Top Ten Tuesday: Inspired by HAMILTON

TOP TEN TUESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH where participants list their top ten lists of any given subject, given ahead of time.

THIS WEEK:

LOVE SONGS TO HAMILTON

We were allowed to be creative this week, with something romance-themed, and this is something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. So, let me explain this one really fast- These are the books that come to my mind for particular Hamilton songs, especially those of a romantic nature (or not- this could get crazy). I’ll also be including some “Hamilton Confessions,” so get ready to FEEL THE LOVE.

1. “TALK LESS, SMILE MORE. DON’T LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU’RE AGAINST OR WHAT YOU’RE FOR.”

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Kestrel, from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse series, is exactly this way, to me. She fights with her mind rather than impulse and brute force, and she’s obviously willing to do what it takes to survive and thrive, even when it isn’t want you would expect. And she won’t give that up, even for her own happiness. She suffers in silence, and even though that HURT MY HEART, I applaud her. Also, The Election of 1800 is in my top 3 favorite Hamilton songs, for every reason. Kestrel also applies to Wait For It- I AM THE ONE THING IN LIFE I CAN CONTROL…I’M NOT STANDING STILL, I AM LYING IN WAIT. Woo. Just got a couple shivers.

2. “THERE’S A MILLION THINGS I HAVEN’T DONE, BUT JUST YOU WAIT”

Darrow. What began as a revolution for a higher cause is becoming his own twisted vengeance, and I’m loving it. There are big things to come from him, and I can’t wait for Morning Star to destroy our souls. Darrow, like Hamilton, is not throwing away his shot on something that isn’t worth it.

3. “EVERY DAY’S A TEST OF OUR CAMARADERIE AND BRAVERY”

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I really love this song (Stay Alive) and this line. It reminds me of Thane and Ciena in Star Wars: Lost Stars because they both have their friendship so severely tested in a time of war. Not only their own, but their relationships with others, as loyalty and duty clash and there is no way to escape. /STAY ALIVE UNTIL THIS HORROR SHOW IS PAST/

4. “ANSWER FOR THE ACCUSATIONS I LAY AT YOUR FEET, OR PREPARE TO BLEED, GOOD MAN”

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Oh, Kate. She’s thirsty for revenge, and she won’t let anyone sway her from her purpose. Blood for blood is what she stands for, and after her father’s sacrifice, there is no chance that she will back down from this fight. The emotion and wild hate that eats away at Burr in these last few songs are so characteristic of the villain, and that desperation is what radiates from Kate during portions of Vengeance Road. She demands satisfaction. Read the book to find out if she gets it or not.

5. “THERE IS NO MORE STATUS QUO. BUT THE SUN COMES UP AND THE WORLD STILL SPINS.”

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Oh, I’m so in love with Thomas Jefferson right now. He’s devilish and dangerous and a little bit conniving, but he and Madison are a wickedly wonderful (and often hilarious) team (SUCH A BLUNDER, SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME WONDER WHY I EVEN BRING THE THUNDER) See what I mean? Anyway. In Bone Gap, the status quo has been completely flushed down the drain. People disappear, strange figures creep through the mist, and no one believes the Finn O’Sullivan is telling the truth. But it’s true- life goes on.

6. “YA BEST G’WAN RUN BACK WHERE YA COME FROM”

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The issue of immigration is not played around with in Hamilton, and it plays a large factor in Joyride as well. Carly and Arden aren’t supposed to be together, aren’t supposed to even be friends. But they overcome the odds (not just in that) to RISE UP above what everyone expects.

7. “WE LAUGH AND WE CRY AND WE BREAK AND WE MAKE OUR MISTAKES.”

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If there was ever a book about how decisions affect us, it’s this one. The story of the same girl, paralleled in a ‘what-if’ format, trails through the books, offering us a look at the question we all ask- What if everything was different? This is two different stories, different mistakes: AND LIFE DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE.

8. “NOW I’M THE VILLAIN IN YOUR HISTORY.”

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Captain Hook is the villain. But history books are written by the winners, are they not? Here’s a story that no one has heard- the story of Hook, and how Peter Pan ruined his life. BURR, (PAN) MY FIRST FRIEND, MY ENEMY…

9. “THERE ARE MOMENTS THAT THE WORDS DON’T REACH; THERE IS A SUFFERING TOO TERRIBLE TO NAME.”

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Even though they’re about two different things, IT’S QUIET UPTOWN has some really relevant lines that apply to All the Truth That’s in Me. I love this book for the fact that the character works through her challenges- without words-and redeems her relationships with those she thought she had lost forever. She does the unimaginable. I’ll be completely honest- the first few times I listened to this, I wasn’t affected. Then one day, I was driving by myself and started BAWLING. And now it doesn’t stop. I cry every time- I can’t pay attention to the words when it comes on, because it makes me so sad, especially now that I know Angelica is there. Full Angelica disclosure to come.

10. “HE WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED. I WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED.”

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This is my favorite one. Teach and Anne are both yearning for more, both yearning for each other, but they don’t rush in like foolish children. Teach is a little headstrong, yes, but he doesn’t go completely mad and act on every random impulse. Neither does Anne. She plans for her future, despite what her heart is telling her. In the same way, Hamilton chooses the path most obvious to find what he wants, and Angelica denies her heart selflessly. She does what she has to do.

