Monday, December 31, 2012

Most Anticipated Books of 2013

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2013
 
There are so many books coming out in 2013 that I'm excited about and it was definitely difficult to narrow it down to just ten for this list.
 

 
 
 
 
 
7. Asunder by Jodi Meadows (January 29, 2013)
 
6. If I Should Die by Amy Plum (May 7, 2013)
 
 
4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver (March 5, 2013)
 
3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman (January 8, 2013)
 
2. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (February 12, 2013)
 
 

 
 
So what books are you most excited about?
 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: 12/23/12 - 12/29/12
 
 
Books I Reviewed This Week:
 
 
 
Books I Received As Gifts:
Great Gatsby mug
The Mortal Instruments movie poster
On The Road quote t-shirt
 
(I've pretty much read every single one of these books but I didn't own physical copies)
 
So how did your week go?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler


Who I Kissed
By: Janet Gurtler
Released: October 1, 2012
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

"She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . . Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really enjoyed Who I Kissed and finished this book in one sitting. I loved how it was organized into beginning, during, and after sections because it made the story flow really well.

Samantha was a character that instantly felt real to me. She recently started a new school and she loves swimming. However, one night she kisses the best friend of the boy she really likes. She ate peanut butter before kissing him and this boy is allergic to peanut butter. Samantha didn't know about the allergy and after the kiss, he dies. It's quite horrifying to think about and I just felt terrible for Samantha. I couldn't blame Samantha because it's not something I would even think could happen either. Samantha is left to deal with a lot. However, I think she is developed really strongly.

The plot moves along at a great pace and held my attention the entire time. There is a good amount of drama in this book too. I think that, at times, the drama is what made it feel even more realistic. There is bullying and lying. Who I Kissed made me sad, frustrated, and then even laugh a bit. Mostly though it made me think about the consequences of some of those in the moment choices. It also educated me more about food allergies, which is something that I never really had any experience with.

Overall, I really enjoyed Who I Kissed and won't be able to forget this story for a long time.

My Rating:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Ten of 2012

Top Ten Books of 2012
 
I definitely had a hard time narrowing it down this year, but here are my favorite books of 2012:
 




 
 
 
 
 
 

3. All Jennifer L. Armentrout books: Pure, Deity, Cursed, Onyx, Opal (Okay I'm kind of cheating with this one but I loved every book that Jennifer has published this year.)

 
 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #81: Icons


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Icons
By: Margaret Stohl
Released: May 7, 2013

"Your heart beats only with their permission. Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting. Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid. She's different. She survived. Why? When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy. Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm really excited for Icons because I loved the Beautiful Creatures series and I think this one sounds great!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quick Update

Hi,
 
I just wanted to first apologize for not being around here all that much this month. Things have just gotten crazy with the end of the semester at school and then holidays are the busiest time at work for me too. I also have officially run out of scheduled posts.
 
Therefore, I won't be posting that much more for the rest of this month. However, I do still have a couple of posts and reviews I just have to finish writing up. Otherwise I'm going to be focusing on scheduling posts for the new year.
 
Thanks for sticking with me and happy holidays! :)

Blog Tour: Dark Return by Taryn Browning



Dark Return (Seeker #2)
By: Taryn Browning
Released: November 27, 2012
Source: SupaGurl Blog Tours
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review 

"Janie Grey is dedicated to hunting the undead, an inherited duty passed down from her Cherokee ancestors and generations of powerful Seekers before her. Then, there's Kai. He's like no one she's ever met - cocky, fast, skillful, infuriating and gorgeous. Not only has he become a valuable asset in her fight against the growing population of the vampire/demon hybrid known as Daychildren... She's unwittingly fallen for him. Just when Janie thinks she's learned everything there is to know about Kai's mysterious past, there's a newcomer to Baltimore. Someone who will do anything to make sure Janie loses Kai forever." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really enjoyed Dark Seeker so I've been really looking forward to Dark Return for quite some time. My expectations were definitely met and Dark Return was a great sequel.

