Posts Tagged ‘Journey’

Dec

2

2014

Best Books Holiday Shopping Guide–Some of Kim’s 2014 Favorites

Filed under: Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Reading

If you’re like me, you’re spending more than your fair share of hours devoted to staying on top of the holiday madness. Aren’t we all trying to get that shopping done so we can finish the wrapping, sit back and watch holiday shows while eat cookies? Gosh, I wish I had a holiday house elf to help me get it all done.

Santas Elf Sitting on Edge

But I don’t. So, instead of pouting,  it occurred to me that at least I can help you with your shopping. I’ll be your bookish Holiday House Elf. *grin* If you’re looking for some awesome books for your favorite readers, then I have some amazing reads I’d love to share with you…

1. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

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Would you try to change the world if you thought it had no future?

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities — but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way… until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

I need to preface this by saying I ADORE all of A.S. King’s books, but this may be my favorite book of 2014. It’s dark, it’s hopeful, it’s human, it’s edgy and it’s outside the box while being universal. I can’t stop thinking about it. This book may be the closest book to replicate that feeling I had in 10th grade when I read The Giver by Lois Lowry for the first time.

2.  The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson23168945

 

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

The beautiful thing about this book is it’s raw, honest pain intermingled with soulful, optimistic love and humor. When you’re done with this book you’re going to want to hug it. Nelson does gorgeous things with words.

3.  Schooled by Gordon Kormon1025250

Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a school counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

My absolute favorite Gordon Kormon book to date and I’ve been reading a bunch–my boys adore his writing. Schooled is sweet and hilarious and I’m bound to read it again because I loved it that much. Cap is a character who wiggles his way and by the end you never want him to leave.

4.  Journey by Aaron Becker

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Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Journey is a wordless picture book that harnesses your imagination and then sets it free. Every time I flip the pages of this book I want to illustrate all the magic of my world. A gorgeous journey of heart and soul.

5.  The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

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The perfect gift for readers who want to be swept away.
The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy Gift Set includes three hardcovers: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, and Dreams of Gods & Monsters.

From master storyteller and National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy series about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade.

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Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Trilogies are tough to write. The first book is always hard to follow. Not for Laini Taylor. In my opinion, each book was better than the one before. This may be my favorite trilogy ever. The world building and character development are exquisite. And there is so much thought provoking depth without preaching. I can only believe that Taylor was able to write such an intricate story because Karou and her world are completely and utterly real to her.

 Now go forth and give the gift of books. I’ll have some more gift giving book suggestions for you as the holiday shopping season continues. Don’t forget to support your favorite authors by spreading the word about their beloved books. In fact, feel free to give suggestions in the comments or link this post to your own Best Books Holiday Shopping Guide. I don’t know an author who wouldn’t be appreciative. <3

Have you read any of my recommendations? Did you love them too? Which one is your favorite?

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