Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Born At Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) by C.C. Hunter

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

I've really become a fan of this series. The opener was fun, creative and just a really easy, enjoyable read. There was suspense, plenty of questions constantly buzzing around as the readers watches our main character Kylie go through this transition period in her life. What she thought she was turned out to be a fantasy and what she really is a very large mystery. The camp had plenty of mystique and mystery surrounding the grounds and fellow campers, and it was tempting to flip to the end to see how it all turned out.

Hunter has created and introduced her readers to a wonderful and very eclectic group of characters and I'm looking forward to getting to know them much better in her future installments. But let's face it...the love/crush triangle she concocted was what had me reeling. Kylie is immediately thrown in between two very different but equally tempting guys that she's met at camp. While she originally met one of the boys (Lucas) when she was younger, it's not until she gets to know him all over again that she really understands who he is and what was really going on when they were younger as far as their deeper connection goes. And Derek, my gosh what a sweetheart! He's your average all American guy, super sweet and nice, and right away he places himself as Kylie's protector and all around good influence. But the bad boys are hard to resist and Lucas fills out those shoes quite nicely.

I've of course got my favorite but it's changed a little here and there I'll admit. While I might favor one over the other for Kylie's perfect match, I must say that Hunter has done an excellent job at making that conclusion as hard as possible. Hunter claims on her website that she loves both guys equally and since they both care for Kylie a great deal, she says she's not sure who she'll end up with in the conclusion of the series. I've got my fingers crossed, but who knows what my opinions will be once I get into the other installments. I've already got my copy of the second installment, Awake At Dawn, and I can't wait to see what happens next for Kylie and her friends.

I gave Born At Midnight 4 shamrocks!!!!




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (9)

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: Immortal City (Immortal City, #1) by Scott Speer (04/03/2012)

L.A. Candy meets the mystery and romance of Fallen in this sensational debut

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He’s days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone’s obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect—everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy’s the one girl in Angel City who doesn’t breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn’t recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson’s scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi—and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels’ wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat ... and this time it’s up to Maddy to save Jackson.


This one sounds like so much fun! I was drawn to it by the cover admittedly and anything with Angels is usually a pretty big temptation that is almost impossible to resist but check it out...Angels are among us and apparently more famous than celebrities. Not sure how Speer will paint this completely crazy and yet alluring picture, but I'm anxious to see what he's got in mind. The idea that Angels are followed around like movie stars and people compete and go to crazy lengths to get the more popular Angel to watch over them sounds ridiculous but also wildly creative and sure to be an enjoyable ride. So hopefully Maddy can pull this one off and manage to save Jackson because this one sounds like too much fun to miss out on.

Countdown Pick #2: Keep Holding on by Susane Colasanti (06/14/2012)

Chew.
Swallow.

Chew.

Swallow.

Don't look up.
Lunch is the worst, but there's no safe place at school for Noelle. Keeping her mortifying home life a secret and trying to ignore the kids who make her life miserable are Noelle's survival strategies. Her emotionally distant boyfriend, Matt, isn't the one she really wants to be with. But there's no way she could ever be with Julian Porter.

When Julian starts talking to her, Noelle is terrified. It seems safer to stay with Matt than risk a broken heart. But when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself - and for everything that makes her keep holding on.


This one sounds like a tough but very moving read if you ask me. Everyone has either been picked on themselves growing up or seen it happen. It's awful and unfortunately something that will likely never go away. So while this might not be a very upbeat sort of story, hopefully it will be a moving one with a message to take away after the final pages are read. Although we're not read into what kind of family situation Noelle is dealing with, it obviously doesn't sound good and the idea that she has that to deal with on top of everything else is a tough pill to swallow. I can only hope that she gets a happy ending well deserved.

Countdown Pick #3: Once (Eve, #2) by Anna Carey (07/03/2012)

Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

Brimming with danger and star-crossed romance, and featuring a vivid dystopian landscape, this electrifying follow-up to Eve, which bestselling author Lauren Kate called “a gripping, unforgettable adventure—and a fresh look at what it means to love” is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes adventure of The Hunger Games and the irresistible love story of Romeo and Juliet.


I can't even describe how much I wish I had this upcoming release in my hands this very second! When I finished Eve, I couldn't believe the way Carey decided to end it and I was crushed! It literally pained me that I wouldn't know what happened next until the second installment came out and I wasn't sure when that was going to be. But even now, July is so far away and all I want is to know what's going to happen with Eve and Caleb and if they'll be able to be together, and find their much deserved happily ever after. And I must say this synopsis has shocked me, I can't believe after all that work Eve is going to end up in the City of Sand after all! How that's going to work out I have no clue but it is sure to be a crazy adventure in the making and once again I can already see myself on the edge of my seat dying to know what happens next!

Countdown Pick #4: The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols ( 12/06/2011)

Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.

Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?


OK OK, I know this isn't a 2012 release but I love Echols' writing so much that I couldn't resist, and it's not out until December so technically it's countdown worthy, but not a 2012 release. So please excuse the sneak in on my part, but who isn't excited about this one huh? Another Echols release and of course romance is involved. This one sounds a bit tricky but Echols has a way of writing so that her readers are with her every step of the way and so invested in her characters that if things don't work out well we're all devastated. So fingers crossed Gemma gets her act together and figures this whole sticky situation out so everyone gets their wish. Obviously that's a lot easier said than done but I'm hoping Echols works her magic and makes it happen for us.

Countdown Pick #5: Wake (Watersong, #1) by Amanda Hocking (08/21/2012)

Lose yourself in the magic of Watersong, an unforgettable new series about two sisters who nearly lose their lives - and their loves - when they fall under the spell of three beautiful but deadly sirens.

First in a four-book paranormal romance YA series from bestselling author, Amanda Hocking.


I can only say that 2012 is really starting to look up for me in the reading department. I can't believe how many releases are coming out from my favorite authors. Of course I'm excited to read some debuts and books by authors that are previously unknown to me, but there's something special about future releases coming out by an author you already know you love and can't get enough of. So when I saw that Amanda Hocking is not only coming out with one new series in the new year, but TWO, I was beyond ecstatic! I can't believe my luck. Once again I can only hope that her new releases and series' will be just as good and loved as much as her My Blood Approves series, but I can't see it turning out any other way. So jump on the bandwagon with me and get excited because Hocking is sure going to deliver in 2012.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (8)

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: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby (02/28/2012)

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Doesn't this one sound like a cute read to you guys? It's got the feel of a harmless and fast read. Every once in a while these are the perfect kind of books to pick up. Fun, not too serious, not too deep, but packed full of harmless fun ya know? So I've marked this one down because who doesn't need a read like this one on a rainy day when nothing is catching your eye? I'm guilty of reading the gossip magazines and watching the gossip shows at night and most especially enjoying the pictures that photographers manage to catch on camera of all my celebrity favorites. When I was in L.A. not too far back I took one of the bus tours and you always see the Paparazzi out and about waiting to do just that. It's fascinating and I'm sure annoying as all get out for the stars to have to deal with on a daily basis but I'm sure I'll find myself torn as to who I'm rooting for in this one. Zo Jo or Ned...how about you?

Countdown Pick #2: Darkness Eternal by Gena Showalter (04/01/2012)

Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her mother's trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn -- the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she's brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school.

Except, what her mother doesn't know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency, where she'll learn to fight dirty, track hard, and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone -- the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night -- doesn't make things any easier. Especially when dating him is totally against the rules....


Yes! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed her adult series, Lords of the Underworld and to have a chance to check out her young adult new release is very exciting! I can only imagine her YA work will be right up there on par with her adult series and if that's the case than I'm not going to be able to put this one down until I finish, cover to cover. So I'm probably going to start this one on a weekend so I can use every excuse in the book to not be disturbed so I can soak it all in. Phoenix's situation sounds crazy and Ryan Stone sounds sexy and the baddest type of bad boy there is. Yes please! So you guys know how excited I am now about this one and the only downside is that there's no indication that this will be turned into a series, bummer right? Maybe if we all do our part and scoop up this book as soon as it hits the shelves, she'll get the chance to turn it into one.

Countdown Pick #3: Seven Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker (04/26/2012)

When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.
Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgment . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.


Walker won me over big time with A Match Made In High School, so the second I saw this brightly colored cover, I had a feeling she was coming out with a new release. A Match had me laughing out loud without being able to stop, and I'm anxious to see if she can keep the comedy up this time around. Her stories are light reads and perfect when you've hit that reading slump and nothing sounds really great to you. So instead of taking a break from reading (that would be crazy!) pick up a Walker novel and see if she's able to help you bounce back. She hit my funny bone without a doubt and I'm hoping for a repeat performance.

