Monday, April 30, 2012

One More Day!!!

I don't know where to start??? It's not often (which is sad but true) that I finish and close a book and can honestly say without a shred of doubt that I know this book will be one of my all time favorites. I hate that not every book you pick up and read turns out to be a winner. I mean we all experience it. I read a lot of really good books, great even, but not all of them end up being my all time favorites that will stand the test of time and multiple re-reads. I wish it was the opposite, but it is what it is.

For me when I finally got around to reading Divergent by Veronica Roth (it took me way too long to discover this book) I was blown away from start to finish! I've experienced action and suspense in a book before, but this one had my stomach dropping and had me experiencing anxiety overload for these characters I'd come to adore. Roth's excellent writing and incredible story won me over immediately and had me counting down for the release of her second installment in the Divergent series, Insurgent. Lucky for me that since I was so late in the game, I didn't have to wait that long. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have picked this book up on it's original release date only to find that I had a horribly long (or at least it would have felt that way) wait before I would be able to find out what happened next. For anyone who was in that boat, more power to you, I give you credit for being able to survive this wait with your sanity intact. So I was relieved in a small way that I only had to wait a little under a month before the sequel would hit the shelves.

Finally that day is almost more day! I am beyond excited to see what Roth has in store for her readers, and I'm positive that I'm not alone. Are you guys racing out to the stores to get your copies when they open? Did you pre-order a copy and intend to stalk your mail carrier for when they arrive with your package? Are any of you like me, and refuse to wait for the doors to open, and will instead be anxiously waiting for that moment when the book is finally (after pre-ordering it) beamed to your Kindle or other eReader? I fully intend to get myself a hard cover copy for the bookshelf to go along with Divergent, but I don't want to wait even that small amount of time before I can dive right in! So hopefully like me, you've got your day planned out and are intending to amp up the sales for this book, because it couldn't be more deserving. I'm thinking Roth will have no trouble at all topping the New York Times Bestseller list yet again with this release, and I'm going to do my part to make sure that happens.

Just one more day more day!!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (50)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:
The Lost Code (The Atlanteans, #1) by Kevin Emerson (Thanks to HarperCollins)


The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Greetings from Charleston!!!!

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina!!!!! I hope you guys are enjoying your weekends, ours has just started and I couldn't be anymore excited to be spending the weekend with some of my favorite girls, celebrating our dear friend W's bachelorette weekend! I'll be sure to fill you guys in on all the fun stuff that we plan on doing while taking in all of the beautiful scenery in Charleston when I get back to the real world.

Enjoy your weekends, take some time to relax, go out and have fun with your friends and family, and most importantly...Happy Reading!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bachelorette Weekend

I'm flying out today for a girls weekend in Charleston, SC and couldn't be more excited to spend the weekend celebrating the upcoming wedding of one of my nearest and dearest friends. Her wedding is in June and to start her festivities off right we decided to head to Charleston for a bachelorette weekend so we could all let loose and help our friend celebrate what little times remains for her as a single girl!

The young adult genre has become my favorite over the years, and while I still enjoy reading books from other ranges as well, there's just something about the young adult titles that have a special place in my heart. But since there aren't many young adult titles that feature bachelorette parties/weekends or weddings related festivities in general (or at least not that I know of) I decided to branch out today and name a few of my favorite titles that feature these events and rights of passage.

Something Borrowed (Darcy and Rachel, #1) by Emily Griffin

"Something Borrowed" tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiance. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. "Something Borrowed" is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.

Some of you may have seen the movie recently released featuring Jinnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson, and if you have you know how great this story really is! The movie did a pretty good job of transferring the written word to the big screen and I've got to admit it was one of the few instances where I may have actually liked the movie more than the book. I'll admit that this decision may have in fact had more to do with John Krasinsky playing one of the main characters, more so that the film following so closely to the pages of Griffin's debut novel, but regardless it was wonderful. There is a scene in this book where one of the main characters Darcy is being thrown her bachelorette party, and the idea and theme they used for her was awesome! I don't want to give anything away if you haven't had the chance to pick this one up, but I'm hoping to steal the idea for my own bachelorette party if and when that day arrives in the future....just loved it!

