Book of the Week-Dreamless

Normally, check I try REALLY hard not to do sequels as the Book of the Week, because if you haven’t read the first book, you really don’t know what’s going on, and can’t really read the Book of the Week post.

Or I’ll do sequels if I know that enough people have read the previous ones, like with Divergent or the Heroes of Olympus, which are two sequel books (Allegiant and House of Hades) that I definitely will be using as Book of the Weeks soon.

I already read Starcrossed, and to be honest, it just didn’t hook me that much. It was recommended to me by a trusted friend, someone who recommends books to me all the time, and I knew I had to keep trying, so I picked up Goddess. I read about half, put it aside, and read quite a few others books in the meantime.

Last night, I got about 75% of the way through another book, which honestly disappointed me hugely, and I gave up. Moving on down my list o’ books (which is pretty ridiculous and OCD….seriously), Dreamless was next, and I really had to give it a good try. I’m meeting Josephine next week at the Los Angeles Teen Book Fest (more on that later!), and I want to have an honest opinion about her books before I see her.

And the reason that Dreamless is the Book of the Week, and not just a mere review gets down to one point: that while the first book didn’t capture me and embrace me, the second one definitely did. I’m about a quarter of the way through Goddess, the final book of the trilogy, and can’t wait to see how it ends.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

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GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Fantasy

Part of a Series?:

Yes, the second book of the Starcrossed trilogy

Please remember that while there will be NO spoilers for this particular book, there will be spoilers for the first book.

You May Like if You Liked:

The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Age Recommendation:

Please keep in mind that these are MY personal recommendations, and it varies between each person. I know that some YA is a little more adult than others, and I don’t want to encourage a younger teen to read something that isn’t appropriate for them. 

13+:

Plot Summary:

Dreamless continues the story of Helen Hamilton, a shy girl living on Nantucket Island whose desire for an ordinary life was thwarted when she discovered she is a Scion, a descendant of a Greek god and a mortal. Each Scion has a power, and Helen’s is the ability to travel to Hades.
 
Helen is determined to use her talent to stop a war amongst the gods and change her destiny, which is to live a life patterned after that of the tragic Helen of Troy. But her quest may cost her Lucas Delios, the boy she loves.

Dreamless really follows Helen as she uses her power to Descend into the Underworld, to discover a way to gain favor with the Furies, to help break that curse where Scions of opposite families want to kill each other, especially since Hector is a traitor and the Delios all have blood lust when around him. But the more she Descends, the more it takes a toll on herself, and everything and everyone around her.

The Bad:

It took a REALLY long to get through this book. I started it, then put it aside, then picked it up again, then put it aside. The first half of the book just really drags, as Helen Descends into Hades over and over and over and over and over again. It just got really repetitive and honestly, kind of boring. I was like, okay, something needs to start happening or I’m going to throw something. I didn’t end up actually throwing something but I did set this book aside a few times. It just didn’t compel me at first. I think once the second half picked up, and Helen had more of a direction, and so did the rest of the story, and she finally felt more of a handle on things, the book sped up and I finished the last half last night, easily.

I also *think* that Josephine is introducing a love triangle in this book, and that just made me incredibly frustrated.

The Good:

I liked the twist on the Furies in this novel. I think that’s a huge thing that brought me back into the novel. The Furies are always portrayed as evil, or at the very least, completely inconvenient. They’re still totally NOT good in this book as well. They are the cause behind the Scions having such hatred toward each other and why Ariadne and Lucas and Jason want to tear out Hector, their family, whenever they are near him. And Helen is determined to fix that. I like that her approach in fixing this is so different than anything else, and its ultimately a good thing. The solution to the problem isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be, especially with the general attitude toward The Furies.

I also like the direction that Helen is going in. She’s really stepping into her powers, and embracing exactly who she is. I know that in the first book, she was still learning but there were times when I wanted to kind of punch her in the face. But in this book, I really begin to admire the strong person that she is. Because she doesn’t just have these powers, and a physical strength, but she’s extremely clever as well, and that really makes for a strong character. I say again and again that physical strength is incredibly awesome in a character, but that a lot of people think a character can ONLY be a strong character if they’re a fighter or a warrior, or any of that, but intelligence makes for an incredibly strong character. Helen has both, definitely.

She really built up a story that left you panting for the next book. Second books need to be that bridge between the first and the third and it really does that. I immediately wanted to read the next book, which was difficult because it was 2 a.m. I really liked that Josephine filled my new addiction to Greek myths in YA lit and that she did so in such a unique way.

I love all the new appearances of gods as well too. We see so many different versions of the gods and goddesses in different books, and there’s always a different perspective of who is ‘good’ or who is ‘bad’, and I am intrigued at who is on what side in this book. I’m also interested to see what sort of havoc they wreak on the world because Josephine doesn’t hold back, you know? She really takes this idea and matures it in a way that you’re almost horrified. You’re horrified that this could be happening to any one of these characters.

And seriously, I just gotta say it? Can Daphne please just tell Helen and Lucas that they aren’t really cousins? I am so heartbroken over that, it makes me think of Jace and Clary in Mortal Instruments, and I can’t handle it. Its so full of angst and I just want to punch them both, while at the same time, hoping they’ll make out. Yeah, I said it.

Rating:

3.75 out of 5

Recommended or Not:

I’m in a serious Greek myth thing going on right now, and I think I’m blaming Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant series, which you all saw that I BUSTED my way through in a matter of days. I also have Dreamless left to read of this series, and House of Hades comes out on Tuesday, and I also just recently purchased Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs, which has some Greek myths thrown in there. I need a break from dystopians haha.

But that being said, I really liked THIS book of the trilogy so far. Starcrossed was really hard for me to get through, maybe because I hadn’t quite fallen into my Greek obsession yet, or maybe because I was waiting for the sequel. Its like Empire Strikes Back, or something, which we all know is infinitely better than the first one (though the first one is my favorite!), and I honestly think, yes, please read this series. I think its a unique look at the myths of Greece, which is hard, with so many books attempting to do so.

So after that long rant, yes, I recommend this book :)

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week. Stay tuned for next week’s when I review Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades!

Happy Reading Everyone!

Book of the Week-The Abandon Trilogy

Today’s Book of the Week post is a little more unique than the others. Instead of reviewing just ONE book, shop I’ll be reviewing three, approved an entire trilogy.

I’ve done that once before with the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie because I was determined to get people past the slower second book to reach the really good third book.

But I wanted to do the entire Abandon trilogy because the third book, order Awaken, came out this past Tuesday, the 2nd, and I sat down and devoured the entire thing in a matter of hours. So, instead of doing a review of just Awaken, I decided to do a post about the entire trilogy.

This is also a special post because it is part of the Meg-A-Readers blog hop. Mandy from The Romance Bookie and Diana from Little Miss Drama Queen came up with this idea of having a couple of months of all things Meg Cabot. They would get a bunch of blogs involved and people would just write all about different things for Meg Cabot: reviews, how they met her, how they found her books, ANYTHING.

And I definitely had to be a part of it because she’s one of my absolute favorite authors since I first picked up The Princess Diaries when I was 12 years old, 13 years ago.

You can find out more about Meg-A-Readers here.

But let’s move on now, to the actual review!

The Abandon Trilogy by Meg Cabot

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Abandon, Underworld, Awaken

Genre:

young adult, paranormal, romance, fantasy

Part of a Series:

In the charming words of Severus Snape, “Obviously”

You May Like if You Liked:

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy

Plot Summary:

All summaries are taken word for word from Amazon. 

Abandon: Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Underworld: Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead. Not this time. But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey. Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves. But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies. And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

Awaken: Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go. Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves. But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

The Bad:

The only beef I have with the entire series is that Abandon takes some time to get into. I remember reading and going, okay, Meg, you’ve never let me down before. Don’t let me down now. I think because I am unfamiliar with the tale of Hades and Persephone and Fates and Furies and THAT aspect of Greek mythology. I love Greek myths but I have always been fascinated by Artemis (I wanted to name my cat Artemis when I was like 13 but my mom wouldn’t let me…). I’m wondering if that’s why I wasn’t able to get into this series as quickly as I was able to get into her others. This series is also very different (in a good way, of course) from her other series, so it also could have been that it was not what I was expecting out of a Meg Cabot book. However…I continued to read the series and I love it. Its one of my favorites. I probably say that about all of her series but she’s just so great.

I won’t go on and on about her, because that’s not the point of this blog, but I did write about how her Heather Wells series changed my life and you can read that here.

The Good:

Now on to alllllll the good stuff that is here. I love these books because of the unique storyline that they present. I’ve seen books about Greek myths, about Hades, Persephone and the Underworld but this is the first series that I read and really liked of it. I loved diving into myths that I wasn’t so familiar with. I think Hades gets a bad rep sometimes and this story, with John Hayden as the lord of the Underworld, as someone who once lived and breathed like any other human, and was shouldered the responsiblity of running the Underworld, as a person who cares and loves, really gives you an entirely different perspective.

I also like Pierce as Persephone. I don’t know much about Persephone and whether she was a badass or not, but Pierce? Definitely a badass. She’s in love with the LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD, who has all these intense powers and has one of those super fun death glares and she still does what she wants, when she wants it, being brave and risking herself and doing all sorts of things that John thinks is completely detrimental to his goal of protecting her. I love that. I piss off my own boyfriend probably a lot, but I don’t stand down. I’m not going to be one of those girls that agrees with their boyfriend 100% of the time, just because they don’t want to start fights. I like that Pierce is strong and has her own opinion and does what she feels she needs to do.

That being said, I do like the build up and the relationship of Pierce and John. Its very realistic (as much as a relationship between a regular person and the Lord of the Underworld can be), in that they fight and bicker and disagree but they have fun together and make each other laugh. I love that when they do fight, its not the end of the entire universe like it is in other books. Its realistic. I love it.

Plus, these books make me laugh. No matter what she writes about: princesses, girls who can talk to ghosts, girls who get struck by lightning and are psychic, girls who date the reincarnation of King Arthur, whatever, she always, always, always makes me laugh. Her humor no matter what the situation is makes her such a great novelist. Her way of writing like a teenager, of writing the book in that sort of conversational manner, is fantastic and I think is why she is so popular and remains so. I find myself shaking my head, smirking or full out laughing out loud because she just makes me laugh so hard. She’s so funny, and she brings a realism and a humor to all her novels, including this series.

Rating: 

Abandon: 4 out of 5 stars

Underworld: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Awaken: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommended or Not:

Definitely. Easily. I recommend anything by Meg Cabot. I think a lot of people are wrapped up into the fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi/paranormal worlds of YA right, and Meg Cabot’s Abandon trilogy is up there with all those other books. She’s written other paranormal/sci-fi stuff like The Mediator and Vanishes series.

But yeah, definitely read these books. They’re going to make you laugh, and clutch the pages with anticipation, as you power through those pages, wondering what is going to happen to next with Pierce and John and the fate of the Underworld. Anyone who is NOT reading these books are seriously missing out on the wonderful charm that is Meg Cabot.

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I hope you enjoyed this special edition of the Book of the Week.

Don’t forget to stop by The Romance Bookie and check out other Meg-A-Reader posts!

And you can see past book reviews for the Book of the Week here!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Series

Well, medicine that was quite a mouthful of a title. I did try to slim it down a bit but I’m afraid it just wasn’t going to happen. So I am afraid we are stuck with this extremely long title. Sigh. Oh well. Sometimes, pharm you know, buy information pills things just happen.

So I’m actually writing this on Monday night, so its ready to post for tomorrow, because tomorrow is a BIG, BIG day, in the words of one Effie Trinket. Tomorrow, me and my iFandoms Collide girls are heading down to the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere tomorrow and I’m going to be a busy girl all day.

So I had to be responsible and do all my homework first. And now I’m being doubly responsible and finishing this so I don’t get behind!

Because there’s so many awesome posts coming! I’ll probably do a post on my first movie premiere experience tomorrow, and I have my interview with Eoin Colfer to post and there’s an interview with Jessica Brody coming VERY soon, and the Book of the Week and I have a super cool blog that was a story writing project with me and a few other bloggers and…yeah, a lot of SUPER awesome stuff coming to WhatANerdGirlSays.

In the meantime though, enjoy this week’s Tuesday Top Ten!

Favorite Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian Series

11. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King

Some people will not understand why this is so low on the list. They also are probably wondering why this is number eleven. Well to answer the second question, well its my blog and I can do whatever I want and I love this genre and so I couldn’t narrow it down. And for the second, I’ll explain. I love LoTR, I adore those books. They are fantastic books and I enjoy reading them. J.R.R. Tolkien created an incredible world, using old mythologies and biblical references and all kinds of really cool stuff. He created some memorable characters, and an epic story. I do think that he should have created stronger female characters but that wasn’t exactly the time and Eowyn is still a super badass character. But these aren’t books that I gravitate to and read over and over again. Mostly because they are really hard to get through; there’s a lot that goes on, where you’re sitting there going, what does this have to do with anything?! I also think there’s an abnormal amount of singing and dancing and eating and partying going on in all of those books and I’m sitting here, going, “Uh impending doom? Why are we feasting?” But maybe thats just me. But that being said, JRR Tolkien is a fantasy god, and created a series that opened the doors for so many other series. I don’t think the fantasy genre would become what it is without this epic trilogy.

10. Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

It took me FOREVER to read these books. I don’t know why, but I just had no desire to read them. I don’t know if it was the covers or what, but I just didn’t want to read them. I had no idea what they were about but I just didn’t turn to them for new reading material. However, my sister kept pushing me to and eventually I gave in…and sped through the first two books in a matter of maybe 36 hours. Luckily enough for me, Mockingjay was to be released about a week later so I didn’t even have to wait a long time to find out what happened next. And even though Mockingjay is my least favorite of all the books, I seriously enjoy this series and I am so glad I finally sat down to read these. I know that a lot of people give Suzanne Collins crap because of Battle Royale but I’ve said this once, twice, three times and I’ll continue to say it: we tell the same stories over and over again, but when we tell them in different voices, we create completely different stories. And I believe Suzanne did that. I love Katniss, and I love her strength and her humanity. We are put in a world where children are forced to kill each other, and where immense violence occurs. Then we are shown this world from our beloved Katniss’s point of view, and even though she is surviving and killing just like every one else in the games, she has a real humanity about her and you can’t help but love her and root her on.

9. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

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Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant 

Oh Divergent. Thank you to my dear friend Caitlin who introduced me to this book. Another book that I got into after it had been released for a bit. I read Divergent the DAY that Insurgent released. In fact, I finished Insurgent at about 2 or 3 am and immediately purchased Insurgent on my Kindle because I just had to find out what happened next. I had to. And I love the world Veronica Roth created because it is both extremely familiar but very different at the same time. I also feel a very strong attachment to Tris Prior. Tris is not like other heroines. So many of the heroines that we read are yes, strong, and powerful and all that but they’re always pretty! And come on, not all of us are pretty! We’re not all supermodels! And it works great in this book because it shows Four‘s gradual attraction to her, he falls for her because of her strength, her selflessness, her intelligence, all of that. And it gives her a better opportunities to prove her strength. Because we are less focused on her physical appearance, except maybe for the fact that she is very small (which, as a short person, I love!), we are able to focus on her physical and mental journey to become the real person that she can be. I love the psychology of the books too. A friend of mine is a psychology professor (I think, she’s got a degree in psychology, she’s really smart when it comes to psychology…) and we were able to have some deep discussions on the serums and fear landscapes and all that stuff and its so super interesting!

8. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

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Legend, Prodigy and Champion 

This is another series that was recommended to me by someone and was one that I actually jumped on pretty quickly. My friend Erin gives me really good recommendations and I tend to take her advice haha. I read Legend two days before Prodigy came out (how does this keep happening to me…) and I was addicted. I was hesitant to read this book because it was another dystopian. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dystopian. It kind of takes all the worst qualities about the societies we live in today and amplifies them. I almost feel like these books are made to scare us a bit, like, could the world really become this way? But I was getting tired of it and it was getting comparisons to Hunger Games and I was like, meh. But I am so glad I decided to dive in. Marie Lu is a fantastically talented writer and she creates such a real world. This could be the world we eventually live in. Its Los Angeles in the Republic of America where you have to take an aptitude test to determine whether you’ll be trained as a soldier, which is elite, or you have to do grunt work. Day is a criminal, after getting the lowest score possible, trying to save his family and June is a prodigy, with the highest score, a perfect score, going after Day after he is accused of her brother’s murder. Alternating viewpoints gives us a look into both of their heads and both of their stories and Marie spins a twisting story where you just don’t know who to look at it or who to root for. Fantastic books. I canNOT wait until Champion, the final book, is released this fall.

7. Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

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Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

I think this one is almost self-explanatory because I talk about Cassandra Clare so often but I have to talk about it so much. The Mortal Instruments is near and dear to my heart because they are the first ones I read of Cassie and they have Jace Lightwood, who I’m pretty much in love with and all that. And yeah, TMI gets a lot of “crap” because of stolen ideas and all that stuff. But what I like about the Infernal Devices is that Cassie became an even better writer when she tackled these books. She knew New York, and she was comfortable there but diving into these Victorian London novels took time, effort and a ton of research, while also creating a believable, exciting and relatable story and she accomplished all of the above. Tessa, Will, Jem and the rest of the characters are so easy to love and so easy to follow and the story keeps us absolutely breathless to the very end. These books are funny and exciting and absolutely heartbreaking. I challenge you to read Clockwork Princess without bursting into tears. I dare you. You can’t do it. You can see the differences in the times between Clary‘s Shadowhunter story of TMI and Tessa‘s in this series but you can also see the similarities between them too. And even though you aren’t wearing a corset and wondering what is proper and what is not, you can feel such a kinship and immediate connection to Tessa Gray. And you anxiously wait the entire series to find out who she is and what strengths she has and you learn that out of all the characters in the series, she’s the strongest. Such a beautiful series. And look at those covers, gorgeous!

6. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

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The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown

I will talk about this series until I am blue in the face because I feel like no one I know has read this series and it is an absolute travesty. I was talking to my friend about it today and Leigh Bardugo (author of the Grisha trilogy) saw it and chimed in, saying she agreed with me on this series. Its good to know that I am not the only one who not only appreciates what an amazing series this is, but also loves it as well. Cinda reminds me a lot of Tamora Pierce who was the first author that really brought me into YA fantasy. If Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen were my gateways into YA contemporary, Tamora was the gateway to my fantasy love. And I have read some amazing series since then, I really have, all the series that are on this list basically. But none of them have brought me back full circle like this one. Its such brilliant, pure fantasy, that is creating this wonderful, different world but is written so it is familiar to us all and makes it a relatable read. I love Cinda’s Heir series but this one, Seven Realms…its just brilliant. I can’t even articulate how fantastic this book is. You get two alternating points of view, in third person, between Princess Raisa and the former crime lord, Han Alister (who you may have seen on my fave fictional crushes). Both are trying to find their niche in the world until mysterious things start happening to them, and to the world around them and then suddenly their worlds are intertwined. Spread out over four books, you stay glued to each page, anxiously waiting to see what happens next. I read all four in about five days. I inhaled them. More people need to be talking about and reading these books.

5. Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena (and two more coming in 2013 and 2014!)

I love Percy Jackson and the Olympians. They are absolutely great books. I saw my sister and brother reading them, saw that they were kids books and kind of left it at that. But then I saw the movie, and the movie…wasn’t that good and it made me curious about the books and I read that series pretty quickly. Then I latched onto this one, of course. And Heroes of Olympus takes the world that you love in Percy Jackson and amplifies it by a million. Even though these books are sold in the children’s section and are aimed at children, they have a very YA feel and remind of Harry Potter, how they can reach out to any age. The writing becomes more sophisticated, the stories more complex and the relationships are becoming more fun. And the stories and conflicts that the characters go through are getting harder than they were in Percy Jackson. We get to see the characters we love evolve into older teens, we’re seeing them growing older and falling in love and trying to save the world from things even worse than before. Then we also get to meet new characters, who, even though we haven’t known them as long, we fall in love with just as hard. The idea of intermixing the Roman and Greek mythologies and two camps and all of that is just brilliant and I really think this series is Rick Riordan‘s masterpiece. He took this brilliant, awesome world he created off of all these myths that we’re all pretty familiar with and just made it that much better. I’ll admit it too: I love this series because of all the Percabeth. I love me some Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They are too cute.

4. Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, A Sweet Far Thing 

So I messed up this series a little bit. I saw the cover of Rebel Angels when I was at Borders one day and thought it was absolutely gorgeous and it really intrigued me. I think it had just recently been released because it was on display. I read the description, thought it sounded great, bought it and read it. And then realized it was the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. Oops. My bad. So I went back and read the first one, knowing who died at the end already. But honestly, even though I did that…it didn’t kill that for me. Instead I just enjoyed watching Gemma come into her own. I love books that take place in Victorian England (though, of course, I read this way before the Infernal Devices) especially when the main characters are female. It was such a difficult time for girls. They had no rights, their entire lives were focused on finding a husband and they couldn’t even enjoy sex. “Just lie back and think of England.” (Which I found funny when Jace said it in City of Ashes haha). And then you throw in the fact that Gemma, the main character, has these magical powers, very strong ones, in a world where she has no power. The temptation, the hardships of learning how to deal with these powers and to use them responsibly…that has to be hard. Watching Gemma discover who she is, both as a member of the Order and as a person living her life, is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. These stories hold such a strong place in my heart because I appreciate the strength that Libba Bray gives to all her characters: Gemma, Felicity, Ann and Pippa in a time where women weren’t supposed to have strength. I also give her major major props for including a lesbian character in the book, because there are still so many people who think being gay is “bad”, but think of what it would have meant to be a lesbian in Victorian England, but she does it so beautiful and I am so in love with that character.

3. Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce

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Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen 

Oh Tamora Pierce. What would I have ever done without you in my life? She was my gateway to fantasy and science fiction and dystopian and paranormal. I had read Harry Potter, I adored Harry Potter (read below) but I always thought that fantasy wasn’t for me, that I couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t relate to the characters. It wasn’t until I picked up Trickster’s Choice that I realized how insanely wrong I was. I was 15 when I picked this book up and I honestly picked it up because it mentioned pirates very briefly in the inside flap and I had a really unhealthy obsession with pirates at the time (Thanks Johnny Depp). Turns out the pirates were mentioned for maybe 2 and 1/2 pages and it didn’t matter because it was an absolutely brilliant book. Its pure, amazing fantasy and Tamora creates these beautiful fantasy worlds that are both completely new and yet completely real to us and familiar. In this particular series, it is a class war between the dark skinned raka and the light skinned luarin nobility and the parallels between racism and class wars and slavery in our own histories is fantastic. Tammy is one smart cookie and she is able to weave these fun and beautiful adventures with amazingly strong female characters with these issues that are still so very relevant today is absolutely brilliant. I have read these books so many times that I can almost quote them by part. My copy of Trickster’s Choice is falling apart with how much I love it. And I met one of my absolute best friends, Chloe, my pen pal from Australia that I’ve been writing to for 9 years because of her books. She has changed my life. I’m still trying to figure out a symbol that I can get of these books on my body in a tattoo because it so deserves a spot on my body.

2. Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare 

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City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire (releasing Spring 2014)

I’m pretty sure any person who has even glanced at my blog knows that I have much love and much obsession for this series. What this series has done for me, in so many different ways, is never ending and what it continues to do for me. It saved me when I thought I was just going to curl up in bed and forget the world, after two really sad things happened to me. It helped me to realize that it was okay to believe, or in my case, not believe in things and that was okay. It taught me that it was okay to be who I am. Alec and Aline and Magnus are all characters I look up to so much as gay, lesbian and bisexual characters. As someone who is bisexual, it was amazing to have these characters in such a fantastic, dark, sexy, fun world and to see them overcome their fears of being who they are, giving me the courage to overcome my own fears. They gave me Jace Lightwood, my fictional boyfriend. They gave me confidence in myself to become a writer. They taught me so much. And they make me laugh, cry, anxiously turn the pages and want to become a Shadowhunter. I have met Cassandra Clare four times, I have every book that is currently published signed by her, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview her and I have a Fearless rune tattoo on my shoulder. These books hold a very very special place in my heart and I continue to read them over and over again to laugh and have a good time and be excited and watch as Clary and Jace and Alec and Magnus and Isabelle and Simon fight demons and Valentine and have adventures. I am eagerly awaiting the final book, City of Heavenly Fire, in 2014 and I’m INSANELY excited about the City of Bones movie this summer.

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Goblet of Fire, the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince, and the Deathly Hallows. 

What would I be without these books in my life? I get teary-eyed just thinking about these books and what they have done for me, as a person, as a reader, as a writer. I first read Sorcerer’s Stone when I was ten years old, the year it was released here in the United States. I am 25 and I can’t imagine ever not loving these books. I read each and every one with a fervor that I have never had for any other book series. I fell in love with characters more than any other, laughed when they laughed, celebrated with they celebrated, worked hard with them and cried when they died. These books took me from an avid reader to a passionate reader, to a reader whose very escape from everything in life that ever goes bad is a book, and especially these books. From the time I was 10 until a few years ago, nothing was going right. Of course it wasn’t, I was a teenager. But between my parents’ separation, switching schools, being responsible for things that no normal pre-teen is, falling in love, getting pregnant, and so many things…these books were there through it all. I was always a big reader but these books turned me into the passionate reader, the book addict that I am today. They taught me more than I have ever learned in any bible or textbook. I have gotten so many morals and beliefs and lessons from these books. They have taught me about love and friendship and family and death and sacrifice and forgiveness and tolerance and acceptance and on and on and on. There will never be a book series that means as much to me as this one does. There will never be a series like this. These books are so beautifully written and they have given me every emotion I could possibly feel. There is a reason that I have permanently marked myself with four Harry Potter tattoos.

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten! Remember, click the author’s name to check out their website and click the book titles to purchase them on Amazon! I really hope that you guys are able to check out some new series today, every single one of these are very near and dear to my heart.

Stay tuned for some PRETTY awesome stuff coming to the blog this week!

And for past Tuesday Top Ten lists, click here!