Monthly Wrap-up: December

Wow, I didn't realize it until I was typing this list up, but this was the month of novellas!

Looking back...
List of December reads

Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr - Roomies
Robin Constantine - The Promise of Amazing
Abbi Glines - Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #6)
Tahereh Mafi - "Fracture Me" (Shatter Me #2.5)
Jodi Meadows - Infinite
Marissa Meyer - Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) audiobook
                        - Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) audiobook
Lauren Morrill - Being Sloane Jacobs
J.K. Rock - "Camp Christmas" (Camp Boyfriend #1.5)
Veronica Rossi - "Brooke" (Under the Never Sky #2.5)
Kristen Simmons - Three (Article 5 #3)
Paula Stokes - The Art of Lainey
Laini Taylor - "Night of Cake & Puppets" (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5)
Kiersten White - "Annie and Fia" (Mind Games #0.5)
Gabrielle Zevin - Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2) audiobook
                        - In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3)

Looking ahead...
January releases I'm excited about:
Defy - Sara B. Larson (7)
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morill (7)
Afterparty - Ann Redisch Stampler (7)
No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale (7)
Evertrue - Brodi Ashton (21)
Avalon - Mindee Arnett (21)
A Mad, Wicked Folly - Sharon Biggs Waller (23)
Manor of Secrets - Katherine Longshore (28)
And We Stay - Jenny Hubbard (28)
Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi (28)
Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge (28)
Her Dark Curiosity - Megan Shepherd (28)
Infinite - Jodi Meadows (28)
Univited - Sophie Jordan (28)
Minders - Michelle Jaffe (30)

January TBR:
Alienated - Melissa Landers
Fire & Flood - Victoria Scott
White Hot Kiss - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Sneaking Candy - Lisa Burstein

Top Ten Tuesday #30: Best of 2013 part 2

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books of 2013
Well, it would be way, way too hard to pick the top 10 overall in 2013 so instead, I'm just going to do a sequel post to the TTT I did earlier this year, which you can read here.

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Let's just get this one out of the way now. I actually did write and read fanfic in college so I absolutely understand and relate to Cath.

2. United We Spy by Ally Carter. I thought this was a really fitting ending to the legacy of the Gallagher Girls, an ending this wonderful series deserved.

3. Scarlet & Cress by Marissa Meyer. I enjoyed Cinder, but adding the new characters and complicating the conflict really added depth to this wonderful series. Is it time for Winter yet?!

4. Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo. This series is incredible. I mean the Grisha Trilogy is simply the textbook definition of epic fantasy. Great character development (including bad boys, good guys, roguish pirates, badA girls, AND delicious flirty princes), fast-paced action, swoony romance, unique mythology, and amazing writing.

5. Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young. Not only does this series have one of my favorite new romances, but it also introduced me to the intriguing concept of the sliding doors device, in which there are two alternate stories being told simultaneously.

6. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano. This is one of those novels with a really cool retro-future, and it combines that feel with a murder mystery, set against a backdrop of the sky. There's so much going on in this novel, and somehow, Lauren keeps it all straight. Not only is the story interesting, but the characters are well-developed and relatable. I am already wishing for Burning Kingdoms!

7. Pawn by Aimée Carter. Such a cool novel filled with tons of intrigue. I'm very excited by this new series!

8. One & Only by Viv Daniels. This is a superbly written new adult romance. If all romances were written like this, the genre would not receive as much criticism as it does. Well done, Viv!

9. Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris. Super adorable and fun adult romance.

10. Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols. Jenn is one of my top-five all-time favorite authors. Her 2013 ya Dirty Little Secret only misses this list because Playing Dirty is on here instead. This is an adult romance that is slightly steamier than Taste the Heat above, and it was just an absolute joy to read.

Bonus: top 2014 ARCs I've already read

I already mentioned Cress above, but I didn't want to leave out these other wonderful 2014 reads.

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this way back in September. It's another hit for Jenn. Biggest Flirts is the perfect mix of fun shenanigans, top-notch chemistry between the main characters, and relatable life drama. I loved it!

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill. This is absolutely The Parent Trap mixed with every ice skating movie Disney and ABC Family has ever made, and I love it. It's cheesy and silly and fun and flirty. Loved it!

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes. I love these ya novels full of hijinks and high school intrigue. It never turns out well for the characters (or at least as they intend their schemes to turn out), but it's SO entertaining to witness!

Infinite by Jodi Meadows. This is one of the most wonderful and complete series enders I've ever read. Full review coming soon, and I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. This is just a really emotional ride, and it's one that is not to be missed!

Weekly wrap-up: December 22-28

I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas week. I got a lot of reading done in the first half, but I had to work all the second half, which was utterly exhausting. You guys remember how stressed I was over the summer? Yeah, I'm doing that exact job again over the holidays. Also, I contracted the plague because of my close proximity to children who touch everything at my place of employment with their adorable but grubby little hands. However, I still had a lovely week in which I learned that I will 100% be attending the TLA 2014 conference, which was my big Christmas present. Did you get any new books this week? Or have big bookish news? Let me know in the comments!

Completed:
Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #6) - Abbi Glines: 3 stars. After the disaster that was Simple Perfection, I really didn't think I'd be giving Abbi's books another go. However, I'm glad I did. This was a fun little romance. It IS pretty derivative, but then, Abbi's books do have a formula that seems to be working for her. It is what it is. Those of us who read romance don't always need the most original book anyway.
Infinite - Jodi Meadows: 5 stars. This is totally bittersweet for me. I LOVE this book, but I'm really sad that Newsoul is over. Also, this installment is one big roller coaster; my emotions were all over the place! Basically, you need to read it as soon as possible.

Currently Reading:
Three - Kristen Simmons. CHASE TOOK HIS SHIRT OFF! Ahem.
Just One Day audiobook - Gayle Forman

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library:
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange & Deadly #1) - Susan Dennard
Dark Star (Dark Star #1) - Bethany Frenette
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids #1) - Hélène Boudreau
Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) audiobook - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner + Jonathan McClain, Cynthia Holloway & Sarge Anton. !!!!! So excited to listen to the audio!

Bought:
It's Not Summer Without You - Jenny Han (HPB)
Red Glove - Holly Black (HPB)
Black Heart - Holly Black (HPB)
The Sing-off - Sarah Billington (Kindle)

Gift:
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 - Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim

DRCs:
Thank you to Entangled for these three lovelies!
Falling for her Soldier - Ophelia London (Bliss)
Love Songs for the Road - Farrah Taylor (Bliss)
Kiss Me at Midnight - Diane Alberts (Flaunt)
Defy - Sarah B. Larson. Thank you, Scholastic!

ARCs:
Fire & Flood - Victoria Scott !!!!!! THANK YOU, SCHOLASTIC!

Novella Review: Camp Christmas


Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ebook, bought from Amazon
Status: novella, book #1.5 of Camp Boyfriend series

Summary: 
Hannah never meant to be a mean girl – at Camp Juniper Point or at her high school. It just sort of happened during one painful year when her parents split and her life fell apart. Who knew being mad at the world would catapult her to popularity? But since changing the status quo would make her some serious enemies, she’s prepared to ride out her time until graduation. That is, until a camp friend calls her on the act during their school ski trip. Will Julian out her to her friends? Or will the guy she once accused of being King of the Nerds make her wish she was a whole lot more like him?

 

Review:
The Camp Boyfriend series has been such a delightful surprise for me. I honestly didn't know when I first heard about it that I would love it as much as I have. "Camp Kiss" was pretty good, Camp Boyfriend was really good, and "Camp Christmas" is amazing. I like that Joanne and Karen have made a point with their writing that there aren't really "good guys" and "bad guys." Sure, there are antagonists in their stories (you can't have a decent story told without conflict, after all), but Joanne and Karen prove that there are more always more than one side to every story and that no one is the villain in their own story. Case in point: Hannah, who is the leading lady in this novella.

