Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - Looking Ahead + Resolutions

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner

I came across the End of the Year Survey as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner and LOVED it. There are so many lists I could make, but this one seems to pull together the highlights. It's a pretty long list, and I'm a bit wordy, so I've split up the list across several days so I don't bore you all.

This is part four of the survey. You can find part one, two, and three, as well as my Favorite Secondary Characters interlude.

Some questions have been broken down into subquestions (again, because I'm wordy), and I try to link all books mentioned back to their review at least once in the list. Enjoy!

31. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number One Priority In 2013?
The moment the calendar flips back to January, I need to get started on my debut novels for the DAC 2013. The ones I'll read first will probably be Prophecy by Ellen Oh and Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland, since they're the ones sitting on my shelf.

32. Book You Are Most Anticipating In 2013?
I give you my list. Tada!

33. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I give you my list of resolutions, which may or may not be completely blog-centric.

1. Continue to remind myself not to play the numbers game or compare myself with other bloggers.

2. Go to BEA 2013 in May.

3. Keep up with my new post scheduling system.

4. Find more contemporaries that I like and can recommend to others.

5. Move to New York.

6. Land an internship with a literary agency or publishing company.

7. Find some baby bloggers to help. (Anyone want to volunteer? Let me love you!)

8. Be more proactive about writing my reviews after finishing a book (as opposed to waiting a week or two.)

9. Get you all to open up more about what you'd like to see on the blog. (I live for feedback.)

10. Continue to learn, grow, and try new things.


Well, that's all, folks! I hope you've enjoyed this survey. Thank you all for a great year. I look forward to finding out what 2013 has for us all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - Book Blogging/Reading Life In 2012

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner

I came across the End of the Year Survey as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner and LOVED it. There are so many lists I could make, but this one seems to pull together the highlights. It's a pretty long list, and I'm a bit wordy, so I've split up the list across several days so I don't bore you all.

This is part three of the survey. You can find part one and two here, as well as my Favorite Secondary Characters interlude.

Some questions have been broken down into subquestions (again, because I'm wordy), and I try to link all books mentioned back to their review at least once in the list. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - My Favorite Secondary Characters Of 2012

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner
Welcome! If you've been following along like good boys and girls, today is the interlude of my End of the Year Survey, as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner. Yesterday, I wrapped up the books portion of the survey but found I needed more time to talk about the most memorable characters of the year. More specifically, I find myself captivated by secondary characters even more than protagonists in many cases, so I thought they deserved their own list.

This is the secondary characters interlude section of the survey. Here are parts one and two of the survey, if you missed them.

My rules for deciding who would make the list:

  • First, they must be secondary characters. That means no slipping in a protagonist's love interest (so no Jack Dandy or Warner, sadly) or any arch-villains (don't hurt me, Billy Dent!). 
  • Second, they must be well-rounded. How well-rounded varies by how much page time a character was given. 
  • Third, while I did look back through my reviews to jog my memory, I didn't need to see any more than a name for why I liked the character to come flooding back.
  • Fourth, they have to be cool enough that I would follow them to their own book. Tall order, eh?

With all that in mind, I give you my favorite secondary characters of 2012.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - Best In Books, Pt. 2

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner
I came across the End of the Year Survey as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner and LOVED it. There are so many lists I could make, but this one seems to pull together the highlights. It's a pretty long list, and I'm a bit wordy, so I've split up the list across several days so I don't bore you all.

This is part two of the BEST IN BOOKS section. You can find part one here.

Some questions have been broken down into subquestions (again, because I'm wordy), and I try to link all books mentioned back to their review at least once in the list. Enjoy!

11. Most Memorable Character In 2012?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 End Of The Year Survey - Best In Books, Pt. 1

Image and meme property of Perpetual Page Turner
I came across the End of the Year Survey as hosted by Perpetual Page Turner and LOVED it. There are so many lists I could make, but this one seems to pull together the highlights. It's a pretty long list, and I'm a bit wordy, so I've split up the list across several days so I don't bore you all.

This is part one of the BEST IN BOOKS section.

Some questions have been broken down into subquestions (again, because I'm wordy), and I try to link all books mentioned back to their review at least once in the list. Enjoy!

1. Best Book You Read in 2012?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #19

Hosted by Pen to Paper
Merry day-after-Christmas, everyone! I hope your holiday was fantastic. In the off chance any of you have slept off your Christmas crazies, here's my Wishlist Wednesday pick for the week:
There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away. 

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.
Okay, yes, this synopsis sounds like it suffers from a case of instalove. I'm willing to give Ms. Barnes the benefit of the doubt and hope that it's a case of insta-connection or insta-understanding instead, because either of those are far more believable and far less irritating.

This synopsis reminds me a bit of the parents' backstory in Spy Kids, so I'm willing to give it a chance. Besides, you all know anything with assassins has my attention.

What are you wishing for this glorious post-Christmas Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I'd Play Hooky With

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Merry Christmas to all! I'm sure most of you are gathered with friends and family and won't even peek at the internet for the next few days, but I didn't want to leave anyone wandering by high and dry without a post to read. This week's TTT is a freebie, so I chose one in the holiday spirit of curling up with a good book: Top 10 Books I'd Play Hooky With.

Attribution: The Infernal Devices
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. By the time this post airs, I'll know whether or not I received TBT for Christmas. If I did, hooray! If I didn't, I'll run out and buy it. But whenever I get it, I'll break out a pack of highlighters, squirrel myself away in some corner, and not emerge until I'm finished highlighting every last breathtaking line.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'd HAVE to play hooky to get through TLOTR again. It's so gargantuan, but so very worth it. Tolkien has delicious phrasing, and his words burrow right into your brain.

Attribution: Anorien Undomiel
The Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore. I just bought myself Graceling and am hoping to add Fire and Bitterblue to my collection soon. I'd love to be able to chuck work aside long enough to reimmerse myself in Cashore's world.

Attribution: Petrichor and Pie
The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. I think it's physically impossible for me to make a TTT list without mentioning MWT. In my pre-blogging days, I read The Queen's Thief series once every three months or so. Not so now. In trying to get a new review out each week, there's very little time to reread old favorites. The thought of spending a day (or two or four) visiting with my pal Eugenides would be fantastic.

Gustav Gloom and the People Taker by Adam-Troy Castro. The underlying theme of this list is "books I don't normally have time to read." I think Gustav Gloom looks like a load of fun, and it's sitting on my bookshelf making eyes at me. I'll get to you soon, Gustav, I promise!

Whyyyyyy isn't the US cover this cool?!
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I have an internal timer that goes off after a certain amount of time passes between rereadings. It's time to reread ToG. I need more Chaol. 'Nuff said.

Attribution: roranicused
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. My internal timer has gone off for this one as well, but it's even more urgent because the sequel is coming out! Yaaaay Warner!

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. I've already only half-jokingly announced my intention to skip work when I get my hands on this book. Really, it's a moral quandary. I like being dependable, and I won't lie to my employer. BUT THIS BOOK!!

Whatever I'm reading now. Except for weekends, I really only read during my lunch breaks at work. It'd be glorious to be able to just sit and read for an entire day as much as I'd like. Heavenly, I say!

What book would be enough to tempt YOU to play hooky?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mini-Review: THE PRINCESS DIARIES by Meg Cabot

With wry, observant wit, Mia chronicles her rocky first month of high school. First she finds out she's the crown princess of a European principality, then there's a first kiss from her big crush, an empowering ice-cream-cone shove into the sweater of her nemesis, and a meltdown in the ladies' room of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel.
Okay, time for another semi-embarrassing confession. I don't have a single Meg Cabot book on my shelf. I watched The Princess Diaries movie and adored it (Anne Hathaway! Julie Andrews! That guy who plays Joe!), but the book? I tried to read it once but can only remember being mortified to the depth of my nerdy little soul at the mention of the dad's cancer-riddled testicles. (Yeah, the dad doesn't die in the books. Color me surprised.)

But a month or so ago, I had eye surgery, which meant NO READING. I nearly died. Thankfully, my father pitied my blind mewling and found me an audiobook of TPD to listen to.

Oh my gosh. Granted, I blame some of my more extreme reactions on the drugs, but what a fun book! Mia is so authentically teenagery with her dramatic highs and lows. As a braniac artsy kid, she balances the fine line between precocious and idiotic that most teenagers walk. I mean, when I was fourteen, I wanted to be a geneticist and could recite all kinds of facts about genomes. I also did and said really dumb things. I was tickled by how perfectly Ms. Cabot portrays all of the paradoxes that come with being a teenager.

