Saturday, November 1, 2014

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop!!

Hey guys, I am so excited to share with you all the books that I'm grateful I read. I'm only putting the life-changing ones on this giveaway, otherwise you'll be at my blog all day reading through your choices, haha. I'm grateful I read tons of books! These are the ones that really changed the way I think, live, and feel about things for one reason or another. Whether it be a really profound line in the book or the story addresses something important, these novels made a difference to me. I'm so glad that I can share them with you now, too! I'm sticking with works of fiction since this is a fiction blog, though many anthropological, philosophical, and historical texts have changed my life as well. Without further adieu, here are your choices:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By: Sherman Alexie
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike. 

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This is one of the first books I ever read by an indigenous author, and it changed the way I viewed race relations between native and non-native people. It also spurred my interest in American Indian Studies, which I got my BA in two years ago. I would have never taken that path if it hadn't been for this book, and now I've joined the fight for indigenous rights. I'm so glad that I now know what indigenous people are up against so that I can help spread the word. American Indians are only one half of one percent of our population, so the more people who know what's going on with them, the better. 

By: Hannah Harrington
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel touches on a lot of important social issues. It caused me to think about these issues in more depth. I really love when books do that. 

Pushing the Limits
By: Katie McGarry
So wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. 

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. 

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My thoughts on the book:
This book has a beautiful story, and it deals with very real problems that teens face. I feel that it's an important read. 

Pivot Point
By: Kasie West
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This book blew my mind. As a writer/wanna-be author, it opened an entirely new world to me. I had no idea that you could write a book like this. I don't know that I could pull something this complex off, but it made me realize that the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity. I don't have to try and conform to what has already been published. I need to be my own type of writer. Also, the story itself is amazing and has stuck with me for over a year now. 

Raven Boys
By: Maggie Stiefvater
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Much like the book above, this book really opened my mind to different types of writing. Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors now (I had never read her other series). Her writing is ridiculously amazing. She's an inspiration. 

Amber House
By: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Amber House, and its sequel Neverwas, both really address race issues and societal expectations. I loved that. Also, these two books ask what a person should be willing to give up to save the person closest to them. If you've already read Amber House, you can choose Neverwas as your book. I'm grateful I read both of them. 

The Sweetest Dark
By: Shawna Abe
The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time.
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.” 
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This is one of those novels that will rip your soul out and give it back to you. It defines selfless, eternal, unconditional, real love. I'm normally not one for love stories, and most love stories don't alter the way I think at all, but this one really will change how you view things. It made me rethink if I've ever loved anyone at all. It's beautiful and heartbreaking, and the sequel is, too. If you've already read The Sweetest Dark, then you can choose The Deepest Night as your book. I'm grateful I read both. 

Breaking Beautiful
By: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Breaking Beautiful deals with abuse and how it breaks someone's mind. This book is so important. It's not pretty, and Wolf pulls no punches, but more books like this need to exist. It's arguably one of the most important books on this list. 

By: Kelley Armstrong
Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
Bitten is the book that got me into fantasy/paranormal type reads. Elena was the first character I've really been able to relate to in a long time. I picked it up by chance at my local library, and I fell in love. Kelley Armstrong is still my favorite author. 

A Clockwork Orange
By: Anthony Burgess
A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title.

In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to "redeem" him—the novel asks, "At what cost?"

This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel really makes you think about a lot of things. Can people be saved? *Should* they be saved? What is good? What is evil? What is free-will? This book is horrific and wonderful. 

Shatter Me
By: Tahereh Mafi
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
This novel really shows how you can gain strength by just accepting yourself. It's an empowering read, and so important in this day and age where women are made to feel so inferior. 

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
The most anticipated story in the blockbuster Dark-Hunter series. The never-before-revealed story of the Dark-Hunter leader, Acheron.  He was made human in order to escape death, but in death he was reborn a god. . . 

 Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

Why I'm grateful I read this book:
First, let me say that the synopsis really sells this story short. Acheron's story is brutal and lovely. He has suffered abuse his entire life, both living and dead. Yet he still chooses to undergo pain to help others. He's an inspiration, and this book really made me rethink my own life and my own past. It taught me how to forgive myself and let go. It also ripped my soul out and handed it back to me in shreds. 

The giveaway itself:
You can choose one of the books from above. This giveaway is international, as long as the Book Depository ships to your location. Don't cheat. I do check these things. And umm that's it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs on this hop here!

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