Dec 28, 2012

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Top 10 of 2012: Looking Foward to in 2013



Oh, where to begin? Waiting for 2013 has practically been killing me. There are so many awesome books releasing next year that I'm practically bouncing up and down in my seat trying to contain myself.

It's not going well.

***

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?

It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (after all, she did die), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to the find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity and the rest on each other. And so she–and her gang–make plans to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath. And Kaylee realizes that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. Especially when one more person she loves is taken...




Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Anna Whitt, the 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 vow. 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?


Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.






Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.










Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls #5) by C.C. Hunter

Kylie Galen's life hasn't been the same since her world was turned upside-down in Born at Midnight, and now an epic conclusion to her journey—not to mention a tough choice between two guys!—is brewing in Chosen at Nightfall.

When Kylie Galen left Shadow Falls, she thought it was the hardest decision of her life. Heartbroken and separated from everyone she loves, she has to embrace her abilities and what it means to be a chameleon. But as Kylie's journey comes to a close, she must return to the camp that started it all...and she must finally chose between the two boys who love her. The werewolf who broke her heart when he chose his pack over her, and the half-fae who ran from their intense attraction before they ever really had a chance. For Kylie, everything will finally be revealed and nothing will ever be the same.





Antigoddess (Antigoddess #1) by Kendare Blake

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.


Taken (Taken #1) Erin Bowman

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?



Poison by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.


Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.


Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Appelhans

Three levels. Two loves. One choice.

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.




  ***

That was haaaard! This has been my most difficult time this week choosing only ten books. There are so many new books I want to read in 2013!

Are there any that I've completely missed? Please let me know! There's no such thing as too many new books to read!


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Top 10 of 2012: Best Book Boyfriends of 2012



This one will be interesting. Normally, this kind of a post would be handed over to Gabby (as you can see from all of her Attractive Characters posts) but she's otherwise occupied at the moment. So here I am! I know, you all must be so crushed.

I'm going to broaden things up here a bit and say that the best book girlfriends are also included because sometimes the main character is male, and more often the female main character is pretty good at the whole relationship thing too.

***


Tod

Tod wins. Hands down. Can I just leave it at that? No? Really? But why?! Tod is just too awesome to put into words, especially without revealing too much from this book and ones before it. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about him. He's perfect (which I'm sure would stroke his ego too much for his own good). Fans of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series have been waiting so long for Tod to step out into the spotlight, and now that he's here, there is no way we're letting him go. He's too hilarious, and chocolate loving, and just plain awesome to ever do without. Kaylee really deserves him.



Daemon

I really debated about including Daemon in this list. I wasn't exactly his biggest fan in Obsidian, and I thought that he was way too full of himself for his own good. And that's still true but.... he's actually being a sort of acceptable person (or alien) right now. It was really adorable in this book when he was trying to prove to Katy that there was more going on with them than the "alien mojo." And he brought her a chocolate chip cookie, so.... yeah. That may have had something to do with it.





Michael

Time for more aliens! Except this time the guy is human.... sort of. We see more of Michael in the first book, Exiled, and I fell in love with him from the start. Michael is just one of those people that you can't help but feel sorry for. He'd had a pretty rough childhood filled with all kinds of horrifying abuse and "experimentation," but regardless of all of that, there was nothing he wanted more than for his parents to love him. He was kind and loyal even to people who didn't deserve it, and c'mon, he followed Venus to another planet for crying out loud! Now that's love!



Zoe

Here's our sole girl on this list! She's a complicated one to fawn over because I can't really reveal anything that she does for the guy she loves because that would ruin too many parts of the story for you. So to tide you over, here's one of my favorite of the book's quotes between Zoe and her sister:  
"'It's his name I look for on the list everyday' 
'Because you love him?' 
'No. Because I could have.' 
'It's the same thing,' she says, 'You just don't know it yet.'"



