Happy Thanksgiving everybody!! I hope you're all enjoying your day off (I know I'm anxious for a break from the daily grind of work) and spending it exactly the way you wanted. I'm hoping for a chance to catch up with my family and friends and eat all the delicious food my family has in store for our spread. After dinner while I want to make sure to catch the football games, I'm also hoping to squeeze in some time to curl up with a good book or two and catch up on some much needed quite time. So while I'm making my way through the usual festivities, here's another round of 2012 countdowns....
You guys know the drill by now...I'm always on the lookout for new finds and exciting new reads and below are just a few that I've come across lately. With how busy everyone gets if I don't write the titles down immediately I'll never be able to remember them later when I'm ready to download a new book to my kindle, or in the store wondering which shelf to look through first. So by posting these countdowns I give myself one more place to look when I need to be reminded of the titles I'm looking forward to.
And as always if you guys hear of any that you haven't seen me post let me know. Like I said, I only have so much time to search for future reads on my own, and to be honest, the majority of my favorite titles I owe to friends/bloggers/author recommendations. So leave a comment, shoot me an email, etc... if there are any books or authors you think I should have on my radar.
Countdown Pick #1: Stolen Away by Alexandra Harvey (01/17/2012)
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric—who may or may not betray them.
Harvey certainly knows how to make light of the paranormal genre and keep me entertained throughout her pages so when I saw this new release I had to add it to the list. And who doesn't think this sounds like a good time? I mean come on, there's fairies and battles, love and mystery...it has the full package wouldn't you agree? So while this title might not skyrocket to the top of my TBR list, it's definitely going to be kept in mind for when I need a light read and a good laugh...when I'm avoiding seriously stressful and anxiety ridden titles.
Countdown Pick #2: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (07/24/2012)
There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
I've said it before and I'll say it again....I'm not and never have been a fan of anything zombie related. But with that being said I'm going to give it a shot. This cover was hard to resist. So once I took a look at it I wanted to know more about the story behind this striking girl. When I read the word zombie I almost clicked away from the browser I was on but didn't. I continued to read on and I'll admit that I was a little curious and now I'm willing to try it out. So I'm hoping that maybe Dennard can change my mind when it comes to these freaky creatures and make me a fan. Or at the very least maybe not as anti-zombie as I am currently. So let's hope that romance blossoms or something at least intrigues me in Eleanor's plight to rescue her brother and save the world from the zombies, otherwise I might not be willing to take another chance on zombies in the future.
Countdown Pick #3: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta (June 2012)
When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the grounds keeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.
Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.
The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.
Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?
I know I'm not alone when I say that any story revolving around a boarding school backdrop just adds a little more temptation to get your hands on it don't you think? With Jane going to a boarding school and thinking it's too good to be true, it probably is and she's probably in for a world of crazy and dangerous adventures. But the mention of these brothers who of course have to be incredibly good looking and are probably either dark and mysterious and come with a pull that Jane can't resist or they're going to be blond haired and blue eyed and overflowing in the charm department. Either way....danger Will Robinson....danger! Jane's in for what sounds like a wild ride and I can't wait to dig into these mysterious school grounds and secrets aplenty right alongside.
Countdown Pick #4: The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers (02/14/2012)
Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.
But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.
So this one kind of makes me feel like a kid again. The picture of the house itself on the cover has given me goosebumps and whoever that figure is in the window...creepy! So there's kind of a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys feel with this one and I'm eager to see if there's a track of breadcrumbs or clues for the readers to follow along with the main character during this read. I'm intrigued by the idea that the house and all that goes on there gave the children the idea that they were being overly imaginative when it came to what was going on only to find out that it might not have been just their imagination but actual goings on taking place. This doesn't feel like a typical Valentine's day book release but maybe getting away from the romantic stuff this year around this time will be a refreshing change of pace and hopefully a highly intensive mystery to solve on top of that....we shall see.
Countdown Pick #5: Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (03/13/2012)
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones. Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.
The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her: evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.
But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?
I'll admit that this one sounded a little hocky to me at first glance but once I got to the part where they introduced Aidan into the mix and I was slightly intrigued. I've always been a fan of Robin Hood and if a girl wants to take a crack at the job and see what she can do for the more unfortunate students at her school, well...it could be fun to watch...or read in our case as she makes her attempt. And it is a cute spin on the age old story, robbing the rich and giving to the poor or less rich remains the same but using a high school as the backdrop is pretty neat if you ask me. So whether or not Willa gets busted for her compassionate crimes or not, I'm thinking I almost judged this one too quickly and I'm eager to check it out and prove myself wrong.