Also, as a fan of the movie, I was intrigued by how different the book was in some major aspects. Mia, for instance, is fourteen instead of the decidedly older character played by Anne Hathaway. Fresh out of middle school, she's the prime character to deal with all the awkwardness mentioned above. She's also described several times as being flat-chested and having hair that looks like a triangle, something that I would love to have seen onscreen. Oh, and who knew SHE was as much of an activist as her pal Lilly? Seriously, she's against the meat industry and all sorts of other things. Lilly is the instigator for many of the stunts pulled for her public access TV show, but Mia is right there with her. Who knew!

Oh, about Lilly... She's a braniac, too? Like, 10x smarter than Mia? Again, who could tell from the movie? Not me! And a big part of the conflict in the book revolves around Lilly being a snotty pain after the whole princess thing comes out, something that's resolved after one scene in the movie.

And Grandmere! She's not the stern-yet-twinkly-eyed Julie Andrews I've grown to love. No, she's a wig-wearing totalitarian with tattooed eyebrows!

But back to Mia. The girl is the meat of the entire book. I felt like I was back in early high school again as I rode the wave of her emotions. Sure, the princess thing is a little over the top, but so much of what she's going through is typical teenage stuff. There's that one guy who won't give her the time of day, the mean girl who makes her life miserable, the other guy that she kinda sorta secretly likes but not that she'll admit it. She has grownups telling her what to do and messing with her already complicated life. She has beliefs and passions that she wants to pursue but feels powerless to do so. She's trying to figure out who she is and what she wants from life, and all she knows right now is that it involves better hair and boobs. And oh my gosh, algebra! Ugh, algebra.
A fairly accurate representation of Mia's emotions
Like I said, I listened to the audiobook version, and I highly recommend it. I HATE audiobooks, but this version was narrated by Anne Hathaway herself, and it was perfect. I must caution you all not to listen to too much in one sitting, however, or her voice will never leave your head. Maddening.

Mini-Points Added For: Mia's very teenage emotions, Meg Cabot's writing style

Mini-Points Subtracted For: Mia is a bit high-strung at times, which can be annoying.

Good For Mini-Fans Of: Fun, light teen lit, The Princess Diaries movie.

Mini-Notes For Parents: Mia has very strong, liberal opinions that can be off-putting to some readers. Also, Grandmere smokes and drinks.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Friday, December 21, 2012

The New Adult Category Revisited

In case you guys missed it, within the last month or so New Adult "officially" became a category. I'm not ready to fly the Mission Accomplished banner yet, but I am thrilled. Back in May, I set forth an argument in favor of New Adult, and the most common response I received was "That'd be awesome, but it won't come for a long time."

Tada! Here it is!

Of course, with progress, so comes the snark.

I normally don't mind snark too much. With every new thing comes worry and confusion, and snark is often the way people choose to publicly express those feelings while avoiding vulnerability. I have to admit, though, that this latest round got under my skin a bit.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cover Love #18

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?
So maybe this is less Cover Love and more Cover-Freaked-Me-Out. THAT EYE! It gives me the heebie-jeebies. On the other hand, this cover does grab my attention, and it looks as though it fits the plot fairly well, which means it does everything a cover should. However, when I do get around to reading this book (and how can I not with such a hook?), I may have to cover the cover.

What cover do YOU love this week?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2013 Debut Author Challenge Goal Post

Do you all know Hobbitsies? No, not the cute, hairy-footed creatures created by Mr. Tolkien. Hobbitsies is a hoppin' blog that annually hosts a debut author challenge. The idea is to read as many debut authors as possible, though all participating must read at least 12. It's a really great idea, and I wanted to participate so badly last year but didn't.