Hannah spent much of Camp Boyfriend being a petty queen bee, which is partially Lauren's perspective but also partially she's actually mean (albeit shallowly) to the Munchie Manor girls and the Wander Inn boys. Now that we're in Hannah's head, though, it's easy to see that there's more to her than the girl obsessed with fashion and boys. Instead, Hannah is a lonely teenage girl who is dealing with her parents' divorce and a group of frenemies who are insistent on tearing her down. I'm not saying it's okay to be a jerk to other people when you're going through a bad time, but that is normal, human survival instinct, and it's one I can not only sympathize Hannah for doing, but I also empathize with her.

Also, props on the actual hidden nerd thing. It's popular for people to have be nerdy these days, but Hannah has REAL nerdiness in her, and I love it. I don't know how they do it, but Joanne and Karen also manage to give their characters traits and habits and interests I have in my life. I absolutely attended a "nerd" convention before it was a cool mainstream activity thanks to Comic Con San Diego. Skiing is one of my favorite sports, and yes, I do have a cape. But back to Hannah. This adorable novella is really her realization of what is important and what is bull. She figures out that it's okay to let someone else "win" those stupid games that we all play but swear we don't, it's okay to be yourself. Once again, this is a story of a character finding out who she is and learning to love herself, which is the best message a ya book can possibly have.

Then there's Julian, who is pretty much the polar opposite. There's a saying that the rich aren't crazy, they're eccentric, which I guess is a motto their school buys into because people leave Julian alone since he's one of the wealthiest kids. Or at least I bet that's what they tell themselves. Actually, Julian is just ridiculously comfortable with himself. He's a nice; he's smart; he's a gentleman; he's unique; and he's not scared of that. Julian is a boy with perspective. He knows that all that high school posturing is BS, and he doesn't have time for it. For him, this novella is about his decision to finally go for what he wants, which is Hannah. In a way, he's like her Yoda or her Dumbledore or her Gandalf, as he helps her through her big eureka moment, except it's BETTER than all those old guys because 1. Julian has abs (I know he's wearing a parka the whole time, but I can totally tell there is undercover ab stuff going on here) and 2. these two kids have crazy ridiculous tummy-butterfly-inducing chemistry.

This novella is just a perfect read for a chilly winter day, whether you're on snowy slopes or just shivering in a southern state going through a weird cold snap like I am right now. There's adventure, there's humor, there's romance. And you'll probably find yourself shipping Juliannah as I did. Honestly, they might rival Lauren and --t- for my favorite Camp Boyfriend romance (I can't just give the ending away! Go read it!). But you can't have Julian for yourself. I called dibs on the sexy Geekster!

Book Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/camp-christmas-jk-rock/1117734356?ean=2940149069460
Also available FOR FREE directly from Spencer Hill.

About the Author:
Sisters in law Joanne and Karen Rock write Young Adult books under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. They bonded on a set of bleachers, watching their respective Rock boyfriends play baseball, and later, as young wives married into the same big family. Today, they have fun reliving teen drama on the pages of their YA books in their ongoing Camp Boyfriend series, which reviewers have noted for its authentic treatment of navigating relationships and self-identity. Individually, Joanne and Karen write adult romance books for Harlequin. Joanne is a three-time RITA Award nominee and Golden Heart winner. Her books have been reprinted in twenty-six countries and translated into twenty different languages. Karen's debut romance, Wish Me Tomorrow, has garnered critical acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a cancer survivor's journey. You can learn more about their upcoming projects and previous releases at http://jkrock.net.

Author Links:
  

Just a note to say...

Thank you all so very much for all the kind words you shared yesterday. I spent most of yesterday in a cloudy haze of coughing-induced headache-ness and delirium (seriously, while "playing" a game [which is in parenthesis because I wasn't allowed to touch any of the game pieces so I wasn't really playing] with my siblings, all I did was yell "SMASHY SMASH" and giggle until I couldn't breathe), but between my family pooling together to get me the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER and all of your lovely tweets and comments and messages, it was still a lovely day.

