Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery by Abby Sher

breaking free

First and foremost, let me start with this: This book is important. It should be read by teenage girls and their parents because human trafficking is one of the scariest and least talked about issues facing our girls today, and so many people don’t know what it really is and how easily could happen to those they know and love. Sex slavery is not just something for third world countries and far-off places; it’s everywhere and can happen to anyone.

Breaking Free is well composed and full of power. Sher brings together three stories of incredible women who have survived unspeakable horrors in a way that is raw, jarring, and eye-opening. What makes this book great, though, is her ability to successfully make us aware of the all-out pervasiveness of trafficking while also providing us with hope through the testimonies of strong women and through practical, informative ways to get involved in ending this practice.

As a teacher, I wish I could require all parents (and their children, when they’re ready) to read this. I know it’s making me hold my daughter a little tighter tonight, and I wish parents would educate themselves as to the dangers around their children. Abby Sher has done an amazing job putting together a valuable resource and an answer to the questions of what trafficking is, how it can happen, and why we can’t ignore it.

I strongly urge you to check out Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery!

The Book Thief, the book and the movie

book thief


I’m usually fascinated by and really connect with Holocaust literature, but when I tried to read The Book Thief a while back I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know why, and many people would think that’s insane, but I just didn’t like it.

When the movie came out, though, I was intrigued… and just got around to watching it recently. And, while the book didn’t hold my interest, I found that the movie really did. It was well done, and the casting/acting was superb. If you didn’t get into the book, like me, you should definitely check out this movie!


book_thief movie

The Maze Runner Official Trailer

I love Dylan O’Brien as Thomas… What are your casting thoughts for this one?


The Maze Runner by James Dashner

maze runner


With the movie version of The Maze Runner coming out in September, which looks amazing based on all I’ve seen so far, I wanted to get started with actually reading the series.

In The Maze Runner, a teenaged boy named Thomas suddenly wakes up in a sort of elevator. He has amnesia – he doesn’t remember anything about who he is or how he got there, but he remembers basic things about how to live, the names of things, and feels like he recognizes stuff but doesn’t know why. At the end of the lift, the doors open to reveal a group of other teenaged boys stuck in a maze. Just as Thomas starts to figure out how the maze society works, another unexpected thing happens: a girl is delivered in the box the very next day, the first girl ever to be sent to the maze, and she has a scary message to deliver. Throughout the course of the book, Thomas tries to remember anything that would explain why they’re there and how they could possibly make it out of the maze.

I don’t even really know how to classify this book – it’s not dystopian as there’s nothing seemingly “perfect” about the society Thomas suddenly finds himself in, and Dashner doesn’t reveal much to us about life outside of the maze until the very end so I hesitate to call it a post-apocolytic novel, but it’s pretty clear that something big is happening. As the reader tries to figure it out along with Thomas and the other kids trapped in the maze, we’re a part of and adventure that is definitely thrilling.

Fans of books like the Divergent and Hunger Games series’ will find The Maze Runner interesting, though it doesn’t have the romantic element found in those. I’ll definitely be adding this title to my 8th grade summer reading list – it’s a great option for students probably 7th grade and up.

Fall For You by Cecilia Gray – It’s FREE!

fall for you cover

I’ve been a fan of Cecilia Gray’s Jane Austen Academy series for a while now, and the first book in the series is FREE right now on Amazon. Go download it quick!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


we were liars


Mark my words… this will be the next YA title to take the world by storm, like The Fault In Our Stars did last year. I so hope they make a movie out of this.

All I can really say about this without giving anything away is that it was really, really beautifully written and masterfully crafted. I started this thinking I was getting into a typical summery beach YA title, but what I found was something that consumed my entire Sunday because I just could not put it down. This is the first E. Lockhart title I’ve read, and it has single-handedly turned me into a fan.

The characters are intriguing, and the style with which Lockhart builds this story is effortlessly suspenseful and mysterious.

I can’t even tell you what it reminds me of without getting into spoilers, so I won’t. But you should definitely read it when it comes out next week! Preorder, reserve, send to kindle… whatever. Get it.

With a twist I didn’t see coming, Liars shocked me in the most delightful way… but the best part about that was I could go back and see the clues Lockhart left along the way, and though I never would have seen the end coming, it made perfect sense once I got there.