Archive | December, 2012

Peace Out, 2012: End of Year Book Survey

28 Dec

end of year survey

(Side note: I’m purposely not including books that I’ve read this year that aren’t out yet. I don’t know why, because I would CERTAINLY have put Scarlet and Prodigy on this list. Probably because I don’t want to be a spoiler. Whatever my reason, only 2012 releases and earlier below. And, seriously, get on those two book up there. AWESOME x infinity.)
1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Ok, then I will! First, though, I’m going to say that, by and large, I adored lots of books that I read this year. I feel like if I read a book that was the first in a series, I was made a fan for life. I am going to break it down into categories in a sec because I have way too many favorites that I want to share with you all, but I’m going to offer these two books right here as my tied for number 1 most favorite books of the year: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Fantasy: The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussA Dance With Dragons by  George R.R. Martin, The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Sci-Fi/Dystopian: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Contemporary: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithGraffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (I will stop now. Clearly, 2012 was the Year of the Amazing Contemp)

Historical Romance: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Mixed Genre: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (historical fiction, paranormal), Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (paranormal, historical fiction, alternate history)

MG: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. OK, so just BEAR WITH ME HERE. I still wound up really enjoying The Raven Boys. Honestly, I did. I’m invested. I’m more than ready for book number 2. I felt all the things, thought the end was gripping, and the whole book had this really boss mysterious atmosphere that was amazing. BUT. It was definitely a slow start for me, and even though I enjoyed the whole thing, it still left me with lots of questions, and sometimes things that I didn’t understand on the first read. Which isn’t always bad. So you know essentially what this is, putting The Raven Boys here? It’s me saying that I was waiting to be instantly sucked into this one like I was to The Scorpio Races, and I wasn’t. Don’t give up this one, though. You’d be missing out.

Also, The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats, because I thought both main characters were unlikable…way unlikable. And Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, because I was expecting AMAZE, and got merely very good with lots of promise.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer. Guys? I’m pretty absorbed in this series about the Merrick brothers. The elemental stuff is interesting for sure, but I’m OBSESSED with their relationship. I love reading about them, mostly because I have never read any YA books about brothers, and this set is the bomb. Also, Unraveling by Elizabeth Morris, because I couldn’t put it down, and because it DIDN’T blind me with science–it gripped me.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I seem to be recommending the Pink Carnation series to lots of people lately, which is excellent. I don’t know how many of them are actually going to READ it, but you know. And Tiger Lily. And, always, The Scorpio Races.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Completed series: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead & The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima

Incomplete: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer & The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Jodi Lynn Anderson, for one. Marissa Meyer for another. So awesome.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hands down, This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. If you’re a regular round these parts, you should have an idea that I don’t really do zombies. I don’t like horror books. I don’t watch The Walking Dead (have NO desire at all, so sorry, fans). But this book was really outstanding. Lots of tension and fear and ANGST. And fear.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Cinder. Unraveling. Insurgent. Guys, none of these books were small, although Cinder was no doorstop at 387 pages long, But Unraveling was 445 pages and Insurgent was freaking 525 pages!! I read them all in less than two whole days.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I am a big rereader. I reread the following books this year that I usually reread every year, sometimes because I’m just craving them and sometimes because I’m in a rut and I know that these books will at least temporarily get me out of it: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols, Legend by Marie Lu. For sure, I’m going to reread Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, but I’m always struck randomly with the desire to reread stuff, so you never know.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Like I could pick just one:
Book covers

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

My immediate thought: Tiger Lily, yo. But other characters that I still think about, even after finishing their books months ago? The Merrick brothers from Brigid Kemmerer’s Elementals series, Cinder, AND OMG ALSO ALSO: KVOTHE.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Tiger Lily. No contest.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

Book that made me cry the most: A Monster Calls, Tiger Lily

Book that made think the most about difficult things: Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser

Book that sucked me into the world the most: The Name of the Wind, Cinder

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

The Name of the Wind, Vampire Academy, The Demon King. Egregious oversights x 3. All now rectified.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

Umm, what? How am I supposed to choose this?! WAH SO HARD! But here are a few of my favorites:

“Sometimes love means not being able to not being able to bear seeing the one you love the way they are, when they’re not what you hoped for them.” ― Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily

“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too.”― Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily

“Mum says when wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide. I want to run right into Shadow and let the force spill our thoughts so we can pick each other up and pass each other back like piles of shiny stones.”
― Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

“So young,” said Wyman Manderly, “Though mayhaps this was a blessing. Had he lived he would’ve grown up to be a Frey.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons (BOOM. Wyman Manderley is MADE OF BOOM.)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Longest Adult book: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (992 pages)

Longest YA: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (549 pages)

Longest MG: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (586 pages)

Shortest Adult: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson (264 pages)

Shortest YA: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (214 pages)

Shortest MG: Sleuth or Dare by Kim Harrington (179 pages)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

This is actually kind of hard for me this year! Last year I had A Dance With Dragons to fall back on! But…if we’re talking about something that made me want to shout from the rooftops because it was emotional and gorgeous and I loved it so much? The end of Tiger Lily. THAT LETTER!

But if I’m being honest, I REALLY had to have a chat about a certain series-ending book that isn’t coming out until next year that I’ve been lucky enough to read early. (I know, I know, breaking my own “2012 reads only rule from up top there. BUT I MUST, JUST THIS ONCE.) Friends, it upsets me to say that I was not pleased. I can’t even tell you all what book I’m talking about because I don’t want to be mean or be a spoiler, but the more I think about it, the more I am disappointed pretty hugely. No lie? To me, it was the worst book of the series, which is a horrible way to go out, you know? Lots of venting necessary. I don’t think I’ll be alone, either. SIGH.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Romantic: Jase and Samantha from My Life Next Door. These two kids had a pretty strong relationship that really impressed me, mostly because I love how it depicted a young relationship that never rang false. I totally believed that Jase and Samantha were one of those high school couples who would for real stay together.

Also, for pure steaminess, Grayson and Leah from Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols.

Friendship: Cinder and Iko from Cinder. LOVE THEM.

Family: The Merrick brothers from Storm/Spark. Guys. I am more absorbed by the relationship between these brothers than I am in the paranormal element in this series. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever read any books that focused so much on the relationship between brothers, but the Merricks are wonderful because they struggle, they fight, they annoy each other, but they’re loyal and they love each other.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

The Name of the Wind. I still can’t figure out why I hadn’t read this book before, but basically EVERYONE told me that I had to read it because NOT reading it was dumb, and EVERYONE was right. This book was legit.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 

Books Take You PlacesBunbury in the Stacks, and The Book Addict’s Guide. I can’t believe that I only just met Alyssa, Heidi, and Brittany this year. I CAN’T. Because they’re all wonderful, thoughtful, fun, ladies and all of that shows in their blogs. I love that they are some of my favorite people to fangirl with on Twitter over books that we’ve both–or all!–loved. It’s the best feeling. Check these ladies out, friends.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

I really liked writing my review of Tiger Lily, with the quotes and all. And I also really enjoyed writing my review of Second Chance Summer, because it’s one of the only times I’ve ever welled up writing a review from remembering how emotional the book made me while reading.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

There were some great responses to my post about DNFing, which of course, I have not responded to yet because I’m a horrible slacker. Also, there was a fun discussion–well, it was fun for us Avatar/Legend of Korra nerds–on one of my recaps. I’ll talk about those shows all day.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I am constantly blown away by the insightful, in-depth discussions on Stacked. I really enjoyed this one about what bloggers should expect from pubs, and this really fascinating post about profanity in YA and its impact on feminism in YA books. Seriously great, thought-provoking stuff. Reading Kelly’s posts helps me see things more clearly and organize my own thoughts.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

BEA. Again. It’ll probably be BEA maybe for a long time. It’s such a great event, and one I’m so glad that I can participate in with relative ease and at very little cost to myself. PLUS PLUS!! This year I got to meet so many awesome people!! Can’t wait to get together with them again next year and spend some more time hanging out.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

Mah birfday!! No, not MY birthday, my blog birthday. My baby is ONE!!!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By Comments: Top Ten Tuesday (20)–Books I’d Play Hooky With–has 51 comments, narrowly beating Top Ten Tuesday (17) about my top ten favorite foreign edition book covers, with 42 comments.

By Views: This Excuse Me While I Fangirl post about Legend of Korra Fanart got 4,058 views. @$&!! 4,058!!!!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’m a big fan of my Excuse Me While I Fangirl posts because I love getting my nerd on, so I’m always going to say that I wish people checked those out because I want to nerd out with people all the time.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I love trolling Etsy for bookish things! I know that’s a copout, saying Etsy, but it’s true.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

SIGH. Guys, I had such high hopes for my challenges this year. I was going at a great clip in the first half of the year on my Goodreads challenge and the Debut Author Challenge, but I started working in the spring and my reading time nearly went the way of the dodo. The one challenge I DID complete, though, was the Completely Contemporary Challenge. HUZZAH! Not so much for the Mythology Challenge and the Historical Fiction Challenge, and I outright BOMBED my own personal challenge to read a bunch of books I’ve had on my shelves forever. Oh well. I’ll probably lower my expectations for myself next year, knowing more about how I need to organize my time.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Days of Blood and Starlight, for sure. Mastiff, because I refuse to list this book as the answer to this question THREE times. Bitterblue, which is happening soon with the Cashore Goodtimes readalong!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

THIS QUESTION. So, ok. I know I’ve already mentioned Scarlet and Prodigy waaaaaaaay back up top there, but I’m going to bring them up again here because I loved these books and can’t wait to hold real finished copies in my hands. I also can’t wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After, The History of Luck (JANDY NELSON!! PLEASE!! RELEASE YOUR BOOK IN 2013!!), and lots more. LOTS.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

I want to get myself on something resembling a schedule. But mostly I want to be able to schedule my posts ahead of time. I almost never do this, and it’s a strain on my time. Thankfully it’s not something I mind doing, otherwise I’d go crazy! But I’d really love to be able to bang out a bunch of reviews and schedule them and not have to worry about finishing a book and writing a review instantly in order to have any content at all.

So, pat yourselves on the back, friends. You’ve just officially read the longest post on my blog.

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Happy Christmas!

25 Dec

santa iron throne

 

Boom. Santa is a badass. I KNEW IT.

I hope you all are having wonderful holidays with your family and friends. It’s important to remember the following: All diets are suspended until January 1. If you attempt to save the wrapping paper from any of your gifts for reuse, your family is allowed–nay, OBLIGATED–to have a little laugh at your expense (I have a relative who does this, no lie. Anyone else?). There is nothing wrong with hoping that the majority of your gifts are books. Relatedly, if any of you receive money this holiday, I will join you in plotting how you might best spend said dough on books.

In all seriousness, friends, I hope your Christmas, or whatever holiday you and your family celebrates this time of year, is (or was) a time of much happiness and fun and laughing and good times, and I hope you made wonderful memories. Muah! (How exactly does one spell that kissing sound? Mwah? I never know. At any rate, xoxoxo to everyone!) See you all in the new year!!

Top Ten Tuesday (56)

18 Dec

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish post a top ten list topic so that book lovers like you and me can pour over our shelves and make our own lists. You can check out all the other Top Ten Tuesday‘s on their site!

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In My Mailbox (55) / Stacking the Shelves (10)

15 Dec

in my mailbox stacking the shelvesWeek of December 15, 2012

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It’s awesome. Every week, we all get a chance to tell everyone what new books we’ve gotten so that we can tell you guys and we can all drool and squee together! Huzzah for squees! Stacking the Shelves is another weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews. They’re both awesome memes and I love meeting all of you through them!

I totally forgot that there were books I had to share with you all last week! Ooops!

EDELWEISS & NETGALLEY

Book cover for The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Amazon | Goodreads

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (March 26, 2013 from Bloomsbury). 

I can’t think of  a book that’s been getting more buzz on the tweets and the posts and EVERYWHERE lately. It sounds really angsty and emotional and heavy, and I’m in the mood for those kind of contemps around now. I was so excited to get this one–thanks Atria!

Book cover for Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters by Suzanne Weyn

Amazon | Goodreads

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn (January 1, 2013 from Scholastic).  I’m totally intrigued by this one, friends. It’s a historical fiction/mystery about these two secret daughters of Dr. Frankenstein who take up their father’s legacy and get caught up in this love triangle (tiny ugh…sisters competing for a guy = discomfiting, but whatever). There’s a serial killer and experiments and a really awesome-sounding gothic vibe about it.

Book cover for The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Amazon | Goodreads

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman (January 1, 2013 from Scholastic). Whooo Hooo! A 2013 debut! Even cooler, this is a 2013 debut about both a culture and a time period that are lacking in YA: Asian immigrants to the US in the early 20th century. I know. Sounds a little specific. But still: This story about a Chinese girl born under a bad sign who has to deal with some tough things, not the least of which involve a boy she falls in love with. Sounds GOOD.

BOUGHT

Kissing Under the Mistletoe

Amazon | Goodreads

Kissing Under the Mistletoe: A St. Helena Vineyard Novel Series #1 by Marina Adair. I saw this cutie-pie contemporary ADULT romance all over twitter a little while ago, thanks to April and Allison. Plus, it was super cheap for my kindle and Christmasy. I’m going to read this one hopefully BEFORE the holiday because it sounds like a good, happy-making book. GOOD TIMES.

AUDIBLE

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

An Echo in the Bone: Outlander #7 by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter.  Actually already listening to this one. It’s so good. Not the best Outlander book based on what I’ve listened to so far, but it’s OUTLANDER. I’m totally invested. And the narrator, Davina Porter, is AMAZING. I’m going to be listening to LOTS more of her books.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Claire Danes. Sadly, I’ve never read this book, even though my mom has been pushing it on me for years. There’s too many books, guys!! So when I saw that Claire Danes read the audiobook, and that it was one of Audible’s best audiobooks of the year, I knew I had to give it a go.

That’s my mailbox for the last TWO weeks, friends! I hope you all got some great things, too!

Book Review: The Gleaning by Heidi R. Kling

14 Dec

Book cover for The Gleaning by Heidi R. Kling

Title: The Gleaning

Author: Heidi R. Kling

Series: The Spellspinners of Melas County #2

Genre: Paranormal YA, Witches

Amazon | Goodreads

Publisher: Coliloquy

Release date: December 12, 2012 (BANANAS!)

Source: e-ARC from the Publisher

Summary: In the second installment of the Spellspinners saga, Lily’s worldview is rocked by fear, mistrust, and heartbreak, as she deals with the fallout from the night of her enchantment.

Someone powerful is determined to keep her and Logan apart. But who? And why?

As the covens prepare to do battle in the Solstice Stones, the lines between good and evil, dark and light, begin to blur. Allegiances are called into question. Trust is broken. And all Lily knows may just be an illusion.

Will the star-crossed lovers unearth the seeds of betrayal before it’s too late? Or will the witches and warlocks of Melas County be forced to say goodbye to their magic—and any chance of reconciliation between the covens—for good?

In The Gleaning, nothing is as it seems. And Lily and Logan will have to tread carefully if they hope to uncover the truth in time to save their love and break the curse.

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