Jun 13, 2017

Books I Read in High School

Hey book bloggians! Today I decided to talk about some of my favorite books that I read while I was in High School. 😊 These books are just books I read for fun while I happened to be in high school, none of them were required reads for homework…except kind of the first four, but I’ll explain that in a second.
Now, it has only been a year since I graduated, but I really wanted to talk about some books I really enjoyed during that time and couldn’t talk about before because I hadn’t had this blog yet! So without further ado…
These first four books hold special significance to me because they were the books I read in my senior year as a part of something called Battle of the Books, affectionately known as: BOB.πŸ˜‰
BOB is a program that my school district had that basically, was like a competitive book club. I know, sounds awesome right? IT WAS.πŸ˜†πŸ“š
It was for Kindergarten all the way through 12th grade, and how it worked was your school would have teams for each age group with their own set of books to read, (lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school) and you would have meetings about once a week (or whatever worked best for your team) and your team would practice answering trivia questions in the style that they would be in competition. The questions were very specific. Some would be easier and pretty obvious, but most would be pretty vague. An example of a question they would have would be something like this: In which book was there a “Tiffany blue lamp set on a small wood beside table given to the character by her grandmother” or something like that. They would always be written how the exact sentence was described in the book, so it teaches you to remember specific details. Also it taught me to remember which authors wrote what books, because in competition you had to have one person be the “writer” (that was me) and another person be the “speaker.” 
The judge would go around to each table and the “speaker” had to stand up and say the answer to the question with the title of the book and either the author’s last name or full name. The “writer” had to write out the answer the same way on a piece of paper for the “runner” to put in the box at the judges table at the front of the room. You had to be sure you had the right author for the right book and that you spelled it correctly and that the “speaker” and the “writer’s” answers matched, or else you would only get partial points for missing any of these. Oh, and did I mention that once the question was asked, you had only one minute to discuss it with your teammates, agree on an answer, have the “writer” write the answer down, and have the “runner” run up to the front of the room? Yeah, it can get pretty competitive and stressful, especially if two members are 100% sure of two different answers. πŸ˜‚Basically the entire competition is one big long panic attack. But it’s all about books, it’s awesome, and it’s REALLY fun, so I didn’t mind. It was actually the only panic attack I enjoyed having. πŸ˜‚
I’d always wanted to join BOB when I was younger, but for some strange reason, I had it in my head that I had to read the entire list of twelve or so books for your age group by myself before even thinking about joining a team. I could never finish it, so I always missed out. Apparently that wasn’t true at all and I didn’t actually get to be a part of it until my last year of school. 😩 Anyway, I overheard some girls my age talking about BOB and how they were planning to break up the list of books among them so they could cover the whole list between them so that if at least only one person read a particular book, they would at least have a chance of knowing the answer to the questions related to that book. Of course, the goal is to get as many people as you can to read as many of the books you can, so you have a better chance at winning. That made so much more sense to me, so I signed up even though I was worried I wouldn’t be able to commit because of homework, projects, other books I wanted to read and graduation coming up and all of that. But, it was one of the best decisions I ever made because I made some amazing friends to laugh, talk and fangirl over books with. In the competition the top three teams with the most points were able to advance to compete in the state-wide competition, but at our district-wide competition, (which was the lowest level) we only placed 7th, so I was disappointed that it was already over since I only got to do it one year, but I’m so glad I did it because I wouldn’t have made the first group of friends that I hadn’t known my whole life that I felt like I could completely be myself around, and I wouldn’t have read these amazing books at just the perfect time in my life. So on that note:

*Cover images belong to Goodreads

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige:
Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It’s a Tim Burton-esque retelling of The Wizard of Oz, where a girl from modern-day Kansas is swept up in a tornado and taken to Oz, only to discover that it is not all singing and rainbows like in the movie. Dorothy had come back to Oz as an adult and taken over, basically becoming and evil dictator and the Amy, the other girl from Kansas has to team up with the Wicked Witches (who are apparently good now?) to take down the evil Dorothy. It’s creepy, but it wasn’t too creepy for me. I loved the creativity of taking OZ and completely switching everyone’s roles and I think Danielle Paige did a really good job of coming up with a completely new story than the original and the world building was awesome! I can’t wait to start the sequel soon!

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson:
Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)
Okay, I know I’ve talked about this book before BUT I WILL TALK ABOUT IT AGAIN UNTIL I FIND A NEW FAVORITE! This is honestly one of the most AMAZING books I’ve ever read! It’s technically a dystopian, but it’s mostly sci-fi I think cuz it’s all about supervillains and regular people being the heroes instead and AWESOME POWERS and TECHNOLOGY and sassy funny characters and stupid metaphors and bad puns and an AWESOME plot and WORLD BUILDING and OMG PLEASE READ IT IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR SINCE I’VE READ IT AND I’M STILL REELING FROM THE PLOT TWIST AND I HAVE NO ONE TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH HEEELLLLP!!! 😫 
Sidechat crying feels books reading GIF
Here is the link to my Goodreads review of Steelheart if you want to check it out:

The Living by Matt de la PeΓ±a:
The Living
This book scared me. Maybe it was because the trailer for the movie San Andreas was playing everywhere while I was reading it, and I had to go on a trip to California soon after I finished reading this so I was pretty paranoid, but this book is about a teenage guy who has a summer job on a cruise ship, and on the way to Hawaii, “The Big One” (earthquake) that everyone talks about finally hits California and completely destroys the West Coast, setting off a gigantic tsunami that rips apart the ship he’s on, and suddenly it’s this insane survival story and then there’s this whole subplot of this mysterious pandemic that’s spreading across the country, and just a whole bunch of crazy! But in a really good way! It’s really mind boggling to me because this book completely switches genres THREE TIMES in the middle of it which I thought was really cool! It starts off as a fluffy teen contemporary, then all of a sudden it’s this action/survival story, then towards the end of the book and going into the sequel it has these like, almost dystopian vibes. Which is crazy to think about because it’s not set in the distant future, this like, just happened and the whole book is SO DIFFERENT from how it starts to how it ends and you’re just sitting there like, HOW? WHAT? WHY? WHEN? WHA???? WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED???!!!! 
So yeah, if you are into really crazy suspenseful action packed books, I definitely recommend it. It’s also only a duology as far as I know, so it’ll be really easy to get through. Which I’m glad for because if it was a whole series I don’t think I’d be able to handle it. I have the sequel and I’m planning on reading it, but maybe I’ll read it next year because I think I still need to recover from the secondhand PTSD this book gave me. πŸ˜† (Also other books on my TBR are glaring at me so there’s that)😳

Submerged by Dani Pettrey:
Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1)
I really wasn’t sure about this book, but my school librarian and my friends on my BOB team really loved it, so I picked it up to help rack up points for our team and I loved it! It’s a Christian murder mystery romance which is awesome because I don’t think it’s very often that those genres coincide. 😊 Plus it’s set in ALASKA so, BONUS!!!πŸ˜„ This book was so surprisingly suspenseful and the romance wasn’t overbearing at all! I definitely ship all the different relationships in this book. Anyway, it’s about a young woman who had a bad reputation as a teen and as soon as she graduated high school she moved to Oregon to live with her Aunt and escape her past. Well, in the beginning of the book, her Aunt, who had moved back to Alaska years before, mysteriously died, and her niece who stayed in Oregon had to come back to Alaska for her funeral. When she discovers her Aunt was murdered, the police need her expertise to help solve the case, and she ends up having to work alongside her ex-boyfriend, which is kind of awkward, since she’s the one who broke his heart. This was such a great book, the mystery was really fun to read, the romance actually wasn’t annoying, (probably because this wasn’t YA?) there are cool deep sea cave diving scenes, and the cover is gorgeous! You should definitely give it a chance!

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine:
This is a touching middle grade novel about an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s learning to process the tragedy of losing her brother in a school shooting. It’s very emotional and truthful and I don’t have Asperger’s but I really found myself relating to the main character, Caitlin. I gave it five stars and I really think everyone should read it.

United We Spy by Ally Carter:
United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
This was the last book in the Gallagher Girls series and It’s when they are graduating and I read this in my first semester of my senior year when I was about to graduate and OMG Liz’s valedictorian speech at the end made me CRY I was so not ready for this series to end. It’s almost been TWO YEARS since I read it and I STILL have not fully recovered from my book hangover!

Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski:
Don't Even Think About It (Don't Even Think About It, #1)
A friend recommended this book to me and I ended up loving it! It’s a fun contemporary about what happens when everyone in a high school homeroom class develops telepathy from an accidentally contaminated batch of flu shots. It’s hilarious and I loved all the characters and I was planning to read the sequel, but my friend who recommended this to me said she didn’t like the second book as much as the first and that it was very different, so I’m a little apprehensive now, but I think I still will read it eventually.😊

My Goodreads review:

Sorry for the GIGANTIC post! I tried to make the descriptions of the books themselves brief, but explaining BOB took longer than I thought so...

But I hope you enjoyed it anyway!

What are your favorite books you read in high school? What books are you enjoying now? Have you read Steelheart? (Please say yes, I need a book buddy!)

All credit goes to the authors of the images.
what do you think?:
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  1. Ohh that BOB sounds really fun! I love competitive things honestly and I wish I'd had something to join in like that when I was in school.πŸ˜‚ Also I LOVED Dorothy Must Die and Steelheart too! Both were really quite unique and original for their genres?!? Which was super lovely. <3

    1. Yes!!!! :D I'm so glad you read Steelheart It's one of my favorite books EVER!