Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Welcome to 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge!!!

We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they're gifted to us.. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we'll finally decide to pick them up..

Join us on a quest to dust off your TBR Pile and read all the books you've been telling yourself you'll read next time you'll get a chance.. This is your chance! And we've got PRIZES!!! :D

Challenge Guidelines:

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.

Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read! (On your blog, Amazon or Goodreads/Shelfari!)
Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2012 and earlier! NO 2013 ARCs and 2013 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge. (If you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!)
You can move up levels, but no moving down.
Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
On the 20th of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)

If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - a box of books.
You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
(how many books you're planning to read for this challenge in 2013)

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children


January 20th: Evie @Bookish (
February 20th: Rachel @Fiktshun (
March 20th: Justin @Justin's Book Blog (
April 20th: Tiffany @Escaping.. One Book At A Time (
May 20th: Bonnie @Words At Home (
June 20th: Justin @Justin's Book Blog (
July 20th: Emily @Doodle's Book Blog (
August 20th: Tiffany @Escaping One Book At A Time (
September 20th: Rachel @Fiktshun (
October 20th: Emily @Doodle's Book Blog (
November 20th: Bonnie @Words At Home (

December 20th: This one will be posted on all the blogs. There will also be a huge BOX OF BOOKS giveawayand this time you can link up ALL YOUR TBR Pile REVIEWS you wrote for the entire year!

I'm going to aim to complete A Sweet Kiss (21-30 books.) I'd like to get more done then that, but the point is to have fun, not stress out. This level should be easily achievable and as a romance lover, I like the name. :) 

Kat's Reading List: 

Let's see if we can get some of these read, shall we? This list may change, but it at least gives a jumping off point. 

Cinder by Merissa Meyer
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Storm by Brigid Kremmerer
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines 
The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines 
Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck 
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Eve by Anna Carey
Gone by Michael Grant
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Thumped by Megan McCafferty
The Iron Daughter by Julia Kagawa
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan 
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel 
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler 
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter 

These are just what I can think of off the top of my head. I *am* counting older books I got for Christmas. I'm *not* (currently) counting older books I didn't get and may order this week. (They'll end up here eventually...) Can you see WHY I need to join this challenge so bad? *laughs* 

So, what book on your TBR are you most anxious to pull off the shelf and read? I'd love to know! 

2013 Sequel Challenge

Okay, here's a challenge I can definitely get behind. Do you KNOW how many sequel books I have just chilling here on my shelves? Or how many are coming out that I'm totally dying to read? I'm making 2013 all about two things: spreading awareness of awesome new authors, and spreading awareness about authors I already love. This challenge should fit into my plans perfectly. 

The 2013 Sequel Challenge is being hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads. To join in, click here

Kat's Reading List: 

I'm sure this list will grow as the year progresses, but let's see what I've got or am looking forward to already. No guarantees I'll read all these, but a girl can dream. 

Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Cross My Heart by Krystle Jones
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck
Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck
Tiger's Dream by Colleen Houck
The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Dare You To by Katie McGarry 
Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler
Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler
Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler
The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 
The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines

So I think that's 28 books? Let's aim for 20, then. :) Let the sequel devouring begin! 

So, what sequel are you most excited to read this year? I'd love to know so feel free to leave a comment. :) 

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

In 2012 I did not read nearly as much contemporary YA as I would have liked to, and that is something I plan to change in 2013. As part of my commitment to that change, I have decided to take place in the 2013 Contemporary Challenge being hosted at Katie's Book Blog.

I am going for the gold here--I'm going to give level 3 a shot. This isn't *quite* what I had in mind (I wanted to read some stuff I missed last year) but there are a ton of great sounding contemporary YA novels releasing this year, so I can go with that. (And it won't stop me from reading the ones I'm dying to get through for my TBR Pile Challenge, anyway.)

If you are interested in learning about the challenge click here. If you decide to join the challenge, I would also recommend joining the GoodReads group for it, here. They have compiled an awesome list of 2013 Contemporary YA releases, which will no doubt prove helpful.

Kat's Reading List: 

I'll come back and add pictures at the end. Right now, I'm trying to make sure that I don't pick, say, all books that are releasing in November. Here we go! (Wow! I ended up with a list of 17 books. That's pretty impressive.)

Empty by K.M. Walton (Jan. 1st)
Salvation by Anne Osterlund (Jan. 10th)
Hooked by Liz Fichera (Jan. 31st)
Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton (Feb. 1st)
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally (Mar. 1st)
Bruised by Sarah Skilton (Mar. 5th)
This Is What Happy Looks Like (Apr. 2nd)
The Lucy Variations by Sarah Zarr (May 7th)
The Book of Broken Hearts (May 21st)
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown (May 21st)
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt (Mar. 26th)
Dare You To by Katie McGarry (May 28th)
The Summer I Became A Nerd (May 7th)
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Canary by Rachele Alpine (August 28th)
Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma (Sept. 5th)
Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein (Oct. 1st)
Red by Cherry Alison (Oct. 8th)

So, are you taking part in the Contemporary YA Challenge? What contemporary YA book are you most excited about this year?

Looking Ahead: 13 Books I Want To Read In 2013

There are a zillion new books coming out this year and making this list was a big pain in the butt, because a lot of them sound awesome. So here we go. Some of these are sequels and some are totally new, but all of these have my interest and will likely make it either onto my shelf or my kindle in the coming year.

First, the sequels...

Through The Ever Night
by Veronica Rossi
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

I absolutely loved Under the Never Sky, so it should come as no surprise that Through The Ever Night will be among the first books I purchase in 2013. I absolutely love the romance between Perry and Aria, the adventure and excitement of the world they inhabit and of course Roar's totally awesome personality. The last book left these people in quite a situation and I'm dying to see how it will unravel.

by Marie Lu
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..." The choice June and Day face in this book makes me think of the song Won't Be Fooled Again by The Who. Will June be right about Anden? What will it mean if she is? I can't wait to find out! 

Unravel Me
by Tahereh Mafi
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

When I finished reading Shatter Me, only one thought remained in my head: Juliette can have Adam--I want Warner! The first book left a lot of questions: why can Adam touch Juliette? Does he have powers? And if there is a connection between these two things, and Warner can ALSO do this, does that mean he (gulp!) has some type of abilities, too? And what could those be? Okay, I'm going to stop. It's almost embarrassing how much I like the villain in this series. ;) 

The Goddess Inheritance
by Aimee Carter
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

This series is nuts. Just getting that out there. :) That said, The Goddess Test was one of the biggest surprises I encountered last year. I had avoided the book, figuring I would hate it, to actually buy it on a whim and totally end up loving it. I still need to read Goddess Interrupted but I've got some time to do that, it's on my kindle and I'm looking forward to it anyway. How will Kate get out of this mess Cronos has set up? I must know! Henry cannot be killed! 

The Elite
by Kiera Cass
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Of all the sequels I'm looking forward to this year, The Elite is definitely at the top of my list. The Selection was my most anticipated book last year, it totally delivered and I chose it as my favorite book of 2012... So The Elite has some big shoes to fill. Will we get any closer to America deciding who she wants? Will one of the guys make a choice of his own? (Can we just say screw America, get me some kind of age reversal potion and put me with Maxom? Kidding!) ... I must know. :D April can't come fast enough. 

Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare
If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

I totally loved Clockwork Angel. I still need to read Clockwork Prince. But I figure that's no reason not to be excited for Clockwork Princess! It'll be great to see how everything comes together and is resolved. If Prince and Princess are as good as Angel, I've got some great stuff to read this year.

And now for some new books...

by Josin L. McQuein
A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

Okay, wow. Just wow. I've wanted to read this one for ages. It actually inspired the concept for my super villain novel because of the intensity of the blurb. (Long story.) If someone hurt one of my loved ones enough that they killed themself, I would want to do something about it and I have to know HOW Dinah is going to make the guy wish he was dead, WHAT he did to Claire and WHY.

by Alison Cherry
Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

This is just crazy enough that I can't resist. A town where red hair equals power? This seems like a mix between contemporary and some kooky rule that adds a hint of some kind of social dystopia. I have to know what will happen to Felicity and just what this book is actually about because it seems really different then anything else I've been reading about and because I'm a huge fan of red hair (*cough* Sarena *cough*) and was a 'fake' redhead during university. 

by Briget Zinn
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Wow, what an epic way to have something mess up! This whole premise seems super intense and is begging me to read the book. An attempted killer being hunted by her ex? An 'evil' princess someone thought was worth assassinating? A hero named Fred? (Can it be done? We shall see. I didn't think a guy named Joe could be cool until The Sky Is Everywhere...) Must read! 

The Summer I Became A Nerd
by Leah Rae Miller
On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

I am a girl. I am a gamer geek. I am NOT a closet gamer. That said, I spent a large chunk of my youth wishing I was more "in" then I was, so watching a 'popular' girl geek out and have to deal with figuring out who she really is should be really fun to read. Besides, nerd / geek guys need love too and I love seeing them portrayed in fiction. 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
April Genevieve Tucholke
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

The devil... potentially in love (a girl can hope and I'm just crazy enough to...)? I so have to be there to see this. Plus, who ever thought of naming a guy River? I think that's really cool (and kinda clever when you think of stuff like The River Styx in Greek myth, or the Lake of Fire in more traditional "hell" mythos.) These undertones and the fact that the word 'contemporary' is in here, too, makes me very intrigued. 

This Is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

I met my boyfriend online and we've been together for over 4.5 years now. So a book like this makes me smile. The added complications of a famous guy and a girl trying to avoid the media should only add to the interesting factor. Plus, I love the way that the bright yellow parts of the cover seem to be cutting away from all the whites and grays. 

The new book I'm most excited for in 2013 is... 

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A book where a girl has to save a Genie? Sign me up! I had an idea for this kinda book years ago but never ended up writing it. I've got, like, 3 zillion other projects on the go so hopefully this book is super epic and does the concept justice. It looks really promising and I love the blurb and cover, so my fingers are crossed! 

So, what book are YOU most excited about in 2013? I'd love to know so feel free to leave a comment!

Looking Back: 12 Books I Wish I'd Read in 2012

This has been a tough year for me, reading-wise. Between working on my own novel, helping take care of my grandma and general life stuff going on, I haven't read or reviewed as much as I would have liked. With that in mind, here are 12 books I wish I'd read this year, why I want to read them and why I didn't. Let's see if I can make getting these read in 2013 a top priority!

The Vincent Boys
by Abbi Glines

Why I Want To Read It: I got this as a Christmas gift twice--once for my Kindle last year, and again as a paperback this year. Obviously, fate wants me to read this book. And I'll admit, I kinda am intrigued. *laughs*

Why I Haven't: I started to read this--while my grandma was in the hospital, before she had received her diagnosis. That is not a conductive time to be reading and retaining anything, so I decided I would stop and come back to this later. As you can see, that did not happen. It needs to, since I recall being very interested in the story.

Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare

Why I Want To Read It: I read and loved Clockwork Angel, and I actually bought it after buying this book on sale at WalMart last year. This is long overdue to be read and I definitely want to have it read by the time Clockwork Princess releases.

Why I Haven't: Your guess is as good as mine here. I often try not to read sequels too close together, but the amount of time I've waited on this is kinda ridiculous and I'm thinking of throwing that rule out the window. If I want to read stuff back to back, why shouldn't I?

Second Chance Summer
by Morgan Matson

Why I Want To Read It: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a totally amazing book, so reading another contemporary YA by Morgan Matson seems like a good call. I read a sample of this on Kindle and liked it.

Why I Haven't: This one's going to hit a lot closer then I usually want a book to hit me. Losing a loved one is always hard and knowing you're about to seems like it would be unimaginable. I have a strong suspicion that I'm going to be a mess if I read this.

The Mephisto Kiss
by Trinity Faegen

Why I Want To Read It: I really enjoyed The Mephisto Covenant and I was eagerly awaiting this book for most of 2012.

