Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kat's Reading List: January

This year I've decided that I'm going to try something new. I have something like 300 books sitting on my shelves, and Lord knows I'll buy more. I get really overwhelmed when I'm trying to decide what I want to read... I can literally waste hours trying to make up my mind. (Yes, this is also a weakness when I'm editing my writing...) So in 2013, I've decided that I'm going to pick books for each month so that the pressure is off.

With that said, I proudly present my January reading list!

Tempted By Your Touch
by Jen Holling

Challenge(s): Reading Romances Challenge: "Marry Me?", GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?: 
I read the second book in the Brides of the Bloodstone trilogy years ago and always wanted to go back and read the others. When I signed up for the Reading Romances Challenge for 2013, I discovered that our first book needs to involve a marriage of convenience. I was having a heck of a time coming up with a book I'd love to read that involved this theme, and then I was rolling through some (really, really, REALLY...) old fan fiction I wrote for my friends and I when I was at Trent University and found something inspired by this series.

Remembering that the heroine in the second book (I think her name was Heather? I'd need to check and I probably will read the whole thing this year if this goes well...) mentions that her sister was married to someone she didn't want to be, and recalling that I'd looked into it, wanted to read book one and never had, my mind was made up. I went to see if this was available for Kindle and... presto! The rest is history.

I totally can't wait to get started! 

Through The Ever Night
by Veronica Rossi

Challenge(s): Sequel Challenge, Kat's Must Reads of 2013 (personal challenge), GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?:
The first book in this series, Under the Never Sky, was one of my picks for my favorite books of 2012. Since I read that in May and have no reason to hold back on reading the sequel, picking up Through the Ever Night is an easy decision for me.

I totally can't wait to see how things are between Aria and Perry, how everything that happened at the end of book #1 will effect book #2 and (hopefully) to meet Liv since I haven't read Liv and Roar yet (been way too darn busy!).

Another book I just can't wait to dive into. January 8th can't come fast enough! 

Falling For You
by Lisa Schroeder

Challenge(s): YA Contemporary Challenge 2013, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?: 
When I go to buy new books, I always download them for my kindle to check out a sample whenever possible. I read for samples today, and Falling For You stood out both for it's premise and for the relatable and easy to read voice of it's narrator, Rae.

As someone who spends a lot of her time writing edgy dangerous badass heroes, I feel an equal moral need to read books where real guys who behave this way get a good solid whistle blown. I see no wrong in the type of thing I write being in fiction, but I think books that make it clear this isn't okay in real life are equally important. Add to that the fact that my research indicates this isn't a total downer or a 'beaten over the head' book on the subject, and you'll find someone very ready to get behind this message. 

Shadow And Bone
by Leigh Bardugo

Challenge(s): TBR Pile Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?: 
In my unending quest to find gripping, accessible fantasy fiction I have been lead to Shadow and Bone for two reasons: (1) The intriguing manipulation of Russian culture to create the world's history (most fantasy is Medieval) and (2) The Darkling. I'll leave you guys to decide which was the more weighted deciding factor.

I've flipped this open and read a little and I can tell that this book and I are going to get on just fine in the writing department. What I've found is that the more I've read, written and revised, the more fussy I've become. It's really kinda frustrating!

Never fear, though: I've been itching to cuddle up with this for a while and I'm confident it will be no hardship. 

A Midsummer's Nightmare
by Kody Keplinger

Challenge(s): TBR Pile Challenge, Kat's 12 from 2012 Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?:
Oh, c'mon! It's Kody Keplinger! The real question should be why the heck I took so long getting to this. I'll confess something here--I do NOT see how this can end happily! And that scares me witless! But I think it's time I quit being such a wuss and actually found out--it's probably February's book of the month and I don't know it yet.

What I love about Kody's writing is that her characters cut past all the crap and get to the heart of whatever they are facing by the end of a book. And they don't wander around sugar coating things or trying to be perfect on their way to the end, either. Kody's writing is real and fresh and honest--exactly what I want when I sit down to read contemporary YA. I've got no doubt in my mind that, despite anything else, A Midsummer's Nightmare will deliver this in spades. 

The Mephisto Kiss
by Trinity Faegen

Challenge(s): Sequel Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge, Kat's 12 from 2012 Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?: 
This is one of those books that slipped through 2012 and didn't get read, even though I bought it and really wanted to read it. I did have some issues with the first book in this series, but they weren't enough to keep my from wanting to continue with the second.

I found The Mephisto Covenant very easy to zip through and I'm counting on the same from The Mephisto Kiss. I wonder what kind of heroine Jordan will be? I hope she's a bit more receptive then Sasha--the back and forth with her and Jaxx drove me nuts in book one.

I guess I'll soon find out! 

by Ann Aguirre

Challenge(s): TBR Pile Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick This?:
Hello, Enclave. How nice to finally meet you! I've waited a very long time to open you and flip to page one, but that wait is almost done. Okay, I'll stop talking to the book and talk to you guys now. ;) This has been one of THOSE books, much like Die For Me and Meant To Be. You know the type--I've had it be out of stock, I've forgotten the title or author name, etc. It's been Elusive.

I wasn't sure what to think when I first read about this book. Part of me went, "Eh, Hunger Games Clone" because I'd just finished that. The other half went, "Whoa, YA meets Fallout 3. That could be fun." I'm sure you can tell which part won out.

I'll be able to make my verdict soon, because I'm pretty sure I can zip through this little book in a day or two. 

Level 2
by Lenore Appelhans

Challenge(s): Debut Author Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick It?: 
I've wanted this one from the moment I first saw it--which was actually by stumbling onto Lenore's blog last year and learning about it. I think that books about what happens after death are intriguing, and there seems to be a heck of a lot going on here, which is great.

We'll have to see how the presence of the two guys works out. Will there be a love triangle? And if so, will it be justified? Also, since this is the start of a series, I will likely be cautious of the ending. I can be pretty prickly about them so yet again, we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, this releases later in January so I'll be finding out soon.

by Anne Osterlund

Challenge(s): YA Contemporary Challenge, GoodReads Challenge

Why Did I Pick It?: 
I love stories where opposites attract, and the idea of a guy who's class president, on the football team, etc. being interested in a shy, bookish "walking disaster area" is right up my alley. Plus, and this may not be fair--well shall see--I'm getting "Perfect Chemistry" vibes from this, and that could only be a good thing. (Though I'll need to watch out for it when I read this.)

I also think it's really cool to see characters who have different backgrounds and cultures. I know that even in my own work, most of my main characters are upper middle class white kids, or they are rich. This is what I "know", or can easily make up. It's not a great excuse, but it's honest--I wouldn't WANT to write a character like Salva because I *know* I would butcher it badly. However, I adore *reading* characters like this and it's equally great that the cover here has not been whitewashed. Truthfully I feel weird talking about this--I was raised to think that a person is a person, period. (Which is the more immediate reason it doesn't occur to me in my own fiction, really.) But with the amount of time I've spent blogging and being part of writers communities, I have come to be aware that this is an issue of great importance that should not be ignored. It's not the reason I want to read this, but it's icing on what looks to be a very nice cake. 

So, what are you hoping to read this month? Share in the comments or link to a post if you have one. I'd love to know! 

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