Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting for You

Waiting for You
Susane Colasanti
May 2009
Reading Level: YA

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she? In Waiting For You, this third romantic novel from Susane Colasanti, Marisa learns how to “be in the Now” and realizes that the love she’s been waiting for has been right in front of her all along.
One of the things that gets old with young adult romance is the use of stock characters. It seems like every female narrator sounds the same all the time, with little variance from book to book.

That's why I love this book: Marisa is totally different from all the young adult heroines I read about. First of all, she suffers from depression and she struggles throughout the book to put it behind her and move on. Second, the way she talks and interacts with others is entirely different. She's simply not that stock character; she has layers and that makes me like her that much more.

That being said, this book is perfect for a lazy summer day because it takes you through her transformation. In the beginning, she just wants a boyfriend, any boyfriend. Throughout the novel, she realizes that she has to be careful what she wishes for. She also goes through some family trouble, and this forces her to see things in a new light. Marisa's transformation is incredible, and best of all, it's totally relate-able. I also suffered from depression, and I have mood swings like Marisa, and I also can see her perspective on most of the decisions she makes.

I definitely enjoyed this book's depth. Even though it's not the most insightful YA romance, it's definitely got a lot going for it that takes it a step above the rest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Book of Luke

The Book of Luke
Jenny O'Connell
April 2007
Reading Level: YA

Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice -- but lately being nice hasn't done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily's senior year. Only Emily's first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League. What's a nice girl to do?

Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he's staying behind in Chicago "to tie up loose ends," and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.

She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don'ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They'll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys -- an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.

But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston -- the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email -- Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.

This book can be described using two words: fun and flirty!

You can tell by looking at the cover that this is a quick and fun read. Emily's plan is completely idiotic. Making a reference guide for guys? Obviously this is gonna blow up in her face. This book is completely predictable from beginning to end, from the creation of the book to the huge blow up, finally leading up to the fairytale ending.

So why bother reading? Well, it's the fun and flirty aspect I mentioned earlier. This is the perfect beach read, and the characters really make the book. Emily is a snob who thinks she knows everything, so you hope and hope that the wonderful and sexy Luke will teach her a lesson and that she'll stop being so self-centered.

Really, if it weren't for the characters, this book wouldn't be half as fun. But in the end you start to like Emily, and Luke is sexy throughout so it's a win-win situation for everybody.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Replacement

The Replacement
Brenna Yovanoff
September 2010
Reading Level: YA

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

I've gotta admit: I didn't like this book very much.

The problem is that it's hard to articulate what I feel about it. The whole thing just doesn't sit right with me. I didn't particularly like Mackie, and I didn't particularly like Tate, so the characters didn't quite do it for me. I also wasn't particularly intrigued by the story. Which odd, considering I've been dying to read this since it came out.

Overall, this book just left no impression on me. The characters fell flat, the story was dull, and it was just overall an unmemorable book. I tried so hard to like it; I really did. And it was kind of interesting, and definitely unique, but it will rest next to books like The Forest of Hands and Teeth (which I also found to be dull and uninteresting) in my heart. Was it inherently bad? Not at all. Just not my cup of tea.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Host

The Host
Stephenie Meyer
May 2008
Reading Level: Adult

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

I have to say this first and foremost:


Just in case anyone out there says, "Oh, Twilight sucks so I'm not even going to bother reading The Host, because I'm sure that sucks just as bad."

The Host totally blows Twilight out of the water. Where Twilight is all fluff and bad writing, The Host is intellectual and captivating and thoughtful.

I read it when it first came out in 2008, and I loved it then. I read it again recently, and once again I was struck by how wonderful this novel is.

The uniqueness of it really strikes me. You would expect someone who started the whole vampire craze to lack imagination and stick to preapproved subjects, but Meyer does something completely different. While it is dystopian, it is not like other dystopian novels.

The relationships in the novel are so powerful, and that's the main reason I love this book so much.. Nothing is black and white.. With two "people" inhabiting one body and one mind, it's impossible to draw clear and distinct lines, especially when it comes to strong emotions such as love and hate.

This book also takes a good look at what it takes to be human. One of my favorite parts is when a character states that The Wanderer (who is not human) is more human than other actual humans. It shows that being human is more than skin deep. This is something that's hard to articulate, and yet Meyer shows it clearly through The Wanderer's interactions with the humans she lives with.

While I'll admit the book has a slow start, I would highly encourage anyone to push a little harder if they are struggling. The book picks up so suddenly, and it's impossible to put down once you get into it. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Lost Summer

The Lost Summer
Kathryn Williams
July 2009
Reading Level: YA

"I died one summer, or I almost did. Part of me did. I don't say that to be dramatic, only because it's true."
For the past nine years, Helena Waite has been returning to summer camp at Southpoint. Every year the camp and its familiar routines, landmarks, and people have welcomed her back like a long-lost family member. But this year she is returning not as a camper, but as a counselor, while her best friend, Katie Bell remains behind. All too quickly, Helena discovers that the innocent world of campfires, singalongs, and field days have been pushed aside for late night pranks on the boys' camp, skinny dipping in the lake, and stolen kisses in the hayloft. As she struggles to define herself in this new world, Helena begins to lose sight of what made camp special and the friendships that have sustained her for so many years. And when Ransome, her longtime crush, becomes a romantic reality, life gets even more confusing.

Told with honesty and heart, Kathryn Williams' second novel tackles the timeless theme of growing up, set at a camp where innocence is created and lost.
In order to review this book, I have to give you an idea about what I was expecting. First of all, the title: The Lost Summer. Okay, a summer book. Secondly, the publisher: Disney. Yes, this book is published by Disney. And Disney is the King of the Happy Ending. So I knew it was going to have a cheesy ending. Third, the cover and the genre. A girl standing on a dock? Okay, that goes with the summer theme. YA? Obviously this is going to be some cheesy book about a girl getting her fairytale ending.

The one redeeming quality that I found at first was the summary. I love tales of camp, and the story seemed interesting, at least.

As you've probably already guessed, I was completely wrong and learned my lesson about judging books based on little evidence.

I was actually surprised to find a book published by Disney that doesn't fit nicely into the mold of What to Expect from Disney.

Obviously, it is a summer book. I was right about that aspect. However, I wasn't really accurate in thinking that everything was going to be happy-go-lucky and turn out happily ever after. The ending was bittersweet and totally unexpected, which is a definite plus.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the relationship between Helena and Katie took precedence over the relationship between Helena and her camp sweetheart. While both were important, I'm glad that each got their fair share of attention and both were shown in a realistic way.
Overall, this is still a tale of summer. But it's also something much more than that. It's a coming of age tale, first and foremost. Helena goes through milestones this summer, and you can see the change in her as she grows as a person. It's also a tale of how relationships between people change as you age. Her relationship with her camp sweetheart and her relationship with Katie both define her for awhile, and in the end she realizes what's important in life.

This is still a short and sweet summer book, but it's got an extra layer of depth that isn't found in a lot of the books classified as "beach reads." I'd definitely recommend this as a book to read for any season.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read-a-thon End of Event Meme: The Final Update

End of Event Meme
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Probably hour... 16? Or so? The time I went to bed.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    All of the books I read were really good and kept my interest. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (and the other two collaborations by them would also be awesome for the readathon), and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which I'm sure everyone else has read by now.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
     More cheerleaders? I was excited to have people commenting on my posts and cheering me on, but didn't see a lot of that happening. More than usual, definitely, but I'd want to see each blog getting a good amount of attention, no matter how big or small.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Twitter! Twitter support was so great!
  5. How many books did you read?
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Wintergirls, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and half of The Lovely Bones
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    Dash and Lily. Super cute :)
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    I loved them all but if I were to pick I'd say... Wintergirls. But that's holding it up to some high standards, so please don't take that to mean that I disliked the book in any significant way.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    Just what I said before... get around more. But I understand that there were too many readers and not enough cheerleaders.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    100% likely. I'll be half cheerleader half reader next time.

