August Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

2 books behind. I was actually caught up at one point but I’ve been writing SO much!

Books Read So Far: 

97

Total Books For August: 

19

Catching Jordan by Miranda Keanneally

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Re-Read)

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Re-Read)

With this Heart by RS Grey

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan (Re-Read)

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (Re-Read)

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (Re-Read)

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M Cameron

My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M Cameron

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Where I Belong by J Daniels

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read)

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

All of You by Christina Lee

Before You Break by Christina Lee

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October Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014:

150 Books

Am I On Track: 

No. 11 Books Behind

Books Read So Far: 

114

Total Books For October: 

8 (seriously what is WRONG with me)

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The Beginning of Everything 

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The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things (ARC)

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Unmade

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The Blood of Olympus 

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Eve

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Dream a Little Dream (ARC)

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The Jewel 

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Anomaly (ARC) 

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How was your October? Share in the comments!

Book Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Young Adult, thumb  Fantasy, and Paranormal

Pages: 

400

Part of a Series?:

The finale novel in the Lynburn Legacy

Release Date: 

September 23rd, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

My Review:

While this review will have no spoilers for Unmade, there will be spoilers for Unspoken and Untold. Click on the titles to read spoiler free reviews of those novels. 

I have been anxiously awaiting this release for over a year now, since the release of Untold last year. I absolutely adore this series and love Sarah and the characters in these books and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book.

I was so glad when I finally did.

Sarah Rees Brennan managed to do what I think a lot of people struggle to do with finale books: she created a fantastic ending that was both happy and sad at the same time, bittersweet. She wrapped up the story, had such a great ending but managed to create loss, to break my heart. The people that we lost in the book, I felt so much, especially since I was reading this late at night and I was already fairly emotional. She makes the sacrifices necessary. She kills off a particular character (minor spoiler but really did you expect people NOT to die?) and I just lost it. I couldn’t believe that she did it. I can see why, and it was a great point in the story but it killed me. She was able to make these sacrifices that seemed so genuine to the story and yet still just broke your heart in pieces.

What I’ve always loved about Sarah is her characters. All of her characters are unique and real, and beautiful. Kami, Jared, Ash, Ten, Tomo, Jon, Lillian, Holly, Angela, Rusty, they’re all fantastic and you fall madly in love with each and every one of them because they feel so real. What I love about this book is that each one of their stories continues. Obviously we are focused mainly on Kami, Jared and the Lynburns but everyone has an important story line. You don’t forget who anyone is and I think that’s beautiful, to care about each and every single character and where they end up.

What makes me happy about this book is that it takes everything from books one and two and comes together in a beautiful and unique ending. Sarah stands out in this crowd of paranormal YA, because her stories are unique, her characters fresh, and her dialogue engaging and hilarious. I want to turn the next page without realizing that I’ve gone through 100 pages in less than an hour…She’s an addicting author to read and I am so sad that this series is over and I honestly can’t wait until I see a new book by her on the shelves.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday Top Ten-Most Anticipated Fall Releases

Can I just say…every single time that I do a Tuesday Top Ten where I narrow down the books that I’m most excited for (insert season), check I have the hardest time doing it? I think the hardest thing is that I look up the list of YA books coming out in the next three months and I’m like “OHMYGOD, approved that’s coming out? Oh and that too? Ohmygod, I’m going to go so broke.”

That’s pretty much the conversation that occurs in my head. So naturally its hard for me to narrow it down to just ten books that I’m most excited about. I’m literally addicted to buying books. I can never stop reading.

But alas, I was able to do so, with one minor cheating moment, while I included an honorable mention. These eleven books are all hitting bookstores between now (some of them today!) and the month of November.

I recommend all of them, even the ones I haven’t read yet because I just know they are going to be fabulous and you all MUST add them to your to-be-read list.

Here we go!

Honorable Mention: Anomaly by Tonya Kuper

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What if the world isn’t what we think? What if reality is really only an illusion? What if you were one of the few who could control it?

Yeah, Josie Harper didn’t believe it, either, until strange things started happening. When this hot guy tried to kidnap her, shouting about ultimate observers and pushing and consortiums hell-bent on controlling the world… Well, that’s when things got real. Now Josie’s got it bad for a boy who weakens her every time he’s near and a world of enemies on her tail who want to control her gift, so yeah, she’s going to need more than just her wits if she hopes to survive much longer.