Janie is one of my favorite female characters because she's tough. She's a Seeker and hunts down Daychildren. She can take care of herself and she doesn't let herself get walked all over. However I liked that there was a lot more Kai in this book. I really liked learning more about Kai's past and I enjoyed the flashbacks. Kai did annoy me at times because of his choices but it's kind of difficult to ever hate Kai.

The plot jumps rights in from the first page which I really loved. However I found myself having to go back to Dark Seeker after a few pages to get a refresher because I read it about a year ago. There is a lot of action in this book which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the first book so much. The plot does get rushed at some places though and I did wish that moments lasted a bit longer.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up Dark Return but Browning definitely surprised me at some moments. The last few chapters especially left me on the edge of my seat. I will now be anxiously anticipating the next book. Overall Dark Return makes a great and exciting sequel. I strongly recommend this series, the books are quick and action-packed reads with tough characters.


My Rating:



Taryn Browning writes novels for young adults. She's also an avid reader and dreamer with a crazy imagination. Her debut urban fantasy is Dark Seeker. The sequel, Dark Return, will be available Nov, 2012. You can also check out the prequel novella, Dark Beauty. Her newest paranormal romance, Whispering Hills, and urban fantasy, Emanare, were also released this year. Taryn graduated with a BS in Education from Towson University and went on to earn a MS in Reading from Hood College. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, music, movies, and the beach. Some of her favorite TV shows growing up included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed and Angel. For as long as she can remember she's loved all things fantastical, paranormal and magical. Visit her at www.tarynbrowning.com. Follow her on her blog www.yafictionauthor.blogspot.com, on twitter (@TarynBrowning), and facebook (Dark Seeker & Taryn Browning).

Giveaway:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #80: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
By: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: August 15, 2013

"You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it." (Summary from goodreads.com)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea sounds great and I love the cover for this one!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan

The Believing Game
By: Eireann Corrigan
Released: December 1, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

"A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle. After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man's calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood. But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua's influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua's circle. And swiftly, she discovers it's not safe there" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I really liked The Believing Game, it was an intense story that left me with chills. I personally have not read a story quite like this one before. I liked that I never really knew where Corrigan was going to take this story next.   

The Believing Game is filled with interesting and realistic characters. I really enjoyed getting to know this group of kids at McCracken and found that they were each developed quite strongly. Greer is sent to to McCracken Hill after getting in a lot of trouble. While at the school, Greer meets other troubled kids that have been sent away as well. She wasn't the most likable character, but at the same time she never really annoyed me. She just doesn't always make the best decisions and has a lot of issues going on. Then there is Addison who introduces Greer to Joshua. Joshua, Addison's sponsor, terrified me.

The plot took some time for me to get invested in, so this book took me a few days to read. I really enjoyed the last half of this book the most though because everything just got crazy. I even admit to gasping out loud. However, I'm happy in a way that I took my time with this book because it was a story that definitely messed with my mind. It's heavy on the creepiness factor. There were even several unexpected twists that made my heart race.

Overall, The Believing Game was an enjoyable read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy and thrilling story.

My Rating:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #79: The Originals


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

The Originals
By: Cat Patrick
Release Date: May 7, 2013

"A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived. 17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life... Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm looking forward to The Originals because I really enjoyed Forgotten and I think this one sounds really interesting.

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal (Lux #3)
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Released: December 11, 2012
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"No one is like Daemon Black. When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on. But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever. Together we’re stronger... and they know it" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm not even quite sure when to begin this review of Opal. I've waited a few days to let the book sink in, but I still feel like I can't exactly articulate my feelings that this book left me with. There is just so much that happens. I've said this basically in every review I've written on a book by Armentrout, but she just knows how to write the type of book that I want to read. There is a perfect balance of action, romance, drama, humor, and unexpected twists. I have had such high expectations for Opal for months and it was better than I could have ever imagined.

