Ontario Teen Book Fest-Author Spotlight on Jessica Brody

GraphicOne

I am so so so incredibly excited to be kicking off the official Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour! The Ontario Teen Book Fest is SUCH an important event to me, buy and I’m happy to be putting this tour to bring as much attention to the event possible.

Last year’s event brought so many amazing authors into my life. I went to the event, side effects only having been familiar with Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody, Marie Lu, and Stephen Chbosky. I left the Fest with a gigantic bag stuffed full with books and friendships with authors like Ann Stampler and Leigh Bardugo and the duo of Lex Thomas and ANDREW SMITH and Gretchen McNeil and Carrie Arcos and Jennifer Bosworth. It was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to experience that again!

But first, the blog tour!

GraphicTwo

When: May 17th, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Mrs. Nelson’s by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event. I’ve got some great bloggers helping me out to profile these amazing authors. Check out the full blog tour here!

May 2nd: Spotlight on Jessica BrodyWhat A Nerd Girl Says
May 3rd: Spotlight on Elana K. ArnoldNite Lite Book Reviews
May 4th: Spotlight on Lauren MillerA Bookish Escape
May 5th: Spotlight on Livia Blackburne The Thousand Lives
May 6th: Spotlight on Lauren KateShe Reads She Blogs
May 7th: Spotlight on Katie AlenderMovies, Shows and Books
May 8th: Spotlight on Catherine LinkaFangirl Feeels
May 9th: Spotlight on Sarah SkiltonRead Now Sleep Later
May 10th: Spotlight on Lissa PriceRecently Acquired Obsessions 
May 11th: Spotlight on Jessi KirbyWhat A Nerd Girl Says
May 12th: Spotlight on Katherine EwelliFandoms Collide
May 13th: Spotlight on Mary PearsonThe Windy Pages
May 14th: Spotlight on John Corey WhaleyRead Now Sleep Later
May 15th: Spotlight on Robin BenwayAdventures of a Book Junkie
May 16th: Spotlight on Ava DellairaFangirl Feeels

So today’s kick off spotlight of the tour is on the one and only:

Jessica Brody! 

Jessica-Brody-Author-Photo-701941

Jessica Brody is the author of several adult and young adult novels including The Fidelity Files, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, My Life Undecided and her young adult science fiction trilogy, Unremembered, Unforgotten and the yet to be released, Unchanged. Unremembered has just recently been optioned for film by Reliance Entertainment and Kintop Pictures. Her books can be found not only here in the U.S. but also in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, China, Russia, Brazil and more! She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado. You can find her at:

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram / Her Tumblr / Her YouTube

Her Books

In all honestly, she has kind of a lot of books and you should definitely check her out at the many links above so that you can read them ALL. For this, I’m just going to profile two.

13575324

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job…but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to workBut then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand-new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In Jessica Brody’s hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have fifty-two reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

9791892

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Interview!

Nerd Girl: Okay, first off: tell us, how absolutely excited are you for the Unremembered movie, and what do you hope they capture from the book to the screen: 

Jessica: GAH! I’m SO super excited for this movie! My books always feel like movies when I’m writing them and when they’re developing in my head so this is a huge dream come true for me! I have full faith in these producers to adapt the book to the big screen. But one thing I really hope they’re able to capture is the waging war between nature and science that runs through all three books of the trilogy. What really makes us human? And when science starts messing with human nature (as it often does even today!), what are the consequences? Does it make us any less human? These are the questions I sought to answer in the book and I hope they translate to the screen as well.

Nerd Girl: Sera is an extraordinary main character and, because of that, sometimes it might be hard to remember that she is a teenager. However, she goes through very “teenage” things like first love and discovery. Was it important to you to make sure she experienced that to make her familiar to the reader?

Jessica: Well, thank you so much for saying so!

At first, I thought it would be difficult to make Seraphina relatable. Being that she’s a genetically modified super human with no memories (not your every day teen to say the least!) But as I started to write the book, it became apparent that Seraphina went through the same struggles as all my other teen contemporary characters. Like most young people, she’s trying to figure out who she is, how she fits into her world, who to trust, what she wants her legacy to be. These similarities surprised me as I wrote but now that I look back, it makes me so much sense. Being a teen is being a teen. Regardless of how beautiful you are, how fast you can run, how much you remember. It’s a transitional period in your life. A time of discovery. And it was a discovery process for me to realize this but in the end, I’m happy with the message that’s portrayed in the book.

