sucked into this version of Nottingham and the adventures that Ellie had. So…what are my 3 reasons that you should pick up this book?

  1. Time Traveling Robin Hood: Ok, I know I kind of already said that but hear me out. This book started in the modern day with Ellie at an archery  competition. In a twist of events Ellie finds herself back in the time of the Robin Hood legend in wonderful Nottingham. Time travel is tough for me, but this one really got me. I love that we didn’t get a plot where Ellie just magically fit in. We see her struggle with being much more modern than everyone else. Her speech, her verbal expressions, everything was a bit too much for the time period. I think that this really added to the story and to Ellie as she worked her way through this story.
  2. Strong characters: I really found that I came to love Ellie. It’s not shocking that I love the characters of the Robin Hood legend (remember…I’m a sucker for it), but Ellie was a struggle. At the beginning I was none to thrilled with her. I thought she was kind of whiny and just not handling things well. Throughout this book we ended up seeing Ellie grow, and in turn she started to become my favorite character. She learned so much and became a stronger and more independent character that we had seen at the beginning of the book.
  3. Adventure: This book really just felt like I was going on an adventure. I felt like I was sucked in with Ellie running around Nottingham and hanging out with all those characters I have read about so many times. It made me think that I should really learn archery, and it really gave me the urge to get up a do something. Because of this book such an adventure I felt the pacing was perfect. It moved constantly with the plot which really helped give it that adventurous feel. This book was a great getaway from the real world, and if that is something that you want then I highly recommend it!

We think it’s safe to say that we both really enjoyed this book. We weren’t entirely sure what we would get when diving into this book because this Robin Hood tale is so special to us, but we were pleasantly surprised. This book comes out on July 18th! You should definitely get your hands on a copy soon!

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite retellings?

Top Ten Tuesday: We’ve Been Meaning to Read That…

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Welcome back for another Top Ten Tuesday! We got to admit, our Tuesdays just are not the same without making a list of 10 books or bookish things (yes, Emily was a little sad to miss out last week but at the same time it was necessary…). On this particular Tuesday, the 3rd of June (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?) we are listing 10 series that we have been meaning to start but just haven’t gotten around to yet. These can be books we have owned for forever, books that have been our lists forever, etc. So, here are some series that we have been meaning to dive in to but just haven’t yet (due to not owning them, not having all the books in the series, the book series not being completely finished, or because we have book ADD).

Emily:

Red Rising (Red Rising series) by Pierce Brown | Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles) by Melina Marchetta | Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms series) by Morgan Rhodes | Spells & Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan series) by S. Usher Evans | Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone series) by Julie Eshbaugh | A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird series) by Claudia Gray | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer series) by Michelle Hodkin | The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game series) by Evelyn Skye | Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone series) by Laini Taylor | Incarnate (Newsoul series) by Jodi Meadows

Arika:

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen | The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski | A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab | A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica CluessTrial by Fire (Worldwalker #1) by Josephine Angelini | Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) by Tamora Pierce | Defiance (Defiance #1) by C.J. Redwine | The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye | Air Awakens (Air Awakens #1) by Elise Kova | Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff

QUESTION: Which series should we prioritize? And what are some series that you have been meaning to read but just haven’t yet?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Dads in Literature

toptentuesday
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hey everyone, Arika here for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the wonderful ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is a pretty obvious one with Father’s day coming up this Sunday….a list to do with Dads. So I decided to do a list on my favorite literature dads. This could be dads who made a big influence on the character or even characters who were like dads for the main hero. There are many ways a character can provide support or a lending hand when that main character has no clue what to do. These characters might not be the best all around guys or do everything right but in the end they are there to help and get those main characters through difficult times in their lives. I don’t think they could have made it through their troubles with out them.  There are tons of good choices out there, so I thought I would list a few of my favorites! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter Series | Sirius Black – Harry Potter Series | Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird | Gabril – The Shadow Queen | Mr. Bennet – Pride and Prejudice | Lord Eddard Stark – A Game of Thrones | Shalom Singer – The Selection | Haymitch Abernathy – The Hunger Games Series | Aragorn – Lord of the Rings Series | Aslan – The Chronicles of Narnia

Question: What are some of your favorite Dads or Dad like characters?

