Thursday, December 23, 2010

Countdown: Light and Fun Edition

While I'm a sucker for emotional dramas and enviable romances, sometimes a light and fun and easy read is just what I'm looking for. While it hasn't happened very often, sometimes I find myself in reading slumps or funks where nothing sounds so great or nothing manages to hold my attention. This is not a good thing and I try my best to get past these periods of time as quickly as possible because we all know, the TBR lists never really get shorter, they continue to grow and grow. These countdown picks of mine include debut authors that I've been anxiously awaiting, series continuations, and some old favorites (authors) that are bringing winners to the shelves I'm sure. Check it out!

Countdown Pick #1: Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem (1/20/2011)

Ever since she was teased for believing in fairies, Mellie has adopted a strictly scientific and logical approach to life. But when her parents inherit her grandfather's inn, she learns that for generations, her family members have been fairy guardians. The fairies exchanged some of their powers for this protection but now they want their magic back. An evil temptress in disguise wants the magic too, and before she knows it, Mellie is turned into a frog, her grandfather is discovered alive, and her parents are trapped in an evil spell that only lets them see the truth (which can be awfully brutal). Thank goodness for Timmo - the cute boy next door - and Durindana, a fairy outcast, who help Mellie save the day and encourage her to loosen up her views on family, fairies, and friendship.

This is a hilarious, irreverent, and highly sarcastic take on fairies-who, by the way, just hate to be called fairies.

I've always been a big fan of fairies and yes I'm still a Tinkerbell fan. Now even though Booraem's book doesn't strike me as pro-fairie, it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Fairies, who apparently don't like to be called fairies? Who would have thought, right? I guess they have a complex or something. I've never read Booraem's previous work but from the looks and sound of this January release, I might be picking up her other books as well.

Countdown Pick#2: Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) by Rachel Hawkins (2/15/2011)

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. 

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Now this one's got it all, vampires, witches, werewolves, and demons. So yes, it could fall into the fantasy countdown, but I found the first installment to be so easy to breeze right through and fun to experience that I put it under this countdown. Sophie's got a lot to deal with and accept, but Hawkins keeps things going at a steady pace and manages to not get to heavy for her readers at the same time. So don't let the title fool you, and mark your calendars for this release. I'm anxious to see if Archer really was trying to trick Sophie or if everything changed for him when he developed real feelings for her? They were real, right? Please, Hawkins, don't make me sad and be forced to change my mind about the fun and exciting world you've created.

Countdown Pick #3: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare (4/5/2011)

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Everyone was so excited (myself included) when The Clockwork Angel came out this year, but it wasn't enough. Readers all over need their shadowhunter fix and that means Jace and Clary. So hearing that the Mortal Instruments had another installment in the series coming out, almost sounded too good to be true... almost. Clare never has a hard time pulling you into her world and although the anticipation for this one is high, I'm sure Clare has once again risen to the challenge and will come out blowing us all away with her amazing talent, like always. I for one, cannot wait!

Countdown Pick #4: Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms, #3) by Kristin Cashore (release date unknown)

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

Finally! Now while I haven't seen or heard an official release date, and unfortunately there has been no cover art revealed, I think it's still scheduled for 2011, fingers crossed. I love a good number of books and series'. I like even more. But my list is not super long when it comes to books I love so much that I'll read them over and over and over again. Well, Cashore's first two in this series, Graceling and Fire fall into that very select category and I'm hoping like crazy that Bitterblue is not different. I'm very excited to learn more about all my old favorite characters, getting to meet new ones, and seeing where the journey will take them this time around. I imagine there's a lot of pressure and expectation on Cashore's shoulders but I cannot imagine her disappointing in any way, shape, or form...but can we please have a release date to look forward to? May at least a cover image?

Happy reading!!!

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