Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Today is the last day of 2011 and I thought I would take the opportunity to look back on the year, and look to what's coming in the future in 2012. While I've been blogging for over a year already, 2011 was my first full calendar year of blogging. Let me just say that I never would have thought blogging would be such an important part of my life. I admit that sometimes my roommates get sick of hearing me talk about blogging and books and in those moments I am happy that there is this whole online community of people I can talk to about this stuff. Overall, 2011 was a great year and I am sad to see it go, but at the same time I am really looking forward to 2012 and all that it will bring.

I've read many books in 2011--I don't know the exact number, but it was A LOT. It's always hard for me to pick favorites and I've tried to narrow it down. So here are my Top 11 books of 2011 (and a few honorable mentions).


In no particular order:




Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
I only read Catching Jordan recently and haven't reviewed it yet but it was awesome. It was a perfect fun and light read that also had a deeper layer to it. It was a lot of fun to spend a day reading this book.





Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
If I thought that Clockwork Angel was good when I read it last year, Clockwork Prince was even better. How I'm going to wait until Clockwork Princess next year is a total mystery to me.


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
With Delirium, Lauren Oliver became one of my favorite authors. This book was absolutely incredible and it totally broke my heart. I loved every moment of it and can't wait for more in the new year.






Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
What was there not to love about this book? Stephanie Perkins is a genius when it comes to writing romances and I can't wait to be able to read more of them and get a glimpse of the characters I already love.






Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston
I don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book. It was such a great story and the present and past blended together seamlessly. And when Lesley Livingston announced there were going to be more I was ecstatic.






City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
It's not secret that I'm a huge Cassandra Clare fan. I love pretty much everything she writes, and City of Fallen Angels was no exception. I was happy to be back with characters I loved and I can't wait for the next two books.






Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is another book I only just read recently. And despite having to study for exams, I just couldn't put it down. I loved it and the way mythology played in to the story. I can't wait for the next installment.






Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Kody Keplinger and her books are absolute genius. I loved Shut Out, it was the perfect read for me at the time when I read it. Plus Kody Keplinger is pretty good at creating yummy boys like Cash.






Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
I loved the Vampire Academy series, and while I was Team Dimitri for Rose, I still loved Adrian. I was very happy with Bloodlines and a greater focus on Adrian and other VA characters. Now I can't wait for the next book in the series.






Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
I absolutely adore this series and I loved the conclusion that was Goliath. Scott Westerfeld recreated an incredible world and I found myself believing every aspect of it. Except I'm a little sad that it's over.




Wildefire by Karsten Knight
At first I really didn't think much of the book. And then I read it and couldn't put it down. And that ending, oh that ending. Basically this book was all kinds of awesome and I absolutely loved it.




So those were my Top 11 of 2011 but there are some other books I would also like to mention. These didn't make the list but they were great books nonetheless.
- Abandon by Meg Cabot
- Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- Hereafter by Tara Hudson
- Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
- Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the Top 12 books of 2012 I am looking forward to. And if you haven't already, check out my post about some of my favorite debut books of 2011.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge Wrap-Up



This year was my first year participating in the Debut Author Challenge and I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. At the end of last year I had set myself the goal of reading at least 15 books by debut authors and I am proud to say that I have met that goal. In the process I discovered some fantastic new authors and books, and since this is the end of the year I though I would showcase a few of my favorites. So here are some of my favorite 2011 books by debut authors, in no particular order.


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Unearthly was definitely one of my favorite debut books, if not one of my favorite books this year in general. I loved the premise and the way Cynthia Hand made the angel story her own. It was definitely a great read and if you haven't read it yet I really recommend that you do so as soon as possible.





I did not expect to enjoy Witchlanders nearly as much as I did which is why I'm including it on this list. High fantasy stories don't tend to be my cup of tea but with this one I found myself being drawn into the story and loving every minute of if. It was a truly fantastic read.



Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Everyone kept saying how good Angelfire was but I didn't end up reading it until quite a while after it released. And then I was kicking myself for having waited so long. I loved Ellie's story and everything about the world Courtney Allison Moulton created. This is definitely another book you want to read.



When I first heard about Wither, I wasn't really sure how I would feel about a story that involves polygamy. But then I started reading and couldn't put it down. And the dystopian world that Lauren DeStefano created felt completely realistic and her writing had me captivated the whole way through.



Divergent by Veronica Roth
I couldn't not include Divergent on this list. It was by far one of the best debuts and one of the best books I read this year. Despite its length, I read this one pretty much in one sitting because it was impossible to put it down. If you haven't read this yet, you absolutely need to because you are seriously missing out.



So these are some of my favorite 2011 debuts. There are many more that I enjoyed quite a lot as well, but none quite as much as I did these ones. And now I can't wait to read the sequels to many of these and find out what happens next.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!



I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I'm greatly enjoying my time with my family and I hope everyone is also enjoying their time off. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy this holiday period!


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Friday, December 23, 2011

WinterTown by Stephen Emond


Title: WinterTown
Author: Stephen Emond
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 5, 2011
Source: From Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League-bound Evan looks froward to a visit from Lucy, his childhood best friend who moved away after her parents' divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has choppy black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth exterior, Old Lucy still exists, and he's determined to find her...even if it means pissing her off.

Can opposites attract? Or does growing up mean having to grow apart?


When I first read the description of Wintertown, I was immediately drawn in, wanting to know more about Evan and Lucy's stories. And then started reading the book and it grew on me even more. By the end of it, the characters and the story had definitely found a place in my heart. 

Evan and Lucy were best friends growing up. But then Lucy's parents divorced and she moved away with her mom. Now Evan only sees Lucy once a year during the Christmas holidays, and they pick up where they left off the previous year each time. Except when she arrives this year, Lucy isn't exactly the girl Evan remembers. She's changed and he can't seem to figure out what caused the change. At times Lucy is exactly like she used to be, but at others Evan doesn't recognize her and doesn't know what to do about it all. But Evan is determined to make it work and enjoy the one week a year he gets to spend with Lucy. And at first everything seems to be going great and Lucy and Evan are able to pick up where they off the year before, but then things really change.

This story was absolutely great without falling into clich├ęs or being overdone. I really liked all the illustrations, and the comics at the end of each chapter were incredibly amusing and I loved them. But at first I wasn't exactly sure what to make of the story but the more I read, the more it grew on me and eventually wormed its way into my heart. The way it was told, the first half from Evan's point of view and the second half from Lucy's perspective was the best way it could have been told. It gave away just enough information. I almost liked it better than if the points of view had alternated the whole way through. For this story it was just perfect.

I think I pretty much fell in love with Evan and Lucy. They were incredibly real and I really felt like I could relate to them both, though to Evan more than to Lucy. And I have to admit that for the first half of the story, I didn't really like Lucy. Once I got to know him, I really wanted nothing but the best for Evan and Lucy was most definitely not that. He was just such a genuinely good person and he didn't deserve everything Lucy was putting him through. But then I found out more about Lucy and my opinion of her completely changed. Once I understood everything she had gone through, I hoped that she would do something about it and change her situation. In the end, I was very happy with where both characters ended up and how things turned out for them.

Wintertown was a great and fun read. It is a book I highly recommend, especially for those cold winter days when you want to do nothing more than curl up with a good book. And then you'll just fall in love with the characters and their story.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where book bloggers share the books they received/bought each week.

This week was a good week. I didn't buy any books for myself and still got 4 books so I was quite happy. I don't know that I'll be doing an In My Mailbox post next week as it will be Christmas Day and I will be spending the day in a car driving some 1000 km with my family to go skiing. It should be a fun time though. So here is what I got in my mailbox this week.



For Review:

- In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton (Thank you Thomas Allen & Sons)
- Wherever You Go by Heather Davis (Thank you Thomas Allen & Sons)
- The White Assassin by Hilary Wagner (Thank you Thomas Allen & Sons)

Traded:

- Everneath by Brody Ashton (ARC - Thank you Krista @ Cubicle Blindness)


So that's it for me this week. What did you guys get in your mailboxes?