Einstein never saw this coming…

I met Tonya very very very briefly at the ALA conference back in July. I was in line for…Holly Black, I believe, and I passed by the Entangled booth and Tonya was just finishing up her signing. She was so sweet and obviously passionate about her debut novel that she immediately started pitching it to all of us in line. I loved that. As a girl who is working hard on her novel, and sending out queries, I could seriously appreciate that. I took some bookmarks and pens advertising her books and since then have become friends with her on FB and IG. I adore her and I am honestly SO SO SO excited for her debut novel. Entangled knows their way around good books so I have every faith that Tonya is just going to blow my mind!

Release Date: November 4th, 2014

10. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

The first time I read Unspoken, and then Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan, I was just blown away. These books are…dramatic and full of action and full of romance and they’re dark and sexy and funny and they’re everything I would have wanted in a book. I hadn’t been massively impressed with her before this but these books sold me on her. I’ll marry her, wine her, dine her, whatever, because she gave me this absolutely incredible series. I’m counting down the days to get my hands on this finale because I’m just DYING to find out what happens next!

Release Date: September 23rd, 2014

9. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

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This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Okay, I admit it. I’ve already read this. In fact, I read this in my hotel room in Vegas when I was there for the ALA conference where I picked up a copy of this novel. And I absolutely loved it. It was so beautifully written and the characters were so rich and the magical element was so dark and unexpected and I just loved it. She blew me away with it. I was about halfway done with it and I went up to her at ALA and was like, “I can’t wait to get back to my hotel to finish it!” So now I’m excited to get my hands on an actual copy of the novel, and to see her again on Thursday to tell her how much I absolutely adored it and can’t wait for the next one!

Release Date: Today!

8. Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

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The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Another novel that I’ve already read :) I tracked down (read: stalked) Gretchen at WonderCon because she said she had an ARC of this with her and she’d give it to the first person who found her. Which happened to be me. Because I kind of stalked her. But I was SO excited about this book. The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars? Gretchen kept saying how much John Hughes, and his movies and the music from said movies influenced the book and I just had to read it. And I loved it so much. SO wicked. I can’t wait to get my hands on a real copy of this baby!

Release Date: September 16th, 2014

7. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis 

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The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

I had wanted to read the first novel of this series so badly for so long but for some reason, just could never convince myself to pick it up at the bookstore. Finally, I received as a gift and on the day it arrived in the mail…I finished it. I was blown away by Mindy’s story and the gritty survival aspect of it and all the love that it encompassed, which surprised me. There was romantic love and familial love and the discovery of both and I just loved it. This novel is more a companion than a sequel though I do recommend reading the first book before this, and I’m just dying to read it. I’ve downloaded the eARC, which I got through edelweiss, but I’ve been kind of not feeling the Nook lately so I can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy!

Release Date: September 23rd, 2014

6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt

That is the longest synopsis EVER. Ohmygod. Sorry about that. Oh well. It gives you quite a nice idea on what the book is going to be about, which I can say with the highest authority is ABSOLUTELY brilliant. Marie Lu  blew my mind when I picked up Legend about two years ago and she’s doing it again with this book. Absolutely incredible. I got my hands on an ARC at ALA, the last one, and I was so giddy and excited that as soon as I finished Trial by Fire, I immediately started this one and finished it just as quickly. Its so much darker than Legend and I love how its in this completely fictional world and it really does feel like a mix of Assassin’s Creed and XMen, in the best way possible.

Release Date: October 7th, 2014

5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I feel terrible because I’ve had this ARC since July and this released today and I have NOT read it yet. I’ve started it multiple times but I’m just kind of addicted to contemporary novels right now so its been an ordeal. That being said though, I’m excited for this because I NEED to know what happens next and I hope my desire for fantasy kicks in VERY soon. I’ll be seeing Sarah on the 13th and I want to be able to talk about the book with her! Its HUGE and daunting and I saw it at the bookstore last night (oooh, out a day early…) and I just was blown away at how large it is. I’ve got my ARC and I’ll have my hands on a physical copy VERY soon and I’ll be ready to dive in!

Release Date: Today!