I love the characters in this series and they have become so real for me. Katy especially has come a long way since the first book, Obsidian. She's developed a great deal ever since she met Daemon and Dee. She's definitely been through a lot since she's gotten involved in this world and it's affecting her. I like that Katy is struggling with how she is changing because it's realistic. She is with Daemon now though. Their relationship isn't perfect and I like that it isn't because that's not what I would expect from Daemon and Katy. I definitely loved seeing another side to Daemon too.

I also loved seeing the return of some of my other favorite characters. One of the only minor problems that I had with Onyx was that there wasn't enough Dee. Therefore, I was happy to see Dee involved more in this book. She's another character who has come a long way since book one.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I began Opal, especially after the way Onyx ended. However, Opal starts up immediately and there is a lot that Katy and Daemon are faced with. Everything that Obsidian and Onyx began to set up, is now falling into place. The plot flows smoothly from page to page though. As badly as I wanted to take my time reading this book, I couldn't put it down for long. As I got closer to last few chapters, I got a feeling of anxiety because I just didn't want it end.  

Opal was filled with moments that made my heart race. It also made me laugh and cry. I just completely loved this book and it doesn't happen often that I love a series even more with each new book. I will definitely be rereading Opal again very soon as I wait for book four. I highly recommend Opal, it does not disappoint and it will leave you speechless!

My Rating:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: 12/1/12 - 12/8/12
 

 Books I Reviewed This Week:
 
Books I Purchased:
(Already read and LOVED it!)
 
So how did your week go?
 
*Also just a quick note: I'm finishing up the semester at school this week so I will be back and more involved on the blog again. :) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blog Tour: The Farm by Emily McKay

The Farm
By: Emily McKay
Released: December 4, 2012
Source: From Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
Website: http://www.escapethefarm.com/

"Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible. Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race..." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Wow I'm not even sure where to begin with this review. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I began reading The Farm, but the synopsis sounded great and I do love vampire stories. This book completely sucked me in on this intense adventure though and I loved every page of it. It was more than I could have expected. 

The characters were so deeply developed and I loved how the chapters alternated. The alternating chapters provided an insight into the characters and their motives and I don't think this story would have worked so well without it. First there is Lily who lives with her sister on a Farm. The Farm is where kids are basically prisoners. They are kept secluded away from the outside world, including the Ticks. Lily plans on escaping though. I liked Lily because she was tough and determined. She was a smart protagonist but still not perfect. She has flaws and makes mistakes but it was what made her more realistic. I also admired how Lily took care of her sister Mel. Mel has autism but she can notice things that Lily doesn't. The chapters in Mel's perspective were especially interesting. Lastly there is Carter who Lily knew from the days before the Farm and the Ticks. Carter was a really great character because I just didn't know what to expect from him. He has this mysterious past and I enjoyed how it unraveled.

The plot was paced really well. McKay took the time to let the plot and characters develop without ever letting the story slow down. I just loved how this story built up from the beginning to the ending. There was a lot of suspense and action that immediately held and captured my attention. There were also plenty of twists that I never expected.

Another great aspect of this book was the world that McKay created. It was completely terrifying. I loved how it was presented in the beginning and then as the story progressed, the setting was expanded even more. The Farms definitely provided a chilling setting and the more I learned about it, the more it freaked me out. However, I loved when there were flashbacks to the past before the Farm. It provided a great contrast between what the world was before to how it is now. Also it was a reminder of the little things that the characters miss the most. Overall, I highly recommend The Farm. It's an intense story that will be difficult to put down.  

My Rating:



Exclusive Content:
Dear Reader letter from Mel:
The Farm is an infinite playlist, the songs shuffling with every chorus. None of the music makes sense. Lily works so hard to take care of me, singing lullabies and nursery rhymes, as if Bye, bye Baby Bunting will keep us safe. I tell her over and over again about the billy goats gruff and the hole in the fence, but all the three blind mice in the world can’t help her understand. Here I am, stuck, nursing nursery rhymes for meaning and she can see the buzzing silence right in front of her. Silly Lily. She never listens. Could you?
If you could hear past the playlist shuffle, I could tell you so much. I could tell you all you need to get out before it’s too late. We’re all running out of time. Listen. Hear. While you can.

Giveaway:
One winner will receive a copy of The Farm along with a Vampire Apocalypse Survival Kit. Giveaway is open to US residents only. (Thank you Penguin for the giveaway)
 
 
 
Check out yesterdays stop on the tour at Cornucopia of Reviews: http://cornucopiaofreviews.blogspot.com/



Then make sure to stop by Chica Reader tomorrow for another stop on the tour:  http://chicareader.blogspot.com/


Waiting on Wednesday #78: Sweet Peril


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Sweet Peril
By: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: April 30, 2013

"Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind. When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?" (Summary from goodreads.com)

I'm so excited for Sweet Peril because I loved Sweet Evil! I can't wait to read what will happen next and I can't wait for more Kaiden!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spotlight: Double Star by Cindy Saunders

Double Star
By: Cindy Saunders
Purchase the Book:
 
"When Cepheus, a dark god, forces seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth off an isolated overlook, she has no idea she's falling into his world, or that the necklace she’s wearing is actually a key - one with the power to ignite the next world war. But she’s carried beyond his reach and into the one place where he’s powerless ... the forest of Gilgamesh. Ally’s never been Miss Popularity, but her outsider status takes on new meaning when she’s rescued by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. After seeing them shape-shift into their freaky humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into a few truths: magic really does exist and, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. Feelings between her and Liam begin to grow along with the realization that, in this world, she’s stronger, better ... until she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider-boy Cepheus sends to retrieve her. But Ally’s not going down without a fight, not after learning the horrible truth about the passageways. The survival of both worlds depends on it. Ally’s journey begins in Sedona. Why? Because Sedona is famous for its vortex sites. A vortex is an energy mass that moves in a whirling motion, much like a tornado. They are areas of high energy concentration and originate from magnetic, spiritual or unknown sources. They are also considered to be gateways or portals to other realms. The Great Pyramid in Egypt and Stonehenge are thought to be centers of vortex activity. Ally went over the cliff at the Airport Mesa vortex ... one of four rock formations in Sedona believed to contain a power vortex.  Airport Mesa is named for its location next to the small Sedona Airport. To reach it, drive west out of Sedona on Arizona Highway 89A and turn left onto Airport Road. About halfway up the mesa is a small parking area and the panoramic views from here are among the best in the region. Just remember ... watch your step!"  (Summary from http://www.dblstar.com)

 I Double Star sounds like a really interesting fantasy story! I also like when mythology is blended into a book.
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Undeadly by Michele Vail

Undeadly
By: Michele Vail
Released: November 20, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

"The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble...." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I liked Undeadly and at times it was an enjoyable story. I have been looking forward to this book for quite a long time now. The summary sounded great, it has zombies and reapers which are my favorite things. However I think my expectations were too high when I began reading this one.

Molly has just turned sixteen and she is a reaper. I liked Molly at first because she was funny. I thought she had a strong voice. However the more I read, the more I began to dislike her. She just didn't make great decisions and at times she came across as whiny. I didn't find that Molly developed through the course of the story much. I also struggled to really like the side characters too.

The plot was a struggle to get through at times and this book took me quite some time to read. It took a while to get into the story but after a few chapters, I began to really enjoy it. Then, however, it would slow down a bit for me again. There were a few good twists that I didn't expect though. I think what I was struggling with the most was the characters. 

I did really like the whole concept and thought that was really interesting. I also enjoyed that every couple of chapters there was a diary entry from Molly. I thought it blended into the story well. Overall I liked Undeadly and will still most likely read the sequel.    

My Rating:

Cover Reveal: Hover


Hover (The Taking #2)
By: Melissa West
Release Date: August 6, 2013
 
Pre-order Buy links:
Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.
Melissa’s links: