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Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Released: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Point
Rated: YA
Series: Clarity, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Friday Follow (16)

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Answer: There are a few things that went wrong this year for me. Not on the blog itself, but with my home computer. Like not being able to load my blog in FireFox/Chrome or any other platform. So, my participation and comments went down to zero. Now that I have a working laptop and saving towards a new computer, I hope to visit more blogs and participate more if my technical issues are done. Hopefully they are.  Another is to find a few good memes to help connect with other bloggers again.

Let me know if you are a new follower and a link to your blog so I can return the favor!

Don't forget to add me to Twitter, your favorite reader and Facebook!
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Review: Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Cruise

Released: December 1, 2008
Publisher: HQN Books
Rated: Adult
Buy: Amazon
Lucy Savage is finally getting rid of Bradley—and his hideous green recliner. Bradley is out of her life for good. Or so she thinks. Turns out Officer Zack Warren wants to arrest the very same Bradley for embezzlement and figures the lovely Lucy can lead him straight to his target. Good thing there's a cop around. Because someone shoots at Lucy and then blows up her car. Zack insists she needs twenty-four-hour protection. What does he think her three dogs and attack cat are for? Still, he insists on moving right in to Lucy's house.
Now there's danger lurking outside and in her own kitchen, bathroom—and bedroom. Or maybe Zack is just what Lucy needs.…

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top Ten Reads in 2011

 So 2011 was a good reading year for me. I have read a lot of good books this year and hope to dive into some great ones in the coming year. It's been a busy year for the blog. I have grown to just over 900 followers (thank you! I do appreciate it!) and I have participated in lots of events and given away a lot of awesome prizes. Late this year, I discovered a love of audiobooks. So, it won't be a top ten since I haven't listened to ten (but I do plan on listening to plenty more in the coming year), but I will include the ones I loved. So, let me share with you my top reads for 2011.

Top Contemporary Books:

Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Something Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
The ‘What If’ Guy by Brooke Moss

Top Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Books: 

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
White Cat by Holly Black
Dark Descendant by Jenna Black
Soul Thief (Forbidden) by Jana Oliver
Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Twisted by Gena Showalter
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Top Audiobooks:

White Cat by Holly Black
Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Oh. My. Gods. by Terra Lynn Childs
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Review: As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

Released: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Ava wakes up in a house she doesn't know, into a life she doesn't recognize. Recently released from the hospital, she is welcomed home by a devoted mother, loyal friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest...but everyone is a stranger. Ava can't remember any of them, and can't shake the strange feeling that she's not who they say she is.
Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze and remember the past she's been told is her own. But the memories that begin to surface are of a different life entirely--one filled with danger. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions in which she and familiar-faced friends play very different, and very deadly, roles. But when Morgan appears--the one boy able to step from her memories into her reality--the high stakes and ultimate sacrifices of eternal love become the fiercest truth of all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Released: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Released: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrÉes.
The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

Released: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride. That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Released: February 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.
She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?
Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Released: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Rated: YA
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 4
Buy: Amazon
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide.  When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

 In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth.as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Released: June 9, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Rated: YA
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 3
Buy: Amazon
When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.
As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?
Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Released: October 2, 2007
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Rated: YA
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 2
Buy: Amazon
After the excitement of the fall, all Cammie Morgan wants is peaceful semester at school. But that’s easier said than done when you’re a CIA legacy and go to the premier school in the world...for spies.

Despite Cammie's best intentions, trouble crops up quickly.  Cammie, Bex, and Liz learn that the Gallagher Academy is hosting guests from another spy school -- a school that is known to the world as the Ethan Frome Academy--a secret spy school for boys.    After her fiasco with Josh last fall, Cammie isn't sure she's ready for daily encounters with boy spies – especially after she meets Zach -- an incorrigibe cutie who everyone thinks is just perfect. 

Cammie is right to be worried about their new guests.  Soon after the boys’ arrival, she's blamed for a series of security breaches that leave the school's top-secret status at risk.  And the perfectly crushable Zach is her prime suspect. 