I Do (But I Don't) (Crandell Sisters, #1) by Cara Lockwood

"She creates perfect days."

In spite of her incorrigible curly hair, Lauren Crandell is a neat-freak and organizational guru, qualities that make her the perfect wedding planner. But when two weddings in one day go haywire, and hunky firefighter Nick Corona comes to the rescue -- twice -- Lauren realizes there are a few important details in her own life she hasn't been tending to since her divorce. Namely, her sex life.

"She lives lonely nights."

Sweet and sexy Nick seems hell-bent on fanning the flames between them, and Lauren definitely feels sparks flying. But she's scrambling to plan nuptials for her most challenging client yet -- a beautiful, cunning, and certifiable Psycho Bride. With the big day rapidly approaching, a series of misunderstandings, mishaps, and mistaken identities threatens to ruin not one, but two happily ever afters. But with her career and her love life on the line, the wedding planner just might learn that you can't plan "everything, " least of all true love.

This is one of my all time favorite "chick-lit" books, as well as written by one of my favorite authors. Lockwood is clever and witty and her writing is easy to fly right through and have you crossing your fingers that the fun never stops. I literally laughed out loud several times while reading this one. I had tears in my eyes at one point from laughing so hard at the scenarios that Lockwood was painting. This title, like Something Borrowed, was turned into a movie. While this one never made it to the big screen, it was actually a Lifetime movie. Featuring Denise Richards as the main character and Superman's Dean Cain as the leading male, they were actually pretty good matches for what I had invisioned in my head while reading the book. Full of laughs and cringe-worthy moments, this book is definitely a great read to get anyone in the wedding spirit but it may have you crossing your fingers that your wedding doesn't turn out to resemble some of the ones featured within Lockwood's pages.

Dixieland Sushi by Cara Lockwood

Wax on....

Jen Nakamura Taylor thought she left behind her awkward past of growing up half-Japanese, half-white in a small Southern town when she moved north to produce a popular Chicago television show. But when she gets word that her Southern Belle cousin is marrying Kevin Peterson, the very boy Jen loved-with-a-capital-L for years, she realizes she can't run from her past forever. Not only does the news conjure up sticky memories of growing up with a mixed heritage in the South (soy sauce on chicken fried steak, anyone?) but now the very single and very busy Jen has got to find a date for the wedding -- a grand affair that could put Scarlett O'Hara to shame.

Wax off....

Riley -- Jen's cute British friend from work -- seems just the ticket; even his girlfriend thinks it's a good idea. But as Jen and Riley whistle on down to Dixie, sparks start to fly. Add to the fire the grown-up but still charming Kevin Peterson, who appears to have a soft spot for Jen, and, well, whoa. It's going to take everything Jen has (and a lot of help from the Karate Kid-wisdom of her pop culture hero Mr. Miyagi) to survive the meeting of past and present, and of North and Far East and South...where Jen finally learns to come to terms with her heritage, her love life, and herself.

Another one by Lockwood, and like I said I just adore her writing style and the situations she puts her wonderful and unique characters in. This was another title that hit my funny bone and had me flying through the pages quicker than I realized. Between the main character's habit of giving herself advice that was first coined by the Karate Kid's Mr. Miyagi or the crazy situations she gets herself into involving her good friend who their may be more to than she originally though (including chemistry) and her ex-boyfriend who is the soon to be groom marrying her cousin. It's filled with craziness and funny situations and will leave you feeling good when you've finished the last page!

Have you guys read any great titles that feature weddings or wedding related events? Be sure to let me know if there are any you think I should pick up and check out. It's wedding season after all and I'm doing everything I can to get into the spirit of things!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

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.

This was a different kind of read for me. I've been in a reading slump of some kind lately and this apparently was just the type of book to knock me right out of that slump and get me back on track. I've never been one that can turn down a mystery and when there's romance thrown into the mix as well, I'm putting my money on it being my kind of read. And I was right! This was my first experience with Kitanidis' writing, and I must say that I was impressed. She has a way with words and how she shapes her scenes that had me as the reader in a sort of panic to find out what was happening to these people, most importantly her two main characters. I was desperate to see what was going on with everyone.