Why I Haven't: Life has just been so darn busy! I was knee deep in my second round of Sealer's Promise edits when I bought this, I got it in a huge Amazon order and it kinda buried itself among the books on my shelf. Bad!

My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Why I Want To Read It: I've heard so many good things about this and I have a strong suspicion that this is going to be my kinda book. I didn't read nearly as much contemporary this year as I wanted to, and I think that may have had something to do with some of my burn out issues. I need to pay closer attention to that in 2013.

Why I Haven't: This book is proving elusive, much as Die For Me and Enclave did before it. I can't read this yet, because I don't own it. I need to make this a priority 1 in my next Amazon order.

by Megan McCafferty

Why I Want To Read It: It's the other half of Bumped, which was one of my favorite books of 2011. I ordered this the day it released!

Why I Haven't: I got this, Insurgent, The Fault In Our Stars and The Selection in the same order. Two books made my Best list, and two made this one. I guess that says something about my buying habits, huh?

by Veronica Roth

Why I Want To Read It: It's the sequel to Divergent. Need I say more? I'm embarrassed that I haven't read this yet. I put it off on purpose and then--WHY?--never got back to it.

Why I Haven't: By the time this book came out I was so sick of the promotional campaign for it that I decided the best thing I could do for the book was to wait until people weren't as sick as I was of seeing Insurgent related posts anymore. Then I kinda forgot about it entirely. Oops. I'll need to fix that when the mood hits me.

A Midsummer's Nightmare
by Kody Keplinger

Why I Want To Read It: There is a book by Kody Keplinger that I have not read yet. Something is inherently wrong with that sentence. Those words shouldn't be able to go together. This is a travesty that must be fixed!

Why I Haven't: I love Kody's books and I usually read them the minute they release... and then have to wait forever for the next one. I thought I was being smart waiting to read this. But I didn't mean to wait this long.

The Iron Daughter
by Julie Kagawa

Why I Want To Read It: I totally loved The Iron King, I own the entire Iron Fey series and the fact that I haven't read this yet is nuts!

Why I Haven't: I honestly don't know. I found The Iron King very tense and I'm equal parts excited and scared to see what will happen between Ash and Meghan. It's silly I haven't gone on... And I need to fix it.

Catching Jordan
by Miranda Kenneally

Why I Want To Read It: I've already read half of this and loved it. And I know a lot of my friends have read and loved it. I desperately want to finish this and get Stealing Parker, actually.

Why I Haven't: My wrists / hands had their flare up start half way through this book and I was physically unable to finish it! I can't put into words how irritating this was. I was getting very into this and was not happy with needing to set it down. I was tempted to get it for my kindle so I could continue, but I hate buying stuff twice.

by Merissa Meyer

Why I Want To Read It: I love fairy tale retellings and I've heard nothing but praise for Cinder all year. This has been sitting on my shelf for a year as of today. Gah!

Why I Haven't: I honestly have no idea. Everything about this book should appeal to me, yet here it sits. Has it been mood? Is the cover too simple? Am I afraid it might disappoint due to all the hype? I couldn't tell ya. I just know I haven't read it.

The Book I Most Wish I'd Read In 2012 is...

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Why I Want To Read It:

-- It has a hero named Jason. That's my boyfriend's name. I find that cute.

-- I've heard much praise for the London setting. I'm always a sucker for a book that does a good job with it's setting.

-- I can be neurotically organized, so I can relate to Julia. A lot.

-- It looks like the kind of fun, sweet romance I've been dying to read for months. I'm totally dying to get my hands on this book. *goes to check again*

Why I Haven't: 

Why So Difficult, huh?!

This book has been a total pain in the butt to get ahold of. It's been outta stock on Amazon. It's name has eluded me twice. It got mixed up with another title at Christmas. It wasn't in stock last week when I went to chapters. It wants to be one of THOSE books. You know the type I'm talking about.

