Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

As today is the last day of the year, I am taking this opportunity to look back on all of the amazing books I've had the chance to read this year. And there were so many really great books this year, that narrowing it down to a manageable list is quite difficult. But I've managed to bring it to a list a of 12 with a few honorable mentions. So, in no particular order, here are my 12 (and a few more) favorite books of 2012.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
It should come as no surprise that I have become such a huge fan of the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini. This second installment was absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to see how it will all end.

Anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout
And I mean literally any of Jennifer L. Armentrout's books. This year alone I've read Obsidian, Onyx, Pure and Deity and none of them disappointed me. And I can't wait for more next year.

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
This was one of those books that I just wanted to hug to myself once I finished reading it. What I love about this book is that not only is it a fun and light contemporary read but it has this whole other deeper layer that makes it even better.

Black Heart by Holly Black
I'm always a little worried with the last book in a series but Black Heart simply did not disappoint. This was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy and it got me to discover that some of the characters were not who I thought and it made them simply amazing at the end.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
I was a little weary of City of Lost Souls because City of Fallen Angels hadn't completely lived up to my expectations. But that wasn't the case with City of Lost Souls and now it's got me really excited for the final book.

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
The ending of The Golden Lily may have just broken me. Just thinking about how things ended makes my heart ache for certain characters. So if you have yet to read anything by Richelle Mead you are seriously missing out.

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger 
This book. I had so many emotions while reading it. I've loved all of Kody Keplinger's books so far but this one just has to be my favorite. I don't really know how to explain it, you just have to read it for yourself.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I'm always a little scared with the second in a series, but I shouldn't have worried about Insurgent. It was absolutely fantastic and action packed from start to finish. And now I just want the final book.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This book honestly had me when I found out that it was a retelling of Cinderella with cyborgs. That's really all I needed to know. But it was also a fantastic story and you are missing out if you haven't read it yet.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book seriously broke me. By the time I finished reading The Fault in Our Stars I was a sobbing mess. Ugly tears and all. I just couldn't hold it together. But that's not to say that this book wasn't simply amazing. Because it was. 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
This book took me by surprise to an extent. I just didn't expect for it to be so intense and have so much to it. And despite all the vampire books already out there, this one didn't sound like anything I had ever read before.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
This was one of the rare books this year that kept me up until the early hours of the morning. And it also made me cry like a baby. But I loved it for it, because it was such a great and intense story.

Honorable Mentions:
- The Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep - Because they are mythological warriors and some intense stuff happens to them. And because of Logan Quinn.
- The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer - Because it's a series about 4 hot brothers who can control the elements.
- Fever by Lauren DeStefano - Because this story is just amazing. As is Lauren DeStefano's writing.
- Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Because this story made me cry like a baby and completely broke my heart. Then put it back together.
- Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers - Because this was a fantastic conclusion to this underrated series. And it has a hot ex-demon and hot angel.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the 13 books I am looking forward to the most in 2013!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Blog Tour: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Source: Borrowed from fellow blogger
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined.

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Though I tend to enjoy it when I read it, I don't actually read all that much high fantasy. There's not real reason why, it's just not something that I will go and pick up on my own. But with how much I had heard about Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms, I figured I should probably read it. And I turned out to be just as good as everything I had heard about it.

For thousands of years, the three kingdoms of Auranos, Paelsia and Limeros have lived side by side without much conflict. But that doesn't mean that everyone is happy with the way things are. The Auranians have had no shortage of riches while the Paelsians are struggling to put food on the table and the Limerians are in the cold lands in the north. But things are about to change. Jonas wants to avenge his brother's death and take back what Auranos has been taking from Paelsia for hundreds of years. Prince Magnus has been trained to fight and wants nothing more than to help his father take over Auranos. And through it all Princess Cleo has to find a way to escape an arrange marriage all the while helping protect the fate of Auranos.

LIke I've said, high fantasy doesn't really tend to be my cup of tea. Typically it's not something I will pick up on my own but when it's recommended to me enough times I will pick up a high fantasy book. And Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes had come highly recommended by a number of people. And so I started reading, and it didn't take too long for me to get wrapped up in the story. Fantasy stories rely heavily on world building, and with Falling Kingdoms I could see it. All the time while reading, I could picture the world Morgan Rhodes was describing, whether it was the trend lawns of Auranos, the dry lands of Paelsia or the frozen ones of Limeros. The focus of the story itself was war but it felt like there was a lot more to it. There was also a strong focus on family and loyalty, even a little bit of romance, no matter how disturbing that romance could be at times. But primarily, this story was about the characters.

Like I've said this story was primarily about all the characters. At least those who didn't get killed. Because let me warn you if you plan on reading Falling Kingdoms there are characters dying left, right and center. Usually right as I started getting attached to a character, it got killed off, it almost got to the point where I started expecting characters to die. But for the characters that actually stayed alive for the duration of the book. They all had something that they were willing to fight for, whether it was their family, love or just something bigger and that was what kind of brought them all together in my mind. Though there were no clear alliances and the main characters by far did not all like each other, they were still all connected by what they were going through, and each of them was more than they let on. Jonas was more than just a young man trying to avenge his brother's death. Cleo was more than just a princess looking for love, and Magnus was more than the fighter his father had trained him to be. But no one really realized there was more to the people they were so dead set on hating and that just made the story more interesting for me.

Overall, Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms ended up being a fantastic read. Though I am not typically a big fantasy reader, you can be sure that I will be picking up the sequel, if only to see what happens to everyone after the major events of this first installment. 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (69)

For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers showcase books they are particularly looking for to. For the next few weeks, I'm going to be doing this a little differently. Like I did last year, each week I will be talking about books that are coming out early next year from different publishers. Up this week are the last of the January 2013 releases coming from Amulet Books, Bloomsbury & Egmont USA.

Splintered by A.G. Howard
January 1, 2013
Amulet Books
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl's pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers--precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretched back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother's mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice's tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice's mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
I remember seeing this book popping up everywhere for quite some time, but never really paid attention to what it was really about. All I really knew was that it had a pretty cover. But once I looked into it more, I realized that this was a story that I was really interested in reading and all the positive reviews I've been seing are only adding to this want. So yeah, I really want to read Splintered.

Doomed by Tracy Deebs
January 8, 2013
Beat the game. Save the world.

Pandora's just your average teen, glued to her cell phone and laptop, surfing Facebook and e-mailing with her friends, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father, her one key to saving the world as we know it. 

Part The Matrix, part retelling of the Pandora myth, Doomed has something for gaming fans, dystopian fans and romance fans alike.
There are plenty of retellings out there but this is the first I heard of a retelling of the Pandora myth so it definitely piqued my curiosity. And the whole concept of it also sounds really interesting, and to an extent almost realistic. Who knows what would happen if the world were to go completely dark? All I know is that I'm definitely looking forward to reading Doomed

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

January 22, 2013
There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them .They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That's why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they're young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute's monitoring. But now they've ID'ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can't make the hit. It's as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are--because no one else ever notices them.
I absolutely love Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves series so I get excited any time I hear she has a new book coming out. And as we all know by now, I am a sucker for anything that vaguely resembles a thriller. So this book just sounds perfect for me. I can't wait to be able to read Nobody.

So that's the last of the January 2013 books I'm waiting on. If I want to make it to February I may have to finally get around to renewing my library card because I don't know how I'm going to be able to afford all these books. Or even how I'm possibly going to even be able to read all the books I'm looking forward to.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She's on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she's made the all-start softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother's scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball cache seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

I pretty much adored Miranda Kenneally's debut Catching Jordan so I was very excited at the prospect of finally being able to read Stealing Parker. And once again Miranda Kenneally completely captured my heart with the story she wrote in this book. 

