The Page Sage

The Page Sage was started because I love reading and writing- it just seemed like the natural way to combine my two passions. It's where I discuss books I love and some I don't, as well as everything from book covers to feminist literature.

16 Books For the End of Summer

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hope you had lots of fun and reading during last days of Summer :-) Since vacation is coming to an end we would like to make Summer to Fall season shift easier. We asked several BookLikes bloggers and BookLikes authors to pick book recommendations best for the end of summer. Here are 16 books of various genres which will leave you in good spirits and with positive energy.

 

We're easing Fall with books - enjoy reading! 

 

 

Michael form Literary Exploration wrote :  It was winter here in Australia (which was still hot) so my recommendations are a little cold and dark. Let's see:

 

 

Machine by James Smythe

 

A soldier haunted by his memories turns to a machine to take his nightmares away, but it takes everything away; now his wife is determined to rebuild him. Dubbed as Frankenstein for the 21st century, The Machine is a wonderfully dark and complex novel that really deserves more attention.

 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra 

 

In a small village in war torn Chechnya, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena explores the dangers three very different people experience. I'm not a fan of the heat so I do enjoy a novel set in a colder climate and this one was perfect; the imagery, the characters and the proses in this debut was masterfully executed.

 

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 

 

In a small town in northern Iceland 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttiris waiting her execution for her part in the brutal murder of two men. I know I'm hooked on these cold and dark novels, that is what I like but I couldn't go past mentioning this amazing debut about the last execution of an Icelandic carried out in Denmark. Extra bonus, Hannah Kent is a fellow Australian.

 

 

Sara from The Page Sage points to four books:


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 

 

This is one of those books that I always recommend to everybody. It’s perfect for summer because of the deserted island setting (which means a lot of the story is on a beach), but it’s also guaranteed to make you go back to school/work feeling empowered.

 

 An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 

 

Even though I’ve never actually been on a road trip, I equate them with summer. And An Abundance of Katherines has an awesome road trip. It will also prepare you for all the math you’ll have to do once school starts again, but in a way that is actually really cool. (Trust me: this is coming from a person who panics over math tests.)

 

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 

 

Summer is also a perfect time for traveling and in Wanderlove, Bria goes on the backpacking trip of a lifetime. You’ll be transported to Central America. This book features gorgeous artwork by the author, too, which just adds to the amazing atmosphere. 

 

Poison by Bridget Zinn

 

Summer books aren't just contemporary novels, of course! Poison is a light, fast-paced, fun fairy tale about a poison master set out to kill her best friend. (But seriously, it really is fun and light.) It’s the perfect book for some outdoor reading as you soak up the last of the summer sun.

 

 

 Kinga the Eclectic Reader prepared books perfect for younger people:

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer 

 

Uplifting memoir of an African boy who dreamed big and didn't stop learning even though he had to drop out from school. Using things he found in scrapyard, he built a windmill and provided his small village in Malawi with access to electricity. Great motivation for anyone still studying – just in time to for the school year!

 

Blood Red Road by Moira Young 

 

If you don’t want to think about school just yet, here is a book for teenagers (the actual ones and those at heart) full of adventure and spunk, perfect to chase away the approaching melancholy of autumn. It’s a story of Saba who walks around the dry and dusty post-apocalyptic world in search of her twin brother.

 

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard 

 

The book is narrated by Henry who looks back on one very hot Labor Day weekend (that’s the first weekend of September for all non-Americans out there) when he was thirteen and his life changed forever. It marked not only the end of summer for him but also possibly the end of his childhood. Sweet and sad at the same time – a perfect read for early September.

 

***

 

 

BookLikes author Sharon E. Cathcart says: All three of these were exceptional reads, light enough for the beach but entertaining enough to keep you going.

 

 

Deception by Jaimey Grant 

 

England 1818. Determined to find love, Aurora Glendenning hides her wealth and status, wanting a man to love her for her...one who will overlook her mistakes. When she meets Levi, Lord Greville, she thinks her prayers have been answered. There's just one problem: he needs wealth to right his wrongs.

