Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Characters I Most Relate To

I am so impressed with myself right now. Mostly because I’m really bad at doing Tuesday Top Tens lately and here I am doing one. Granted its about 3 am, side effects and I’m bored and tired but not sleepy tired and I’m kind of sick so I don’t really wanna sleep, website so hence the Tuesday Top Ten is actually getting done for once. I’m really proud of myself.

I do these questions on my personal facebook page. I have a TON of friends on FB, sick and I don’t mean that as a bragging thing because I realized that I have all these friends and I barely know them. So I try to do these get to know you questions to try and get to know them so they feel more like friends. Anyway, I asked the other day, what fictional character do you think is most like you?

And it got me thinking: this is a GREAT idea for the Tuesday Top Ten. So let’s do this :)

10. Belle from Beauty and the Beast

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I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Belle is probably the first character that really stood out to me, because she loved books and she got so wrapped in the stories and she continued to read them over and over again, and for some reason, people thought this was the weirdest thing in the world. Now, reading is pretty cool now but it wasn’t always like that and so I really identified with Belle, not fitting in and escaping the real world for the adventures in a book. Plus, I was massively determined to being able to walk and read at the same time…and I completely hit that goal.

BOOKSELLER: “That one? But you’ve read it twice!”

BELLE: “Well, it’s my favorite! Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise -“

9. Princess Leia from Star Wars

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Maybe this is just wishful thinking but this is another character that stood out to me as a child and stuck with me for the rest of my life and probably will continue to do so. I think I liked that she was basically the only girl in the movie, which means she had big shoes to fill and even though she wore pretty dresses and was a princess, she could handle a gun, had sarcasm and kept up with the boys. I grew up with mostly boys and I always felt like I had to be loud, and obnoxious and over the top to get their attention and to make them realize I was just as good as them, if not better, and that one day, a Han Solo is going to realize that I’m awesome, even when I’m annoying. Okay moving on because that paragraph was the biggest mess ever.

“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.”

8. Aly from the Daughter of the Lioness

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I LOVE ALY! I think the reason that I most related to her was her desire to be something new, something that was unexpected of her, even though everyone was doubting her. The thing about Aly is that everyone believes in her, expects so much of her, knows that she can do so much. But she knows what she wants, and what she wants is not what everyone else wants for her and she meets fight after fight trying to make that happen. What I love about Aly is that she loves her family and knows that they want is best for her, she still fights to live her dreams and to live her life the way she wants to.

“Why, I’m just as true and honest as dirt. And I’m even more charming than dirt.”

7. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices

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The thing that always caught me about Tessa, that made me connect with her, was her ability to love everyone, and to care about everyone, feel responsibility for them. I know that I feel like I have to take care of the world, even though that’s not my responsibility. Tessa gets thrust into a brand new world and falls in love with all of these people that reach out and take care of her. She spreads her love so easily and that is exactly how I am. If someone is nice to me, takes care of me, welcomes me in, I fall in love. I love people fully. Plus she loves books. She says the most wonderful things about books; she quotes them. She’s an early fangirl ;) I wish I could find a boy like Will Herondale that would talk and argue books with me.

“Tessa craned her head back to look at Will. “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” His blue eyes were dark with understanding — of course Will would understand — and she hurried on. “I feel now as if the same is happening, only not to characters on a page but to my own beloved friends and companions. I do not want to sit by while tragedy comes for us. I would turn it aside, only I struggle to discover how that might be done.”

6. Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments

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Why do I relate to Alec Lightwood? How do I not relate to him? There is so much of Alec in me, its kind of crazy. I know that it took a lot of time for others to love him but I loved him from page one. He’s confused, and loyal and determined and confused. He’s so fiercely loyal and protective of his sister and brother and of Jace. I love that about him, especially since he’s often afraid while he’s trying to be protective. We definitely have the same sassy, sarcastic attitude that he gets in the very last book. But the most important thing that we have in common is the journey that we’ve taken to figure out who we are. Alec is shy, confused, and unable to accept parts of himself because of the fear of what others would think. I know what that’s like…to be so unsure of who you are and where you’re going and to watch Alec blossom and figure out who he is and become a stronger and better person because of that. I’d like to see myself in that.

