Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look at 2012

Hi everyone! Happy new Year's Eve! I have *finally* put together my end-of-the-year post for 2012 - and it is sooo long, so I apologize for that. I have broken down my favorites of 2012 by category, and within each category, the books are in no particular order. There is a lot of overlap. I hope I got the categories right. Not all of the books are 2012 releases. Enjoy!

Overall Favorites:
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
- For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
- The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
- Easy by Tammara Webber
- Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
- Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
- Speechless by Hannah Harrington
- Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Slumber by Samantha Young
- Nekhet by David Mayer
- Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
- Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs
Best Fantasy:
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
- Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
- The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
- Slumber by Samantha Young
- My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
- Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs
Best Contemporary:
- Easy by Tammara Webber
- Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
- When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
- Speechless by Hannah Harrington
- Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
- If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
- Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
- Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
- The Accidental Movie Star by Emily Evans
Best Paranormal:
- Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- Until I Die by Amy Plum
- Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
- Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Auracle by Gina Rosati
- Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
- Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
- The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
- Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
- Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper
- Taste by Kate Evangelista
- Silence by Michelle Sagara
Best Dystopia:
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
- A Million Suns by Beth Revis
- Article 5 by Kristen Simmons 
- The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
- For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
- Partials by Dan Wells
Best Indie:
- Program 13 by Nicole Sobon
- Nekhet by David Mayer
- Frey by Melissa Wright
- Falling by Jolene Perry
- The Phantom King by Heather Killough-Walden
- The Wild Ones by M. Leighton
- Dark Inheritance: Fallen Empire by K. Reed
Unlikely Allies by Tiffany King
- Lengths by Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt
- Piercing the Fold by Venessa Kimball
- What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn
Best Debut:
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
- The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
- Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
- Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
- Auracle by Gina Rosati
- Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
- Speechless by Hannah Harrington
- Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Best Sequel:
- A Million Suns by Beth Revis
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Nekhet by David Mayer
- Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
- Until I Die by Amy Plum
- The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
- Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
Books I Will Read, but Did Not Have the Time:
- Defiance by C.J. Redwine
- The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
- Slammed by Colleen Hoover
- Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
- So Close to You by Rachel Carter
- Touched by Corrine Jackson
- Venom by Fiona Paul
- Velveteen by Daniel Marks
- Hereafter by Tara Hudson
- Arise by Tara Hudson
- Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini 
- Beta by Rachel Cohn
- The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen
(there are sooo many more for this category)
Books That I Did Not Particularly Like:
- Everneath by Brodi Ashton
- Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
- Insatiable by Meg Cabot
- Underworld by Meg Cabot
- Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
- Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
- Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
- Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein
- Born Wicked by Jessica Spotwood
- Gilt by Katherine Longshore
- Changeling by Philippa Gregory
Stats and Facts for 2012:
- I have used Webs for six years (the website part)
- I used the blog part of Webs for exactly ten days (Dec. 18th to Dec. 28th)
- I created this blog on December 29, 2012
- I have been around the book blogging community for a little more than a year (early December 2011 was when I first discovered this part of the blogosphere!)
- I currently have 4 GFC followers, 3 email followers, and 9 Linky followers
- The first book that I read in 2012 was Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The last book I will read in 2012 was Fire Dance by Delle Jacobs
- I have read a total of 117 books for the year of 2012
- My goal was 100 books, which I completed and surpassed (I wanted to reach 120, but I am just going to finish with 117 and call it a year)
- My goal for 2013 is most likely going to be 150 books :)
I know, I know. I am AMAZING at narrowing things down. But that's the beauty of having a hobby that is reading: you do not have to choose just one, or two, or ten.

So, how was your 2012 in reading?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Book Two of the Across the Universe Trilogy
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Source: won a giveaway HERE

I won a signed copy of book from author C.J. Redwine's blog shortly after its release in early 2012, which was very exciting for me, because I thoroughly enjoyed Across the Universe. I was apprehensive, because of my high expectations, as well as because of the mysterious sophomore slump, in which sequels do not live up to their smashing starting novel. I have to say (and you can tell by my rating), A Million Suns exceeded my expectations and beyond - if I could give it more stars, I would.