This year, I jumped in whole-heartedly. Each participant is supposed to post a goal list. I wasn't sure whether to err on the side of caution or the side of desire, but here's mine:

  • A Point So Delicate by Brandy Colbert (Ballet contemporary)
  • A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchinson (Written by a friend! AAH!)
  • Arclight by Josin McQuein (Dystopian thriller, first of two books on this list by the same debut author)
  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (Historical fiction)
  • Bruised by Sarah Skilton (Contemporary w/Tae Kwan Doe)
  • Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell (Fantasy described as Tamora Pierce meets George R.R. Martin)
  • City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (Fantasy w/female assassins)
  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman (Dystopian w/doppelgangers/clones)
  • Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelly Coriell (Possibly humorous contemporary) [Note: Was just informed the author is NOT a debut. Oops.]
  • Insomnia by J.R. Johansson (Sleep-related thriller)
  • Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair (Contemporary w/kidnapped baby)
  • Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (Paranormal set in Purgatory)
  • Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan (Historical fiction w/thieves and spies)
  • MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (Sci-fi about A.I.)
  • Parallel by Lauren Miller (Sci-fi about parallel universes)
  • Pivot Point by Kasie West (Paranormal about parallel universes)
  • Poison by Bridget Zinn (Fantasy about a potions master turned traitor)
  • Premeditated by Josin McQuein (Contemporary about revenge)
  • Prophecy by Ellen Oh (Fantasy)
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera (Dystopian about rebooted humans w/out emotions)
  • Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum (Sci-fi dystopian about humans vs. robots)
  • Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton (Paranormal about personified emotions)
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard (Fantasy pseudo-sequel to Alice in Wonderland)
  • Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (Historical Bluebeard retelling)
  • Taken by Erin Bowman (Dystopian/fantasy about disappearing boys)
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Sci-fi about dreams)
  • The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd (Historical pseudo-sequel to The Island of Dr. Moreau)
  • The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (Paranormal about a Nightmare)
  • The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (Contemporary about Witness Protection)
  • The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf (Contemporary about a hypochondriac)
  • The Ward by Jordana Frankel (Dystopian)
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Sci-fi in spaaaaaace!)
  • That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (Contemporary about a missing mom and a circus)
  • Transparent by Natalie Whipple (Paranormal about an invisible girl w/a crime boss father)
  • Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland (Paranormal thriller about the Furies)
  • When the World Was Flat by Ingrid Jonach (Sci-fi about alternate dimensions)

Oof. I'm not sure I'll be able to get to all of those, but I'll certainly try. There are some really amazing sounding books on that list. A few thoughts:

1. I'm shocked at how many contemporaries are on that list. I'm really not a contemporary kind of gal, but the 2013 batch sounds so gooood.

2. YAY SCI-FI!!! There's even one set in actual SPACE!!

3. Where are my fantasies? I can't live without good fantasies. Must fix.

If any of you are wondering how to join in on this year's challenge, you're in luck! Participants can join at any point over the next year, so if you're panicking slightly at the idea of getting everything together during the holidays, you needn't worry. For the 2013 Debut Author Challenge homepage, click here. From there, you'll find the full rules, the signup list, resources to figure out which books are debut and
which aren't, and blog buttons for your own use.

Right now, over 150 reviewers have signed up. Think about it, and then join the rest of us for some fun. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
Waaaay back in September, I highlighted Stormdancer in a Wishlist Wednesday post. Then reviews started trickling - and then pouring - in, uniformly laudatory and even fangirlish. And yet did I get to read it? Noooo, because my store doesn't carry it!

Finally, a copy came in at the library and I snapped it up. That was four weeks ago. For two weeks, Stormdancer stayed on the floor next to my bed, then it took me almost two more weeks to finish reading it. And you know what? I'm glad. Jay Kristoff's book is a hefty masterpiece that should NOT be rushed. Zip through your reading, and you'll miss a lot. Heck, I know I missed stuff, and taking two weeks to read a book is glacially slow for me.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit Is Here! The Hobbit Is Here!

GUYS!!! I'm so excited, I'm about to burst. Today is Friday, December 14, 2012. THE RELEASE DAY OF THE HOBBIT! If you don't care, you can just leave now. There's very little erudite discussion (read: none) and a whooooole lot of fangirlin' going on over here.

I'm sure some of you have already seen The Hobbit, thanks to the wonder that is the midnight showing. If you ever have a chance to partake in that heady mixture of lack of sleep, homemade costumes, and raucous, nerdy delight, please do. I fully intended to splurge for The Hobbit and pay for the 3-D IMAX midnight showing, but alas, I had to work. Unlike some hearty souls, if I get less than five hours of sleep or so, I become physically ill in a barfy way.

Like this, but with more vomit and general crankiness.

Instead, the plan is to go tonight, and I CAN'T WAIT!

