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Listography: 15 Popular Books That Were Required Reading In High School

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Most high schools in the United States of America have required reading lists for ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade. As I've found from being in various book clubs, not all high schools have the same required reading and was super surprised that my peers hadn't read several of these books, especially since quite a few of them went to school in the same state as I did. You'd think that school systems within each state would have very similar required reading! However, they are taking the time to read them as adults, which I find impressive.
My high school had the following English and Literature classes:  Ninth Grade English, Tenth Grade English, American Literature, British Literature, and World Literature. At my high school, if you were in honors English, you either skipped over Ninth Grade English or Tenth Grade English and were required to take American, British, and World Literature. If you were not in Honors English, you were allowed to choose between British…

Take Me Back Tuesday: Winter Dreams Christmas Love by Mary Francis Shura

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Have you ever had a book from your childhood that has stuck with you over the years? Winter Dreams Christmas Love by Mary Francis Shura is one of those books for me. I remember when I bought the book . . . it was a Friday night when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. I climbed into bed and began reading the book around eight or nine o'clock at night and finished it within a couple of hours. I loved it so much that I immediately began reading it again that night. I must have reread it four or five times that weekend. I guess you can say that I was obsessed! However, I really related to the book when I was in high school. Rereading it as an adult brought back those angsty feelings I had as a teenager. I mean who didn't wish that their crush felt the same way towards them?!?! But, as an adult, I know things don't always wrap up in a neat little bow.
Winter Dreams Christmas Love was a very well written young adult novel that spans three years of Ellen Marlowe's high sch…

Book Review: Heaven (Casteel, #1) by V.C. Andrews

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When I saw that a television movie for V.C. Andrews' book Heaven (Casteel, #1) was going to be shown on the Lifetime Channel, I decided I needed to reread the book before watching the movie as it had been several years since I read it. All I really remembered was that it was one of my least favorite of her series, and I'd have to say it is still one of my least favorite. It's not that it is poorly written because it is actually written really well. The series just wasn't my cup of tea compared to some of the other series.
Things I loved about the book were the family dynamics because there are people who have multiple generations living under one roof. So many families are dysfunctional as well, so this book really brought this issue to life. It also showed how people can be really poor and barely eeking out an existence. What I hope people learned from Heaven (Casteel, #1) is that there are people who have it worse than you do and don't be so quick to judge peopl…

Book Review: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz

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With the movie Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark coming to movie theaters in August 2019, I had to reread the book of the same name. I loved the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark trilogy when I was in middle school and remember them being very creepy. Although I don't think I ever got rid of my copies from my childhood, I didn't know where they are, so I ordered the entire trilogy with the original artwork from Amazon.com.
When the books were delivered to my house yesterday, I was excited to dive right in to the first book because the sight of the books brought back all the feels from my childhood. However, in the hour it took me to read the first book, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, I was very disappointed because it wasn't nearly as good as I remembered it to be. Although, the pictures were just as wonderful as they always were . . . and super creepy.
The stories that were still creepy that I enjoyed were Room For One More, The Hook, The Babysitter, and High Beams.…

Book Review: The Advice Column Murders (Oakwood Mystery, #3) by Leslie Nagel

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The Advice Column Murders (Oakwood Mystery, #3) by Leslie Nagel was a phenomenal read and had me guessing throughout the book. It wasn't until I was two thirds of the way through the book before I began to suspect who the real killer was and ended up being correct with that guess. Prior to that I was thinking it was one of two people. When it came to figuring out who was writing the advice column, I had absolutely no clue to who the real identity of Jackie was and was absolutely surprised beyond belief.

This installment of the Oakwood Mystery series was by far my favorite yet! I loved the fact that the romance between Charley Carpenter and Marcus Trenault began getting more serious and that Charley's father called her out on it. Bobby basically told her that she would lose Marcus if she didn't get it together. Fingers crossed that they get married in the fourth installment.

What is great about this series is that you don't have to read the previous books in the series …

Book Review: The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2) by Jill Murphy

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The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2) by Jill Murphy is the sequel to The Worst Witch (Worst Witch, #1). At just under 100 pages, it was a super quick read for me as an adult. I never knew this was a book series until recently, and I had to buy the series to read.

Children who are just beginning to read chapter books and too young to read the Harry Potter book series should definitely pick up the Worst Witch series to read, especially little girls since it is based on a girls boarding school for witches.

What I loved about this second installment of The Worst Witch book series is that it teaches lessons about friendship, jealousy, and the lesson of getting into trouble for something you did not do.

There isn't anything I can really complain about when it comes to The Worst Witch Strikes Again (Worst Witch, #2). It is age appropriate for kids between the ages five through eight and teaches valuable lessons. Fun and engaging, it even kept my attention as an adult. What mor…

Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena left me in awe. Written in alternating narratives, the reader definitely gets several points of view of the story line, and you never know if they're being a reliable narrator. I had three people that I suspected of being the murderer, and none of them ended up being the killer. I did briefly have a fourth person I suspected, but I quickly dismissed him / her and that is who it ended up being. 
What I loved about An Unwanted Guest is that it was a bit different from Shari Lapena's other novels, and it was very reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, aka Ten Little Indians, and Murder On The Orient Express. In fact, I think Lapena gives Agatha Christie a run for her money with this book. It was that fabulous! There are just not enough words for me describe how enthralling this book was. I ended up staying up into the wee hours of the night to finish it because I just had to know what happened before I went to bed. Thank g…