Jace

I wasn't a huge fan of Jace when I first started reading the Mortal Instruments series. In fact, I'm still not a huge fan of him now. Whereas Gabby will assure you he's completely amazing, I usually just tolerate him. There's nothing horribly wrong with him now that he's mostly past being a royal pain, but the thing that I do appreciate is how much he cares about his family, Clary included. Yes, he does tend to have a bit of an inflated ego at times (or almost always....), but he is always willing to put the people he loves in front of himself.



Lucas

For me, there are usually one or two moments in a book that I remember above all else, and in each of the Shadow Falls novels they've involved Lucas. Lucas rescuing Kylie from her underground prison, Lucas dancing with her outside after Perry and his fireball fiasco, and, my personal favorite, Lucas and Kylie hiking together in the creek near the dinosaur bones. I'd always thought it was really sweet when he talked about living next to her when they were young and how he protected her from the bullies after school when they were just little kids. You wouldn't think someone like Lucas would be "adorable," but he can definitely surprise you.



Bailey

I personally don't think that Bailey got enough page time in this novel, but I really enjoyed watching him grow up from being twelve years old the first time we saw him. He was always so full of life and wanted to be more than his family had planned for him to be. Bailey was a dreamer, but he was willing to be realistic, even if he wished he didn't have to be. The circus really was perfect for him, and I was rooting for him and Poppet the whole time. He was willing to go through so much to get back to her, and his journey to find Poppet and the circus again was my favorite part of the novel.




Perry

I thought Perry was great even before he fell in love with Aria. His love and loyalty to his nephew, Talon, was amazing, and his determination to bring him back home was inspiring. Even when he hated Aria for being a Dweller like the people who kidnapped Talon, he kept his "savage" humanity and refused to let her die in the Aether storms. And once they do fall in love, it gets even better. Especially after you read the second book, which I can't say anything about.





Roar

Yes, I noticed that this is the same book as before, but it's not breaking any rules because there is no annoying love triangle going on here. Roar's too cool for that. While he is, without a doubt, my favorite character in either novel, he never tries to fight Perry for Aria because he's in love with Liv, Perry's sister. He is so loyal and faithful to her, it's not even funny. We don't even meet Liv, and we can still tell how in love with her Roar is. He will literally do anything to find her again, even more so in Through the Ever Night which I still can't talk about!



 

Kaidan

Kaidan was one of those other guys I wasn't sure if I was going to include. He's arrogant, completely self-centered, and an all together pain in my rear end. But he has his moments, and that's why he's still here. He may not be the nicest guy, but he still cares about Anna more than he's willing to reveal at first. That moment with the necklace was so sweet, and their road trip together was definitely my favorite part of the book. Yeah, technically is "job" interferes with ever getting romantically close to anyone, but later on, he's willing to risk just about anything for her.

 

***


I'm sure that I've missed more than my fair share of great guys (and girls) today. Who do you think I should have included? Or do you think that some of the characters up here don't really deserve their place? Let me know!


Dec 26, 2012

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Top 10 of 2012: Best "Best Friends" of 2012


So today is the reader's choice day of this event, and I've decided to spotlight all of the awesome best friends in the books I've read this year. They never seem to get enough credit having to go up against all of the boyfriends and villains out there. I think it's their time to shine for all of the awesome things they do.

I'd also like to thank all of my wonderful friends who have put up with me this year, especially Gabby for being willing to start this crazy blog with me. Everybody say hi to Gabby! She's been busy for a while, but hopefully she'll be back soon!

***


Emma

Emma is absolutely incredible. She is hilarious and means so much to every story. Not to mention she means everything to Kaylee, and Kaylee means everything to her. (highlight this next part to read it, it contains spoilers from Before I Wake -->) When she died, I almost stopped breathing because I was going to miss her so much. Luckily she came back so it's good to know I won't have to hurt the wonderful author.





Jared

There's always one of them. That overzealous but completely fantastic gay guy that would give their own leg to help their friend. They tend not to be popular around a lot of people, but they are so loyal to that one character who's willing to give them a chance. They are almost always my favorite character because of all of their awesome spunk.





Daniel

I usually don't like those best friends of female main characters that always want to be "more than friends." Sometimes they're really adorable and sweet, but usually they care more about being the boyfriend than just being a good friend. That just makes me mad. Really mad. Daniel is the exception. Even though Maya has sort of chosen the "other guy," he's still willing to fight for her without neglecting their friendship, which I really appreciate.

Pan

Yeah, I know this book is a little older, but I actually did read it this year, so it still counts. And Pan is just too cool to pass up. Everybody needs a Pan. Lyra would be next to nothing without him. He cares so much about her, and who wouldn't want this shape-shifting daemon as a best friend?






Dee

This girl.... is the happiest, bounciest friend I've ever read about. Dee is so full of energy and sunshine that nobody can resist her, and it doesn't take long for Katy to fall under her spell as well. Regardless of Daemon's.... attitude.... Dee is always there for Katy and stands up for her when others are trying to make her life miserable. She's amazing.





Meredith & Della

Kylie was in an, uh, special mood when she first arrived at Shadow Falls. She was terrified and wary of everybody at the camp, including these girls. Her former best friend had bailed on her, her knight was missing his shining armor, and her parents weren't exactly being supportive. Meredith and Della pulled her through all of this. Especially later in the series, they both stepped out more to really fight for Kylie and stop anyone from hurting her.





Bernie Kosar / Hadley

Anybody who tries to argue this one with me is going to feel my wrath. Man's best friend totally counts. Technically, Bernie isn't even a dog. He's better, and he can really kick some butt. John/Four wouldn't still be there without him, and this "little guy" definitely made the cold Ohio winter nights more bearable.






Grover

Grover's definitely a strange one, but he's still pretty awesome. Percy would still be stuck in those pointless schools for "troubled children" if he wasn't there to get him out and introduce him to the wonderful world of Greek demigods. I'm pretty sure he's also the cheapest friend on this list. Being able to eat metal cans and other packaging garbage certainly saves you money when you're on those quests to save the world.





Saphira

Eragon is one lucky guy. Not everybody gets to have a dragon as a best friend. Especially one that lives her life just for you and has been waiting years on end to find you before being born.... er, I mean hatched. They always know what the other is thinking (literally) and it's obvious that Saphira would give her life any day to protect Eragon and keep him safe.






Pounce

If anybody dares to say that Pounce is just a simple cat, they aren't going to live long enough to regret it. He's a constellation thank you very much. Not to be meddling in any human affairs, you must remember, but always there to help Beka out and crack a very dry "holier than thou" joke to break up the monotony of a Hunt. I'm not usually a huge fan of cats (sorry, constellations!), but Pounce is just too cool to forget.

 

 

 

***

So what would you guys have chosen to spotlight on this day? Are there any awesome friends that I've completely forgotten?

Oh, and don't forget to check out the post from Day One and Day Two!


Dec 25, 2012

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Top 10 of 2012: Best Book Covers of 2012 (Cover Lovin' #3)


Welcome to Day Two! And for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, go here, feel the awesomeness of Day One that you missed out on, and then be welcomed into Day Two. Guess what we get to do today? Look at pretty pictures! And no, I'm actually not kidding.

Today is actually right up my alley. I've been known to stare at a piece of grass for hours on end, taking about three hundred photographs of it until I come up with something I'm satisfied with. And why was I taking pictures of grass, you ask? Well, if I knew the answer to that question, then I wouldn't have had to take three hundred of them until I got it right, now would I?

The point is that I'm always thinking about stuff like this. How things should be framed, what's screwing up my shot, and how the light reflects off of different surfaces to present a unique illusion. I find all of it fascinating, trying to pick apart how something like that is created and try to replicate those same techniques. Some may call me crazy.... and what the heck, they're probably right.

Here are some of the most amazing book covers that I've seen so far this year:


Lullaby by Amanda Hocking


The thing that I like about this one is how bright and beautiful everything is without seeming so unrealistic and overdone. The dress and the feathers stand out perfectly, and the water is just so incredibly vivid that I'm jealous. 


Breathe by Sarah Crossan


I like the dark and desolate feeling that this cover presents, but I really appreciate that they were willing to throw some color in there within the "bubble" of the city. The contrast of the three people against its light is great, and I love the placement of the title behind them.


Beguiled by Rashelle Workman


The picture itself here is very simple, but the cover artist spent a lot of time trying to craft all of the creatures into the foreground. The animals made out of fire are really cool, and a lot of care was taken to add in the little things, like the faint planets overlaid on top of the girl.


Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst


This one.... oh my gosh.... I love this one. It is so beautiful and majestic and perfect, that I'm sure it took countless shots to create, but it really doesn't look that way. The color palette is really simple, but it fits in so well that anything else would have seemed overdone. I don't know who came up with this, but somebody needs to send them a box of chocolate!


Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


There is a whole lot of interesting contrast going on in this one. There really isn't much color to it, but I personally think it fits in well with what the author is trying to get across. The way it's framed, I keep wanting to look around the girl and see more of the crumbling city, and everything about it makes me want to know more about the book.


Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard


This thing is bea-u-ti-ful. I can't really tell how they made this. At first I thought it was a photograph, then I swore by the fact that it was a painting, but now I'm leaning back to highly airbrushed and digitized picture. Either way, it's still awesome. My favorite part about it is the clockwork in the background, which I didn't notice until a really long time after I first saw it.


Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin


This one is simple and elegant all at the same time. It really only has varying shades of one color, but not once have I thought that it's needed anything more than that. I love that her face is shadowed and that her skin stands out so much against everything else. It's so mysterious with the red smoke, which makes me want to know even more about it.


Illuminate by Aimee Agresti


I'm not really sure what it is about this cover that I like, but it's certainly something. I know that you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but before I even read what it was about, I knew that I was going to be getting my hands on it. The shadowed wing intrigued me, the girl looked like she really had something to say, and the texture of the wall was greatly appreciated, seeing as how texture is one of the most neglected things in book covers. At least in my opinion.


Everneath by Brodi Ashton


This cover is coooooool!!! Whatever they did to make the smoke rise up and blend in with the dress, I want it. Bad. It's amazing! There's a lot of depth to it for just being smoke, and I don't really see a beginning or ending point for it, so whoever took care of this did a really good job.


Tempest by Julie Cross


This cover is one of my favorites because it is so unique. If you look at all of the others, you'll see that eight out of nine of them involve the camera looking directly at the cover model, and the other one is just silhouettes. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but this one is a very beloved breath of fresh air. Just from the cover you can tell that something big is going down, making me really excited to dive into the story that it holds.

***


Now if I'm being completely honest here, I have to admit that I've only actually read one of these books so far this year. I know, I know, I'm a horrible person, but I swear they're all on The LIST. They will all be read.... eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but I'm going to have to just take what I can get.

And I suppose this post qualifies as a Cover Lovin' post, right? Eh, what the heck, it's close enough.

So what beautiful covers have been your guys' favorites this year?


Dec 24, 2012

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Top 10 of 2012: Best Books I've Read in 2012


Welcome to the first day of the Top 10 of 2012! This event is hosted by the awesome people over at Fiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Two Chicks on Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. You can learn more about how this is going down over here, but I'll let you know what you have to look forward to this week.

We've already got today's, the best books we've read this year, so here are the others:







So let's get on with today's books! There have been so many incredibly amazing books that I've been able to read this year, but these have to be some of my favorites. Because choosing only ten is hard enough, I couldn't possibly attempt to rank them, so there is absolutely no order among these. They're all awesome!

***


(This summary is hidden because it contains spoilers if you haven't read the previous books. Just higlight the text to read it.)

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.
Anything.



This book.... I know I said I wouldn't be ranking these, but I'm making an exception because this is without a doubt THE BEST BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR. Everything that I'd been waiting for to happen came out in this book. Nearly everything in it made me so happy I was about to explode and I just couldn't stop smiling as soon as I finished it. You can read my review of the novel here.



Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.



Okay, this book was so awesome, I made my mom read it. And was then horribly insulted when she didn't think it was nearly as wonderful as I had assured her it would be. This book is amazing. Whether you've read Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series or not, this book is still amazing. Apparently she's going to be writing another spin-off series where the characters from these books and the ones from the Darkest Powers novels come together. I'm so excited!



What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and                                                                      unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

This book was able to create one of the most realistic and entertaining stories that I've read so far this year. The clarity of the story in my head as I read through the novel was absolutely incredible. More than probably any other novel that I've read so far this year, I could imagine everything down to the very nail. I absolutely loved all of the characters (especially the gargoyles!) and it was such a light and fun read.



Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books - but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

                                                             I am next.


For those of you who saw the movie, I'm so terribly sorry. Not that it was bad or anything, it's just that there were quite a few discrepancies between it and the actual book. Namely, the portrayal of the characters. But the special effects weren't too shabby. Anyway, back to the book. IT. WAS. AWESOME. It was probably my favorite new idea/series so far this year. Everything that happened was so interesting, there was absolutely no filler text, and all of the alien creatures were completely fabulous.



 (This summary is hidden because it contains spoilers if you haven't read the previous books. Just higlight the text to read it.)

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.


I really, really liked this book. Were there things in it that made me so mad I almost threw it against the wall? Without a doubt. I started to really dislike some of the characters, but there were also others that I grew to love even more. A whole lot of stuff went down in this book, so if you haven't reached it yet, I suggest you hurry up and read the other books so that you can get to it as soon as possible. This isn't one you're going to want to miss.



Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


If you ask any one of my friends which book I've insistently shoved at them this year, I'm pretty sure the answer would unanimously be Under the Never Sky. Well, that's because it's awesome! The writing is beautiful, the story is even more incredible, and I've never been able to resist a good dystopian novel. I loved all of the characters (with Roar being my undivided favorite), and I really liked that it didn't just follow the path of most novels of it's kind. There are no zombies and whatnot that apparently always have to appear after the world ends, and Aria is actually concerned with things that normal humans would be concerned with in her situation, instead of just wanting to go out there and save the world. She's human, and she's got her human issues too, just like everybody else.



Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the President of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are not defined by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.









This is a book that I actually just finished a few days ago, so it's one of those that I just had to squeeze in. This is in no way the funny, light hearted, and happy ending kind of book that I usually enjoy. Not at all. This book is dark and very disturbing at times. Many people die horrible, bloody deaths, and some bad stuff definitely goes down. The thing about it, though, is that it's so incredibly poignant and emotional. I always felt bad for the plight of the characters, even when they were doing some really stupid things. I was intrigued by how the disease affected humanity, and not just those it changed, but those it left behind as well. This is a book that really makes you think. You can read my review of it here.



Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.




Yeah, I kinda dropped the ball on this one. I read it waaaaaay too late. The movie had already been out for a few months, and a lot of it had been spoiled for me, but I still really loved it. The characters, oh the characters. I loved pretty much all of them, even the really annoying ones. I'm pretty sure that this one was my favorite in the series, mostly because the others just made me too sad. A lot of unfair things happen to everybody in these books, and even though nobody deserves it, it's very true to what could happen in real life.



Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


While I haven't reviewed this book yet, I did partake in the read-along that was created for it. This book was very interesting and seemed to take a lot of turns that I didn't really expect. The beginning road trip portion of the novel was my favorite, simply because we learned so much about our two main characters during this time. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it ended! We were nowhere near close to hearing the end of their story, and I ran out of pages to turn! I'm not exactly a patient person when it comes to sequels!



Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

                                                                 If I don't kill him first, that is.


I had heard a lot about this book and its sequel on various blogs this year, but, much to my dismay, my library hadn't stocked it yet. It seemed like I was completely out of luck, until I decided to go against all of my instincts and buy a book by an author that I'd never read anything from, which I almost never do, which you can read more about here. But I decided to take a giant leap of faith and trust the opinions that I'd heard already and just get a copy of the book for myself anyway. I was not disappointed. This book rocks. It is hilarious and riveting all at the same time, and all of the characters are just so freakin' amazing that it's not even funny.


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So, have you guys read any of these books before? Are there any that you think I should have included? What have been your favorites so far this year?