I can pinpoint the exact moment I was introduced to Middle-Earth. In 2001, when I was ten years old, the buzz was building around the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There were Burger King toys and books and commercials and everything, and my dad had gone out and bought The Lord of the Rings set from Sam's Club. I was there when he bought and remember thinking, "Hmmm. Dad likes cool things. If he's buying this book, it must be cool. I don't get the stuff about rings and things. It must be an allegory, like Narnia and stuff. I must read it!"

Yeah, I was ten and knew words like allegory. I was that kind of kid. Anyways, a few weeks later, Mom bought The Hobbit so Dad would have a complete set, and while Dad read The Lord of the Rings, I read The Hobbit.

When I say read, I mean devoured. I wish I could go back into my ten-year-old brain and analyze what precisely I liked about the book. I look back and see a big, wordy book that doesn't immediately come to mind as elementary-school appropriate. But that book was my gateway to Middle-Earth. I zipped through The Hobbit and was immediately begging my dad to read LOTR. I wanted to know what happened to my buddy Bilbo! It took a little longer for me to accept this interloper Frodo, but once I did, my nerdy little life was forever changed.

I'm sure this new movie will change things. Scenes and characters will be dropped, new scenes and characters added or enhanced. I'm okay with that. I thought Peter Jackson did a great job with the LOTR trilogy, so, for now, I'm willing to see what he does. Now, I haven't read The Hobbit again since 2001, so I only remember a few scenes. These are the scenes I can't wait to see in theaters:

- Bilbo meeting the Dwarves (and running away without his handkerchief)
- The forest battle with the Wargs and the trees on fire
- The eagles
- Beorn! (He's my favorite)
- When Bilbo and the Dwarves get lost under the mountain
- Meeting Gollum
- Mirkwood
- Riding in the barrels
- Meeting Smaug
- "The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!"

As a side note, I also can't wait to meet Radgast the Brown, who was unceremoniously booted from LOTR. Most of all, I simply can't wait to have something to look forward to every year. A movie in theaters, a DVD release, an Extended Edition DVD release, rinse and repeat!

I haven't decided if I'll post my reactions to the movie after I've seen it (I very well may), but please feel free to fill the comments section with your own squeals and observations. (No spoilers, please.) With that, I leave you with a link to the official Hobbit soundtrack and my favorite Middle-Earth poem.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Have you see The Hobbit yet? What did you think? If you haven't, what scenes are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday #18

Totally the property of Pen To Paper
Do you know that anxious flapping people do on TV sometimes when they just have too much emotional energy to be contain? I think they look a bit like flustered chickens, personally. Anyways, I started doing that very thing as soon as I saw this week's pick for Wishlist Wednesday.

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? A girl with an appetite for revenge? It's a sparse synopsis but it packs quite a wallop. Dinah is a driven girl, and her intensity shines with every word. But let me tell you, when I read this synopsis, I looked like this:

Why? Because I know this book. That synopsis is nearly identical to the query that Ms. McQuein submitted to QueryShark! I remember sitting in my apartment in college, reading this query and going, "Oh my gosh, that's AWESOME. Sign her, Ms. Reid!" I thought too much time would pass, that if the book actually came out, I wouldn't recognize it, but HERE IT IS!!!! That tells you how much the query affected me, that I could remember it clearly two years later.

I'm so excited. I'm so so so so SO excited! (Looking back, I'm tickled that so much - even the title - remained the same from the initial query.)

What are YOU wishing for this Wednesday? And what do you think about this book?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT by Veronica Rossi

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.
Oh, guys.

Most of you probably weren't here at the time, but Under the Never Sky (UtNS) was one of the first books I ever reviewed. It was so pretty. (The book, not my review. I still shudder when I look at my wonky formatting.) I fell in love with Perry and his world, with Aria and her feistiness, and with those darn charismatic cannibals.

I'm sorry to say that the Croven do not appear in the sequel, but many other familiar faces do return to great effect. As always, the bulk of the review is below the jump break, but let me just tell you all right now that it was good. It was ALL THE FEELS good.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blogger Spotlight - In Which Ems Reviews Books

It's that time again! In case you all missed the Spotlight post and are wondering what the heck this is, let me give you a recap. Several weeks ago, I made up a ginormo post listing a bunch of book blogs that I follow and adore. You guys did exactly as I hoped and ran off to check out the blogs. Now I want to do more. Every Friday that I can, I will highlight one blog and one blogger. They will get their time in the spotlight to tell you all about themselves and their blogs. Then, I hope, you'll go and check them out further.

