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Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Across the Universe" by Beth Revis

Release Date: January 11th, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: eBook
Age Group: Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

We start the story with Amy and her parents being frozen, so they can be loaded onto the Godspeed and be awoken three hundred years into the future, on a new planet. Her parents are both very important to rebuilding the world on this new planet and Amy goes along, because she doesn't want to be without them. The part while they are being prepped and frozen is equally terrifying and fascinating. It seems like a wholly unpleasant experience, the being frozen, but it's also an amazing thing that people would volunteer to do this for the good of their people.

We end up in the future and someone has unfrozen Amy early. She wakes up pretty terrified and completely unsure of what is happening. She finds out that her parents are still frozen and that she is still aboard the Godspeed. She meets Elder, who is one of the inhabitants of the Godspeed and is about her age. Elder is supposed to be taking over as leader of the Godspeed and is currently in training. Amy is pretty unsure of him and everything at first, but being trapped on a spaceship full of strangers and without your parents will make anyone a little wary.

It turns out that there are a lot of secrets hidden on the Godspeed. Some of them Elder doesn't want to be a part of or go along with and others he might just be responsible for. Regardless, these secrets are going to change the Godspeed and it's inhabitants. There is so much mystery behind everything that goes on aboard the ship and I really liked how we are never sure what's real and what is an illusion. Once we start to learn some of the ships secrets, the fate of the people on board becomes even more of a mystery. This is the first in a series, so we learn some of what is going on, but only just enough to keep us pining for the next installment.

This is actually the first YA sci-fi book I have ever read. I'm fascinated by the idea of people living in space. I could never be comfortable in a completely enclosed space for my entire life, but I loved reading the story of these characters and their lives onboard the ship. Beth Revis is an excellent writer and turned such a small space into a whole world. I really liked Amy as the female lead, she wasn't too accepting of anything and really just wanted to find out the truth. Even after she met Elder and they started getting closer, she wasn't content to just believe whatever she was told. She might be lost and mostly alone, but she was still her own person. I liked Elder, but I still feel like we don't know enough about him. Having spent his whole life aboard a space ship, he is a little awkward and doesn't really know how to be with people, but as the story went along his character started to become more defined. I am really looking forward to getting to know him more in book two.

I'm glad I decided to give this one a shot and I am 100% sold on this series. I'm sure the second book will give us even more of this amazing story and who wouldn't look forward to spending a little more time aboard the Godspeed :0)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Ten Most Coveted Books of 2012!

The last day of the top 10 event with Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Rachel from Fiktshun and Jamie & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books is all about sharing our most  coveted books for 2012! I'm especially excited about this one, because 2012 is shaping up to be an excellent book year :0)

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen: This is definitely one of my most coveted 2012 releases! It's got everything I love in a contemp invisible girl/golden boy love dilemma, awesome friends and art! I am so glad this is a February release, I won't have to wait too long :0)
In Honor by Jessi Kirby: Tragedy + Cute Boy + Road Trip = Sarah's favorite kind of story! I was really impressed by Jessi's debut in 2011 and I can't wait to read what she has for us in this one.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller: This one sounds like it is going to be crazy emotional and real, and I for one am all for that. I love that the story has to do with a Marine's life after coming home. It sounds sad, but at the same time hopeful.
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti: This one has intrigued me for months and I was so excited to get this one from the publisher! I'm saving it for the Debut Author Challenge, so I will probably be reading it in a couple of weeks! The story sounds so mysterious and I love that it takes place in a hotel. That just sounds really cool!
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: Outlawed technology, caste systems, genetic experiments gone wrong, how does that not sound like it will be the coolest story! I read somewhere that this was a reimaging of a Jane Austen novel, which also makes me pine.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: This one sounds like an emotional read, too. I love a contemp that makes you feel things and I also love a boy next door! It seems like this may have some tragedy in it, too, and I love me a good contemp cry.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour: Best friends, bands, roadtrips...all the makings of an awesome story. I like that the best friend who was never planning to go to college, decides to up and leave her band at the end of summer to do just that. This one just sounds like a lot of fun.
This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott: The ending we are left with in the second book has got me dying to know what's going to happen next. I want to see the resolution, but I also want Ally to realize that Jake is kind of a jerk and so not worth her time.
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne: I'm a sucker for a story that takes place in a "special" school. The academy setting is so good in a paranormal book, because it just gives you so many more possibilies for the characters to find trouble! This one sounds like creepy goodness and I can't wait!
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler: I LOVE Sarah Ockler's books! So I was pretty much sold when I knew this was her next one, but add in the wonder that is cupcakes and I am even more excited. I've actually seen this one in the store and the cover is so pretty and sparkly, but I am being patient and waiting for my pre-order. Fortunately, it comes out Tuesday :0)

