The Book Stack…

Teach Mentor Texts hosts It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Click on the image to join the conversation.

Or maybe this post should be called: “The Book Stack?” with a big bold question mark. Seriously, I have stacks and stacks and stacks of books we’ve read, books we want to read, and books we are reading again and again. The problem is getting them from the stack to the blog. (Which is a better problem to have than the issue of getting from to read to the have read stack.)

A few weeks ago, I saw some people participating in IT’S MONDAY, WHAT ARE YOU READING?, a meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.  I’m thinking maybe this is a solution. So in the same vein as The Book Stack, only maybe a little less intimidating for me to keep up with, I’ll informally share the books we’re reading around my house. The added bonus is connecting with a community of readers.

Today you just get my voice. Here are two YA books I’ve read that are sticking with me…

BUNHEADS by Sophie Flack (Published by Poppy, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company; released October 2011; review copy provided)– This book is about a dancer in an ultra-prestigious ballet company. What gave me pause and made me want to read the book is the author danced with the New York City Ballet from 2000 -2009. I was not disappointed and will add this to my (very selective) shelf of go-to YA books. (This is my personalized collection of mentor texts I use as a YA writer.) I am impressed by the way Flack took something that seems so untouchable to me (a prestigious ballet company) and placed me smack in the middle of that world. I felt like I was part of the  ballet culture, like I was sitting in the dressing room or standing backstage watching the dancers perform. Flack also masters tension in a way that makes me want to flip to page one and read this book again just to study the art of her craft.

Lucky us…here’s a video of Sophie Flack talking about her experience writing BUNHEADS.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART by Kim Culbertson (Published by Sourcebooks Fire, an imprint of Sourcebooks; 2011; review copy provided) — I wanted to read this book because it was set in Italy. One of the things I really liked about ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins was the chance to be surrounded by a new place. INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART makes me feel like I’ve visited Italy after reading the book. (Or maybe I should say it confirms for me that I should visit Italy as soon as possible!) Much like BUNHEADS, the author makes me feel like I’m part of something that seems so far away from my world. I like it when books do this to a reader.

As I read, I noticed the way Culbertson developed the characters. We get to travel along with the main character, Jess, and watch as she learns to not only depend on herself, but trust again after her heart has been broken. At the end of the book, I feel like I’ve met each of the characters. This is what I want readers to feel like when they read my stories. Here’s a book trailer for INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART.

As always, I can’t wait to hear about the books in your book stack. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re reading…and join up with other readers at It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? via Jen and Kelly at Teach Mentor Texts.

{Also, I posted about revision on Ruth Ayres Writes. Click here for my post titled “Hacking.”}