Saturday, July 7, 2012

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Recommended Reading

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon
Over at my personal book blog I am a co-host for the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon.  This is the third year of this event and it's been so much fun every single year!  This hosted by me, Candace's Book Blog, Pure Imagination and Reading Angel.  It runs from July 9th-11th.  We have lots of fun things planned and are giving away a $60 gift card to one lucky participant.  To sign up click the button, or go HERE.

I thought that it would be fun to do a recommended reading post here since we have lots of Pacific NW authors that write books that are perfect for Read a Thons.  So what is a perfect book for a Read a Thon?  Well, in my opinion the perfect book is one that's a fast and easy read.  They can have a heavier subject, but only if the book is one that's difficult to put down.

Luckily my #1 Read-a-Thon recommended author lives right here in the Pacific Northwest!

Lisa Schroeder writes stunning verse novels that take a very short time to read.  She also writes an adorable middle grade series that are not in verse but are also perfect because they are light and loads of fun.
You can find all of Lisa's books on goodreads, HERE.  But my top two favorites are The Day Before and I Heart You, You Haunt Me.
From the author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, an irresistibly romantic novel in verse.  Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.     Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.     The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.     Told in verse and brimming with raw emotion and pure romance, this is a gracefully woven tale of life-changing secrets and unexpected friendship.

 Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl gets boy back...

...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him,
unless she's dreaming.
She can't hear his voice,
except for the faint whispers in her mind.
Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here.

The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with.
He's back from the dead,
as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

Another author that fits quite well is Kimberly Derting and her Body Finder series.  These are a bit paranormal and very much mystery and they are impossible to put down.  They aren't real long either, which is a bonus as well.
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.
April Henry's Girl Stolen was one that sucked me in and had me devouring the book, dying to see what happens.  It took only an hour or two to cruise through it and I was completely enthralled.

 Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of the car while her stepmom fills a prescription for antibiotics. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, the car is being stolen.

Griffin hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne and once he finds out that not only does she have pneumonia, but that she's blind, he really doesn't know what to do. When his dad finds out that Cheyenne's father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes--now there's a reason to keep her.

How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare?

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was unlike anything I've ever read.  It was one I was dying to get answers from and so couldn't put it down until I did so.  It was a fast read, but was absolutely amazing.

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

This one is also in verse, though it's longer it's still a very fast read.  Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe was a stunning look at a girl struggling to become the best dancer she can be. It wasn't really a light read in the sense that it was very hard hitting, but it was a fast read in that it doesn't take long to get through it.
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.

We really have some amazing authors here in the Pacific NW and my list could go on and on.  Seriously, narrowing it down is proving difficult.  So this last one is one that's different from the rest.  It's more a boy book because of the male narrator and feel of the book, but it's one that I absolutely loved.  It doesn't get the attention it deserves so I hope some of you will give it a chance.
Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft is a look at a teenage boy who has suffered a great loss and struggles to find himself and his own strength within.

 When you piss off a bridge into a snowstorm, it feels like you’re connecting with eternal things. Paying homage to something or someone. But who? The Druids? Walt Whitman? No, I pay homage to one person only, my brother, my twin.
       In life. In death.
       Telemachus. Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He's on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

Want to do you own recommended reading post for the Read-a-Thon?  Link it up below!  And check out all the others.

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