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Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I was relatively old when I read this one, admittedly. My friend recommended it to be in when I was 8, and I bought the book but never read it until middle school one day. I was bored and had nothing better to do. Perhaps that's why it spoke to me so much.

So there's this boy named Milo. He's bored, and he's already become an incredible little cynic at his young age. When he gets home one day, he finds a package left for him: a miniature tollbooth and a map. He drives through it and arrives in a world split by the divide between Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, ruled by Azaz the Unabridged and the Mathemagician respectively. They're brothers, but they hate each other, and together banished the Princesses Rhyme and Reason after they declared numbers and letters equally important. Milo's quest requires him to return Rhyme and Reason back home.

The brilliance of Tollbooth is that when Milo returns, he's infused with this abundant energy--he's not bored anymore, and neither is the reader. Comparisons to Alice in Wonderland do the book a injustice. Tollbooth's setting is similarly whimsical, but it's purpose is only to remind the reader, as it does Milo, that there's a big damn world out there, and it is fucking amazing. How Juster manages this with a bizarre fantasy world where the sunrise is performed by an orchestra is beyond me.

Norton Juster is a wordsmith, and that makes an otherwise simple story incredibly enjoyable even now when I inevitably pick the book up for a random re-read. The writing's lively, energetic, and so clever that neither the decades nor cynicism has dampened it any. Give it a shot. You won't be disappointed.

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?


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