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Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Tour - Happy Birthday to Me

Today I have the pleasure of having Brian Rowe, author of the Happy Birthday to Me trilogy, here on the blog as part of his blog tour. He will be answering some questions, so be sure to keep reading to find out what he has to say.



Coffee or Tea: Tea. I like a latte from time to time, but anything coffee usually upsets my stomach. I prefer a tall hot glass of chamomile tea.

Summer or Winter: Winter. As much as I love summer, I have to go with winter. I love winter because it's the time for my favorite holidays, like Christmas, and the best films of the year, during Oscar season. 

Day or Night: Night. I love horror films, so how could I possibly pick Day?? I also do my best writing at night, after everyone's gone to sleep, after the sun's gone down, when it's quiet and I can concentrate on my work.

Light or Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate. Always. I love the taste, and I love that it has antioxidants that have been proven to prevent cancer! Bring on the dark chocolate!

Mac or PC: Mac. I switched over to the Mac in October of 2002 to use the editing software Final Cut Pro, and I've never looked back since. 

Sweet or Salty: Sweet. I'm just like my grandma: I've got the biggest sweet tooth. The day is never complete without a bite of something sweet after dinner, even it's just a wedge of chocolate or a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream!

Physical Book or E-Book: Physical Book. As great as the e-book revolution has been for indie authors like me, I always prefer a physical book. I actually haven't even read an e-book in full yet. But maybe that will change in the coming years.

Outdoors or Indoors: Indoors. I do love the outdoors, and I try to get out everyday, for a jog, for a hike, for golf, for skiing. But at the end of the day, I love the indoors, because it allows me to curl up with my cat on my bed, or write my book, all with the glory of air conditioning.

Handwrite or Type: Type. All the way. I do love the intimacy of handwriting, but it's 2011. It's just not practical anymore.

Phone Call or Text: Text. Up until 2006 I refused to use texting, because I didn't like to type out my conversations with others. But now I'd say 95% of my cell phone use is texting. I still prefer talking to someone over the phone versus texting, but let's be honest: texting's easier!

Movies or TV: Movies. I've been a huge movie buff ever since I was a little kid. In fact I'd say film is my number one passion in life. Rarely a day goes by when I don't watch a movie. I do love television, too; I'm currently making my way through about nine or ten TV shows at the same time! But movies are my go-to at night after dinner. My favorite film of all time is Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, and my favorite director is the great Alfred Hitchcock.

E-mail or Snail Mail: E-mail. Again, like handwriting, snail mail is quickly becoming obsolete. It just costs less, and takes less time, to send our bills and letters and information by e-mail. I remember in 2005 or 2006 receiving a letter from a friend through snail mail, and it was like I had time travelled back to the early 90's. I do think we should handwrite a letter to an old friend, like, once a year, just for fun. Maybe I'll try doing that before 2011's remaining days pass me by! 

Thank you to Brian Rowe for stopping by and be sure to keep following the rest of the tour through The Teen Book Scene's website!



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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blog Tour - Bloodstone Saga

Today I have the pleasure of being a part of the blog tour for Courtney Cole's Bloodstone Saga. Keep reading to find out more about the author, the first book in the saga and to read an excerpt from it, and to enter two great giveaways.


About Courtney Cole - website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads


Courtney Cole is a YA novelist who loves thunderstorms, cake batter and insane amounts of coffee. She wrote her first story at the age of 9, although thankfully it has remained hidden away in an old cedar chest beneath musty blankets. Her more recent efforts are much better.



About Every Last Kiss, the first book in the saga - goodreads, Amazon, B&N, Indiebound


What would you do if you held Fate in your hands

17-year old Macy Lockhart has the weight of the world on her shoulders. For thousands of years, she has been a Keeper in the ancient organization, the Order of the Moirae… and she literally holds fate in her hands. But this is something that she forgets because her memories are wiped clean in every life until it is time for her cycle to start again.

