The Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile. It was inspired by the 1961 classic song by Neil Sedaka and created to ignite fun bookish discussions among readers and bloggers.
Each month we get a new theme and choose our favorite book for the theme. The participants get to vote for their favorite.
The other fun piece to The Calendar Girls group is the Twitter chat. On the 3rd Sunday of each month, at 8 p.m. EST, Katie and Adrienne will host a chat with hashtag #CGBChat, where everyone can participate and gif away. They will get the ball rolling by asking a question or two about the theme or the picks of the month to get everyone chatting. The hashtag will be used in all tweets, so you can see all the fun!
I won’t be able to attend the chat due to the time zone difference but I do intend to participate in the meme!
This month’s topic is Back to School or best novel set in school.
As one of my favorite genre is contemporary YA the probability of having novels or series set in high school was high! Very very high!
And it made my choice difficult!
As I love gushing about books I chose to be sneaky and speak about contenders while choosing one winner.
This way I got to highlight several of my favorite books set in high school!
Clever right? 😀
I would dare say that in YA litterature several authors can pretend to be the Queens of High School stories. Usually with Alpha males characters * where were they when I was in high school????* sassy heroines *Girl Power* and bullies *what would be high school without bullies right?*
First Queen of High School’s stories: Tijan!
Best series: Fallen Crest!
Characters: Sam, female heroine, disastrous family, eating disorder, runs every day a lot of time. Slim, dark brown hair and sass. She will find love with the Uber big Alpha of Fallen Crest High: Mason Kade! He still is one of my favorite book boyfriends to this day.
Added bonus: his brother Logan is a looker too.
What Mason would tell you when you are low?
Second Queen of High School’s stories: Erin Watt. They are an author’s duet….Favorite high school story: Paper Princess (The Royals series)
This story has so many ingredients I love in my books:
-an orphaned “trash” girl trying to survive and build a better future;
-an unexpected guardian kidnapping said girl to offer her a life of wealth among a preppy crowd;
-five unexpected “brothers” all oozing hotness and arrogance, all really hostile against poor girl;
-catfights in high school or around mansion’s pools;
-hot chemistry between poor girl and one of the brothers leading to a tug of war as they deny their attraction and play power games;
-secrets and twisted and wick manipulations.
What Ella thinks of all the riches flaunted her way?
Third Queen of High School’s stories with alpha, bullies and strong witted heroines: Penelope Douglas with Bully
Tate has been bullied by Jared years ago and now that she is back ….she will fight! Take that Jared!!! You may be easy on the eyes it does not give you the right to treat that girl like sh@t! But your demise is coming * add sinister laugh here*.
What Tate said to Jared…
Now let’s get into more emotional high school stories and have your tissues at the ready.
The fourth contender was nearly my winner today. This book is set in high school where an unexpected friendship will form between two opposite people. Finch and Violet. Yes you’ve guessed it I am speaking or All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
I was so emotional by the end of the book that I wrote a letter to Jennifer Niven. But as I am shy *yes yes I am shy….sometimes* I never sent the letter.
Here is what I wrote:
“Letter to Jennifer Niven
Dear Jennifer (the “dear” is because my mummy raised me to become a lady but right now I’m mad at you! So it’s barely there but still…),
HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME????Seriously! (I’m puffing and pouting and jutting my hip here)
I wanted a teen/YA novel easy to read but interesting and I saw your book with many reviews and I thought: “OK this one seems to please many it has a great probability to be my cup of tea”
So as every normal being I did what was expected and bought it.
Little did I know I would be days later angry and sad and so utterly gutted I could not find sleep yesterday evening when I finished your story.
And yet, I thought many times to stop reading because I could not connect with Fynch for 40% of the book. I could not decide if he was playing a role, had a mental problem hid some dark secret that would make him behave like that. I was dizzy just reading about his personality changes.
Violet I could not really feel either in the beginning.
But as he made her feel better, more like her “old self” I could see the guy had some potential.
On I went …
And all was good even very good as I fell into their world and love. They were wandering and being happy. Fynch was my buddy, the one to take me on adventure in my backyards and discover the wonder of the world just 3 miles from my house. I loved his quirks and how he had a unique perspective on life.
I was in Sophie’s (that would be me) Merry Reader World.
And then (view spoiler)
So now I’m furious, mad, enraged, incandescent, incensed, irate …sad, heartbroken, crestfallen, inconsolable.
PS It’s the books that hurt that I remember best so you did a great job and I’m sure I’ve already forgiven you because well… it’s Fynch.”
Now let’s the drums play because I have chosen my winner!
As the books above have already been hyped everywhere AND as I like the “underdog” today I chose a “book that should be better known”.
You know these hidden gems.
These stories you stumble upon, not expecting much but gripping you by the guts and never letting you go before “The End”.
My winner of the day is Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett.
17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns.
Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him.
Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her – for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her?
Kate finally decides to trust Henry’s intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?
So why did I choose it as my winner today? A book published in 2011 so basically…old?
Because I used a lot of tissues! Even on my bike at the gym I was crying while reading (I may have attracted a lot of curious/compassionate stares. Surely people believed I was heartbroken ;-).
When a book makes me bawl my eyes out it means the author is doing something really good! She is touching my soul!
This story is a struggle for survival against so many odds.
Kate has been the scapegoat of everyone at high school, beaten by her mum and at best ignorde by her dad. She’learned to hide in the background, avoid the bullies and even eat her only meal seated on the floor for god’s sake!
Then comes her savior: Henry. He is her childhood sweetheart, coming back like a knight in shining armor.
Henry is a truly great guy, not afraid to defend Kate and earn her trust.
There are lots of drama but what impressed me is Kate’s compassion and her ability to forgive.
It’s a heart and tears book and you’ll experience great churning emotions.
So good that years after I unearthed this pearl and made it my winner today 😉
Now what is your favorite book set in high school?
Thanks for reading!