Amazing 2012 books I was lucky enough to read early, and am SO excited for everyone else to read :0)

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg: OMG you guys! I don't ever use omg, so you know this is serious! I absolutely adored this book. It was definitely contemporary, but had a little bit of a paranormal twist. The main character, Brie, was so realistic and just fun to read. Going on her journey with her was fun, funny and at times sad. Such a great book, be sure to get this one!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: So I love long titles, as you can see by this and a few other choices, and in this case it was the title that initially drew me in. I was hesitant when I first realized it took place over the course of 24 hours, but I didn't need to be. This story plays out so realistically and is so heartfelt. Definitely one to put a smile on your face!
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell: I actually just finished this recently. It was a quick read for me and so much fun! It also had it's serious moments and they were dealt with so well. I didn't like the main character straight off, but she started growing on me right away and by the end I was definitely a fan!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year Giveaway Hop! Mystery box of arcs :0)

Welcome to the Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop!

This is my first time participating in a blog hop and I am really excited to be a part of it! This hop is running from December 30th until January 3rd, and has more than 200 blogs participating! Blog hop linky is after the jump :0)

I thought, since this was an end of the year giveaway, that it would be fitting to have some great books from 2011 as prizes. Then I thought, to make it a little more fun, that I'd put all of those arcs I wanted to give away into a mystery box!

The mystery box will include mostly arcs, possibly a finished copy or two, and will be mostly books from the second half of 2011!

Since it's going to be such a heavy package, this one is going to be US only, sorry for all of the international readers. I'll do something for you guys, soon :0)

To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below:

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Linky after the jump :0)

Favorite Books of 2011 (Part Two) - Contemps

What a year it's been! I've been an avid reader for quite a few years, but 2011 was the year I finally decided to start blogging about them, and it's been such an amazing experience thus far! This year I've gotten the opportunity to read so many more books than I would have the chance to otherwise and I have found so many new favorites that my shelves are overflowing. I wanted to post about my favorites of 2011, but since there were so many I decided to break it into a couple of posts.
Contemporary is by far my favorite genre. I can never seem to get enough and I usually end up liking them all! There were some really fabulous contemps in 2011, certainly more than a couple new favorites. I love how the genre can be light and fun, real and serious, or a combination of all of it. For obvious reasons, I always relate more to the characters in contemps so they tend to stick with me longer :0)

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (My Review): I absolutely cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. I flew through it and wanted to restart it right away. The storyline and characters were so real, which doesn't always come across so perfectly. I even enjoyed the football aspect of the book, even though I'm not a football fan. I am eagerly anticipating the next book by Ms. Kenneally :0)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (My Review): This not only goes on my favorite books of 2011, but it also goes on my favorite books of all time. I LOVED this book so completely. Having it from Adam's POV was fantastic, because we really get to know him this time around. He's my absolute favorite book boyfriend, by the way. Gayle Forman is a powerful storyteller and I will gladly be re-reading this one for years :0) 

Amplified by Tara Kelly (My Review): So it's possible I have a thing for musicians, even if they are imaginary. What I loved most about this book was that the end is sort of left up to us. Not that it stops abruptly or doesn't finish, but everything isn't in a nice bow at the end, but it is very hopeful. Also, as soon as I finished this one I wanted to take guitar lessons right away, because I now dream of being in a band :0)

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han: I was chomping at the bit for the final book of this trilogy. The day it came in the mail I sat down and read it all the way through in just a couple of hours. If it wasn't so unhealthy, I probably would have literally devoured it. It was such a fantastic end to this series, even if we didn't get as much time with certain characters. Rumor has it, that there will be some of Conrad's letters to belly in the paperback! 

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (My Review): I couldn't leave Lola off the list. Even though I still love Anna more, Lola definitely found a place in my heart. Stephanie Perkins really knows how to write a fantastic contemporary love story. Her characters are always fun and vibrant, people you want to spend time with over and over.

Saving June by Hannah Harrington (My Review): This book had it all. Tragedy, snarky banter, a dramatic best friend, a road trip, unexpected love and the promise of a happy future. All it was missing was a sword fight :0p When I first started reading this one, I didn't expect to feel so many things while on this trip with Harper and her friends. I also really love how music was tied into the story. Definitely a must read!

