Monday, December 24, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Best Books I've Read in 2012

What is Top 10 of 2012? It’s a fun-filled week where we look back at some of the best of “all things books” of 2012 and what books we’re looking forward to in 2013.

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2012:
(in no particular order)

1. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I was so thrilled when I found out Cassandra Clare was going to be adding more to the Shadowhuner world, and I just fell in love with her Infernal Devices series! Clockwork Prince was even better then the first and I can not wait until the next book comes out!
2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Possibly, the best book I read all year. And as most of you know, that's SO hard for a book-lover to say. But honestly, it was. I was just slammed with emotion while reading this. If you can get past it's taboo subject, then you will understand what makes it so beyond worth your time.
3. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Oh JLA, JLA. My new favorite author of the year award has to go to you. I don't know how she does it, but Mrs. Armentrout spins out novels like they're going out of style, and she makes them AMAZING. Obsidian was the first book I read of hers and if you haven't met Daemon, well.... you most definitely should.
4.Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Set in the future, this dystopian novel will have you reading late until the night. When love is a disease and the government controls the cure, what side will you be on? Me? Oh, I'll be on Alex's.
5. Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Yep. JLA has two awesome series on my list. The Covenant is even more remarkable then the Lux series. Why? Well not because there's a lack of hot men (it IS JLA's work after all), but the story itself is so much fun you won't stop reading until you've turned the last page. And then you will beg for more!
6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. I'll admit it, I was iffy when I picked up this book. The title was just a little too iffy for me. But man, am I glad I read it. It was AWESOME. Extremely creepy, and full of dark vodoo, Anna's story will be one that stays with you!
7. If I Die by Rachel Vincent. Actually, can I just say the whole Soul Screamers series in general? This is one EPIC series. Beyond original, with real characters, you must read this book!
8. Finding Home by Lauren Baker & Bonnie Dee. This is one of those great "New Adult" novels. It's for mature adults only. And it tugged at my heart strings. I seriously fell in love with it. I could read it again and not get bored. It was that good.
9. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. Another fantastic debut author! This story has everything readers want: emotion, love, passion, and recklessness.
10. Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts. This is for those of you with a strong stomach. This book was intense, emotional, and basically could cause you to have a nervous breakdown. But in a good way.I can't even talk about it properly because it was too... too much. If that makes any sense. Just do yourself a favor and go read it!


Friday, December 21, 2012

"Death Masks" by Jim Butcher

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Dresden Files #5
Publication: August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback 451 pages
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars
Goodreads Link: Death Masks

From Goodreads: Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he’s getting more than he bargained for.

A duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards…

Professional hit men using Harry for target practice…

The missing Shroud of Turin…

A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified…

Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semivampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.

My Thoughts: I'll be honest here (and please don't throw things at me), but I am not Dresden's biggest fan. Unlike my boyfriend, Zack, who worships Jim Butcher, I just can't get into them as much. So why am I reading them? Well, I made a deal with my hunny that I would finish reading "damn Dresden" if he would watch Dr. Who with me. So it began.

He feel in love with Dr. Who (duh) and I still don't like Dresden all that much.

My biggest thing with the Dresden books is that they're just not my style. It's not that I think Jim Butcher is a bad writer, he's not- no way. He can tell a story and he can tell it well. I guesss I'm kind of sexist. I prefer female narrators. And yeah, okay, I do tend to like a little more romance in my books if I'm to be honest. So I'm not a huge Dresden fan.

But, I'm going to try and review this book right and set aside my prejudices. *Ahem*:

In this fifth installment of The Dresden Files, Harry is on another job, but not just any job, he's been hired by the Vatican to find the missing shroud of Turin- you know, the Holy one. What I really enjoyed about this book was that this case WAS interesting. I mean, everybody eats up historical artificats. They're just fascinating. So when I seen that Harry was on the prowl for the Shroud, I knew I was going to like this book better then the others.

I also REALLY loved the fact that Susan has become a complete and utter badass. GO SUSAN! And of course, with Susan return we do get more of that romance I was complaining about earlier.