For the last two thousand years, this has never been a problem. 

Until now. And now…

Fate, the very thing that Macy was born to keep, is being challenged and she has only one choice: To return to a previous life to fix it; a life where she was Cleopatra’s handmaiden, Charmian. And that’s not all. Unless she interferes with the fabric of time, the very thing she has returned to repair, her soul mate will die leading Marc Antony’s forces against Rome. Can she really stand aside and allow the love of her life to die all over again?


Excerpt from Every Last Kiss
   “How did you get in here?” I demanded.  “How did you get past the guards?”


   She smiled peacefully at me, but didn’t answer.
   “Can you speak?” I asked.  “Who are you?”
   She studied me again, unmoving and silent from her perch on my bed.  She wore silvery robes embroidered with rich blue which were spread around her and her long fingernails were silver.  They sparkled in the muted light from my window.  She reminded me of what a fairy would be like.  An odd sensation began to build in my chest and I hesitated.
   “Who are you?” I whispered again.
   “You know who I am,” she said gently, as she rose from the bed.  She was so graceful that it seemed as though she floated as she walked toward me. 
   “I don’t,” I argued, as she came to a stop behind me. 
   “You do,” she insisted softly, as she placed her hands on my shoulders.  And in that instant, the second that her hands touched me, I did.
    I was standing face to face with Lachesis, the middle sister of the Fates.  Terrifying and powerful, the last time I had seen her, she had been an ancient, stooped hag.  My eyes flew in amazement to her lovely, young face.
    She smiled.
   “I can appear as I wish, Charmian,” she said lightly.  “You are beautiful.  So, of course I wanted to appear beautiful, as well.  I have no wish to scare you.”
    “Then what is your wish?” I asked quietly, keeping my eyes locked on her face.
    She reached past me and picked up the jar of oil, dipping her long fingers into it. Picking up my arm, she gently began rubbing the scented oil into my skin as she spoke. 
    “You are one of twelve, Charmian.  Did you know that?” I shook my head, instantly intrigued.
    “Yes.  Twelve very important people were chosen so long ago to assist us throughout the millennia.  You were chosen for your bravery and your heart.”
    She turned my wrist over and fingered my scar.
    “I placed the mark of the phoenix upon your wrist myself.  The phoenix is sacred to the order, Charmian.  It symbolizes re-birth and life, the very thing that we stand for… the things that we protect. And we gave you that mark.  It is an honor.” 
    I nodded.  “Yes, of course it is.”
   “Then why have you been doubting us?” she turned her large blue eyes to me, beseeching me.  


The Giveaways

There are two giveaways you can enter here today.

#1: You can win a signed copy of Every Last Kiss as well as an authentic Greek Drachma, something which is necessary to pay the ferryman to the Underworld (see the picture below). To enter, leave a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you if you win. This giveaway is open for 24 hours only and is only open to those in the USA/Canada.


#2: You can win a Kindle Touch, fully loaded with Courtney Cole's books and made to match the fourth book in the saga. To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Once again, the giveaway is only open to participants in the USA/Canada.




Good Luck!









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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (32)



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where book bloggers showcase books they are looking forward to. As I've been doing in the last few weeks, I am showcasing 2012 titles, month by month, often grouped by published. So this week it's HaperTeen (and its imprints) titles from February 2012.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. DanforthFebruary 7th, 2012
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief she’ll never have to tell them that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. 
But that relief soon turns to heartbreak, as Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and not making waves, and Cam becomes an expert at this—especially at avoiding any questions about her sexuality. 
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. To Cam’s surprise, she and Coley become best friends—while Cam secretly dreams of something more. Just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, her secret is exposed. Ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is. 
This book sounds like an incredible story, and I am absolutely loving how there seem to be more LGBT books coming out next year. I can't wait to read it and find out if the story is as great as the summary makes it sound. I'm also going to be a part of the blog tour for this book, which just makes me that much more excited about the book.