Their traffic gets a boost, and you get a new blog to follow. Win-win!

This week, we get to visit with Ems from In Which Ems Reviews Books.

Fast Facts!

Name: In Which Ems Reviews Books

Creator: Ems (or Emily)

Start date: June 17, 2010

Number of GFC followers: 607 (as of 11/25)

Post(s) I enjoyed: I love Ems' reviews! (Hehe, fitting.)


Shelver: Hello, Ems, m'dear! Would you please introduce yourself?

Ems: Hello, my friend! First of all, thanks for having me! I think this is my very first blogging interview ever. :)

Hi, I'm Ems, and I'm a bookaholic. Luckily, I've no interest in being 'cured' from this particular addiction. I live for books! I'm actually pretty sure that my tombstone is going to say something along the lines of 'would rather read than breathe' because it's true. I read as much as I possibly can, anywhere I can. Aside from that, I'm currently working on my 2nd Bachelor's Degree in Education, and teaching first/second grade. It' experience. I also work as a librarian and LOVE that. Anything that puts me near books and gives me the chance to talk about them is a situation all made of win for me.

I am the favorite auntie, I love cats (though I don't have any at the moment), I cross stitch, scrapbook, and design cards. I'm a huge Francophile and Anglophile, though I also consider myself part Brasilian. I'm a pretty fabulous cook and I love trying new things in the kitchen. I also love to dress up. Yes, I mean in costumes. No, I don't do it on a regular basis. Hallowe'en-time only, I'm afraid.

I don't like snow (and I live in Idaho, so that's kind of awful), bats, spiders, clowns, cooked green peppers, and I'm deathly allergic to celery. :D

S: Yay! I love being a part of someone's "firsts." And I'd like to know if anyone out there actually LIKES clowns. Those guys are creepy as all-get-out.

Okay, imagine for a moment that you're sitting in a subway car. Your stop is coming up and you only have a few minutes to describe your blog to us, your fellow passengers. Go!

E: There's nothing I like more than sharing a great book with someone, so I have this fantastic blog where I can do just that. I'll point out the things that made a book special or why it didn't work for me. The biggest thing I try to do is spread the word - you never know when something is going to catch someone's interest, so I try to share it all! (this is actually a pretty lame plug for me, but I couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't gushy gibberish!)

S: Let me add that bit for you, then. Folks, her blog is made of awesomeness and sprinkles.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

Seriously. It's like talking to a wall.
E: I got tired of the blank stares people would give me when I'd talk about the latest great book I'd read. I wanted a place where I could gush or moan about books without feeling like I was speaking a foreign language. Basically, I got tired of feeling intellectually superior to everyone who doesn't read. (which is horrible to admit to, but I totally did...if they admitted they didn't read, I couldn't help feeling a bit of pity and/or disdain - the ones who CHOSE not to read, mind you.)

S: I don't know whether that's a horrible thing to admit or not, but I totally understand. Why can't all of us readers happen to grow up on the same street or something?!

So what are your favorite genres?

E: I love YA & adult paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi (including dystopia & post apocalyptic), historical fiction, romance (I'm getting a little bit more saucy in my tastes now), some YA contemp, some adult contemp. I don't really like nonfiction all the much. I live nonfiction, so why would I relax with it? :)

S: Quite an array!

What are your least favorite genres, then?

E: Probably contemp, although there are a few gems out there that I've loved. I should clarify and say that it's the HEAVY contemp that I don't like.

S: Ah yes, the dreaded "issue books."

In case I haven't told you enough recently, I LOVE your blog. I especially like your swirly signature and your Eiffel Tower ratings. Did you go into blogging knowing how you wanted things to look? If not, how did you arrive at your current design?

E: Thank you! I'm quite fond of it myself. I didn't have any sort of idea when I started. I picked a background that was cutesy and stuck with it for a few months. I drew my own rating system (which can be seen on older posts) that consisted of faces showing how I felt about the books. My favorite might have been 'makes me angry'. It didn't really fit with ME though, so I started morphing things. I've always been a big lover of all things vintage, so I knew I wanted to start going in that direction. I found a background that I loved (and that wasn't all over the blogosphere) and gradually started adding things on to make it more into something that reflected my personality. I did away with the faces earlier this year and went with the Eiffel Tower ratings. That's been my most favorite change so far. My sister, who is a graphic designer, is working on a new banner/button for me. I bought my current image, but I'm starting to see it elsewhere and I want something that's just ME.

S: A graphic designer sister? Ugh, I'm so jealous. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three novels (books, not series), which books would you choose?

E: NO SERIES?! Are you a sadist or something?!

Okay, okay. I'd take The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Hobbit by Tolkien, and A Treasury of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales (edited by Helen Hyman).

S: Haha, I totally called The Night Circus!

Anything else you'd like us to know about you or your blog?

E: Come visit me! I love making new friends!


That's your cue. Check out In Which Ems Reviews Books and follow Ems on Twitter. She's really cool and lots of fun. I promise you won't regret it. Also, the crazy chick reads and reviews like half a dozen books a week, so there's always awesomeness flowing. Thanks for stopping by, Ems!

If you'd like to write a Blogger Spotlight of your own, feel free to take my button and then send me the link so I can visit.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cover Love #17

The cover I'm about to show you is so full of win, it's incalculable. How full of win is it? The book it's attached to is the third in a series that I've never read, and it's about a scenario that I simply don't enjoy. And yet the book is on my to-read list solely based on the prettiness of the cover.

When Jo Winter’s parents send her off to live with her rich cousin on the glittering island of Manhattan, it’s to find a husband and forget about her brother Teddy’s death. But all that glitters is not gold,. Caught up in the swirl of her cousin’s bobbed-hair set—and the men that court them—Jo soon realizes that the talk of marriage never stops, and behind the seemingly boundless gains are illicit business endeavors, gangsters, and their molls. Jo would much rather spend time the handsome but quiet Charles, a waiter at the Algonquin Hotel, than drape herself over a bootlegger.

But when she befriends a moll to one of the most powerful men in town, Jo begins to uncover secrets—secrets that threaten an empire and could secure Jo’s freedom from her family. Can her newfound power buy her love? Or will it to ruin Jo, and everyone around her?
I haven't gotten caught up in the '20s craze (yet), and Mafia stories usually make me unpleasantly tense. However, I adore this cover (and the word "molls"). It's so different from anything else I can think of on a typical YA shelf. The white really makes the cover pop, while the girl shrouded in shadows oozes mystery. This is one of the few covers where a pretty dress makes SENSE. A girl in the '20s wouldn't be running around in shorts, and a girl mixed up with the Mob is going to dress herself up a notch.

And those pearls draped like chains? Love! Tying oneself to the Mafia is never without a price.

What do you think of this cover and what are cover are YOU loving this Thursday?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Want Under My Tree

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Happy December, everyone! Ah, the holidays. A nip in the air, white-chocolate Oreos in the cookie jar, a tree in the living room, candy canes in my mouth. Good times, good times. This week's Top 10 fits in perfectly with the holiday mood: Top 10 books I want under my tree. I was feeling curmudgeonly and took out the part about Santa, seeing as there was never a time in my life when I believed in the nice old man.

While I've given my list an order, it's a very fluid sort of order. So, Mom, don't freak out if you got me, say, #7 instead of #2. I want them all! (Click the links to read my reviews.)

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Really, the cover alone makes this book purchase worthwhile.

9. Terrier (and sequels) by Tamora Pierce. Beka Cooper makes me blood pump in a very good way.

8. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I'll have nightmares, but it'll be worth it!

7. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. Sage! <3

6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I'll laugh, I'll cry... Okay, so I'll mostly cry. Such a good book.

5. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I can't wait to enjoy Ms. Hartman's lovely word choices all over again.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The only problem with this book is I'll have to block off a week or so where I can sit and highlight every gorgeous line. So... no problem at all, really.

3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (paperback). I specified the paperback because who wouldn't! Look at that beauty.

2. Fire and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (hardcover). I found the hardcover of Graceling cheap, so now I'm dying to get the rest of the series.

1. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (preorder). I shouldn't even have to tell you all how much I want this book. My fandom knows no limits.

The nicest thing about this particular list is that though it's for Christmas, I'm so passionate about these books that I know they'll end up on my shelf one way or another. Of course, by then I'll be coveting yet another set of wonderful books!

What books are you wishing for this year?