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez (My Review): I have to admit, I'm not totally in love with the cover on this one. I almost didn't pick it up, because it didn't really draw my attention. Fortunately, after reading raves from other bloggers I went for it. What and fantastic book. Yes, it has a sweet budding romance, but it also has so many other things going on with our characters and their families. This one has great characters. I didn't really know anything about this part of the music industry, but I really enjoyed reading about it. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - This is So Not Happening

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that showcases our most wanted upcoming releases.

"This is So Not Happening" by Kieran Scott
*Release Date: May 1st, 2012*

After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things will work out that way...again. — It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship intact?

This one is at the TOP of my wishlist for 2012! I liked the first book, but that ending had me clamoring for the next one. I liked the second book even more, and that ending about killed me. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this. I need to find out what's going to happen in the world of Orchard Hill. Also, Team Hammond!!

Blog Tour: "On A Dark Wing" by Jordan Dane - Review + Giveaway!

I’m really excited to be on the On a Dark Wing Blog Tour! The tour is running from December 19th thru January 2nd and 10 of the blogs participating (including this one) will be hosting giveaways for a copy of On a Dark Wing.

Jordan Dane will also be giving away a Kindle Fire to one grand prize winner!

The winners will be announced by Jordan during a live chat on January 5th.

Check out my review and then fill out the Rafflecopter below, for your chance to win your very own copy of On a Dark Wing!
Release Date: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eGalley
Age Group: Young Adult

The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.
Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.

And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.

I was expecting a full on angel story when I started this one. That's not what I got at all, but it was a nice surprise to wade into something completely different for this genre. We start the story with Abbey and honestly, for a good bit I wasn't really sold with her as the main character. I know she had some serious tragedy in her past, but she was really immature and had an unhealthy obsession with fellow classmate, Nate Holden. As the story went on, though, I started to warm to Abbey and she definitely grew up a little by the end of the story. I really liked her best friend Tanner. Abbey was one of the only people who stuck by after the accident that put him in a wheel chair and he was extremely loyal to her. He was also in love with her, but she didn't know it. He put up with a lot from Abbey and for her, but he still managed to be a good guy and not get too bitter about things that weren't going his way.

I really enjoyed Jordan's version of the Angel of Death in this one. He was still death, but after an eternity of  being and feeling nothing, all he wanted was to know humanity and what it is like to feel love. I've never really thought about death as being anything or wanting more than it has. Weirdly enough, it was the Angel of Death that connected with Abbey and showed her things that led to her eventual growth as a person.

Overall this turned out to be a good book and I'm glad I stuck with it. A lot of stuff is going on with the characters, but by the end you get a nice sense of closure for all of them. Nothing ends up perfect, but ultimately there is hope for their futures. 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of 2011!

Day two of the five day top 10 event with Lisa from A Life Bound By Books,  Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Rachel from Fiktshun and Jamie & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books is all about sharing our favorite book covers of 2011. They've got lists all week for this event, so don't forget to check back for more!

It was hard enough to pick 10 favorites, so this list is in no particular order, but they are all very pretty :0)

"Daughter of Smoke & Bone" by Laini Taylor

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: The BLUE! And the feathers. They just jump out at you and are so very pretty, plus it just fits so well with this beautiful story. I also really like the different fonts for the title.

Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Pubsliher: Little, Brown & Company

"Every Other Day" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

My Favorite Thing About This Cover : I really like the creepy bloody hourglass. Condsidering the plight of the main character, it really ties in perfectly with the story. I also like the leafy vines that are sort of embossed over the whole cover. It makes it shiny and pretty :0)

Release Date: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

"Where She Went" by Gayle Forman

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: I love the look on the cover model's face, it's so longing and that's the perfect thing to go along with the book. I really like the title font and that it's all lower case. I think the lack of capitalization really fits on this cover.

Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

"Catching Jordan" by Miranda Kenneally

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: The colors! They jump out at you and really make this one stand out on a shelf full of others. Plus I'm a sucker for hand holding. I really like a contemporary cover with some MC hand holding :0)

Release Date: December 1st, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

"The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: Them being underwater is so cool. It's actually what made me add this to my TBR many, many months before this one came out. I saw the cover and knew I had to read it, of course after I read the synopsis I decided it sounded awesome, too :0)

Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

"Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: The title font and design. It's just so pretty and I really like the feather incorporated into it. Honorable mention is the purple hue over the whole cover. It makes it seem ethereal, which is perfect since it's a book about angels :0)

Release Date: January 4th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

"Beauty Queens" by Libba Bray

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: Everything! A beauty queen in a lipstick ammo belt, what's not to like?!? This is another book that I decided I had to read by the cover first, then read the synopsis and knew it was up my alley. So fun :0)