Nerd Girl: Both Unremembered and Unforgotten have cliffhangers that make any reader want to throw their book across the room. What is the trick to creating a really good cliffhanger? 

Jessica: I think the trick to ending any book with a cliffhanger is making sure you wrap up all the BIG loose ends of the current story. There’s a difference between making the reader want to know what happens next and completely frustrating the reader because you, the author, didn’t do your job and finish the story. In both Unremembered and Unforgotten, I was very careful to make sure the major conflicts and storylines were resolved. THEN and only then, did I introduce the next major conflict to come in the form of a cliffhanger.

Nerd Girl: You can switch places with one person for a day: who would you pick and why?

Jessica: Taylor Swift. I’m such a nerd fan of hers! I just think she’s so dang adorable and talented. I would love to be in her shoes for a day. I’m sure it’s not all it’s cracked up to be (a theme I plan to explore in a future book one day), but it’s still something I’d love to experience.

Nerd Girl: In Unforgotten, the characters bounce back and forth between various time periods. What is the hardest part about writing a book in different time periods? 

Jessica: Probably the research. In Unforgotten, the book takes place in three time periods: 1609, 2032, and 2115. These are all very different settings. And two of them haven’t even happened yet. So after I finished researching life in the 17th century, I would then have to crack open a book about what we can expect in the future. It was like changing college majors in the middle of the semester, from a history major to some kind of speculative technology major!

Nerd Girl: Have you ever had a ‘fangirl moment’ and who was it with? 

Jessica: I had a  major fangirl moment the first time I read Rainbow Rowell. I had just read Eleanor and Park and I went to one of her signings in LA. I waited until her long line of fans had died down before getting my book signed and introducing myself. We spoke for a little while and she asked what I had written. Then she asked if they carried it in the store. They did. And she actually BOUGHT Unremembered while I stood there and watched. And she asked me to sign it. I was so speechless and beside myself. To this day, I can’t believe Rainbow bought my book! GAH!

Nerd Girl: Because this is for the Ontario Teen Book Fest, all about the teens, what is your favorite memories from when you were a teen? 

Jessica: Okay, this is super JUVENILE, but one of my favorite moments was when I was thirteen and the guy I’d been crushing on for weeks asked my best friend if she thought I would go out with him, if he asked me. I still remember the giddiness I felt when she passed on the message. The whole delivery was SO middle school but I don’t care. I was ecstatic!

Nerd Girl: Last question: who is your fictional crush?

Jessica: Gosh, it changes by the day. Today, I’ll go with Sky from LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD. I just read it and it was amazing! I’m excited to meet the author, Ava Dellaira, at the festival this month!

Giveaway!

Oh yes! There is a giveaway! With three prizes. It starts today, and ends May 20th, three days after the actual fest.

The prizes include: 

Grand Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Poster Signed by All Attending Authors and a Swag Pack!

Of course, its not signed yet but it will be!
Of course, its not signed yet but it will be!

First Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Signed by All Attending Authors!

Second Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Shirt Signed by All Attending Authors!

The shirt will also be signed at the Fest as well!
The shirt will also be signed at the Fest as well!

And its easy to enter, in the rafflecopter below! Sorry, no international this time around!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Blogger Spotlight: Jackie from Stardust and Shadowhunters

One of the best parts about running this blog is having the ability to meet some really cool people, nurse and some of the coolest people that I have met have led me to really cool blogs. I’ve said it before, no one’s blog is 100% original but everyone’s voices are different so there are blogs that I love to read because I love the writer, and I love the passion that they show for what they are writing. They are fun and interesting to read and they inspire me to get better and better in my blog.

So I decided to do a feature (inspired by Megan at the Nerdy Girlie’s Geek Girls Gab), where I profile the bloggers that I love. Not only do I get to find out more about them, but I also get to share them with you guys! Most of the bloggers that I follow are like me, nerd girls, fan girls and they enjoy the same things as me, and you! Every blogger that I profile is one that is super important to me and I urge you to check them out!

If you are interested in being featured on the Blogger Spotlight, feel free to contact me, please! I would love to hear from you, to feature you on the blog and to help spread the word about it!

*     *     *     *     *

This week’s blogger is Jackie Vishus from Stardust and Shadowhunters.