I hope your Christmas or your Hannukah or Kwanzaa or whichever holiday you choose to celebrate was as fantastic as you all are. May the rest of your holidays be restful and relaxing and fun and exciting, filled with family, friends, laughter, and (most importantly) BOOKS. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Dossam to snuggle back up to.

Much love,
Mary

Waiting on Wednesday: Cress

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope you are having a lovely holiday full of food, family, laughter, friends, and, of course, books! If you haven't gone to bed yet, you definitely need to get on that because Santa won't visit you if you're awake! ;)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
by Marissa Meyer
Coming February 4, 2014
Feiwel & Friends

 
Summary:
Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Why I want it:
I'm going to be really honest right now: I've actually already read Cress. *hides* A friend very graciously lent me her ARC, which she did not need to do. It was incredibly kind of her. THANK YOU. So why am I still waiting? For my own copy, of course! At this point, I'm culling the amount of physical books I buy for myself because I am quickly running out of room. For the most part, I am limiting myself to either a first book in a series or just my favorite, but Cress is one that I will most definitely be buying. It's JUST that good.

Why I think you should want it:
Three words for you: Captain. Carswell. Thorne. That's it. Show's over. Throw your bras onstage now and be done with it. I don't know what's up with this crop of sassy-pantsed secondaries like Thorne and Sturmhond from the Grisha trilogy, but I like it. I like it a lot, and you should too. I'm actually really upset that Thorne didn't make finals in the Book Shimmy Award for secondary character most in need of his own book, but then I forgot that most people haven't read Cress yet. If the BSA's have a second year, there's no way you people won't vote for him.

Other than Thorne, you'll really enjoy Cress, our new, slightly hirsute leading lady. She's vastly different from both Cinder and Scarlet, but it's a good different. I love that Marissa's heroines are so diverse, but so strong and so relatable. Cress is a bit more timid than Cinder and Scarlet, but she's still plenty spunky and crazy smart to [re]boot (sorry, that was a terrible pun, but get it? Reboot cause she's a hacker? *coughs* anyway...). :P Thanks to the interplay between Thorne and Cress, this third installment is probably the most humorous so far, but beware: there's still a minefield of MAJOR FEELS in store. The good news, at least, is that something happens that I think we've all been waiting for. Bad news is, somebody gets screwed WICKED HAHD (that's my fake Boston accent coming out). No, really, one character is in serious trouble which starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for...good heavens, I really don't know what's wrong with me. I know I'm being ridiculous as I write this, but I think my censor has shut down for the night. I'm so sorry. My point is, you'll enjoy this book a lot (I thought it was even better than Scarlet, which is a really good sign), but you'll be cursing Marissa's name possibly the entire time. And yes, this sets up for book 4 very nicely, and I can't wait!

I again apologize for my ridiculousness so please don't leave me lumps of coal or throw tomatoes on this lovely Christmas day! Share your WoW links instead!

Top Ten Tuesday #29: Santa Wish List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books I Wish Santa Would Bring Me This Year
 Pretty self-explanatory theme, I think, although in my case, these books are really more pray-that-the-publisher-and-or-rafflecopter-take-pity-on-me or I'll-just-have-to-buy-these-myself because my family doesn't buy me books anymore unless I tell them what to get. I'm basically at the gift-card-only stage of life. Anyway, today, I split my group 5/5 into the ARCs that I need now or I'll die and the finished copies that I'm just really greedy for.

 ARCs:

1. Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott. I am so excited about this book. Tori is an awesome writer in addition to being an amazing person. And I am happy to announce that this wish came TRUE. My sister occasionally gets my mail, and sure enough, she brough my copy over on Sunday! Yay! Thank you, Scholastic!

2. Cress by Marissa Meyer. Yes, I've already read Cress, but it was so incredible, I wish I had my own copy! Regardless if I do manage to snag an ARC or not, this will be a to-buy book for me. It's JUST that good.

  

3. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton. I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally want one. I desperately need to know what's going on with Nikki and Jack! Crossing my fingers I can win a copy!

4. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. My Life Next Door was incredible. I just need more Huntley Fitzpatrick in my life.

5. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. I adore Elizabeth's writing. Her books are more must-buys for me. Every year, I eagerly anticipate my next EE fix.

Finished Copies:
  

6. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. I have an ARC, which I will keep forever, but I think this will be a must-buy series. Tarver and Lilac...I ship them. And I want to hug that cover every night when I go to bed.

7. Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young. Lovely, lovely book. Chris is one of my new favorite book boyfriends. I love the sliding doors concept. After reading this, I'll definitely be picking up other books that use this device.

8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I bought the ebook when it was on sale, but I think I'm going to have to splurge on a hardcover. This book is one of my favorites of 2013, and it has some interesting formatting that's just a little lost in the ebook. Nothing major, but it was just weird reading my Kindle copy after I've read a hardcover.

  

9. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano. I had an ARC of this, but I gave it away. Not going to lie, I still wrestle with that decision because it was one of the first ARCs I'd ever been sent directly from the publisher (not won from a giveaway or picked up at a con). However, I'm glad I could spread the love to someone else. I bought an ebook when it was on sale, but this is another that I really want a physical copy.

10. Dare You To and Crash Into You by Katie McGarry. Yeah...I think this is a must-buy series. I have a paperback of Pushing the Limits because I met Katie, and I like to get at least one thing signed by an author. However, that was before I read the series so I didn't realize just how far in love I'd fall with this series. I have ebooks of all three, but again, this is a favorite enough that I would like the whole set. Also, I just really want the cover of Dare You To because DANG. Ryan's biceps. That is all.

End of Year Book Survey

This lovely survey comes from Jamie, The Perpetual Page Turner. Feel free to grab and fill in your own answers, then link back to her page

 

 1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Companion: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Paranormal: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Science Fiction: Cress by Marissa Meyer
Audiobook: Beauty Queens written AND narrated by Libba Bray
Backlist: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
New series: Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock (started in 2013)
& Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (started before 2013)
& Playing Dirty by Jennifer Echols (romance)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?


 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

1. Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner.  
These Broken Stars was incredible. This book came out a 
week ago, and I already desperately need This Shattered World.

2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I didn't read this series 
until after Scarlet came out, but it's lovely. Each installment is better 
than the last. Need me some Winter!

3. Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Such an amazing fantasy series!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Rainbow Rowell and Andrew Smith

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?


 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The entire Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry. I know this seems like a cop out, but honestly, I read through  all three novels and the novella in one week. If that's not un-put- downable, I don't know what is!

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Several are on the list because I will be rereading a lot of series via audiobook before final books come out, but I think the top two books I'll probably reread the physical copy are going to be Cress by Marissa Meyer and Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

 

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Male character: It's a TIE. Sturmhond in Siege and Storm and CAPTAIN Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles.
Female character: Cammie from Gallagher Girls. I will greatly miss Cammie and her adventures in my life.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Burning by Elana K. Arnold. Really just a gorgeous read.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

United We Spy by Ally Carter. Individually, this book may not be the right fit for this question, but this series... I've been a Gallagher Girl for so long that I don't actually remember when I became one. It just means so much to me. Aside from Harry Potter, I have never felt such emotional upheaval at the end of a series simply because it was over (Vampire Academy came close, but I finished up that series knowing there was a spinoff with a set release date and that my favorite characters would at least show up on occasion). I still haven't quite accepted this yet, by the way. I still expect more installments. That's total denial, I know, but srsly, I wonder if there will be more. One day. Or a spin off. Or the girls pop up in future Heist Society or Embassy Row books. That would be fantastic. For more emotional rambling on the subject of GG and United We Spy, check out my review here.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 


 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“I learned that life is so, so fragile. I learned that you can know someone for just days and never forget the impression he left on you. I learned that art can be beautiful and sad at the same time. I learned that if someone loves you, he'll wait for you to love him back. I learned that how much you want something doesn't determine whether you get it or not, that "no" might not be enough, that life isn't fair, that my parents can't save me, that maybe no one can.” - Beth Revis, Shades of Earth