4. The Sorcerer Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

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The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find away to clear their names as the prime suspects in aseries of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

AGH. I literally can’t HANDLE how excited I am for this book. I’ve searched all over for ARCs and eARCS and its been impossible and its truly bumming me out that I’ll have to wait until NEXT MONTH to read this book. Cinda Chima has a handle on this fantasy thing and as soon as I read The Demon King about two years ago, I was completely sold on her as one of my favorite authors. The Enchanter Heir was absolutely incredible and left me basically panting for this one so I’m glad its finally getting closer to releasing! I believe that the Heir Chronicles is finally coming to a close with this novel so I’m excited to see how it all wraps together. And then I will go into a despair because I’m not sure when her next book will be released!

Release Date: October 21st, 2014

3. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

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How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

People ask all the time who influenced me for The Awakened. Now the list is really long because I’m inspired by SO many authors and people but a huge influence on the story, the way it was written and that sort of thing, comes from this book right here. I had heard about it and finally picked it up. It took a bit to get into because it starts off a bit slow but once I was hooked, I was just so addicted. He writes incredibly real science fiction stories with such human characters and I just love it. I’m literally DYING to read the next book, and my search for an ARC has proved quite fruitless! But its coming out soon so I’m just waiting anxiously for it!

Release Date: September 16th 2014

2. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

My excitement for this book has tripled into interstellar lengths because he’ll be heading to California to promote this book which means I can meet him for the first time ever, which means I’m basically dying of excitement. Its the end…FOREVER. No more Percy after this. Its done, over, completed. This is the culmination of years, the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus and its huge and daunting and I don’t know whats going to happen or who is going to survive or who is going to live or what ships will sail or sink and its driving me mad! I need to know what happens next! I’m nervous and anxious and both ready and not for the end! Its going to be interesting. 

Release Date: October 7th 2014

1. 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

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Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

I can say with complete authority that this book absolutely blew my mind. Absolutely. Blew. My. Mind. I got my hands on an ARC of this ages ago, and was super excited to get my hands on a physical ARC at ALA so that I could reread it before it came out. If you’ve read a book by Andrew before, you know what to expect. If you haven’t, then pick this one up, read it and then come back to me so I can tell you all the other books to read. This book has come out today so its hardly anticipated because you can literally go out to a bookstore at this very moment and pick it up but its number one because its just absolutely brilliant and you need to go out right now at this very moment and pick it up. If there’s one book you buy this fall, make it this one.

Release Date: Today!

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What books are you looking forward to this fall? Share them in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten: Best Books I Discovered at a Book Event

Often times, tadalafil I’ll go to events to see an author or two, but I’ll end up discovering new ones. Sometimes I go to an event not having read any books by the authors on the list and I end up discovering a whole group of amazing authors to dive into. I think that’s what beautiful about book events. You always leave with a sudden urgency to dive into these new books.

So that’s what this week’s top 10 is all about. Its all about the books that came into my life because of book events. WIthout book events, I may not have ever read them but I am so glad that I met these authors and I could jump into these awesome books! Check out the top ten books I’ve read that I discovered at a book event :)

Yes, I know there are 12. It was SO hard to narrow it down haha.

12. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

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Aaron Hartzler was an author I first encountered at the LA Times Festival of Books this year, and then a week later at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest. He was funny and charming and his book sounded SO good. I’ve never been much into memoirs and non-fiction books but I felt like I had to give this a chance because I just loved Aaron so much. It tells the story of Aaron’s life growing up, and how he is raised in a very conservative family and what that was like, and that sort of thing. It reads like a novel and its just so honest and beautiful and funny, and I love every bit of it.

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11. Noggin by John Corey Whaley  

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The first time I saw John Corey Whaley was at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April. I had heard of him, vaguely before, and had purchased his debut novel for his appearance at Ontario Teen Book Fest but I hadn’t really heard of him. After attending a panel with him, Andrew Smith, Rainbow Rowell, Aaron Hartzler and E. Lockhart and I knew immediately I had to read Noggin. I just read it recently and its SO good, and I’m so glad I read it. Its about a boy who has his head cryogenically frozen because he’s dying of cancer, and he’s woken up just five years later, in a world where he’s famous but his best friend and girlfriend have moved on from him. Its awesome, and I don’t know that I would have read it had I not seen him at FoB and TBF.

