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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of the Year Book Survey (2013)!

best books 2013 end of year survey

1. Best Book You Read in 2013?

I am going to have to cheat a bit on this one, it's just too hard to pick one book! Therefore, I'm going to divide it up by genre.

Contemporary YA - Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Dystopian/Post-Apocalytic - Shatter Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Historical Fiction - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Paranormal - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black or The Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck

Science Fiction -  The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey or Cinder, Scarlet and Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Fantasy - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - I know that a ton of people rave about this book and I really wanted to be a part of that group - I just didn't get it. I want to sit down with someone that loves this book and have a conversation about. I think I could love it if I could figure out what is going on within it. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I didn't like If I Stay by Gayle Forman and was very hesitant to read another one of her books. I'm so glad I decided to give this book a chance, it is now one of my favorite books of all time!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommend to people most in 2013?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi as well as Just One Day by Gayle Forman

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth - I finally read Divergent this year and just finished with Allegiant yesterday. I have not recovered yet..

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Easy, peasy, Rainbow Rowell all the way. I absolutely loved all of her work that I've read so far, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.

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

Books that involve cancer always intimidate me and I procrastinate reading them because I know they will make me cry. I am so glad that I gave The Fault in Our Stars by John Green a read. A beautifully written book for a beautiful story. 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This book was so fast-paced and action packed that I couldn't put it down.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman. I'm sorry to be repetitive but these books were just so amazing, please read them if you haven't already :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass or The Darkling from Shadow & Bone or Ruby from The Darkest Minds.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Her writing is poetic and so beautiful, I can't get enough of it. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I read this book a few months ago and still think about it often.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?


15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day. -Gayle Forman, Just One Day

16. Shortest & Longest book you read in 2013?

Longest - Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick - 640 pages
Shortest - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 180 pages

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

OH, there are quite a few of these. ummm, the last half of Clockwork Princess, the ending of Allegiant, Chapter 62 of Unravel Me, and The Fault in Our Stars.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013?

This is a hard one to answer and I have so many, but one that hasn't been mentioned yet is Cath and Levi from Fangirl.

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. 

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.

21. Genre you read most from in 2013?

hmm, I'm not sure since I usually jump around genres. Probably an equal tie between dystopian and fantasy. 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Warner in Unravel Me. Levi in Fangirl. Choal in Throne of Glass.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Pivot Point by Kasie West

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It was like a movie playing out in my head.

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. 

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth had a steady tear flow for me. As well as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Defiance by C.J Redwine. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saentz. Crave by Melissa Darnell. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Break!

Hello all!

It has been a bit since I've posted. Alas, finals have been upon me combined with the busy holiday season! My apologies for not posting, but not to worry I will be back the week after Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy your holidays!

Happy Holidays to you and yours :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Readathon TBR Challenge

#ReadingCram Readathon TBR Challenge

Here is a photo of my tentative tbr pile for this readathon. It's ambitious to think that I will read through all of these books (my goal is to read at least 6) amidst finals but I am planning on choosing books to read out of this pile. 

The Books:

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski (currently reading)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

Book Review | The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publication: December 18th, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Bought it

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call  the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse; frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her - East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. 

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living. 

Review: I haven't heard a bad thing about this book so far, and you won't find a bad word here either. This book left me speechless and feeling so many different things that I simply couldn't compute, in a good way. Let's start with the unique storyline. I haven't read any books that are similar to this one with the world that exists in this book. I love reading stories about kids or people with abilities and this one was no exception. The difference, however, lies in the fact that abilities were seen as something that cannot come to be and must be repressed.

The strength of all of these characters were incredible. The kids with abilities are treated very poorly and I was constantly amazed at the strength of each of the characters to push through and remain hopeful that things could change for them. I dearly appreciated each and everyone of the characters in this book and Liam has earned a very special spot in my heart. A boy that is good, kind and sensible is often hard to come across in YA lit, but this guy is a special one for those reasons! 

The adventure in this book had me turning page, after page yearning to know what happens next. This is a survival road trip - two of my favorite type of stories combined to make an epic journey Ruby, Liam and their companions have to go on. I read this book quickly as I simply could not put it down, I HAD to know what was going to happen next. 

This tale will ride by fast when you have to keep turning pages to satisfy the urge to know what happens next, but it's a story that will stick with you and characters that will nestle themselves into your heart. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Any good adventures that you've read lately? Or characters that have made a special place in your heart?

Friday, December 6, 2013

End of the Year Readathon!

I have been waiting for another readathon opportunity and I'm so excited for the End of the Year Readathon coming up! This readathon is hosted by Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Danasquare. This readathon's main goal is to chisel off some of your tbr pile before the year ends. This readathon is taking place from December 9th to the 22nd. On twitter we will be using #ReadingCram to tweet about the readathon. 

My fall semester at college will coming to an end during this readathon so I'm anticipating I will have some distraction and therefore won't get to read as much as I would like to. My finals aren't too bad and I still really wanted to participate so here I am :)

My Goals:

Read at least 6 books. hopefully more :) 
Read at least 3 ARCs.
Take at least 2 solid hours everyday to read, read, read.
That's it so far, I want to keep it manageable so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

There is still time to sign up!! Head over here to get in on the action and get some reading done!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Stack of Five

Hey guys, please help me decide on a book to read and review for this month! 
Thank you :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TTT: 2014 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten 2014 Releases I'm excited for

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me and Unravel Me are some of the best books I've read this year. I am anxiously awaiting this book to see how the series ends. I just don't even know what to say...just come out already...pretty please?

The One (The Selection, #3)

The One by Kiera Cass

I read The Selection and loved it! I haven't read The Elite because I know I'm going to need this book shortly after to find out who she ends up with. That wedding dress cover is driving me crazy...who is she going to marry?!

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door are two of my favorite contemporary novels and I cannot wait to read this one and add it to my favorites.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

This series has kept me guessing and guessing and I just need some answers! Plus Noah Shaw can visit my head again anytime :)

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

This is the follow up to The 5th Wave and it doesn't have a cover yet, so I just put in the first book. This book is full of action and left us on a big cliffhanger. I can't wait to visit this world and characters again to find out what happens in this second installment.

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Split Second by Kasie West

I thoroughly enjoyed Pivot Point and can't wait to continue this series. A unique world with story that I want to learn more about!

Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy, #1)

Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer

I loved the Nightshade series and was stoked to hear that she is continuing on in the Nightshade world with this series. I can't wait to see where Andrea Cremer takes us in this beginning to a new series!

Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

The premise of this book is so unique. I'm intrigued and in need to find out what this book is all about.

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I haven't read a Beauty and the Beast retelling and this book has me finally itching to read one, this one in particular. I've heard fantastic things about this one already.

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

This is another book that is peaking my curiosity and another that has been highly anticipated. I can't wait to dive into this unique story.

Some Other Books I'm VERY Excited For

The Geography of You and MeCity of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)   Panic  To All the Boys I've Loved Before

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith I loved, loved, loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I must read more of her books!

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare This is on here for obvious reasons! I have only read the City of Bones, but the Infernal Devices trilogies is one of my favorites. I have a hard time seeing a series end, so I'm in no hurry to finish this one, but I am anxious to see what happens in this series.

Panic by Lauren Oliver I've enjoyed Lauren Oliver's other books and this one is another one that is promising to be very enjoyable. With a intriguing premise and high anticipation, I can't wait to read this one.

To All the Boy I've Loved Before by Jenny Han I want to read this book right now! I like the concept of this book and the realistic aspect that we all have something that we want to say to our past lovers. I can't wait to read what this character has to say to hers!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review | Crave by Melissa Darnell

Title: Crave
Author: Melissa Darnell
Publication: October 25th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any member of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences.

Review: Reading this book reminded me why it's worth it to pick up a book that you haven't heard anything about. Sometimes I get all mixed up in reading books that are often talked about or books that I have already heard good things about rather than reading books that I discover on my own. I was craving a paranormal romance when I found this book and it was just what I was looking for. 

The unique storyline drew me into this book. I had initially thought that it was a vampire story, but it was so much more than that, witches are just as much of the story as vampires and it was an awesome twist to an overrun vampire theme. The paranormal in this book kept me intrigued into what was happening with the characters and their abilities. I loved this world and I'm looking forward to visiting again in the next books in the series. 

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book. I loved the parents, for once a paranormal romance in which there are parents present! Parents that are likable characters! Savannah's interactions with her parents and grandmother were entertaining and real. It was wonderful to read about an openly paranormal family! 

The love story in this book had a Romeo/Juliet feel to it. Savannah and Tristan are forbidden to see each other, yet they are drawn to each other and love from a distance until they are drawn together. I liked the fact that their romance is one that has been around since they were young and grew as they grew. One of my favorite parts in the way this story was written is the dual perspectives. Hearing from both Savannah and Tristan contributed to my deep empathy for these characters. Savannah and Tristan are one of the truest loves that I have ever read. 

If you crave a paranormal romance, or a romance at all, please check this book out. This book exceeded my expectations and I can't wait to continue on with the series and Savannah and Tristan's love story as well as the world they live in. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Any good paranormal romance that you've read lately? Any books you've discovered lately that have exceeded your expectations?