August Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014:

150 Books

Am I On Track: 

Yes! But barely so. I was in a slump this month.

Books Read So Far: 

100

Total Books For August: 

11 books: 5 rereads and 6 new reads

Remember, ampoule as always, search to click the book title in order to read the review!

Number the Stars (Re-Read)

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Falling Into Place

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Opposition

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This Lullaby (Re-Read)

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Love and Other Unknown Variables

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If I Stay (Re-Read)

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Where She Went (Re-Read)

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100 Sideways Miles (Re-Read)

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I Want It That Way 

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Black Ice (ARC)

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Isla and the Happily Ever After 

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Movie Review: If I Stay

If I Stay

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Official U.S. Release Date: August 22nd, find 2014

Rated:

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some sexual material

Directed By:

R.J. Cutler

Cast:

Chloe Grace Moretz, this Jamie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Joshua Leonard, Jakob Davies, Mireille Enos

Find the rest on IMDB here.

IMDB Movie Synopsis:

Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam. But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.

My Review:

The thing about contemporary novels is that a huge part of what they are is based on emotions. They don’t have the constant action that usually comes hand in hand with a science fiction, fantasy or dystopian novel. They literally have to carry the entire book with emotion, whether good or bad. If I Stay is perfect at doing that…and I had hoped so much that this emotional journey would carry over to the movie.

I was so please to find that it did.

First off, just a shout out in general for making a movie that actually is a good representative of the book. I had just recently reread the book a few days before seeing the movie so it was completely fresh in my mind and I loved recognizing so many scenes in the book. They really made sure to get all of them. Some were tweaked a bit but that was okay, because it made sense for the movie. But they really did a great job at adapting and I don’t often say that.

But what made me so incredibly happy is that I felt the same emotions when watching the movie as I did with reading the book. That book is an absolute emotional roller coaster. One minute, I’m laughing and the next, my heart is racing and I’m envious of the romance between Mia and Adam, and the next, I’m literally sobbing in the middle of the theater. All the characters in the movie felt so real, so genuine that it was so easy to connect with them and believe in their story.

If you’ve read the books, you know that the accident, the loss of her parents, even the loss of her brother, comes very fast and yet, you feel that pain. You connect with all of them so fast, and they accomplish that in the movie as well. But what is absolutely beautiful about it is that the flashbacks make you fall in love with the characters even more, so you’re torn between feeling the happiness at getting to know this extraordinary family and the gut wrenching sadness at the fact that they are already gone. The movie does that, and every flashback is so painful and you know why its so hard for her to stay. Every person who was cast, was cast so perfectly for the role. They played the perfect rocker parents, the little brother, the best friend, the boyfriend, they all did. It was incredible how much I believed every single one of them was that character.

But I think what really makes this movie stand out so much is the music. The music is something that we need to picture ourselves in the book, something that we have to imagine, but in the movie, the music is a character all on its own and I’m just so blown away by that. The music is there through all the emotions, the sadness, the joy, the love, family, friendship, loss, all of it, comes through in that. Music is magical that way and I think having the music that is so central in the book in the movie just makes it that much better. It captures the very essence of the film.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

“If I Stay” Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere Recap!

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The moment that I knew there would an If I Stay premiere in Hollywood, purchase I requested the day off. I knew that I had to be there! It had been SO long since the last premiere (Divergent in March) and I was itching for a new one. I didn’t think it would be as big as Divergent so camping was not necessary. Thank god. Haha!

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Instead my friends and I showed up at around noon, at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where the premiere was being held. I had never been to a premiere there so we kind of scoped out the area and asked SPEC, the security guys who always handle premieres, what the dealio was. They told us that the fan section was across the street, so we headed over to get ourselves a good spot.

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We met up with some more friends and met some new ones. Our new friends had done premieres at the Chinese Theater before and said that the guests at premieres often came across the street to sign with fans, and that we were in a good spot, right across from where they drop off the celebs. We were feeling good. We were tired, that’s for sure, but feeling good!

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Getting all set up for the premiere, right at the barricade, as always!

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The stars started to arrive and this is kind of the moment when things went from really exciting to pretty crappy. The stars started coming and we started calling them over. It hadn’t been very long before the publicists turned to us, all the fans against the barricade and told us they were NOT going to come over.

Instead, they would be signing for people on THAT side of the street, in a little space between the Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater.

We were pretty pissed. One, we were told to go across the street. Two, we were told NOT to go exactly where they were going. Three, the people that WERE on that side were just a bunch of tourists gathering around who had NO idea what on earth was going on, and just wanted to see a real Hollywood premiere and take a picture with a celebrity. I was tired, hungry and pissed off.

At that point, we went sprinting across the street, in the hopes of catching them. Jamie came over for a bit, and took a bunch of pictures with more nonfans. One guy took about seven to eight selfies with him, and then proceeded to say over and over again “Who was that?” Literally, my patience was at its limits. I wanted to punch someone. I started pushing through people, saying really loudly “Actual fan of this movie coming through.” By that time, though, the cast had gone inside to watch the movie.

My friends and I were pissed, frustrated, tired, not sure of what to do. We knew they would eventually make their way out, to head to the after party so we kind of hung around that barricade for a bit, hoping that they would come to us there. The security guy there though told us a little secret and said they’d be setting barricades on the other side of the theater, closer to the Roosevelt Hotel where the after party was going to be.

So we head over there, and secured ourselves a spot at the barricade and waited…another two hours. At this point, we were even more tired, hungry, most of us had to pee, and we were just feeling absolutely dejected. We had been there all day and we hadn’t accomplished anything, and we hadn’t even gotten in to see the actual movie.

About an hour and a half, maybe two hours later, though, people started coming out and things started looking up.

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It was Liana Liberato (Kim)’s birthday and as soon as she came out, we immediately launched into a VERY loud rendition of “Happy Birthday”. She stopped and listened and looked incredibly touched that we did so. She even thanked us on Instagram later. As soon as we finished, she came over and started signing :)

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The beautiful Liana

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Then Jamie Blackley came out. Of course, Jamie plays the main lead, Adam. He started walking away, heading to the after party but after some yells from us, he smiled and came over to sign and take pictures with us, which is awesome. I always have one goal at a premiere and everyone else is just bonus and he was my one goal so I was glad he came over. Plus we took this amazing selfie together, and that was just awesome. His little British accent was too cute to handle and he seemed so overwhelmed by us fangirls, but in a good way.

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We had seen Cameron Monaghan earlier so when we saw him walk out, we all called him over. I love Cameron! I think he did an amazing job as Mason in Vampire Academy and he plays my favorite character in The Giver, Asher. I’ve also heard he rocks on Shameless, but I haven’t watched yet. Either way, I adore him and I was glad he came over to take pics with us!

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Gayle Forman had come out and was kind of watching us with the cast with fondness when I shouted “Hi Gayle!” and she waved at us. I saw that she didn’t seem to think she should come over so I shouted “Gayle, can you come take a picture?” and she laughed, looked to the people who were with her, who all nodded and then she came over and took pictures with her fans.

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Then Chloe came out! We had seen her earlier from afar but I honestly had no hopes of actually getting to meet her. Her publicist had said she would come out and sign and take pictures as long as we stayed calm and…well a lot of people don’t seem to understand that. Well, it went okay haha and I managed to get her signature and a picture with her, which made me very very happy. I am stoked to see her as Mia and I’m massively excited to see her as Cassie in The 5th Wave.

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One of the last people we saw was Ali Milner, who plays Liz in the film. Liz is one of the members of Adam’s band. A small part but she was absolutely gorgeous, totally sweet and her dress was to DIE for.

We also met Joshua Leonard, who played Mia’s dad in the film, and we also met Jakob Davies, who played her brother Teddy. Jakob was TOO cute for life, and you should see his adorable signature in my book.

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Signed by Gayle Forman and the director, RJ Cutler (at an event last week), and signed, at the premiere, by Chloe Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Jakob Davies, Joshua Leonard, and Ali Milner. Seriously, Jakob’s signature has GOT to be the best one on there.

So the day started off good, went completely awful and ended really well. I was so glad that we had stayed, even though we were all very tired and dejected. We ended up getting everyone that we wanted and it was a fun time. It wasn’t quite what we expected but I’m actually really happy at the way it turned out. After the actual carpet and the movie, the cast stopped to sign for us fans that had stuck around long enough to try and meet them and that was awesome. Major points for them :)

Now its time to end this post. I’ll be seeing the movie tonight with my boyfriend, finally, and I can’t wait to see it. A review for that is to come!

And don’t forget to enter my If I Stay giveaway! You can win a copy of If I Stay, signed by Gayle Forman and the director, RJ Cutler! Don’t miss out on it, and click the picture on the sidebar of this blog to find out how to enter!

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It’s Time for an If I Stay Giveaway!

I love giveaways, viagra 40mg don’t you?

Today I have a special treat for you!

In celebration of the release of If I Stay in movie theaters today, visit this site I am holding an If I Stay giveaway.

Last week, visit this site I went to a signing event with Gayle Forman and RJ Cutler. For those of you not in the know, Gayle is the fantastically talented author of If I Stay and RJ is the director of its movie adaptation.

I grabbed an extra copy of If I Stay and managed to get it signed by both of them. I had hoped to get it signed by others, but the premiere didn’t go quite the way I had expected (as you will see later in my recap of the event) but you know what…this is still a SUPER epic giveaway!

The Prize 

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One Copy of the Movie Tie-In Edition of If I Stay signed by author, Gayle Forman, and director, RJ Cutler

The Rules (yes, there has to be rules!)

The contest will run from today, August 22nd to September 1st!

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end. If winner(s) do not respond within a 24 hour period of contact, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

Come back every day to share on Twitter and Instagram to earn more entries!

If you check off an option on the rafflecopter, please make sure that you have fulfilled that option. Please be honest! I double check every winning entry and if you are dishonest, you will not win the prize!

This giveaway is in NO way endorsed by any authors, their publishers, the movie studios or any other affiliates.

What A Nerd Girl Says is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes. It HAS happened before, but only once!

How to Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Weekly Fangirl Round-Up

Nerd Girl News

Check out all the information on the movie tie-in edition of If I Stay!

New Maze Runner stills have been revealed!

E. Lockhart’s most recent novel, sales which is getting SO much buzz, viagra 40mg has officially been optioned for film!

One of my favorite childhood story characters, medical Paddington, is heading to the big screen; check out the new trailer!

New images from the newest Jurassic Park film have been released, featuring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Divergent fans, what you’ve been waiting for is finally here! Our Uriah has officially been cast for Insurgent and has arrived for filming!

More casting news for Insurgent, Rosa Salazar has been cast as Lynn!

In other Divergent news, Hector, the younger brother of Lynn and Marlene, has been cast as well!

Two new cast members have been announced for the adaptation of The DUFF.

A Song of Ice and Fire author, George RR Martin has officially joined twitter!

City of Bones star, Lily Collins, has been cast as the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zomibes!

The first official trailer for Legend of Korra season 3 has finally been revealed!

Its happening, 90s kids, Netflix orders a reboot of The Magic School Bus!

Interesting announcement for video game fans: Sony has a Sonic the Hedgehog movie in the works.

Anomaly, featuring Ian Somerhalder and Noel Clarke, has a trailer!

Vanity Fair has chosen 23 women that will be the new wave of the future.

Check out all these new behind the scenes photos of the filming of Divergent.

The official author list for YALLFest 2014 has been announced and its MIND BLOWING.

Posts and Vlogs

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Girls Gone Sci-Fi at Mysterious Galaxy: Book Boyfriends Dating Game!

The Darling Buds at The Hotel Cafe-Recap and Live Video

Tuesday Top Ten: Best Books I’ve Read so Far This Year

Beta Readers Needed for The Awakened! Apply Now (til June 30th)

The Darling Buds at Gibson 90210-Recap and Live Video

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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!