“I did not make a pie,” Alec repeated, gesturing expressively with one hand, “for three reasons. One, because I do not have any pie ingredients. Two, because I don’t actually
know how to make a pie.” He paused, clearly waiting.

Removing his sword and leaning it against the cave wall, Jace said warily, “And three?”

“Because I am not your bitch,” Alec said, clearly pleased with himself.”

5. Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries

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Oh Mia Thermopolis. I immediately fell in love with her when I read the first book when I was 12 years old. She’s insecure and a little paranoid and a total fangirl and constantly trying to do the right thing, and kind of stumbling along. She’s so real. And even when she’s with a boy (Michael Moscovitz) and knows he loves her, she still gets insecure and makes silly mistakes. She overanalyzes everything and worries so much. She literally over worries about everything and its insane. But its totally me. I’m the biggest worrier I know. I worry about the dumbest things and so when I read the book, I really felt close to Mia. Plus she’s a writer. That obviously connects with me a lot. It takes awhile for her to figure out that this is what’s good at and what she wants to do with her life. Gasp. So me.

“But then I remembered something Grandmere had once assured me of: No one has ever died of embarrassment-never, not once in the whole history of time.”

4. Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle

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Sophie is also sort of like an Alec Lightwood for me in the whole insecurity thing. Sophie begins the novel and the movie feeling trapped in that hat shop, stuck in a life chosen for her because she thinks its the right thing to do. She’s not special, she’s not pretty, she doesn’t have any particular talents, she doesn’t stand out. She thinks that this is the best path for her because what other path does she have. Her mother is fabulous and constantly traveling and her sister is beautiful and has the attention of all her customers. But it takes Sophie breaking out of the box, going on a crazy adventure and falling in with a totally unexpected crowd to blossom. She figures out who she is and becomes strong and confident. She simply has to find that thing that makes her the person she is. It feels SO familiar to me, to be unsure if I’m on the right path, or if I’m even half as special as the people I’m around.

“They say that the best blaze burns brightest, when circumstances are at their worst.”

3. Ron Weasley from Harry Potter

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YES. Ron Weasley. My favorite Harry Potter character, tied with Sirius Black. I like Ron Weasley because he’s the most relatable, the most realistic of the big Three in those books. There are so many reasons I relate to Ron. He feels in the shadow of others: his siblings, his best friends. He doesn’t think he’s as great as them and he’s constantly trying to prove himself. There’s a need to prove himself. But I also love that he’s a great friend but he has faults. He gets mad and jealous and frustrated and he gets in fights with his friends. People don’t always understand that about him because Hermione is seriously SUCH a selfless friend but Ron is real and selfish and he gets jealous and angry, and that feels normal and I know I’m like that. But the one thing that really gets me about Ron is his loyalty to his family, especially his brothers and sister. My immediate family means the absolute world to me. I too come from a large family, a family of six kids and I love my brothers and sisters so much, its amazing.

“You’ve sort of made up for it tonight,’ said Harry. ‘Getting the sword. Finishing off the Horcux. Saving my life.’

‘That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was,’ Ron mumbled.

2. Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines

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I’ve always kind of hoped that I was like Rose Hathaway until my parabatai, Sylvia (from Fangirl Feeels) was reading one of the VA books and pointed out that Rose reminded her so much of me, the things she said, the way she acted, and honestly, I took that as a HUGE compliment. She is one of my FAVORITE female characters of ALL time and to be compared to her, to feel like I relate to her and that I’m like her…it almost feels like an honor. I want to be like one of my favorite characters. She’s brave and incredibly loyal and I would hope to be like that. But I love that she’s goofy and sassy, which I think kind of equates to me. I like that she’s constantly making jokes and saying ridiculous things and trying to find the humor in even the worst situations. I really feel similar to her. I don’t know that I am similar to her but I’ve heard it so and I like to believe I am :)

“The other problem in my life is Dimitri. He’s the one who killed Natalie, and he’s a total badass. He’s also pretty good-looking. Okay—more than good-looking. He’s hot—like, the kind of hot that makes you stop walking on the street and get hit by traffic.”