 

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

 

In this fantastical novel, Disney's Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare.

 

Dancing with Paris  by Juliette Sobanet 

 

Straitlaced marriage therapist Claudia Davis had a plan—and it definitely did not involve getting pregnant from a one-night stand or falling for a gorgeous French actor. She thinks her life can’t possibly get more complicated. But when Claudia takes a tumble in her grandmother’s San Diego dance studio, she awakens in 1950s Paris in the body of Ruby Kerrigan, the glamorous star of a risqué cabaret—and the number-one suspect in the gruesome murder of a fellow dancer

 

 

BookLikes author Lauren B. Davis picks three incredible reads: 

 

All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West 

 

First published in 1931. The companion novel to Virginian Woolf’s  (who was Sackville-West’s friend and lover) Room of One’s Own, this is a perfect little book (170 pages) for reading in a quiet summer garden.  A proper Victorian lady, Lady Slane, now widowed, had devoted her life to others, but now – gracefully but firmly – removes herself from under the stifling wings of her well-meaning, if pompous, children and rents a small house to live out her remaining days in as she pleases, socializing with an eccentric group of new acquaintances who scandalize the children!

 

Utterly delightful and just as relevant today as when first published.

 

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

 

First published in 1940. Not only does this novel have the best title in the world – can you think of a book it would not suit? – but the steam and heat of the humid south rises off every page. 

 

A beautiful and wistful meditation on isolation, loneliness and a yearning to connect. Just the sort of bittersweet sentiments appropriate to the end of summer.

 

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson 

A modern classic in which the sensory details of landscape are so vivid one is utterly immersed in them. Full of compassion and grace. A haunting story of how our desire and attempts to love and connect with another are what make us fully human, even when faced with the permanence of loss and the ephemeral quality of  love. 

 

It doesn't matter what season it is, it’s always the right season for this book.  I can do no better than quote it: 

 

To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it . . . and when do our senses know anything so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing—the world will be made whole.

 

***

 

Thank you all for awesome book recommendations. Now we can jump into September and upcoming Fall with hands full of books. 

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Roomies - Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando Bass Ackwards and Belly Up - Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain Thousand Words - Jennifer Brown Parallel - Lauren   Miller Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood - Ann Brashares Anatomy of a Boyfriend - Daria Snadowsky

College Road Trip

Looking for some great YA books set in college?

 

This list should have you covered. :)

Source: http://thepagesage.blogspot.com/2013/08/college-road-trip.html
SPOILER ALERT!
Something Strange and Deadly - A Darkness Strange and Lovely - A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 4

If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly.It's hard to believe that it's already the last week!!
 

This week's question is about choice:

“‘Eleanor, you have a choice,’ [Jie] said softly. ‘You always have a choice’” (p. 166, Something Strange & Deadly)
How do you think this quote relates to the overall theme of Something Strange and Deadly? Do you think Eleanor behaves as if she has a choice at the start of the book? What about at the end of the book? And do other characters behave as if they have a choice or do some see themselves as victims of circumstance? 
 
*Warning: Spoilers for Something Strange and Deadly ahead!*
 

Eleanor behaves like she doesn't have a choice at the start of the book. Her goal is clear: get Elijah back, save her family, and then go back to doing all the things young ladies are supposed to do. But can you blame her? The alternative is turning her back on her mother, the one family member she has left (since Elijah, as far as Eleanor knows, is off galavanting across Europe). It's not like there are an abundance of alternative paths for women in the 19th century and, until she meets Jie, Eleanor wouldn't have imagined becoming a Spirithunter.

By the end of the novel, Eleanor sees that she is capable of anything. She's changed tremendously and yet she doesn't go with the Spirithunters. Why? She still can't abandon her mother. While Jie is right and there is always a choice, abandoning a mentally unstable, older woman is not the morally correct choice. So Eleanor has to wait and get things settled before she can go after what she wants. The difference, however, is that Eleanor knows what she wants.

She isn't just her mother's daughter, or Elijah's sister. Eleanor is her own person. She makes her own decisions and trusts in her own mind.

Do you feel Eleanor has a choice?

Source: http://thepagesage.blogspot.com/2013/08/something-strange-and-deadly-book-club_28.html

Looking for Books!

What are some of your favorite YA books set in college?

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I want to hug this book. I want to hug Rainbow Rowell for writing this book. And then I want to tell everybody to go read this book.


Not sure if I'm being clear, but I really loved this book.

 

Read the rest of the review on The Page Sage.

 

Reblogged from LitReactor :

Good advice.

Something Strange and Deadly - A Darkness Strange and Lovely - A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 3

If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly. The author, Susan Dennard, has made this book club even MORE awesome by adding in prizes (including free books, signed stuff, etc.) to the mix, so you should really hop on over to her website to sign up.

This week's question is about romance. ;)

Eleanor finds herself more and more intrigued by (perhaps even attracted to) Daniel Sheridan, the inventor of the Spirit-Hunters. What is it about him that appeals to her? And vice versa, what do you think attracts Daniel to Eleanor?
Then there’s Clarence Wilcox, the seemingly perfect eligible bachelor. Why do you think Eleanor doesn’t like Clarence?
 

CLARENCE.

Clarence essentially embodies society- he has all the right manners, all the right clothes, and plenty of moolah. Even as he deals with the stress of the Deadly events happening in Philadelphia, he continuously maintains appearances. Most importantly, he expects a certain way of behavior from Miss Fitt, and while he finds her lack of decorum occasionally amusing, he also expects her to grow out of it. In this way, he is demanding and condescending, even if he does have a chance for redemption.
 
(Also, Clarence is chosen for Eleanor by her mother. Even if this was how it was done in 1876, what teenager willingly goes for the date their parents have picked out?)
 

DANIEL.

Then there's Daniel. Ah, Daniel. With his inventions, loyalty, and green eyes. He's rough around the edges and yes, a scalawag, but he also has the freedom that Eleanor craves. More importantly, he may mock her from time to time ("Empress"), but he doesn't expect her to follow society's silly rules while in his company. He just expects her to be her. While Clarence grows to like Eleanor, Daniel grows to respect her, and that makes all of the difference.
 
Would you choose Clarence or Daniel?
Source: http://thepagesage.blogspot.com/2013/08/something-strange-and-deadly-book-club_21.html

Book Review: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

If You Could Be Mine: A Novel - Sara Farizan

If You Could Be Mine

 

If You Could Be Mine was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It sounded like the kind of book that would make me cry, hold me breath, and, most of all, think

 

But did it live up to my expectations? Not exactly.

 

Read the rest of the review at The Page Sage.

Over at The Page Sage, we’re joined by librarian Kelly Jensen. Name sound familiar? You may know her from her fantastic book blog, Stacked, or her brilliant articles on Book Riot. There are more links below, but first things first: What is it like being a librarian?

 

So…what is it like being a librarian? Find out in the interview!

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) - Susan Dennard A Darkness Strange and Lovely - Susan Dennard A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 2

If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly. The author, Susan Dennard, has made this book club even MORE awesome by adding in prizes (including free books, signed stuff, etc.) to the mix, so you should really hop on over to her website to sign up.

This week's question is about human nature:

Magic and ghostly elements frequent the Something Strange and Deadly series. Even though corpses do awaken from time to time and hauntings are hardly that uncommon, the people of Philadelphia seem determined to pretend the Dead are not a growing threat.
Do you think that’s part of human nature? To push on and ignore the danger at our door? Or do you think Philadelphia’s ignorance—or for that matter, any ignorance/false sense of safety in modern days as well—can be pinned on politicians? Can you think of any examples where something similar happened, but rather than the Dead, it was a natural disaster/growing crime rate/etc.?
 
It is very much a part of human nature to want to ignore the ugly things in our life. I was actually just having a conversation with someone yesterday how when people talk about "cleaning up cities," that often means kicking out homeless people. And because that conversation is on my mind, I'm going to be using this as an example throughout this post.

