Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books to Get Students Reading


Hi all and welcome to this addition of Top Ten Tuesday, as hosted by The Broke and Bookish. I’ve been away from the blog for a minute really because I have been an uninspired reader, but I’m hoping that some of the kick-ass August releases will re-inspire me and you’ll be back to reading my thoughts soon. For this Top Ten Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to do a Top Ten on what books will get kids reading. Since this is the Back to school edition and I am a teacher, I figured this is perfect! I encourage all of my students to read, but have found that by keeping a steady stream of new books in my classroom library, my students are much more likely to grab something when they are done classwork. So, low and behold, my list of books that will get kids reading. 

  1. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I have had to buy several copies of this one since it always seems to be out of circulation. I asked a few of my students why they like it and they all say because of the fast pace.

2. Isle of the lost by Melissa De la Cruz: Disney strikes again. I’ve never personally read this one, but my younger kids love it.

3. Compulsion by Martina Boone: All the girls love Eight and the idea of Gone With the Wind.

4. Cinder by Melissa Meyer: I actually use this in a lesson on retellings, but even before that the cover grabs kids interest. Sometimes I have to explain the re-telling aspect, but for kids who like a challenging read

5. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: I love weird dystopian novels, but often times the level of violence is not appropriate for Middle-Schoolers. I love “City..” because it describes un unrealistic society without the gory blood shed.

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Ronald Dahl: Kind of an easy one, but it is a great starter book for kids who either struggle as readers or do not necessarily enjoy reading.

7. Wonder by R.J. Palacio: Again, this is one I have never read, but that my kids adore. I like hearing them use it as a talking point on how to better relate to people who are different from themselves.

8. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley: This MG I actually have read and adore! It’s better suited for the lower end of the MG spectrum (so maybe not 7th or 8th graders) and is so appealing as an urban fantasy type novel.

9. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I love diverse novels from diverse authors, especially as a teacher of a minority group. What I especially love about this though is the exceptional world building. I use excepts in class and my students are ravenous for more.

10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney: Because, of course.


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy This Second With Fully Loaded Gift Card


This weeks Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and Bookish is all about what I would buy if I had a fully loaded gift card and let’s just say that if that were the case I would be able to do some serious damage. As is, I can charge up my Amazon account like I am not a low-paid teacher. Check out below to see what I would buy and don’t forget to leave a comment!

1. The Glittering Court by Richelle Meade: Huge fan of Meade’s but I did not allow myself to buy this one for fear of not liking it. My method is to grab a copy from the library first and then buy the book.

2. Day Zero by Kresley Cole: I’m a HUGE Arcana Chronicles fan. I mean HUGE! But given the many, many fantastic books coming out this August, I am putting this prequel on hold.

3. Torn (Wicked Saga Book #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I did not love the first installment of this book. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, so this goes on the current-life wish list.

4.The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: I have heard great things about this one, but because Skye is a new author I will grab this from the library first.

5. Ivory and Bone by Julie EshbaughI’m sold on the P&P aspect of this because who does not love Austen, but pre-historic….meh…idk.

6. Futhermore by Tahereh Mafi: This isn’t out yet but I already know I’m wish-listing it.

7. The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard: I’ll buy anything A.G. Howard creates. She gets me.

8. Unknown by Wendy Higgins: Wishlisting this until I hear reviews. Love Higgins but I haven’t heard a lot about this and it makes me nervous.

9. All Those Standalone Short Romances: Thank you for selling 12 books for $3.99….I can’t even start these because I need to know what happens at the end and I can’t afford that noise.

10. A Ton of MG Novels for My Classroom. 

Top Ten Tuesdays: 10 Things About Me


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This weeks topic is 10 Things About Me. I must admit I’m terribly boring. Right now, I’m sitting in bed (it’s Saturday evening) blogging, watching Gilmore Girls, and eating an apple pastry, but I promise I’ll try and scrounge up some interesting facts. 

1. I’m a Middle School teacher. I teach English Composition for 5-8th grade. It’s both the best job ever and the most stressful job ever. I’m very thankful for Summer break. 

2. I am a book hoarder. My friends often talk about how I can trade books, give them away, etc. but I feel a deep sense of panic at the thought of giving away my babies.

3. I love cheese and also potatoes. I could live off these things if only they were healthy.

4. My best friend is my college roommate who I asked to be my roommate in a class after barely knowing her. (It worked!)

5. Harry Potter is my favorite book series ever and will never be replaced.

6. I have two dream vacations. First one: U.K. I love history, royalty, and accents. Second: DisneyWorld. I’ve never been but I have always wanted to go.

7. I’m obsessed with cat memes…who isn’t?

8. I didn’t go to my first book signing until my 24th birthday. I was unaware that there was this magical thing called author events, but now I’m aware.

9. I love to bake but I hate cake/cupcakes unless I need sugar.

10. I love libraries.

So, that’s me. The 10 most exciting things I could think of anyway.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten 2015 Books I Meant to Get But Didn’t



2015 was a really weird book year for me. I began really strong reading 3-4 books a month, many of the ARCs for review, but then when fall came that tampered off. I continued to buy a lot of books but did not read them. Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and Bookish

1. The Orphan Queen by Jodie Meadows: I got an early copy of this and have yet to read it. I’ve heard it’s great but I haven’t been motivated to pick it up. 

2. Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas: Another one that seemed like a ‘must read’ that’s currently hanging out on my book shelf.

3. The Rose Society by Marie Lu: I have yet to read “The Young Elites,” so I have no idea why I bought this.

4. Gabriel by Nikki Kelly: I had mixed feelings on Lailah. I liked it well enough but I have limited time so Gabriel, the sequel, has remained unread.

5. Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins: Love Wendy and The Sweet series, but I hate books that take new perspectives…

6. Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout: See above.

7. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno: I’m not usually into contemporary romances but this looked cute, until I read the reviews.

8. Untamed by A.G. Howard: I don’t usually pick up something with short stories after the fact but I was not 100% happy with the way the series ended, so I meant to grab this and get the ending I wanted.

9. A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter: I loved this series, but I’m not tempted enough to want to grab this after the fact book.

10. Court of Fives by Kate Elliot: Okay, in my defense here I kind of forgot about this one and I just remembered it when making this list…

Well, those are my Top 10. What 10 books did you mean  to get but didn’t? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Resolutions for 2016



Every year, I make resolutions, and like most people, every year I fail at them miserably. Maybe, posting them on the blog will make me more accountable. So, here are my Top 10 Resolutions for 2016 as hosted by the Broke and Bookish. 

  1. Blog weekly: I’ve begun my first year of solo-teaching and I also run my own tutoring business, which means that this past Fall blogging and reading took a back seat. In 2016, I want to post at least weekly.
  2. Read 50 Books: This year I made it to 82, even though my goal was 100. Gotta scale that to a more reasonable number.
  3. Finish my MS: Again, timmmme.
  4. Go out more: I am notorious for making plans and canceling. I hate leaving the house–it’s so cozy. This year, I plan to do more.
  5. Get Organized: I am not unorganized, but I teach a boatload of classes, which means I sometime end up with large, towering stacks of papers. I need a better system.
  6. Clean out my Gmail inbox and keep it that way: It’s realll bad guys.
  7. Save for a trip to the U.K.: 
  8. Pay off my credit cards: While I don’t have a large amount of debt, I do have some. My goal is to pay off my credit cards this year and start of 2017 with stronger finances.
  9. Stop saying yes: I am the ultimate yes man. I don’t like disappointing people and often times this makes me say yes to things I don’t have time for or don’t want to do.
  10. Exercise more: I hate exercising. I used to run marathons and I hated it; then, I tore my Achilles and I hated it more.

So, that’s my list. What resolutions do you have for the upcoming year. 

Top Ten Tuesdays: 10 Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From



For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and Bookish is all about the author’s who I have read the most books from. This was surprisingly easy/hard–how you ask–because I read a lot of series and I can’t remember all those authors! This required some Goodreads sleuthing and me kicking myself for not getting a Goodreads back in the day. DAMN ME. 


1. Jennifer L. Armentrout: I’m not sure how many books I have read from this women, but since she produces like 5 a year (probably more) I know it’s been a lot. From my count I have read 2 series from her, read most of her romance novels, and have started the first books in her new series. I’m guessing over the last couple of years I have read a cool dozen books from her. 

2. Cassandra Clare: There’s like a million Shadowhunter books and I’ve read them all because I can’t stop. Plus, they all kind of tie-together.

3. Ellen Hopkins: I am not usually a reader of Contemporary but I enjoy the way she attacks the deep, dark issues.

4. Lemony Snicket: I devoured “A Series of Unfortunate Events” when I was a Middle-Schooler and they are books I turn back to, to this day.

5. Francine Pascal: There are like 1,000 ‘Sweet Valley’ books and I’m sure I’ve read somewhere between 90-98% of them. Guys, it was hard for a YA lover in the late 90’s early 2000s

6. Meg Cabot: She has written several YA and Adult series, all of which I have read. I’m eagerly awaiting the adult companion to ‘The Mediator’ series.

7. Janet Evanovich: I saw the ‘One for the Money’ movie starring Katherine Heigl and knew I needed to read these books. If you haven’t, you should pick them up ASAP. They are funny, thrilling, and you’ll go through them so quickly.

8. Marissa Meyer: I’ve read the entire Lunar Chronicle series (minus Winter) plus the companion. This is a bit unusual for me, because if a series spans multiple years I tend to loose interest until 5 years later when I finally pick it back up. Sue me, I’m weird.

9. Charlaine Harris: The ‘Sookie Stakehouse’ novels were way better than ‘True Blood’ the show. 100% better. They opened me up to Harris’ wonderful sassy and steamy writing. Her other series are just as good, so be sure to pick them up.

10. J. K. Rowling: I’m sure there’s an author I’ve read more books from, but I can’t think of anyone else right now. Also, those last books are LONNNG and as my students always say “I’m counting them as more than one.”

So that’s this week’s list. I can’t wait to read yours. 



Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Fairytale Retellings I Like/Want to See



I’m baaaack. I’ve missed the last few Top Ten Tuesdays as hosted by The Broke and Bookish this summer has been beyond hectic and blogging has taken a back seat to my million other responsibilities. But now I’m back and ready to jump on this topic. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to focus on the retellings I like, or just the ones I want to see, so instead I’m going to do both. It’s my blog I’ll do what I want. 


1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I just read this one and I am now obsessed. A retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ my favorite Disney cartoon was great. Making it hella steamy. Yes please, more, more, more.

2. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Possibly one of my favorite books of all time, this Cinderella re-telling is a fantastic book. Even though it’s middle grade, it’s one of those books that stands the test of time.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer: What I love about this retelling is that it is so original. Cinder is not the type of retelling that just skews the original, it actually creates a new story from the existing. Cinderella is a cyborg Princess in a new China.

. 4. Grimm Tales: Wendy Higgins is releasing a book about the Grimm tales which I haven’t read but I am super excited about this one. These tales are dark and amazing for YA.

5. Splintered by A.G. Howard: This is a funky retelling of Alice in Wonderland which got me hooked on Alice retellings. Surprisingly, there are a lot out there and not all of them good.

6. The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons: Speaking of Alice in Wonderland…this is an AMAZING retelling. Alice is a kickass Queen traipsing around with other storybooks characters. The English nerd in me wants to die and go to nerd heaven whenever I read this.

7. Robin Hood: There are a ton of amazing Robin Hood TV shows out there and the tv series/comicbook Arrow is kind of a retelling of that, but no good books. I mean Marian and Robin have an amazing love story.

8. Camelot: So technically I guess this is not a fairytale but I would love to see a new YA playing with King Arthur’s court. Yes, I know Meg Cabot wrote one but the Disney movie totally killed it for me.

9. Swan Princess: Has anyone seen this movie? How would this make a bad book. Do any currently exist?

10. Snow White: I’d like to see a gritty version of this one a la ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses.’ Maybe Snow is a witch being hunted for her magic…these are things I think about.

What fairytales do you guys want to see? Any good retellings I am missing?