Thursday, August 14, 2014

Topics Time: Boarding School

Welcome to Topics Time, where I give you a few recommendations based on a particular topic for the week, including new releases and some older backlisted books you can find for cheap or at your library if you're on a budget. This week's discussion? Boarding School!

Thanks to Sarah, who wanted to know about some books set in boarding schools that I would give to people to read!

I could give you something really obvious like Anna and the French Kiss, but I'm hoping by now most people have read that (and if not PLEASE GO NOW READ IT). So I'm going to pick some great ones that are maybe a little less high profile.

1. A Really Awesome Mess by Brendan Halpin and Trish Cook
What I was most impressed with about this book is how it dealt with serious topics and real issues teens have without being preachy or hitting you over the head that it's about kids dealing with depression and anger and anxiety (among other things). It takes place at a "reform" school where teens deal with issues they've been having along with attending classes so as not to fall behind in their school work. There's also a lot of humor woven into the story, including a really awesome pig-kidnapping scene at a fair. I've got a full review of it if you want to read more about this one.

2. Winger by Andrew Smith
I know I said I would try and get less high profile books, but this one is so phenomenal, I had to put it on the list. This is without a doubt one of my favorite books I've read. It follows Ryan Dean West (I still can't get over how much I love his name) and his quests at his private boarding school. He's on the rugby team, he has some kick ass friends, and he pees in a gatorade bottle and gives it to his nemesis. Enough said, right? To add on, it's got some really awesome illustrations and comics periodically in the book, and they are so funny. I felt so many emotions and experienced hysterical laughter crying (that was one emotion happening all at once). I've got a longer review of it, and I highly recommend you purchase this one because I love having it sit on my shelf.

3. Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
I've recommended this one a few times via Twitter or Tumblr, but here's me saying again that this book was extremely cute. I reviewed it a while ago, but even though I read it more than a year ago, it still sticks out in my mind as such a fun book. This one is a cooking reality competition for teens, and it's a yearlong (? I think?) program where the kids stay in deluxe apartments while attending cooking classes and other seminars in between televised competitions. And obviously there's some spicy (see what I did there?) romance scenes which make the book that much more lovable.

4. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
This is one of those "I read this before I blogged" series in that I don't have any posts for them, but they will forever be one of my favorites, and I hold a special place for the characters (one, in particular) in my heart. This is for the historical fiction, magical realism lover, and this trilogy is beautiful. It's full of complex characters, emotions, and fantastical elements. I don't really want to give much about the plot away, but it revolves around Gemma, the main character, attending a Victorian boarding school and coping with the prophetic visions she's having. These books are beautiful, and be prepared for emotions to be unleashed. I actually read the third one in high school, and my best friend warned me not to read the last half in class, and of course I ignored her, which led to me openly sobbing in my honors english class. My (extremely hot) teacher had to come to my desk and ask if I was going to be okay. Oops. :)


  1. Aww man! This is so weird...I literally JUST thought of the idea to do a recs post on boarding school books like a couple of days ago, but your feature beat me to it! I hope you don't mind if I still end up doing it in a few months :) I actually haven't read any of these, but I own Winger and really want to go to it soon...I've heard really great things about it! And I also recently just bought all the books in the Gemma Doyle series, so I hope to get to those ones, too.

    1. Haha no worries at all! (If you send me a link to it when you have it up, I can edit mine and put it in here!) I feel like there are so many bloggers now we're bound to do similar posts/features, etc. So I always hope I'm not copying because I totally don't intend to!

  2. I love this list, the only book I knew of that involved boarding schools was Winger, which I have been wanting to pick up for awhile. I read The Diviner's by Libba Bray and want to get into more of her books! I haven't even heard of the other two so I'm definitely going to be looking into them since I was the one that requested this topic lol I love a good book involving a boarding school :)


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