December 31, 2011

2011 Wrap up Best books and Challenge Info

Favorite Books Read in 2011
1) 13 Reasons Why- Jay Asher
2) The Help- Kathryn Stockett
3) Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson
4) Delirium- Lauren Oliver
5) Just Listen- Sarah Dessen
6) Matched- Ally Condie
7) Before I Fall- Lauren Kate
8) Practical Magic- Alice Hoffman
9) Across the Universe- Beth Revis
10) Going Bovine- Libba Bray
11) Between Shades of Gray- Ruta Sepetys
12) Fire- Kristin Cashore
13) The Dark and Hallow Places- Carrie Ryan
14) Bruiser- Neal Shusterman
15) The Maze Runner- James Dashner

Favorite Books of 2011
1) Delirium- Lauren Oliver
2) Across the Universe- Beth Revis
3) Between Shades of Gray- Ruta Sepetys
4) The Dark and Hallow Places- Carrie Ryan
5) What Happened to Goodbye- Sarah Dessen

I know I have been a bad blogger this year.  It has been a tough year personally, but things are looking up and I think 2012 is going to be fantastic!  I did not meet many of my challenge goals.  I only read 8 out of the 12 books for the Debut Author Challenge and I only read 73 books this year.  BUT I am going to dedicate more time to this blog and to reading more fantastic books.

Debut Author Challenge List (In order by favorite to least favorite)
1) Across the Universe- Beth Revis
2) Between Shades of Gray- Ruta Sepetys
3) Blood Red Road- Moira Young
4) Exposed- Kimberly Marcus
5) Where Things Come Back- John Corey Whaley
6) Here Lies Bridget- Paige Harbison
7) The Latte Rebellion- Sarah Jamila Stevenson
8) Blood Magic- Tessa Gratton

Books Read in 2011

  • 01) Little Bee- Chris Cleave
    02) Across the Universe- Beth Revis
    03) Matched- Ally Condie
    04) The Mockingbirds-Daisy Whitney
    05) Before I Fall- Lauren Oliver
    06) The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate- Jacqueline Kelly
    07) The Truth About Forever- Sarah Dessen
    08) Boy Meets Boy- David Levithan
    09) Eighth Grade Bites (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Book 1)- Heather Brewer
    10) Candor- Pam Bachorz
    11) The Iron Daughter- Julie Kagawa
    12) Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher
    13) XXXHolic, Volume 1- CLAMP
    14) The Family That Wasn't- Gene Twaronite
    15) Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicles Vol 1- CLAMP
    16) Glimmerglass- Jenna Black
    17) The Maze Runner- James Dasher
    18) Desires of the Dead- Kimberly Derting
    19) Purple Daze- Sherry Shahan
    20) Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson
    21) Carter Finally Gets It- Brent Crawford
    22) Here Lies Bridget- Paige Harbison
    23) The Curse of the Wendigo- Rick Yancey
    24) The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexandre Dumas
    25) Bloody Jack- L.A. Meyer
    26) Where Things Come Back- John Corey Whaley
    27) Delirium- Lauren Oliver
    28) The Latte Rebellion-Sarah Jamila Stevenson
    29) The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
    30) The Deathday Letter- Shaun Hutchinson
    31) The Summoning- Kelley Armstrong
    32) Glass- Ellen Hopkins
    33) The Awakening- Kelley Armstrong
    34) White Cat- Holly Black
    35) Blood Magic- Tessa Gratton
    36) Max Quick The Pocket and the Pendant- Mark Jeffrey
    37) The Playbook- Barney Stinson
    38) Everlost (Skinjacker Trilogy)- Neal Shusterman
    39) The Dark and Hallow Places- Carrie Ryan
    40) What Happened to Goodbye- Sarah Dessen
    41) The Scorch Trials- James Dashner
    42) Going Bovine- Libba Bray
    43) Fire-Kristin Cashore
    44) The Bro Code- Barney Stinson
    45) Fallen- Lauren Kate
    46) Beauty Queens- Libba Bray
    47) Bruiser- Neal Shusterman
    48) Demonglass- Rachel Hawkins
    49) The Help- Kathryn Stockett
    50) City of Fallen Angels- Cassandra Clare
    51) The Knife of Never Letting Go- Patrick Ness
    52) Monster High- Lisi Harrison
    53) Behemoth- Scott Westerfeld
    54) Just Listen- Sarah Dessen
    55) Star Girl- Jerry Spinelli
    56) Drink, Slay, Love- Sarah Beth Durst
    57) The Princess Diaries- Meg Cabot
    58) Swim the Fly- Don Calame
    59) Ship Breaker- Paolo Bacigalupi
    60) Forever- Maggie Stiefvater
    61) Blood Red Road- Moira Young
    62) Practial Magic- Alice Hoffman
    63) Sapphique- Catherine Fisher
    64) Uncommon Criminals- Ally Carter
    65) Goliath- Scott Westerfeld
    66) The Romeo and Juliet Code- Phoebe Stone
    67) Revolution- Jennifer Donnelly
    68) Glow- Amy Kathleen Ryan
    69) Packing for Mars- Mary Roach
    70) Numbers- Rachel Ward
    71) Wolfsbane- Andrea Cremer
    72) Darkover Landfall- Marion Zimmer Bradley
    73) Exposed- Kimberly Marcus

Happy New Year everyone!

December 29, 2011

Review of "Exposed"

by Kimberly Marcus
My Rating:
Pub. Date: February 22, 2011
Pages: 272
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: Borrowed From Library
Edition: E-book

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever.

But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most? Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.
I picked up "Exposed" hearing great things, but, to be honest, not having high expectations.  I am presently surprised to say that it is a great book.  It is an extremely fast read.  I was reading it on my droid, which I tend not to read books solely on my phone, but it was such a fast read I flew through it only a couple of hours.
I've read a decent number of books written in verse, yet I foolishly didn't think "Exposed" would be able to tell a rape story in a fulfilling way; however, I was completely mistaken (and happy about it btw).  After reading this book I immediately had to tell my boyfriend (bless him for listening to me) about it.  I wish I could say I beautifully formulated a description that truly expressed the soul of the book, but I'm pretty sure I said something along the lines of "OMG!  THAT BOOK WAS RIDICULOUS!"  I was so pumped up that he thought I disliked the book and was shocked when I said I thought it was great!  I love when books get me so pumped up at the end that I have to blog about them immediately, jump out of bet, shout "OH SNAP!", talk to someone about it, or post something on Facebook- unless the book had a horrible ending that enraged me, but that should go without saying.
"Exposed" is able to tell a compelling story without using a lot of words.  Even though the book is technically about 272 pages, there is probably closer to 150 pages of actual writing.  I was so impressed with how emotionally invested I felt in the book in such a short amount of time.  Obviously I felt bad for Kate, but my heart ached for Liza.  She was stuck in an impossible position between everyone she loved in life.   This book truly shows how rape effects more than just the victim.   
"Exposed" is a great book, but I do warn that it is difficult to read.  Liza loses so much that I felt helpless while reading this book.  Even after I was finished I was shocked at how sad the story was.  I know the story is about rape and I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was at the end of the book, but I didn't expect a second hand account to be so depressing.  Foolish me!  This wasn't my favorite book of 2011, but it is one I highly recommend reading.  It is such a fast read you don't have anything to lose by trying it.  I really hope Kimberly Marcus continues to write.  

December 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays December 28th 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Any one can participate! Just

1-Grab your current read.
2-Let the book fall open to a random page.
3-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
4- Please share the title and author of the book to allow people to find the book if they like the teaser you’ve given!
***Please avoid spoilers!***

Finnikin of the Rock
Finnikin of the Rock
Melina Marchetta
"He looked down at his oversize feet and wondered how it would be possible to balance them on so narrow a ledge.
'Not for our feet boy,' Sir Topher said with a sigh." (Page 4)
I'm 100 pages into this book and loving it!  I am having trouble putting this book with each page I read.  :)

Feel free to share your teaser sentences by adding a comments

December 5, 2011

Review of "Glow"

by Amy Kathleen Ryan
My Rating:
Pub. Date: September 13th, 2011
Pages: 320
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Won ARC
Edition: ARC
Synopsis: If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.
The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

I am having trouble with this review because I LOVED some parts of the book and HATED others.  My expectations were too high for "Glow", but I think the book had some problems.  Overall, I did enjoy the book.  The plot was interesting and Waverly's story grabbed me from the get-go.  There were parts in the book that were horrifying and a bit difficult to read, but being a dystopian fiction it was fitting.  To be honest, I was actually happy that there were parts of "Glow" that unnerved me because I feel like great dystopian books should do this.  I really liked the female characters in this book.  They were all strong and had individual personalities.  Even if I didn't agree with their actions, I understood them as characters.

Where this book went extremely wrong for me was the portrayal of men.  I don't think there was a single male character in this book that I liked.  Kieran had his moments, but by the time the book finished I wasn't really sure what to think.  It almost came across that 98% of men did not respect women and saw them as carriers for their children.  If a man did show some respect toward women then he still had violence or power issues.  This made it EXTREMELY difficult for me to care about the male characters in the book.  I got really bored while reading much of Kieran's accounts and wanted to get back to Waverly.  I just felt that the conflict between the boys in this book just didn't make sense.  Pretty much every male seemed to be exaggerated caricatures.  

Overall "Glow" was good.  It had some very strong points, but I just wish there had been more time focused on what was happening through Waverly's perspective.  Maybe I am bias because I am a girl, but I can't see guys being happy with how they were portrayed in this book.  I guess I am left with liking the book.  I am happy to know how "Glow" ended, but I am not going to be finishing the series.