August 22, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Include in My Classroom Library

Lol, no way I could limit myself to ten books this week. With this post, we're hypothesizing that I'm a high school English teacher; these are the books that would be must-haves in my classroom library. (Also, if I list the first book in a series, it's only fair to assume I'd have the rest of the series.)

1. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

4. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

5. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

6. This Side of Home by Renee Watson


8. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

9. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

10. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

11. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

12. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

13. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

14. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

15. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

16. Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

If you were a teacher, what books would you have in your classroom library?

August 21, 2017

Professor Emma Teaches Cooking Through YA Novels

I'm teaching two classes at the Bibliophile University this fall, and here's the reading list for the first!

I love baking so much and I'm getting better at cooking, so I thought it was time to highlight my favorite YA (and one MG) books that feature cooking/baking. While there would be reading and discussion, there would also be plenty of practical lessons in the kitchen - probably featuring recipes from my From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen series.

Reading list:

If you were teaching this class, what books would you include? Any classes you think the Bibliophile University should offer?

August 18, 2017

Random Friday: Books That Start at the Beginning of a School Year

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Since classes at my university started on Monday, I thought it was a good time to compile a list of some books that start at the beginning of a school year. If they start a few weeks before, that's okay, but the first day of school has to be in the book, and it can't just be the protagonist's first day at the school if it's midway through the year. My favorite examples this fit this post's requirements are...

1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

2. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

5. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

I wish I could've thought of more examples! What books can y'all think of?

August 16, 2017

The Final Eighteen 2018 Reads

Phew! Y'all have no idea how hard it was to pick these final eighteen books for the list. As always, here's hoping they a) don't get pushed back to 2019 (or later), and b) don't end up disappointing me.

1. Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
I am not above putting two Kasie West books in my Eighteen 2018 Reads, because she has been an auto-buy author for so long now. (Also hoping this one gets a cute cover in the vein of P.S. I Like You and Lucky in Love)

2. La Vie en Rosie by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Food? Paris? Love? Sounds like a recipe for the perfect Emma book. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

3. Rule by Ellen Goodlett
This sounds like Three Dark Crowns and Dividing Eden, and I am here for that.

4. The Weight of Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
"...meets Chronicles of Narnia..." I'm sold.

5. Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
In general, I'm tired of YA historical fiction set in World War II...but not when it's a story like this.

6. Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
Always up for diverse YA, especially when it sounds as darling as this one.

7. The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
A Jewish middle grade story and the main character is adopted!

8. The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom
If it's YA historical fiction and it has a lovely cover like that, it's going on one of my highly-anticipated lists.

9. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
I liked Love & Gelato all right (I should really give it another try), but I'm hoping to love Love & Luck, because I quite enjoy living vicariously through teenagers who get to go to Europe.

10. Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt
The premise of this one sounds so incredibly fun.

11. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Debut fantasy that sounds fascinating. *crosses fingers*

12. Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle
I'm a little nervous - just because the timeline sounds a little short to me - but the cover and premise are lovely.

13. What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper
Of course I'm always cautious when it comes to Holocaust stories, but I hope this one will be powerful and respectful.

I love quiet narratives, and I have a feeling this book fits the bill.

15. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
I don't really do zombie books, but with covers like that, how can a girl resist? Besides, alternate history is kind of my catnip.

16. Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
There's been a smattering of reality TV-themed YA books over the last five years, so let's hope this one is a hit.

17. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
All I've got to say is...ICE CREAM.

18. The Forgotten Book by Mechtild Glaser
Ignoring that the main character is named Emma, I'm game for anything with a magic book.

So that's it! The last of my Eighteen 2018 Reads! If you're looking for part one and part two of the series, they're linked right there. Let me know if I helped you find books for your TBR list and/or what 2018 YA/MG releases you're looking forward to.

August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations for People Who Like Book Hangovers

So this list isn't foolproof, but these are several of the books/series that have given me book hangovers. If you enjoy the pain of a book hangover, then you should read these books.

1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Heir of Fire especially caused me pain.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
I was suffering from the wonderfulness of this book for weeks.

3. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson
I was mid-hangover from Eliza when I read this one, and it didn't help matters.

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

5. Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

6. Scarlet trilogy by A.C. Gaughen
Lady Thief was the worst (in all the best ways).

7. The Fixer duology by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

8. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
One of the first times I used the phrase "book hangover" was in reference to this book.

9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

10. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

11. The Winner's Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
Thanks, The Winner's Crime. (It seems to be a second book thing.)

What books have given you hangovers?

August 14, 2017

Review: The Winner's Kiss

**Warning: There will be spoilers for the first two Winner's Trilogy books and a few tiny spoilers for The Winner's Kiss. Proceed with caution.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Grade: A
Summary: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I was so concerned The Winner's Kiss would stink since the second book didn't suffer from second book syndrome and that is so rare. (And also when they tried to do that cover change, I was concerned.)
So much happens in The Winner's Kiss. It starts pretty much right where The Winner's Crime left off, and it follows Kestrel into the work camp, which was so interesting, and I would've liked to spend more time there (or at least see more of it later in, like, an information share). Kestrel is still the same and yet changed, particularly because of the events in the work camp and immediately prior to that.
The Dacrans feature more prominently in this book, especially the three royal siblings. None of them quite settled well with me. I just didn't click with them. However, I loved the further characterization of Sarsine, and she's become one of my favorite characters of the trilogy. Verex is still near-and-dear to my heart, and I seriously wish he and Kestrel had worked out because I still see him as a better match for her (my love for Slytherin-Hufflepuff pairings is showing). I did really like Arin in this book, though, so it gets points for that.
I continue to love Kestrel's scheming and how's she still not really a fighter in the traditional sense of the word.
The violence is definitely more extreme in this book. There's also a fade-to-black sex scene and talk of Roshar's romancing.

The Verdict: A solid final book in a trilogy. I look forward to whatever Marie writes next.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Already have.