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Top Ten Tuesday: Books of My Spring 2013 TBR List

Hi there!

Today I’m making a planning list for my Spring Reading List. Some people do Spring Cleaning, but not me. I do Spring Reading! Yes I do!

Remember that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. I love creating my lists based on the themes they post and this week’s list is all about books on our Spring TBR List.

So, what tasty little treats am I hoping to devour this spring? Well, let’s take a look! Some are new releases and some are much older but that’s ok! I want to read them all!

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay RibarThe Art of Wishing by Lindsay Rebar

The Fire Horse Girl by Victoria SchwabThe Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane NickersonStrands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithThis is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Temptation by Karen Ann HopkinsTemptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Starglass by Pheobe NorthStarglass by Pheobe North

Firelight by Sophie JordanFirelight by Sophie Jordan

Lock and Key by Sarah DessenLock and Key by Sarah Dessen

The Madness Underneath by Maureen JohnsonThe Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

I’m really hoping I can get to read at least half of these books! I say half, because inevitably I know I won’t get to them all. Have you read any of them already? Which should I focus on first?

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I Felt So Much Love: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Hi guys!

Can you get any better than fairy tale retellings?! I don’t think so! They’re my favorite genre and I can’t get enough of them!  Espeically, if they’re retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, my favorite fairy tale. Well, that just so happens to be exactly why I felt so much love for Entwined by Heather Dixon!

Entwined by Heather DixonAzalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it’s taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

When I first saw this book at my school book fair a while back I was knew it had to one day be mine. Look at the gorgeousness of this cover! It screams “READ ME CHRISTINA!” Entwined‘s cover is the quintessential Christina book cover…a girl in a gorgeous gown. I know it’s so girly and silly, but chances are if your cover has a girl in a beautiful gown, I’m going to enjoy it!

Have I mentioned that I loved this book? I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was fabulous. Her voices were just enough and not over done, which can be hard to do. She was pretty soothing with that accent!

What can be difficult in retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is making all twelve of those sisters standout. I’ve read some versions of this fairy tale, where the sisters are kind of just lumped into little groups. I didn’t feel like the younger sisters were just two-dimensional paper characters in Entwined. I felt like Dixon nicely fleshed out each sister well and I could see glimpses of their individual personalities shine .

Throughout the entire story, I was soooo flipping mad at The King! I mean I know I’m supposed to be, but I just wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him! I kept mentally yelling, “Dude, I know you’re grieving…but seriously, you can’t just emotionally and physically abandon your TWELVE daughters! They need you in this darkest time!” But I guess if he did what I wanted him to do, we wouldn’t have a story now would we?! See? The authors always know best!

And how about Mr. Creeper…I mean Mr. Keeper?! Creepy McCreeperton to the core! His character was absolutely exactly what it should be…charming, scary and ever so manipulative. Actually, there was so much in this story that reminded me of a feminist lit class I took in college where we looked at abusive relationships in fairy tales, and oh would Mr. Keeper be an interesting one to discuss! But anywhoo…let’s not forget about all the talk of the stitching and soul keeping (no spoilers but you’ll get it if you read it) was enough to give me nightmares had I actually dwelled on it!

 I’m a major sucker for fairy tale romances and there was some good romance in Entwined! So, yes…I thought this book was awesome and think that you should read it, especially if you’re in the mood for a good old fashion fairy tale retelling!

Author: Heather Dixon

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 50 mins

Narrator(s): Mandy Williams

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Entwined

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Waiting on Wednesday: Going Vintage

Hola!

It’s that time again! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where I get to showcase an upcoming new release that I’m excited about.

Going Vintage by Lindsay Leavitt is the book I’m waiting on this week.

Going Vintage by Lindsay LeavittWhen Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma’s list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy’s cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she’ll get it done. Somehow.

Going Vintage will release on March 26, only a few short weeks away. I think this sounds like it has potential to be a cute read and I have always been a fan of all things vintage, so I’ve been hooked just by the title! Also, I had a high school boyfriend cheat on me once (with a big chested freshmen…) so I think Mallory and I will hit it off pretty well!

What soon-to-be-released titles are you excited about today?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Start but Just Haven’t Yet

Hey there everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and Bookish. Each week they post a theme for us to create a list to. This lweek’s official theme is Series I’d Like to Start but Haven’t Yet.

I have no idea why I haven’t started reading any of the following series yet, especially because I have heard nothing but good things about them! But for whatever reason I just haven’t gotten around to them yet (and I even own some of them!). So, let’s see which series I am regretfully missing out on.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa1. Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

Delirium by Lauren Oliver2. Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand3. Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter4. The Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter

Shatter My by Tahereh Mafi5. Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Gone by Michael Grant6. Gone series by Michael Grant

Bluebloods by Melissa de la Cruz7. Bluebloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Firelight by Sophie Jordan8. Firelight series by Sophie Jordan

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson10. The Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson

Okay, which of these do I need to make sure I read right away? Let me know! :)

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A Unique Take: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Hi there!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a book I’d heard everyone online gushing about for months before I got the chance to read it.

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvatermother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I enjoyed Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and completely fell for The Scorpio Races, but wasn’t super excited about the summary for The Raven Boys. But I randomly came across the audiobook at my local public library and decided it was meant to be.

I wasn’t so sure about the narrator at first. I tend to like female narrators for female characters…call me crazy! I have no idea why they didn’t use two narrators (one male and one female) for the Blue and the boys (probably because it’s more expensive…). Anyway, the narrator totally threw me for a loop at first. Not just because he’s male speaking for a girl, but because his accent was so annoying! He had this whistle to his ‘S’s and it drove me craaaaazy! But eventually I got so into the story, that I started to get used to his voice.  I wouldn’t say I liked his narration, but I got used to it.

Stiefvater is such a unique author. No one is as creative as she is. She takes the supernatural genre and twists it around into something all her own. Supernatural doesn’t just mean vampires, ghosts or fallen angels guys! It can also mean psychic powers and ancient energies! I was like “Woah! this is interesting!” Actually psychic stuff freaks me out WAY more than vampires ever could so I really, really liked this take on things.

I will say that I feel like Stiefvater put more energy into building the actual characters of The Raven Boys themselves, over Blue’s character. Blue, who could have been much more interesting, fell a little flat at times. I just feel like we didn’t get into her head as much as we did with the boys. I felt like I really saw a multifaceted Adam, Gansey and even Ronan, but didn’t get the same depth from Blue. With this said, I would still love to hear more about their adventures!

Stiefvater’s strong point (in all of her books) is her poetic descriptions of nature. This author doesn’t simply tell you the woods are dark and foreboding yet beautiful, she draws you into these woods so you can imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of them with the characters. Seriously. This ability puts Stiefvater in a league of her own.

I don’t think I enjoyed The Raven Boys as much as I did The Scorpio Races (see my review), but it was still an incredibly intriguing story! I really do look forward to the second book, which is scheduled to release sometime in 2013 (closer to 2014 I imagine). All in all, if you’re searching for a new take on the supernatural YA genre, I’d definitely give The Raven Boys a try!

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (Sept. 18, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 8 mins

Narrator(s): Will Patton

Series: First in The Raven Cycle series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle)