Saturday, December 31, 2011

Randomness: End of the Year Survey/Books read in 2011

The end of year book survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
Too many to choose! Look at my top ten books of 2011 post. 

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- I heard so many good things about this one, I thought for sure I'd love it too. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Delirium & Divergent- All my friends are dystopian lovers like me ;)

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick- (I'm not counting any books where only the first one is out so far, otherwise this list would be huge!) 

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Katie Kacvinsky, Lauren Oliver, Becca Fitzpatrick, Lisa & Laura Roecker, Tahereh Mafi

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Shiver by Maffie Stiefvater- Besides Twilight I had no interest in werewolves at all. 
I wouldn't have ever touched these books on my own, but after getting a recommendation
from a friend I had to give them a try. 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2011?
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Ooo, this is a hard one. I think I'd have to say Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Chasing Brooklyn & Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Reaching for Sun by Tracie Van Zimmer -Warmed my heart and made me smile
Just one Wish by Janette Rallison- Made me bawl my eyes out, and die laughing. 
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick- Made me so frustrated I thought I would blow a gasket!

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

15. Favorite passage/ Quote from a book you read in 2011?

"Hope is a pocket of possibility. I'm holding it in my hand."

"Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too."

“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end."

- All quotes from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

16. Book that you read in 2011 that would be most likely to reread in 2012?
Delirium by Lauren Oliver & Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

17. Book that had a scene it it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
The shocking/cliffhanger endings of so many of these new series! (Delirium, Possession, Mara Dyer, Eve)

And the final count is...
I tallied up this afternoon and the total number of books I read this year is 60. I know a lot of you guys read much more than that but with how demanding school was this semester I'm surprised I even read that many! My goal for 2012 is to read eighty =D Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Randomness: New Years Giveaway!

What better way to ring in the new year than with a book giveaway!?! Two books = Two winners. Enter below to win one of two books: Incarnate by Jodie Meadows or Num8ers by Rachel Ward. Both are advanced reader copies I picked up at a local book sale. Num8ers came out back in 2010 but Incarnate isn't due out until January 31st of 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review: As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

Title: As I Wake
Author: Elizabeth Scott
# Of Pages: 269
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: September 15, 2011
Level: Young Adult 
Rating: 1 Heart



Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

My Verdict

I couldn’t wait to finish this book! I knew things were gonna be bad when the first few chapters were nothing more than the main character, Ava saying Who Am I? Where Am I? over and over, and over, AND over. The one thing this book had going for it was the mystery, the only reason I kept on reading. I forced myself through it in hopes of gaining some answers, answers that unfortunately, never came.

Ava wakes up in a bed, in a house, she doesn’t remember. The doctors say she has amnesia but Ava doesn’t believe them. That’s because she remembers her life, just not this one.  She remembers the people around her, they just aren’t the same versions of them that she remembers. This book was way more Sci Fi than I was expecting considering it wasn’t labeled Sci Fi at all. It has to do with alternate universes and people traveling from one to another. This aspect is never really explained and just leaves you confused and wondering.

Even though Ava remembers some things from her other life, she doesn’t remember much else. This leaves for a very simple and boring thought cycle/dialogue that makes it impossible to get to know Ava on a deeper level and actually connect with her at all. All the characters were this way: simple, boring. Her three friends, Sophie, Greer, and Olivia were so bizarre, I couldn’t really understand why any of them were even friends. All their conversations were stupid and pointless, I couldn’t stand the parts they were in and constantly wondered why Ava even stayed friends with them since she didn’t like them much herself.

The relationship between Ava and Morgan is one we learn about mostly through memories. The whole thing is awkward and vague. For a love that is so strong it transcends universes and memory loss I just wasn’t seeing it, or feeling it. 

All I can think of is all the other books I could have read instead of this one. I wish I had. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
# Of Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



Nora Grey is responsible and smart and not inclined to be reckless. Her first mistake was falling for Patch. .

Patch has made countless mistakes and has a past that could be called anything but harmless. The best thing he ever did was fall for Nora. .

After getting paired together in biology, all Nora wants to do is stay away from Patch, but he always seems to be two steps ahead of her. She can feel his eyes on her even when he is nowhere around. She feels him nearby even when she is alone in her bedroom. And when her attraction can be denied no longer, she learns the secret about who Patch is and what led him to her, as well as the dark path he is about to lead her down. Despite all the questions she has about his past, in the end, there may be only one question they can ask each other: How far are you willing to fall?

My Verdict

Even after all the good things I heard about this series I was still hesitant to read them. The first paranormal YA book I read about angels on earth was a complete disaster and has made me steer clear of the subject ever since. But yesterday, when I was browsing the bookstore looking for books to buy with my Christmas gift certificate, I finally caved and bought a copy of Hush, Hush. This book was nothing like I imagined it to be, it was SO much better! 