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10. Also Known As by Robin Benway 

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The first time I came into contact with Robin Benway was at the LA Times Festival of Books last year, 2013. She was in a panel with Sarah Dessen (!!), Morgan Matson (!!!!!), and Gayle Forman (!!). I had Gayle Forman’s books in my TBR pile so the new author to me was Robin and I loved her. She was so encouraging and she really believed in pushing yourself and not giving up and I knew that I had to read her. She was just so inspiring. I read Also Known As last year, I can’t remember when, and I adore it. Its so fun and light and adventurous and it has a cute boy and kissing and its awesome. I love Robin too, she’s SO sweet :) I ran into her at Disneyland once, which was kind of creepy because I knew she was there (Twitter!) and had been looking for her. Total creeper status! But its okay, because we laugh about it now. And she’s just awesome and I can’t wait for her next book!

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9. Parallel by Lauren Miller 

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Okay, this is KIND of cheating. A little. I was sent Free to Fall in the mail by a publicist friend of mine and had been about halfway through it before I met Lauren Miller at the Ontario Teen Book Fest. I immediately went home and needed to finish it because she was SO fun, and smart, and I had a good time meeting her. Then I saw her about a week ago at a Girls Gone Sci-Fi event and knew that I had to get Parallel. So technically I was brought to this book, and to my love of Lauren Miller, through a signing. I finished this book about a week ago and it blew my mind. I started it with the intention of finishing it the next day. Instead, I stayed up all night to read. Lauren writes a beautiful love story, wrapped up into this intricate and heart pounding sci-fi phenomenon of parallel worlds. Its brilliant.

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8. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

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THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND. Seriously. Its been almost a year since I read it and I still just get tongue tied just thinking about it. Its just SO good. I discovered Jennifer Bosworth at the Ontario TBF last year, in 2013, and she talked about her life in a small town, and how she grew up in a religious family and how she sort of turned away from that, and it just resonated in me a lot. Then I read this book, and I was just floored. It makes you think so much, and she’s not afraid to write something that probably makes a lot of people’s jaws drop. It was beautiful and I’m so glad that I found this through that event. I only wish to write something as thought provoking as this.

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I discovered Carrie Arcos there too, but sadly I haven’t read her books yet. They are both in my TBR pile haha!

7. A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

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I had no idea who Catherine Linka was or of this book at all until I was looking at the author lists for Pasadena Teen Book Fest and Ontario Teen Book Fest. Since she was an attendee at both, I knew that I had to check her out, and I realized that this book had yet to be released…and then I got my hands on an e-galley! Yay! And I love it. It takes place in Los Angeles (wee!) and its about a world where the female population is controlled almost entirely due to the fact that majority died because of something wrong in the beef supply. Its sort of futuristic but Catherine Linka raises a lot of attention toward the fact that women are constantly being controlled, our choices, our freedoms, our bodies, etc. Its a great book and I was glad to hear a sequel is coming! I can’t wait to read more! Plus, she’s the sweetest lady :)

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6. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis 

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I literally read this yesterday. YESTERDAY. I’m currently reading the sequel, which I found as an e-galley on edelweiss, yes, yes, yes. Sadly I do not have a picture with her, nor a signature because I just didnt’ realize it at the time. I’ve met Mindy once, at a signing in Las Vegas, when I basically dragged my dad, brother and boyfriend out there so I could meet Rae Carson. Because I’m awesome that way. But anyway, one of the authors that was there was Mindy and I’ve been thinking of this book ever since. I wish I had the money at the time to buy this book but its remained on my radar ever since. I received it as a gift this week and immediately dove into it. Its SO good, and I have so much inspiration from it to make the survival bits of The Awakened better. This book is all about survival and I think its brilliant. I hope I can meet her again one day, to get this book signed because I just loved it.

5. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott 

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Okay, this is SO cheating. But kind of not. I said book event and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I had to meet them in person. Jessica Brody was having an online chat thing for the release of Unforgotten, the second book of the Unremembered trilogy, and she had Victoria Scott with her, whose new book, Fire and Flood was releasing as well. I adore Jessica and I really loved Victoria after that. She was funny, and fresh and she made her book sound like so much fun. I also won a small swag prize pack, that included a signed bookmark, so I knew I had to get this book. When it released just a few days later, I picked up immediately and went home and read it, and was SO glad I did. I think its brilliant and I’ve been literally dying since February to have the sequel. Any day now, Victoria, I’m ready for it ;)

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 

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Another person I sadly do not have a picture with, even though I technically met her. Last year, when I met and interviewed Cassandra Clare, just after Clockwork Princess had released, I also met Sarah and Maureen Johson, who were her tour buddies. I had read a bit of Maureen Johnson, so she wasn’t new to me but Sarah was. I added both Unspoken and the Demon’s Lexicon to my TBR. I am not a huge fan of the Demon’s Lexicon BUT Unspoken was just brilliant. Jared Lynburn is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. He’s beautiful and him and Jace Herondale should be best friends. For real. Sarah has this really fun main character, and she has diversity and her characters are real and I’m constantly laughing but also clutching the pages with fear. I keep trying to get my hands on a galley of the third book but no such luck…

3. Unremembered by Jessica Brody

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I had bought Unremembered and read about 30 pages when I met Jessica Brody for the first time. However, after meeting her, I knew I had to finish this book, and I did. I went home from WonderCon that day and literally finished the book that night. And now I’m a huge fan, and I kind of stalk her but I think we’re friends so that’s all good then, now isn’t it? But I think Unremembered is awesome, a sort of girl version of Jason Bourne, and following Sera on her crazy adventure is so fun. Watching her recite the most incredible knowledge and discover grilled cheeses for the first time and fall in love and all of it. I love it. Jessica was super funny, and I enjoyed meeting her that first time, and every time since. She said something about allowing yourself to write badly and I always remember it “Don’t be afraid to write crap; crap makes good fertilizer.” I try to remember that when I’m trying to write. She also told me, after I told her I was trying to be a writer, “Don’t try, just be one.” She’s awesome, basically, and I ADORE all her books, but especially this one.

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2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

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AGH! I love you, Leigh and your books and you BLOW my mind. I first encountered Leigh Bardugo at the Ontario Teen Book Fest in 2013, when she was on a panel with Marie Lu, Jessica Brody, Jennifer Bosworth and Morgan Matson. All amazing fantastic authors. It is still one of my favorite panels ever. But anyway, the moderator had said something along the lines of there being very little strong female characters in the past and Leigh immediately went “Uh, Alanna?”, like, duh! Alanna, for those of you who don’t know, is from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, which is brilliant, by the way. Any time someone mentions Tammy, I’m sold. I bought Shadow and Bone, and fell in love with her and her books. She writes epic fantasy, and its beautiful written and the characters are wonderful and the entire trilogy is just amazing, and without TBF, I don’t know if I would have ever picked it up.

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1. Winger by Andrew Smith 

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If you know me at all, even in the slightest, I’m sure you could have guessed at my number one answer to this. This is legitimately one of my favorite books ever, and I only read it just over a year ago. It crawled straight into my heart and stayed there, stuck. It blew my mind. I first came into contact, literally, ever, with Andrew at the Teen Book Fest in Ontario last year, 2013, and he made such a massive impression. He was funny and inspiring and I just knew that I needed to read his book. All the authors kept telling me that we needed to read Winger and I bought it almost immediately after the Fest, and just…it was just SO freakin’ good. I love it so much. I am SO glad that I met him at TBF because I have read so many other books by him since then and I just love everything he’s written. (I mean, Grasshopper Jungle…blew my mind! Craziest book ever). He also is such a great person that I’ve gotten to know, and he’s been so amazing, recommending me for different things, and that just makes me want to fangirl like crazy.

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Basically, the purpose of this post was this: discover new authors! buy new books! Get out there, and get to book events, even if you don’t know the authors because you never know when you’ll discover someone new, or discover a new favorite book. Its incredible and I’m grateful for the many events that I’m able to attend and all the authors I’ve discovered :)

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve picked up after meeting the author? Share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Books I Was Reluctant to Read But Am Glad I Did!

Well, troche that was a seriously fun title. I kept trying to make it shorter but nothing I did made it sound…right. This was the closest. It got the point across and that’s all that matters.

So do you ever go to a bookstore, pharmacy or read a blog or talk to some friends, buy and there is a book that they just won’t let go, and you just have no desire to read it. You’re reluctant and there’s several reasons you could be. You don’t like the cover. You don’t like the name. You don’t do “zombie books”. Its too popular.

Whatever the reason is, you’re just reluctant to pick up a copy and read it. But for another reason, you finally decide to. Maybe you found a super cheap copy somewhere or your friend just WON’T STOP BUGGING YOU ABOUT IT. And you know what, the book surprises you. And it becomes something that you like, or even a favorite of yours.

That happens to me a lot actually. I’m kind of a book snob. I make fun of my boyfriend all the time for being a movie snob but I’m totally a book snob, and I might even be worse than him. I judge books b y their covers and their names. I tend to stay clear of vampires and romances, fallen angels and ghosts.

So I have trouble a lot when people recommend books. I have to really hear good things about it, or be bugged enough about it to sit down and read it. And sometimes, I’m like, “Okay, well that was a waste of my time.” But more often than not, I’m actually pleasantly surprised.

Here is my top ten of those books.

10. The Lightning Thief 

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I know, right? I know! This is one of my absolute favorite series, along with its spin-off, The Heroes of Olympus. I mean, how could I ever be reluctant to read it. I don’t know if I thought it was going to be childish, or I don’t know. I just remember that it took forever for me to sit down and read them, and when I finally did, I remember speeding through all five books, plus the first two of HoO in like, a week and a half because I was just blown away. I know that it got a lot of Harry Potter comparisons in the beginning and that also could have been something that turned me off since there really can only be ONE Harry Potter but its more like, if you like HP, you’ll like PJ. And I definitely agree with that. I absolutely loved these books.

9. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

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I LOVE Jessica Brody and I seriously love everything she writes but I must admit I felt a little skeptical to read this book. The cover (both this and the hardback cover) turned me off a bit and I just wasn’t sure how to feel about it, and it sounded weird, and cliche-ish. But I decided to read it because I got it signed and its Jessica and I absolutely adore her. And I LOVE this book. Its exactly what I thought it was going to be and yet so much more. It surprised me with its realness and its humor and I loved the main character so much that even while she was driving me absolutely insane, I still totally wanted to be her best friend. And the whole 52 jobs in 52 weeks thing actually sounds like it would be fun, inspiring and life-changing.

8. Anna and the French Kiss

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I hated this title so much. I hate everything about it because it sounded like a fluffy, no substance YA romance novel and it proved me massively wrong. I definitely enjoyed this book immensely but I think the reason I am so glad that I got over my aversion to this book was that it led me to the “sequel”, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which I LOVE so much. I am so in love with Cricket and Lola is just an awesome character. I was pleasantly surprised with how much depth these books had, and that they were so much more than just a fluffy novel. Stephanie Perkins is an absolutely fantastic author and I was surprised and happy that I had read these books.

7. Between the Lines

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I purchased this for about 2 or 3 dollars on Kindle about four years ago. It kept popping up as a recommendation and I remember thinking: it looks super fluffy romance AND its self-published so what if it totally sucks. I eventually gave in because I think I had nothing else to read and it was super cheap and I’m so glad I did because she has become one of my absolute favorite authors and a dear friend of mine. This is a four book series and while it has the fun and sexiness of Hollywood (and I totally wish Reid Alexander was real so I could drool all over his washboard abs), there’s all this substance in there. There’s alcohol and drug use and charity work and neglect and abuse and teenage pregnancy and so much coming-of-age-ness. I absolutely love this series, and this author and I’m SO glad I took a chance with this.

6. Unbreakable

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The reason I was super reluctant to read this was because I was not a fan of Beautiful Creatures at all. While the premise of this book sounded really awesome, I just didn’t want to be disappointed after BC. I just wasn’t a fan of that book at all. Not my thing, I suppose. But I decided to give this one a chance, based on the recommendation of some fellow bloggers and, again, I’m so very glad that I did. I love this book. Its exactly what I wanted from it based on the description and I think Kami super rocked it. I loved all the myths and legends woven into the story and I love that its kind of like Supernatural, with two hot brothers but its told in the point of view of a girl, who I just know is going to be totally kickass as this series builds. I am counting down the days until book two.

