Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the Year In Books: 2012 Can't Wait For's

Top 2012 Releases

With my top lists done for 2011, I thought I'd mark the books I can't wait for in 2012. Some I've read, most I haven't, but either way I'm excited for their releases!

2012 Debuts:

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Falconers by Elizabeth May

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Crewel by Gennifer ALbin

2012 Sequels & Series Continuations:

Beautiful Creatures #4 by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2 by Laini Taylor

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Once by Anna Carey
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

Black Heart by Holly Black

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir

Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

Hush, Hush #4 by Becca Fitzpatrick

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads

This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

 It's been a little while since I've done this, so let's just get right to it, shall we. First up we have Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt:

Summary: Life is bleak but uncomplicated for Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

This one sounds very interesting. An interesting dystopian concept with a bit of science fiction and intrigue. That seems to be what I'm into now.
Next up we have Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell:

Summary: When Willa’s brother dies on the family fishing boat, her father forbids her from stepping foot on the deck. But her family needs her, and she’ll do anything to help out– even going to see the Grey Man, the legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog–and with it, the fate of any boat within 100 miles. But what Willa finds isn’t a spirit at all, but a boy trapped inside until he takes 1,000 souls.

After I read The Vespertine, I absolutely fell in love with Saundra Mitchell's writing and I can't wait to see her unique take on this particular story. I know that it will be fabulous.
And now I have a bunch of New Reads to share with you:


End of the Year In Books: Girls of YA

Top 10 Girls of YA

Next up I my favorite female characters from the YA books I've been reading. Let me know what you think. There's also one more list I'll be posting tomorrow as well.

10. Lena Holloway (Delirium by Lauren Oliver)

9. Clary Fray (City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare)

8. Tris (Divergent by Veronica Roth)

7. Anna (Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake)

6. Lenzi (Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey)

5. Calla Tor (Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer)

4. Ellie (Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton)

3. Mara Dyer (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)

2. Helen (Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini)

1. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor) 

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly 2
Author: Cynthia Hand
Pages: 403 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: January 17th 2012
Review Source: Harper Teen

I completely fell in love with this series because of Unearthly. Cynthia won me over with her unique storyline and Tucker Avery. So when ARCs were available for this one, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it to find out what happened.

Now that Clara Gardner has been through the forest fire and made her decisions, she has to face the consequences for those actions. And what she thought was so clear cut about her purpose is anything but.

The further Clara is drawn into the world of angel bloods, the more complicated things become for her, including her relationship with Tucker and Christian. Beyond that, though, Clara learns of a terrible loss that's on the horizon she'll have to face. The death of someone close to her. Nothing will be the same.

From the very beginning there's just something about this story and Cynthia's writing that just draws me in. I can't explain it. With Unearthly we got a small taste of Clara's world, but mostly for me it was her relationship with Tucker and that whole falling in love for the first time. With Hallowed we got a lot more of the angel bloods world and some answers. Sure, there's plenty more that we haven't gotten, but we got some. And Clara had to deal with some pretty intense stuff this time around.

I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that some of what happened wasn't all that unexpected for me. After the ending in Unearthly, it was pretty obvious that there would be consequences for Clara and that there would be some pretty hefty changes, so I was expecting that. And though I was hoping it wouldn't happen, I know that there is still so much left to happen.

Clara aside, Tucker and Christian are two characters who will and could create a lot of controversy for readers and fans of this series. They both are boys that can make girls swoon. I have a feeling there will be lots of talk about Team Tucker or Team Christian in the near future.

All I'll say for right now is that I'm still holding out hope. Hope for the way I'm wanting this to go in the next book (and maybe even the one after that if there's a 4th one). I understand why the story line went the way that it did, but I'm hoping it will all work out the way I want it to. Cynthia drew me in with a great idea and has still managed to keep me wanting more.

And after a much awaited appearance from a special character, I'm pretty happy with where things have left off for now. I definitely have my hands itching for the next book (and possibly number 4 if there will be one).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of the Year In Books: Guys of YA

Top 10 Guys of YA

Okay, so now I have my list of my favorite guys from the YA books I've read this year. Let me know what you think or what your list would include.

10. Cassle Sharpe (Red Glove by Holly Black)

9. Noah Shaw (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)

8. Four (Divergent by Veronica Roth)

7. Ethan Wate (Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)

6. Daniel (Passion by Lauren Kate)

5. Tucker Avery (Unearthly by Cynthia Hand)

4. Rieker (The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton)

3. Alden (Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey)

2. Cas (Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake)

1. Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor) 

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5
Article 5 # 1
Author: Kristen Simmons 
Pages: 374 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Review Source: Torn Teen

I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book and couldn't wait to read it. The summary sounded so interesting and after reading a couple of others from this publisher I knew that it was going to be top notch. And I definitely wasn't disappointed.