The Gallagher Girls will need to use all their skills to investigate the Frome Boys. Even though they're confident about their guy-spying (as if they haven't done it before!), the playing field is level this time, and the stakes for Cammie’s heart—and her beloved school— are higher than ever.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Released: March 20, 2007
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Rated: YA
Series: Gallagher Girls, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
The Gallagher Academy for exceptional young women is fairly typical all-girls school--that is, it would be if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies.
Cammie Morgan is a second-generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year she's already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different way (one of which involves a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for a boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl.
Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and trackhim through town without his ever being the wiser--but can she have a relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie may be a elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's beginning her most dangerous mission--falling in love.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Audiobook Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Released: May 11, 2010
Publisher: Listening Library
Rated: YA
Series: Curse Workers, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Released: March 29, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rated: YA
Series: Shadow Falls, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.
Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.
Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Friday, December 9, 2011

Audiobook Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Released: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Rated: Ya
Series: Sky Chasers, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
*Book was provided by the audiobook publisher for honest review*
What if you were fifteen,  bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival – not love – the issue? Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them… Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager – until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage – and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth. But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian Rowe

Released: September 22, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Rated: YA
Series: Birthday Trilogy, Book 2
Buy: Amazon
*Book was provided by author for honest review*
Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day… again. And this time... he's going backward! When Cameron proposes to his beloved witch of a girlfriend Liesel, he thinks life can’t get any better. But when he reluctantly breaks off the engagement just days before the wedding, Liesel angrily unleashes another curse on the unlucky guy, this time making him age backward, from eighteen, all the way to zero. Making matters worse, Liesel mysteriously disappears, leaving Cameron with no options, except watching himself rapidly shrink into a helpless child. Will Liesel be able to save his life again? Or will Cameron ultimately fall prey to his girlfriend's wicked spell?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Released: June 7, 2011
Publisher: FSG
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.
Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.
But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!
Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.
But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cover Reveal with SM Reine

The Scavenger Hunt was a success! SM Reine had a great response and a lot of people participated. Well, now it is time to show you what those puzzle pieces made! And here are the covers:

Aren't they beautiful?! I love the new covers! I'm pretty excited that the author, SM Reine, included me in this. I had a lot of fun hiding the pieces and following along! I hope you guys take a moment and check out the books and consider buying them.

Review: When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Released: May 4, 2006
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Reminiscent of the movie Say Anything , a debut novel for all those searching for "The One"! Sara and Tobey couldn’t be more different. She is focused on getting into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara’s other goal is to find true love, so when Dave, a popular jock, asks her out, she’s thrilled. But then there’s Tobey. His amazing blue eyes and quirky wit always creep into her thoughts. It just so happens that one of Tobey’s goals is also to make Sara fall in love with him. Told in alternating points of view, Sara and Tobey’s real connection will have everyone rooting for them from the minute they meet!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill

Released: November 1, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Rated: Adult
Series: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 5
Buy: Amazon
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.
That's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.
Chicago's mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for vampires and humans alike.

Friday, December 2, 2011

2012 YA Contemporary Challenge

Angela from Reading Angel and Katie from Katie's Book Blog are hosting a YA Contemporary Challenge for 2012. I'm pretty excited because I love YA Contemp and I have a feeling that I'm going to fly through this challenge. The part I'm going to struggle with is the part where I list my top favorites from the 2012 list that I picked out from the GoodReads list.

I'm choosing Level 3: 15+ books. So, in no particular order, my top 15 chosen books are:

  1. by Melissa Jensen
  2. by Jennifer E. Smith *Read*
  3. by Kathryn Williams
  4. by
  5. by
  6. by
  7. by
  8. by
  9. by
  10. by
  11. by
  12. by
  13. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
  14. Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
  15. My Life Next Door  by Huntley Fitzpatri

I'm sure I'll read more than this, since there are some amazing looking books being published in 2012. I'll link all reviews to this page and update with reviews and any additional books I may read. I'm excited to see what 2012 brings for YA Contemporary and I'm sure I'll struggle as some of these I will have to wait a while on while I try not to succumb to the "But, I want it now!!" syndrome.

Review: Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Released: February 17, 2011
Publisher: Dial
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review: Pride & Popularity by Jenni James

Released: July 13, 2011
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (2011
Rated: YA
Series: The Austen Diaries, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
Chloe Elizabeth Hart has found she cannot abide the conceited antics of the popular crowd. –Or more importantly, one very annoying self-possessed guy, Taylor Anderson, who is determined to make her the president of his fan club! As if! Every girl in the whole city of Farmington, New Mexico is in love with Taylor, but he seems to be only interested in her.


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