Kitanidis allows her readers to take this journey she's mapped out right along with her main characters, Elyse and Marshall. They've woken up with no memory as to who they are or what happened to them that could possibly be responsible for wiping out there memories. They are forced to start with a clean slate, much like readers entering the story. It's a unique way to go through a book, but one I enjoyed. It probably was one of the main reasons I was anxious throughout most of this title because while I was wondering what would happen next, it was almost impossible not to empathize with the lead characters going through the same emotions, only for them it's their life we're talking about. How scary to wake up and not remember anything! Not something I have any wish to experience first hand.

So it all boils down to can you handle the suspense? It was touch and go for me at a few parts, but I'm glad I stuck it out and was relieved the more that was revealed throughout. It's rough not knowing what's coming next and if these characters will be able to piece together the puzzle that has become their lives. I'm getting better at handling the anxiety that comes with mysteries likes these. Definitely a wonderful addition to my bookshelf!

I gave Glimmer 3 shamrocks!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 YA Debut Authors (3)

I cannot believe how many books are being debuted in 2012 that I have yet to hear about. I'm so glad that I was invited to participate in the poll and vote on my favorite debut authors for 2012 and their respective titles because otherwise I'm not sure how many titles would have slipped under my radar and never been discovered. I'm not saying that after finding all these great new and future reads that I'll be able to get to them right away of course, but at least now that I know about them, I've gotten the chance to create these posts and include them in my TBR list, however long it might be.

So while sometimes these posts and countdowns can seem somewhat overwhelming, without them I'd be lost. It's a great way for me to get them out there and be able to keep coming back to when I'm looking for my next read, or need to jump start myself out of a reading slump whenever those low points hit me. So here are a few more titles that are being debuted this year and the fabulous authors that are making that possible!

Debut Pick #1: Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham (06/12/2012)

1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Debut Pick #2: Partials (Partials, #1) by Dan Wells (02/28/2012)

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.

Debut Pick #3: Auracle by Gina Rosati (08/07/2012)

16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.

Debut Pick #4: Luminosity (Luminosity, #1) by Stephanie Thomas (11/13/2012)

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

The enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I'm falling in love with him. He says they're coming. He says they're angry. And I think I've already helped them win.

Debut Pick #5: Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers (02/01/2012)

As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all.Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong.When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Characters in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind. So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.

This week we're all looking back to see which characters really stand out in our memories as the all time favorites. As a huge reader, there were so many to choose from, but with this being a top ten list, here are the characters I just couldn't picture leaving out.

Favorite Book Character #1: Elizabeth Bennett

Jane Austen has forever been and forever will be my all time favorite author. There isn't a title yet of hers that I haven't absolutely fallen in love with. Admittedly there is no comparison to Pride and Prejudice in my mind, but they're all fantastic and classic for a reason. My senior thesis in college involved this work as well as how it's been portrayed in the theater with the numerous renditions out there. If I could make it through that semester long project and still come out on the other end loving this book as much if not more so than before, I think it's beloved status is safe for eternity.

But it's Elizabeth Bennett that has me re-reading this book over and over again. Her character is what everyone looks for in a heroine. She's smart, resourceful, independent and not afraid to speak her mind. While she may be shortsighted in the beginning, she readily admits her mistakes and corrects them as best she can. She's humble on top of everything else in the end, and a better person for it!

Favorite Book Character #2: Miranda Priestly

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger is a favorite of mine as well. After hearing it would be made into a movie, I rushed out to get my own copy of the book so I could devour it before it his the theaters. I wanted to see if it would live up to all the hype surrounding it, and it did! But while the main character Andrea was likable, it was her boss Miranda that stole the show. If you've seen the movie you've got a picture of Meryl Streep in your mind, and I will admit that Streep brought her A game when playing this character, but Weiseberger's words and creation had me drooling over the pages of this title.

Priestly is vicious but also multi layered. She's deep and yet so awful that it's easy to forget that most of the time. I know we've all been there, where there are characters in books so that are so awful it's amazing, but Priestly was one of those characters that's so fabulous regardless, you can't help but love to hate her! There are none like her.

