WWW Wednesday #50

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday post in 2014!  To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodread’s page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

18079527I’m currently reading The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. I’m enjoying it so far! I love Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing.

What did you recently finish reading?

7600924I’ve recently finished this powerful book. It’s quite an uncomfortable read given the content, but it’s so well written. My review will hopefully be posted within the next week or so.

What do you think you’ll read next?

15984267My next book is The Twins by Saskia Sarginson for my sister and I’s ‘Talking About’ feature. I’m intrigued by this book, so I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Hopefully we’ll both like it. Even though we have similar taste in books, we don’t seem to have much luck for liking the same book that we select for this feature.

What are you reading this week? Please feel free to leave your link or answer the questions in the comment section below.

Top Ten 2014 Releases I’m Dying To Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week it is Top Ten 2014 Releases I’m Dying To Read. I could have put so many books on here. Click on the book image to get to the Goodread’s page. I’ve picked my ten… so here we go!

In no particular order:

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Ignite Me- Tahereh Mafi– I have enjoyed this series much more than I expected to, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it concludes!

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Split SecondKasie West– I adored Pivot Point. I’m far too excited about Split Second…

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Cress–  Marissa Meyer– I thought Cinder was ok and was disappointed that I didn’t love it. I read Scarlet and loved it, so my faith in this series was restored. I can’t wait to read Cress!

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The Retribution of Mara DyerMichelle Hodkin- This is one of my favourite series. It’s so messed up. I really, really need to know what’s going on!

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UnhingedA.G Howard– I liked Splintered, so I’m intrigued to see what Unhinged is like!

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The Lovely And The Lost- Page Morgan- I was surprised that I enjoyed The Beautiful and The Cursed as much as I did.

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The Treatment- Suzanne Young– I can’t wait to read this book. I was intrigued by The Program, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story continues.

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The Impossible Knife of MemoryLaurie Halse Anderson– I am slowly working my way through Laurie Halse Anderson’s books. The Impossible Knife of Memory  sounds brilliant!

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The OneKiera Cass– Guilty pleasure time.. I know that this series isn’t the best, but there’s something about it that I find intriguing. I am interested to see how the story concludes.. so Kiera must be doing something right!

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Take Me OnKatie McGarry- Crash Into You has only just come out (which I loved by the way!) but I’m still so excited for this book!

What releases are you looking forward to in 2014? Please feel free to leave your link in the comments below. I think it’s going to be another week where my TBR pile goes nuts!

Stacking The Shelves #41

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to its Goodread’s page!

Bought:

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The formatting of this blog was really annoying me. I’ve got a bad ear infection, so couldn’t be bothered to mess around with it. I was excited to get these books though. I forgot I had ordered them, as they took much longer than expected, so it was a lovely surprise for them to arrive.

I’m excited to read OCD, the dude and me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn. I’ve heard some great things about it and it looks like a decent read. I picked up Bitter End by Jennifer Brown and Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson because I loved the books I’ve read from them before. (Jennifer Brown- Hate List, Laurie Halse Anderson- Speak and Wintergirls).

NetGalley:

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I was very good and only requested one book which was Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey.  It sounds great, so I look forward to checking that one out!

I also downloaded Colleen Hoover’s novella Finding Cinderella, a spin off from the Hopeless series. It’s free! So I just had to…

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave your link and I’ll visit your blog at some point this weekend!

Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us bloggers to make. This week it is the Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools.

At my secondary school (high school) there weren’t nearly enough contemporary reads. In fact, there weren’t any. We studied Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Lord of The Flies by William Golding. Whilst I’m grateful that I read those books, I really do think there are better books out there. Because I’m not in the school environment (in a high school anyway) I don’t know if these books have crept their way onto the required reading, so take my list to be what I wish I had read when I was at school.

So here are my top ten, (click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page) in no particular order:

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Cross My Heart- Carmen Reid- I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It’s just SO good. One of my favourite books of the year. Carmen Reid is such an amazing talent.

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Sarah’s KeyTatiana de Rosnay- This is another incredible read that’s stuck with me for a very long time.

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The HelpKathryn Stockett- I know I feature The Help on quite a few Top Ten Tuesday lists, but it’s awesome. Such great characters.

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The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night TimeMark Haddon– This is another book that frequently visits my Top Ten lists. I just think it’s a wonderfully original piece of writing.

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The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak– I truly believe that everyone should at least try this book.

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The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins- I think this is a great series. If I had read it in school I would have been totally engrossed.

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Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson– I’m aware that some schools do teach this book, but that it has been banned in a lot of states. I think it’s such an important topic, one that shouldn’t be avoided, but handled sensitively.

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The Time Traveler’s WifeAudrey Niffenegger- I know not everyone would enjoy it, but I think it’s an interesting concept.

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The Sky Is EverywhereJandy Nelson– This is a truly beautiful read. The writing is superb.

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Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and SweetJamie Ford- I have a lot of love for this book. It’s beautifully written.

Please feel free to leave your link to your Top Ten posts so I can be nosey and see what you’ve included this week!

Wintergirls

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How did I get it?:
I bought it.

Synopsis:

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery

Thoughts:

This is the second book I’ve read by Laurie Halse Anderson. (The first being Speak, a few days ago). I think it’s safe to say that she’s becoming one of my favourite writers. Wintergirls was brilliant. Laurie isn’t afraid to write about tough issues. She writes so realistically, her subjects are clearly well researched. Wintergirls is a powerful, emotional read about two teenage girls with weight issues.