1. Cath from Fangirl

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There is literally never been a character that I’ve related to more in my life than Cath in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. From the moment that I started the book, I just fell into it. It easily became one of my favorite books and I had to tell Rainbow and she was SUCH a doll and sent me a postcard, thanking me for the letter and for relating to Cath so much. But its really her that I should thank. She literally understands me as a person. Sure, there are things about Cath that aren’t me. But there are so many things that are me. She is so afraid and anxious of the outside world, of making mistakes and venturing away from the things that are safe that she completely loses herself in the worlds of books. And people don’t always understand that about her. They don’t understand that navigating the cafeteria at her new school is seriously frightening and anxiety inducing. They don’t understand how someone could be SO obsessed with fictional characters. But I do. I completely get Cath and she gets me. She IS me.

“No,” Cath said, “Seriously. Look at you. You’ve got your shit together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m scared of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.”

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May Book Wrap Up

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: I am actually 2 books ahead right now. This is the first time I’ve been on track all year haha.

Books Read So Far: 63

Total Books For May: 20

Remember, viagra buy as always, try to click the book title in order to read the review!

A Girl Called Fearless

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Summer State of Mind

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Rebel Belle

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Since You’ve Been Gone

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The One

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Open Road Summer

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

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All Lined Up

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Re-Read)

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In Honor

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Free to Fall

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The Prince and the Guard

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Noggin

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Don’t Look Back

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The Truth About Forever (Re-Read)

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City of Heavenly Fire

(You can also watch my spoiler FILLED vlog here)

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Shadow and Bone (Re-Read)

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Rules of Summer

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Just One Night

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January Book Wrap-Up

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: Nope. I’m 3 books behind. I’m in SUCH a slump this year, story so far.

Books Read So Far: 9

Total Books For January: 

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Review for this book will come on February 20th, buy more about when I am part of the blog tour!

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Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

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The Selection by Keira Cass

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The Elite by Kiera Cass

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These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read) 

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Re-Read)

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Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

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Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

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I super hope February is MUCH better than January. I was in a major book slump, and I hope that I’m now out of it.

How was your January? What did you like? What books didn’t you like? What are you planning to read for February? Share in the comments!

Fictional Crush of the Week-Hermione Granger of The Harry Potter Series

Hello, pills my friends :) How are you all doing on this fine week? I apologize for being so MIA this week. It was Christmas and I was working, help and I just started at a new job so there’s that.

Character Name:

Hermione Granger

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Book or Series They Appear In:

The Harry Potter Series

Author/Creator:

J.K. Rowling

Played By: 

Emma Watson

Who They Are:

Hermione Granger is one of two best friends to the main character of the series, information pills Harry Potter. She is the brains behind the operation. From the moment that Hermione enters the novel, it is about her intelligence, her cleverness, and less about the physical beauty of her. As the book goes along, and she gains more confidence in herself, her beauty shows. She’s supposed to be one of those girls that is not noticeably beautiful. She is essential to Harry’s journey through out all seven books. She helps him overcome the obstacles in the search for the Sorcerer’s Stone, discovers what the creature is in the Chamber of Secrets (and how it gets around), she is essential to the rescue of Buckbeak and Sirius Black in Prisoner of Azkaban, she helps Harry master each and every spell necessary for his success in the Triwizard Tournament, she comes up with the brilliant idea of Dumbledore’s Army, rocks it over and over and over again in Half Blood Prince, and seriously does so much in Deathly Hallows, its hard to know where to begin.

Why I Am Crushing On Them: 

Well, it certainly helps that Emma Watson went from being an adorable child to being an absolutely beautiful young lady. Seriously. Who saw that coming? Remember how Hermione wasn’t supposed to be noticeably pretty? Yeah, that all went downhill as Emma went through puberty and came out looking like a total beauty queen. So yeah, she’s definitely beautiful and lovely to look at while Hermione is taking out dementors and Death Eaters and such.

But its more than just Emma Watson though. Hermione Granger is one of the strongest female characters that I’ve ever read in a novel series. She is incredibly intelligent, and definitely more intelligent and talented than the two main male characters of the novel. And the best  part of that is, she doesn’t hide it. No matter how badly she is teased for it the entire series, she never backs down from showing how intelligent she is or from striving to learn more and more. I admire that so much. She never dumbs herself down, and she certainly doesn’t do it for a guy either, like Viktor Krum, or more important, Ron Weasley. She remains firm in who she is, and I love that. Its such a great example for little girls everywhere and its sexy as hell. She also can manage herself in a quick situation, and in a battle and she is a serious fighter. I also love that when Ron leaves, and she’s so obviously heartbroken, she keeps going. She keeps fighting, because she knows its the right thing to do and she made a promise. Hermione is an incredibly strong character, female or male, and she’s one of my favorites.