Parker always thought she would go on to being the valedictorian of her class, and as star of the softball team she was sure she would be able to play in college. But when her mom's secret comes out and causes a scandal in their small town, Parker turns her back on softball for fear of being told she's just like her mom. And to prove she's not like her mom, Parker decides the best way to do so if by kissing boys. Lots of boys. But that doesn't mean she doesn't want a relationship. So when the new baseball coach comes into town, Parker things that maybe he will finally be the one she's been looking for and the one she'll fall far. But what if it means losing herself in the process?

I started reading Stealing Parker one relaxing Saturday afternoon. The next thing I knew it was a few hours later and I was hugging the book to myself. Because that's exactly the kind of story it is. Right from the start you'll find yourself getting immersed in the story, picturing the characters as real people you are just spending time with. But I'll get to the characters later. On the surface, the story Miranda Kenneally wrote in this book sounds like a nice, fun, light story but it ends up being so much more than that. This is a story about a girl trying to find a place in a small town where everyone is judging her for things she hasn't done. It's also a story about faith, and figuring out when not to give up faith even when it seems like there isn't much to hold on to. And of course it's a story about friendship and romance. And that's what makes Stealing Parker so amazing. It's this mix of all these different stories and how they have been woven together perfectly by Miranda Kenneally.

Oh Parker. I feel for you, I really do. But sometimes you made some truly questionable decisions. Like the baseball coach for instance. But it's not really something I can hold against you in the grand scheme of things. But seriously, Parker from now on holds a place in my heart. It was great being able to see her growth over the course of the book, especially when it came to her faith and her relationship with others, in particular with her mom. And with Corndog/Will. This book has made me realize that I need Will Whitfield in my life. I just do. He is possibly the sweetest person ever and just seeing him with his little brother made my heart melt. And though he wasn't a main character in Stealing Parker I may just love Sam Henry even more than I did after reading Catching Jordan. For no reason in particular other than just because he is who he is. So moral of the story, I want Will Whitfield and Sam Henry in my life. That's really all I need to say about these two characters. 

Miranda Kenneally's Stealing Parker simply stole my heart, there's no other way to really explain how I feel about this book. From start to finish it was amazing and it truly felt like I was living it all with the characters at my side. I simply cannot wait for Miranda Kenneally's next book, Things I Can't Forget

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Title: Breathe (Breathe #1)
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Chapters
Inhale. Exhale.
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn should be worried about Aline and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Be a wants to tell him that non of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
Who doesn't like a good dystopian read? That's my opinion when it comes to dystopians, but I'm still a little worried they're all going to start sounding the same. But Sarah Crossan's Breathe was something new and different. And it was a story that completely drew me in.

Their whole lives Aline, Quinn and Bea have been told that it's impossible for them to survive outside the pods. Now that all plant life has died, there's just not enough oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere for humans to survive. But that might not be entirely true. In an effort to help Alina escape the pod, Bea and Quinn disvoer that life outside the pod might be possible and the Resistance is dead set on proving it. But things don't always go as planned and before they know it, Alina, Quinn and Bea have started a war and a revolution. And now they have to be prepared to fight for their lives and find a way to survive outside the pod.

So. Breathe. Let me just start off by saying that it was s fantastic read. The whole idea that we would run out of oxygen on Earth is one that is quite realistic and it made the story that much more powerful. Running out of oxygen is definitely something that could happen, and while I was reading, it's something that really made the story come to life. But beyond the almost realistic quality of the story, it was also one where it always felt like something was happening. And there was definitely plenty of action. The other aspect of the story I really enjoyed were the multiple narrators. Each brought something different to the story.

Alina, Quinn and Bea each had their chance at telling the story, and like I've already said, each brought something different to it. Alina had the knowledge of the Resistance the will to fight. Quinn has led a privileged life as the son to a high ranking Breathe official and doesn't want to believe his father has lied to him his whole life. Bea's family has always struggled for money and all she wants is for Quinn to be more than just her best friend. It was just interesting to see the story from each of their perspectives because each one saw things differently and that gave the story more depth. It was also just interesting to see how all the different relationships between these three characters played into the story as a whole.

Overall, Breathe by Sarah Crossan proved to be a fantastic dystopian read. Right from the start it grabbed my attention and the realistic quality of the story kept me reading all the way through to the end.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Double Cover Reveal: Cold Fury and Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein + Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for two books. One is a redesign, and the other is for the sequel. So without further ado, here are the covers for Cold Fury and Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein.

The thrill ride that began in Cold Fury kicks into high gear in Flicker & Burn, as the threats to Sara Jane Rispoli come at her from all directions. She continues the desperate search for her missing family, but this time she’s on the run from creepy beings with red, pulsing eyes and ghostly white skin chasing her through the streets of Chicago in black ice cream trucks – they can only be described as Ice Cream Creatures. They're skeletal and ferocious, hell-bent on catching or killing her, but also a weird link to her family, a clue to where they might be and who has them.

While Sara Jane battles these new pursuers, she learns painful lessons about the phenomenon that possesses her, cold fury. At the same time, she’s uncovering buried secrets about the misdeeds of her family – old murders and blood vendettas – that might be connected to the disappearance of her mom, dad, and brother. The mysteries, violence, and constant state of chasing or being chased could be the undoing of her relationship with handsome Max Kissberg. Despite the love growing between them, Sara Jane can’t tell him the truth about her life, and fears for his safety.

Not only do the Ice Cream Creatures display the grisly amputated finger of her mom to prove their viciousness, and not only does Lucky, the Outfit Boss of Bosses, whistle in Sara Jane for a sit-down with deadly consequences, but her gorgeous cousin, Heather Richards, enters the scene, as well. All that matters to Sara Jane is saving her family and keeping everyone she loves alive and safe. But the forces she encounters, both external and the ones crackling inside of her, fight her every step of the way.

If you haven't read it already, you can pick up a paperback copy of Cold Fury in June 2013, which will give you plenty of time to read it before the release of the sequel, Flicker & Burn, in August 2013.

And now for the giveaway:

There is ONE ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Flicker & Burn up for grabs. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Lies that Bind by Lisa & Laura Roecker

Title: The Lies that Bind (The Liar Society #2)
Author: Lisa & Laura Roecker
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Just when Kate Lowry thought she had life at elite private school Pemberly Brown figured out, she cracks open a fortune cookie to find a message from her best friend Grace--who's supposed to be dead.

Another Sister Gone

A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there's no way she'll let them get away with it twice. It's up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions an nothing's as it seems, who can she trust?
I had really enjoyed The Liar Society when I read it last year, so I was really looking forward to reading the sequel, The Lies that Bind. And this sequel turned out to be just as good as the first book, and the mystery captured my attention from start to finish.

After what happened last semester, Kate promised she would stop trying to take down the secret societies that run her elite prep school. But just because she promised the should stop doesn't mean Kate actually stopped messing with secret society business. And now the secret societies of Pemberly Brown Academy are back at it, this time with one of their own going missing. Now Kate finds herself caught up in society business once again and this time she doesn't know who she can trust. And to make things worse, those she was sure she could count on are turning their backs on her. Kate just doesn't know what she's supposed to do anymore.

I am a sucker for any story that involves the smallest amount of mystery so the Liar Society books are right up my alley. But the great thing about The Lies that Bind is that not only does it involve, mystery, it also has all these great moments that just put a smile on you face, and sometimes they might just make you laugh (especially if Seth is involved). The story itself was also pretty great. Right from the beginning I found myself getting wrapped up in it. And the mystery itself kept me on my toes the whole way through. I just couldn't seem to figure out who was behind it all until it was all laid out in front of me. And even then because of all the previous twists and turns I wasn't sure if they had the right person.

Once again, Kate was a great character and a great narrator. I love her voice and she manages to tell what is happening to her in a very unique way. What I especially like about her is that she can tell that what she's doing isn't necessarily the greatest idea and that definitely comes out in the way she tells her story and that of the people around her. Though she still took most of what happened to her in stride, I could tell that it was getting harder for her to deal with it all, especially when it came to what it was costing her to do what she was doing. And once again, Seth was always there, ready to step in whenever Kate needed his help. Like I've mentioned before, he was often quite good at putting a smile on my face while I was reading. The other characters kind of threw me for a loop. I never really knew who I was supposed to trust. Even with Liam who is supposed to be Kate's boyfriend, I wasn't always sure if I was supposed to be trusting him. And the same goes for Bradley, though I knew I shouldn't really trust him, I found myself wanting to do so. It was all interesting how there was a little reversal of roles going on.

Overall, The Lies that Bind was a fantastic sequel to The Liar Society. There was that same mystery that I loved in the first book, and even more of it if you ask me. And with the way things ended, I can't wait to see how it will all come together in the final book in the trilogy.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Tour: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Title: The Friday Society
Author: Adrienne Kress
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: December 6, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns--and the heroines who use them all.

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligence and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder--and the crimes they believe may be connected to it--without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike--well, relatively ladylike--heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

A steampunk story about kick-ass girls? Count me in. The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress was a fantastic and fun story about three girls who definitely weren't afraid of much and didn't let anything stand in their way. I am such a sucker for books about girl power and this one ended up being right up my alley.

Cora, Nellie and Michiko had never met each other but one fateful night brought them together, and from then on their paths kept on crossing. Together they decide to solve a mystery the police hasn't deemed important enough and each brings something different to the table. Cora, an inventor's assistant can solve any problem thrown her way and can organize like no one else. Nellie, a magician's assistant can pull off just about any trick. Michiko, a Japanese fighter can can herself out of any tricky situation with the help of her katana. Together they form quite the formidable trio. And there is little that together they cannot face. And all in an almost lady-like fashion.

So I love Steampunk stories. And I love stories about kick-ass girls. So basically The Friday Society  by Adrienne Kress was the perfect book for me. And once I started reading the story really didn't disappoint me. It always felt like there was something happening and often whatever was happening was quite the adventure. And if that wasn't enough, there was just the right amount of humour in The Friday Society. I often had a smile on my face while reading, if I wasn't actually laughing out loud, which actually happened on many occasions. I have to say that those chapter titles had an important part to play in why I was often smiling while reading. They were totally appropriate for the story and fit right in with everything else that was going on.

So like I've said before, this story is about some pretty kick-ass girls. Before I get into each of the girls specifically, let me just say that I loved the way each of the girls was introduced. Every time one of the girls was introduced there seemed to be an explosion. And that wasn't even the craziest thing to happen to any of the girls. Each of them brought something different to the table. Cora is quite the intelligence and resourceful young woman. Despite her modest background, she has managed to make so much for herself, especially considering the times she is living in. Nellie isn't afraid to tell it like it is, and she often had me laughing on multiple occasions with the way she talked. And Michiko, she was quiet and reserved but she was a fantastic fighter. Together they made quite the unlikely trio and I think that's what made them so endearing. They were just so unexpected that they basically worked. And they were a lot of fun to read about.

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress was a fantastic read. Though I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it, it was also one that took me by surprise. It wasn't long before I found myself being unable to flip the pages fast enough. You can be sure that I will be looking out for more by Adrienne Kress in the future.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Series Catch-Up Challenge Info & Sign-Ups!

So I absolutely love series. There's just something about being able to follow a story and its characters over the course of multiple books. Some of my favorite books are parts of series and sometimes the fact they are part of series is what makes it so I like them so much. But there is a downside to series. It seems to me that books in series come out faster than I can read them. As a result I am behind on so many awesome series that I actually really love. To remedy this, I decided I would challenge myself to catch up on some of the series I am behind on over the course of the next year. And I figured, why not encourage other people to do the same. So after many discussions with the wonderful Ciara from Lost at Midnight Reviews, we have come up with the Series Catch-Up Challenge.

