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2012 End of the Year Book Survey

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Hi there! Isn’t in insane to think that 2012 is already over?!
Now, to be honest, I’m not too sad to see this year go because we had some majorly difficult family stuff to deal with. What is exciting is that all of that is over and 2013 is full of hope and newness!
But before we completely welcome 2013, let’s take a little look at what happened at BookTasty this past year!
Also this end of the year survey was created by The Perpetual Page Turner
!

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

This is easy for me. This year The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater just completely blew me away. Her writing is lyrical The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvaterand gorgeous and is MILES ahead of other authors.

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

Everyone else LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor and it was “meh”. I didn’t hate it but I also just did not love it. I felt really bad about not loving it but then I thought “oh well! I don’t have to love every book I read”. I am still trying to be okay with it.

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

I don’t know why I expected to not be too impressed with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I guess I thought “Oh just another sci-fi novel”, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It really is a fun read and it reminded me a lot about my beloved Firefly. Plus it’s a fairy tale mixed with sci-fi! You can read my review of Cinder here.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Being a media specialist, I recommend a lot of books to my students so we’ll cross those off the list (too many to count!). As far as recommending books to friends and family I’d definitely have to say The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It is such a fabulous dystopian and a good “if you liked The Hunger Games, try this!” I even gave a copy as a Christmas gift!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I guess I’d have to say The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. It’s the first book in The Shades of London series. The other books haven’t been released yet so I don’t know if it counts, but it’s one that I am really excited to continue reading.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Okay so I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge which introduced me to new authors and I absolutely adored The Boy Project by Kami KinardVeera Hirandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl). I also enjoyed Kami Kinard (The Boy Project). Although Jay Asher isn’t a new author 2012 was the first time I read one of his books (Thirteen Reasons Why). I will definitely be reading anything else these authors publish in the future!

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

Jennifer Echols’ Such a Rush was WAY out of my comfort zone! It was a little too edgy for me. It took me a while to connect with Leah, the main character and there was a little more sex-type scenes than I am normally comfortable with. It wasn’t erotica or anything, but more than I prefer in my books…which is why it was a little out of my comfort zone. I really did enjoy this story though despite it being different from my normal read.

Also, Tempest by Julie Cross was out of my comfort zone. I’m not usually one for male main characters and this took me a while to get connected to Jackson, but once I did I was hooked!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Insurgent by Veronica Roth were two audiobooks that had me actually wanting to do chores around the house and wish my drives to and from work were longer just so I could continue listening to them! Both were just amazing stories (for different reasons) that I couldn’t leave even for a little bit! I had to know what was going to happen next!

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

This is a tough one for me because I don’t usually tend to re-read my books. If I had to pick one though it’d most likely be Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince because I know I’ll want to get a refresher before I read the final book in the series, Clockwork Princess (which is expected to be published in 2013!!). Oh I’m getting excited already!

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

May B by Caroline Rose StarrI really loved the cover of Caroline Rose Starr’s May B. It is just so simple and reminds me of a cool retro poster design (I LOVE retro posters!). The vintage font and the small color palette are all so perfect!

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. Ruby is one of my favorite characters ever. She is annoying and self-centered and lovable and hilarious! She is a mess but she reminds me that we’re all messes sometimes! I also love Puck Connolly from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. She is brave, vulnerable, unsure and yet also strong all at the same time. She was so fun to read about because she is all of those different traits all at the same time.
As far as book boyfriends go I wish Cricket Bell from Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door was a real person and I was Lola and he lived next door. Le sigh….

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Oh most definitely The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Both were mesmerizing, a little haunting and absolutely gorgeous.

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

Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why was super important to me. As a middle school educator I work with a lot of kids every day. Kids who are easy to love and kids who are not so easy to love. Some of the ones that are harder to love are annoying or mean etc… but this book helped me remember the power of not only words but also time. Some of those kids just don’t have anyone giving them time. So even though my student who visits me every single day to catch me up on the latest events in the manga series she’s reading (and talks about it for like 20 minutes) I stop what I’m doing and listen even though I may have other things to do. I may be the only one giving my time to her and that may make a major difference in her life. You never know.

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

So Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet was published in 1987 and I remember kids in my class at school reading and loving it, but somehow I just missed it. I never read it until this year. I don’t know what prompted me to read it other than guilt. I thought, man if I’m going to be a good librarian I need to have read Hatchet because it’s a classic. Well, I read it and I now know why it’s a classic and why it won the Newberry Honor Award!

