Pages

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 End of Year Book Survey!

2014 End of Year Book Survey:


(hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Pageturner)

Number of books I read: 208

Number of re-reads: 32.

Genre I read the most from: Contemporary adult.

Best Book I read in 2014?  See my adult list HERE and my YA/NA list HERE
tl; dr:  Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher / /  Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


Book you were excited and thought you were gonna love more but didn’t?
I feel like there were a lot of bad books this year :( The biggest one for me was Stone Could Touch by JLA -- I loved the first book but I ended up DNF'd the second one.  It was so childish and faux drama!


Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Probably Mud Vein for its mind-blowing just !!! (even though I should have expected no less from Tarryn Fisher) and the DNF sequels -- Stone Cold Touch, Seducing Lauren


Book you pushed people to read in 2014?
Mud Vein, The All For the Game series by Nora Sakavic, Escape to New Zealand series by Rosalind James


Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Best series I started this year: Veronica Mars series by  Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham 


Best Sequel of 2014: Last Light by M. Pierce (most sequels this year were SERIOUSLY disappointing)


Best series enders of 2014: The King's Men by Nora Sakavic


Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Autumn Doughton!  She is amazing!!


Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I really didn't read out of my comfort zone this year -- I have been too disappointed by fantasy/para books lately and I think every single new series I started in these genres ended up with a DNF on the first or second book. 


Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Action packed: Concrete Evidence by Rachel Grant


Thrilling: The King's Men by Nora Sakavic


Unputdownable: How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo


Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Mud Vein, The Love Me with Lies series (this is becoming a twice yearly re-read!), Night Owl, the Raven Boys series in anticipation of the final book 


Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han



Most memorable character of 2014?
Gansey, Senna Richards, Neil Josten


Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Mud Vein, The King's Men


Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Mud Vein, The King's Men, How to Kill a Rock Star and God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo, Blue Lily, Lily Blue


Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Anything by Sarah Jio, Scare Crow by Julie Hockley


Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
Of course, from Mud Vein:
He kissed me with color, with drumbeat, and a surgeon’s precision. He kissed me with who he was, the sum of his life—and it was all encompassing. I wondered what I kissed him with since I was only broken parts.
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: Maybe Until January by Mary Whitney.

Longest: Outlander -- it is going forever!


Book That Shocked You The Most?
How to Kill a Rock Star and God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo


OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Neil/Andrew from All For The Game series


Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
All the Rock Girls (Kristen Ashley)


Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Mud Vein, everything by Rosalind James, Miranda Kenneally, Mary Whitney


Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson (thanks Nereyda!)


Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Ben from On an Edge of Glass 
by Autumn Doughton

Best 2014 debut you read?
53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover #1) by Leylah Attar 

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I am not a worldbuilding fan but I  must say that the world Tarryn Fisher built in Mud Vein was captivating!  Same for the All For the Game series!! 


Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Anything by Mary Whitney and Rosalind James


Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
I think I've cried maybe once while reading a book but I came close with Tiffanie DeBartolo and Mud Vein


Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The King's Men -- seriously, READ this series!  And How I Fall by Anne Eliot


Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Mud Vein, Tiffanie DeBartolo everything, Night Owl, Blue Lily, Lily Blue


Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
I feel like I keep answering with the same books but there is a reason!  
Mud Vein, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Stone Cold Touch by JLA, Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, Consumed and Absorbed by Emily Snow (so disappointed in these :( )


New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
Reading Books Like A Boss !!!!!!!!!


Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
Last Light


Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I don't really do discussion on my blog but I LOVE Nereyda's discussions, especially 3 Star Reviews and the Future of Book Blogging.  I also loved Sarcasm & Lemon's discussion re: Crowd-sourcing the love triangle with Jennifer Armentrout's White Hot Kiss


Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Re-reading of The Georgina Kincaid series -- thanks Nereyda and Megan!!


Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
I need to be better about blogging but probably the #Georgiethon and interacting with other bloggers!


Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My 2013 Giveaway and my Last Light review


Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Any of my reviews...even if I was terrible about posting them this year!

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Nothing new for me -- still obsessed with my kindle


Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set my GR goal for 200 and I passed it again.


One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
I am STILL reading Outlander . . . it is taking forever!


Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Never Never !!! Marrow! The conclusion to the Raven Boys series.  Oddly enough, I really want 
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han (I didn't love the first book because of the ending and then I found out there would be a second book)

2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Wow, I am terrible about finding/reading debuts . . .
  

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
The end of the Raven Boys series !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
Review more!


A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham-- even better than the first book!


Happy New Year!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TOP TEN ADULT BOOKS OF 2014!




What can I say?  Tarryn Fisher tops my list AGAIN, for the third year in a row.  And there's a reason why:  no one writes like she does.  No one messes with your mind, heart, and life like she does when you are reading one of her books.

2. The King's Men (All for the Game #3) by Nora Sakavic




In a close second to Mud Vein (which should tell you just how amazing this series is . . . ) is the final book in the All For The Game series by Nora Sakavic.  I've never read anything like this series and the final book was absolutely incredible -- so intense!!

3.  Night Owl (Night Owl #1) and Last Light (Night Owl #2) by M. Pierce



There is as much mystery in these books as there is in the author of these books.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  My review of Last Light HERE.

4.  How to Kill a Rock Star and God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo



So I generally ONLY include books released in the year but I have to include these two books by Tiffanie DeBartolo because they are AMAZING and were new to me this year.  I wish she would write again!!

5.  53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar



Thank you, thank you to MEGAN for introducing me to this book!  A beautiful, complicated and long standing love, similar in some ways to The Opportunist.

6. Goodnight June by Sarah Jio



Unbelievable that this was my first Sarah Jio book, and I now completely understand the hype surrounding her.  

7. Off the Record (Record #1) by K.A. Linde  
I rarely enjoy anything more than a well written political romance (like Mary Whitney!) so this series was right up my alley -- the first book is the best!

8. Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay



The sophomore novel from Katherine Reay was a bit darker (to me) than her first book but still just as enchanting.  I love her descriptions.

9. No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney



Another author that always seems to make my list!  My review HERE.  She also released an AMAZING winter novella, Until January, which I highly recommend!!

10. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham 


Loved the first book in this VM series -- picks up right where the movie ended.  I actually just finished book two and it was even better than the first!!

Top 10 YA/NA Books in 2014 here!

What were your favorite books this year??  Link up below!

Monday, December 29, 2014

TOP TEN YA/NA BOOKS OF 2014

1. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater


Just when you think (not really) you could possibly plan what Maggie Stiefvater will do, she upends your world.  This series is PHENOMENAL and unparalleled.  My review HERE
2. Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love #2) by Jessica Park




You know that I absolutely LOVE this series and Flat-Out Celeste may be the best book in it!  My review HERE.

3. Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally


Another book in this series was my favorite book of last year.  That being said, I always have high expectations for Miranda Kenneally books and she never ever disappoints -- I loved this one, too! 
4. How I Fall by Anne Eliot



Beautiful, beautiful new series by one of my all time favorites, Anne Eliot!  This book was completely unique and the best first love/kiss feelings EVER.  My review HERE.

5. In This Moment by Autumn Doughton 




I discovered Autumn Doughton this year and I feel like, where have I been?!  She is incredible.  I've read four of her books this year and they were all so, so good.  I also highly, HIGHLY recommend On an Edge of Glass and I'll Be Here.

6. Maybe Someday (Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover 


I have been a HUGE Colleen Hoover fan since her self-published days.  Maybe Someday was great although her other books this year were not my favorites.  Can't wait for Never Never!!
7. Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead


Richelle Mead, always and forever.

8. Get Me (The Keatyn Chronicles #6) by Jillian Dodd 


Seriously great series conclusion -- perfect ending, perfect build-up! The spin-off, Captive Films, is also SO, so good!!
9. White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


I was super hesitant to include this book since I DNF'd the second book in this series but I did love this first book and I am still a JLA fan.  I haven't read Wicked yet but it is at the top of my TBR pile!
10. Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2) by Tammara Webber

Re-tellings/alternate POVs can be terrible but Breakable was definitely unique -- not only did it include more history and different scenes but it was so, so romantic to read Landon's POV.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rorick and Bernie Su

Blurb from Goodreads:

Based on the Emmy Award-winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty-four year old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters -- beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.

When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets, and for Lizzie's viewers. But not everything happens on-screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie's world and well beyond the confines of her camera:  from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter's bar, and much more. Lizzie's private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents' unstable financial situation, her sister's budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future, and whom she wants to share it with.

Featuring plenty of fresh twists to delight fans and new readers alike, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet expands on the web series phenomenon that captivated a generation and reimagines the Pride and Prejudice story like never before. 
My Review:
 
I have to start this review by saying that I have never seen the YouTube videos on which this book is based.  However, I have read every Jane Austen re-telling imaginable and am usually in love with all of them.  Something about this one just didn't wow me.  Lizzie was boring!  Also, the Charlotte character was just odd.  Mrs. Bennet was also WAY too over the top -- even more so than the original P&P or any re-telling I've read before.  Although the characters were superficially based upon P&P, they ended up falling flat for me and being too divergent from the real trope.

I would definitely recommend one of my favorite P&P re-tellings, Unleashing Mr. Darcy, over this book, or my favorite Emma re-telling:  Dear Mr. Knightley; but there are many great YA/NA re-tellings as well:  Solving for Ex or the wonderful Jane Austen Academy series by Cecilia Gray, for example.  Unless you are a big fan of the YouTube videos, there are many other books that will satisfy your Jane Austen craving.
"Two parts of me have been at war. Your... odd family, your financial troubles- you're in a different world from me. People expect me to travel in certain circles. And I do respect the wishes of my family, but not today. I've tried to fight it for months now, but Lizzie Bennet . . . I'm in love with you." 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham!!






From Goodreads:
In the second book in the New York Times bestselling mystery series, Veronica Mars is back with a case that will expose the hidden workings of one of Neptune’s most murderous locations.

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why? 
I am a HUGE Veronica Mars fan!  I was so sad when the series ended and the recent movie was SO, SO good!  But what is even cooler is that the first book in this series, The Thousand- Dollar Tan Line, picks up right where the movie ended!  So, I can't wait for book 2, which was supposed to be released this year but got pushed back into January.  Still, so excited! Mr. Kiss and Tell is scheduled for release on January 20, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney

No Ordinary Bloke by Mary Whitney

Blurb from Goodreads:

I’m not a philosophical kind of bloke, but I know something about luck. A childhood on the wrong side of advantage will teach you that. It’s all a matter of chance. It’s both your circumstances and the chances you take. So I've always been a gambler and a ladies man — they love me and I love them. Now I've found one like no other — an American, Allison Wright. When I met her, the fates were on my side, but too soon I learned the odds were against me.
My Review:
No Ordinary Bloke is a companion story to Mary Whitney's Beside Your Heart series (review of book 3 of that series, Forever Your Heart, here).  This book is about Adam's cousin, David, who is introduced in that series although you need not read the series before this book as it is a stand-alone.  

What can I say about David?  Certainly sometimes he is crass but it was pretty awesome reading his story and his slow descent into love.  I really liked the fact that much of the book was set in England (although there were a lot of scenes in New York and a few elsewhere).  David's voice is so unique -- I truly felt like I was in head in reading this book but I adore Allison as well.  This was a slightly unorthodox pair but that made it all the more rewarding when they came together.  The fact that David truly had to take his time and work for it was so, so good.  As with all of Mary Whitney's books, I absolutely loved this one!   If you haven't read any of her books, I highly, HIGHLY recommend them all!!
"What started as a slow romantic kiss soon spun out of control.  It was like she'd been penned up, and she could finally release herself.  I felt the same way, but crikey.  I'd promised to restrain myself, and now the woman was all over me.  There we were in the middle of London, and all I could think was God bless America.  When those girls lost their inhibitions, all bets were off." 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, in Spanish (LIE #2) by Karina Halle

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Love, in Spanish (LIE #2)by Karina Halle!!






From Goodreads:
The companion to the highly emotional, scandalous and USA Today Bestselling love story - LOVE, IN ENGLISH - is finally here! Love, in Spanish is a Love, in English follow-up novel told from Mateo Casalles' POV. While Love, in Spanish touches on some events that happened in LIE (you know the ones!) it is a whole new story set a year later that continues with Vera and Mateo's "happily ever after." 
*** 

“She sat beside me on the bus – and she changed my whole life.” 

Successful, wealthy and absurdly handsome – Spanish ex-football player Mateo Casalles seemed like he had it all. A high-society wife, an adorable little girl, and flashy apartments in Madrid and Barcelona only sweetened the deal. But there was more to Mateo than met the eye – a life of uncertainty and regret that colored his black and white world. 

That was until Vera Miles came into his life like a shooting star. Tattooed, wild and young, Vera seemed like Mateo’s polar opposite at first. But you can’t choose who you fall in love with and the two lost souls did everything they could to be together, all while suffering the grave consequences. 

Now with Mateo divorced and living in Madrid with Vera, there is a whole new set of challenges and setbacks facing the couple and rocking the foundation of their star-crossed relationship. 

Unfortunately for them, the brighter the star, the faster they burn. 
I really liked Love, In English, the first book in this series.  A sequel that is essentially the male POV of the first book is tricky for me, and I typically don't bother (Flat-Out Matt being one exception).  However, as stated on GR above, this is a whole new story about AFTER the HEA.  So, I am definitely excited!! Love, in Spanish is scheduled for release on November 11, 2014 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??


Monday, October 27, 2014

MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES EPISODES 1 & 2 RELEASED

Have you heard that the Morganville Vampires books by Rachel Caine were turned into a web series?
If not, they have been! This is one of my all time favorite YA series and the webisodes do not disappoint!!


Episode 1 - "Glass House" : http://youtu.be/fcoe2nCFYuQ


Episode 2 - "Bite Me" : http://youtu.be/sRhZwjrIKYg

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Last Light (Night Owl #2) by M. Pierce

Last Light (Night Owl #2) by M. Pierce

Blurb from Goodreads:

Matt Sky is missing. After a solo ascent of Longs Peak that left only a large blood stain, tatters of climbing clothing, and the tracks of an animal in the snow, he is presumed dead ...

Hannah Catalano is guarding a secret ...

Tensions rise, secrets grow bigger, and passions run deeper in the highly anticipated second book in the Night Owl Trilogy.
My Review:

Earlier this year, I kept hearing cryptic but exciting things about M. Pierce and the author's debut novel, Night Owl.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was absolutely blown away by Night Owl.  I couldn't put it down and it ended on this weird cliffhanger that has left me hanging for the past seven months.  After Mud Vein, Night Owl and Last Light are the best adult books I have read this year.  Last Light did not disappoint as it seems so many sequels lately have done.  Not only was the cliffhanger in the first book explained and expanded but a new conflict was presented immediately, with no easy resolution, and that allowed for new insight into these characters that I have come to love so, so much even though Last Light will certainly leave you hating either or both of them at some point.  These books are so much more than any sort of "love" story or romance . . . in fact, I wouldn't describe them in that way at all.  If you want to crawl into a character's mind even when the character may do something that is absolutely mind boggling (prime example of this being successful is Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher), then this series is for you.  Hannah and Matt come together, and cannot let go, because there is no way either of them could be their own person and be in a relationship if it was not with each other.  I am reminded of this quote from Steve Kloves' screenplay adaption of Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon:

Whenever I wondered what Sara saw in me, and I wondered more than once, I always came back to the fact that she read everything, every spare moment. She was a junkie for the printed word. And, lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.
I certainly have a tendency to get hung up on the uniqueness of a book or a plot or a character but there is something so fresh and new about these books.  Aside from the fact that the books are about an author, M. Pierce, that is unknown to the world in the books (by choice), and that these books are similarly written by M. Pierce, an author that we know nothing about in this world, the story is compelling.   I absolutely cannot wait to see where book 3, After Dark, takes us and these characters.

Last Light will be released October 28, 2014, and you can purchase here.  If you have not yet read Night Owl in anticipation of the second book of this series, you really, really should!
"December is the cruelest month to die in. 
I smiled and slouched in my chair.  I couldn't go wrong, riffing on Eliot.[1] 
I thumbed my way to chapter one and began to write.  A cup of cold coffee stood by my laptop.  I sipped it as I worked. 
I wrote for three hours, stopping only to laugh or gaze out at the mountains.  Once I walked through the cabin.  Then I returned to the desk.  As long as I was in the story, I wasn't aching for Hannah.  As long as I was in the story, I wasn't worrying about Hannah on the East Coast with my family."                         

[1]   
Interestingly, M. Pierce refers to T.S. Eliot and, presumably, the first line of The Waste Land.  Those medieval studies majors (like me) know that Eliot was alluding to Geoffrey Chaucer and, more specifically, the first line of The Canterbury Tales.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher!!



From Goodreads:
Best friends since they could walk. In love by the age of fourteen. Dating for over four years. 
She’ll do everything she can to never forget. 
He’ll do everything he can to never remember. 
Too bad it’s not up to them. 
Um, what happens when two of your very favorite authors decide to write together?!  Needless to say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE both Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher and I cannot wait for this!! Never Never is scheduled for release in January, 2015!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

 
Imagination Designs