So, when the homeless are forced to relocate, do these people magically have somewhere to live? Of course not, but they are someone else's problem now. Meanwhile, the leaders of a city can point and go "Look! The percentage of homeless in our city has decreased so much! Don't forget to vote!" (To get an idea of what I'm talking about, check out thisthis, or this.)
 
In the context of Something Strange and Deadly, is this mentality any different from how Philly treats the Spirit-Hunters? Do what you have to, they are essentially saying, but just keep it quiet. Out of the public eye. Appearance is more important than actual safety.
 
So in a way, these means of "dealing" with problems, can be pinned on politicians. If they can claim that their streets are safer, even if it's all superficial, they can use that to advance their careers. But truly, it's the people's fault for not calling them out on this. Other than Eleanor, who stands up for the Spirit-Hunters throughout the book? Who sees the importance of vanquishing the Dead instead of just hoping they'll vanish? 
 
How many times, when you were in a city, have you passed a homeless person and pretended not to see them?

It isn't just the politicians' responsibility to deal with our society's problems. It's ours, too. And it may be human nature to ignore the ugly stuff, but that doesn't make it go away. Whether the problem is the Dead, or helping the homeless, or Global Warming- this list could go on and on-it is up to us to do something about it.

Eleanor learns this. It's about time we did, too. 
Source: http://thepagesage.blogspot.com/2013/08/something-strange-and-deadly-book-club_15.html
Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life” ~ Walt Disney

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath -

The hands-down, best part of Everneath? The formatting. As boring as that sounds, let me explain, because it's actually really cool. Everneath starts after Nikki returns from the Underworld. Therefore, each chapter heading counts down how many days she has until she must go back. HOWEVER, the story is also told from before she went to the Everneath with the same countdown. This is a brilliant way to handle flashbacks and gives the reader a better insight into her character. 

Another great part is that Cole's character isn't glorified. It is made very clear that any relationship he may have had/has with Nikki is abusive- he's manipulative, selfish, and dangerous. This doesn't mean that he lacks a sympathetic side- people are complex, after all- but his many negative behaviors aren't romanticized. His character has a lot of potential to develop throughout the rest of the series. Is he redeemable? We'll just have to wait and see!

Then there's Jack, and here is where I began to have troubles. Jack is agood guy, ultimately. It's easy to understand what Nikki sees in him and I love that they have a history of friendship (before their dating days). In fact, it's that history that allowed me to really believe in their commitment to each other. However, there are a few behaviors of Jack's that really bugged me, like when he pinned her to her locker in order to make her to talk to him, or grabbed her arm for the same purpose. Or when he told his friend that he didn't have Jack's permission to date Nikki three years before the book takes place. (Made worse by the fact that Jack was going out with, as Nikki puts it, "everybody" at this time, though apparently Nikki didn't have the same right.) This manhandling and possessiveness isn't okay- in fact, it's sexist behavior, plain and simple, from a character that the reader is supposed to find attractive and romantic. In the whole scheme of the book, these are small moments, but they are small moments that perpetuate negative standards.

On the upside, there is a great family dynamic. In fact, I wish there had been more, especially with her younger brother. But Nikki really cares about her father and he is trying to be a good parent in his way. Both Nikki and her father have to grow and throughout their difficulties, their love is evident. I loved that Ashton shows how the family is affected by all of the paranormal stuff that's going on, while they're still coping with the problems in their everyday lives.

Another positive? The mythology. Again, another aspect of which I wish there had been more. There isn't just Greek mythology, though of course Everneath centers around the Persephone tale, but there is a hint of Egyptian mythology, too. How Ashton combines the myth with secret societies and modern day is superb and I'm looking forward to seeing how this part of the story continues in Everbound.

Reblogged from Jessica (HDB):
Truer words were never spoken.
Truer words were never spoken.
Source: http://beautiful-dysfunction.tumblr.com
Something Strange and Deadly - A Darkness Strange and Lovely - A Dawn Most Wicked - Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 1

If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly. The author, Susan Dennard, has made this book club even MORE awesome by adding in prizes (including free books, signed stuff, etc.) to the mix, so you should really hop on over to her website to sign up.

