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Showing posts from December, 2013

Favorite Reads of 2013

It is December 31, the day in which I must separate the top 10 books I'm willing to call my absolute favorites from the rest. This is never an easy task. This year I far surpassed my reading goal, reading 194 new-to-me books. Choosing 10 books out of 194 is challenging yes, but I do find the more I read the pickier I get about what I really love. Except this year I found it impossible to choose 10. I narrowed it down to 11 and then found I could absolutely not cut it down any further. So…..









Links are to my reviews:
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson
Jinx by Sage Blackwood
Mirageby Jenn Reese
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Sorrow's Knotby Erin Bow
Summerkin by Sarah Prineas
The Sunbird by Elizabeth Wein
Stolen Magic by Stephanie Burgis

Jinx's Magic

Jinx(my thoughts) was one of my favorite reads of 2013. I fell in love with the characters and the world they inhabited. It is always a bit scary when you go back to characters and a world you love so much in a sequel. Exciting too though. And lovers of Jinx, Simon, and the Urwald have nothing to fear from Jinx's Magic. Sage Blackwood outdid herself in this one. 

If you haven't read Jinx yet, go and do that NOW. Then come back and read this.

Synopsis: 
Jinx knows he can do magic. But he doesn't know why he's being stalked by a werewolf with a notebook, why the trees are starting to take back the only safe paths through the Urwald, or why the elves think Jinx and the evil Bonemaster are somehow connected.
Jinx's perilous search for answers takes him to the desert land of Samara, where, according to the wizard Simon, he just might find the ancient magic he needs to defeat the Bonemaster and unite the Urwald. But Jinx finds himself in a centuries-old conspiracy that plac…

Elizabeth Wein Special Ops

In case you haven't heard, this past week over at Chachic's Book Nook a special event has been going on. It is a lovely tribute to the magnificent Elizabeth Wein and her wonderful work. There are all sorts of different topics ranging from the much accoladed Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire to the less well known Lion Hunters Series. Reading these posts has been a highlight of my week. You should go check them all out.

Things I Can't Forget

This was my first experience with a Miranda Kenneally book and I have to say I'm very impressed. The books have been on my radar for a while now but it was one of those times where I wanted to give them a try instead of committing to buy. When my library purchased a copy of Things I Can't Forget, I couldn't wait to dive in.

Synopsis:
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…
This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.
Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Kate is a bit obnoxious. She is exceedingly flawed as a main character, but …

TTT: Books from Santa

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books You Want From Santa (But in my case I AM SANTA and these are books coming out in the next week or so-or recently-that I ordered for myself and am eagerly awaiting.)





 Because I needed to order the new R.J. Anderson from the U.K., I went ahead and also ordered these fantastic new editions of some Diana Wynne Jones books too. Look at all the pretties coming my way.

Recent and almost releases arriving together.





Spirit Animals: Hunted

I have never read a multi-author series before and was wondering what it would be like so took the opportunity to request the second book in the Spirit Animals series, Hunted by Maggie Stiefvater, when it came up on NetGalley. I read Wild Born by Brandon Mull earlier this year (my thoughts). I feel like Hunted is a better book and enjoyed it more.

Synopsis:
In the world of Erdas, only a rare few are able to summon a spirit animal in the way Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan have. The bond they share with their animals is a partnership that allows them to access more-than-human abilities.
But what if there was another way to create a spirit animal--to force the bond, giving the human partner total control? And what if someone with selfish intensions was offered this gift . . . with a catch?The four young heroes have barely had time to come together as a team, and their own spirit animal bonds are still greatly untested. But now they face a brutal confrontation against an enemy who will bre…

Best of 2013 Book Survey

This survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)MG Fantasy: Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson YA Fantasy: Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow YA Realistic: Rose Under Fireby Elizabeth Wein  Adult Romance: The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? That would be Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. *ducks* I think I may have built it up in my head too much, but I found it to be pretty uneven. 
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?  Ink is Thicker Than Waterby Amy Spalding 
4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? Jinx by Sage Blackwood
5. Best series you discovered in 2013? The Lion Hunters by Elizabeth Wein 
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? Laura Florand I read all of her books and loved every single one. I even reread almost all…

Books as Christmas Presents

Here are the books the children in my life are receiving for Christmas.

For LM, age 5:



For Bit (first two represent the entire series), age 9:

For My Adorable Niece, age 22 months:
What books are the little ones in your life getting this year?

Sky Jumpers

Sky Jumpersby Peggy Eddleman is a futuristic novel for MG readers with a different sort of twist. I found the world to be an interesting one and the story a perfect one to recommend to young readers.

Synopsis:
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.
But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.
When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and …

TTT: New to Me Authors of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: New to Me Authors of 2013

Here are some of the authors I discovered this year whose work wowed me and made me want more.

Sage Blackwood: Writes about magic in a fairy tale forest that includes amazing characters and adventures.

Laura Florand: The best adult contemporary romance author I've read. Ever.
Claire LaZebnik: I can not resist Jane Austen retellings no matter how many times they let me down and leave me full of rage. LaZebnik is good at it though. So good.

Claire Legrand: Legrand is an excellent writer. She evokes so much emotion. I loved both of her MG novels I read this year and can not wait for her 2014 release, Winterspell, which is a retelling of The Nutcracker.


Marissa Meyer: I had this brilliant idea that I would wait until the entire Lunar Chronicles series was released before reading it. I caved. I'm hooked. I am desperately waiting for Cress.

Terry Pratchett: I know. This is ju…