Countdown Pick #4: New Girl by Paige Harbison (01/31/2012)

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl
I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy.
And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.


Sounds pretty harsh to me, right? How is it that kids/teens can be so cruel? It's one thing when you're adult and you can almost rationalize certain people's behavior because of the stresses of life, love, etc...it doesn't make it right, but it certainly is more expected than when a younger person is downright cruel. So for new girl (and I'm just realizing they haven't even told us her real name) is seems like she's got a really rough road ahead of her at this new school of hers. I was very lucky growing up that my parents stopped the moving once I got into school so I never had to be the "new kid" at school, but I'm not sure I would have liked it very much, but I guess, who does really? Hopefully we'll learn the name of our main character and she if we'll find out what happened to Becca and what's in store of the rest of the students?

Countdown Pick #5: Transcendence by C.J. Omololu (06/05/2012)

Love isn’t the only emotion to survive death . . .

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Full of danger, romance, and intrigue, Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?


I'll admit I have a small fascination regarding past lives. I think the idea is kind of romantic. Not in the sense that I only find myself intrigued if there is a romance going on between people who have experienced reincarnation but I think the whole thing is romantic in the sense that we can right the wrongs we've done in past lives, make better or different choices the second or third time around, and I love the idea that you would be able to meet new people and experience new places in a new life, but at the same time still remember your old friends and family and places of interest. So when I came across this future read I couldn't resist putting it on my wish list. Without too many details about Cole and Griffon I don't have much to go on but it sounds great so far.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (7)

I hope you guys all enjoyed your Thanksgiving feasts...I know I did and my slightly tight fitting jeans are proof positive that my family's cooking was just as wonderful this year as it's always been. I'm not sure if I'll be able to even think about eating left overs today, I'm still full from yesterday's multiple courses. So I'm hoping you guys haven't gotten completely sick to death of my countdown posts lately, because I just can't seem to stop. There are just way too many good books coming out in the New Year and I don't want to leave even one of them that are on my TBR list off of my posts. Crazy yes, and if you're getting tired of them I'm sorry, but hopefully these lists will end soon, because if not I've got no chance of ever finishing this many books and I don't know where I'd even begin to pick and choose which to read and which to hold off on. So here are a few more new reads that will be hitting the shelves next year that I think you need to be adding to your wish lists if you haven't already.

Countdown Pick #1: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by R.L. LaFevers (03/07/2012)

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I love the sound of this one. Not only with there be some major girl power but there will also be romance and intrigue. Court life is always a fun backdrop in any book, just like boarding school scenes or campfires, ya know? So for this one to see the training of an assassin and what it all entails has my curiosity piqued but I can already see myself getting attached to her would-be target. I'm always a sucker for unrequited love stories and theirs will surely be the ultimate test for our main character. Who doesn't want to pick up this read come March? I mean come on, assassinations, romance, sneaking around and deciphering lies and manipulations? Yep, I'm definitely on board and I don't think I'll be the only one with this title under my arm as I make my way to the registers.

Countdown Pick #2: When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen (02/28/2012)

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

So while there is a description for this book and it's not just a one line teaser, I'll admit I'm still a little lost. Obviously we're in a fictional place and one where I'm assuming there are still arranged marriages common enough for our main character to begin to panic. But I wish there was a little bit more of a background snippet for what kind of world these characters live in, does that make sense? Am I alone in this? Well either way and despite the lack of a background on this synopsis, I'm still excited. The cover alone looks pretty ominous and the idea of a love triangle has me intrigued. Which guy will we be rooting for Felicita to choose? What other choices will she have to make, all in good time.

Countdown Pick #3: Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis (04/17/2012)

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?


When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.


Can you imagine what it would be like to wake up with no memory of who you are or anything else for that matter? I'm not sure I'm strong enough to deal with something like that and to be honest I hope I never find out if I'm right or wrong. It sounds just awful and Marsh and Eylse, despite having each other to lean on sound like they're in a very bad spot. Zombie like townspeople? No thank you. I'm all for forgetting all the bad that's happened in our lives but at what cost, right? Too much pressure if you ask me is on their shoulders and I'm hoping that they make it through and with a happy ending for them both please. What could they possibly find out though after digging around that could mean the death of everyone around them? Scary stuff right? I'm not familiar with Kitanidis' work but I'm looking forward to checking it out for myself and seeing if she can live up to this fabulous sneak peek.

