Friday, December 31, 2010

End of 2010 - Beginning of 2011

Today is the last day of 2010 and I honestly say that the year went by quite fast for me. So many things happened in 2010 and should I list them all I would be here for quite a while. 2010 was also the year I started blogging, and I am now getting close to my 6th month blogoversary. When I started this blog I didn't think it would become something that would end up being so important to me. I've discovered a new love for blogging and, if it is at all possible, I have discovered I love reading so much more than I originally thought.

I've read many great books in 2010 and it is honestly really hard to pick out which ones I loved or enjoyed more than others. Some were debuts, some were books that had already been out there a while, others were books published in 2010 or simply combinations of all of these.

So here are my top ten books of 2010 (in no particular order):

- Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead: Really it could have been any of the books in the Vampire Academy series since I read them all this year but Last Sacrifice was my favorite one out of all the six books in the series.

- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: I only just read this book in the past couple of weeks and I can't believe I waited so long to do so. This book was simply amazing and I am so glad I finally decided to read this book.

- Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl: I absolutely loved this book. While reading it I went through a whole range of emotions. One page I would be laughing and then two or three pages later I would find myself tearing up.

- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: To be honest, I was a little hesitant about reading this one. I had absolutely loved the Mortal Instruments series when I read them and I was a little afraid of what this book would do to that. But as it turned out, I absolutely loved Clockwork Angel and it only made me love Cassandra Clare that much more.

- The Iron King by Julie Kagawa: I love fairies and The Iron Fey series just makes me love them that much more. Julie Kagawa just has a way to telling the story that also just draws you in and I couldn't help but love everything about this book.

- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: I am most probably not the only one to include Mockingjay in a list like this. It was a great conclusion to an even greater series.

- The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney: This one I also just read recently but it was simply amazing. The story deals with date rape and it's a subject that needs to be talked about more so people can understand how big a problem it is. The story is powerful but it's also written in a way that doesn't overwhelm the reader. It was an amazing read.

- Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston: This is another one that deals with fairies. I loved it and its sequel and now I can't wait to read the conclusion to the trilogy. Plus the fact that Lesley is Canadian only makes me love her that much more.

- Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles: I just discovered Simone Elkeles this year and boy am I glad that I did. I have officially fallen for the Fuentes brothers and I seriously wish for those boys to actually be live people.

- Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols: It was really a toss up between this one and Forget You. Both were great but I just have a little something for Officer After. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

With 2011 starting tomorrow there a whole number of other things also starting. There will more than likely be some changes on the blog and new things happening too. I look forward to reading a whole list of books coming out in the new year but here are a few that I am especially excited for:

- Abandon by Meg Cabot
- What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
- Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
- City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver
- The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
- Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
- Where She Went by Gayle Forman
- Wither by Lauren DeStefano
- Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Hopefully 2011 will be good year in all possible ways but I'll just have to wait and see what happens!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Leviathan (Leviathan #1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Alek is a prince without a throne. On the run from his own people, he has only a fighting machine and a small band of men.

Deryn is a girl disguised as a guy in the British Air Service. She must fight for her cause--and protect her secret--at all costs.

Alek and Deryn are thrown together aboard the mighty airship Leviathan. Though fighting side by side, their worlds are far apart. British fabricated versus German steam-powered war machines. They are enemies with everything to lose, yet somehow destined to be together.

I had heard about Scott Westerfeld before picking up Leviathan but most of what I had heard had been about his Uglies series. The premise for the book sounded interesting and I just love stories that take place during the World Wars so I figured why not give this book a chance. I can honestly say that it did not disappoint. It was a great story and it was interesting to see the events of the First World War from this perspective.

In the middle of the night, Alek is woken up and told that he must leave immediately because he is in danger. With his fencing master and mechanics teacher, Alek leaves Vienna in a mechanized walker. Alek is told that they must get as far away from Austria-Hungary as possible but no one is telling him why they are leaving or why he is in danger. Deryn wants nothing more than to be able to fly again. To do so she must pass herself off as a boy to enter the British Air Service. She soon finds herself aboard the Leviathan. Soon enough, Deryn and Alek meet and, though their countries are at war with each other, they find themselves becoming friends. But in a continent-wide war, how will this all end?

All the characters in the book are really interesting and the fact that the book is told from a third person point of view makes them all that much more mysterious. Alek was quite intriguing for me. At first I honestly thought he was a spoiled royal kid but the more the story moved forward the more my opinion of him changed. At first he really did seem like he had lived a sheltered life but I liked seeing him change as the book moved forward. He really became an interesting person that wasn’t afraid to do what he wanted. I also really felt for him what with everything that happened to his parents and everything he was going through. It can hardly be easy to leave everything you’ve ever known behind, especially when you’ve be living like a prince.

Deryn amused me. To start with it takes a lot of guts to pass yourself of as a boy, especially in a time when having women part of the military was almost entirely unheard of. She had me giggling so many times with all her expressions and just the things she did. What made her particularly interesting was that the more she got to know Alek the more she had these feelings developing and couldn’t make sense of them. Of course I knew what they were but her confusion just really amused me. She was always so confident and she knew what she wanted regardless of what people would think.

I’m a bit of a history nut and I have to admit that as far as the World Wars are concerned I know a lot more than I should. Even with all the destruction, they are some of my favorite periods of history to study. So reading a book that takes place at that time was more or less perfect for me. I absolutely loved the story and the alternate perspective in the book just made it that much more interesting. I know the story behind the start of World War One backwards and forwards but seeing it this way was interesting and fun. I just know that part of history so well that it never occurred to me to look at it any other way.

Leviathan was a great read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It was packed with action and plenty of history for those who like that. I can’t wait to start reading Behemoth, the second book in the trilogy, which is currently waiting in my TBR pile.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at my gate at the airport, passing the time until I can board my flight to go home for the holidays. Sadly I will only be there for 10 days but that is better than nothing, especially since I haven't been home since last April. I look forward to spending lots of time with my family and eating my mom's yummy food that I have missed (don't get me wrong I miss her too, I just like her food A LOT).

What this means is that I might not be around as much during that time. I have reviews scheduled to go up every week and there may be more as I write them. Other than that I may randomly appear and participate in memes or give random updates. I may also come on and tell you all about the four day trip I am taking to London with my family.

In case I don't post anything before then, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. I am so grateful to everyone who supports my blogs and actually bothers to read what I have to say. It's been almost six months and every day I am still surprised that people actually come and read what I post.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 1, 2009
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie--she already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Before I say anything else, I’ll be honest and say that originally the only reason I picked up Twenty Boy Summer was because of the controversy that surrounded it back in September. Regardless of all this, I am happy I decided to read it and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I don’t read as much contemporary fiction as I would like but I am more than glad that I picked up Twenty Boy Summer.

For the past year Anna and Frankie have been dealing with Matt’s death. Matt was Frankie’s older brother but also Anna’s first love and secret boyfriend, not that anyone knew about that part. Now, a year later, Frankie and Anna are preparing for a summer in Zanzibar Bay and Frankie has convinced Anna to just have fun and enjoy a summer of romance. Once in California, Anna makes attempts to please Frankie and soon enough she meets Sam. With Sam Anna is happy and feels things she hasn’t felt since Matt’s death but at the same time she feels guilty and scared that she’s going to forget all about him. And most of all she is afraid Frankie will find out about her past with Matt and what will happen to their friendship once she knows.

At first I had trouble getting along with Anna at first but as the book moved forward I found myself liking her more and more. At the beginning she struck me a little as feeling sorry for herself and always seemed to be living in the past. But as the story moves forward I found myself liking Anna more and more. She truly evolved and she came out a whole new person at the end of the book. I really enjoyed seeing her move forward with her life and coming to terms with everything that had happened in the past and what was happening in the present. By the end of the book I really liked Anna.

Frankie on the other hand, I had a much harder time liking her but I could understand where she was coming from. She never felt real and it always seemed like she wasn’t being completely honest. Like Anna, Frankie had some learning to do and she did do that learning and I enjoyed seeing her evolution. Even though she changed, for the better for the most part, a lot of her actions made me angry but like I said, I could see where she was coming from.

The story itself was quite enjoyable. It was more than just a story about two friends spending a summer at the beach and hooking up with random boys. The story was all about seeing Frankie and Anna come to terms with the past and the present. Relationships, fights and secrets coming out were all involved in the process and were necessary to that process. While reading the book I enjoyed the story and didn’t think much of it. It was only when I was finished that I truly understood what the story really meant and how important it was.

Overall, Twenty Boy Summer was a story I am glad I took the time to read because it is one that needs to be read. I can’t wait to read what comes next from Sarah Ockler.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (24) & Follow Friday (16)

It's Friday so it means it's time for the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!

Book Blogger Hop

First off, the Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books. It is a way for all the book bloggers out there to get together and find out about each other's blogs. I've found a lot of great blogs and bloggers through this hop and it's always fun to take part in each week.



When I'm deciding whether or not to read a book the plot is what is going to draw me in, so initially that's what is most important. Once I actually start reading the book, the characters become just as important to me as the plot. If the story is amazing but I just can't get into the characters I most likely won't finish the book and same thing for when the characters are great but the story isn't. So basically both are equally important to me when I'm reading a book.

The Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View each week. It works a lot like the Book Blogger Hop except that it's only on Fridays. I haven't been taking part in this hop as long but I've found a lot of great new blogs through this one too.



I'm still in university. I'm halfway through my second year. I started out in journalism last year but now I changed my majors to Communication Studies and Political Science. I still don't know what I want to do with my life but I'm hoping it's going to be in public relations or publicity. As for the second part of the question, I currently don't have a job but hopefully that will change in the new year. I need money in order to keep up with my book buying habits.


I can finally see the end! I have two finals left and then I get to go home for 10 days and see my family. You cannot imagine how excited I am for that. Plus during my time at home I get to go to London so all the better. I'll be doing lots of reading during that time too, so I'll have plenty of new reviews going up. And who knows, maybe there will even be some changes in the new year.

That's it for this week!

Enjoy your weekends!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guest Post: Erica of Soon Remembered Tales

When considering what I would write for Emilie’s Book World I became indecisive. What could I write to a group of readers that would be eye-catching? What could I say that would give the best example of who I am as a book blogger and reflect what I write about on my own blog, Soon Remembered Tales? I thought of all the books I have read and having just come out of a hiatus myself I hadn’t the chance to read anything new.

But then it dawned on me while talking to a friend. We had been discussing the weather: it was snowing where she was and it was just dead and cold at my house. The summer warmth, the flowers in the garden, and the leaf filled trees felt as if they were a lifetime away. It made me think of my favorite winter read: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. When winter has me in its grasp I look to spring. The brightening sun, the resurgence of life, its all so magical and Allen captures that magic in her novel.

The Waverly’s were always seen as odd to the residents of Bascom, North Carolina. Claire accepts her label of being strange and dives deeper still. Living in the house she and her sister Sydney grew up in Claire runs a successful catering business. With the aide of her flourishing garden and the ever-watchful apple tree, which has a mind of its own, Claire creates delicacies that are more than just food- they hold powers. Eat a meal with lavender and your spirits will rise. Try some chicory if you need to conceal your bitterness. But when Claire’s wild-child of a sister Sydney returns to Bascom her troubles are close behind. Claire finds that she can no longer hide within her kitchen and she must step forward into the drama. The apple tree tries to provide as many answers as possible but at times you forget to listen to nature. Featuring a slew of characters you will love and hate it will be easy to become emotionally invested in this novel. Throw in the wonderfully worded descriptions of the hot North Carolina summertime and the enchanted garden you will find it easy to forget the winter weather outdoors.

Garden Spells is a book I can’t get enough of. I’ve read this so many times that I’ve lost count. The warm summer world of Bascom, North Carolina nearly feels like home at this point and I welcome you to come and experience it as well. So, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and you’re suffering from the winter doldrums I urge you to read Garden Spells and enjoy a little bit of summer.

Happy Winter and Happy Reading

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cover Alert!

It was announced earlier this year that Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series wouldn't end with City of Glass like most people believed but that there would actually be three more books to come. The first of these three new books is City of Fallen Angels, which picks up where the previous book left off.

The cover has just been revealed today and it is absolutely gorgeous, I can't wait for April to actually be able to hold it in my hands.

And so here is the cover:

Cassandra Clare has been posting teasers from the upcoming books on her website and you can find all of them by going here. With the cover there was also an exclusive new excerpt of the book that was given which you can find by going here. And finally there is also a mini trailer that can be found here.

I absolutely love this series and The Infernal Devices, the prequel series. When it was announced there were more books coming I was absolutely ecstatic. I can't wait to go back into that world, if only so I can swoon whenever Jace comes on the page. As far as I'm concerned, April 5th 2011 cannot come soon enough.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy.

But before long, Nora’s defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she’s thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and repulse her? And what is up with those V-shaped scars on his chiseled back?

As their connection grows stronger, Nora’s own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?

I had been meaning to read Hush, Hush for quite sometime now but I was always putting it off. I would see the book at the bookstore and pick it up only to put it back on the shelf. Last month I finally decided to pick up a copy and now that I have read it I find myself slightly stupid. Stupid for having put the book back on the shelf so many times. I had a lot of fun reading it and found myself neglecting food in order to read more and eventually finish the book with my stomach growling in the background. It was that good.