Notable Quotes: 

“All those poor elves I haven’t set free yet, having to stay over during Christmas because there aren’t enough hats!”

“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”

“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed – or worse, expelled. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed.”

“Harry, you’d better beat him in the Quidditch final!” Hermione said shrilly. “You’d just better had, because I can’t stand it if Slytherin wins!”

“Imagine losing fingernails, Harry! That really puts our sufferings into perspective, doesn’t it?”

“Why shouldn’t I?” said Hermione. “Mudblood, and proud of it! I’ve got no higher position under this new order than you have, Griphook! It was me they chose to torture, back at the Malfoys’!”

“Oh, honestly, don’t you two read?”

Can we just appreciate that this gif is literally Hermione Granger in a nutshell? ;)

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Come back next week for more Fictional Crush of the Week!

Teen Read Week: Ten Books for Reluctant Readers!

For those of you who may be unaware, order this week is Teen Read Week, a week of celebrating the books for teens and encouraging teens to read. All over the country, its celebrated as the third week of October, by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Libraries all over the country are doing some seriously amazing and fun stuff to encourage teens to read.

This year’s “sub-theme” is Seek the Unknown, encouraging teens to delve into worlds unknown with books in mystery, science fiction, adventure and fantasy.

This is the first year I’ve been aware of this, probably because I’m more involved with the book world, as a blogger, and I have to say: this is awesome, and I’m WAY thrilled about it.

I was a little disappointed that most of my local libraries aren’t doing anything for Teen Read Week, mostly because they’re kind of small, and because I still do think that some of these smaller libraries, that don’t have Teen Services Librarians, tend to not focus on the Teens. However, there ARE a lot of libraries all over the place that ARE doing things. As you guys know, I went to the Los Angeles Teen Book Fest, which was a kick off to this week. The Pasadena Public Library is having a YA Book Swap at their branch this coming Saturday (which I am SUPER looking forward to). There is DEFINITELY cool stuff going on.

But I love this. I love the idea of this, of having a whole week (though I do this everyday) of encouraging teens to read, through different methods. I think its fantastic. Its becoming more and more obvious how important it is to read and to be a proficient reader. Reading is a huge passion of mine, obviously, and it means a lot to me. I try every day on my blog to instill that passion into anyone who comes to say hello and I’m really excited.

So I decided in celebration of Teen Read Week that I would recommend ten books, ten books that I’ve read and loved, for reluctant readers. I want you to keep in mind that these are MY choices, but they are books that I love that I think can both reach out to those who already love books and reach out to those who feel uncomfortable with books, or just don’t know where to start with reading.

I also tried to keep it balanced in the favor of both genders. I think that all books that are written are written for everyone, and that everyone can enjoy them, but I think that boys, especially, tend to think of most YA books as for girls, and this is simply not true. All the books below are ones that I think both genders can enjoy, and I think adults will enjoy them as well.

Winger by Andrew Smith 

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Andrew Smith’s standalone novels follows fourteen year old Ryan Dean as he embarks on his junior year of high school, with the usual trials and tribulations of an awkward teen boy. From playing (and fighting) on the rugby field to being absolutely awkward with girls, and getting in trouble left and right, this book is full of so much humor, you’ll be wiping tears from your face through out the entire novel. Its a GREAT novel, and Ryan Dean is a character that you literally love from page one. You’re in the head of Ryan Dean, completely, and so you get his humor and his random thoughts, and his fears and doubts and its just a fantastic novel. Andrew Smith has an uncanny ability of capturing exactly what its like to be a teenager, and its an up and down ride the entire novel. Its the first novel that pops in my head when anyone asks for a recommendation.

