Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books Read in 2012

Hey everyone! I'm a little late with this post, but that's okay. I read some pretty great books in 2012 and I need to share them with you!

The Edge of Never
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
I actually just read this one and loved it! Such a gorgeous novel that will break your heart and fill it with hope five times over.

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitandis
I wasn't expecting to like this one so much but it turned out to be a very unique adventure. 
Read my review for Glimmer here
Second Chance Summer
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Another heartbreakingly beautiful novel by one of my favorite authors.
Read my review here

Smart Girls Get What They Want
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohemeyer
I loved this book. So. Much. It's just so much fun. I know it slipped under the radar, but if you haven't picked this one up, go do it. Now.
Read my review here

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
I just completely fell in love with this one. A super cute, sweet story.

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
I had to include this one on the list because it's one of my favorite series and every book just gets better. 
Read my review here

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
I wasn't the biggest fan of Bloodlines, but I loved this book. Definitely a series worth checking out.

Girl at Sea
Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
I've read other Maureen Johnson novels, but didn't love them as much as others seem to. But I absolutely loved Girl at Sea. It's just such a fun adventure.
Read my review of Girl at Sea here

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire, #2)
Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
Another favorite series of mine.

If you haven't read any of these, I highly recommend them!
What are some favorites you've read this year?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Challenges!

This year, I didn't participate in many challenges. I'm changing that in 2013!

Here are the challenges I'm participating in:

2013 Standalone Reading Challenge

Standalone Reading Challenge hosted by IceyBooks and I Like These Books.

The Challenge: To read 15 Young Adult and Middle Grade standalone novels in 2013 that are released in the United States between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. 

For more information on The Standalone Reading Challenge, visit here

TBR Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish.
The Challenge: To read books that have been sitting on your shelf for a while. 
For this challenge, I'm going to try to read 11-20 (A Friendly Hug) books from my TBR Pile. Hopefully I'll get more in, but I'm going to start with that.

For more information or to sign up, visit here.

YA/MG Fantasy Challenge hosted by The Book Cellar

The goal of this challenge is to read and review 10 YA/MG fantasy books throughout the year.

For more information or to sign up, visit here

Debut Author Challenge hosted by Hobbitsies. 

The Challenge: Each participant must read and review at least twelve debut books in 2013. 

For more information or to sign up, visit here. 

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen.

The goal of this challenge is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. There are different levels that you can pick from. You can move up a level as often as you'd like but no moving down.

I am going to try to read the Out of Breath Level (6-10 more books)

For more information or to sign up, visit here. 

Sophomore Reading Challenge hosted by Chick Loves Lit.

Sophomore Reading Challenge is a follow-up to the Debut Author Challenge where readers can challenge themselves to read 10 “sophomore” books in the year.

For more information or to sign up for this challenge, visit here.

Hopefully I can keep track of all of the challenges!

What challenges are you participating in next year?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Awesomeness that is Rachel Vincent

Over a year ago, I created a post explaining why I love Kelley Armstrong. I thought it was about time that show some more author love, and who better to do that with that Rachel Vincent?

The Soul Screamers series is one of my favorite series ever, but it's not the only series that I love of Vincent's. I pretty much devour, love, and obsess over anything she writes. I started contemplating what makes me love her books so much. 

It's true that Rachel can develop some pretty strong female protagonists. They are all different but are kick-ass in their own ways. 

I also love Rachel's writing. She writes maturely and can entice me into her stories. 

But what makes me love her novels so much, is the worlds she creates. 
Rachel Vincent has created some of the most unique worlds that I've come across in all of my years of reading. She can take a concept that has been done many times before, such as shape-shifters and spell-casters, and change them into something that is original and completely her own. She is also, in my opinion, fantastic at world-building. 

With my love of her characters, writing, and worlds, I will follow her into the end of the world and read anything that she puts out. 
Do you in any way feel the same? 
Is that an author whose worlds you love? 
I'd love it if you let me know!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Charming Covers [48]: Dare You Too

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off some covers that have recently been revealed/that I've recently found. 

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
May 28, 2013

"I dare you..." 

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.... 

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Although, like the first cover, I would be embarrassed to be seen reading this (maybe more so with this one), I do like how it matches the first cover and that it (probably) goes really well with the book. 
There are no words for how excited I am for this book. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors.

As Always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. for more information or to participate, visit here.

This week's theme is favorite new to me authors of 2012. I found a lot of great authors this year!

1. Phoebe Kitanidis- I read Glimmer and really liked how unique it was. I can't wait to read more by her!
2. Jennifer Armentrout- I started both the Covenant series and The Lux series this year. Both are great series!
3. Jessi Kirby- This year, I read both of her novels. I really enjoyed them and can't wait for more of her books!
Suzanne Young- I read her Need so Beautiful series and was blown away.
Stephanie Strohmeyer and Katie McGarry- Both of these authors are debuts and I've only read on book of each of theirs, but both were so amazing.
Maureen Johnson- Although I don't enjoy her novels as much as much as other seem to, I did enjoy them and absolutely loved Girl at Sea.
Lisa Desrochers- Love her Original Sin series!
Shannon Delaney - Again, I love her 13 to Life series.

What authors did you discover this year? 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Wildcat Fireflies by Amber Kizer

Wildcat Fireflies (Fenestra, #2)Wildcat Fireflies (Fenestra #2)
Amber Kizer
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 12, 2011

Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra--the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.
Having recently lost her beloved Auntie--the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra--Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. their search leads them to  Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, words tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand...and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighting her down...
Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to saver her from a life of misery and illness? And will Mer and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries?
I read Wildcat Fireflies's predecessor almost three years prior to reading this novel. I remembered that I really enjoyed it, but that's about all. So, aside from the basic plot line and major events of Meridian (because of the spoilers I had to look up), reading Wildcat Fireflies was pretty much a new reading experience for me. 

Meridian was an overall good character, despite two characteristics: immaturity and her whiny-ness. Now, I was, for the most part, okay with her immaturity. After all, despite the things that she had been through, Meridian is still sixteen, and she acted like it. However, when she would whine, that irked me. It wasn't something that would distract me from the novel constantly, but it still bothered me. Despite these things, however, I still really liked her. 

In Wildcat Fireflies, we were introduced to a new character: Juliet. I felt sorry for her more than anything. She had been through a lot and had not led a good life. I loved how she treated the children that she was with and I was rooting for her. 

I love the concept and story behind these novels. There is a certain amount of mythology behind it, and I really enjoyed that aspect. This was also a very addicting read. Although it wasn't action-packed, it still had its share of intense moments. I was able to read it rather quickly despite it being over 500 pages. 

Despite not remembering much of the first book, I still really enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to reading the next book. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November Wrap Up

I am bringing this post to you a few days late, but, hey, better late than never, right?

Anyway. I read ten books in November. It's decent, but still not as good as I would have liked. It's cool, though. My recent YouTube obsession has gotten in the way of reading. 
Books read:
  • Because it is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (review coming soon)
  • Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
  • Meant to Be by Lauren Morill
  • Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
  • Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout
  • Wildcat Fireflies by Amber Kizer (review coming soon)
  • Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
  • The Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
Other Reviews/ Other Posts of Interests
Overall, it was kind of a slow month, but that's okay! I'm looking forward to getting back into blogging in December!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to BeMeant to Be
Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Meant to be or not meant to be...that is the question.
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffe, and quite another to fall for the--gasp--wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julian may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush. as her MTB (Meant to Be).
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. after one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts...from an unkown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Juilia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
I was really looking forward to reading Meant to Be. It looked like a fun and romantic read. Meant to Be turned out to be a very cute read.

Julie was a neurotic mess. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing. She was very entertaining and I could relate to her (to a certain extent). What I didn't like about her was the way she treated people. She was an overall good person, but she did act very high and mighty sometimes. This was something that she had to grow out of, but I still didn't like it.

Meant to Be was a very quick and fun read. It wasn't exactly original. We have seen this concept before, several times. However, this novel did bring something new to the table, mostly in its setting. Meant to be is set in London and I loved experiencing it throughout the novel!

Overall, Meant to be is fun and cute. It wasn't anything spectacular, but I still enjoyed it and it was a quick read.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2013 Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. For more information or to participate, visit here. 

This week's topic is books of 2013 I'm most anticipating. It was so hard to keep it just to ten because there are so many great books coming out next year!

Sadly, though, two of my favorite series are ending. So while I am dying of anticipation of these books, I just can't let these characters go.

1. Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton- This is my number one book I can't wait for next year. I am so excited for this book, you don't even know.
2. With All My Soul- No! I can't let Kaylee and Todd and Nash and Sabine and Emma go. I've been with these characters for six books and I will be with them one last times...
3. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shephard- This one looks really good!
4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman- Gayle Forman is awesome. I can't wait to read another one of her books.
5. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovenoff- This one looks really unique and good. Plus, I really enjoy Yovenoff's novels.
6. The Orginals by Cat Patrick- I've yet to read a Cat Patrick book (all two of them) that I didn't really enjoy.
7. Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb- I loved A Certain Slant of Light. I can't wait to read the sequel!.
8. The Dollhouse Asylum by Maray Gray- This one looks amazing and I love the cover!
9. Boundless by Cynthia Hand- Another good series ending.
10. Dare You To by Katie McGarry- Companion to Pushing the Limits, anyone?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning BlueBurning Blue
Paul Griffin
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: October 25, 2012

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?
When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.
Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

This is my first novel by Paul Griffin, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Burning blue looked like a really intense mystery and I was excited to dive into it. 

Jay is a very stand-offish person, and for good reasons. I actually ended up really liking Jay once I got to know him. One thing I loved about Jay (and this novel) was that he was a super-smart hacker. This aspect was really unique and I enjoyed it. I just wish that the novel focused more on this aspect than it did. 

And Nicole. I wasn't sure how I would feel about her upon starting this novel. I didn't want to like her. But, as Jay got closer to her and as I got to know her more, I did end up liking her. 

As far as the mystery goes, I really enjoyed it. Burning Blue was a very addictive read. Even though it wasn't filled with edge of your seat action, it was still a very quick read. And even though I thought I had everything figured out, Burning Blue still brought twists and surprises. 

Overall, I ended up really enjoying Burning Blue. Paul Griffin is an excellent story-teller and her's an author to watch. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Through To YouThrough to You
Emily Hainsworth
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfirend, Viv, died. He'd give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. but when cam visits the site of Viv's deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she's a girl from a prallel world. When Cam follows here there and makes an unbelievable discover, it's  as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window is shrinking every day. As cam comes to terms with the truth, he's forced to make a choice that will change his life forever. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Through to You. I hadn't heard much about it. As it turns out, Through to You wasn't what I was expecting and I really enjoyed it, although I didn't love it.

I will admit, Cam was kind of a douche throughout the novel. I understand that he's grieving and going through a hard time, but still. And there were several times throughout the novel that I just wanted to shake some sense into him. He could be a little dense at times. However, I know that he was an overall good guy and I was still hoping for things to work out for him in the end.

And Viv. In the beginning, I wanted to like her. I thought that if Cam, who was an overall good guy, loved her that much, she must be a good person. But the more we learned about Viv, the more I knew there was something off about her. I know that Cam's Viv was probably different, but I just could not understand why Cam centered so much of his life around her.

I loved the concept of this book. It was really unique, not what I expected at all, and it hooked me on the novel. Although I just about had everything that was going to happen figured out, I was still trying to figure out exactly how everything was happening.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, though not as much as I would have liked. It was the world and concept of this novel that kept me hooked, but not necessarily the characters.