To listen or not to listen

Before diving in to this post that has been on my mind for FOREVER I just wanted to apologize for being so absent lately! End of the school year stress + regular life stress + being gone for a bit in California (WHOO!) caused me to read less and blog less. I am so ready to jump back on here though and get this whole schedule thing down (one day…).

tumblr_mfu5s3v5nb1rknrf9o1_500

Lately I have really taken to audiobooks. I have about a half hour drive to work each day, which adds up to at least an hour a day in the car. Though I love my music and love singing along in my car I just wasn’t feeling it for a bit. I gave podcasts a try and felt pretty “meh” towards them. I started to feel like I couldn’t fully unwind after a day of work and relax to them.

And then one day I decided to go on Overdrive. And…THEY HAD A BOOK I WANTED TO LISTEN TO!

I was shocked. Typically it takes me forever to find something because I can be so picky, but there it was. I instantly downloaded it, and found myself relaxing and enjoying my drive again.

Audiobooks can be tricky. There are so many amazing things about them, but also so many possibilities of them not working out for you. Some pros and cons that I have noticed….

Audiobook Pros:

tenor

  • You can listen to a book no matter what you are doing! Driving, working out, cleaning the house…super easy to continue to make progress on a book while being productive.
  • It can make your workouts seems like a breeze. Seriously, my workouts felt like way less work because of the audiobook I was listening to.
  • It helps you tackle those reading goals. Looking at you Goodreads. I am super far ahead on my goal this year and it’s because of my combination of physical books and audiobooks.
  • Some books are just meant to be listened to. I have found that I maybe was ok reading the book, but the addition of a narrator just adds so much more. If you want to listen to a book that fits this you should definitely listen to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Audiobook Cons:

thumbs-downnotvjimmy-fallon

 

  • If you don’t pay for an audible subscription (because some of us can’t afford it) then sometime it’s difficult to get what you want.
  • LOOOOONNNG waiting periods on Overdrive. I swear I have been on the waitlist for one particular audiobook for months and there was only 1 person ahead of me.
  • Narrators can make or break a book. Obviously some narrators are fantastic, but there are also those that have voices that just kind of lull me to sleep or make me uninterested in the topic.
  • Some books were meant to be read. I truly think that some books need to be read by the reader and not listened to.

As of right now I am riding that audiobook high. I have been able to reread books and get lost in new worlds, all while driving my car. I also have found that nonfiction really clicks with me more when I can listen to someone reading it instead of reading it myself. Will this high last? Oh I hope so. But with summer coming I will have more time to read physical books, so I can keep my book count for the year going strong.

QUESTION: What are your feelings on audiobooks?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things on Our Reading Wishlist

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Hey everyone, we are back for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week we are going to talk about Ten Things on Our Reading Wishlist. What does that exactly mean, well we are going to talk about what stuff we wish to see more of in books. Whether that means specific types of characters, time periods, problems that characters face, tropes….tons of different things. Really it describes what we want to read about and would love to see more of!

  • Great Banter: Whether it’s between friends or two characters you know will end up together, a book with great banter is always one I like to recommend to others. A little humor goes a long way and when I look forward to some good banter, I read the book that much faster.
  • A Quest: We would really like to see more books out there with a good quest. Like a Lord of the Rings type quest! While a lot of books out there have the characters going after something, or have some type of conflict, we want to see a book that they are journeying across countries to solve a problem. The adventure is always so much fun!
  • Medieval Time Period: While we know there are quite a few out there but this time period is always so much fun. The castles, the knights, the swordplay….there is are so many cool stories that come out of this time period. And some of our favorite retellings (ehem…Robin Hood) are set during this time period.
  • Best Friends: Having the main characters be best friends and not lovers/in a relationship. We do like a good romance but it’s nice to read about friends who are on an adventure together!
  • Humor: Books that actually make you laugh out loud! We love a good witty book that is like Princess Bride/Monty Python in book form.
  • Fairy-tales: We grew up in the Disney era of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Little Mermaid. So we love to read those stories that have to do with fairy-tales. If an author can pull of a new imagining of one of these stories…we will read it.
  • Historical Settings: We both love reading about history but we want something more than just a romance in a historical setting. Whether its set during one of the great world wars or even further back during kings and queens in the 13th and 14th century. It would be fun to read about people during that time and adventures they went on.
  • Kick-Ass Women: We love to see a women who shows everyone who is boss. Whether that be a women who can literally kick someones butt with sweet ninja skills or fighting moves or it could be a women who uses her brains to defeat an evil force.
  • Magic School: We know, we know….nothing will beat Harry Potter but there is always hope another good series will come forth. Harry Potter was just so good we just want something like it to curb our cravings for more HP.
  • Greek Gods/Goddess: We both really enjoyed Percy Jackson and all of the series that had to do with both Greek and Roman Mythology. What we want to see is another series and maybe more adult themed then the Percy Jackson series. It’s interesting to read stories and how the god’s interacted with mortals.

Question: What are some features on your reading wishlist that you want to see more of?

Feature Friday: Spring Releases round 2

Hey everyone! We are back again on this wonderful Friday (one in which Emily does not have to work!) to talk about some spring releases we are excited for. Remember, in our posts Spring Releases are just in April or May. Obviously you could carry it until the first official day of spring if you wanted, but for our purposes this just made sense. Last week we mentioned our excitement for the next release from Sarah J Maas (IS IT MAY 2ND YET!?). It’s safe to say that is one of our most anticipated books for the spring. If you are at all in love with that series then you totally get why.

So what releases are we talking this week?

Emily

23308087
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I absolutely LOVED The Wrath and the Dawn series. Seriously. I was feeling a bit sad because I was done with a different beloved series and had nothing that I was head over heels in love with. Insert Renee Ahdieh and her gorgeous book. I fell in love. So obviously I just need to have anything she writes ever. I honestly am going in slightly blind. I know that there are things that are based off of Mulan (HECK YES!). But other than that I have kind of been leaving myself in the dark because I want it to be that way. I want to go in without all kinds of expectations from other people. I want to judge it for myself (but I have a good feeling I will be 100% in love, because really…how can you not love her books!?). So yes…I am very very excited to get my hands on this book. It comes out on May 16th!

Arika

Spindle fire
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

As most people know, I am a huge fan of authors putting their own spin on a fairy tales. Thus, when I read the synopsis of Spindle Fire a few months back, I definitely had to add it to my TBR.  I haven’t read too many Sleeping Beauty retellings, so I am very curious to see how Lexa Hillyer weaves her own story into Aurora’s. The talk of sisters, an evil faerie queen, and a mysterious hunter really piqued my interest. And the cover also looks super cool! (I am guilty of putting a book on my TBR just because the cover looks amazing!) The good news for everyone is….this book came out this Tuesday April 11th! So if you looking for a spring read, it might be a good one to check out!

QUESTION: What are some of your anticipated spring reads?

Feature Friday: Books that are Green Part 3

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all! And if you don’t really celebrate it…HAPPY FRIDAY!

Image result for luck of the irish gif

We are back again this Friday with some book recommendations for you with covers that just so happen to be green. And how perfect is it that St. Patrick’s day falls on a Friday and we can continue the green book celebration with you ON the actual holiday? So far we have each shared a book we have read that is green and a book we want to read that is green.

This week we are telling you about another book that we read and enjoyed that just so happened to be green. So…what books do we have for you this week?

Arika:

splintered

Splintered by A.G. Howard

So my second book with a green cover is the book Splintered. I am a big fan of anything retelling. This series is a really cool retelling of Alice in Wonderland! I’ve read this book almost two years ago and while it wasn’t my favorite Alice in Wonderland retelling I still really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the world A.G. Howard created and how she combined the two together. Though I did have a problem with one part of the series…and most people know I don’t like when authors do this but sometimes it is necessary…a love triangle! Ugh there was a pretty big love triangle in this series and while I know why she did it, it still got on my nerves quite a bit. But I don’t think that should detract anyone from reading it! It’s a cool series with lots of twists and turns and some cool characters!

Emily:

23924355

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Ok, this book is like a blue-green but oh well. As I looked through books that I have read I realized that I don’t really read a lot of books with green covers. Odd right? Anyway…you may remember me talking about Fear the Drowning Deep awhile back (like right here to be precise). This was a book that I had expected more people to chatter about, and get I found that not as many people were talking. This book is kind of creepy. There is just something beautiful and haunting about the atmosphere of the book that made it seem slightly creepy, but in a good way. The author really built up this world with it’s dreary environment, which lead to even me being a little suspicious about the Ocean. There was so many interesting things going on in this story, and you are eventually totally sucked in and waiting to see just what happens to Bridey. I mean she is afraid of the ocean and lives on an island. I had so many questions throughout the entire story. Besides the atmosphere and the characters I found the writing to be beautiful and I was completely entranced from the beginning. If you are looking for a sort of eerie book, I would highly suggest picking this one up.

QUESTION: What are some green books that you have read and enjoyed?

Rock My TBR Check in!

rockmytbr17header
Rock My TBR is hosted by Sarah at The YA Book Traveler

Hey everyone! Can you believe that tomorrow is already the first day of March!? February really seemed to fly by this year (which is not always the case in the cold upper midwest) and we are SO ready for all the fun that March will bring (mostly Springtime. We want Winter to be over now guys). There is no Top Ten Tuesday topic today as the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish are taking the week off (and they so deserve it!). So, instead of doing a Top Ten Tuesday for you this week we figured we would do a Rock my TBR check in, because…we missed last month. Oops. We are thinking this may be an every other month thing, because life sure can get busy, but we’ll see.

If you forgot all about Rock My TBR you can check out our introduction posts (Emily | Arika) and you can check out our list where we are keeping track.

So, how have we done with Rock My TBR so far in 2017?

Emily:

I honestly don’t think I am doing to shabby. The goal is to essentially read one book from this list a month, and I am up to 3 books on this list. I can obviously do better (and Spring Break is coming my friends), but I think 3 is a solid start towards a goal of finishing 12. What books have I read?

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – This book was a struggle for me at first (which I will definitely go into later when I talk about this book). It got pretty dark, but in the end I enjoyed the mystery of it all and found the characters to be intriguing.

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds– A book that I definitely think we all should take some time to read. It deals with loss, and I am a firm believer in everyone taking some time to really understand the process. I think this book did an excellent job showing that everyone copes differently.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton– I am embarassed that it took me this long to read. Arika and I did a buddy read for this and will discuss our full thoughts later, but until then know that I LOVED THIS BOOK.

What’s next?

Hmmm, that’s tough to say.  I would love to finish The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski and would really like to dive into either I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith or finally tackle Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Chances are…I will do something completely the opposite, but the intentions have been set!

Arika:

I think I am a little ahead of my goal so I would say that is wonderful for me! I wanted to read at least one book a month and so far I have done 3 in the first 2 months and am on my 4th. I hope to keep this pace so that I can read more than 12 from my list, but we will see, life likes to get in the way of my reading. So lets see what I’ve read so far:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Heartless was a great retelling of the Queen of Hearts. I enjoyed this book and I actually was cheering for her to turn out good. The best part was all the descriptions of the goodies she would bake!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – A fantastic finish to the Six of Crows duology. I love all the characters in this book and would love to be best friends with Nina. Great action packed book like the first and I think I liked them both better than her first Grish trilogy (though I still really enjoyed those). I will read anything Leigh Bardugo writes.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – Man,  I am glad Emily suggested reading this for our buddy read! Great action packed book with a little magic, a little romance, and a lot of sass! Again look for a future post on Emily and my buddy read and our thoughts on this awesome book.

What’s next?

I am currently reading Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter, another book that I can cross off my list (YES!) and finish the series (DOUBLE YES!). There are a couple books that I would like to get to that are sitting on my shelf: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi and The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. All are great reads! Though I might need a break from fantasy/ya and read a different genre but who knows.

QUESTION: How are your 2017 reading goals coming along?