The Details:
- Runs from January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013
- Goal is to catch up on as many series as possible 
- Two ways to meet your goal: number of books you've read to catch up series/number of series you've caught up on.
- On the first of each month there will be a post here and at Lost at Midnight Reviews so you can link up your reviews. For every review you link, you get one entry into a monthly giveaway.
- There will be a big giveaway at the end of the year.

Goals - Series Caught Up On
1 - 5: Series Newbie
6 - 10: Series Lover
11 - 15: Series Expert
15+: Series Fanatic

Goals - Books Read to Catch Up on Series
1 - 5: Book Novice
6 - 10: Book Aficionado
11 - 15: Book Connoisseur
15+: Book Maniac

I know I'm excited, just looking at my bookshelf I can count 21 series that I need to catch up on, some I've started, some I haven't started but just own all the books. I'm hoping to definitely finish some or catch-up with others so I will be ready for the release of the next title. 

So if this is something you are interested in, be sure to sign up below and tell everyone what series you are hoping to catch up on. If you have any questions, just e-mail me ( or talk to me on Twitter (@emiliebookworld).

(Sign-ups appear here and at Lost at Midnight Reviews.)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

For those who don't know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where book bloggers showcase books they are particularly looking for to. For the next few weeks, I'm going to be doing this a little differently. Like I did last year, each week I will be talking about books that are coming out early next year from different publishers. Up this week are January 2013 releases coming from HBG & Disney-Hyperion.

Altered by Jennifer Rush
January 2, 2013
A story that starts with a girl and a boy. A girl who loves a boy so much, she'll risk anything for him. ANd a boy who knows only one thing--kill anyone who stands in his way.

When you can't trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna's life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There's Nick, Cas, Trev…and Sam, who's stolen Anna's heart. When the Branch decides it's time to take the boys, Same stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There's just one problem. Sam and the boys don't remember anything before living in the lab--not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they're both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
Right when I first heard about Altered I knew I wanted to read it. There's just enough revealed in the summary to make me want to find out exactly what this book is all about.

Return to Me by Justina Chen
January 15, 2013
Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb an her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast. 

And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?

Justina Chen, the acclaimed author of North of Beautiful, has created a moving and powerful novel about the struggled that arise from betrayal, the uncertainty of life after high school, and the joy that ultimately comes from discovering what's truly in your heart.
I absolutely loved Justina Chen's North of Beautiful when I read it a couple of years ago. So when I found out that she had a new book coming out, I just couldn't help but be excited about it. I am now eagerly waiting for it to come out.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
January 22, 2013
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. 

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous--it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and walking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. 

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
I never really got around to reading Victoria Schwab's debut, The Near Witch, but the summary for The Archived has me totally intrigued. And from what I've heard from people who have already had a chance to read it, it's just as good as it sounds.

Shadowlands by Kate Brian
January 8, 2013
Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived…and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying not eh beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they're starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?
So I've never read anything by Kate Brian, but this summary for Shadowlands piqued my curiosity. It sounds like a really interesting story and, again, from what I've heard it's as good as it sounds.

So these are the January 2013 titles I'm waiting on from HBG and Disney-Hyperion. Let me just say that there are lots and lots of good books coming out at the start of next year. Be sure to come back next week for the last of the January 2013 titles I'm waiting on. 

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Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Back!

So a few weeks ago I posted about how things have been going crazy with school and work. But as of 2:30 PM today I am done with my second to last semester of university. What this means for you is that I will be back to posting regularly. I have been reading so I have some reviews to post, I will also be part of the blog tours for Falling Kingdoms and The Friday Society, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. On Thursday I will also have a big announcement about something that will be happening on the blog over the course of the next year so be sure to come back and check it out. And of course since it's the end of the year I will be doing all those end of the year/beginning of a new year posts.

So all that to say that the blog will definitely be busy this month. And I just wanted to thank everyone for sticking with me while I got through all the essays.

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