Top Ten Underrated YA Books

Top Ten Tuesday

A weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish :)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is about underrated books and/or authors, and I decided to narrow mine down to books in the YA genre.  This list is composed of nine books that I feel not enough people have read, or ones that I loved that not a lot of people talk about or have heard of! I am also including my favourite quote from each book.  So, in no particular order… (click the image to go to goodreads!)

sisters in sanitySisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman

That’s all we can do, Brit. Take steps. Take enough of them and suddenly, you’re somewhere.

Love and other perishable itemsLove and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

She even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally.

smart girls get what they want

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

In fiction, I searched for my favorite authors, women I have trusted to reassure me than not all teenage guys are total ditwads, that the archetype of the noble cute hero who devotes himself to the girl he loves has not gone the way of the rotary phone. That all I had to do was be myself (smart, hardworking, funny) and be patient and kind and he and I would find each other.

As Bea would say, this why they call it fiction.

for darkness shows the stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Envy hurt exponentially more than heartbreak because your soul was torn in two, half soaring with happiness for another person, half mired in a well of selfpity and pain.

the duff cover

The DUFF: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Wesley Rush was the most disgusting womanizing playboy to ever darken the doorstep of Hamilton High… but he was kind of hot. Maybe if you could put him on mute… and cut off his hands… maybe—just maybe—he’d be tolerable then. Otherwise, he was a real piece of shit. Horn dog shit.

pretty girl13

 Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

For three long years, all I’ve wanted to know was what happened to you. Now… I don’t honestly know if I want you to remember.

wild awake

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

the lost girl

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

What is this power the dead have over the ones they leave behind? It’s strange and beautiful and frightening, this deathless love that human beings continue to feel for the ones they’ve lost.

if you find me

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Funny how we can’t hold onto time, even when it’s strapped to our wrists.

So tell me: What books or authors do you think are underrated? Are there any of these books that you think you might add to your TBR? Have you read any of these books already? I WANT TO KNOW!

Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want to Trade Places With

Top Ten Tuesday

A weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish :)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is about the characters – for whatever reason – that you would never ever in a million years trade places with. Monica and I decided to spilt this one up this week, and we each chose 5 characters we would never trade places with! So, in no particular order…

Monica’s Choices!
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  1. Harry Potter (Harry Potter Series): I mean, as cool as it would be to realize you were “the chosen one” and all that, would you REALLY want to be? I mean sure it’d be fun being someone like Ron or Neville who helped out and got credit for being awesome but being Harry himself? No thanks, that would mean taking on even more responsibility than I already have PLUS you’d have to deal with the pressure of having to kill one of the most powerful, dangerous and scary people in the world.
  2. Bella Swan (Twilight Series): Honestly, maybe I just didn’t like her that much in general, but as gorgeous as Rob Pattinson is, would you really want someone around who basically stalked you and was addicted to your blood? Added to that you have a younger werewolf with some serious angst also pining for you.  Sorry, I know both of them are incredibly attractive but I’d probably get annoyed with them for a) stalking me and b) obnoxiously warning me about another guy.
  3. Gemma Doyle (Great and Terrible Beauty): First off, her family life is just going downhill (that’s all I’m saying, no spoilers from me!) and she gets shipped off to a boarding school.  She may be able to transport to other realms but what if you get stuck there? What if your friends get stuck there and blame you? I’d rather stay with two feet in the real world and just live in London.
  4. Simon (City of Bones Series): Again, it’s really hard to say why I wouldn’t trade places with him without giving away anything to people who haven’t read it, but it’s pretty obvious he’s in love with his best friend. And she doesn’t reciprocate, which frankly, sucks.  That alone would make me not want to trade places with him, though I’d probably hang out with him.
  5. Nick Carroway (The Great Gatsby): At first you’d want to trade places with him then you realize that being him would actually be the worst.  His cousin Daisy, and his ‘friend’ who he just met use him as a go between to get together and then Daisy’s husband also reveals that he’s cheating to Nick.  The guy keeps so many secrets and has to play it cool, something I definitely couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do.

Natalie’s Choices
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  1. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games Trilogy): Okay okay, I know she’s a kickass heroine and all that great stuff, but personally? I wouldn’t be able to handle all of that pressure! She’s started a revolution that she didn’t even mean to start, she’s got two very gorgeous boys pining after her but can’t bring her self to choose which one she wants to be with, and OH YEAH! She gets plucked out of her life into an arena to fight TO THE DEATH not once, but twice! Mmhmmm, I think I’m good where I am right now thank you very much.
  2. Georgina Nicolson (Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging): Basically, this girl is hilarious. Unfortunately, her hilarity does not make up for how super awkward her life is! I wouldn’t be able to handle some/most of the things that happen to this girl. Nor do I look good in a beret!
  3. Juliette (Shatter Me): I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Juliette’s touch kills people. I would go insane if I had to grow up in the absence of human touch, and not being able to hold and hug the people you love would be torture.
  4. Angie Chapman (Pretty Girl-13): Angie goes missing, shows up on her doorstep three years later, and can’t remember anything about the time she was gone, nor remember that she was actually missing. Aside from missing three years of my life from my memory, I wouldn’t really be a fan of getting kidnapped either. And I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, but as Angie’s memories begin to resurface, we learn that some pretty awful things happened to her when she was kidnapped. I would not ever want to experience what she did.
  5. Meggie (Inkheart): Meggie has the ability to enter the worlds of the books she reads, as well as read characters out of them by reading aloud from them. Sounds pretty great, right??! WRONG! She has no control over this power, and what if she was reading a really scary book or something?? I mean, this whole post evidences that there are some characters and worlds that we would never want to enter. So, although Meggie’s gift has it’s merits, it is also a curse. No thanks!