Ember Miller is seventeen and remembers what the United States used to be like. Before the Moral Statutes replaced the Bill of rights and soldiers became the police. Before people got arrested for the slightest infractions.

Her life isn't perfect, but she knows how to keep under the radar. At least until her rebellious mother is arrested for violating Article 5, and Ember is taken away as well. And the only boy she's ever loved, Chase, helped to cart them off as well. It's up to Ember now to find her mother and get them to safety before things can get any worse. Will help from an unexpected source be enough?

From the moment I started reading this I could not put it down. Everything about this dystopian society that Kristen created was absolutely fascinating and terrifying. The harshness of the soldiers and people in power was difficult to read, but so accurate for the story. I would not want to live in that world.

Ember's character was one that I could relate to. All she wanted was to live her life with her mom and stay out of the way of the soldiers. When everything went to hell she realized that she had to fight back and do whatever it took to save her Mom.

I loved Ember and Chase's relationship. Not only were they fighting to survive, but they were also struggling to understand each other in their new reality. There were times when they were typical teenagers and had misunderstandings, but for their characters it worked. It didn't take away from their connection and my rooting for them.

So now I'm going to try and wait patiently for book 2 in this amazing trilogy and wonder what Kristen has up her sleeves next. Because she definitely has my attention!

For more information about the author and her works you can check out her website

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of the Year In Books: Most Shocking Endings

Top 10 Most Shocking Endings

Now for this particular list I won't be giving away the actual ending of the book, because that would suck for those who haven't read them. And I don't want to be mean. So, for the sake of not actually spoiling the stories, I'm just going to list the title names. Just in case anyone would think otherwise.

10. Breaking Point by Jess Bowen

9. Possession by Elana Johnson
8. Wildefire by Karsten Knight

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

6. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

5. Elemental Reality by Cesya Cuono

4. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

3. Timeless by Alexandra Monir
2. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of the Year In Books: Best Covers

Top 10 Best Covers

All right, next up we have my picks for the Best Covers for 2011. Let me know what you think!

10. Die For Me by Amy Plum

9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

8. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

7. Vanish by Sophie Jordan

6. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

5. Everneath by Brodi Ashton

4. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

 3. Supernaturally by Kiersten White

 2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

1. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey


Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush 3
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick 
Pages: 438 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date:October 4th 2011
Review Source: Purchased

I was so excited to read this when it was first announce. Not only does it have a gorgeous cover, but the premise also sounded fascinating. Plus, just before the release Becca announced that there was going to be one more book in the series! And this certainly did not disappoint.

When Nora is discovered in a cemetery after being missing for two months, she realizes that she has no memory of the past five. Everything that's happened is suddenly gone and she has to struggle to put it back together.

Her mother and best friend just want to protect, but Nora wants the truth. And she only has her instincts to rely on. When she meets Jev, a boy she feels a strong connection to, things will finally begin to make sense, but will she ever be safe again?

I can't explain what it is about this series that I enjoy so much, but there's just so much more to it than I could have guessed. And when Nora's memory was wiped for this particular book, I knew that it was going to make it even more intriguing. Nora had to rediscover things she'd figured out in the first two books and fall in love again.

Anyone who's read Hush, Hush and Crescendo would have immediately known who Jev was when he entered this book, but that just made it even more exciting. Nora was at even more of a disadvantage this time around because of her memory loss and she didn't let it stop her.

And let me just say that Patch was even dreamier this time around. He gave me a reason to actually like his character!

So now I'm going to quietly twiddle my thumbs and wait patiently (or not so patiently) for the fourth book in this series. What happened in Silence, I don't want to give away, but it all leads up to what the fourth should be about, and I can't wait.

Monday, December 26, 2011

End of the Year in Books: Favorite Books

Top 10 Favorite Books

As promised, each day leading up to New Years I will post a different list marking my favorites for 2011. There were some outstanding books this year and I think it will be fun to see what you guys think as well.

First up we have my Favorite Books, this will include debuts and parts of a series.
10. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

9. Wildefire by Karsten Knight

8. Red Glove by Holly Black

7. Divergent by Veronica Roth

6. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

5. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

4. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

3. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

2. Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Small Town Girl by Linda Cunnigham

Small Town Girl
Small Town Girl 1
Author: Linda Cunningham 
Pages: 212 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1st 2011
Review Source: Omnific Publishing

Linda Cunningham's debut romance novel was a pleasant surprise filled with sweet romance. I didn't want to stop reading and was sad when I finally did reach the end, wishing there was more.

Lauren Smith has everything she could possibly want: the perfect job, fiancé, penthouse, an engagement ring. But most importantly, stability. So when Lauren learns that her grandmother left her home in a small Vermont town, she begrudgingly returns in hopes of selling it.

What she doesn't expect is Caleb Cochran. The moment he steps through her door to help with a plumbing problem, sparks fly and tension mounts. How can they deny the growing attraction between them? And how long can Lauren continue her life before it's not enough for her anymore?