I have not moved from my seat on the couch since I started this book. I’ve been reading for over seven hours; I’m stiff, and I feel like a useless bump on a log but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Most books of this length usually start off slow and take awhile to suck you in. This book however, never stopped surprising me. There were so many twists, turns, and surprises along the way that there was never a dull moment.

The story starts off when Nora’s biology teacher decides to switch the seating chart over half-way through the semester, separating Nora and her best friend, Vee. Nora’s new lab partner? Patch. The mysterious transfer student with an even more mysterious past. It takes him all of about two seconds to drive Nora crazy. He drives her insane, but at the same time she can’t help herself from being attracted to him. And so goes the relationship of Patch and Nora.

I liked every single character in this book from main to secondary. They were all so well developed and three dimensional, it was impossible not to connect with them on some level. I have to say it took me awhile to like Patch, he’s so cocky and sure of himself, which really turned me off, but as the story progressed he slowly began to grow on me.

As soon as I put the book down I was on the computer looking up the second one, Crescendo, and trying to figure out the fastest way to get my hands on a copy. Since the library’s only copy is already checked out, I foresee a trip to the bookstore in my near future. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blog Segment: Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly segment hosted by the girls over at 

Today's topic is: The Top Ten Books I've Read in 2011

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Tahereh's writing style is both unique & beautiful! CANNOT wait to read more from this promising new author!

3. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
 This book didn't get nearly enough exposure as it should have for how incredible it is! Amazing dystopian. Amazing world building.

4. Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Another under-exposed dystopian that was awesome!

5. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder 
Buckle up and get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride.

6. Possession by Elana Johnson
I have never been more happily confused in my life. 

7. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
I can't believe it took a movie to make me finally read this book. 

8. Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
Lisa Schroeder. Need I say more?

9. Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
Lighthearted, funny, sad, and heartwarming. This book has it all. 

10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Great characters, killer ending. 

Book Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Title: Hereafter
Author:  Tara Hudson
# Of Pages: 416
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Level: Young Adult
Rating: 3 Hearts



Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life- or her actual death- she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world… forever.

My Verdict

I can’t really decide how I feel about this book. Did I enjoy it? For the most part, yes. Did I like the characters? Yes. Did I like the plotline? Yup. So why do I have so much hesitation? I don’t know. I just felt like something was missing but I can’t put my finger on it.

This was a traditional good versus evil story with a few twists and turns along the way. Josh and Amelia were both good characters. Amelia is a lost soul who’s been wandering in nonexistence for years, until she meets Josh. She doesn’t remember anything about her life before death and she doesn’t want to. (She does, she’s just scared of what she’ll find). One of the things I really liked about Amelia was that she wouldn’t let anyone else tell her who she was supposed to be. When Josh’s grandma says that she is evil or when Eli tells her that she is fated to become his apprentice and help him drag souls into the underworld Amelia doesn’t listen. She knows deep down that she is not evil like everyone else says she is. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone and she fights till the end to prove that she is different than they say she is. That she is good.

Josh is the only one who can see Amelia (besides his spirit-fighting grandma). Josh would try to ignore Amelia while they were in public, whisper to her or write her notes. But he slipped up a lot. So when he would talk to Amelia at school or kiss her in the middle of the park I couldn’t help but think about the fact that he must have looked insane to anyone normal, but Josh never seemed to think about that.

If you like the whole love at first sight thing you’ll like Amelia and Josh’s relationship. It develops almost instantaneously and progresses at the speed of light. This is a huge downfall in my eyes. I find relationships like this one to be shallow and unbelievable. I like it when an author really takes the time to slowly develop a relationship.

I knew this book was paranormal so I wasn’t really expecting a mystery as well but that it is. Amelia doesn’t remember who she is or even how she died. Did she jump of High Bridge, or did she fall? We slowly find out the answers to these questions along with Amelia. This was probably one of my favorite aspects of the book.

I’m not sure if there is going to be a sequel to this or not. I think I’ve heard rumors of one. I also don’t know if I would bother reading it. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Breathtaking Book Cover: Extraordinary

Todays Breathtaking Bookcover is...

 Nancy Werlin

Click Here To Learn More About This Book =)

I've seen that this is not the final cover for the book. It seems they decided to go with the trending theme of a girls face instead of this beautiful and intriguing image.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Randomness: Merry Christmas!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with those they love! 
I just wanted to post quickly and share with you my favorite Christmas story of all. 

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. 
     So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
     And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'
     Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom
his favor rests.'
     When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this things that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'
     So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 
     The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

-Luke 2, Verses 1-20

Did anyone get any books today? 
I didn't get any books, but I did get a gift certificate to my local bookstore
that I can't wait to spend =)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Randomness: Update

Hey everyone!
I'm sorry for the lack of posts these last few weeks, you're probably wondering where I've dissapeared to.  I'm sad to say that my grandfather passed away this past week so life has been hard. As if that weren't enough, finals were the same week.

Hopefully after Christmas I'll be back to posting regularly. I'm especially sorry to those of you who entered the Mary Higgins-Clark contest! You've probably been waiting to hear who won. Better late than never right?