Release Date: May 24th, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press

"Au Revoir Crazy European Chick" by Joe Schreiber

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: I'm a sucker for bright and shiny and this cover has bright and shiny galore. I mean, look at the lights! Plus the girl with the windblown hair and the blurred brake lights make you think action packed, and it is. I'm also a fan of the title, I love long titles :0)

Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

"Between" by Jessica Warman

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: I love that the girl is upside down, swinging in the clouds. I also really like that you can't see her face and that her legs are disappearing into the clouds. The fuzzy gray, green look makes it feel a little creepy and I like that, too :0)

Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Publisher: Walker & Company

"The Near Witch" by Victoria Schwab

My Favorite Thing About This Cover: The girl standing behind the sheer curtain and the sort of freaked out look on her face. I also like that the whole image is a little fuzzy with hints of blue throughout. It's haunting and fits perfectly with the story.

Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books

What are your favorite covers from 2011?

"Every Other Day" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Format: eGalley
Age Group: Young Adult

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

This book was seriously awesome! The basic plotline, where Kali is human one day and superhuman beastie hunter the next, was cool on it's own. Then all the added twists, turns and other characters made it even more readable. My absolute favorite part of this book was the fact that all the beasties (a.k.a. preternaturals) were a commonly known and accepted part of society. Most stories, tv shows and movies have them being a hidden danger to humans, but here everybody knows about them and the government has even decided to try and protect some of them. Wicked cool! And Ms. Barnes chupacabra's are pretty neat little creatures, too. I also liked that the main focus in this story was not on romance, forbidden or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I like romance as much as the next girl, but with everything else going on in this one, I'm glad it wasn't overtaking the spotlight.

Kali, our heroine, was a little rough around the edges and hard to get to know at first. As the story progresses and we get to see her open up a bit, we see why. Kali is the type of girl who tells it like it is and doesn't try to make nice so she can have friends. In fact, when Skylar decides to try and befriend Kali one day, she really wants no part of it. As it turns out, Skylar is good for Kali and their friendship helps her

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: December 6th, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: eGalley
Age Group: Young Adult

Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

I really wanted to love this book. People have been raving about it all over the place and I love me some aliens, but there were so many things that made it just okay for me.

I loved this version of the alien. It was probably my favorite part of the story. Having them as beings of light and being able to bend space and time, so completely cool. I also really liked that their enemies were of the shadows, so the battles were literally light vs. dark. I just love it! And Katy, I can't tell you how excited I was that she was a book blogger. I don't think I've read a book where the main character was a blogger and I thought that was a nice touch on Jennifer's part. As far as character goes, I liked Katy. For the most part she held her own and she definitely had some seriously heroic moments, which is always good to see with a female MC who is only human. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of Daemon. Sure he was described as the hot bad boy type, and that's often a good thing, but he just plain irritated me. I think my problem was that he was too hot and cold. I found him completely unreliable in that aspect and he was such a huge jerk. It wasn't charming. I know there were reasons for the way he was, but every time he made a step forward, he turned around and made three backwards. Hopefully, he gets some serious forward momentum in the next book. On the other hand, I really liked his sister Dee. I felt so bad for her, because all she really wanted was a friend and no one wanted her to have that. She came across as extremely genuine and really only wanted to be liked for who she was. That's pretty much true of all teenagers, so it made her seem more real to me.

As for the story, it was an extremely slow starter for me. It took me over a week to really get into it and I almost gave up, but so many people enjoyed it so I pushed far enough that I finally got to the action. Once things started happening it picked up the pace and didn't really stop until the end. The second half of the book definitely made up for some of my disappointment in the first half. I will definitely be picking up the next one, because I am very curious to find out what's going to happen next. Even though this one didn't blow me away, it did end up keeping me entertained and I am really curious to find out more about the bad guys, what the DOD really has to do with all of this, and the new kind of alien that Jennifer Armentrout has created for us.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have a Merry, Merry!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!!

Sarah's busy reading... :0)

Lots of new reviews and other bookish goodness in the coming weeks! Stay tuned :0)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (19) - Merry Christmas Everybody :0)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.It's a weekly showcase of the contents of our mailboxes!

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you all had wonderful book weeks! Mine was actually pretty fantastic, despite all the extra working I had to do. I was planning on doing a vlog again this week, but I have been battling sickness and tonight it appears to be winning. So it's just a photo for now. I also put myself on a book buying ban this week, until March, but I did manage to sneak in a couple purchases before that happened.

I have a little helper displaying the books for me today :0)

For Review:

"Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe" by Shelley Coriell
"The Alchemy of Forever" by Avery Williams
"Dark Eyes" by William Richter
"Born Wicked" by Jessica Spotswood
"Pretty Crooked" by Elisa Ludwig
"Grave Mercy" by R.L. LaFevers

"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin

That adorable little Superman was a gift from my best friend Shanon, for Christmas! He's quite possibly the cutest thing ever :0)

*Thanks to Abrams, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!

So what did you guys get in your mailboxes this week?!?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011 (Part One) - Paranormals

What a year it's been! I've been an avid reader for quite a few years, but 2011 was the year I finally decided to start blogging about them, and it's been such an amazing experience thus far! This year I've gotten the opportunity to read so many more books than I would have the chance to otherwise and I have found so many new favorites that my shelves are overflowing. I wanted to post about my favorites of 2011, but since there were so many I decided to break it into a couple of posts.

Paranormal wasn't usually a favorite of mine and I tended to shy away from most of them, but there have been some great books this year that have made me a convert. It still isnt' my number one genre, but it is definitely a close second :0)

"Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand: This book is the one that sold me on angels. I'd read a couple previously, but wasn't completely impressed. I read a bunch of reviews that "Unearthly was a great read and I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad that I did! Cynthia Hand has managed to incorporate pretty much everything I want into a paranormal and she did angels without being cheesy. I've just started the second in the series and I can barely control my excitement :0)
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor: Ajklkdhgoiuoebgwoiehasdfkjh! That's about as coherently as I can describe my reaction and feelings toward this book. It was just pure awesome, amazing, fantastic-ness! This one had such beautiful writing with rich mythology and story. Definitely one I'll re-read and then impatiently pine for the sequel :0)
"Across the Universe" by Beth Revis: Okay, so I know that this is technically sci-fi, but I didn't have any others in the genre to make a post, so I decided to work it in with paranormal. It's in good company here. I loved the premise of this one, and have often wondered what life would be like if you were frozen for hundreds of years. It's one thing to speculate about the future, but it would be immensely cool to be a part of it. Good or bad. Beth Revis writes a fantastic story here, with so many good characters and excellent plot twists.
"Every Other Day" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: My favorite part about this was that all of the paranormal creatures were commonly known. They weren't secretly lurking behind the scenes and only the hunters knew they were there. People just knew to steer clear. Also, Kali was a fabulous lead. Her dilemma of normal one day, and other the next, was a fantastic element to base a story around. The supporting characters all added so much to the story as well. I'm really sad that this isn't the beginning of a series, because there are so many places it could go. Here's hoping Ms. Barnes changes her mind on that :0)
"The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin: Even though I still don't really have any idea what's going on after finishing this book, I can't say enough good things about it. Michelle Hodkin is an excellent storyteller and she has worked in so many details and craziness that I'm sure it will talk the whole series and multiple reads to full appreciate what is going on. Regardless, this one is a must read, because it's got so many great characters, wonderful paranormal elements, and the most WTF plot twists!
There are so many more books I read this year that I have loved so much, next post will be my favorite Contemporary reads from 2011, and that one might get a little fangirly :0)

What were your favorite paranormal reads for 2011? Any reccomendations for me?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Ex-mas" by Kate Brian

Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback
Age Group: Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.
It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

I love reading Christmas books during this time of year. Since I don't live in a place that really feels like Christmas, I like to read about other people's stories! I read this one a couple of years ago, but I thought it was time to read it again and review for the holidays.

This is pretty typical young adult romance stuff. Girl has most coveted boyfriend, boyfriend is away at college, girl ends up having to spending time with unpopular ex-boyfriend. It doesn't matter, though, because this book was absolutely the most adorable, grin inducing Christmas romance!

First off, I was absolutely charmed by Lila's little brother Cooper and his urgent need to save Santa from global warming. Modern day Santa troubles we've got going on there. I can't imagine having your little brother run away, it would be terrible, but it would be terrible and awkward having to find him with your ex. One you don't think to highly of these days. I liked that this had a bit of road trip incorporated, because I am a huge fan of road trip books! Lila and Beau were so fun together, whether they were bickering or actually getting along. It was pretty obvious that Beau was an all around decent guy and Lila's opinions of him weren't exactly fair or deserved. Popularity warps people sometimes. Lila turned out to be a pretty great character. I wasn't completely sold on her at first, but she definitely grew on me in a big way and I was a fan by the end. Lila's friends didn't really do much for me in the story. They gave some insight into the way Lila behaved, but I really would have been okay with cutting them out in favor of more time with Beau!

This is a cute, fun and fast read. It is perfect for the holiday's or anytime, really, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face :0)


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