Then there's the fact that the story is action packed. There's not too many "filler pages" in this book. All of it's relevent and all of it's happening FAST.

All in all, if you dig the UF genre, then you will probably love Dresden.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. They ask a question, in which you answer on your own blog, and then you link back up with them. After you post, you can go back to the other links to discover new blogs and friends!
*Feel free to follow me in one or any of the available networks on the right of my sidebar. Let me know in a comment how you are following me and put in your own blog link so I can follow you back in the same way(s)!*

Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Hmmm... This is kind of difficult, because I cry about everthing. I'll admit. I'm a gigantic baby. But I think the last book I read that just really made me have those heart-wrenching sobs was probably these two:

If you haven't read them, grab a box of tissues and go to your local library/bookstore and pick them up. Be ready to not do anything else for the rest of the day until you finish it, because they are both that AMAZING!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cover Reveal: "Retribution" by Amy Thompson

One curse, one exception, one chance at redemption.

Regan Edison has just moved from California, to enter her first year at Georgia Liberty College, the place where jacked up Chevy trucks and hunting are a way of life. On the evening of her first day of school, Regan was walking back to her dorm when she was viciously attacked by three men. Regan was convinced she was going to die that night…

Colter Hayes is a member of the Collectors and the first wrongfully punished soul. Colter and the rest of his team, Finn, Kaiden and Devon, work for the Requiem Council whose job it is to pass judgment onto souls and reincarnate them so that the soul may fix past indiscretions. Agro, an ex-councilman, and his soulless Exiles have other plans. Agro steals souls and hands down his own type of judgment, retribution. He punished those members of the Collectors and has now set his sights on Regan. The Requiem Council dispatches the Collectors to Georgia to work as protectors for Regan. The Collectors must fight to keep Regan safe from Agro and work to earn back their chance at redemption, but when Colter meets Regan his world changes. Everything he thought he knew about his curse is turned upside down and Regan seems to be the cause.

Can the Collectors find out why Regan is being targeted in time to save her from a fate they know all too well? 

Amy Thompson graduated from Randolph-Macon College with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school teacher and is earning her M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Amy is a first time, self-published author of Retribution, a mature young adult paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls series. She lives in southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls series and continues to be an avid reader of young adult books.

Retribution is a new adult paranormal romance novel that will be available as an eBook and paperback through Amazon and eBook only through Barnes and Noble on January 8th! The book can be found on Goodreads at "Retribution".

I have to say, this book sounds AWESOME! I can't wait to get my hands on it! Don't forget to mark it on your book calendars!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I've Read in 2012

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout- JLA is probably my favorite new author. If you haven't read any of her books, you are MISSING OUT. Big time. My first JLA book was Obsidian (Lux #1) and I just got sucked in from there. Even though I started out with the Lux series, I have to say, her other series, The Covenant, is definitely my favorite.

2. Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium series. This is one series that is definitely worth your time and money!
3. Rachel Vincent, author of the Soul Screamers series. If you don't know the brothers Tod and Nash, you are depriving yourself of yummy hottness.

4. Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. What I LOVE about Blake, is her ability to write from a guys POV, and actually make him a GUY. Oh, and her complete ability to creep me the hell out with her scary stories.

5. Julie Kagawa who wrote The Iron Fey series. If you love fairy tales, you will absolultely love Julia's stories!
6. Katie McGarry author of Pushing the Limits. This book was so intensely good, and full of emotion that I read it in one day. I can't wait to read her next novel Dare You To.

7. Courtney Moulton author of the Angelfire series! I bought this book on Amazon for $2.99 and I kept putting off reading it for some reason or another, now I wish I hadn't! I absoultely loved it! It was so unique and different from other PNR YA that I had been reading.

8. Dan Wells, author of futuristic novel Partials. If you love the concept of Terminator and Sara Connor, you will absolutely love this book!

9. Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, which was AWESOME. Filled with mystery and a hot British guy named Noah, you definitely need to check ths book out!
10. Rhiannon Frater, author of the As the World Dies trilogy. You like Zombies? How about kickass heroines? With maybe a dash of hot construction workers? Well, then you will most definitely want to read Mrs. Frater's work!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guest Review: "Cold Days" by Jim Butcher

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Dresden Files #14
Format: E-Book
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
Goodreads Link: Cold Days

***Warning: This review may contain spoilers from previous books in The Dresden Files series.***

Harry Dresden , professional wizard, Warden of the White Council, and newly resurrected from the dead joins us again for another epic case. When we last left Harry in Ghost Story, we found that he was made to be the next Winter Knight and Cold Days is the start of that journey.

Mab begins Harry’s road to recovery by scouring her mind for new and inventive ways of killing him on a day to day basis. Once she is sure he is ready he is told to come a party, his coming out party if you will, for the Winter Court. While there he runs into some familiar faces, some friendly, though most of them not so much. Among those not-so-friendly characters is Mab’s daughter Maeve. She flaunts her stuff in such a manner that any normal man would have fallen prey to, but Harry isn’t by her wiles and shrugs her off. But like every other day in Harry’s world nothing is as it seems, for even his newly found court “allies” try to kill him or provoke him to spilling blood, breaking one of Mab’s solemn rules which is punishable by death. 
But with the help of his date he manages to escape somewhat unscathed to learn of his first mission as the Winter Knight…He has to kill the Winter Lady, Mab’s very own daughter, Maeve.

I know right, how do you kill a freakin immortal? And a member of the Sidhe Court at that? This sends Harry back to the streets of Chicago where he finds that, as usual he’s still on everyone’s hate list. Not even in Chicago for 10 pages and already trying to be killed again! But our hero moves on to collect Bob, the spirit in the skull, for help. Harry being the, I’m-not-gonna-let-my-friends-get-hurt kind of guy he is tries to not get his friends involved…but like every other plan Harry ever tries, things fall of the deep end and the old gang is reunited a little more combat ready than Harry seems to remember.

With his team once again assembled, the mission laid before him, and a great looming deadline of two days ahead Harry hit’s the ground running, just like the old days, you know, before he died…. Oh and not to mention the fact that his island, Demonreach, is going to self-destruct taking a great chunk of the Great Lakes region with it. But its just another day for Harry.

My Thoughts: Its amazing to me that an author can plan for things in the beginning of a series knowing that it can be picked back up at anytime to blow your mind. Jim Butcher is seriously my favorite author in that he can do these things and wrap it all up with a spectacular hero in a very modern way. Cold Days is no different it was an excellent read and took me no time to finish. The only downside there is to be had about this…is that we have to wait FOREVER for the next one. The end of this book will absolutely throw you for a loop in a way that will make your brain explode and reform in your head all over again. I would definitely recommend this to any other Dresden fan as well as the rest of the series, mainly because it would be kind of weird to start of from book 14 but whatever man to each their own.

My Rating:
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"Romeo Redeemed" by Stacey Jay

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Series: Juliet Immortal #2
Publication: October 9, 2012
Format: Hardback; 384 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
Goodreads Link: Romeo Redeemed

From Goodreads: Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

My Thoughts: I was so excited when I got this book, because I absolutely fell in love with Stacey Jay's writing in Juliet Immortal. I loved her take on the old Shakespeare tragedy and thought it was a unique modern spin for a timeless classic. And I was not disappointed!

For all of Juliet's pure motivation for her actions, Romeo is complex and well, if I'm to be honest, much more interesting of a character! Not that I didn't love Juliet and Ben. I did, really I did. But Romeo and Ariel are twisted and have their own reasons for why they do the things they do. We all know we would rather read about the "villain" anyway ;)

Besides keeping you on your toes and constantly asking the question "WTF is going on?!" (but in a good way, I promise!) you also get a good dose of steamy romance from none other then Romeo himself. And lets face it, Romeo was the original Edward Cullen.

All in all a quick and interesting read that will have you wondering what really happened to Romeo and his Juliet.

My Rating:

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