Favorite Book Character #3: Kade

As another one of my favorite authors, Maria V. Snyder brings life to characters that become instant friends and readers will undoubtedly become invested right from the start. It's impossible to avoid. In her first installment in her Storm series, Storm Glass, her main character Opal meets many people along her journey, but it was the character Kade that really stuck with me throughout this book and the rest of the series. He was hard to resist for sure. While Opal had her work cut out for her in regards to solving the mystery behind Kade's stormy attitude, once she dug a little deeper, readers were introduced to a guy who had it all working for him.

He's often described as "mercurial" which is fitting, but it's his softer side that left me putty in Snyder's hands. I just loved watching his and Opal's interactions, and the lengths he was willing to go for her throughout the series. A true knight in shining armor.

Favorite Book Character #4: Valek

Keeping with Snyder's characters, I couldn't resist putting Valek on this list. Readers will first meet Valek in Poison Study and will be run through the gauntlet on what to make of him. I couldn't get enough of him. It was a constant challenge to try and figure him out, and I was always anxious for Snyder to reveal more of his background, what made him tick, why he did things the way he did. He was always calculating, constantly reading others, and it was just plain fun to watch. He was one of those characters that kept things interesting throughout the books he's featured in. Readers never knew what to expect next or what move he'd decide to make.

What didn't seem to make sense at the time, would later be revealed as a masterfully executed plan on his part, and readers could only bow down to his character and Snyder for thinking him up. I also must mention that he and Yelena's relationship and interaction made for quite the drama and ratcheted up the intensity level in each book without fail!

Favorite Book Character #5: Wayland North

I'm a sucker for the tall, dark, and mysterious guys...what can I say? Alexandra Bracken's Brightly Woven is one of my favorite debut YA novels out there. She kept me up late at night doing my best to fly through the pages of this title in the hopes that I could put myself out of my misery and find out what would happen to these characters I'd come to care about instantly. Wayland North was one of those characters. But he was also a puzzle, and I'm a girl that likes to work things out. I'm also a reader who enjoys a good teasing throughout the book, where readers aren't truly given a full picture until the bitter end. It makes things more exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat, don't you think? It's no fun if you can figure everything out before you've even reached the half way mark, right?

Wayland North was so mysterious that along with Bracken's main character, I couldn't figure out if he was coming or going. Was he a guy that could be trusted, or yet another character just in it for himself? Bracken kept things extremely interesting and at time confusing (in a good way of course) so that by the end, I only wanted more. More of the dynamics going on between Wayland and Sydelle, and yes just more Wayland!

Favorite Book Character #6: Rose Hathaway

Richelle Mead took the YA genre by storm with her Vampire Academy series, and that was largely due to her character Rose Hathaway. I'm not sure what faults readers would be able to find with her? She's a kick butt kind of character that gets what she wants because she works her butt off in order to make it happen. She's a loyal friend and her heart and head are constantly in battle over how she should make her decisions. If you're looking for a friend, I would think you'd want someone like Rose that you could count on for a number of reasons, and who would come in handy in a number of situations.

Her romantic involvements throughout the series, left readers in a heated debate of who's "team" they were on. It was because Rose was different with each of her suitors. She was always able to be herself (and refused to be anything else) but it was the slight differences that made the world of a difference. She's a heroic characters who is easy to get behind and root for. Fans were often heard saying they were known to throw their books across the rooms at random moments because things weren't working out they way they wanted them to, when it came to Rose. She's a character readers get passionate about.

Favorite Book Character #7: Fire

I think since Kristin Cashore's Bitterblue will finally be released in only a few short weeks I've got her books on the brain. But no matter how much I enjoyed Graceling, it was her second series installment, Fire that really turned me into a HUGE fan. I couldn't get enough of her book's namesake, Fire. Her character was so unique and different and not just because of her abilities, although that whole idea and creation was genius on Cashore's part, but it was everything about her. Her powers over others was interesting and entertaining to watch, he history and involvement with her good friends was hard to resist. Readers were constantly wanting to know more, with no details left out.

Her new relationships and interactions with the royal family in the novel were thrilling. I couldn't wait to see what fight or intense situation her and they would find themselves in. When Cashore gives readers flashbacks of her and her father it's hard not to instantly respect Fire as a character. Each and every turn of the page had me wishing in the end that Cashore would add another book to her repertoire involving Fire and her friends so that readers would get the chance to see what was in store for them next.

Favorite Book Character #8: Ares Lupine

Catherine Banks is another of my favorite authors, and one of the main reasons is that I couldn't get enough of her characters. Her main werewolf, Ares is intense, endearing, lovable, and unpredictable at times. He's a lot of fun to watch. He's got that alpha male, predatory, protection thing going for him. After readers begin falling in love with Artemis, it's hard to not love Ares and how great he is with her. He's everything she needs. When thrown into an unexpected and scary supernatural world, he's patient with her and understands her needs.

While at times he keeps more information from her than absolutely necessary, it's hard to fault him when you learn that he only does it because he thinks it's what's best for her at the time. He's willing to fight for her at every turn, and what girl doesn't want a guy who will defend her, and protect her with their last breath, am I right? Banks weaves an incredible world together with her scenes, characters and circumstances, but it's her main characters like Artemis and Ares, that have readers reserving a special place in their hearts just for them.

Favorite Book Character #9: Penny Lane

Who didn't love Elizabeth Eulberg's The Lonely Hearts Club? I've read it a couple times myself (I know!) and can't seem to stop myself from liking it more and more each and every time I start it up again. Penny Lane grew up with parents obsessed with The Beatles (who isn't right?) and all things Lennon and McCartney related. She's put through the ringer when it comes to the boy department and makes every girl stand up and cheer when she decides to do something about it. While she may have at times (a lot) been misguided or ignorant of what was going on around her, it added to her endearing qualities in a way. She was lost and confused, but rather than standing around or curling up into a ball and crying about it, she decides to take a stand and fix the problem. Or at least she tries to.

And in the midst of it all, she learns a few lessons and changes her mind and the way she sees things in the process. Eulberg leaves readers demanding more! But as wonderful at this story is, it wouldn't be half as good without Penny Lane. Her friends might be entertaining and hilarious, but she's the glue that holds everyone and everything together.

Favorite Book Character #10: Hannah Baker

Jay Asher's book Thirteen Reasons Why is one that has received mixed reviews and feelings surrounding it's content and release. I myself, will admit that while reading it and long after I was finished I was unsure how I felt about it overall. I know my choice of Hannah Baker is strange when compared with my nine other favorite characters, but I couldn't leave her out. While she's already gone when the book starts, it's her voice that carries readers and Asher's characters throughout it's entirety.

Her voice is one that stays with you, and has stayed with me long after finishing this novel. It's a heart wrenching journey that she takes her fellow classmates on, and it makes for a chilling and eye opening read without a doubt. Asher's book is a tough one for me to recommend to friends and family, but at the same time, it's almost impossible for me to not recommend it at the same time. It's too moving and terribly moving to pass up. She turned out to be a character that refused to leave this world without at least making an attempt to right the wrongs she'd witnessed and at the same time trying to not only make a difference, but encourage realizations that not only the other characters needed to experience but readers as well.

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 YA Debut Authors (2)

After getting started looking through the list of 2012 YA debut authors and the books they're introducing this year to the shelves, I couldn't stop at just one's just not my style. So I'm continuing on in my hunt to see what else is debuting in 2012 and which I need to add to my list that have somehow slipped past my radar! How are you guys doing as you work your way through your 2012 reads? Any new authors or titles that have really stuck out for you? You know I'm always curious to see what everyone's reading, and which ones I should be adding to my list if they aren't already on there. I love getting recommendations, so keep them coming!

Debut Pick #1: My Heart Be Damned (Damned, #1) by Chanelle Gray (07/15/2012)

If you're a Hunter, there are only three things you must know about the Damned. The Damned can't lie, can't live without a body, and can't leave you alone.

Amerie Carter has the blood of a Hunter, unfortunately. She is one of a rare line of women who, upon her sixteenth birthday, will come into extraordinary powers used to hunt the Damned; escaped souls from Hell who take up residence in human bodies. It's supposed to be her sweet sixteen, but Amerie has never dreaded a day more, and her worst fears are confirmed as the celebration turns tragic when her mother is killed.

Grief-stricken, Amerie vows to never hunt a day in her life. She's determined to hide behind normalcy, attending school, hanging out with her friends and working an after-school job at The Hut. All Amerie wants is to be left alone. But try telling the Damned that. The harder Amerie tries to ignore her powers, the more the Damned come looking for her.

When an attack leaves one of Amerie's friends in the hospital, and endangers the lives of her fellow students, she knows she has no choice: Hunt or Be Hunted. Thankfully, the gorgeous, secretive, and so-off-limits Marshall offers to train Amerie to take out her supernatural enemies. But training with Marshall means leading lying to her friends, her family, and confronting the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death.

Amerie soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide, Marshall's secrets might kill her before the Damned get the chance.

Debut Pick #2: The Broken Destiny (Broken, #1) by Carlyle LaBuschagne (2012)

Her Destiny is to Rise against the fall that threatens to take her soul.

Her soul is the Key to unlocking a secret weapon.

But to know her soul she has to hate it first, and then come back from that.

Her Destiny starts with Betrayal.

Debut Pick #3: Gravity (The Taking, #1) by Melissa West (10/16/2012)

In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Debut Pick #4: The Sphinx Project (The Chimaera Chronicles, #1) by Kate Hawkings (02/28/2012)

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them.

But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.

Be sure to check out the contest on Goodreads, you can enter yourself for a chance to win one of three copies currently being given away!

Debut Pick #5: Storm (Elemental, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer (04/24/2012)

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . . .

Yet another future release that Goodreads has a contest going for, where there are 10 copies being given away and one of those could be yours. Hurry on over and enter for your chance to win!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (49)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham (Thanks to Simon & Schuster)

1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Weekend!!! It's Time to Pack A Bag!

Happy Weekend everyone! I'm not sure what you're typical routine is on a weekend, but for me it's usually filled up with fun plans, and time spent with my friends and family. While I'm still going to try and squeeze in some quality time with my family (we've got a quick road trip planned to visit my aunt for the day on Sunday) I've got to get myself organized this weekend. I leave for Charleston, SC next Friday and I've got to start packing. My work weeks are usually crazy busy, and by the time I drag myself home after work, I'm not good for much besides a quick trip to the gym (if I can motivate myself to get there) and some vegging out on the couch while watching some TV.

But I'm determined to change things up this weekend. I've got laundry to do and a closet to go through in order to find some items I can pull together for Charleston. The weather there is significantly warmer at the moment than it is at home, so I might get the chance to bring out some of my favorite summer staples if I'm lucky. But also on my list of things to pack is a good book of course! I'll be flying to South Carolina, and what better time to catch up on some good reading right? I'm not a huge fan of flying so it's a great way for me to take my mind of things.

Here are few books I'm considering taking along with me to busy myself with on the flight to and from Charleston to see some of my fave girlies!

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (05/01/2012)

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

This one somehow fell to the wayside of books I've been meaning to read and review. Harper Teen was kind enough to send me an advanced copy and I think these flights might be the perfect opportunity for me to catch up and dive right in so that I can get a review up by it's release date.

Elemental by Emily White (05/01/2012)

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

Yet again, super grateful to Spencer Hill Press for sending me an advanced copy, and it's one I've been anxious to read. I've been trying my best to fly through the books I've got on my shelves waiting to be read, but this one has piqued my interest since I first got wind of it. So it's another I'm considering taking with me.

What do you guys think? Both books sound great, and with both of them scheduled to hit the shelves on the first of May, I'm doing my best to get them taken care of before then or at least very shortly after, but which to read first? I'll have to debate some more and see what I come up with. Either way they're both getting read, and I just know they'll both be fabulous...but which to take with me to SC....I'll let ya know what I decide.

Have a fabulous weekend you guys and as always...Happy Reading!!!


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