The Re-Read Frenzy

So, now that Summer has rolled around and changes are hitting the Midsummer team (Jess is starting a new job and Olyvia is moving to Texas) we have both been caught up in re-reading some of our favorites. Re-reading can be something that can make you feel comfortable and as if you are hanging out with an old friend.  There is also something to be said about how re-reading can encourage children to continue to discover new novels and stories similar to those they already love.  In fact, I really think that re-reading was a huge influence on how much I adore reading today.

Although, to be fair, the first book I liked to re-read was The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss and I didn’t so much read it as I had it memorized and would randomly flip the pages to make it look like I was reading! (I was a precocious kid)

Another benefit of re-reading favorites is that you will always find something new.  I’m yet to re-read a novel and be unsurprised by a small detail I’ve never noticed or even had a specific sentence or scene jump out at me in a whole new way.  It’s so fun.

From two book nerds to you: here are some of our favorite re-reads and why we enjoy taking time out of our busy reading schedule to sit back down and remember why we loved them in the first place.

Olyvia: It helps when I’m in a reading slump, but also when I can’t choose what to read next, if I go back to my favorites I’ll usually pick something new but similar.

Olyvia’s Go-To Re-Reads

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Anything Libba Bray.

Jessica’s Go-To Re-Reads: 

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

What are some of your favorite re-reads?  What book do you always turn to in time of reading slump or indecision?

If anything, you can take this from our post: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is definitely a series you should pick up, read, and re-read.

Top Ten Tuesday: April 7

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check in With

 

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy
You know you want to know what happens after the end of Mockingjay.  All we get is a glimpse into Katniss and Peeta’s personal future, but what about everyone else?  Does another dictator step in and take over?  Do they form a democracy?  Is it anarchy?  So many questions!

2. Aysel and Roman from My Heart and Other Black Holes
What happens after they (spoiler alert) don’t commit suicide?

3. Alyssa from the Splintered trilogy
I just want to know what her life is like in Wonderland with Morpheus!  It does look like I’ll be getting my wish though, as a novella was announced as a follow up!

4. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead
Laurel really went through a lot trying to find out the secret behind May’s death and I’d like to see how her therapy helps her.

5. Cadence from We Were Liars
Talk about this character going through an emotional roller coaster.  I just want to know that she is okay and coping well!

6. Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby 
I want to just see them where they are now in their relationship, and hopefully they are still very happy together!

7. Sarah and Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves 
Such a tumultuous time in history for civil rights and for a bi-racial lesbian couple.  I’d love to see how their story continued.

8. Young Catherine and Hareton from Wuthering Heights 
Sure, Bronte gives us the hope that the cycle is broken, but I really would like to see these characters get the happy ending that Catherine and Heathcliff never did.

9. Death from The Book Thief 
I know that Liesel changed Death, so I’d just like to see if any other encounters changed or influenced Death as well.

10. Helen and Lucas from the Starcrossed Trilogy
Much like with Romy and Dexter, I just want to see their happy ever after!

 

Who are some characters you want to check in with?

 

 

 

This Week in History & YA Lit

auschwitzThis week in history marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious concentration camp responsible for approximately 1.1 million deaths during World War II.  January 27, 1945 is a date that should be remembered for all, because around 7,500 prisoners were saved by the Allied forces.  Auschwitz was also the home to Dr. Josef Mengele, dubbed the “Angel of Death,” who performed atrocious medical experiments on selected prisoners.

It is important to remember the souls lost during Hitler’s ethnic cleansing, whether it be the Jews, the homosexuals, Romani, or prisoners of war.  Young Adult literature has a number of novels that take place during this time period and that focus on the Holocaust.  While survivor accounts like Elie Weisel’s Night are excellent examples of Holocaust literature to read, here are a few YA novels that are worth a read and really capture the pain and turmoil during the Holocaust.

The first novel I chose to include here is actually a Middle-Grade novel by Lois Lowry.  Number the Stars was the first book I ever read about the Holocaust in 5th Grade, and it has stuck with me ever since.

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

 

 

As one of my favorite books of all time, I couldn’t leave The Book Thief out of this post.

 

 

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

1. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
-Marchetta created the most airtight fantasy world that I have read since Tolkien.  I highly recommend it to everyone.

2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
-Showalter’s zombies were completely different and added a much needed new layer to the history of the undead.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-Ah, the epitome of narration: to hear a story in the point of view of death.  Something that most authors wouldn’t attempt.

4. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
-I normally prefer comic books to graphic novels (yes, there is a difference!), but Yang’s novel did such a great job of showing how important it is for us to recognize the stereotypes of racism and what it does to those who suffer under them.  Read it!

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
-I never totally put a whole lot of stock into fan fiction before, but I definitely saw it in a new light after reading this novel.  I adore the main character’s struggle.

6. The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
-Three girls that are embodied by three saints that were killed in their teens?  Yes, this has all the creepy elements and religious references to keep anyone interested.

7. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
-A lovely use of the Tarot cards to inspire characters and their actions in this end of the world novel.  It is another book in which I find Death to be a great character.

8. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
-Best use of Second Person that I’ve ever read.

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
-Dear me, how I have always wanted to know love that is all consuming like Cathy and Heathcliffs, but for me this novel is so intriguing because of how the story was narrated.  How convincing is Nelly? Do you think she might be unreliable?

10. Strange, Sweet Song by Adi Rule
-As much as I think that this book is extremely influenced by Phantom of the Opera, it still has so many unique elements that make it its own and lets it stand in its own right.  Plus, the author made up her own opera for it!

 

What are some of books that you have thought of as unique?

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
If the ending didn’t get to you, then you have a heart of STONE. (just kidding, it just really got me)

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Charlie making a huge discovery about himself and his past and how it has affected his development as a teen is just so moving.

3. Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
(Cry with Laughter) I love Chelsea Handler, and all of her books are hysterical.

4. Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse  by Alida Nugent
(Cry with Laughter) Alida is definitely an author around my age and I really love how ridiculous her very astute observations of our generation are.

5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Celie’s journey is absolutely heartbreaking and amazing.

6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The reduction of McMurphy, a character with such energy and life, to a lobotomized vegetable is unbelievably sad. Despite the fact that he was a criminal, Kesey shows how horribly it affected lives and realistically depicted the mistreatment of mentally ill patients.

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I’ve put this book on so many of my lists, and Zusak has written an excellent novel about the holocaust through the eyes of Death.

8. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
“But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful? It is. Only I do get tired.”  Yes, this whole story gets me.

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Even though the novel does end with a bright future for the young characters, Healthcliff, Catherine, and Linton still makes me cry when I read it: Especially Catherine’s death scene.

10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
“Will was: true and tender, sharp and witty, loving and kind. “Marry me,” he said. “Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.”  *Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out.

What are some books that make you cry?

 

 

Christmas Gift Cards: What We Recommend

So you got a gift card this holiday season and are wonder what you should buy with it?  These are our (Jessica and Missy’s) picks on what everyone should have on their bookshelves!

19063  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    This is a must have and must read… (Especially since the movie just came out this past November) I could read this book over and over again, and since I bought the book I can read it whenever I need a good dose of reality or a good cry.

 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte   6185

    Not a book just to read for class anymore.  This timeless novel has a pretty amazing tragic love story between the two main characters, which includes quotes from the main characters like: “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Give it a un-educational read, I swear you won’t regret it.

 

 

3   The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

 Feeling like you need a little magic in your life?  Pick up any of the 7 books and get your fill.  After you have read the books once you can pick up any book and jump on the knight bus and  journey back to Hogwarts and leave your muggle life behind.

 

 

Splintered by A.G. Howard12558285

    And here everyone thought I would put Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland on this list. (to be honest, I’m fighting NOT putting it on here), but Howard’s reimagining of Carroll’s tale is unique, beautifully constructed, and full of colorful descriptions and images. In a word: Amazing. Plus, you can read this one just in time for the sequel, Unhinged, to arrive in stores.

 

 

5899779Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Now I know what you are thinking… really?  Zombies added to this classic book how is this better than the original?  Well for people who never really got into Jane Austen and Emily Bronte novels this is way better.  It has Zombies!  They are fighting Zombies!  It is so fun to read.  Trust me.

Jessica’s Opinion: Read the original first.  You can fall in love with Darcy organically just like Lizzie.  Plus, Pemberley is no place for zombies. *And you can be bored to tears. Missy’s interjection. I wasn’t bored at all with it!

An eReader

    I still prefer a book to an eReader but there is no denying the convenience of having 1000s of books at your fingertips.  And its pretty lightweight so storing it in your purse is a breeze.  Most eReaders also have the capability to download books from your local library for free, and who doesn’t like free books!

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