Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: 2012 Desires & Recap

Top 10 Books to Read in 2012

Books are ordered by release date. I choose my books based on series I already have on my shelves. I would have loved to add many more books that are debut books, but I stuck to series books for this instead. Yes I did go over the 10, but oh well.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
She will be having a launch party in WA and I'm going, after I plan on reading the book
January 3, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
I haven't read the series yet, but she will be touring to WA on the 10th. Got to start reading them soon
January 3, 2012

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Alison Moulton
I will be getting an ARC of this for an ARC tour, no idea when it will get to me
January 31, 2012

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Book 2, the 1st book was my 1st eBook read and eARC
March 27, 2012

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
Book 3 of the series
April 17, 2012

Toxic by Jus Accardo
I will be part of the cover reveal on Monday, book 2 in this series. I got my fingers crossed that I can get an ARC
May 1, 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Who doesn't have this on their list?!
May 1, 2012

Destined by Aprilynne Pike
Final book in the series
May 2, 2012

Until I Die by Amy Plum
Book 2 in the series
May 8, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
This is my 1st steampunk series and I love it, bk 2
May 22, 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Book 2 in the series
May 29, 2012

Once by Anna Carey
Book 2 in the series
June 3, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate
Final book in the series, I can reread bk 1 &2 and finish the rest of the series
June 12, 2012

Endlessly by Kiersten White
Finally book in the trilogy
July 24, 2012

 Honorable Mention:
Embers and Echos by Karsten Knight

Reading Recap
Goal: 100
Total # of Books Read: 95
Pages Read: 33647
YA Books: 68
Adult Books: 26
5 Stars: 46
4 Stars: 41
3 Stars: 4
2 Stars: 1
1 Star: 1
Didn't Rate: 1

My 2012 Goals
Read 90-100 books
If my personal goals go according to plan and I get pregnant, but time will be pulled away from books for a little bit.
Read more adult genre books, I got really busy with doing lots of YA books stuff

What are your top books to read in 2012?

Created by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books  co-hosting this event is Rachel of Fikstshun and  Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books  


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy Review

The Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

What I Liked
Beginning a Trilogy 
I know it took me a long time to finally start this series. I devoured the book in 2 days once I finally did start it. I'm just glad that I started this series after it has been completely published, now I don't have to wait a few years for the final book to be released. 
Katniss: I completely love her character, strong (non whiny) female characters are hard to come by in the YA genre. Katniss is strong, she doesn't whine or complain she just deals with it all. I would hope I would handle her shitty situation just like she did if I was in her situation. 
Peeta: I like his character as well. I love how sincere he is and how great of a guy he truly is.
Dystopian Genre
A genre I still haven't read many books in, but I have enjoyed them all. Sometimes I do find it hard for me to not hate the world they are suffering in. This futuristic controlling world is horrible and I shudder and hope that our future will not resemble this books future.
Harsh Reality
So I really didn't know what this series what about before I started to read it, I just know everyone was telling me I need to read it. I was surprised to find how much violence filled the pages of the book. There are a lot of cold and heartless people that Katniss runs into. I personally don't mind violence, death and gore, but be warned it is in the book.

Didn't Like
There wasn't anything that I didn't enjoy. I will say that by the end of the book I had to check to see who Katniss ends up with, Peeta or Gale. Yes I did spoil the book for myself, but I just had to know so I know who to root for when she is trying to figure out her feelings for both of these boys.

Yes everyone must read this series, especially before the movie comes out.
Catching Fire

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol...

What I Liked
Romantic Tension
Gale or Peeta, who is Katniss going to choose? The boy she has been friends with for a long time or the boy who has helped her survive. Even though I do know who Katniss will end up with (since I peaked at the last pages) I love both of the boys. She has two every great and wonderful boys to choose between and I'm glad I don't have to make her decision. Katniss goes back and forth trying to figure out what she is feeling, in the process ends up causing both boys pain.
A lot of drama is present in this book. People are lying to each other when they should be confiding in each other. There is so much exciting and nerves running through my system while I was reading this book. Never a dull moment.

Didn't Like
It ended with a cliffhanger, good thing I didn't have to wait for the final book to be released.

Yes everyone must read this series.

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.

At Odds
I finished the last book at 1 am because I had to know what happens, but now that it has ended I don't really know how I feel about the series now. The ending was right for the book, in war lots of lives are lost and family members aren't saved because the author wills it to be so. But as a reader (especially of YA, fantasy, romance PR, UF and Sci-fi) I crave those total and complete HEA's (Happily Ever After). There was no HEA, there was contentment and living with the horrors of the past, which is what actually happens with survival victims. 
Katniss: I got annoyed with how extra abrasive her character became. The distance she placed between herself and everyone else and the lack of actually true heartfelt feelings. In the end she became too cold and too strong and she lost one of the greatest attributes that as humans we can have, compassion.
A lot of characters died and no one and I mean NO one was safe from the author. Yes I cried when some of those wonderful characters were lost.

I'm not sure now what I recommend. I really enjoyed book one and book two there was still a lot of hope,  but now with book 3 I'm not so sure. I think I would rather forget book 3 and make up my own conclusion for the characters. I think it is worth the read and it is a great book to learn from.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire

Have you read the trilogy yet?
Where happy with it?


Top 10 of 2011: Characters

Top 10 Characters in 2011

Since I get really picky with my YA female characters I'm going to make this my 10 favorite female characters. Characters are listed in alphabetical order by the authors last name.

Tess in Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Strong willed

Finely in The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Kick ass

Kate in The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Self sacrificing and strong willed 

Violet in The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I don't know how she could do what she does

Eona in Eona by Alison Goodman
Kick ass and strong willed

Tess in Fateful by Claudia Gray
Strong willed, risk taker and loyal

Bertie in So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev
Strong willed, independent and a trouble maker

Ani in Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Strong and protective

Kate in Die For Me by Amy Plum
Rational and doesn't loose her head over a pretty boy

Tris in Divergent by Veronica Roth
Brave, strong and hard worker

Honorable Mention
Juliette in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
She didn't break

What are your favorite Characters?

Created by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books  co-hosting this event is Rachel of Fikstshun and  Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books  


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Boyfriends

Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011

 This is only contains YA books and the books are listed by authors last name. I also added a few words on why I  love my boys, you will notice a trend, I love the bad boy types.

Kale in Touch by Jus Accardo
Fierce, protective and naive 

Henry/Hades in The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Dark, brooding and aloft

Alec in Fateful by Claudia Gray
Troubled and mysterious
Adam in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Devoted and protective

Devlin in Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Brooding, dark and fearsome
Will in Angelfire by Courtney Alison Moulton
Mysterious and brooding 

Vince in Die for Me by Amy Plum
 Dark and brooding

Four in Divergent by Veronica Roth
Dark and brooding
Brandon in Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Shreiber
A perfect young man

Lend in Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Honorable Mention: 
Tamani in Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
Total devotion

What are your favorite boy of 2011?

Created by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books  co-hosting this event is Rachel of Fikstshun and  Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dragonswood Review


Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

What I Loved
The World
At first I was a little confused with the parameters of the world. Witch hunts were happening, but dragons and fae lived within the world. To me this didn't make since and than I learned that a lady of importantance was brutally tortured by witches. When more of the world was unveiled I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love reading books with dragons and the fae. 
A Companion Novel
Dragonswood is the companion book to Dragon's Keep. Dragon's Keep takes place a few generations earlier and mentions are made of what Princess Rosalind accomplished. Carey did a good job making references and telling little tidbits about what happened. I didn't feel the need to set down Dragonswood and find Dragon's Keep. I would like to one day read Dragon's Keep because I did enjoy this book and I would like to hear Rosalind's story in detail.
Tess: She is a very strong willed character and I really loved her character for this. Tess does have some weak moments under extremely harsh circumstances, but she does everything she can to right her wrongs and make amends. She is very leery of men and doesn't trust easily and the growth she shows throughout the book is inspiring. 

A Bit More
I would have liked a few more connecting moments between the characters. Some YA goes very young in this aspect and with the couples only share a few looks and than they are madly in love. The lack of romantic wooing doesn't hurt the story because it isn't about the romance but the growth of our girl Tess and her trials to become the woman she is meant to be.   

Well worth the read especially if you love the fantasy world with dragons and fairies. 

Releases January 5th
Amazon / B&N / Book Depository

From my understanding all of Carey's books are stand alone novels. The worlds may connect, but the story is written to stand independently. 
Dragon's Keep (companion novel)


Top 10 of 2011: Covers

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011

These are in alphabetical order by author. To make it easy on myself since there are so many BEAUTIFUL covers, I only chose book covers that I have on my shelves. Also I am just staying within the YA genre for these Best of 2011.

Touch by Jus Accardo

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Honorable Mention:
Eona by Alison Goodman

What are your favorite covers of 2011?