So here’s my big confession: I can’t stand Eliza. I don’t listen to HELPLESS, SATISFIED breaks my heart every. time. and IT’S QUIET UPTOWN hurts because Angelica is seeing the two people she loves most from the outside. Until BURN, I don’t even want to hear about Eliza, and it’s drives me CRAZY that Hamilton has a stupid affair when he has TWO women who are hopelessly in love with him. And OH MY GOSH, Renee Elise Goldberry has a fantastic voice. But yeah, I don’t like Eliza. Half the time I don’t even like Hamilton. Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Washington hold my heart. Sometimes Burr does, too (curse you, Leslie Odom Jr., for giving him that delicious voice). Seriously, though. ANGELICA SCHUYLER. She’s amazing. And that comma…”My dearest, Angelica…” UGH. MY HEART. THOUGHTS OF YOU SUBSIDE, THEN I GET ANOTHER LETTER. I CANNOT PUT THE NOTION AWAY…

I’m DYING. But I’ll stop the Hamilton rant for now…because my TTT has gone crazy. But this is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had writing up a post. I hope you all have enjoyed it as well!

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EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU

“You sound like Lorde. But like, with maple syrup.”  

OFFICIAL SUMMARY

(goodreads.com)

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

MY THOUGHTS:

Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone, everywhere, in every world with every choice, needs to read this book. We’ve all finished a book and wondered what the character’s life would have been like if it had never happened- what if she didn’t go to the coffee shop that night? Would she still have met her best friend? What if he got injured and didn’t go to that college? Would he have met the love of his life? This book answers that about its character. Fiona- or Fi, as she’s called in another life- has two different paths, two different universes that show us just how twisted life can be- how no, you won’t always have the same ending.

Fiona is a great character in both her stories. She shows the same basic qualities- strength, loyalty, kindness- to those she cares about, even though those people differ in each story. She’s a dynamic character, and it’s easy to see how the events in both realities shape her life, change her, make her…more. And those events are so huge and so different that there’s really no way to compare them. She climbs these obstacles that seem insurmountable- and her weaknesses are made different as well. Toward the middle of the book, you can see where the two paths come the closest, but while one soars, with Fiona finding herself in the place she’s meant to be, the other plummets, showing us that even those with the most possibilities can still sink to the depths of human despair. And yet, even when her story is at its worst, both girls find a reason to keep going.

Now, the secondary characters, which are most notably the guys. Oh, they’re great. Ryan, the brother. Marcus and Jackson King, the brother-duo that make appearances in both stories for different reasons, at different times. David, the one who sees beyond the scars first, and Trent, the ‘demi-god’. Personally, Jackson and Trent were my favorites, and I couldn’t breathe through all the twists and turns in Fi’s relationship with the four of them that weren’t related to her. Romantic and non, each relationship was intricate, perfectly carved, and in Fiona’s story, there is an ENORMOUS shocker that leaves you gasping when it comes to the Kings. There were, in fact, two different endings (in fact, you might call them beginnings) for each girl, and it was amazing to see how each story intertwined while you knew things about the characters from their other lives that they hadn’t realized themselves.

The only complaint I had (and this is unfixable, because it was just my brain short-circuiting) was that I got kind of confused in the middle of the book. I couldn’t keep track of which Fiona had done what, which college they had chosen, which boy they liked, so I had to skim a little bit so as to not get lost in the details. That’s it. But my oh my, the endings made my heart sing. They were fantastic, and I’ve never had my heart torn between two possibilities and had BOTH of them come true! It just amazed me. I love this book. So much so that even though it stomped on my heart a couple times, I want to read it again. Right now. And forever.

WHAT TO WATCH:

Honestly, not a lot that I can remember was objectionable in this book, making it all the more wonderful. Of course, I haven’t been able to write my review until now and I finished it a week ago, so I may have missed a bit. But really, there’s no sex, very little language, no drugs, and only violence in that one of the girls breaks a bone in a lacrosse tournament. However, her best friend is a lesbian, and while it’s not discussed in detail, there are some mentions of that, such as her friend in college who’s found ‘a girl she’s in love with’ and so on. But I think that’s about it.

I still highly recommend this book for all readers, teen and up. It was so different from anything that I’ve ever read, and I love that it was so well-written that it accomplished its purpose, which was to show that no path is set- the what-ifs in our lives are all very possible. Five stars and two thumbs up for Ms. McStay.

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

IT’S HAPPENING

THE SLUMP IS OVER

At least, I really hope it is. But I’ve started a new book (one of many) and this one finally caught my attention, even though I hadn’t planned on reading it the first time I saw it on Goodreads. But I got that breathless feeling that you get when you realize that finally, finally this could be the one that makes you fall in love with reading after a short hiatus. So here’s the culprit, the one you can all be grateful to for resurrecting me from the death of TV and sleep:

     Look at the beautiful cover. So creative and unique- eyecatching, wouldn’t you agree? This is two stories- of Fiona, who was in a terrible accident as a child that left her face scarred and the girl herself reclusive, and Fi, the girl who could have been. Told in alternating voices, it’s a tribute to the “what-if”s in life, nad I’m eager to see what happens- will the stories merge? Will one girl be happier than the other? Will something terrible happen to Fi as well? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

     I mean, that’s true of most books, but here, just coming out of my slump, it’s making me all squishy with excitement inside. I can’t wait to read more than the two chapters I’ve already made it through! You all should also give it a try and tell me what you think- I don’t want to be alone in loving this book. Hopefully that love will last through the final pages.

     Tell me what books got YOU out of your reading slump!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!