Friday, July 24, 2015

TOP FIVE FRIDAY #THREE

Seeing that I already have a TUESDAY feature, and always frown in a defeated manner about trying to come up with ten items for TOP TEN TUESDAY, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, I have decided to follow the TTT prompt on Fridays with FIVE answers.

Five DIVERSITY reads...
These are all "under the radar" books that need to be talked about, and of course read. It is in itself a genre-diverse list!
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My top favorite of course is the stellar ORLEANS by Sherri L. Smith.
(I read this before book blogging)
This is a gritty, IN YOUR FACE, YA Dystopian with a heroine of color, written by an author of color, set in a future New Orleans. There is no romance in this story, but there is a beautiful plationic relationship between two friends, male and female. This is also a novel about women and how they can be strong, independent, and smart; while still being loving, caring, and nurturing. I love this book so much I buy a couple Orleans paperbacks every time I make a Book Outlet order, so I can give them away.
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Next up, a YA Contemporary, SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS by Bethany Crandell.

The story is about a spoiled brat of a rich girl sent to work at a summer camp for otherly-abled teens. This book is BRILLIANT because it serves up a painless lesson about compassion and acceptance in a hilarious and extremely non-PC way! When you check out the Goodreads page don't let some of those stinky reviews dissuade you from picking up this book because those readers were so unaware they thought the story was promoting bullying (I think because the brat was written in first person). What a bunch of dunderheads! I talk all about these misconceptions in my blog review, where I also talk a little bit about my oldest nephew who has Asperger's Syndrome. One of Bethany's daughters has cerebral palsy, so when she writes about how some people perceive those with disabilities, she knows what she is talking about. You can read my heartfelt review, HERE.
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Now for my heart love of a story, OF BREAKABLE THINGS.
This YA Paranormal brought me so much comfort because although it IS NOT LIKE HARRY POTTER, it has this strange HP vibe, and gives me the same wrapped up and calming feeling. I am not the only one who felt this way because I saw some other reviews on Goodreads mention it. If youn want to read my thoughts on this, you can see that review, HERE.
The main character has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The story shows how serious illnesses shape personalities, and also how people perceive and react to those dealing with serious illness.
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How about some Science Fiction? This is TIN STAR.

This book is diverse in that it brings up racism, or actually "speciesism", in that on this spacestation, and within the current intergalactic government; humans are seen as the lowest of the low and treated as inferiors based on nothing but being of the human race. There is a wonderful array of alien races and cultures on the spacestation Yertina Feray. This novel is part of a dualogy with STONE IN THE SKY. If you want a little taste of the author's writing you can read a free short story about one of the characters on the spacestation , HERE. I gave this novel FIVE STARS on Goodreads.
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Vampires? Why yes... THE MEDIUM.
Lenny is a stuttering Physics teacher, lover of electric blankets, and a vampire. He is also considered one of the "broken" among "normal" vampires. Why? Well I cannot tell you here because it would be a spoiler! Lenny is shunned by both humans and fellow vampires; humans because they fear him, and vampires because he is "different".  This is Adult paranormal fiction and is part of a series. THE MORA, the second book in the series, The Books of Lost Knowledge, is also out. It is 99¢ as an ebook on Amazon! This was a FIVE STAR read for me on Goodreads.
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BONUS BOOK
BROWN GIRL DREAMING
You know I am all about promoting lesser known books here on my blog, but I couldn't leave out my favorite audiobook from this year. This book was mega popular, won tons of awards; and even President Obama read it. The only iffy reviews it got were from people who said they didn't care for the fact it was written in verse, but it is FREE VERSE. In fact, I didn't know this when I first started listening to the audiobook. I thought it was just beautifully written, deeply lyrical prose. I didn't find out it was in verse until I went to mark it '"currently reading" on Goodreads, and took a glance at the synopsis. In most cases, I don't think most of the naysayers actually read the book, because they were making it sound like it was reading Walt Whitman, or similar. Not so. I guarantee you will at least like, if not love this story. l'd recommend the audiobook if you think the written verse is going to throw you off. Mine was narrated by the author; she has a smooth soothing voice. I rated it FIVE STARS on Goodreads.
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16 comments:

  1. I really wish there were more scifi YA books that dealt with aliens and social issues, so I'll have to find a copy of Tin Star. I'm sort of obessed with that mix of topics thanks to things like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the game Mass Effect. The latter deals with how little other races think of humans (though justified at times).
    Some books that made my list this week were Every Day by David Levithan, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseni.

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    1. I will be going to look at your TTT. I had no clue The Young Elite books were diverse reads. This was a great TTT prompt this week becuse I have seen many books on other blogs that I had no idea were about diversity issues, or had diverse characters. :)

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  2. Great picks! I loved Summer on the Short Bus!! I still need to read the rest of your recommendations!
    And thank you so much for the giveaway for Orleans!!

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    1. It was strange because at first I thought I was going to be stuck at three books with Short Bus, Orleans, and Brown Girl, but after I started thinking I relalized there were others that weren't so obvious about it. This was really the best TTT prompt in a long time.

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  3. OH I WANT TO READ BREAKABLE THINGS SO BADLY. I looove books that teach me about things I don't know anything about. It's like fun and educational, in a way. You know? Aaanyway. I basically think I need all of these and Brown Girl Dreaming sounds particularly wonderful too. Also I LOVE how you recommended a lot of fantasy-ish books with this too!! Because I love diversity and minorities and fantasy/sci-fi is my favourite genre so, SO MUCH WIN.

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    1. Sci-Fi has always been my deep in the heart love since I read A Wrinkle in Time in fourth grade. I loved your TTT because I didn't know more than half of those books were diverse reads. I know most people think of YA Contemporary when they think diversity, that is why I wanted to mix it up a bit. :)

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  4. I'm totally bookmarking this post so I can come find it when I'm looking for diverse reads! And you've mentioned something in your commentary under Brown Girl Dreaming that was totally a light bulb moment for me - I have a really, really hard time with books in any kind of verse at all period. I think it's a formatting thing more than anything else - and these books are on audio! Duh! I can test this theory! (In fact, I'm just about wrapped up with the last GoT book, so if my library has a copy of Brown Girl Dreaming in, I'll probably pick it up)

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    1. Yes! Try it as an audiobook. Like I said, I didn't even realize it was in verse at first and I was a good 30% in before I found out. I hope it works for you because it is a wonderful story. I was seeing some other book written in verse being talked about. I think it was on Paper Fury.

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  5. I havent read any on this list but I definitely want to! The last good book I just finished was 'The Rook' by Daniel O'Malley. LaLa, I think youd love it! :)

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    1. I have seen reviews for The Room, but have not read any. I will check it out on HE and next time I see a review I will read it! :)

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    2. Ugh, auto-c snuck itself back on... GR, not HE. Lol.

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  6. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas which is a Sci-Fi/Contemp about two boys with medical conditions and/or disabilities, and one is gay. And it was wonderful and weird and heartbreaking and heartwarming, and feeeeeelings!!!

    I also really love Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas which is a NA Romance where the MC gained a lot of weight after an accident and is learning to love her new body and show the fashion industry that plus-sized women have a place in it!

    Angie @ Pinkindle

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  7. I will be marking You'll Never Meet Me on GR because I love Sci-Fi and weird! I have not read any NA yet, so maybe Picture Perfect would be a great place to start. :)

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  8. I haven't tried any of books you said above but I'll make sure to put them on my list. Mine is American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

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    1. I have not read any Gaiman yet, and I need to remedy that soon. :)

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  9. I love Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins! Tin Star looks really gorgeous too. ^-^

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