5. Obsidian

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I hated the cover, I hated the stupid synopsis on the back. I hate when books don’t even have a real synopsis on the back. Its like “One Girl. One Guy. One Destiny. He’s an alien. She’s a book blogger. Kisses. What will happen next?” Okay, that was so made up right now but you know what I mean. It’s like, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS BOOK ABOUT? And the cover was just, ugh. It only caught my eye because the spine was all pretty and green. Then I met Megan and she convinced me to read it so I went back, bought it and decided to give it a try, and I read the next two super quickly. It’s not super substantial or life changing but its fun and sexy and I love it. Plus it also just introduced me to JLA and I adore her, and I’m massively in love with her Covenant series.

4. The Selection

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Again, the cover. I’m such a snob. I judge books by their cover and I was like, this one doesn’t look good in the slightest. But someone, I can’t remember who, told me to read it so I did and it really surprised me with the depth that it had. It had sort of a Bachelor meets Hunger Games meets Divergent sort of vibe. It was very dystopian but it also feels kind of like the Bachelor. I thought America was a well thought out character and that her struggle as a girl in the Selection was so real and raw and familiar. Even though I’ve never sat and competed for the hand of a prince with 20 other girls, I could understand her confusion and her constantly waging emotions. Its such a real book, and I can’t wait til the next one comes out, I’m just dying. Kiera Cass really impressed me and I want to meet her and tell her that.

3. The Hunger Games

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I KNOW. I know right? I can’t even…whatever. (If you missed that as a Mean Girls quote, you don’t deserve to read my blog…haha). I read the first two books in the series about two weeks before Mockingjay came out. Again, I’m kind of a snob and everyone was reading it and it was around the same time as the Twilight outbreak and I was just kind of over reading “trend” books, if you know what I mean. I was just so much “too cool” for that. HA! My sister kept bugging me to try it though so I picked up a copy at Barnes and Noble one night and the begged my sister to let me borrow her Catching Fire because the stores were closed and I needed it RIGHT NOW. I remember buying Mockingjay on my Kindle app so I could download it at midnight and start reading. I can’t believe I ever was like, I’m too cool for this because I don’t know what my life would be without this series.

2. Unspoken

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I adore Sarah! However, I had read her Demon’s Lexicon and just wasn’t that impressed. But I really liked her, I liked meeting her so I saw this book and was like, meh, I’ll add it to my TBR. I was interviewing some authors and I interviewed her and she was so sweet and so quick about it and I was so happy, and I was like, I have to read this book. I read this one and its sequel, Untold, in about two days because I LOVE this book. I love the main character, Kami, and all her sassiness and I’m madly in love with Jared Lynburn and his dark sexiness, and I just loved the story. I thought everything about it was so fresh and new, and the characters felt new and yet familiar and I was just so in love with this book. It just sort of reminded me that I shouldn’t give up on an author simply  because I may have disliked one book. Another book may completely surprise me.

1. Vampire Academy

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I don’t do vampire books. I don’t like this cover. I don’t like the title. The girl reminds me of Angelina Jolie and I’m not a fan of hers. There was so much about this that just turned me off. Every time I saw it in the bookstore, I just made a face and turned around. I seriously have to thank Jade and Stephanie for this, for beating me down and making me read it because now I have a VA tattoo. I mean, that’s how much I am so glad I gave these books a chance. I mean, they basically were like “Sara, shut up and read this book” and I did and I am just…I am so glad I did. The title and cover is still not my favorite at all, but I love these books. They don’t even feel like vampire books. They have so much darkness and romance and action and coming-of-age-ness (I keep saying that, I think I made that up) and I just love it all. I love Rose and Lissa and Christian and Dimitri and Adrian (ADRIAN!!!) and I just love it. I’m so massively glad I read these because now I have a molnija mark on my shoulder and its beautiful.

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What are some books that you were reluctant to read but you did and you ended up liking? Share in the comments!

December Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Did I Reach My Goal: Yes!

How Many Total Books Read: 203

Total Books For December: 20

Remember to click on the book title for the review. If there is no link, buy information pills there is no review. I got really lazy in reviewing toward the end of the month haha.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Re-Read)

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

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The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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My Life Next Door by Huntley FItzpatrick

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

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Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

This totally counts. My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas, pills because I’m obsessed with penguins and we’re in love, pharm duh! And he also got me this behind-the-scenes experience with penguins, so it all makes sense. And it counts

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson 

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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

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So that was 2013 folks! Stick with me in the new year, as I delve into even more books!

How did you do on your own GoodReads challenge? Share in the comments!