She also goes by Jace Vishus, as well :)

Her Facebook

Her Twitter

Her Tumblr

Her Instagram

Her Ask.Fm

shadowhunter_cosplay

Sara: Tell me a Little Bit About Yourself:

Jackie: I’m 21, and I drink a lot of coffee. I’m a freelance web designer/developer in Pittsburgh, but I’m from Youngstown, born and raised. I’ve been a monster and makeup artist at Canfield Scaregrounds Haunted House for 8 years this year, and I’m going to the Tom Savini SFX Makeup School in February. I’m also in the process of writing a book. I’m a crafty lady with a knitting machine and I make a lot of cool things. Some of said “cool things” include jewelry, tiny book charms, and scarves. I’m a bit of a hybrid nerd, because I’m a nerd of many feathers. I’m in more fandoms than I can count, but I’m also rather tech-savvy. I get it from my mom, who is a dorky intellectual as well. I also collect comic books and graphic novels – mostly horror-themed. I’m a rather nifty person and I love meeting new people, so feel free to message me!

merida_tardis_shirt

Sara: Tell me about your blog: 

Jackie: Stardust and Shadowhunters is my multifandom blog, despite the name. It’s a play on the phrase “We are but dust and shadow” by Horace, which is used in the Shadowhunter world (Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, etc). My blog is relatively new, but I can promise lots of pretty fabulous content in the near future involving news and my opinions on all my fandoms (Shadowhunters, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Harry Potter, ASOIAF/Game of Thrones, anything by John Green, Hemlock Grove, Warm Bodies, Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, Horror movies, Comic books, Zombies, and more!), as well as some goodies (ringtones, fanmixes, etc.) for you all.

Sara: What inspired you to start your blog?

Jackie: I’m a writer by nature, and I haven’t been doing much writing lately. Why not write about things I love to people who love the same things? I don’t go to many events that I can blog about, but I have a talent for making nifty things that other people can use, such as graphics, ringtones and playlists. I’m also an opinionated human. Blogging gives me a chance to get my opinions out there.

rune_necklace

Sara: What is your favorite nerd memory?

Jackie: Due to the tragic lack of events on my side of the US, I don’t get to meet many celebrities who aren’t in bands. Despite my hideous lack of celeb cred, my favorite nerd memory would definitely have to be my very recent trip to NYC. We skipped the generic tourist traps in favor of the discovering the weirder side of the city. We went to Obscura (the store from Oddities) and bought strange things and found as many fandom-related landmarks as we could. We visited the Literary Walk even went to the Ripley’s Museum.

Sara: What are you most looking forward to, as far as new books/movies/etc?

Jackie: City of Bones comes out in less than a week! I’m pretty excited for City of Heavenly Fire as well. November 2013 is going to be a pretty fantastic month for the nerd community as well, with Catching Fire, Sherlock, Supernatural, etc. I also think I’m going to enjoy Vampire Academy, but I plan on rereading the books before I watch the movies.

mini_books

Sara: As my blog is mostly about books and reading, what are some of your favorite books or authors to read? 

Jackie: Cassandra Clare, John Green, J. K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Garth Nix…. The list is endless. I’m also rather fond of classics, like Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights.

Sara: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow? 

Jackie: Obviously, whatanerdgirlsays! I also enjoy City Of Shadowhunters, FanGirlFeeels, I Am Divergent, ifandomscollide, NovelReality, YA On My Mind , and The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh.

I’m also rather fond of a web comic called Questionable Content, written by Jeph Jacques. Check it out! Just make sure you read it from the beginning.

Sara: Who is your fictional crush (what, we’re nerd girls, we all have one!)

Jackie: Most definitely Will and Jace Herondale. I’m a sucker for intelligence paired with killer combat skills and a sense of self-loathing that only a Herondale boy can be born with. (:

mom_is_a_nerd_too

Jackie’s mom is a nerd too!

*     *     *     *     *

I hope you all enjoyed reading about Jackie, and I hope you all head over to Stardust and Shadowhunters to follow her!

Don’t forget to check out last week’s spotlight blogger, Shannon from Twilight Sleep, and all the others here.

Happy Monday everyone!

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

url

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

url-2

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

url-1

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

Untitled-1

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

url-3

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

Screen shot 2012-07-27 at 5.23.35 PM

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

heroes_of_olympus-594376

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

new collage us

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

Picture 3

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 

Picture 5

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 

???????????????????

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.

*      *       *      *      *

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!