In The Stacks (29)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this week. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews.

Slower week for me. My to-be-read stacks, shelves, and piles are out of hand. I also plan on tackling some of the books listed in my Finish Your Series Challenge post before I start any new series.

Finish Your Series Challenge All The Stacks

Purchased

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

I cannot wait to read this!

Kindle

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Currently Reading

The Farm by Emily McKay

The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

So far I am loving The Farm. It is stark and creepy. Perfect for a late October read.

Summaries and cover images from goodreads.

Finish Your Series Challenge

The most recent Top Ten Tuesday focused on series enders. The lists had many different books on them but one thing many had in common, is that people are terrible at finishing series. I want to out all the series that I am currently reading in one place and to challenge myself to finish them. Maybe you have a series or two to finish also? If so, please post your own list and shame yourself into finishing those series!

Finish Your Series Challenge All The Stacks

Current Series

Gone by Michael Grant

Lies by Michael GrantPlague by Michael GrantFear by Michael GrantLight by Michael Grant

Lies / Plague / Fear/ Light 

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss by Richelle MeadBlood Promise by Richelle MeadSpirit Bound by Richelle MeadLast Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss / Blood Promise / Spirit Bound / Last Sacrifice

Matched by Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached

Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga

Game by Barry Lyga

Game

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass by Rachel HawkinsSpellbound by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass / Spellbound

The Heroes Of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The House Of Hades by Rick Riordan

The House Of Hades 

The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed

Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson

The Crown Of Embers by Rae CarsonThe Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

The Crown Of Embers / The Bitter Kingdom

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Extras by Scott Westerfeld

Extras

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

The Song Of The Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

The Song Of The Quarkbeast

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth RevisShades Of Earth by Beth Revis Across The Universe

A Million Suns / Shades Of Earth

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Brisingr by Christopher PaoliniInheritance by Christopher Paolini

Brisingr / Inheritance

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After

Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlBeautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret StohlBeautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness / Beautiful Chaos / Beautiful Redemption

A Song Of Fire And Ice by George R.R. Martin

A Clash Of Kings by George R.R. MartinA Storm Of Swords by George R. R. MartinA Feast For Crows by George R.R. MartinA Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin

A Clash Of Kings / A Storm Of Swords / A Feast Of Crows / A Dance With Dragons

The Faerie Wars Chronicles by Herbie Brennan

The Purple Emperor by Herbie BrennanRuler Of The Realm by Herbie BrennanFaerie Lord by Herbie BrennanThe Faeman Quest by Herbie Brennan

The Purple Emperor / Ruler Of The Realm / Faerie Lord / The Faeman Quest

The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege And Strom

The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King

Wow, that is a lot of books! My goal is to read three of these books a month for the next six months. Most of these I own, so it will be conquering my Shelf Of Shame which makes it a twofer!

Would you like to join me in your own goal post? If you do, link up at the bottom and we can see if your list is a bad as mine.

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All cover images from goodreads.

 

Beat The Heat Readathon

 

BeatHeatRATbutton2

  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from July 29th through August 18th. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for two weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!
  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!
  • Sign up at Auntie Spinelli Reads or Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 5th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! Feel free to copy and paste this handy little list for your post. We don’t mind. 🙂
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.

Goals

 

Finish a review book that is dragging for me.

The Thinking Womans Guide To Real Magic by Emily Cory Barker

Finish a series that has been on my TBR list forever.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Four other books of my choosing. Must be from my TBR Shelf of Shame.

Updates

July 31 –

  • Finished the last third of The Son Of Neptune
  • Read from 31% to 43% of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic 

August 1 –

  • Read from 43% to 58% of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

August 2 –

  • Read from 58% to 75% of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

August 3

  • Read from 75% to 86% of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

August 4

  • Finished The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic
  • Read 44 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

August 5

  • Read 30 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

August 6

  • Read 48 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

August 7

  • Read 68 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

August 8

  • Read 108 pages of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

August 9

  • Finished Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Started The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 10

            • 15% into The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon – This will be a quicker read for me because I do not want to put this book down!