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

I’m sure there are tons that I loved when I first read them but I’m not the type of person who keeps track of good or meaningful quotes. So I have a few that I can remember but not many.

“I can’t forget things, or ignore them-bad things that happen,” I said. “I’m a lay-it-all-out person, a dwell-on-it person, an obsess-about-it person. If I hold things in and try to forget or pretend, I become a madman and have panic attacks. I have to talk.” -Ruby Oliver in Real Live Boyfriends: Yes Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart (This just reminds me of myself and why I love Ruby Oliver)

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” -Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Such a momentous truth for all educators to remember.)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

LongestCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare at 535 pages! I listened by audiobook so that is actually 16 hours and 59 minutes on audiobook!

ShortestA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park at 128 pages! It was a fast but deeply moving read!

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

Every scene in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins with Cricket and Lola! Also that scene in The Scorpio Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsRaces by Maggie Stiefvater where Puck tells Sean that she will not be his weakness and he softly answers, “It’s already to late for that.” SWOON! Or any scene with Will Herondale and Tessa Gray from Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince…Le sigh…

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

I love the way that Douglas Healy sees hope and potential in Terrence, Gecko and Arjay when the rest of the world has given up in Gordon Korman’s The Juvie Three. It’s just really uplifting to see him sacrifice so much for these boys that he doesn’t even really know.

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

Okay so I know I keep talking about The Scorpio Races but I really, really loved that book! I’d read Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series which I enjoyed, but they are no match for The Scorpio Races.

Also, A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine was quite possibly my favorite of all the books I’ve read by her. I loved the mix of fairy tale and murder mystery genres.

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

Okay, so my friend Stephanie recommended The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I honestly don’t know if I would have read it without her prompting although I’d heard good things about it. Well, Stephanie is incredibly well read and I respect her bookish opinion so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did because although I didn’t LOVE The Night Circus as much as she did it was a beautiful and mysterious story that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Okay I’m cheating. I looked through all the book blogs I follow and I don’t know when I discovered them, but I do know that this year I began following What Kate Wore a blog dedicated to the fashion and all around awesomeness of HRH Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. I know it’s not a book blog, but I don’t care!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

This is too hard for me to decide so I’ll go with my favorite title of a review I wrote in 2012. I love my title for my review of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: A Healthy Fear of Mayonnaise. You’ll have to read the review to find out why I love this!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I wouldn’t really say it was a discussion exactly, but it was affirming to hear that others thought I made the healthiest decision. In April I posted about why I was choosing to end my participation in a weekly In My Mailbox type meme. It was titled Obsessive Behavior and Non Protests and it explains my thoughts on my own blogging behavior. Once I made that decision I felt so free and much healthier. It was incredibly helpful to hear from other bloggers with similar struggles and to get their encouragement.

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

Hmmm…I honestly have no clue…I’ll have to think about that one and maybe (maybe) revisit this answer.

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

Well, I haven’t posted on this but I did have the opportunity to have bestselling author Sharon Draper visit my Media Center in November! The visit was a little last-minute surprise and my students loved it. She spoke to about one hundred students for almost two hours and it was definitely a moment my students will always remember!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

2012 was the year my blog achieved 100 followers! I was so humbled and thankful so I threw a 100 Follower Giveaway to thank those awesome blog followers!

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

The most popular post at BookTasty this year was Top Ten Tuesday: Introducing the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Books. Over the course of 2012 it received 929 views, which I think is pretty darn cool!!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’d love to say that I wish ALL of my posts got a little more love, but I really would have liked it if my Book Trailer of the Week posts got more views. I love book trailers and think they’re invaluable tools for schools to use. I started this weekly post to share short and well done book trailers with other educators, but I average such little views that I’m wondering if I should continue to post or not. Something to think about…

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

I had known about my local independent book seller, Bright Light Books, for years as my husband traded his textbooks for store credit with them while he was in seminary. However, I didn’t know that I could order new books from them! I thought it was only used books, but they helped me with a large and last-minute order for an event I was hosting at school. I love them and they have fabulous customer service.

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

I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren. The challenge expected that I read a new book from 12 debut authors, which I did! I loved having the chance to discover some new authors whose future titles will definitely be on my To Read List!

This year I also participated in the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge because I love audiobooks! My goal was to listening to and reviewing at least 24 audiobooks and I exceeded that goal by listening to 30 audiobooks. Yaaay!

Now, I also set a goal with the GoodReads 2012 Reading Challenge. I had originally wanted to read 100 books in 2012, but by September it became incredibly clear that wasn’t going to happen. So I changed my goal to 80 books (yeah I don’t know if that’s cheating or not…oh well!) which seemed more manageable. In the end I was 6 books short of that goal, but I think 73 books in one year isn’t that bad at all!

Looking Ahead…

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

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreKristin Cashore’s Bitterblue has been sitting on my shelf since it was released in May. It just sits there all pretty and blue and calls to me, but I just haven’t had the time to get to it. Plus it’s also such a huge book I know it’s a massive time commitment, but I really want to read it right away in 2013.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Well how about that?! Wouldn’t you know that I actually posted about this question a few weeks ago. Check it out :)

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

Oh my goal is to get my posts on a schedule. I want to be able to have them scheduled a few weeks in advance so I’m not scurrying to write posts when things get busy. I am on my way to the store to buy a little calendar to help with this later today.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve! See you in 2013!

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A Teenage Ocean’s Eleven: Heist Society & Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Well, hi there! Welcome back!

Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors. I will read anything she writes, which is why I read the first two books in her Heist Society series, Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals. I read Heist Society a while ago, but apparently never posted a review of it (I couldn’t believe it!), so this post is a dual review!

Heist Society by Ally CarterWhen Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Both Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals are fun, smart capers Uncommon Criminals by Ally Cartermixed in with teenage girlness (is that a word?). I loved watching the plan unfold, it’s like reading a teen version of Ocean’s Eleven.  The characters are all in the know about what is about to happen, but the reader doesn’t discover the plan in its entirety until it is actually occurring, which makes for an exciting read.

I like Katerina Bishop, but don’t always understand why she does what she does. My only complaint with this series is that I don’t “get” why she pushes people away and thinks she has to do things alone. I know her mother died, but I guess I haven’t seen the connection yet.  Maybe more of that will be explained in the next book?

I listened to both Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals on audiobook. The narrator is fun, and although her Scottish accents sometimes slip, she does a pretty good job with the different voices. So, I recommend this series if you’re a fan of Ally Carter or just looking for an entertaining read!

Author: Ally Carter

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

                       Heist Society (Feb. 9 2010)

                       Uncommon Criminals (June 21, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: Heist Society (6 hrs and 6 mins)

                Uncommon Criminals (6 hrs and 47 mins)

Narrator(s): Angela Dawe

Series: First and second in the Heist Society series

YA/MG: YA/MG

Buy the Book: Heist Society

Uncommon Criminals (A Heist Society Novel) (Heist Society Novels (Quality))

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History and Humor: 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Hola!

Contemporary history isn’t something I know a lot about, unless it has to do with the Southern Civil Rights movement of the 1960s (my focus as a History major). So my interested was piqued when I saw that 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis was on this years Florida 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-GalbisSunshine State book list.

When Julian’s parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Operation Pedro Pan?! Living in Florida I’d known a little bit about this program but not very much.  For those of you who don’t know what Operation Pedro Pan began when Cuban parents afraid the Cuban government would take away their parental authority sent their children to the United States. For two years, (December 1960 to October 1962) more than fourteen thousand Cuban children arrived alone in the United States in what is now known as the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied  minors in the Western Hemisphere. Super interesting huh?!

The story of Operation Pedro Pan is told through the eyes of Julian, the youngest boy in his family. Loveable Julian is often overlooked as the “baby” but wants to be treated like his older brothers and in the end is the one who makes his mark in the lives of many.

Because this is a middle grades story about preteens and teenagers 90 Miles to Havana is full of boys being boys and kids being kids; competing against one another, playing pranks, and trying to win the attention of girls. The interactions between the kids in the camp are hilarious and believable (I work in a middle school where competition, pranks and attention-getting are all common occurrences!). There were so many times I chuckled to myself just picturing my students in the story! Flores-Galbis mixes the history with humor so you just “get” Julian’s story.

Flores-Galbis, who himself was sent to Florida under Operation Pedro Pan at the age of 9, plays on the idea of a dictatorship by creating a very tyrant-like character who is in charge of the kids at the camp in the United States. The children think they’ve been saved from a totalitarian regime only to discover that this type of leadership can exist anywhere; even amongst a group of teenagers at a camp. Their method of toppling this ruler is both serious and humorous.

So far my students at school have really enjoyed this book, especially those of Hispanic background. If you’re looking for a middle grades novel with a little more depth to it (and one relating to Florida history!), you should most definitely read 90 Miles to Havana. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Author: Enrique Flores-Galbis

Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press (August 3, 2010)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 304 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  90 Miles to Havana

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Lush, Fierce and Romantic: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Well hey there!

I don’t know how to even review The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved it that much!

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvaterhas any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Seriously, my feelings for this book are so much that I am feeling a little stumped at what to say about it.  How do I describe my feelings on a book I loved so much?!

What I can say is that while I also liked Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, The Scorpio Races is miles above those books. Stiefvater’s writing is hypnotic and mesmerizing. The rhythm of her words hold the reader captive from the very start. There were times where The Scorpio Races felt more like a story told around a campfire than a written novel. The audiobook, which had two narrators (one for Puck and one for Sean) was so well done that it added to this story-telling feel.

The fictional island of Thisby is lush, fierce, and romantic. The perfect setting for the romance that stirs between Puck and Sean and the terror of the capaill uisce (which are terrifying and heartbreaking all at once). I automatically fell in love with both Sean and Puck. Their emotions, and personalities feel so real. Puck is wildly stubborn and incredibly vulnerable, and she struggles between being a child and an adult. She wears her insecurities and strengths on her sleeve and is by far the most interesting character I’ve read all year! It’s almost as if the internal conflicts Puck and Sean deal with are mirrored in the capaill uisces’  dangerous, yet beautiful natures.

And Sean Kendrick?  Wow.  The strong silent, sexy type.  Yeah. That’s right.

If you haven’t read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, you most definitely should. It was by far one of my favorite books read in 2012! It listed as YA, but I think middle grades readers will fall in love with it as well.

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Audio (October 18, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins

Narrator(s): Steve West, Fiona Hardingham

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA/MG

Buy the Book: The Scorpio Races

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Current To-Be-Read Stack

Hi there!

Happy Tuesday and Merry Christmas! I am currently in the Jacksonville area celebrating the holiday with my in-laws and my parents! I hope you are enjoying the holiday season with friends and family as well!

Since it’s Tuesday I’m participating, as usual, in the Broke and Bookish’s weekly Top Ten Tuesday. This week the official theme is a freebie so I decided to share a little about the books that have made it on my current To-Be-Read list!To Be Read

1. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

2. Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

3. Everlost by Neal Shusterman (audiobook)

4. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

5. Firelight by Sophie Jordan

6. Dead City by James Ponti

7. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

8. A Whole Lot of Lucky by Danette Haworth

9. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

10. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have tons of other books I haven’t yet read sitting on my shelves (TONS!).  These are just the books that have recently been calling out to me!

I plan on getting some of these at least started during the two weeks I have off for the Winter Break. I’ve been craving some serious reading time! Have you read any of these? Any that should be made a priority? What titles are in your current to-be-read stack?

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Tasty Treats: Secret Santa Edition

So it’s been a long time since I posted a Tasty Treats update!

Today I’m showing off the fun gifts I received from my blogger Secret Santa! This is the second year I’ve participated in The Broke and Bookish’s Secret Santa program and it was just as fun this year as it was last year!

My wonderful Secret Santa was Alexa over at Alexa Loves Books. She sent me not one, by two, boxes in the mail!

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In the photo you’ll see two books by Sarah Dessen (!) and two books relating to my obsession with all things Jane Austen! Also delicious smelling tea!!!

I can’t wait to start digging in to these books and enjoying that tea while doing so!

Thank you so much Alexa!

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All I Felt was “Like”: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Turner

Hello!

After a long time of making up my mind, I recently read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Turner.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Like I mentioned before, it took me a while to make up my mind about reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. For months I’d heard nothing bad (literally I don’t think I’ve ever seen a negative review) about this book! Eventually I realized that since everyone else loved this story so much I needed to give it a try. So I did.

So there I was listening to the audiobook, really enjoying the characters and the story. I really liked Karou and I was intrigued by the characters, especially Brimstone, Twiga and Yasri. I was getting really excited about the connection between Karou and Akiva too! I was diggin’ this book (yes diggin’).