 
This week's Discussion Q is all about Mama Fitt:
 

Eleanor’s mother expects a lot from poor El. She wants Eleanor to marry and save the family from financial ruin (despite the fact that Eleanor is only 16), she wants Eleanor to become friends with the rich “cool” kids (like Allison or the Virtue Sisters), and she wastes money the Fitt family doesn’t have on new gowns and fancy house decor. She demands Eleanor behave according to “proper etiquette” and squeeze into a corset that deforms her ribs.Do you think, given the time period, Mrs. Fitt is justified in her demands on Eleanor? Why or why not?

Mrs. Fitt is a complicated lady. On one hand, she is constantly nagging Eleanor and putting an impossible amount of pressure on her. She is so deeply involved in superficial things such as societal appearance that she is angry at Eleanor for (allegedly) fainting from heatstroke. 
But is it fair to just write Mrs. Fitt off like that? 

THAT WOULD BE A NO.

Let's look back on Mrs. Fitt's life in the past few years, shall we? She's lost her husband to what seems to be madness and her son has been galavanting around other continents while the Fitts fall into financial ruin, leaving her as a single mother with very few prospects. 
 
Like all mothers, Mrs. Fitt wants the best for her daughter, and that means that they have to maintain their social standing. And, well, that reputation is crumbling all around them. What kind of future can Eleanor have if they are destitute? No wonder Mrs. Fitt is so worried- if Eleanor doesn't marry someone wealthy, they will not just lose their reputation. They'll lose everything

BUT, WELL, THAT'S NOT ENTIRELY TRUE EITHER.

Of course, if Mrs. Fitt was a bit more practical when it came to expenses, Eleanor wouldn't have to marry so young. Eleanor does her best to manage the finances, but when her mother insists on throwing lavish parties and maintaining appearances, it's more than a bit difficult. Come up with a financial budget and then come up with a plan. But Mrs. Fitt doesn't even entertain these ideas. 
 
Ultimately, that's not fair to Eleanor.

OF COURSE, MAMA FITT DOESN'T HAVE A TON OF OPTIONS.

What jobs were available for women in 1876? More to the point, what jobs were available for women of high standing in 1876? Getting a job would be admitting that the Fitts had fallen, so not only would Mrs. Fitt have lost her husband and her son, but she'd also lose her good reputation and all of her social connections. And while it's easy for someone in 2013 to say, "Oh well, they obviously weren't real friends anyway," it's a lot harder when these people are your only friends. 
 
So when one's options are...
A.) Lose your social status, probably move into a smaller house in a less well-to-do neighborhood, sell your belongings, and lose your friends (plus your servant, Mary, who you are fairly close with) or
B.) Have your daughter learn the acceptable etiquette of the time so that she can marry a rich gentleman and have a comfortable, respectable future while also caring for her mother who doesn't have to give up anything

 ...B definitely seems like the more appealing choice, at least from Mrs. Fitt's perspective.

SO IS MRS. FITT OFF THE HOOK?

Well, she's still selfish and she most certainly isn't thinking about Eleanor's feelings in all of this. Mrs. Fitt is also being impractical in many aspects. But considering her grief, the time period, and her desperation, I don't think it's fair of Eleanor to call her mother "an empty shell of a woman." Despite everything, Mrs. Fitt really does care about her daughter and is just doing her best in a world that isn't doing anything to help her. 
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell Looking for Alaska - John Green The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke Beauty Queens - Libba Bray Guitar Girl - Sarra Manning I Am the Cheese - Robert Cormier The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - Every Day - David Levithan Wanderlove - Kirsten Hubbard

My Ultimate Sequel Wishlist

If only these sequels actually existed...

Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Fans of Susan Beth Pfeifer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT will love THE ROAD. Seriously, it may be an Adult book but YA fans should really read it. Find out why by reading the rest of the review.