This was a fun, quick read for me filled with romance and longing and tender kisses. From the moment that Lauren and Caleb met you could sense the connection between them, even when it only resulted in fights and annoyance. Their time together was beautiful and only made me wish to see them together more. But, their time apart was also essential.

Watching the growth of Lauren throughout the story was the best part for me, because she thought she knew exactly what she wanted out of life. Just as we all do. But, as life has a way of doing, everything ended up going completely the opposite and she had to figure out what was best for her.

Linda did a great job of really getting to her readers hearts and making her story about love. I could feel my heart leaping into my throat quite a few times and my eyes welling up with tears while reading this, and that doesn't happen quite often.

I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel to this story and finding out what else she has in store for these characters!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday with your family and love ones!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Phantom Universe (audiobook) by Laura Kreizter

Phantom Universe
Summer Chronicles 1
Author: Laura Kreitzer
Reader: Karen Savage
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction

Run-time: 8 Hrs & 30 mins
Audio Published: October 28th 2011
Review Source:  Revolution Publishing

I was able to write a review for this book when it first released at the beginning of the year. Laura Kreitzer's writing is real and beautiful and being able to listen to it read aloud only made me love it even more.

Goodreads Summary: Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?

Not only was I excited at the opportunity to listen to and review this for Laura, but I also discovered the redesigned cover. It is absolutely gorgeous and adds to the mystery of this already intriguing story. 

I truly enjoyed this story from the very beginning. The world Laura created is one that focuses on certain real aspects and adds an amazing rawness to her writing. Listening to it on audio brought everything to life for me in a way that reading it didn't. Everything from the fear Summer felt, to her discovery of kindness and love was wonderfully conveyed.

The pace and conciseness of the reader really set the tone and allowed me to enjoy listening to the story. Now I'm even more excited for the next book in the Summer Chronicles, Forsaken Harbor!


Monday, December 12, 2011

End Of The Year in Books

So with the end of the year approaching, I thought I'd join in the tradition and do a list of my favorite reads for 2011. Just like last year. But, I thought I'd do a little bit more to make it fun for you guys. There's been such an influx of amazing books and authors so it only suits that we do something to celebrate that right?

Okay. So, the week leading up to New Years I'm going to post a different list of my favorite books/authors for this year.

  • Top 10 Favorite Books
  • Top 10 Amazing Covers
  • Top 10 Most Shocking Endings
  • Top 10 Guys of YA
  • Top 10 Heroines
How does that sound? And if there are any others you'd like to see, just let me know and I'll try to include them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CONduct Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway

Today we are going to be joined by Jennifer Lane, author of With Good Behavior and Bad Behavior. She has graciously answered some questions for us today.

Without any further adieu, let's get started:

What was your favorite book to read when you were growing up?

Two books stand out: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. I loved to read as a child.

If you could be a character in any book, who would you be and why?

I think I would like to be Skeeter from The Help. I'm not very brave by nature, so I'm drawn to her chutzpah, and I would love to be a part of a movement to change society for the better.

Why did you decide to use organized crime for the CONduct series?

The culture of organized crime portrayed in The Godfather or The Sopranos really fascinates and terrifies me. It's like a demented military hierarchy. When developing the plot for how a good girl psychologist might get manipulated by one of her clients to land herself in prison, organized crime naturally entered my mind. Occasionally we see mafiosis abuse their families but to me that seems like it would happen all the time, so I wanted to show the personal effects of physical abuse on the children of a Mafia don. I was also curious about a son of a Mafia don who refuses to join the family despite their copious efforts to bring him into the fold. Talk about bravery!

Is there anything you can tell us about what's in store for Sophie and Grant in On Best Behavior?

Their interaction with organized crime won't be over. *laughs evilly* Grant's nephew Ben will also have a bigger role in the story.

And I saw that you also have a YA book that's going to be published, how was that different for you from working on the CONduct series?

I really had to rein in my potty mouth for a YA book! Writing sex scenes still makes me blush so I enjoyed keeping it more chaste in for YA (though there's certainly still plenty of romance). As a psychologist, I love working with young adults, and it's fun for me to try to find that snarky teen voice in my novels. I got to do a little of that in The Conduct Series with Ben's character, and my YA novel Against the Tide is chock full of family, school, and sport struggles from adolescent perspectives.

Thank you for joining us today, Jen!


Each stop of the blog tour is giving away (winner's choice) an ebook copy of With Good Behavior or Bad Behavior.  To enter the giveaway, complete the form below. In your comment be sure to mention which book you'd like.  The winner will be chosen, at random, on December 13th.

Grand Prize Giveaway:

There is also a tour wide grand prize of a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card that will be given out. To enter the Grand Prize leave a comment to each post within the tour (link to the tour schedule is below).  The winner will be chosen, at random, at the end of the tour.

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