Friday, August 31, 2012

Countdown: Missed Titles (1)

While trying to get back into the swing of things on the blog after my crazy, wedding filled Summer, I of course decided to bring back the countdowns.  They're some of my favorites posts to prepare and doing the research on them is always exciting because I seem to always end up pleasantly surprised by how many titles out there that I end up wanting to read in the worst possible way.

So while I've got a huge list already compiled of all the great titles coming out in 2013, I wanted to come back and start first by featuring some reads that I somehow missed in the past year or two.  I'm always both upset and excited to find titles that somehow went under my radar.  Upset because I already feel like I'm behind, and have possibly missed out on great reading experiences, but also excited to finally come across them so that I'll have the chance to make up for lost time and dive right into these intriguing reads.  So here's the start to the missing titles countdown.  Since these have been on the shelves for a while now, if you see any that you've read or heard anything about, let me know and give me your opinion....should I rush them to the top of my TBR pile, or possibly hold off???

Countdown Pick #1: Reckless Magic (Star Crossed, #1) by Rachel Higginso

16 year old Eden Matthews has been in and out of private schools for the last two years.  Kingsley is her last chance to finish high school and she is determined to simply do that.  But when she meets Kiran Kendrick and her world opens to something she thought only existed in fairy tales, she's unsure what her future will hold.  Suddenly she is captivated by a boy who seems to be the source of all of her problems and struggling to rescue her best friend from a foreign prison.  When attempts are made on Kiran's life, Eden alone must save him.  Thrust into a world that is more make-believe than reality, Eden has to find her own destiny without losing those she loves most.  Reckless is an intricate story of mystery, adventure, magic and love.  Eden Matthews is an unlikely heroine set on a path to save the world and her loved ones before its too late.

You guys know I'm a sucker for all things fantasy and romance and this title seems to have an overflow of both, so how can I go wrong right?  With only the book's description to go on, and no previous experience with the author, I'm going to trust my gut here and pick this one up so I can see what all the intrigue is about and what exactly Eden looks like she'll be getting herself into.

Countdown Pick #2:  Eternal Eden (Eden Trilogy, #1) by Nicole Williams

College sophomore Bryn Dawson is a self-proclaimed poster child for normal. However, the day William Hayward enters her life, normalcy is the last thing Bryn will be able to count on if she wants to be with him. Too mysterious and appealing to be good for a girl, Bryn feels drawn to him in a way that seems out of her control—as if fate is orchestrating it.

Despite every red flag and warning siren going off in her head telling her not to, Bryn falls hard for William, knowing he’s categorically different from anyone she’s ever met. She never imagined how right she was. When William takes her deeper into the rabbit hole of his world, Bryn must decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice to be with him, knowing no matter what, fate always finds a way to have the last laugh.

Spinning a new twist on star-crossed lovers, Eternal Eden will put Bryn through a gauntlet of turmoil, challenging her to find the power within herself to become the heroine in her own story.

What girl doesn't love a story about a love that doesn't seem like a good idea but is just too tempting to resist regardless?  As nice as a good old fashioned love story can be, I've always been partial to the romances that  the characters appear to earn.  The ones that may not be such a good idea, or come with obstacles, or have something trying to keep them apart.  When the characters seem to have to work harder to stay together or be able to be together period, I just end up really rooting for those couples and crossing my fingers they get their happy ending.

Countdown Pick #3:  Falling From Grace (Grace, #1) by S.L. Naeole

When you wake up in the morning and your eyes take in the first hints of light that shine through your window, the dust motes catching and reflecting the sun’s rays like little diamonds, the shimmering hues of yellow and orangey gold breaking through into your room, the first thing you think about usually isn’t how you’re going to make it through the worst day of your life.

Unfortunately for Grace Shelley, that’s exactly what she’s facing as she ponders what to do now that she’s going to be starting out her last year in high school without her best friend. She’s not exactly the most popular girl in school - well, not the most popular girl in school to like, anyway - and everything seems to be hinting at another status quo year for her until she bumps into a stranger who leaves her stumbling for words and chasing after her heart.

The new guy in school is different. Robert doesn’t care about the rumors he’s heard about her or that no one else seems to see her the same way that he does; he only wants to be her friend. That’s when things get complicated. When Grace learns that he’s not your typical high school boy and that he’s actually a wingless angel who’s looking for someone to trust, she’s thrust into his world where not all angels are meant to protect human beings, and where the changes she brings into his life changes everything in hers. 

I love a good romantic mystery don't you?  And when there is so much out on the shelves now about vampires and werewolves (although I love those too) a title featuring Angels is always a nice and welcome change of pace.

Countdown Pick #4:  Branded (Fall of Angels, #1) by Keary Taylor

Jessica's had the nightmares for as long as she can remember. Nightmares of being judged for people who have died, of being branded by the angels. Her friends and family think she's a crazy because of it all. Yet she carries the mark of the condemned, seared into the back of her neck, and hides it and herself away from the world.

But when two men she can't ignore enter her life everything changes, including the nightmares. The two of them couldn't be more different. She will do anything to be with one of them. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck. But one of the two has set events into motion what will pull her toward her own judgment and turn her into the object of her greatest fear.

Just when I say there aren't enough titles with Angels being featured I come across another one.  I love it!  Here we've got the potential of a love triangle and a whole lot of mystery thrown in as well.  I'm looking forward to seeing what fears Jessica has, and what events one of these guys sets into motion that affects Jessica in more ways than one.

Countdown Pick #5:  Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1) by Moird Taylor

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

A "handsome daredevil" was enticing I'll admit.  Then to find out that our main character would have a bunch of girls by her side to help her through the obstacles she faces and to fight by her side had my excitement shooting through the roof.  That's all it took and I was adding to this to my TBR and telling myself that even tough I may have missed out on this title when it first hit the shelves, it's not too late to dive in right away.

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