Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013 (11)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, bloggers post a top ten list based on a bookish theme. This week's Top Ten Tuesday was a fun topic!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013

1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King - The sequel to The Shining! In Doctor Sleep, Dan Torrance, the little boy from The Shining (RED RUM RED RUM), is all grown up. I have yet to read The Shining, but I have seen the movie directed by Stanley Kubrick (Here's Johnny!). I will definitely have to read the first one before this sequel comes out. 

2. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare - I love this series (even more than The Mortal Instruments series). It's my guilty pleasure because I usually don't go all fangirl on a series. But that changed with two words: Will Herondale. This is supposed to be the final installment in The Infernal Devices series, but Clare has already changed her mind before. I honestly would love to see this series continue. 

3. Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo - First, of all Leigh Bardugo is wicked cool. And her first name is my middle name with the same spelling (completely irrelevant)! I loved Shadow and Bone, and I cannot wait for the second installment (mainly for some more Darkling). June?!? It could be centuries away. 

4. Jim Henson's Labyrinth by Ted Naifeh, Adrianne Ambrose, and Cory Godbey - A prequel to Jim Henson's masterpiece Labyrinth? Count me in! Labyrinth remains one of my favorite movies to this day. I had a Labyrinth poster in my dorm room for years with David Bowie just staring me down. I have to admit I had a huge crush on him in that movie. Why? Who knows? The hair? The tights? For a children's movie, they didn't leave much to the imagination with those tights of his (just saying). And now a prequel about Jareth? As a graphic novel?!? I love pictures! I have to read this now! 

5. The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson - This series started off slow for me but then I fell in love with the world Carson has created. The Fire and Thorns series has one of the best heroines of all time: Elisa. She is such a strong main character. And the plot never fails. Can't wait for The Bitter Kingdom! 

6. Clariel (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix - The Abhorsen series is easily one of my favorite series of all time, and I think I might have screamed for joy or did a little dance when I heard another book was coming out. Clariel takes place roughly 300 years before the events of Sabriel. I cannot wait to reenter this world, and I will definitely be rereading the others before this one is released.

7. Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings #4) by Jackson Pearce - I am in love with Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales. They are just as dark as the Grimm fairytales, and I have an illustrated copy I love to look through. I was ecstatic when I heard Pearce is writing a retelling of The Snow Queen. That is fantastic! That tale needs more retellings. I hope to finish Sweetly and Fathomless by then since I have only read her Sisters Red

8. Raven Flight (Shadowfell #2) by Juliet Marillier - There's no synopsis as of yet, but there is no doubt that I will read this sequel. I enjoyed Shadowfell so much, and I cannot wait to read more Marillier. I also look forward to reading her Sevenwaters series.

9. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson - I've already featured this book in a Waiting on Wednesday, and I am more than ready for it to be March so this book is out. It's a Bluebeard retelling, and I cannot wait!

10.  City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Foster - High fantasy? Asian mythology? And a stunning cover and fascinating premise? This is definitely my cup of tea.

Honorable Mentions

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer 
Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare

What's your Top Ten this week? 

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Saturday, November 24, 2012 4:07 PM
Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: May 5, 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 479
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”
― Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go 

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought? (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
This book was phenomenal. Superb! Epic! You get the idea. With that vague premise, I wasn't sure what to expect. Of course, I was loving the idea of Noise and everyone being able to hear each other's thoughts, but I never anticipated how awesome this book was going to be. I was expecting Todd would just go on some journey with his dog, finding himself, and there would be a few surprises along the way. But The Knife of Never Letting Go was so much more than a coming of age novel.

Waiting on Wednesday (14) - Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, bloggers post books they cannot wait to have on their bookshelf! 

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Hits Shelves on December 11, 2012
Add to Goodreads
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed? (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
I am so excited for this book! And the release date is almost here! I've heard such good things from people who received ARC's. Plus, that cover! It just looks like my kind of read.

What is everyone waiting for this week?

Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:15 PM
Title: Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: June 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Fairytale Retellings #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.”
― Jackson Pearce, Sisters Red

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for? (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Sisters Red is a darker retelling of Red Riding Hood, somewhat reminiscent of the Grimm tale. From the moment I first set eyes on this cover, I knew I had to read it. It is such a unique version of the beloved Red Riding Hood tale. Instead of one girl, there are actually two: Rosie and Scarlett March. Both of them wear red cloaks when hunting, and they are fierce. These two sisters don't just sit back and let the woodsman take care of things; they fight themselves. Scarlett is vicious with her hatchet, and Rosie is deadly with her knives. Of course, there is Silas, a son of a woodsman and an old family friend, and he joins in the hunting, but the two girls are in the spotlight when fighting. Plus, Scarlett is missing an eye, and she is physically and emotionally scarred.

In My Mailbox (6)

Sunday, November 18, 2012 11:32 AM

In My Mailbox is hosted at The Story Siren. It's a weekly meme where you can showcase everything you've bought, borrowed, and maybe even sold your soul for over the last week.

I'm cheating this week because I haven't done In My Mailbox in a few weeks. These books are actually from the past couple of weeks. Shhhh...don't tell.

-Black City by Elizabeth Richards
-Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Young
-The Twelve (The Passage #2) by Justin Cronin (squeal! My mom's reading this right now...can't wait!)
-Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
-The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness (reading this now!)

-The Bachman Books by Stephen King, Richard Bachman

My boyfriend and I are both huge Stephen King fans, and he lent me this collection of Bachman books. There's Rage, Roadwork, The Running Man, and The Long Walk. I've already read The Long Walk, and I do plan on reading The Running Man.

What have you bought, received, etc this week?

Review: Eona by Alison Goodman

Friday, November 16, 2012 9:00 AM
Title: Eona
Author: Alison Goodman
Published: March 29, 2012
Publisher: Firebird
Series: Eon #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 637
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Eon*
“Men were always quick to believe in the madness of women.”
― Alison Goodman, Eona

Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon's army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona's power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled "Emperor" Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power - and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .(Goodreads)
My Thoughts
I have absolutely no regrets in having read this duology. After enjoying Eon immensely, I was a bit nervous that Eona wouldn't live up to its predecessor. There was no need to worry. Eona was just as impressive, and I enjoyed every single page. I was tempted to just read this book straight through, never putting it down, while I forgot all of my responsibilities. If only...le sigh.

Waiting on Wednesday (13) - The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:00 AM
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every Wednesday, bloggers post the books that they just can't wait to be released!

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Hits Shelves on March 5, 2013
Add to Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli's dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target. (Goodreads)
Why I'm Waiting
I've seen The Nightmare Affair on quite a few Waiting on Wednesdays lately, and it caught my eye. How could it not with that beautiful cover? What can I say? I'm a sucker for anything purple. Plus, the title, the premise, just everything about it sounds so wonderfully witty and unique. I'm definitely going to check this one out. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations.

What is everyone waiting on this week?

Book Blog Tour: Colonization Review and Giveaway

Sunday, November 11, 2012 10:23 AM
Title: Colonization
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Published: November 7, 2012
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Series: Paradise Reclaimed #1
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 229
Source: Publisher (for book blog tour)
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Inkspell Publishing
“Forbidden love on a paradise planet that’s anything but paradise...Dionne’s Colonization will keep you guessing.”
 – Cherie Reich, author of Defying Gravity

Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.
,br> But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius's ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn't expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

Can she save the colony and discover her true love? (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Paradise 21 was an action-packed read, and I flew through the pages with ease. I'll admit I haven't read a lot of science fiction, and I was unsure about whether or not I would enjoy this book but I was pleasantly surprised. The creepy factor and the suspense were right down my alley. And the premise was wild. A ship that's been flying for six generations towards its destination? A ship that is controlled by one man's mind? There were some crazy details.

Review: The Long Walk by Richard Bachman

Thursday, November 8, 2012 8:50 PM
Title: The Long Walk 
Author: Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
Published: 1979
Genre: Adult Thriller, Dystopian
Pages: 370
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.”
― Stephen King, The Long Walk

On the first day of May, one hundred teenage boys meet for an event known throughout the country as "The Long Walk," a deadly contest of endurance and determination, where each step could literally be their last. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
The Long Walk was written under Stephen King's pen name Richard Bachman, and this is actually my first Bachman read. From what I've heard, the Bachman books tend to be darker and more violent (and we thought King's books couldn't get any darker). My friend, the one who lent me this book, has been very persuasive lately in convincing me to read Stephen King books I have put off reading for too long.