 

August 11

      • 27% into The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 12

  • 32% into The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 13

  • 54% into The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 14

  • 73% into The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 15

  • Finished The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

August 16

  • Started Queen Of Babble by Meg Cabot

August 17

  • On page 148 of Queen Of Babble by Meg Cabot

August 18

  • On page 148 of Queen Of Babble by Meg Cabot

Totals

Read a total of four books and 1,780 pages.

Being Henry David By Cal Armistead A Review

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Title: Being Henry David

Author: Cal Armistead

Publication Date: March 1, 2013

Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen

Source: ARC from 2013 Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour

Challenge: 2013 Debut Author Challenge

GoodreadsAuthor

Summary

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything –who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank” and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of–Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

 

Review

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead starts off when Hank wakes up in Penn Station in New York City. He cannot remember how he got there or who he is. The only clue he has to hold on to is a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. With Walden being Hank’s only clue, he sets off on an adventure to find out who he is.

At its heart, Being Henry David is a coming-of-age story where the main character literally does not know who he is. Cal Armistead uses Henry David Thoreau and the town of Concord to help Hank explore what it means to be him. How he fits into his world and to bring him to a place where he uncovers the mystery of who he is and where he comes from. The people Hank meets in Concord help him a great deal to explore the simplicity and truth of Walden and how it relates to why Hank is unable to remember.

The story begins to unfold as Hank starts to remember bits and pieces and he is forced to confront his problems. He learns that you cannot run away or disappear but have to face issues head on. Ultimately, there is redemption and forgiveness but there first has to be truth.

I really enjoyed Being Henry David and found it to be a unique story with lots of depth. It is truly a strong debut and I have high hopes for any future works by Cal Armistead.

What You Will Find

  • Finding Yourself
  • Redemption
  • Mystery
  • Friendship

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

 

Pantomime By Laura Lam A Review

Pantomime by Laura Lam

 

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Title: Pantomime

Author: Laura Lam

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Source: Netgalley

Challenge: 2013 Debut Author Challenge

GoodreadsAuthorTwitter

Summary

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilization long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Review

Caution, the review below does contain spoilers.

Pantomime by Laura Lam tells the story of Gene, a noble who is born as a hermaphrodite and her life is spent being told how to behave and shuttled to countless doctors and specialists. The chapters alternate between Gene, in the past, and Micah, in the future, and tell the story of how Micah ends up a circus performer in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. The alternating stories gives the reader a feel for the dichotomy that is living without a clear identity. Gene is suffocating living as a girl and when she learns of her parents forced medical intervention, she knows she can no longer live this life.

Pantomime by Laura Lam captures the magic of the circus through Micah as someone who watches and later becomes a performer. There is a magic that starts to shatter the longer Micah stays. The impressive ringmaster is nothing more than a drunk and the magic is old technology that is all an illusion. At times, there are glimpses of real magic, such as a projection seemingly speaking to Micah, that no one else can hear, but we only really scratch the surface here. I wish there was more meat to the what is Micah/Gene and where he came from, than we get in Pantomime.

Pantomime by Laura Lam is very well-written and for anyone who is fan of the circus, they will be charmed by the descriptions here. The feel is fantastical and very light like the aerialist that Micah becomes. For me, it could be a bit slow at times but the ending certainly made up for that. Overall, Pantomime by Laura Lam is a lovely debut that I would recommend reading. It has a very different feel than many Young Adult books and leaves the reader with lots to think about.

 

What You Will Find

  • Magic and Beauty
  • Dealing with difficult issues
  • Strong lead
  • Tragedy
  • Finding yourself
      The cover image and summary are from

goodreads

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Nobody But Us By Kristin Halbrook A Review

Nobody But Us By Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us

Author: Kristin Halbrook

Publication Date: January 29, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: ARC from the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Tour

Challenges: 2013 Debut Author Challenge

GoodreadsAuthorTwitter

Summary

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger….