Countdown Pick #4: Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien, #1) by Kai Meyer (02/14/2012)

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.

Hello modern day twisted Romeo and Juliet! It sounds like we might have a shape shifting, mafia, star crossed lovers scenario in the works readers. How exciting! These two characters come from complicated families with even more complicated mysteries and pasts. It seems like Rosa is going to have to adapt and think fast because otherwise I'm sure she won't last very long under these circumstances. And the cover has me even more confused and yet excited as well. If her guy could possibly be the tiger (or at least that's the way I was thinking) does the cover indicate she might a snake charmer or the snake itself? Questions, questions and no answers until February. What do you guys think about this one? I know I'm excited but did you guys pick up anything from the snippet that you think gave away some more clues? I might have missed them so feel free to share! There's a contest to win yourself a free copy of this one over at Goodreads, so be sure to enter for your chance if you haven't already!



Countdown Pick #5: Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg (04/01/2012)
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom and Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

Anything by Eulberg is pure gold in my book. The Lonely Hearts Club won my heart and Prom and Prejudice is still my favorite retelling of my all time favorite classic. So when I came across her next release I just about jumped up and down in my seat. I could barely contain my enthusiasm and only wish I didn't have to wait until April to add this baby to my own personal bookshelf. Her writing is realistic and refreshing and always fast paced but un-rushed. Her humor hits my funny bone every time and I always find myself laughing, sometimes crying and always always always invested in the characters she has created. I love the idea of this one and anyone who's been a fan of Fame or Raise Your Voice I think would agree that there's something about these types of stories that pump you up and refuse to let you go until the very end. Eulberg's been a favorite of mine since I found her writing and after meeting her at a book fair my opinion of her only went higher. I'm so happy for her and her accomplishments and thankful that she's produced another read for everyone to enjoy!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (6)

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.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (5)

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: Etiquette and Espionage (The Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger (2012)

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.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe.


So have any of you out there read the Parasol Protectorate series by Carriger? I haven't and I'm not sure why exactly I haven't gotten on that band wagon. And a band wagon it surely is because I have yet to hear anything bad about this series or author in general. I'm not saying it's getting the praise that maybe the Hunger Games trilogy and Suzanne Collins have gotten, but I haven't found any negative reviews out there either, or at least not with the ones I've come across. I think I like the idea that now that there will be a new series by Carriger related but not directly in connection with her previous series, and it takes place before the other series. So I've got the chance in 2012 to check out Carriger's work and see if it's for me. If it's to my liking then I've got all the more reason to check out her other series and get caught up in the new year. What do you guys think?

Countdown Pick #2: Destiny's Fire (Kythan Guardians, #1) by Trisha Wolfe (01/10/2012)

Sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—a part of a nearly extinct race of Kythan descended from ancient guardians who protected the pharaohs of Egypt. As Shythe, they must keep their shape-shifting ability and electric power hidden from the humans of their steam-powered world.

It’s the year 2040 and the Shythe Council has lowered their barrier, allowing the Narcolym—the dominant race of Kythan whose Flame ushered in the steam era—to enter their haven. As the Narcolym airships get closer, Dez secretly trains for an attack that her best friend Jace believes is coming despite the Treaty Act. Not only is Dez wary of war, and her growing affection for Jace, but she fears the change her fast-approaching birthday will bring.

When her power rockets out of control, Dez knows she’ll never attend the Shythe Academy with her friends, and worse, her mother’s planning to run. But a Narco named Reese could change her fate . . . if she can trust him. After Dez discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, her guarded world crumbles. She’s forced to choose between the race who’s raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.

DESTINY'S FIRE is an emotional journey of Dez’s struggle to overcome her fear and embrace her power—her destiny.


I'm a little confused about the set up of this January release but I think that's due mainly to the fact that it's rare you come across a book in the paranormal genre involving these creatures and characters. In fact the genre is so overrun by werewolves, vampires and the Fae that it's always a shock when another group enters the arena. It's also sometimes very refreshing. I mean there are only so many spins authors are going to be able to put on the common creatures before all the stories have been played out don't you think? I'm not looking forward to that particular day, but in the meantime it's nice to open up the paranormal playing field with a story like this one. It sounds like there could be a possible romance going on and there's certainly tension and stress abounding, so we'll have to wait and see how this one plays out. There's a chance that the new year will start off with quite a great group of new reads.

Countdown Pick #3: Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1) by Michele Vail (02/28/2012)

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath.

Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with.

To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly—against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.


And here's another one that sounds refreshingly different and out of the ordinary of the genre. I've never been into zombie books or movies of any kind. Just can't do it, nothing about the idea draws me in or makes me curious in any way, shape or form. But here we're talking about necromancers and reapers and I'm OK with that. Molly sounds like she's going to have her hands full. But to be honest, I know she's the main character and all but I'm more interested in Rath. There's only a blip on the radar about him in the synopsis but there's something about what they have said about him that piqued my interest. So I'm excited to see if we'll be able to get to know him better and get the chance to see his interaction with Molly. Not to mention, that I'm curious to see how her trip through Hell itself goes...I'm think it probably won't be a vacation.

Countdown Pick #4: Double by Jenny Valentine (02/27/2012)



When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined.


After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it.
Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen’s chance at redemption.


How creepy does this scenario sound? I'm practically on the edge of my seat and that's after only reading this tiny little teaser. I'm not sure what kind of trouble this little boy has gotten himself into or what major trouble the real boy Cassiel got into, but either way I'm freaking out over here. It kind of started to remind me of the Angelina Jolie movie, Changeling, and I can only imagine the crazy kind of scenarios that Valentine will come up with in her 2012 release. Luckily it'll be out in February and we don't have to wait too much longer. I'm not usually a mystery addict but every once in a while I get a hankering for a good puzzle and I like seeing if I'll be able to figure it all out before it's actually revealed, or if I'll be completely blindsided and have no idea what the heck is going on. It's usually the latter and I'm hoping eventually I can outsmart the authors...or at least just once!

Countdown Pick #5: Glimpse by Claire Merle (June 2012)

In a near future mental illness has skyrocketed out of control, and society is divided by genetic testing into those who will become ill—the Crazies—and those who won’t—the Pures.

Seventeen-year-old Ana Barber has been mistakenly raised in the community with the Pures. Really she’s a Sleeper which means one day she’ll go psycho, or schizo, or suicidal like her mum. When the authorities discover the truth, there’s only one thing standing between her and banishment to the city and that’s her romance with Jasper Taurell. Jasper, a rich boy from an influential family, wants to be with her despite her genetic defects. If she joins with him before she turns eighteen, she’ll be allowed to stay with the Pures until her illness manifests. But four weeks before their big day, Jasper disappears.

A heart-pounding thriller.


Uh oh. It sounds like someone is out to sabotage Ana's chances at staying with the pures until her illness develops. As most of you know I'm a recent dystopian convert and can't seem to get enough of these kinds of titles lately. This one sounds unique and I'm all for finding out more about this mysterious illness that Merle has us set up for in the future and what society will be like. I've already got a soft spot for Ana and Jasper, especially since he seems like such a sweetheart and that's from like only a few sentences of a description. He's willing to stand up for the girl he loves despite the consequences...and his disappearance is one big consequence, don't you think? It's possibly another dystopian novel to add to my favorites list, and another mystery that hopefully I'll enjoy trying my hand at solving. Anyone else have their interests sparked by this one?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (4)

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: Touched (Touched, #1) by Corrine Jackson (December 2012)

Remy O'Malley has the power to heal people with her touch, but her ability comes at a steep cost because every illness or injury she heals becomes her own.

How far would you be willing to go to help or save the lives of others with those kinds of consequences? I'd like to think that if I was given such an amazing and life changing gift that I'd help whomever I could but I'm not sure if I'm that much of a saint. We all have survival instincts and knowing the consequences of a healing action like the one that Jackson's future release describes...how do you decide who's life is worth saving? Jackson's got my wheels turning and December 2012 is a long way off. But I'm looking forward to it's release and I'm counting down to when it finds a place on the bookshelves.

Countdown Pick #2: Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale (02/02/2012)

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

Talk about your bombshells! Not only does her mother pass away and she's left to deal with that heartbreak, but then Rosie finds out that she wasn't really her biological mother after all! Wow and yikes is about all I've got. Not sure what other deeply buried secrets Rosie's running the risk of uncovering, but I do know I'd do exactly the same thing. I would have to know. The not knowing would drive me absolutely crazy. In fact, this is a fictional book and I'm stressing out as if it was my own life we're talking about here.

Countdown Pick #3:
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (06/12/2012)


Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.


Anything involving Jane Austen is going to draw my attention and even before I realized the relation, Peterfreund's future release had me marking this release date down. Every part of this description has me drooling and wishing it was already out on the shelves. But to then find out that it's based loosely on Austen's Persuasion...and I was sold without a doubt and floating on cloud nine. I'm half tempted to already predict a four or five shamrock rating! That's how excited I am for this release.

Countdown Pick #4: The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation, #1) by Avery Williams (01/03/2012)

Seraphina’s first love made her immortal…her second might get her killed.

Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.


Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?


What a synopsis! Whoever was in charge of that write up gets a gold star. I'm not sure who could resist that compelling teaser, I had no chance. True love, lives lost, infinite possibilities, and an evil and nefarious villain hunting down the main character is sure to keep readers on the edges of their seats and burning the so-called midnight oil in order to see what happens next. Thank goodness we don't have to wait too long, this sounds like a great start to the new year, don't you think?

Countdown Pick #5: The Story of Us by Deb Caletti (04/24/2012)

Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fianc├ęs, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:


Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.


While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....


I haven't had the chance to read any of Caletti's works, but I've heard good things. So along with some great sounding reviews of her previous books, this book's write up had me marking this one down on the countdown and adding it to my very long and ever increasing TBR pile. I'm liking the idea of everyone being at odds. Sounds terrible I know but also strangely entertaining, I mean even the main characters' dogs don't like each other. So while it sounds like this book might have a lot going on and possibly at times too much going on, I want to give it a shot. I'm curious to see what Cricket will do with this new boy Ash being in the picture. I will however have to come to terms with the fact that her name is Cricket...not sure how I feel about that quite yet. We'll see if it grows on me once I crack open the book's cover and get to know her a little better.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (3)

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: Tempest (Tempest, #1) by Julie Cross (01/17/2012)

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.


This one instantly made my TBR list. While some early reviews have described the beginning to be a little slow and difficult to get through, those same reviewers have said that when the action did finally take off, they couldn't put the book down. Cross' main character sounds like a modern day white knight in shining armor trying to protect his true love. How romantic and swoon worthy is that?

Countdown Pick #2: Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (03/06/2012)

Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.
As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?
Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
I'm having some deja vu moments with this one because it sounds similar to Simone Ekeles' Leaving Paradise, but yet different at the same time. Sounds weird and makes no sense, but deja vu normally doesn't right? Regardless, Stampler has me really wanting to solve this puzzle as soon as possible. I want answers and I haven't even cracked the book yet, not a good sign with there still being several months until it's release.

Countdown Pick #3: Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard (01/19/2012)

A dark and provocative novel from the author of The Secret Year

Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough—or cared enough—to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again.

Jennifer R. Hubbard has created a riveting story about a difficult but important subject.


With such a serious and emotional topic being the focus of this novel, I'm not imagining this release to be a fun and easy going read. But it does sound like it's got the potential to be a great story nonetheless. While I'm sure it will be difficult at times to get through, Hubbard is a wonderful writer and surely will work her magic again this time around. I can only imagine how moving a story like this in her words will turn out to be.

Countdown Pick #4: Honalee (Witches of Honalee, #1) by Amanda Hocking (2012)

In the small Midwestern town of Honalee, Hazel Panning and her best friend Molly Novak are determined to get through her sophomore year in one piece, despite the vicious cheerleaders and Hazel's ridiculous crush on Landon Hooper.

Life gets more complicated when Hazel realizes that she has a penchant for sorcery, like her aunt. Her plans to stay under the radar take a detour when she and Molly stand up for themselves, and Hazel gets the courage to act on her feelings for Landon.

Hazel discovers that the sleepy town of Honalee isn't so sleepy, and magic doesn't make high school easier.


As a big fan of Hocking's My Blood Approves series, I'm crossing my fingers this series opener lives up to her hype. I couldn't get into her other series, the Trylle Trilogy, so I'm figuring that I've got a 50/50 shot here of loving this one as well. I'm not sure how she did it, but she has this ability to pull her readers in and have them invested in her characters before they even realize its happened. So here's hoping that witches are just as much second nature for her to write about as vampires were in her previous series.

Countdown Pick #5: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (09/18/2012)

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.


Now this sounds like a reason to look a gift horse in the mouth if you ask me. While Ember sounds like she's got a second chance, she certainly has paid the price for just it, as I'm sure most of you would agree. But with this boy's help maybe she has a chance at a remedy of sorts? This seems like one giant mystery and it's one I'm eager to start trying my hand at solving. Who's with me?


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