Congratulations Coleen!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Giveaway!

So last week I had the chance to meet best selling author Mary Higgins Clark! She was so sweet and really took time with each person in line, talking to them about one thing or another. One of the books I had her sign was her Christmas book "Deck the Halls," which she informed me is going to be a TNT movie this month. She was nice enough to sign three of my books two for Christmas presents and one for you guys!

Book Review: The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere

Title: The Christmas Shoes
Author: Donna VanLiere
# Of Pages: 144
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 26, 2044
Level: Adult
Rating: 5 Hearts



Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they're gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe....

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight-year-old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Even brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.

My Verdict

So technically this is an adult book, but there is nothing in it that makes it unsuitable for a younger audience, the only difference is that the main characters are not teenagers.

As my mom called it, this was a 52-handkerchief book. I had to keep putting the book down to go grab a tissue, that is until about my fifth time up when I finally just grabbed the box. Although this story is a tearjerker, it is also very uplifting, and heart warming at the same time.

The story is centered around two different families. Robert, his wife, two daughters, and mother and also eight year-old Nathan, his mother, father, sister, and grandmother. It might sound like a lot to follow but its not. The book is constantly jumping from family to family, and changing perspective, which did get confusing a couple of times where I wouldn’t know who was talking at first, but if I just read a few more sentences I could always figure it out.

This is book one in author Donna VanLieres’ Christmas Hope Series and I look forward to reading the rest! I already have a copy of The Christmas Promise, which I’ve already started. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Randomness: And the Winner Is...

3 people blogged about it...
26 people tweeted about it...
13 people commented on reviews... 
and 42 people became followers!

My first ever book giveaway wrapped up last night with a whopping total of 116 entries!!! Wahooo! THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who participated!!! =) Stay tuned I'll be posting my next giveaway sometime this week(end).

Congratulations Kelly!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Randomness: Christmas Books

I love reading Christmas books! There just so charming. I want nothing more than to settle down in front of the wood stove on a blustery December day and read a good Christmas book. Last year I started reading Christmas books at the beginning of November and I read a total of 9 books. These are all the ones I read last year:

I enjoyed every single one of these books! My favorite being Finding Noel. As you can see I got on a little Richard Paul Evans kick, I read every single Christmas book he had at the time. I absolutely LOVE his writing style! If you haven't read one of his books yet I suggest you give one a try. You won't be sorry! 

This year I'm getting a late start but I still hope to squeeze in a few before the holiday is over. Here are the ones on my to read list this season:

The Red Suit Diaries by Ed Butchart
The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
A Stranger for Christmas by Carol Lynn Pearson
Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

What's your favorite Christmas book?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review: Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Title: Restoring Harmony
Author: Joelle Anthony
# Of Pages: 320
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 13, 2010
Level: Young Adult
Rating:  5 Hearts


(From Barnes&

The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse- one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

My Verdict

This is an awesome book that dystopian lovers are sure to enjoy! I have yet to see any reviews or anything about this book on the blogs I frequent, which is a shame because it’s a great book that I really enjoyed. I’m excited to be writing this review and spreading the word about it! I did read this like 4 months ago so forgive me if things are a little vague.

Author Joelle Anthony did a really good job at creating and describing this world of 2041 so that it was realistic and believable. 

The characters were easily likable and easy to connect with. When Molly’s family is afraid that her grandmother has passed, they decide that she must travel to the US, find her grandfather and bring him to Canada. Did I mention that her grandfather is a doctor and her mother is pregnant with no doctor on the island to deliver the baby? This trip just became so much more important. Molly is afraid to go on this journey but she is the only one in her family who can, so she pushes down her fears and does what she has to for the good of her family. I really liked Molly, she was very likable, determined, and full of heart.

As for the handsome stranger, otherwise known as Spill, he is so very crush worthy! For most of the book you don’t know what Spill’s job is, but you get the feeling it’s not good. But despite being tangled up in a pretty nasty web, he proves himself to be trustworthy and a great friend to Molly and her grandparents.

As the story goes on you can tell that Molly and Spill are developing feelings for each other, but we are left waiting till the last few pages for a kiss. I really liked how their relationship slowly deepened over the story.

Unlike most dystopian novels that are chock full of danger and adventure, this one is more on the tame side. Don’t get me wrong; there is excitement and danger, just not as intense as some of the more popular books out there right now.

Overall, this book had a nicely developed future world, and a great set of characters that you truly care about. I would recommend it to any dystopian fans. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blog Segment: Wordlover Wednesday (Definition Revealed)

Only a couple people participated in guessing yesterdays wordlover word definition but they came up with some great guesses! Thanks for playing girls =) Now it's time to reveal the real definition of yesterdays word...

Taradiddle (tar-uh-DID-l)
Noun: 1. A pretty lie. 2. Pretentious nonsense.
Example: This investment is pure puffery and taradiddle.