Wings  of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
February 14th, 2012
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined. 
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night. 
She’s been warned. 
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself. 
She’ll be betrayed. 
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! This is basically what has been going through my mind since I finished reading Angelfire earlier this year. It was such a great read and the story was absolutely incredible. I can't wait for February to come so I can find out what happens next to Ellie. 



Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
February 14th, 2012
To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic and wholly unknown. But when her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her. 
Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.
Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love…or run as far and as fast as she can.
 The premise for this book just sounds really interesting. Plus it takes place in Sicily which is an absolutely gorgeous place. And you know, the idea of the mafia and dangerous animals also make the story sound that much more interesting and intriguing. I can't wait to find out more about it.


So those are the February 2012 HarperTeen titles that I am looking forward to. The books coming out in early 2012 are definitely going to be putting a dent in my wallet. But regardless of that, I can't wait for February so I can get my hands on these three wonderful books.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon


Title: Carrier of the Mark (Carrier #1)
Author: Leigh Fallon
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
THEIR LOVE WAS MEANT TO BE.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRis.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

I have been hearing about Leigh Fallon and Carrier of the Mark for the longest time so I was really looking forward to being able to finally read it. And at first, I really didn't think much about it, but the next thing I knew I couldn't put the book down.

Megan never really felt like she fit in at any of the schools she went to in America, but when she and her dad move to Ireland she began feeling at home right away. Right from day one, she made new friends and fit right in. But soon enough, weird things start happening everywhere Megan goes and she can't seem to find a logical explanation for any of it. And then there's the DeRis family. Any times one of them is around, those weird happenings just seem to follow. But Megan also feels strangely attracted to Adam DeRis, despite the fact that everyone keeps telling her that she should stay away. And as Megan gets closer and closer to Adam, she discovers that her destiny is much greater than she ever thought imaginable. And that maybe she shouldn't try so hard to resist her attraction to Adam.

I'm not being honest if I don't say that at first I didn't really think much of Carrier of the Mark. For about the first 50 pages or so I was wondering when stuff would happen and things would start picking up, I found myself having trouble putting the book down. It was like all of a sudden, everything was happening all at once and I started loving the story more and more. I can now say that Leigh Fallan wrote a really great story. I loved the Irish folklore in the book and found the way the four elements were included in the story very interesting. It was definitely something new and different.

Though there wasn't much action going on at first, I still liked Megan right from the start. I felt like I could really relate to her, especially when it comes to the whole moving around and changing schools often. But other than that, Megan still felt really real to me and I felt like I could really understand her. Adam DeRis sounded very dreamy and I could totally see why Megan was so attracted to him. But Adam was a lot more than just a dreamy exterior. He was fiercely loyal and more than willing to stand up for those he cared about and loved. Most importantly, I loved how much he cared about Megan and he was always there to protect her. As for the rest of the characters, I loved all the Irish expressions and traditions they had. And from what I know, Irish people tend to often be really great.

Overall, Carrier of the Mark was a really great read and I loved discovering Leigh Fallon and her fantastic writing. And the way it ended, I can't wait for the next book to come out to find out what happens next.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (22)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a post where we talk about the books we received during the week either for review, from the bookstore or anywhere else.


This week was relatively slow for books. I didn't receive any books in the mail for review (at least I hadn't on Wednesday night) and I only have books that I bought but I'm still happy since they were all books I've been meaning to get for a while. I may have received more books but I'm not home so I don't know, and I also don't have a proper picture of the books either since I left them behind. At any rate, here's what I got this week.




Bought:


- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - I have already read and reviewed this book (read my review) but I wanted a pretty finished copy which I may just reread over my Christmas holidays. Plus it's the "Collector's First Edition" which the bonus content, so how exactly was I supposed to resist buying it?

- Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - I have heard nothing but absolutely incredible things about this book. I haven't read it yet, but it is definitely high on my list of books to read over the Christmas holidays. It just sounds really interesting and I can't wait to read it.

- Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep - This book came out earlier this year, and I still hear a lot of good things about it so I decided I would give it a go. The premise sounds really interesting and it takes place at a school for supernatural teens, which is a type of setting I just love.

- Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep - This one just came out recently and is the sequel to Touch of Frost. And since I bought the first one, I figured I might as well buy the second so I would have it on hand to start when I finish the first.

So that's all for me this week. Maybe I'll have a few surprises when I get back home next week, but for now that's it. What did you get in your mailbox?


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Friday, December 9, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer


Title: Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer--one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack--and the man--she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter way? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must figure out which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.



I have had Wolfsbane sitting on my shelf pretty much since its release date. But I only just read it, and now I'm kicking myself for that. I had forgotten how much I loved this story and these characters. This second installment proved to be just as good, if not better, than the first.

After running away from her union with Ren, Calla was taken by the Searchers. When she wakes up in their lair, she doesn't know what's going on and what happened to Shay. Last she saw him, he was also being taken away by the Searchers. As Calla finds out more about the Searchers and everything she's been told by the Keepers, she realizes that the enemy may not be who she thought it was. Calla and Shay decide to join forces with the Searchers in an attempt to take down the Keepers. But Calla won't be able to do it alone, she needs her pack back. Except she left them behind when she ran away from Vail with Shay. But more importantly, Calla needs an Alpha. Will it be Ren, the boy she's known her whole life, or Shay, the boy who came into her life and stole her heart.

Werewolves, or just wolves, are probably my favorite paranormal creatures. I don't really know why, but they just are. And Andrea Cremer may also have something to do with it. The world she created in this series feels incredibly real, every page I felt like I was right there alongside the characters. And if the world isn't amazing enough, the story she tells through Calla is absolutely incredible. I loved every single minute of it, and never saw any of it coming. The story was packed with action and at every corner there were new twists and turns. This book just took me on an incredible ride.

Calla is an amazing character. She's strong, she's not afraid of anything and she'll do just about anything to help the people she loves. And then there's the whole love triangle thing. Normally it would annoy me that Calla keeps going back and forth between Ren and Shay, but here the story wouldn't work without Calla not being able to choose. And in her position I wouldn't know show to choose between Ren and Shay (though I do lean more towards Ren). Shay pretty  much swept her off her feet when he showed up in town and she ran away to save him. But she has a history with Ren and she grew up thinking that's who she would be with. And on top of it all the boys are not making it any easier on her. The new Searcher characters were really great. I loved getting to know them and they were a great addition to the story. And I have to admit that Connor and Adne were my favorites, I just loved the relationship between the two.

Wolfsbane was a great sequel, and an even greater read. This book will take you on an incredible journey and you won't want it to end. It was a good thing I was lucky enough to have a copy of Bloodrose on hand to read when I finished this one. 

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tournament of Heroines - Bryn's First Match!


I announced last week that I would be participating in YA Sisterhood's Tournament of Heroines as Bryn's advocate. For those of you who don't know who she is, Bryn is the main character and heroine of Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Raised by Wolves series.

Starting at 12:00 AM (Midnight) EST, Bryn will be up for her first match against Tris from Veronica Roth's Divergent. Let me tell you, it will be a tough fight. Tris is also quite the heroine and more people know her but I still believe in Bryn and her chances of winning. But for that I'm going to need your help.

What I am asking you to do is to head on over to YA Sisterhood's blog once the voting begins and vote for Bryn. Once you've done that, spread the word to get even more people to vote. Tell as many people as you can to vote for Bryn. If you tweet about the match make sure to use #TeamBryn and #HeroineTourney. The more people and the more votes the better, because Bryn is going to need them to win.

I have absolute faith in Bryn and I know that she deserves the title of Heroine and to make it through to the next round of the tournament. To me, there is no doubt that Bryn is a heroine, she has all the necessary qualities and even more. Tris may also be a great girl, but she is no Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Claire. If you're still undecided then you can also read my defence and see why Bryn really deserves to win.

So be sure to head over to YA Sisterhood's blog tomorrow and vote for Bryn. Even better, spread the word once you've voted and show your support for Bryn.



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