Summary (because Amazon):


It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed.

But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision--no more Phydus, no more lies.

When Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy must race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success--or failure--will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers who remain aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and love between them more impossible to fight.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: THEY HAVE TO GET OFF THIS SHIP.

What I Liked: 

First, it just gets more and more twisted as it goes! Ms. Revis knows how to spin a plot around and around to keep readers guessing! I do not want to mention specifics, but seriously, this book just kept getting better and better. 

And for those of you that, like me, liked the small hints of romance in Across the Universe, and wanted to see more, you will. Amy and Elder do not do anything irresponsible (just saying), but their relationship changes dramatically, as Elder assumes the role of Eldest. 

A fair warning: there is so much death in this book! Ms. Revis has no mercy! I am almost terrified to read Shades of Earth! But at the same time, I am so excited. The ending of A Million Suns was crazy! Trust me when I say, this book did NOT undergo the sophomore slump. Ms. Revis has created a masterpiece of a sequel.

What I Did Not Like: 

Like I said in my review of Across the Universe, not much was there that I did not like. I was glad to see the alternating points of view still consistent throughout the novel. There is still no love triangle (YAY!). And the science part of science makes sense. 

I guess a complaint I have is that I now own the pretty, shiny hardcover books of Across the Universe and A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth is that drab green. I hate it when publishers change the covers on readers, especially when there is only one book left in the series! And the paperback versions of Across the Universe and A Million Suns, with the ice blue and glowing yellow covers, respectively, are smaller than the original hardcovers, in terms of size of the actual book (not word or page count). That bothers me, because Shades of Earth will most likely be smaller as well. Which sucks, but I love this series, so I can deal with it.

Would I Recommend It: 

Yes, yes, yes! It is so worth your time and money to continue this series, especially if you are a crazy science fiction fan like me, and if you are rooting for Amy and Elder as a couple, and as two people trying to find harmony in their small world.


5 stars (and more if I could give it more!)

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Book One of the Across the Universe trilogy
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Gift 

I actually read Across the Universe in early 2011, just a couple of months after it came out. It instantly became one of my favorite books at the time, and by the end of 2011, my favorite book of the year. It is still one of my favorite books of all time. I love science fiction so much, and Beth Revis is a master at weaving science fiction and a genius plot together.

Summary (from Amazon):


Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends--and planet--behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.

Someone tried to murder her.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest's rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship's cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

What I Liked: 

Better yet - what did I NOT like?! This book was so, so good on so many different levels. For one, it is plot-driven, which I find rarely well done in Young Adult literature these days. Too much emphasis is now put on the main character (usually a female) and her love interests.

This book has a light sprinkle of romance, and NO LOVE TRIANGLE (want me to put that on blast? Because it is one of the things I absolutely LOVE about this book). I hate love triangles in books, and for this book not to have a long triangle was amazing.

I also loved the alternating points of view throughout the story. We get to read Amy's point of view, and then Elder's point of view. I like Elder's point of view more, but only because he has such an interesting way of thinking.

As I already said, I love the science fiction of this book. The genetic engineering, cryogenics, physics, astronomy... this book is so up my alley. It was the first good Young Adult book that dealt with space that I actually found very interesting and not boring. And did I mention that there is no love triangle? And light romance? No overkill or insta-love? And the world-building? And the TWISTS?! I have already read the second book, so I am not going to say anything else

What I Did Not Like: 

Really, there's not much. I feel like I am a harsh critic with books, but this I found little fault with this book. Perhaps some people may find it slow-paced, but I thought that the slow pace was necessary in order to get a feel of Ms. Revis's fabulous world-building.

Would I Recommend It: 

YES! Buy it right now. Or, do like me, and borrow it from the library first, fall in love with it, and ask for it for your birthday. It is so worth it.


