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Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are listing the books we want Santa to deliver!

The Darkest Minds book cover1. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson – I checked this Peter Pan retelling out from the library but didn’t get to it before it was due. It sounds lovely and I do want to read it sometime.Tell the Wolves I'm Home book cover

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – This is an X-Men style dystopia and it sounds really exciting.

3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – A 1987 coming-of-age about a 14-year-old girl who lost her uncle to AIDS. It sounds like such a good emotional read.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray – Think I’d prefer the audiobook of this one, even though it If I Lie book coveris 18 hours long! I’m seeing this one on a lot of best of lists, and it’s out of my comfort zone but I’m curious.

5. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson – This one is about a girl caught kissing another guy while The Almost Truth book coverher boyfriend is serving in Afghanistan. But things aren’t what they seem, and the girl could clear her name but won’t to protect her boyfriend. I’m really curious about this one!

6. Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky – I liked the first book in the series Awaken and would love to read the sequel.

7. The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook – A girl who dreams of getting out of her small town loses her hard-earned savings and comes up with a con to get Tilt book coverit back. Sounds cute. Unspoken book cover

8. Tilt by Ellen Hopkins – I just finished my first book by this author, Collateral, and want to catch up on all her books eventually.

9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan – This gothic mystery sounds fun and quirky.

10. Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh – I liked Nevermore and checked out the sequel from the library but didn’t get it read in time.

What books are on your wish list?

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Book: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Scholastic Press, May 24, 2011

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary / Humor / Adventure

Format/pages: Hardcover 390 pages

Format read/Source: Received from Scholastic, read June 12 2011

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Beauty Queens is not your usual light summer reading fare. Libba Bray has written a smart, high concept, girl power manifesto that is hilarious and original. The premise is that a plane carrying contestants representing 50 states for the Miss Teen Beauty Pageant crashes on a desert island. The girls have their pageant attire and talent, cosmetics and accessories, and little else with them in the way of survival resources. They need to put aside their vanity and jealousy to try and find a way to survive on the island on their own. This satiric island adventure has a reality TV feel and a mix of Lost, Mean Girls, James Bond, and Lord of the Flies. Can these beauty queens discover their beauty and power beneath the surface and survive?

Beauty Queens has a large, diverse cast of main and supporting characters. In addition to the stranded beauty queens, the island comes complete with a group of cartoonish villains and a band of sexy pirates. The girls each take a turn in the spotlight as they share their stories of how they became involved with the pageant. With this large of a group it may be hard to keep up. After awhile I gave up trying and just let go and enjoyed the ride.

Along the way, the author tackles hard-hitting subjects such as self-esteem, feminism, the beauty industry, advertising, parenting, and sexual identity. This social commentary is creatively presented through the characters stories, and through footnotes about pop culture, scripted commercial breaks, and pageant contestant profile pages. The humor and references are sharp and relevant and it is fun to spot the intended pop culture targets beneath their pseudonyms.

One of my favorite issues discussed in the book is when the girls talked about how they felt the need to apologize after expressing their opinion. I agreed with them that the word “sorry” should be banned from their vocabulary. There are many thought provoking and empowering discussions and revelations like that found throughout the book.

In this over the top social commentary, the girls begin a journey of self-discovery to figure out who they are when they aren’t being judged in a pageant. Though heavy handed at times, the feminist message is relevant in today’s society and delivered in a clever and humorous way. I enjoyed being stranded with these beauty queens and the chance to dig in to these topical issues. This smart book is a great choice for young adults and adults alike to read for some humor and depth in their summer reading mix.  Beauty Queens is a memorable ride, and a worthy pick for the summer and beyond.

Find out more, buy the book, or read more reviews here:

Libba Bray’s website| Amazon | Goodreads | This Is Teen website




Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Perfect Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish featuring a new top ten list each week. Everyone can participate- head on over to their blog and sign up.

This week’s topic is Top 10 perfect beach reads. What I look for in a beach book is a gripping read with a great story. A book I can get lost in and finish before the sun goes down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a contemporary romance, thriller, or paranormal – as long as it has a compelling story that keeps me turning the pages.

These are the titles I am planning to read over the summer:

2. Wildefire by Karsten Knight (July 26) – A paranormal with a twist and a strong heroine.

3. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson (June 14) – A psychological “Memento” type thriller.

4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (June 7) by Ransom Riggs – A unique fantasy that incorporates vintage photographs to tell the story.

5. Moonglass by Jessi Kirbi (available now) – A contemporary read with an actual beach setting.

6. Hourglass by Myra McEntire (June 14) – This is getting some good early buzz. Sounds like a compelling paranormal debut with romance and surprises.

7. Love Story by Jennifer Echols (July 19) – A contemporary romance that uses a class creative writing project to mirror two students feelings for each other.

8. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (available now) – Another twist on mythology that incorporates romance and action.

9. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta  (available now) – This one has been out for awhile and is loved by many. Time for me to dive in. If I get a chance I want to read The Piper’s Son by this author as well.

10. Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz (June 21) – Love and witchcraft collide in this author’s Adult debut.

There are also a handful of series books I’m looking forward to reading this summer:

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (Aug. 16), Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (July 26), Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (July 12), Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (June 21), and Supernaturally by Kiersten White (July 26).

Past favorites that would also make perfect beach reads are:

The Summer series trilogy by Jenny Han, Sea by Heidi R. Kling, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins,  Audrey Wait by Robin Benway, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, and the Glass trilogy by Maria V. Snyder.

If you are a fan of audiobooks, be sure to bookmark Audiobook Sync to download free audiobooks of Young Adult and summer classic titles this summer (June 23- August 17). The first titles available will be Shiver and Romeo and Juliet.

What do you look for in a summer read? What are your top beach reads?


In My Mailbox (19) – week ending May 28

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie. It is a way to feature the books you purchased, borrowed or received for review each week.

This week I received:

For Review: 

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – This one looks hilarious! A plane of beauty pageant contestants crashes on a Lost-type island.

E-books for Review:


Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff – Looking forward to reading this. It seems to be about a kid on the run who falls in love.

Spellbound by  Cara Lynn Shultz – I’m curious to read this YA paranormal romance that is about love and reincarnation.

From the Library:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – I have been wanting to read this for months, and finally my hold came in at the library. It is a historical fiction about a fifteen year old Lithuanian girl trying to survive the Russian holocaust. Looks to be a heartbreaking read.

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Happy reading!


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