    And I'm going to add a few of my own questions...
  11. How many pages did you read? 
  12. How much time did you spend reading?
    Approximately 10 hours. Woo!
Readathon was super great, and I want to thank everyone who stopped by my blog, commented on my posts, and supported me via Twitter! I'm definitely looking forward to April and I hope to be even more involved!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Picturrific Mini Challenge: The Lovely Bones

This was an easy picture to choose:

This is Jessica Ridgeway. She was a ten year old girl from Colorado, and she disappeared on October 5th and her body was later discovered in pieces.

Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes. It disturbs me greatly that there are people that exist in this world that would harm an innocent girl.

The resemblance to The Lovely Bones is uncanny: both cases involve a girl disappearing close to her home, objects being found before the bodies, and pieces of the bodies being found. In both cases, the murderer has yet to be identified.

Jessica's story really moved me to the point that I wanted to put The Lovely Bones down and read something that didn't remind me of the horrors that continue to exist on this planet. But I continue to read in the hopes that both Susie and Jessica's killers are found and brought to justice.


Read-a-Thon Mid-Event Survey!

I really apologize for all of my Read-a-Thon posts... I'm just so swept up by the awesomeness of this idea, that I'm trying to participate in as much of it as I can!

Which brings me to...

The Mid-Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
Unfortunately, yes. But my goal is 12 hours, and I've done 8... I only have 4 more to do in the next 11 hours, which means that even if I have to sleep for a few hours I can still accomplish my goal (plus some if I'm feeling really ambitious!)

2) What have you finished reading?
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and am about a quarter way through The Lovely Bones.

3) What is your favorite read so far?
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. I love Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's collaboration books; they are funny, sweet, and insightful.

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Haven't really snacked a whole lot. The best "snack" is one I haven't even mentioned yet: double mocha cappuccino. Unfortunately the powdered kind, but it's perfect for when my hands get cold!

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I've been focusing mainly on my reading and participating in my own challenges, so sadly I have not looked at any blogs. However, I do plan on going back and looking at blogs tomorrow, after the challenge is over!


Read-a-Thon Update #3

Read-a-thon Update: 12 PM to 6 PM

(click here for info!)

Title of book(s) read:
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (only read the last 16 pages, so it doesn't count)
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (finished)
  •  Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (finished!)

Thoughts on current read:
Just finished Dash and Lily and loved it! Although it was kind of funny how Lily was talking about Fiji and how she didn't want to live there, and I lived in Fiji for 4 and a half months and would happily go back!

Number of books read since you started: 2

Pages read since last update: 235

Running total of pages read since you started: 554
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 2.5 hours
Running total of time spent reading since you started:
  6.5 hours

Mini-challenges completed:
Oldies but Goodies
Turn to Page
Marking Books
Day Break
Read-a-Thon Acrostic 
and am about to complete this one:
Celebrating the Reading Child

The Reading Child
I first discovered my love of reading as a first grader. I honestly don't know exactly how it came about, but all of my memories lead me to believe it was because of a teacher: Mrs. Lonegra.

Somehow, I connected with her. I remember being put into a special group that specialized in writing and (I think) reading. I remember admiring her in all the ways a young child can admire her. I also remember, upon hearing that I was moving to Wisconsin and would never see her in the hallways again, I was upset. But the best part of our relationship was yet to come: she gave all of her students her address, so we could write her over the summer if we wanted.

I wrote to her, and this led to more than ten years of correspondence. It was usually only one or two letters a year, but it was something that I treasured. We talked of life, books, and family. And she came to my high school graduation, four hours away, even though she hadn't seen me in twelve years.

This woman was not only a teacher; she was a friend. And it is because of her that my love of reading blossomed. So every time someone asks me, "Why do you like to read so much?" I always pinpoint it back to my first grade year, where I met one of my good friends who inspired me to open myself to new worlds, and to make the most of the world I live in.

Read-a-Thon Update #2

Read-a-thon Update: 9 AM to 12 PM

(click here for info!)

Title of book(s) read:
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (only read the last 16 pages, so it doesn't count)
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (finished)
  •  Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (in progress)

Thoughts on current read:
I am only on page 25 but I am really enjoying it! I'm sure it'll go by very quickly!

Number of books read since you started: 1

Pages read since last update: 179

Running total of pages read since you started: 319
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 2 hours

Running total of time spent reading since you started:
  4 hours

Mini-challenges completed:
Oldies but Goodies
Turn to Page

Read-a-Thon Update #1

Read-a-thon Update: 7 to 9 AM

(click here for info!)

Title of book(s) read since last update:
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (only read the last 16 pages, so it doesn't count)

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (in progress)

Thoughts on current read:
This book is wonderful. I know there's a lot of thought I could put into it, but since I'm focusing on the Read-a-thon I'm just making mental notes of what to think about, and then I'll think a little deeper once the Read-a-thon is done!

Number of books read since you started: 0 complete books, but finished 1

Pages read since last update: 140

Running total of pages read since you started: 140

Amount of time spent reading since last update: 2 hours

Running total of time spent reading since you started:
  2 hours

Mini-challenges completed:
About to complete one right now...

1. Water for hydration.
2. Coke for flavor (it's always my drink of choice!)
3. Granola bars for a quick fix.
4. Sour cream and onion potato chips for the fun of it.
5. Cheese crackers for yumminess.
6. Apples for energy. Which I'm about to eat one now to get me through the rest of Wintergirls.

Things are going good so far, but I'm just waiting for a crash!


Read-a-Thon Opening Meme!

So happy to be off to a good start with my first Read-a-Thon! An official update will come in an hour or so! (I apologize to those followers who don't really care- but I'll try to keep the updates short and interesting!)

And without further adieu, I will now be answering the questions from the opening meme!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Chicago, IL.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I've had this book for years and haven't read it... it's definitely time to remedy that.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Sour cream and onion potato chips.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am a college student, 20 years old, and reading is my only real hobby. However I also enjoy writing on occasion, traveling, and meeting new people :)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to seeing how much I can push myself. It'll be interesting to see how long I'll last!

Now I'm off to read some more! Good luck to everyone else participating!


Dewey's Read-a-Thon

Since I have nothing going on today, I decided (very last-minute) to participate in the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. (Click here for info!)

It begins RIGHT NOW! So in an ideal world, I will currently be sitting in my comfy chair and reading one of the following books:

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
3. The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I do have a few other books with me (unfortunately my glorious bookshelf is back home, so I have to settle with a small selection). I also have a library right down the street, so if there are problems with motivation or boredom, I can walk down there, grab a latte, and pick up a different book that gets me more excited.

I will try my best to update every hour to two hours. And I will also try my best to actually participate for the majority of the 24 hours.

Wish me luck!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Across the Universe + A Million Suns

Across the Universe && A Million Suns
Beth Revis
January 2011; January 2012
Reading Level: YA


Summary is for Across the Universe:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

The first two books in the Across the Universe trilogy are perfect examples of what I love to see in a young adult book. I will demonstrate this by making a list of the aspects of the novels that make them so wonderful and unique:
1. There is love and romance. I include this first because it is one of the things that I find the least important in a novel. However, the relationship between Amy and Elder is one that is incredibly difficult and complex, and that's what I love about it. As in real life, love and attraction is not clear cut or simple. In these novels it's clear that there is a mixture of love, obsession, fascination, and also confusion in their relationship. Despite what these characters may hope for, this is not a fairytale story, and whether there will be a fairytale ending remains to be seen.

2. The situation is hopeless. I LOVE when characters find themselves in situations that are completely out of their comfort zones. I hate when authors provide quick and easy solutions to truly difficult and impossible situations just for the sake of a happy ending. The problems of Amy and Elder are both impossible, and there are no easy solutions. Therefore, the ending is entirely unpredictable. So even though this is a dystopian story, the situations are as realistic as they can possibly be.

3. The story itself is unique. I'm sure there are plenty of books out there that are Star Wars or Star Trek related that regale the stories of Han Solo or Captain Kirk or whoever, but this is the first time I've seen a story set on a spaceship that is intended for a general young adult audience, as opposed to the audience for a Star Wars or Star Trek type story. I wasn't sure what to expect from this, which left me pleasantly surprised when I found something completely enjoyable and unique.

4. Both books were addicting. When I can't put down a book, I know it's good. This is a combination of all the above factors as well as the intrigue and suspense provided by the author.

Based on the above factors, these were both excellent books. I would definitely recommend them to young adult readers, and if you're still feeling skeptical, then let me just say that I was too when I started, but your concerns will quickly be eased once you get started and become wrapped up in the story.

Note: Look for the third and final installment to this incredible trilogy, Shades of Earth, available January 15, 2013!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Books That Make You Think

TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It's a lot of fun so stop by if you get the chance :)

Top Ten (erm, Twelve) Books that Make You Think
Another rewind week, and I came up with tons of books that made me think about a variety of topics. 
I couldn't narrow it down to just 10, so here's 12:
1. Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. I read this awhile ago, but I remember I was blown away when thinking about the main character's relationship to his lesbian friend (I don't even remember either of their names, that's how long it's been). This is one of those few young adult books that says, "Hey, first love is not always easy, and there's not always a happy ending." 
2. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.
Now, this applies to all (well, most... The Tenth Circle is the exception, as I hated that book) of Jodi Picoult's books that I've read. While I know a lot of people get sick of the repetition of her books, I love how each one takes an important issue and looks at it from a number of different perspectives. It always makes me think outside the box.

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
This book was awesome because it got me thinking about how my interactions with others really have an impact on others. Something I take as being completely innocent and unimportant could have huge repercussions on the way other people feel about themselves.
4. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
Every young person should read this book, because it looks at someone who is seemingly weird and different and shows you her perspective. I relate to her because I was always weird or different growing up, and I always felt like I was judged unfairly. I also know that even though I was judged unfairly, I also have judged others in the same way, and this book helped me see that and made me take a closer look at myself and how I could improve.


5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Feminism, capitalism, materialism, etc. etc. I can't say that I'm consciously thinking about these things when I'm reading, but I see that they're there and I am able to recognize it when I'm reflecting.


6. The Host by Stephenie Meyer.
I recently re-read this, and for the second time I was blown away by the beauty of it. The Host takes a look at what it really means to be human, which is something I will always be thinking about since reading it.



7. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.
Such an amazing book! It definitely makes you think about how war affects the innocent bystanders, especially children, and how it can change lives forever.


8. Sold by Patricia McCormick.
This book about a young girl sold into prostitution was sooo painful to read. I couldn't imagine if I wasn't able to live the cozy life I live now. Most Americans are so blessed to not have this sort of oppression in our lives, and I can't believe that more people aren't aware of how common sex trafficking is in developing countries. Read this! 

9. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger.
While I remember I wasn't blown away by this book itself, I know that I was shocked about how limited my reading is. I rarely read young adult books about teens who are of a different race/religion/heritage/etc. It was surprising to read this and it made me want to read other novels that feature characters who grew up different than myself.
10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
This was another book that made me think about war and children. Most people think about World War II and think about Hitler and concentration camps, but this book shows the behind the scenes, everyday life of people living in Hitler's Germany.

11. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
Awesome book that shows a different culture and how colonization affects the lives of indigenous people. While this book is set in Africa, it could easily be describing the colonization of any other country out there. 

12. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.
I've thought about this book a lot since reading it earlier this year, and what really gets me is how society pushes people to behave one way, while natural instinct pushes people to behave the way they want. It's unfortunate that girls like Maggie Tulliver were so oppressed up until fairly recently, and this book made me also think about oppression today and how it affects my life as a woman. 

I hope you enjoyed my list! What are some of your favorite thought-provoking books?