5 stars. One of my favorite books of all time.

Author Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Promo Event and GIVEAWAY - I Choose You by Bethany Lopez!

Hi everyone! Today I have for you an excerpt and giveaway for Bethany Lopez's new book, I Choose You, thanks to Bethany Lopez and AToMR tours! Scroll down to read the excerpt, and enter the giveaway for an ebook copy of I Choose You (open internationally)!
I Choose You (Friends & Lovers, #2)

I Choose You
Book Two of the Friends & Lovers Trilogy
Author: Bethany Lopez
Publication Date: December 27, 2012

Summary from Goodreads:

Up until now, Nicole's life has been mapped out for her. She'd go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister's wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?


They hit the trail hard. Nicole used the time to clear her head and to reflect on what Kent had told her about his childhood. 

They’d led very different lives, and Nicole couldn’t imagine the obstacles he’d dealt with growing up, but she was very impressed with the man he was today.

Kent made sure they did some cool down stretches before getting back in the car.

He’d worried briefly that Nicole would look at him differently when he’d told her a little about his upbringing, but he was happy that he had. He wasn’t ready to tell her everything yet, but he was comfortable with what he’d told her.

He drove her back to her apartment and walked her to the door.

“Do you want to come in?” Nicole asked him, her face was flush from exertion and glistened prettily.

Kent felt a strong urge to gather her in his arms and take her to her room, kissing and stroking her gloriously toned body along the way. He imagined carrying her into the shower and lathering her up.

He shook his head, trying in vain to calm his raging hormones. He felt like a teenager again: unbearably horny and unable to find release. Well… At least not the way he wanted to.

“Um, no,” He replied gruffly. “I’d better not. You have to get ready for work and I have some stuff to do at my house. I’ll give you a call later.”

He leaned down and gave her a kiss on the forehead, then turned and jogged down the stairs, leaving her there staring off after him, the confusion she felt apparent on her face.

About the Author:

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now!, xoxoxo, and Ciao are available now. Bethany is currently working on a Contemporary Fantasy YA and a Contemporary New Adult Trilogy.


Bethany is giving away (1) eBook copy of I Choose You, open Internationally! Winner must respond to the email within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacking the Shelves (#1)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, December 23rd to Saturday, December 29th?
In the mail:

Bookmarks and various swag from Ada Adams

For Christmas!

For Christmas, I also got two Barnes and Noble gift cards, a pre-order of Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, and a mystery book-ish surprise!

New to Blogger!


I've contemplated creating a blog for a very long time. I have been a reader for so many years, but last year (2011) was the first year I'd ever been a part of the blogging community (without, of course, being an actual blogger. This website has been my central medium of "blogging").

December 10, 2011 was the day that I won my first giveaway - from Rae Carson (HERE, if anyone is interested). It has been over a year since that day, and I've thought about it: I have been a reader of blogs, follower of blogs, follower of blog tours, participant and recipient of giveaways. I've talked to numerous authors and bloggers, and have even started beta reading for an amazing Indie author. I've been writing reviews (next year, it'll be more frequent I hope!) and reading pretty regularly. So, I want to start my own blog.

I tried out Webs - since that was where my old website was from. It sooo did not work out. I lasted TEN days on their version of a blog, and then gave up. So here I am now.

Please note - I am not blogging to get ARCs from publishers. I'm not doing it for page counts, stats, the most reviews, the most followers, etc. I'm blogging because I like to read, and I want to post my reviews in another place besides Goodreads and Amazon. That being said, don't expect massive giveaways and follower celebrations, and that sort of thing. Blog tours, reviews, author guest posts, and so on, I will do. But I'm not marketing my blog. Stick with me if you want. I will always post reviews that are MY words, and my understanding of the book. If I do participate in blog tours, or host my own giveaways, I will always pick winners in a timely fashion, and do my best with communication. There will be non-book-related shenanigans (you are warned).