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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

September 28th to October 6th

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.

Banned and/or challenged book is something that infuriates me. I actually find it offensive. I even wrote a paper on it last term. My prof found it enlightening and my passion on the topic compelling. What can I say? 

 Below you will find the list of the top 100 books challenged in the past decade; I have seen this list everywhere, and it makes me sad to see so many wonderful and inspiring novels on it. 

My giveaway is simple

1) You may chose ANY book of your choice from an author that is featured in the list below. 
2) Just fill out this form, and bam! You've got your automatic entry 
3) You DO NOT have to be a follower of this blog, however, take a look around and if you like what you see... I will be picking a new winner for every 100 followers that I get. 
4) There are chances to earn extra entries: +2 for liking Just Another Story's Facebook Page, +2 for following me on Twitter, +1 for Tweeting this giveaway. 
5) This contest is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY- as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. 
6) Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating for more chances to win! The links are at the end of this post! 

Good Luck Everyone and...

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Monday, September 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

So this is my 2nd TTT. And I am Kinda thrilled with this weeks Topic. So here goes!  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished (because either you didn't like them, you just have procrastinated, etc.)

**Please note that I am including ongoing series in this post- so series where I am a few books behind.**

1) The Halo Series by Alexandra Adornetto- I have read Halo, but I have not read its sequels. I am not sure why. I didn't love Halo, so perhaps that is why I haven't continued with the series.

2) The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate- This is a series I have not pursued because I did not like Fallen. I really, really disliked it. I know this series is incredibly popular, and everyone loves it. Just not me!

3) The Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian- I have read the first eight books in this series. Nine and ten have been published and eleven comes out in Jan. I enjoyed this series although I found that they were A LOT like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (to much like that series). I would like to know where the story is going and I will continue to read it. I just haven't had time.

4) The Hush, Hush Series by Becca Fitzpatrick- When I initially read Hush Hush I was SO excited. I thought it was a great story, the characters were great. I thought it was well written. There was nothing about this book that I did not like. However, I believe that I read Fallen shortly after I read Hush Hush and it tainted my ideas of Angel books. Also the synopsis of Crescendo did not intrigue me at all. To me it sounded a little blah.

5) The Fallen Angel Series by JR Ward- I am a fan of JR Ward and her work. One of my most favourite series is Her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I have read the first two in the Fallen Angels series, and I have enjoyed them, I don't love them as much as the Brotherhood. The third novel Envy came out last year and I own it but have not read it yet, and Rapture (book four) comes out today. I will be purchasing this novel, and I will read them both before the year is through. I hope.

6) The Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer- I have only read the first book in this series. I own the second and have seen the third a number of times at my library. I should read/finish it. I wan to read/finish it. But I have not. I enjoyed the story and I am team Ren all the way. I have no excuses.

7) The Chronicles of Faerie by OR Melling- I first read The Hunter's Moon when I was in the fourth grade. That was a LONG time ago. But that book has a very special place in my heart. It was so brilliant and wonderful and the story was thrilling and I loved Dara! Oh did I love him. Thus started my addiction to reading. I received the Chronicles of Faerie (the blue book) from my mother for my 16th birthday, inside it contained the first three novels of this series. I had no idea it was a series. I Quickly read them and I have never read the final installment. Mostly because I could never get my hands on it. I love this series and I will some day finish it. Because for me it was magical (no pun intended).

8) The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare- I have read every book but City of Lost Souls and I don't think that I will. For me this series ended at City of Glass. I think that City of  Fallen Angels should never have come into existence. This may seem harsh, but I don't understand why this new batch to the series. Although I read City of Fallen Angels I will be considering City of Glass the final installment in this series.

9) The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa- I have read the first two books in this series and I own the third novel. Why haven't I gotten around to reading the others? Who knows? But for some reason this series didn't pull me in like it did others. I will read them eventually. But I am in no rush.

10) The Curse Workers Series by Holly Black- Black Heart. That is the only book I have left to read. I have it and I really want to read it. Again for this one I have no excuse. I really enjoyed this series, I adore the protagonist and I love the uniqueness of the plot. What am I waiting for? This one I will be reading ASAP! I want to know what's going to come of all the characters.

That is my list everyone. It was long winded and wordy, but I hope you enjoyed.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Thoughts: Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans

At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar; she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning; and after seeing what divorce did to her parents—especially her mum—she doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Elle moves to London. She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publisher. She falls out of bars, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes, and feels like she’s learning nothing and everything at the same time. And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that’s when she realizes just how much growing up she has to do.

Ten years on, Elle lives in New York, and you could say she has found success; certainly her life has changed in ways she could never have predicted. But no matter where you go and how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you. . . .

**Finished copy received from Simon and Schuster Canada for an honest review**

I love Chick Lit!! I don't know why, but these is something about it that I really enjoy about it. And Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans was everything that I would have wanted in a Chick Lit. It was light and quirky, the dialogue was fun and Elle the protagonist was really likable- although she was far from perfect, and sometimes fell flat.

First off, let me say. This book is not a simple chick lit novel. It is muddier than that. It is thoughtful and tackles dark issues such as alcoholism, mental health and suicide. Which are pretty heavy issues for this genre. I am not sure that they were addressed perfectly, but they were applied to believable situations, which helped put these things into perspective.

Elle has a terrible relationship with her family. And a big part of it is her fault. When it comes to her parents (who are divorced) Elle is pretty selfish and not very understanding. This aspect of the Happily Ever After  is a bit of an eye roll. The way Elle would act toward her father felt very immature to me. I would expect that kind of behaviour from a 15 year old not a 26 year old. Don't get me wrong any child can be disrespectful and rebel against their parents, it just happens in different, age appropriate ways. Elle did not reflect this.

I liked this story. I liked seeing the story evolve for Elle at the age of 22, 26 and 32. I liked seeing her train wreck of a love life take form, I loved seeing her succeed in the publishing business. I loved seeing her gain a sense of understanding about what actually happened between her parents and why their marriage ended.

Overall, Happily Ever After was a good (not great) read. It was entertaining, but not memorable in any way. If you are looking for a good afternoon read or even a good weekend read that will allow you to relax and not think so much Happily Ever After is the book for you.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Thoughts: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Lee

What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

I have read a number of Jodi Picoult's novels in my day. The first was The Pact a number of years ago- I loved that book. It had me in tears and completely stressed out. I barely slept when I read The Pact, it's one of those books that you have to finish, there are no such things as breaks.  This  has been my response while reading all of Jodi Picoult's novels. They totally stress me out and I have decided that I can only read them when I have a couple days of no work, no school, no responsibilities, so I can focus completely on what I am reading. It has been like that with every single on of her books that I have read, and I have loved it- even though I can only read one a year. Picoult's books stress me out to much.

In saying all that. I was expecting something intense with Between the Lines, Picoult's YA debut written with her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer. Going into this novel I expected more of Picoult's trademark intensity, I expected the compelling story with a moral twist. Even with the book's blurb hinting at a lighter story I was still expecting some kind of crazy plot to blow me out of the water. But that did not happen with Between the Lines. There are no surprises in this story.

Once I got over the fact that Between the Lines was not going to be a thrilling Young Adult novel along the lines of Mara Dyer and If I Stay I was able to enjoy it for what it was. A fantastical tale with great writing and so, so characters.

I enjoyed this novel, however, I think it is definitely for a younger reader. It's a frilly story. The female protagonist Delilah was annoying and immature. She whined a lot and was pretty pessimistic, this kind of got on my nerves. I can't say I was crazy about her fairy tale love interest either- Oliver just didn't do it for me. He was to docile for me. Actually he was a little hopeless as well. They were both reminded me of spoiled teenagers when things weren't going the way they wanted them to.

The plot of the novel was interesting, and I enjoyed that. I enjoyed the concept of a reader falling for the 'prince charming' of a novel. I mean how many of us fall for the male protagonists in our books and wish they were real boys? I also liked how the two were trying figure out how to free Oliver from her fairy tale existence. This was really cute.

Over all, Between the Lines was an endearing novel that I believe it geared for younger readers. However, I believe us older readers can also enjoy this story, so long as we don't expect great things.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

So this is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday! And I am pretty excited about it. For some reason I love lists and I love books so bookish lists are fantastic! This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. 

This weeks Topic:

Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.)

1) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen 

You would think this would have me considering abusive teenage relationships. And don`t get me wrong it did. But what it had me thinking about the most was how important the relationship is between a mother and her daughter. When Caitlin`s mother realizes what is happening with her daughter I am amazed at the fierceness of her response. It was incredibly thought provoking. 

2) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson 

This novel just had me thinking. I am not sure if I can fully explain what it had me thinking about. I just know that when I finished it I thought about it for days afterward. The struggles of a drug addict and the metaphorical aspect of detox that the author takes you through. It`s rather beautiful, and it really gets you thinking. 

3) Tricks by Ellen Hopkins 

This was an intense novel that I almost did not finish when I began reading it. It was almost to intense for me. Like any of Hopkins`novels this one touches on some pretty controversial topics. Teenage prostitution. I thought long and hard about those individuals who sexually exploit children. I thought about those who feel like they need to keep their sexuality a secret for various reasons and how painful that can often be. This book had me losing faith in humanity a little bit. But it was good and I am glad I read it. 

4) Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult 

This is my favourite Jodi Picoult novel. This book had be considering what I believe to be true. It had me thinking about what I know and how there could be more to things than the obvious. This was an intense story and I really loved it. If there is one book in this whole list of books I am sharing with you that I want you to read it is this one! 

5) Night by Elie Wiesel 

This one is a memoir about a man and his experiences in a Nazi camp during World War II. This made me thinking about the presence of God during the Holocaust. Where was he? What was his purpose? Weisel poses these questions in his book and they are questions I asked myself once I completed the novel. 

6) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma 

How could this novel not make anyone think. This had to have been the most controversial novel of 2011. This novel hurt my heart and I was angry when I read it. SO angry. Never has a novel inspired such rage with in me like this one did. But I think that it provokes some really interesting thoughts and conversations. 

7) Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser 

School bullying and how intense it can get for some kids. I was one to think that bullies aren't as mean and intensely life altering as they seem in the movies and I have often found that they way people approach bullying to be a little extreme. But after reading Pieces of Us which is essentially about all kinds of bullying it had reconsidering what bullying was all about. 

So, I only have seven novels to share with you this week. But they have all impacted my life in one way or another. I hope you enjoyed. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Why hello there, and welcome to my Stacking the Shelves- Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews.

Books Mentioned  Book titles linked to their Goodreads page.


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 
Wilder by Christina Dodd
The Space Between Us by Megan Hart
Rescue by Anita Shreve

That's it for me everyone! Be sure to leave links to your book hauls so I can take a look. 

~Happy Reading Everyone! 
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl