Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Never Want to Trade Places With

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.

I've always loved when you pick up a book and start reading and can identify with a main character right from the start.  No matter how crazy unique and sometimes outlandishly different the worlds surrounding these characters are, a lot of times there is still something down to earth or relatable about these characters that leave readers rooting for them in the end.  But even with these characters, there are still times, where I find myself finishing a book and knowing that I would never in a million years want to trade places with them, and this list lets me show all of you a few that fall into

Character Pick #1:  Katsa - Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) by Kristin Cashore

His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....

Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.

Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.


Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

Character Pick #3:  Beth - The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger

You are more than you think you are.

THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven't had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend's face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people's pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can't stop it. Everyone thinks she's crazy and she's pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn't explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here's the thing: What if she is?

The creator of Bring it On, Jessica Bendiner, brings her teen savvy writing to this paranormal romance, The Seven Rays.

Character Pick #4:  Darri - Nightspell (Mistwood, #2) by Leah Cypess

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri’s sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister... if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

Character Pick #5:  Ruby - Drought by Pam Bachorz

A young girl thirsts for love and freedom, but at what cost?

Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved.

When Ruby meets Ford—an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer—she longs to run away with him to the modern world where she could live a normal teenage life. Escape with Ford would be so simple.

But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possesses the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special—her blood—and it’s the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.

Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.

Character Pick #6:  Lily - Firespell (The Dark Elite, #1) by Chloe Neill

When Lily Parker's guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, Lily was shocked. So was St. Sophia's.

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia's boarding school, Lily is surrounded by an ultra-rich bratpack. She's pretty sure her spoiled, petty, fashion-obsessed classmates are the most monstrous things she'll have to face, and surviving them and their cruel practical jokes is proving even tougher than the homework...

But on top of being the punchline to every joke, Lily's hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building. All building have their creaks and groans - but Lily could swear that she's being watched.

The only thing keeping her sane, so far, is her roommate Scout. But something strange is going on there too - Scout keeps disappearing late at night, reappearing bruised and tired, and she won't tell Lily where's she's been... until, that is, a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school. Lost in the dark Lily hear's footsteps heading towards her - it's Scout and she's running from a real moster.

Scout is part of a group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers: magic users who've been corrupted by their power. Much as Lily would love to help, it's too dangerous without powers of her own - especially if she'd have to go up against the firespell herself...

Character Pick #7:  Zoe - Glitch (Glitch, #1) by Heather Anastasiu

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.


Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.

Character Pick #9:  Mary - The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
Character Pick #10:  Katla - Stork (Stork, #1) by Wendy Delsol

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Countdown: February 2014 (3)

You can't get much more romantic as far as destination cities, than Paris, France. While I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a few new reads that fall into the romance department during the "romantic" months, I'm not limiting myself to only those types of reads. There are so many new titles hitting the shelve this year that I know I'll never be able to keep up. But it never hurts to try, and these countdown posts keep my list fresh and helps me narrow down my choices when I'm on the hunt for what to read next. Are there any titles you are looking forward to come February? Do you tend to find yourself reading romances during February or do you go the opposite route? Here are a few coming out next month that I'm looking forward to adding to my bookshelf.
Countdown Pick #1:  Three (Article 5, #3) by Kristen Simmons (02/11/2014)

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a peaceful and quiet existence—but all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the one thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

Because of their high profiles, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amid the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he thought he’d never see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about… a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance to tell the world her story—and to fight back.

There was no way I could resist adding this title to the list. It's a series that won me over, and left me wanting more. I've got the sequel in the series to still read, so I tried to avoid reading the synopsis for this third installment so I wouldn't spoil anything for myself, but I'm sure it sounds just as exciting and thrilling as the last two.
Countdown Pick #2:  The Drowned Forest by Kristopher Reisz (02/08/2014)
A Southern Gothic about a drowned girl who's haunting her best friend, who has been lost without her and may be dragged down into the river with her unless she finds a way to put Holly to rest.
Most of you who follow the blog know that I tend to steer clear of all things scary and creepy, because I'm a wimp when it comes to material like that.  But when I came across this February release for some reason, I found myself adding it to my countdown list.  I'm not sure what about it struck a cord with me, but I'm curious to see how Holly's best friend will handle this haunting, on top of trying to deal with the death of her best friend.  What will happen in the end is definitely a mystery, but it's one I hope I can muster up the courage to get through.
Countdown Pick #3:  Red Rising by Pierce Brown (02/18/2014)

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Get excited for another dystopian new release!  If Darrow plans on infiltrating the ruling class and going undercover to make a change, I want to be right there reading alongside him as he starts his adventure.  It's easy for readers to get behind the underdog and choose sides against an oppressive ruling body, so I have no doubt this will be a release that a lot of readers are eager to add to their collection.
Countdown Pick #4:  The Well's End by Seth Fishman (02/25/2014)

Mia Kish is afraid of the dark. And for good reason. When she was a toddler she fell deep into her backyard well only to be rescued to great fanfare and celebrity. In fact, she is small-town Fenton,Colorado’s walking claim to fame. Not like that helps her status at Westbrook Academy, the nearby uber-ritzy boarding school she attends. A townie is a townie. Being nationally ranked as a swimmer doesn’t matter a lick. But even the rarefied world of Westbrook is threated when emergency sirens start blaring and the school is put on lock down, quarantined and surrounded by soldiers who seem to shoot first and ask questions later. Only when confronted by a frightening virus that ages its victims to death in a manner of hours does Mia realize she may only just be beginning to discover what makes Fenton special.

The answer is behind the walls of the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics. Mia’s dad, the director of Fenton Electronics, has always been secretive about his work. But unless Mia is willing to let her classmates succumb to the strange illness, she and her friends have got to break quarantine, escape the school grounds, and outsmart armed soldiers to uncover the truth about where the virus comes from and what happened down that well. The answers they find just might be more impossible than the virus they are fleeing.

I think I've been terrified of wells ever since watching that horror movie, The Ring where the girl climbs out of the well all broken, etc...  I get chills and goosebumps just thinking about that scene.  I'm hoping that since this well accident Mia was involved in happened when she was younger, that by some miracle the author will only glance over that event and move right along to get to the rest of the story because it's one I'm curious to read more about.  If there are too many scene with a well as a backdrop, I can only imagine that I'll only be reading this story during daylight hours, and forcing myself to watch or read something cheerful before I go to bed to avoid the nightmares.

The adventure continues as Meg becomes more deeply involved with The Secret Order. A saboteur and murderer has her in his sights in this mysterious and thrilling second installment of The Secret Order trilogy.
I've been told there will be more details to come in regards to this sequel in a series that had my curiosity flowing from start to finish.  The first time around was nothing but pure excitement as Bailey took us through this strange and unusual world and secret society where the inventions garnered nothing but respect from this eager reader.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Countdown: February 2014 (2)

You can't get much more romantic as far as destination cities, than Paris, France. While I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a few new reads that fall into the romance department during the "romantic" months, I'm not limiting myself to only those types of reads. There are so many new titles hitting the shelve this year that I know I'll never be able to keep up. But it never hurts to try, and these countdown posts keep my list fresh and helps me narrow down my choices when I'm on the hunt for what to read next. Are there any titles you are looking forward to come February? Do you tend to find yourself reading romances during February or do you go the opposite route? Here are a few coming out next month that I'm looking forward to adding to my bookshelf.
Countdown Pick #1:  Alienated (Alienated, #1) by Melissa Landers (02/04/2014)

Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

I added this one to my list a while back, and taking another look at it now has me excited all over again to dig in.  I think this might be my first experience with a funny science fiction novel, but there sounds like there's going to be action and romance added into the mix as well.  Doesn't that sound like a great combination?
Countdown Pick #2:  Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2) by Kiersten White (02/14/2014)

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

As a fan of White's Paranormalcy series, I can't help but hope for another winning series this time around.  I haven't had the chance to read the series opener, but with only another month to go before this sequel comes out, my plan is to wait for it's release and check them  both out at the same time so I can avoid having to wait even a second before diving into the next book.
Countdown Pick #3:  Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell (02/04/2014)

When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.

Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.

Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

Although it sounds a little more eerie than I would normally go for, it also has this sad and heavy quality to the synopsis that has me leaning towards wanting to check this one out to see how it all turns out.  Mitchell is one of those authors who can paint such a vivid picture with words that her readers end up feeling like they're right there alongside the characters themselves, and I'm curious to see if that will be a good thing or a bad thing this time around.
Countdown Pick #4:  Tremor (Pulse Trilogy, #2) by Patrick Carman (02/25/2014)

In the year 2051, some people have a second pulse…

Like all who have “the pulse,” Faith Daniels and Dylan Gilmore have telekinetic powers—they can move objects with their minds. But there are five “second pulses” in the world who have an even greater power: Almost nothing can harm them. They are virtually indestructible.

Both Faith and Dylan have the second pulse. But the other side has second pulses, too, and they’ve been training for a war that has been brewing their entire lives. As Dylan executes a plan to infiltrate enemy grounds, he’ll have to face his only weakness, and a family secret that will threaten his very existence.

Together, Faith and Dylan are the only hope this world has left, but they must go their separate ways in order to accomplish their plan. Will their love survive?

With richly developed characters and heart-pounding action scenes, the second book in Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy continues the electrifying dystopian story of love and revenge.

This is definitely a sequel that I've been waiting on for what feels like forever!  I loved Carman's series opener, Pulse, and I cannot wait to see what happens to these characters next.  The ending of the opener left me so anxious and excited that I honestly have no idea how Carman plans to take things from there, but I have no doubt that readers are in for one action packed journey.
Countdown Pick #5:  Fates (Fates, #1) by Lanie Bross (02/11/2014)
 The story of an Executor sent to earth to bring about human destinies, who finds herself unaccountably experiencing human emotions, leading to an epic romance set across multiple worlds.
Normally I wouldn't be able to gather up much excitement for a book that both doesn't have a cover image to check out, and from an other that I've never had any experience with before.  But all it took were these two short sentences in the synopsis and I was hooked.   Still not sure exactly why, but I'm not worried about it either.  Bross sounds like she's going to bring some new and exciting material to the YA world and I for one, am looking forward to seeing what she puts together.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Countdown: February 2014

You can't get much more romantic as far as destination cities, than Paris, France.  While I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a few new reads that fall into the romance department during the "romantic" months, I'm not limiting myself to only those types of reads.  There are so many new titles hitting the shelve this year that I know I'll never be able to keep up.  But it never hurts to try, and these countdown posts keep my list fresh and helps me narrow down my choices when I'm on the hunt for what to read next.  Are there any titles you are looking forward to come February?  Do you tend to find yourself reading romances during February or do you go the opposite route?  Here are a few coming out next month that I'm looking forward to adding to my bookshelf.
Countdown Pick #1:  Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (02/25/2014)

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to the middle of nowhere for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's electrifying novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.

Author of the Dante Walker series, a lot of readers are anxiously awaiting this new release from a fan favorite writer.  I haven't had the chance to check out her previous series, but it's been on my radar for a while and I've been hearing good things.  I'm hopeful that if I enjoy this new release I'll have extra incentive to dive into her first series afterwards.
Countdown Pick #2:  All That Glows by Ryan Graudin (02/11/2014)

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

I'm wondering if this is a tale where the fae are large and in charge, out in public and for everyone to see, or are they undercover so to speak?  Either way how can anyone resist a story of unrequited love and with some added action and adventure as well?  No one stands a chance!
Countdown Pick #3:  The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe (02/06/2014)

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

Readers have a lot to look forward to with this one I think.  For starters we can all agree I think that a love triangle adds instant appeal to any book.  As long as the characters are ones you can root for, usually the triangle only ups the ante.  A character like Daisy who from the sound of it is one readers will be supporting from the start due to her familial dedication, all the way through her bout of teenage rebellion.  Who do you think she'll choose?
Countdown Pick #4:  Landry Park (Landry Park, #1) by Bethany Hagen (02/04/2014)

Madeline Landry is born into a world of influence and luxury, a world of estates and gardens fueled by nuclear power and maintained by a caste of people called the Rootless. When a Gentry girl is attacked, it is the Rootless who are blamed, even though Madeline knows better.

As she searches for the truth, she can't escape the rumors of revolution and retribution circulating through the ballrooms, and neither can she escape the city's new golden boy, Captain David Dana, who has secrets of his own. Soon, she finds herself forced to choose between her duty and her desires, her ancestral destiny and her conscience, and her choice will shake the very foundations of the world she was born to rule.

Of course I have to include any title on this list that I come across that falls into the dystopian genre.  This one, like most that reside in this genre sounds like it will be full of action and suspense, and I'm thinking there may just be a hint of romance as well, I'm crossing my fingers.  Regardless, it is definitely got the makings of a series that I'm going to get behind.
Countdown Pick #5:  Split Second (Pivot Point, #2) by Kasie West (02/11/2014)

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

This is a sequel that I've been waiting for ever since I finished the series opener, Pivot Point.  I was so upset when I finished and realized that the second installment wasn't out yet, and I've been counting down the days until I could pick this one up and find out where things will pick up and what will happen for these characters that I've come to love.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Giveaway Time!!!

It's 2014 and with the new year comes all types of celebrations!  I've taken time over the holidays and the time of work to go back through the year and the blog and see what happened.  I was so lucky to be given the chance to read so many amazing books this year and decided that I wanted to share that love with a lucky winner!  That's right...it's time for a giveaway!  It's been way to long since I've hosted one personally and that's all about to change.  I'm not going to list exactly what books will be part of this giveaway, but I've combed through my shelves and picked a few out here and there that I want you all to have the chance to check out for yourselves.
Fill out the form below and enter for your chance to win some great reads that I can only hope you enjoy as much as I did!
The contest will run until the 14th, so you've got two weeks to enter and spread the word about the contest and I'll be announcing the lucky winner on January 15th!  Good luck everyone and Happy New Year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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