Legend by Marie Lu

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When it comes to dystopian novels, most people tend to recommend The Hunger Games, Divergent, Unwind, amongst others, but the first one that I recommend is Legend, because I think its the best of them all. This is not to say that those books aren’t good, because they are! I’m a huge fan of them, as you guys will know. But Legend stands out to me, and I believe Marie Lu is a champion in the dystopian genre (yeah, I totally just pulled that pun off). Marie’s story takes place in Los Angeles, between two points of view: Day and June. Day is a teen boy who turns to a life of criminal activity after he fails his trials, and escapes from his placement in the labor camps. He does anything and everything he can to support the family that he has left behind. June has grown up in a life of privilege and luxury, scoring the highest score possible in her trials, and being groomed for a military career. When Day is accused of murdering June’s brother, a path emerges that will lead them together and uncover many secrets. I recommend this one above other because it feels so real, and its an easy, quick read, and Marie creates an amazing story with the two main characters, and its easy to speed through this.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 

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Again, not the most likely book that people recommend when it comes to John Green. Most people recommend either The Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska. I HIGHLY recommend both of those, definitely, and am looking forward to the TFIOS movie. Its going to be great. But the reason I recommend An Abundance of Katherines, besides the fact that it is my favorite, is because it isn’t heartbreaking like the other two. There’s nothing wrong with heartbreak, nothing at all but I think sometimes a teen could use a break from that, with just a good ‘ol fashioned coming of age story. The story follows genius Colin, who has been dumped 19 times, all by girls that are named Katherine. As he embarks on a road trip with his best friend, he’s determined to find his Eureka! moment in the form of a formula that determines what went wrong with all those Katherines. Its a beautiful coming-of-age, discovery novel with Colin, and it has the usual John Green humor, and its just a great novel. Its my favorite because its the one novel of John Green’s that I really think most teens can see themselves.

Airhead by Meg Cabot

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Yay! Time for some super awesome humor. I recommend ALL Meg Cabot books for reluctant readers because Meg writes as if she’s talking to a best friend, as if she is sitting next to you, a caramel frappacino in hand, telling you these stories. She is full of humor, and fast paced stories, and each story is like a juicy piece of gossip in your hands. Airhead tells the story of Em, an extremely smart girl, in love with her best friend, Christopher, and incapable of really being a “girl”. After a freak accident, Em’s brain is transplanted into the body of America’s hottest top model, Nikki Howard. Of course, there is way more to the story, and Em finds out the sinister nature in how she ended up in this body. Like so many of her books, its of a crazy, impossible nature and its full of a ton of humor. Meg Cabot has a way of making me laugh like no other author has ever made me laugh. Her books are light, and fun, and they’re easy to read, and they’re the first books that I read in the YA area, when I was twelve years old. I will always recommend her because of her ability to make people want to read.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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I will forever recommend this book because the boy wizard has a way of turning people into readers. You can’t talk about young adult books or having an effect on reading and readers without bringing up Harry Potter. I’ve seen it happen over and over again, people reading Harry Potter and suddenly having a higher interest in reading. It did with my sister and I think it did with my boyfriend too. Jon has always read but after I basically forced him to read them, and now he reads all the time. Harry Potter is a much easier read than people think, and it captures nearly everyone who reads it. I hardly ever meet people who read the books and don’t love them. I’ve met people who are SO incredibly reluctant to read the books, for whatever reasons, and when they read them, they become their favorites. Harry Potter has a way of spanning generations and telling a story that is completely timeless. It breaks your heart, makes you laugh, introduces you to a new world and yet feels as familiar as waking up. Put this book in anyone’s hands and tell me that they won’t love it, and I’ll tell you that they are crazy haha.