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest (not including novellas or graphic novels): The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (85 pages)
Shortest full-length non-children's book: Forever by Judy Blume (178 pages)
Longest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (570 pages)

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Clockwork Princess. The whole thing. Can we just hug right now? I need a hug.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

OTP ships: Will-Tessa-Jem. Yes. I ship that. Epilogue was PERFECTION. Sydrian. Jack & Nikki.
Steamy romance: Cam and Avery from Wait for You (NA)
Cute romance: TIE: Levi & Cath from Fangirl AND Morgan & Basil from Perfect Ruin
Bromance: Ryan Dean West & Joey Cosentino from Winger
Femship: Gallagher girls (all of them) from Gallagher Girls series
The elusive guy/gal friendship: Roar & Aria from Under the Never Sky trilogy (part TTEN)
Familial: Grace, Greer & Gretchen from The Medusa Girls

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I have several (surprise, surprise): Everbound by Brodi Ashton, United We Spy AND Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Biggest Flirts AND Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa, Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, Just One Day AND Just One Year by Gayle Forman, Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I'm not going to lie. I read what I want with very little thought of recommendations made to me. I'm a jerk like that. I'm always recommending books to people, but I very rarely listen to their recs to me. Also, the fact that I have over 5,000 books on my Goodreads shelves means that I probably heard of that book before you did (I know that sounds snobby). HOWEVER, there is one book and one author who stand out in the category. That book is Winger by Andrew Smith, which was passionately advocated by Justin Chanda of Simon & Schuster when he passed me a copy at TLA. It was an AMAZING read (full review here), and I'm so glad he spoke so highly of it and encouraged me to read it. The author is Jennifer L. Armentrout, whose books dominate TTT and WoW posts as well as many comments on my blog. I finally caved to peer pressure, and I've enjoyed all her books I've read so far.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I did't clock it exactly, but I'm guessing ya contemporary romance

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

TARVER FROM THESE BROKEN STARS
*grabby hands*

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Collector by Victoria Scott

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?


26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

 Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young. I've seen a lot of lovely reviews for this book (which was AMAZING), but I didn't hear a huge uproarlike with some of the "bigger" releases.

Book Blogging / Reading Life 2013

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

ALL of them. Seriously, before this year, I didn't spend much time reading book blogs. 
Some of my specific favorites include:

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock. Even though I didn't rate it 5 stars,  this book was (I'll admit it) suprisingly deep enough that it required a lot of thought for the review. I just had a lot to say about it, and I feel like I said it pretty dang well. I also really like my review of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo because we still laugh about it on twitter, and I posted it months ago.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

It wasn't much of a discussion, exactly, but I'm really happy with my post about book piracy.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Best discussion posts are always on The Perpetual Page Turner. Jamie's perspective on life and blogging is so interesting and relatable. Also, she always has really cute surveys and stuff. Like this one...

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

TLA 2013. Also going to grab dinner with Kasie West, Debra Driza, Shannon Messenger, Amy Tintera, and about 20 other bookish ladies (including YA authors Julie Murphy and Jenny Martin) after their SWEAT YA tour stop in town.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

TLA 2013. Also, Julie Kagawa said she'd read my blog. And liked it. EEP!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Surprisingly, my Champion review and giveaway has the most views by a significant amount. My Allegiant giveaway only held the title for like a month, and I am super shocked by that. I honestly don't know about comments because I don't have an easy way to figure that out, and I'm too lazy to check each post individually. I'm assuming it's a Top Ten Tuesday or a Waiting on Wednesday because those typically get more comments than even my giveaways. O.o WHAT?!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any non-meme, non-giveaway post. Meme posts get a lot of views and comments because of the view-for-view, comment-for-comment thing, and giveaways obviously get lots of both. Other posts (particularly reviews) are the ones I actually put more work into, and yet, they're always the ones that don't get a lot of view/comment love.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

 The fact that I can schedule my blog posts. I don't think I figured out how to do that until...May? So my 6 month mark. That's pretty embarrasing. I would seriously type furiously the night before or day of a post. Now I have days where I blog furiously and days where I can just chill so that's nice. Also glad I discovered the events at the Irving Public library. Kristin hosts AMAZING booknerdy events. I'm very grateful to have been adopted by the bookish people of DFW, and I love getting together with them all for cupcakes and panels and FLAMING Mexican food! Literally, the Mexican food is always on fire.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes and no. I'm a member of the Young Adult Book Club on Goodreads, and I failed pretty spectacularly at the quarterly challenges. It's much harder to do those when I've got review books coming in. But my States & countries challenge is coming in nicely. The A-Z challenge doesn't look so good with only 3 weeks left, but I think I can maybe swing it, even if I have to slightly cheat and change my books. But I DID complete my 2013 Goodreads annual challenge. 150 seems to be the golden goal for me. I didn't destroy it as much as I did last year (but in 2012, I frequently read one book a day, and that just wasn't feasible this year), but I still hit it in September.

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

The Elite by Kiera Cass and School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins. I was SO excited for them this year, but once I had them, I didn't pick them up. Derp.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Impossible to pick. Here are my lists for most-anticipated sequels and top ten 2014 reads (some of the same books are featured. Sorry, but I'm not sorry).

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY BY JULIE MURPHY. Julie is one of the local bookish gals, and I just adore her. I was also looking forward to TRACKED BY JENNY MARTIN, but due to some crazy publishing weirdness, it seems it will be released in 2015 instead. :(

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Once again, please go here to my top ten reads of 2014. We'll call it an 8-way tie.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I'm going to have a whole list of bookish resolution in a few weeks for a TTT post, but as far as blogging goes, I hope to continue my review kick. In my early days, I only posted one review a month, which is pretty bad. Now, I have a pretty good weekly schedule with days set aside specifically for reviews, and I have a list of backlist books that can supplement all the new release review books so I think I'm doing okay. I also really want to redesign my blog, and make it shinier and prettier, but that's going to depend on some financial voodoo. We'll see how that goes. As for reading, I want to continue my audiobook rereading spree. It's amazing how much material I catch in my audiobook rereads that I missed when I initially read these books.

Weekly wrap-up: December 15-21

My best friend from home was visiting this past week and my work hours just increased significantly so not a lot of reading got done, but it's been a good week nonetheless! Mostly because of this

I call this a very merry Harper Collins-mas!
2 down, 2 to go! <3

So, yeah, I'm pretty excited about this. My roommate even said I should have left them up, but I told her I'm too busy reading them! Besides, I could go ahead and do the full-on book tree at this point! I am slowly burying my room in books and loving every second. How was your week? Any great reads I should know about? Tell me about them!
Completed:
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill: 5 stars! I enjoyed Meant to Be, but I felt like it was missing something. Sloane Jacobs found it! This book is a cute Parent Trap-esque shenanigan, and I loved every page! Full review coming soon.
"Fracture Me" (Shatter Me #2.5) - Tahereh Mafi: 3 stars. I was pretty disappointed in this novella. I just wasn't impressed with the plot or really the lack thereof. I'm still Team Adam (we will prevail, you delusional darling Team Warner-ers), but I didn't feel like his voice matched with the character I've come to know and love from the previous installments. Just not a hit for me.
"Camp Christmas" (Camp Boyfriend #1.5) - J.K. Rock: stars. I had to ask Joanne & Karen if it was considered cheating on Matt (from CB) if I thought Julian was hot. They assured me they wouldn't tell him. LOVE this novella! With every installment of this darling series, I fall more in love with Joanne, Karen, and their awesome characters.

Reread:
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) audiobook - Marissa Meyer & Rebecca Soler: 5 stars. Rebecca is a great narrator. I wasn't wild about her accent for Scarlet because she fell out of it randomly, but her performance is really strong besides that one quirk. Somehow I fell even more in love with Thorne AND Wolf when they were narrated by a woman. Which is crazy weird, but whatever. Don't judge me. Anyway, I really hope she reads for the Cress audio!

Currently Reading:
Infinite - Jodi Meadows. *does a happy dance* #handconvo That is all.
Three - Kristen Simmons. Mmmm, Chase Jennings! It's been too long!
Misbehaving - Abbi Glines. Not the worst ever, currently. Krit is a surprising delight.
Reading Magic - Mem Fox. I normally don't do nonfiction, especially any that are self-help or advice-ish, but this book is awesome.

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library:
Unbreak My Heart - Melissa Walker
Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger
Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever - Mem Fox
A Darkness Strange and Lovely - Susan Dennard. So many people have been talking about this series lately. I thought I should see what it's all about! Except I accidentally grabbed this one instead of the first! *facepalm* Ooops!

Bought:
"Camp Christmas" (Camp Boyfriend #1.5) - J.K. Rock. This novella is free via Spencer Hill's website, but I wanted a nicely formatted copy for my Kindle app. It's only $.99 on Amazon!
"Fracture Me" (Shatter Me #2.5) - Tahereh Mafi. No explanation required. REASONS.
Rule (Marked Men #1) - Jay Crownover. I bought this because it was on sale and I had just seen it featured on some fellow review blogs. After flipping through it, I kind of regret this impulse buy. It just wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped. I think I'll pass on the rest of this clichéd new adult companion series.
Fierce Reads Anthology Volume 1 & 2 - Macmillan. Technically free on Amazon. I just wanted all these lovely novellas!
The Girl of Fire & Thorns - Rae Carson
Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #25747 #6) - Abbi Glines. Don't judge me or hold me accountable for previous statements. I said I was done with Abbi, but I couldn't help myself. Based on a preliminary flip through, it seems to be typical Abbi: star-crossed romance, sexy times, someone messes up, someone leaves, blah blah blah, but SHOCKER this time it's bad girl good boy. Also, it isn't horrible so for now I do not regret grabbing it.
Through the Ever Night (UTNS #2) - Veronica Rossi. Kindle Daily Deal. 'Nuff said.
Burning - Elana K. Arnold. This is one of my favorite books from 2013, and I grabbed a copy from HPB for my local blogger/author/librarian Christmas book swap.

DRCs:
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart. Thanks to Random House/Delacorte!
And We Stay - Jenny Hubbard. Also thanks to RH/Delacorte!
Pretenders - Lisi Harrison. Thank you to Little, Brown BFYR!
Plus One - Elizabeth Fama. Thank you, Macmillan CPG!
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend - Katie Finn. Also thanks to Macmillan CPG!
The Principles of Love - Emily Franklin. Thank you, Open Road!
White Hot Kiss - Jennifer L. Armentrout. !!!!! Thank you, Harlequin Teen!! 
Captivate - Vanessa Garden. Big thank you to Harlequin Teen Australia!
Salt - Danielle Ellison. Thank you, Entangled Teen!
Where You'll Find Me - Erin Fletcher. Also thank you, Entangled Teen!
Big Fat Disaster - Beth Fehlbaum. Thank you, Adams Media!

ARCs:
 
 *speechless*

Infinite (Newsoul #3) - Jodi Meadows. I had a rough day at work last Saturday. I came home to find a package in the mail from my dear friend Maura. It had Infinite and some letters from Maura and her precious kiddos. I started crying and couldn't stop because I really needed a pick-me-up just then. Big thank you to Jodi for gifting the ARC to her three crazy fangirls and to Maura for sending right when I needed it most!
Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy. Huge thanks to Julie and everyone at Harper/Balzer+Bray for sending me this ARC. I've wanted this since the day I met Julie at TLA (which was in April)! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Book Blitz: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott



Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Status: standalone
Summary:
Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?




Praise for Heartbeat:
"An intense examination of a family coping with grief, this absorbing character study easily keeps pages turning." – Kirkus

Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg
http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373210961

About the Author:
Elizabeth Scott grew up in a town so small it didn't even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She's sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn't want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and firmly believes you can never own too many books.
Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-

32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo 

icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Heather & Danny of Kismet Book Touring  for giving me the opportunity to be part of this blitz!