Then about halfway through, I hit the plot twist and unfortunately that’s when the story lost it for me. I can’t tell you exactly why, because it has a lot to do with the plot itself, and I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who hadn’t read it.  I just lost interest. This whole second half of the story isn’t bad. In fact I do think it is super creative.  It just wasn’t my thing.

I really, really wanted to LOVE this book and in the end all that I felt was “like”. I know that tons of others people love Daughter of Smoke and Bone so please don’t cross it off your list if you’ve been thinking about reading it, because it may actually be something you really enjoy!

Author: Lani Taylor

Publisher: Hachette Audio (Sept. 27, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins

Narrator(s): Khristine Hvam

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books Read in 2012

Hello and Happy Tuesday everyone!

Every week I participate in the Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. A theme is posted each week and book bloggers near and far create lists centered on this theme. This week’s theme is Top Ten Favorite Books Read in 2012.

This is hard. I read so many entertaining, fun, well-written books this past year! Narrowing these all around good reads is extremely difficult and I know I’ll revisit this list in a few months wishing I had included, or not included, a specific title. Knowing this I am trying to do my best in selecting books that stuck with me for some reason.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Beautiful. This book was simply beautiful. If you haven’t read this fantasy you must! It may in fact, be my favorite read of the year.

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine2. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

This fairy tale meets murder mystery was fun and I’d like to see more of this genre mashup.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby3. Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

My favorite Florida Sunshine State book of the year.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Retold fairy tales get me all the time and this once was lush and well written.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A highly anticipated sequel that did not disappoint!

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale6. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I prefer this gothic novel-esque sequelover the first book, Austenland! (Not YA or MG)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Adored this futuristic (and slightly Firefly-ish) spin on the classic tale Cinderella.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hirandani8. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Beautifully well written middle grades fiction dealing with some serious family issues.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner9. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This is book two in the series but I prefer it to the others in the series because Thomas’ world opens up a lot more.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is hauntingly well done.

Are you like me and have a difficult time choosing?!  Well, here are some Honorable Mentions for 2012:

a. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

b. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Yes I finally read this!)

c. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

What were some of your favorite reads of 2012? Are any of your selected titles on my list?

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Moon and More

Well hi there!

Each week (pretty much) I participate in Breaking the Spine’s meme, Waiting on Wednesday. The goal of Waiting on Wednesday is to showcase some upcoming books that we’re particularly excited about. These are usually books that have not yet been released but are circling on our radars.

The Moon and More by Sarah DessenThis week I am focusing on Sarah Dessen’s upcoming novel, The Moon and More.

Emaline works at her family’s vacation rental company the summer before she leaves for college. She must confront her values, goals and choices as her relationship with city-boy Theo evolves and she’s forced to say goodbye to the beach town where she grew up.
Reading a new Sarah Dessen book is like a breath of fresh air or visiting a friend you haven’t seen in a while.  clichéd much?! I know, but are they clichés when they’re true?! Seriously I always anticipate a new Sarah Dessen novel because they’re just good reads.  They’re emotional, entertaining and romantic all at the same time. 
 
If you haven’t read any of Dessen’s previous books you really should. That way you’ll be prepared for The Moon and More when it is released in 2013. Are there any upcoming titles you’re excited about today?
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Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite New-To-Me Authors In 2012

Welcome back!

Every week I participate in the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday event. Each Tuesday the lovely people at Broke and Bookish post a theme to create a list by. This week’s theme is theme is My Favorite New-To-Me Authors of 2012.

Well, 2012 is almost over! Can you believe it?! This year has gone by so quickly! I read a lot of books this year and a lot of them were by authors I hadn’t read before. Some I loved and some I wasn’t a huge fan of. Below you’ll find a list of the ten new-to-me authors that I whose work I really loved!

Kami Kinard (The Boy Project)

James Dashner (The Maze Runner series)

Veera Hiranandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl)

Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Jack Gantos(Dead End in Norvelt)

Juliet Marillier (Wildwood Dancing)

Ginny Rorby (Lost in the River of Grass)

Tera Lynn Childs (Forgive My Fins)

Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water)

Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes)

P.W. Catanese (Happenstance Found)

I hope that if you haven’t yet read any of these authors you try to soon because they’re all talented storytellers and their books are so worthwhile! Were there any new-to-you authors that you discovered in 2012?