The Long Walk exceeded my expectations just like any other King book. It was phenomenal. It's basically a bleaker, more horrific version of The Hunger Games. So if you thought The Hunger Games was shocking, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Top Ten Books On My Bucket List (10)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:00 AM
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's is a Top Ten Tuesday freebie, meaning we can pick whatever topic we want. I chose "Top Ten Books on My Bucket List." I hope my top ten list isn't too depressing, especially since I'm only 22 and should have plenty of time to read all of these books.

Top Ten Books On My Bucket List
1. Under the Dome by Stephen King- Actually, I'd like to say every book written by Stephen King. But this one is my most formidable opponent. This book is not just a mere book. No, it can only be called a tome. It could be used as a weapon if you chucked it at an intruder, or a pillar. I just weighed it (yes, I weighed it). I'm surprised it's only 3.6 lbs. I will conquer the dome! 

2. A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin - Okay, this is cheating since it's a series and not one book. I love the show A Game of Thrones, and I intend to read all of these books. I'm thinking I'll wait till they're all out though. A shout out to my girl Daenerys! That was my failed attempt at being gangster or something. 

3. Every play ever written by William Shakespeare - I've read about twelve of Shakespeare's plays, but I have every intention of reading all of them. Why? Because I can. I know, I sound like I'm five. But I might as well find use for this gargantuan book of Shakespeare that I still have from college. 

4. This Side of Paradise & Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I won't bore you blabbering on about my love affair with Fitzgerald's writing, but he has me hooked. I read The Great Gatsby and The Beautiful and the Damned, and I fell in love with those books. Why? I have absolutely no clue. I hate every single one of his characters, except Nick, but I love Fitzgerald's work. So I must read these other two. 
5. The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer - I'm a lovesick puppy when it comes to Greek mythology. I've already read parts of both of these, but I need to finish them eventually. 

6. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - I'm so excited to read this book, but it's going to be a challenge. I will need breaks and naps. House of Leaves is an odd assortment of just anything, and it sounds terrifying. Right up my alley. 

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - I keep asking myself, "Courtney, why have you yet to read this?" There is no good excuse. None at all. 

8. Moby Dick by Herman Melville - First of all, it was my college advisor's favorite book, and he was one of my favorite teachers. Secondly, I'm a big believer in classic literature, and I'm ashamed to admit I have yet to read Moby Dick. 

9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - And I even have this book! For shame. How could I not love "an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love"?

10. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf - Because I think every woman, no everyone, should read this. I've read parts for a class, and I loved her writing style. It's an extraordinary essay from what I've seen.

Honorable Mentions:

11. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

What's your top ten this week?

Recommend A...Book That Lived Up To Your Expecations (4)

Monday, November 5, 2012 12:00 AM
Recommend A... is a weekly meme hosted by Chick Loves Lit. This week's is Recommend that lived up to your expectations.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction. (Goodreads)
This book far exceeded my expectations. Everything about it was fantastic. Blood Red Road was a legit dystopia with cage fighting and slaves and giant man-eating worms. You need to check this book out! It has adventure, bands of warrior women, and even a little romance. Not to mention the heroine is a force to be reckoned with. Plus, the unique writing style makes the book all the more authentic. Rebel Heart just arrived, and I cannot wait to read it!

What book would you recommend this week?

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Sunday, November 4, 2012 12:25 PM
Title: The Immortal Rules 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Dystopian
Pages: 485
Source: Library
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“Sometime in your life, Alison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. Accidentally or as a conscious, deliberate act. It is unavoidable. The question is not if it will happen, but when.”
― Julie Kagawa, The Immortal Rules

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Let me just preface this review by apologizing for neglecting my blog. First, there was Hurricane Sandy. Although Sandy had some great background noises for reading horror, with the howling of the wind and the torrential downpour of rain. Secondly, I have been suffering from migraine after migraine. So, reading has been slow going. My week of horror-filled books was kind of a failure, but hopefully next Halloween, I'll do much better and spread it throughout the entire month of October (less pressure).
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