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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It took me a long time to read Percy Jackson. I first picked up the books when The Lost Hero, the first book of the spin-off series, came out, that’s how long it took me. But when I did, I was so incredibly mad at myself for waiting SO long to read them. They are amazing books, and I think they really appeal to children because they’re the part of history and English that we learn in school that always sorts of sticks with us. I know that the Greeks and their mythology are one of those things that always sticks out to me about school, and I know its an interesting subject in school and I think Rick Riordan really capitalizes on that but also just tells an awesome story. He tells the story of Percy Jackson, a normal boy who finds out that he is actually a demigod, the son of his mortal mother, and his god father, Poseidon. They are full of fun and adventure, and yes a little bit of education too. I adore these books and I find most kids love them because of how fun and easy they are to read. There’s a reason that Rick only hits about 8 places when doing a book tour, and they sell out in minutes and range in the thousands when it comes to number of guests. He’s a winner.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Charlie writes his story to “Dear Friend”, of his life as an outsider in high school, trying to find friends, falling in love, dating and so much more. I’ve literally never met a person that read this book and didn’t like it. I would love to meet the person who didn’t, if only to get into a really fun discussion on why. You know me, I love to talk books. But there’s a reason that this is the whole novel that has been published by Stephen (though he told us back in May that he’s working on something new, finally!). Its that this book continues to reach out to teenagers, ever since its publication back in 1999. Every single teenager tends to feel like an outsider and Charlie is the ultimate outsider, and its beautiful and wonderful to follow his story, and to read his letters to “Dear Friend”. Everyone that I talk to that has read this book has loved it, and its the kind of book that you can read as a teenager, read as an adult and continuing reading it and it still has resonance, it still effects you.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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Yes, Cassandra Clare wrote a Harry Potter fan fiction that had a wee bit of plagiarism in it. Yes, Cassandra Clare took some elements of her fan fiction (the parts that WERE NOT plagiarized) and implemented them into her Mortal Instruments trilogy. You know what I say to that? Who cares? Most of the people who are saying this haven’t read her books and I have found that these books make incredible gateway to even more books. Cassandra Clare tells the story of Clary, a normal teen girl that witnesses a murder in a club, a murder than no one else can see. Not long after, her  mother is kidnapped and she is thrown into the world of Shadowhunters, humans with angel blood who have a mandate to rid the world of its demon infestation. From the moment I started reading these, I was addicted, and I remain addicted. I know so many people who have dove into these books and come out with a desire to read. Cassandra’s books are dark and funny, and sexy and easy to read. They’re adventurous and fast paced and its a great book to hand out, to get teens interested in reading.

If I Stay  by Gayle Forman

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Gayle Forman is an awesome contemporary writer, and the best part of her books, for a reluctant reader, is that they are fairly short. This book is only 200 pages, and its an easy and addicting read. Mia is in a tragic, terrible accident and she is rushed to the hospital, with horrible injuries. She is outside her body, witnessing her body as its at the scene, as it is transported to the hospital and as her family and friends gather around, hoping she’ll wake up. Mia alternately relives moments of her past, while contemplating her future, whether to fight and wake up, or whether to let go. Its a beautiful written novel, and the layers that she manages to convey in only 200 pages is brilliant. Her books are so emotional and haunting and they leave a mark on you when you read them. Because of their ease, their fast paced nature, the shortness of the book and the beautiful story, it is easy for a reluctant reader to get involved in this book.

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

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Jack Swift is living in Ohio, playing soccer, and being a normal kid until one day he skips his medicine, and he is suddenly stronger and faster than before, and he nearly kills a kid on his soccer. It turns out that Jack is part of an underground society of Weir, people born with stones in them that make them warriors, wizards, sorcerers, enchanters and seers. Jack Swift is a warrior, and warriors are far and few between and when they’re found, the tyrannical wizards throw them together in a deadly tournament for entertainment. Cinda is a brilliant author that writes an amazing fantasy novel, but what makes her great for a reluctant reader is that she’s not so steeped in the fantasy that you’ll feel turned off by it. Its our world, the world we know and our familiar with, but turned upside down. As Jack learns about this crazy new world, so do you, and its a fun, adventurous book.

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I hope you all check out these books and that you pass these, and books that YOU recommend, out to those who haven’t found the passion of reading yet!

I hope that you all have a great Teen Read Week, and that there are awesome things going on near you! Check out your local libraries and bookstores to find out :)

What are some of your favorite books to recommend to those who are reluctant to read? Share them in the comments!

Happy 15th Anniversary to Harry Potter (In America)!

Today is a VERY, viagra 40mg VERY, health VERY special day, at least to me. Today is the 15th anniversary of the US release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

This past Tuesday, the 27th, a new Harry Potter box set was released in the United States. In order to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of the first iconic Harry Potter book in the States, Scholastic commissioned artist, Kazu Kibuishi, to redesign the book covers. Kazu has done work all over the place, most notably his middle grade graphic novel series, Amulet.