So, what book did you want to read this year and not get to? And which book on my list do you think I most need to read? I'd love to know, so feel free to leave a comment! :) 

Looking Back: Best Books of 2012

It's been a long year and it hasn't always gone according to plan. But despite its many ups and downs, 2012 hasn't been that bad for me. I got to attend two blog related events, have now completed two drafts on my first novel and have a cover for it and did read some very good books--even if I admittedly suck at keeping this place as up to date as I'd like. (I'm working on it--I have a WoW list ranging from the start of January up to July 18th...) Anyway, here are my picks for best books read in 2012. These are in no particular order, excluding my favorite book read in 2012, which I will post last.

by Michael Grant

Why It's Great: I got this book as part of Bookurious, so it's not something I naturally picked up off a shelf for myself. Because of this, I had no idea what to expect. What I discovered was a book that I found so deeply compelling that I literally carried it in the car with me because I refused to put it down. (Fortunately, I don't drive.) I would strongly recommend this for anyone looking for a fast paced read with great characters and a fascinating plot that will make you ask a lot of questions.

The Fault In Our Stars 
by John Green

Why It's Great: I had wanted to read this for a while, and right after my grandma was diagnosed with multiple myeloma I decided the time had come. This was my first book written soley by John Green (I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson last year and liked it a lot.) and it definitely did not disappoint. I think what I said in my review was that The Fault in Our Stars is the kind of book that will break your heart in order to put it back together. I'd recommend that anyone who hasn't read this yet bring tissues.

Critical Failures 
by Robert Bevan

Why It's Great: If I were giving out actual awards, Critical Failures would get one for being the funniest book I've read all year. As an avid gamer, especially back in my early to mid twenties, I felt very able to relate to the characters in this novel, who are sucked into a Dungeons & Dragons like game called Caverns and Creatures. I'd recommend that anyone looking to get this also grab Robert's two short stories, Cave of the Kobolds and Zombies Attack . (This is NOT YA.)

Wicked As They Come 
by Delilah S. Dawson

Why It's Great: Yet again with those imaginary awards: if I was giving them out, Wicked As They Come would receive one for best world building this year. I absolutely loved how Delilah set up her world and the creatures in it. Everything had such a fresh, unique take that exploring the world with the characters was just as much fun as getting to know them. Add to this that the characterization was excellent, the romance was paced well and the cover is gorgeous and you have a recipe for greatness. So glad I read this! (This is NOT YA.)

Throne of Glass 
by Sarah J. Maas

Why It's Great: A kick-ass heroine who has surprising vulnerability and depth, a love triangle that actually works (read: I like both guys), terrific world building and great writing combine to make Throne of Glass one of the most compulsively readable books of 2012. I absolutely loved this and if you haven't read it my one recommendation would be to go and buy it. Now!

Dark Horizons 
by Krystle Jones

Why It's Great: This is an extremely high energy book--it's full of action and emotion, love and betrayal, hope and despair. Yes, I realize how vague that sounds. But I don't want to spoil what goes on here, and this is the middle of a trilogy so that could happen very easily. I can tell you that the plot moves quick and the characters are memorable. If you haven't started reading The Red Sector Chronicles, and you like vampires and dystopia, you really should give it a go.

by Janet Lee Carey

Why It's Great: I have a love hate relationship with fantasy novels. I do love them, and I want to love them, but they don't always *let* me love them. Dragonswood is one of the fantasy novels I bought and read this year that seemed willing to go out of its way to make me like it: an interesting and complex heroine, a beautifully drawn world, great myth / lore and a hero I totally adored combine to make this an easy recommendation. I could not put Dragonswood down and if I had to pick a book to re-read next year, this would be it.

by Marie Lu

Why It's Great: I read this roughly a year ago and I can still remember recording my first IMM video and telling people "Run, don't walk!" in relation to whether they should pick this book up. I really liked a lot about Legend--the fast pace, the dual narratives, the main characters' personalities, the connection that forms between them... It is just all around awesome. Who wants to bet Prodigy is on my must read list for 2013? You'd be right.

The Game Changer 
by Marie Landry

Why It's Great: As with her debut, Blue Sky Days, The Game Changer shows two things about its author: Marie Landry clearly loves contemporary fiction, and she writes it well. Her characters are believable yet dynamic, she has a way of describing the places she creates for her stories so that they come to life and have an almost magical charm and the romance and chemistry between Melody and Julian was totally awesome. Look for my review very soon--the only reason it isn't up yet is because I was writing it when my hands were messed up. If you haven't read this yet, what's keeping you? (This is NOT YA.)

Under the Never Sky 
by Veronica Rossi

Why It's Great: Sometimes it's fun to be surprised, and at other times its fun to have high hopes for a book ... and have them not only met completely, but also to be utterly blown away. Under the Never Sky had a kind of gamer feel to it when I read the description and I knew I had to read it. I actually got this for my kindle and paid something like $13 for it (I *never* do that, people. Like, ever.) because I wanted to read it so bad. I loved everything here: the romance between Perry and Aria, the friendship between these two and Roar (and Roar's great sense of humor!), the world building... You name it.

by Emily Snow

Why It's Great: This is one of those books that pretty much screamed at me to read it and I am so glad that I did. Remember those awards I was pretending to hand out a ways up? Well, this book would likely get one for hottest chemistry / sexual tension in a novel. Ever. Oh my God I loved reading about Lucas and Sienna together. They had this whole underlying tension because of their current situation and they had chemistry built up from their past. In short, I could not put this down. I was totally obsessed. If you haven't read it... you get the idea. (This is NOT YA.)

And my FAVORITE book of 2012 is... 

You just had to see this coming. Anyone who knows me must have been scrolling down and thinking "Where is it?" "Where is it?" "It has to be here!". 

This was my most anticipated new book for 2012 and it gave me everything I wanted from it and more:

-- I absolutely LOVE America, despite her ridiculous name.

-- Both Aspen and Maxom are great love interests, although I must confess that Maxom has my heart and, in addition to being one of the LI's in my favorite book this year, is also likely my favorite new book boy this year.

-- The world was designed well enough that I got a decent feel for it, but it didn't bog the story down or take away from the important things going on. It did a great job of setting up danger via the rebels, the rules of The Selection, the choices America must make, etc. and yet balanced this with not making things so perilous that I wanted to scream at America to run for her life. This is not a "trapped" character and I think Kiera walked a good balance in making sure it made sense for America to stay.

-- The ending drove me totally batty, yet made me want to read the next book rather then toss the one I held in my hands. I hate this type of ending normally, yet The Elite is at the top of my must read list for 2013. Nice work.

So, what is your favorite book of 2013? Feel free to let me know in the comments! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's Going On?

Hard to believe that it's already the first of December!

I'm sure some of you wonder where I've been and what's been going on. Well, I've been conserving what I do with my hands and that has held me back a lot. But they are doing better then they were. I've also been working on the outline for a new novel, a contemporary romance this time. (Not sure yet if this'll be adult or new adult, but I know this one is not YA.) I'm really excited about it, though... small town + big music star + biggest fan (and secret songwriter) = a lot of crazy / romantic stuff going on. :D I'll see about putting a better summary together soon.

As for Sealer's Promise, I am pausing it for now because it needs another round of revision (big revision, not just clean up) and I need some space from it to get that to come out right. I'm shooting for it and the contemporary I'm writing to release next year, but as always, we'll see what happens. I only get to release a first book once and I want whichever that ends up being to be something I'm really proud of.

So, what am I planning here at I Write, I Read, I Review?

Well, I have read a few books in the past while that I haven't been able to review and I want to catch those up. Titles on this list include The Goddess Test, Hidden (House of Night), Backstage Pass, Dark Horizons, and The Game Changer. I'll also be posting some of my favorite books read in 2012, some of the books I hope to read in 2013, a (much smaller this year!) list of challenges I want to participate in, the results of the Apocalypse Tour giveaway and then all the usual stuff. :D I'm gong to do my best to juggle writing and blogging, but I know that can be a challenge for me, so if I'm not as quick to update stuff, bare with me. :)

I hope you're having a great week. Thanks for dropping by!

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