Lia is the protagonist. She’s 18 and has already been hospitalised with anorexia. She is still fighting against food, finding ways not to eat, constantly counting calories and counting bites that she takes, exercising by night and other worrying ways to avoid food. It really was quite disturbing, but I imagine realistic. Lia feels stronger without any food inside her. Terrifying.

As the story begins, Lia’s childhood friend has been found dead in a motel room. Cassie suffered with bulimia. She binges and then brings up food. Cassie is found alone, she had tried to contact Lia. Lia didn’t want to speak to her as they’d grown apart over the months. Lia now has to deal with her guilt about not being there for her friend when she needed her. Lia becomes thinner by the day, begins to hallucinate, self-harm, faint and become gravely ill.

Laurie really doesn’t hold back with this story. I find that incredibly admirable with such a contentious subject. Laurie doesn’t say what may have lead Lia to anorexia but mentions significant things about Lia’s life so far. Lia has crippling low self-esteem. Her background is troubled, her parent’s divorced, her father remarried, her mother loves her job way too much. Lia stalks the pro-anorexia websites. I can’t believe these websites exist. I’d heard about them before, but reading some of the sorts of messages posted on these sites really upset me. I did like though that Lia had a clear support network and a reason to live, namely her young step-sister Emma.

I really can’t express enough about how powerful and candid this book is about anorexia. It’s not an easy read, not at all. Yet, it’s so hard to put down. Laurie really portrays Lia’s need for control, her desire to eat but her fears about eating.

I have seen some complaints about the book’s formatting, especially the crossing through of text. I didn’t mind it. I thought it was quite effective. I liked the repetitive text at points and the odd words formatted in a different way. I think it was an effective way to highlight the confusion and the turmoil Lia is experiencing.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!- I would recommend this book to teens and adults. It really is a candid, disturbing tale of the damage anorexia can do to the person and their families.

Reading next:

Confessions of An Angry Girl- Louise Rozett

Speak (Review and discussion)

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How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Thoughts:

This could turn into a very long section so I’m going to split it up into my actual review and then an issue that has been brought to my attention by a fellow blogger. It’s a contentious issue, so please feel free to leave your thoughts too if you feel inclined.

Review:

I found this book incredibly intense and moving. It’s not an easy read. I knew something bad had happened to Melinda, but wasn’t sure what until around the middle, when I began to suspect what had happened to her. I’m so glad Laurie Halse Anderson didn’t go into too much detail about the situation, especially because of the age range this book is directed at. There are so many issues that are explored in this book including pain, friendship, suffering but on a positive note it is also a story that shows growth and strength.

Melinda is the main character and the narrator of the story. She was raped when she was 13 and begins high school as an outcast as she can’t move beyond what tragically happened to her. She phoned the police at the party she was at, leaving her shunned by her peers. Melinda barely speaks leading her peers to think she’s weird, and her parents and teachers wondering what is wrong with her. Is she just a difficult teenager or is there something much more than Melinda lets on. When the boy who raped her begins to date her ex best friend Melinda can’t just stand back and let the same thing happen.

I thought despite the tough subject matter this book at times was funny. I think with an intense read like this, some light relief is much needed. I also liked Melinda as a narrator. The story coming from a teenage perspective makes it much easier for teenagers to relate to. Obviously, it’s not always light and humorous. There’s a section where Melinda considers suicide and its about rape. Certainly not an easy read. Laurie Halse Anderson has done an amazing job with Speak. It’s considered and extraordinary.

Extra bits

I heard from Amanda from My Nose Stuck In A Book about an article she came across about Speak. Here is the said article. Dr. Richard Swier believes Speak is “child pornography” and that it promotes sex and violence encouraging child abuse.

I don’t want to say too much about the subject because Amanda and Tracy (linked later) have said all that I would want to say. I will say that I personally believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but in my opinion, I think calling Speak “child pornography” is completely wrong. Like Amanda, I think Dr Richard Swier has missed the point of Speak. It is an incredibly difficult subject to read and it is banned in some schools across America but I think it has educational significance. If it’s used and taught sensitively, it could evoke very important discussions and help a hell of a lot of young people.

The talented author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson responded to these claims by saying:
“SPEAK is cautionary tale about the emotional aftermath of rape. It tackles bullying, depression, rape, sexual harassment, and family dysfunction. It teaches children that when bad things happen, they need to speak up, even when it’s hard. It has given hope to tens of thousands of readers since 1999. It is a standard in curriculum across the country.”

You can read Laurie’s fabulous response HERE

Here is another blogger’s opinion on the subject- Tracy at Bray and Books

What do you think? Is there place for a book like Speak? Have you read it? If so, what did you think?

WWW Wednesday #25

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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I’ve recently finished reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak which was incredibly intense and this book is also intense. I’m really enjoying it though. I think I need a lighter read soon though.

What did you recently finish reading?

18134085This was my lighter read between Speak and Wintergirls. I enjoyed it, but didn’t think it was outstanding.  My review should be published tomorrow.

What do you think you’ll read next?

13515025I’m trying to get through some books I’ve had for a while. I’m also trying to mix up what I’m reading so I’m not reading too many heavy things one after the other. No one needs that! I’m looking forward to this one!

Please feel free to leave your links to your WWW Wednesday posts and I’ll come by your blog and check them out.