Still dealing with her father’s death, Nora is looking to finish the school year and get a good grade in biology. She has always been partners with her best friend Vee but one day their teacher decides to switch things up and Nora finds herself with Patch as a new lab partner. Until that day, Nora had never really paid any attention to Patch but now she finds herself almost constantly thinking about him. There is something mysterious and dangerous about Patch which only draws Nora that much closer to him. And then there’s Elliott, the new boy at school, who just doesn’t seem right. As much as Vee wants her to be more friendly with him, there is just a bad feeling about Elliott that Nora can’t seem to shake. And then Nora finds out the truth about Patch’s past and everything unravels.

I found Nora to be particularly relatable because I was essentially Nora in high school. The only differences between me and her are that my father is very much alive and, as far as I know, there were no fallen angels in my life. The fact that I found so many similarities between myself and Nora only served to make the book that much more engaging, I could honestly feel like I was part of the story, more so than I usually do. Other than relating to her, I really liked Nora. I particularly liked that she wasn’t completely accepting of her feelings for Patch because she didn’t understand exactly who (or what) he was. The fact that she struggled with her feelings only made them seem that much more real in the end.

Patch is an infuriating character. Don’t get me wrong, I love him but he just drove me crazy. One minute he’ll be acting perfectly normal and the next he says something that just makes you want to roll your eyes, or most often in my case, punch him. Most of the time, you are never actually sure if he means what he is saying which is was really makes him an infuriating character. It would have actually been really interesting to have part of the story being told from his perspective, it would have really helped me understand what was going on in his mind. What made him really interesting, other than the whole mysterious and dangerous part, was how conflicted he was his feelings for Nora. Until the end I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out for them.

I also loved the story. I don’t read that many books about fallen angels but now I may just start to do so more often. The story was fast paced and completely drew me in. Like I said, I sat there reading with my stomach growling for three hours, that’s just how good the book was. You never really know what to expect or what was coming next, with plot twist jumping out at you when you least expect them. Having Nora as a narrator was great, but seeing some parts of the story from Patch’s perspective would have made the book that much more interesting. But don’t get me wrong, the story was pretty amazing as it was.

Hush, Hush completely drew me in and made me feel like I was really a part of the story. It was a fast paced, intriguing and completely amazing read. I cannot wait until I make it to the bookstore to get a copy of the sequel, Crescendo.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

For the first time I have decided to participate in the In My Mailbox weekly meme. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we write about the books received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or contests and swaps.

(All links go to the books' Goodreads page)


- Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) by Ally Carter
- Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead (Can I just say that it was AMAZING. I essentially read all 594 pages of the book in one day, I could not put it down. But now I'm sad that it's over).


- Behemoth ARC (Leviathan #2) by Scott Westerfeld (Signed - Won from Dreaming of Books)

That's all I got this week. I bought a bunch of other books and things but those are all for Christmas presents for other people (unfortunately).

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (23) & Follow Friday (15)

It's Friday so it means it's time for the Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!

Book Blogger Hop

First off, the Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books. It is a way for all the book bloggers out there to get together and find out about each other's blogs. I've found a lot of great blogs and bloggers through this hop and it's always fun to take part in each week.



To be honest, I like all of it. Though my favorite thing is to see other people's thoughts on the books I have read and loved. It's always nice to see what someone else thought of a book and I don't really have anyone to talk to books about so it's great in that sense also.

The Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View each week. It works a lot like the Book Blogger Hop except that it's only on Fridays. I haven't been taking part in this hop as long but I've found a lot of great new blogs through this one too.



There isn't really any under-noticed author I can think of at the moment. A lot of the books I read are by authors that are quite well-known and get a lot of attention. So I guess my answer to this would have to be no.


I can finally almost see the end. In two weeks from today I will finally be back home, the first time since the end of April. I really look forward to seeing my family and spending Christmas with them. Now I only have 3 finals to get through and I'm done for the semester.

That's it for this week!

Enjoy your weekends!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest Post: Melissa of I Swim for Oceans

First of all, a really big thank you to Emilie for allowing me to take over her blog for a day. I sound completely narcissistic by saying this, I'm sure, but I love doing guest's an entirely new way to meet other bloggers, and it's great to be able to help my fellow bloggers out, as well. Enough of that though...onto the real reason I'm posting. Emilie asked us to post about anything book related, and I sat there on my butt for about 45 minutes thinking “Sheesh! It takes me too long to think of my own posts! How in the world am I going to think of a post for another site, too?” And then I had a stroke of genius!

Why not highlight my three favourite and three least favourite books read in 2010? Not all of these books were published in 2010, but all of them were great (or horrible) for various reasons. At the very least, I hope this post will give my fellow bloggers out there some insight into what makes a good read in my
brutally honest opinion.

Melissa's Favourite Books of 2010

1. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh – Holy brilliance! Finally! This book was such a breath of fresh air in a sea of YA books swarming with love triangles, one-dimensional characters, and wishy-washy girls with a serious lack of spine. Perfectly blending the dark works of Edgar Allan Poe with a story of a mildly star-crossed teenage love that defies the odds, Nevermore breathes new life into YA fiction with a story that will send you on plot twists and turns that will keep your heart racing the entire time.

2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White – I don't like pink. I'm not a super girly-girl, and in most circumstances, a girl calling her sparkly pink taser “Tasey” would make me want to punch a tiny infant punching bag. This gem, otherwise known as Paranormalcy defied my preconceived notions though and lived up to the hype surrounding it. With a loveable heroine, a fast-paced plot, and a sweet and believable romance (omg not a triangle!!!), this one will worm its way into your heart and stay there long after you've finished it.

3. Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith – Thank God for a book about vampires where they don't sparkle! The Greyfriar presents an alternate history where vampires have taken over the world, humans are in hiding, and there are no sparkly, wishy-washy vampires around! It's the perfect blend of steampunk, history and the paranormal that you could ever find. Trust's awesome.

Melissa's Least Favourite Books of 2010

1. Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet – Awesome premise? Check. Great background? Check. Stunning Cover? Check. Follow-through? Epic fail. I rarely give really bad reviews, but this was just awful, in my opinion. The plot was jumbled, I never knew what drove the characters, and frankly, if I wanted to see 32 exclamation points on a single page, I'd just type them. Witch & Wizard had all the makings of an awesome book, but it fell so so SO flat for me.

2. This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer – I'm a fan of dystopian books. I really am. I adored how this series started and we watched as a selfish teen was transformed by tragedy into a really great young adult. Then the series continued and things began to waver, but I held out hope for this finale. Too bad Miranda turned into a selfish, egotistical, whining, crabby little girl again. Any inkling of character development we saw in book one was crushed in This World We Live In, leaving me more than a little disheartened. Hope just doesn't exist in this book.

3. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters – I have cover lust. It's not a secret. I was sold on this book by the cover alone, and unfortunately it didn't live up. For some strange reason, I just can't find zombies attractive, especially when they're tripping over their own feet, slurring their words and generally resemble corpses. Generation Dead was just a snooze-fest for me, but I will admit that it's well-written, and I'm sure there's an audience for it.

Well, there you have it. I have WAY more favourite reads from 2010, but I picked the ones that jumped to mind first. I think the moral of story for me is threefold:
1)Go for books that step outside of the box.
2)Find characters that defy stereotypes or put a new twist on the stereotype.
3)Don't fall for the hype! It's not always right...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: April 1, 2001
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

I had heart a lot different things about SPEAK before but it wasn’t until the Banned Books controversy that I decided to finally pick up the book and read it. It was an incredible read, nothing like what I expected and I mean that in the best way possible. This book should most definitely not be banned and I strongly believe that everyone should read SPEAK at least once in their life.

Melinda no longer has friends and she no longer knows how to open up to anyone. She is content staying by herself in her own bubble and doesn’t see the point anymore. Know one knows what happened to her at that party. Everyone just thinks she called the police just to get everyone in trouble. But that is quite far from the truth, a truth that she doesn’t know how to tell anyone. Melinda just goes through school numb, trying to survive and not alert anyone to her situation. But will she be able to find her voice and speak again?

First off, SPEAK is not written in the traditional way. There aren’t really any chapters, just different short sections that relate to particular events. The closest thing I could compare it to is a diary. Melinda reports everything that is going on in her life and in the world around her but everything is said in a really detached manner, as if she isn’t affected by everything happening. Which in a way it is, since she is trying to get away from it all, she’s afraid of what will happen if she starts listening and paying too much attention to all the voices. The way Melinda describes her life makes the story that much more powerful. From the way she tells her story you can really tell that she isn’t going through something easy.

The story itself is one that needs to be read and heard. One of the reason we are so uncomfortable with subjects like rape is that no one is willing to talk about, which is something that needs to change. Obviously it’s not an easy subject and by no strength of the imagination is it a pleasant subject to discuss. I’m not saying that that is what it should become, simply that the only way to do something about the issue is to actually talk about it. In the book, Melinda knows she needs to talk about what happened to her but she doesn’t know how and that is true of many victims of rape. If a book is capable of getting people to open up then all the more power to the book and its author.

I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to ban SPEAK. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a powerful story on a subject that makes most people uncomfortable, but that alone is not a reason to ban a book. If you don’t want to read a story about a girl trying to go on with life after having been raped then don’t. But, honestly, you should read this book regardless because it really is a book that needs to be read.

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