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love…and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Review

This review contains spoilers please read at your own risk.

This is a really difficult review for me to write because I wanted to love Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook but I just could not. There are quite a few reasons why and they start with Will. From the beginning, he rubbed me the wrong way. His dialogue is difficult to read (the frequent use of the word aint is grating to me), he is controlling and violent, and he reacts the wrong way in just about every situation. Later in the book when we learn more about the terrible tragedies that have filled Will’s life, his behavior is more understandable but it takes a long time to get to that point and it still did not excuse his over-the-top behavior. In a book billed as a love story where 90% of the book centers around two characters, disliking one can make for a difficult read. Had I not received this book as part of the Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour, I would have put it down knowing it just was not for me.

I do not know if I am just not the target audience for Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook but it really left me cold. I did not believe the love story. Will and Zoe seem like two small children who are making huge mistakes. It is difficult to understand why Zoe could so easily make excuses for Will and his violent outbursts. Yes, Will had a horrific time growing up and it is tragic, but he overreacts violently in most situations. I think most 15 year olds would find this kind of behavior frightening, not loveable. I know that Zoe growing up with constant abuse probably has a different definition of normal behavior than most, but she seems to be able to have normal relationships with some people (her best friend Lindsay and a librarian that takes a special interest in her) that I found this perplexing.

The second half of the book did pick-up. It gets much more exciting and believable. The insights into Will’s life, meeting the women who his mother abandoned him with and learning more of his story is helpful. It gives us a better picture of how Will got to where he is. The complete lack of stability makes it understandable that he is unable to react normally to any situation. I love when Zoe starts to think for herself and make her own choices. She is by far the smartest of the two and a lot less annoying. She, I actually felt sorry for. Living with an abusive father who killed her mother in a small town where everyone knows, but no one does anything to help her, is completely tragic. At 15, that is more than anyone should have to deal with. Zoe proves herself to be smart but her age belies common sense and I kept yelling at her to get away from Will because being with him is a terrible mistake.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook does bring up interesting issues such as the effects of living in foster care can have on a child. How some, especially those who are not yet adults, could see that running away would be a better solution to being in a foster home. That small choices can lead to catastrophic conclusions. It may be my age but connecting with Will and Zoe was difficult for me. I do think that Kristin Halbrook is a talented writer whose next book I would read.

 Cover image and summary from goodreads.

 

 

 

 

The Cadet Of Tildor By Alex Lidell A Review

The Cadet Of Tildor By Alex Lidell A Review

The Cadet Of Tildor by Alex Lidell

Title: The Cadet Of Tildor

Author: Alex Lidell

Publication Date: January 10, 2013

Publisher: Dial

Source: ARC from the 2013 Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour

GoodreadsAuthorTwitter

Summary

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown’s inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

Trailer

Review

Are you looking for a book that has adventure, political intrigue, and a kick-butt heroine? The Cadet Of Tildor by Alex Lidell is it. It begins with Cadet Renee de Winter, who is also a noblewoman, arguing with her father about her attendance at the elite Academy Of Tildor. Renee dreams of being a fighter and serving the Crown but her father has other plans for her. Risking everything, Renee decides to go to school and eschew the safety of her familial home.

At school, Renee proves to be a loyal friend and hard worker. As a woman in the male-dominated fighter track, she has to work twice as hard. Renee spends hours training to compensate for her smaller size and weaker muscles. This extra training catches the eye of Savoy, the commander of an elite force who is called to teach at the academy, to mentor and befriend Renee.

The Cadet Of Tildor is full of political intrigue where a new king is forced to negotiate peace while two competing criminal organizations nip at his heals. This story is not one of good and evil but one that is complex and full of interconnected relationships. Renee is forced to navigate these groups to try and fulfill her mission. Alex Lidell does a great job of writing fully formed characters that are as flawed as real people and operate in a world where our choices can reverberate in the world around us. There are no good and bad guys, but people who do all kinds of things for many different reasons.