So tell me: What characters would you never trade places with? Why? Are there any people that you would LOVE to trade places with?? WE WANT TO KNOW!

Mini Book Reviews: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

As most of you know, this summer has been pretty busy for me what with work, getting ready to move away to university, and trying to hang out with all of my friends for one last time before I leave! So, because of this, I have A BUNCH of books that I’ve read dating back to mid-June that I haven’t had time to review yet! I figured that instead of taking a bajillion hours to give all of these books full length reviews, I will have a series of mini reviews come out during the next few weeks, featuring three books per post, just until I get myself caught up. Sound like a good plan?? GOOD! (clicking the book covers will lead you to goodreads)

mini review if you find me

if you find me

*** Recommended to me by Judith. If she ever recommends something to you, you listen.***

Summary from Goodreads: There are some things you can’t leave behind…

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

 What I liked: EVERYTHING!!!! I am not kidding. This book was fantastic! I couldn’t put it down the entire time I was reading it. Emily Murdoch is a writing genius, and this was most definitely one of the best – if not the best – debut novel I have ever read! Murdoch took such great care in writing from Carey’s POV as someone who does not know much about civilized life, and the way she describes simple things that Carey has never seen before is amazing. Also, being an only child myself, I really appreciate reading about a great sibling relationship as I don’t have one myself and love living them vicariously through books! Carey and Janessa are perfect, and are definitely up there tied for the top of my favourite sibling relationships along with Sam and Dean from Supernatural!!! Anyway, I can’t say enough good things about this book! READ IT NOW and thank me later.

What I didn’t like: Nothing. I literally have not one single complaint about this book. Except maybe that it could have been longer. So that I didn’t have to stop reading it so soon and that the amazingness would never end!!!

Swoon factor?: It’s not a huuuuge factor in this book, but there is this boy named Ryan Shipley, and he’s perfect. <3

Favourite character: Carey. She’s amazingly awesome and takes care of her little sister so well.

Favourite quote: “I answer her with my silence, understanding the full power of it for the first time. Words are weapons. Weapons are powerful. So are unsaid words. So are unused weapons.”

Rating:  5 hearts+ a million more hearts!

mini review the madman's daughter

the madman's daughter Summary from Goodreads: In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

What I liked: This book was another fast favourite of mine! I’ve never read The Island of Dr. Moreau before, but I think I might have to now so that I can see what Megan Sheperd pulled from that book in her retelling. The Madman’s daughter was perfectly dark and creepy and had just the right amount of plot twists and shocks woven in! Juliet is a strong female MC, which I just love so much. I also was a fan of both male characters present, Montgomery and Edward, however I think I liked Montgomery just the tiniest bit more than Edward. Also, THE ENDING! Megan did an amazing job of leaving just me on a little bit of a cliffhanger, and throwing in another twist! I need the next book, NOW!

What I didn’t like: My only minor reservation about this book is that there is a bit of animal torture/death…. Now, had I known anything about The Island of Dr. Moreau, I would have been a tad more prepared for this. I am one of those people who react so much more to animal deaths in books/movies, so this was a little bit hard for me to swallow. Nevertheless, don’t let that hold you back from reading a fantastically creepy book!!!

Swoon factor?: I didn’t really fall hard for either love interest in this book, but like I said above, I like Montgomery a little bit more than Edward.

Favourite character: Juliet. She was the perfect strong female MC, with just the right amount of sass!

Favourite quote: “The ways of men and women are such a puzzle. And I could barely decipher my own feelings, let along anyone else’s.”

Rating: 5 hearts

mini review pretty girl 13

pretty girl13 Summary from Goodreads: Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she’s returned home…only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen-or at least that’s what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn’t know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren’t locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her “alters.” As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

What I liked: Pretty Girl-13 has some crazy heavy subject matter, and the way that Liz Coley deals with it and writes about it is amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of research that would have had to go in to writing a book like this. Pretty Girl-13 goes to show just how much the human brain is capable of, and how far it will go to protect you. This is one book that I literally couldn’t put down, and I had finished it in a matter of only a few hours. Kudos to Liz for writing such an entertaining book!

What I didn’t like: The only thing holding me back from giving this book five stars is that unfortunately, it was a tad too predictable for my liking. By the time I had made it to the HUGE OMG moment, I had guessed it. But still, it’s an amazing twist, if not slightly too much strangeness if you know what I mean.

Swoon factor?: As much as I love for books to have a love interest and kissing, this book wouldn’t have been able to incorporate that, and that’s ok. It would have been waaaay too much and would have made everything a big mess.

Favourite character: Due to spoilery things, I can’t tell you who my favourite character is, except for that it isn’t Angie… Read it and find out!

Favourite quote: “For three long years all I’ve wanted is to know what happened to you. Now, I don’t honestly know if I want you to remember.”

Rating:4 hearts

Well ladies and gents, there you have it! Three mini reviews for three good books! Let me know your thoughts on any or all of the books below, and also let me know what you think of the mini review idea!! I love getting feedback from all of you lovelies <3