When I first heard about this, I was skeptical. As a huge Potterhead, I love everything about this book series, including the movies and the merchandise, and I love the artwork that Mary Grandpre created for these books. Its just beautiful.

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But as they began to release the covers for the new editions, and as each one came out, I felt more and more excited about this box set. Check out the covers below.

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They even went all out, and designed the beautiful box that they come in, and the spines so that they create a panorama of Hogwarts when they are all lined up.

And I love them. I think Kazu is an extremely talented artist, who really took the visions that already existed for Harry Potter and expanded on them. Meeting him on Wednesday night was such an awesome experience, especially since he sort of walked us through his career as an artist, and he showed us how he accomplished his artwork, using Photoshop. Yeah, you heard me right, all of the artwork for the new Harry Potter covers, including the back covers and the actual box they come in, were done in Photoshop with a pen and different computer created brushstrokes. Watching him create something using the same method was absolutely impressive and stunning. I really am so glad I was able to meet him. I got a couple books signed by him, and I also got a lithograph of some Half Blood Prince artwork signed by him, that I completely plan on getting framed for my wall.

This coming Sunday, the 1st of September, will be the exact 15th anniversary publishing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Scholastic in the United States. While the book was obviously already gaining huge popularity before this, the publishing here in America really helped propel it to what it is now.

It also makes me feel really old.  I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was 11 years old (so appropriate), and this was only the year after it was published in America, 1999. I have been reading this books for 14 years of my life.

So this is an incredibly important day for me. At eleven years old, I think I was struggling with reading. And by struggling, I mean, that I wasn’t really equipped to find books that were suitable to my reading level, and to my interest level. There was no easy access internet back then, or GoodReads or blogs like this to help me find the next book to read like there is now. If you want to pick a new book to read, its the simplest task in the world. Go on GoodReads, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, etc. But back then, I was reading Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High, things that just were not my reading level. I could finish a couple of those books in a day. But it wasn’t challenging, it wasn’t expanding my mind, or showing me the world of books.

I have to thank two people for bringing these books in my life. First off, I have to thank Mrs. Doane, who was a substitute teacher when I was in school, who played the Jim Dale audiobook for the class during SSR and I fell in love. We only got through the first chapter, but I was already hooked. Coincidentally, my dad had taken my siblings to go buy books, and he knew that he couldn’t come home from Borders without a book for me, his little reader. Somehow, I don’t even know how, but my dad bought me Harry Potter and brought that home from me. I think my dad expected a happy response, because I love free books, but I don’t think he expected me to jump up and down in excitement.

The rest is history.

Without Harry Potter in my life, I would not be the person that I am. I would not be as openminded and tolerant and outgoing. I would not believe the things that I do, and the things that I don’t as well. I wouldn’t have the values or morals that I feel so strongly about and I wouldn’t have the courage, or the courage I’m learning to have.

Without Harry Potter in my life, I wouldn’t be able to believe in myself as a writer. I think for so long that I thought of writers as people who were so above me, that not an average person could sit down and tell an awesome story, until I read Harry Potter, and until I heard the story of JK Rowling. She has inspired me as a writer, both with her story and her actual writing, and she helps me to believe that I can do it.

Without Harry Potter, I wouldn’t have met as many awesome people that I have. I have made so many friends due to my love of this series. I have met so many bloggers because of my love of this series. I wouldn’t have met the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, which is a group of some of the BEST people I have ever met in my life. Seriously, there are 600+ members and growing and I love bonding with all of them, and knowing that they are an amazing group of friends.

Lastly (for the purpose of this post, because I could go on and on and on and on), without Harry Potter, I would have never thought to get something permanently tattooed on myself. I now have four Harry Potter tattoos, one Star Wars, one Mortal Instruments and one Doctor Who and I love each and every one of them. They are all so special to me, and I think they are beautiful on my body. I love displaying these beautiful pieces of the fandoms on my body. Without Harry Potter, I would never had done it, and I wouldn’t know how awesome and wonderful it makes me feel.

So Happy Birthday Harry Potter! Its been 15 years and I know that 15, 30, 100 years from now, people will continue to talk about these books, and the impact they made on us and the impact they will continue to make. We are so glad that you’ve been such a success and I look forward to so many more generations discovering the beauty that is Harry Potter.

Happy Reading everyone!