The Cadet Of Tildor by Alex Lidell will be loved by fans of fantasy and those that like their heroine smart and brave. It is a very strong debut that was impossible to put down. I need to know what happens in this world, with these characters,  and will gladly purchase book two when it comes out.

What You Will Find

    • Kick-Butt heroine who you would want to be friends with
    • Action and adventure
    • Complex political situations
    • The perfect amount of magic
    • Excellent world building

 

 

Summary and cover images from goodreads.

2013 TBR Pile Challenge

My to be read pile is out of control. Luckily, there is a challenge being hosted by Evie at Bookish. The challenge helps you to lighten the TBR pile and maybe save some money by actually reading the books you already have instead of buying new ones? I plan on doing the lowest level (A Firm Handshake) and read at least ten books from my toppling pile in 2013. The books in no particular order are:

Is your TBR pile out of control?

All links are to the goodreads.

 

Debut Author Challenge 2013 Goal Post

MainDACButton

I am so excited about my first official challenge as a brand new book blogger! The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Tara from Hobbitsies. The goal is to read at least twelve (or more) 2013 author debuts over the course of the year. There are prizes, an ARC tour, and lots of fun in the goodreads group if you are interested in joining.

I am apt to jump into challenges head first but I want to be able to actually accomplish this one. So as a preliminary goal, I plan on at going for the minimum number of 12 books for this challenge. I reserve the right to up that number if I see fit (and I probably will because it is only November and I have a long list of these debuts I really want to read.)

2013 Debuts I Really Want To Read

Prophecy by Ellen OhNobody But Us by Kristin HalbrookOCD A Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles #1) by Ellen Oh

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

OCD A Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

 

Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine ScheidtThe S Word by Chelsea PitcherHow My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

 

Jinx by Sage BlackwoodStarglass by Phoebe NorthBlaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

Starglass by Phoebe North

Blaze (Or Love In A Time Of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

 

Me, Him, Them, And It by Caela CarterAltered by Jennifer RushBeing Henry David by Cal Armistead

Me, Him, Them, And It by Caela Carter

Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

 

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy SpaldingCity Of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam ForsterTaken by Erin Bowman

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

City Of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman

 

The Madman's Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LabanThe Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LeBan

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

 

Infinite Sky by C.J. FloodPantomime by Laura LamThe Culling by Steven Dos Santos

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Pantomime by Laura Lam

The Culling (The Torch Keeper #1) by Steven Dos Santos 

 

My Life After Now by Jessica VerdiNantucket Blue by Leila HowardThe End Games by T. Michael Martin

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

The End Games by T. Michael Martin

After You by Jessica Corra

 

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Between #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke

 

Any of these make your list?

All cover images taken from goodreads.

NPR Books: 100 Best Teen Novels

There are very few things I love more than books but lists about books (or really lists about most anything) are right up there. My new infatuation with all things John Green (I recently read The Fault In Our Stars and Looking For Alaska) I stumbled upon his Tumblr which led to the 100 Best Ever Teen Novels list from NPR. I am already participating in one reading challenge this year, 100 book in 2012, but am always open to a new challenge.

My plan is to read and highlight a new book from the list. The list is below are the books I have already read.

Harry Potter Series

The Hunger Games Series

To Kill A Mockingbird

The Fault In Our Stars

The Hobbit

The Catcher In The Rye

The Lord Of The Rings

Looking For Alaska

Anne Of Green Gables Series

His Dark Materials Series (I never finished the last book but read the other two.)

Lord Of The Flies

Divergent Series

Speak

Twilight Series

The Call Of The Wild

Go Ask Alice (Hate this book!)

Forever (Read this one over and over as a teen.)

It’s A Funny Kind Of Story

Before I Fall

That lives so many great books and series.

How many of the 100 have you read? Any favorites that should be on here?