Top Ten Books on My To-Read List (Winter 2015)

5b4a8-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

For more information about Top Ten Tuesday and a list of upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.

This Week’s Topic:
Top Ten Books on My To-Read List (Winter 2015)

I fell short of my reading goals for 2014, so I have a lot of catching up to do!  These are the books at the top of my list.  All book titles link to Goodreads.

Winter1

  1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart- I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks this summer and loved it.  A hardback of We Were Liars is on my bookshelf, calling my name.
  2. The Unwind series by Neal Schusterman- My mom and brother are urging me to finish this series.  They LOVE it.  I really enjoyed the first book, but it’s been well over 5 years since I’ve read it.  I’ll need to do a re-read before tackling Unwholly, UnSouled, and Undivided.
  3. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier- I discovered this book at a new local indie bookstore called Greenrow Books.  If you’re in Maryland, you should totally check them out!  I’ll be teaching Poe soon, and this Victorian ghost story boasted a Poe-type vibe.winter4
  4. Maggie Stiefvater- There was a point where I had read everything Maggie had published.  I’ve since fallen way behind, despite my desire to devour everything she writes.  I’ve started Scorpio Races three times but have never finished.  SinnerDream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue are all on my to-read list as well.winter2
  5. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- This book has tons of buzz, and my mom read it already and passed it on to me after she really enjoyed it.
  6. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins- Sometimes I need humor in my life, and I can trust Rachel Hawkins to make me laugh!  I loved her Hex Hall series, and I want to check out her latest novel, too!
  7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas- I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this series, and I feel so late to the party!  Really, really want to read this one! winter3
  8. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate- I am normally so much better about reading the Newbery winners.  This one keeps escaping me, and I really must make time to read it.  I need to read more middle grade this year because I’m running out of books to recommend to my students!
  9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Another series that I keep hearing wonderful things about!  I bought this ages ago and really must finally pick it up!
  10. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers- This series intimidates me because the books are sooooo long.  But it’s another series that people rave about, and I shouldn’t let the book’s weight deter me any longer!

What books are on your to-read list this winter?  Please share!

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February Debuts 2013

Each month I’ll be doing one post to highlight book releases by debut authors that I have my eye on.  Check back at the end of the month for reviews! Or feel free to try to sway my opinion to read other debuts as well!



Debut Author Challenge:
February Releases

Pantomime 
by Laura Lam 
Release Date: Feb. 5

Goodreads Summary:

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

What grabbed me:
This sounds like such an imaginative and unique story, and I love the cover!

City of a Thousand Dolls 
by Miriam Forster 
Release Date: Feb. 5

Goodreads Summary:

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

What grabbed me:

This sounds like a gripping and suspenseful read set in a fantastical world. Add a dash of romance to the adventure and mystery, and this sounds like my ideal read!

Pivot Point 
by Kasie West 
Release Date: Feb. 12

Goodreads Summary:

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

What grabbed me:

I love this concept of two completely different lives stemming from a single choice and how intriguing that she can see the possibilities and both options have serious pros/cons. I love everything about this premise!

Dance of Shadows
by Yelena Black
Release Date: Feb. 12

Goodreads Summary:

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you’re close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner’s heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .
Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister’s shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . . 
Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed . . .

What grabbed me:
The cover is creepy but beautiful.  I did ballet up until middle school and will always have a fondness for it.  I love to read books that take me back to that past love.  Plus this sounds like a suspenseful read!

Dualed 
by Elsie Chapman 
Release Date: Feb. 26

Goodreads Summary:

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Elsie Chapman’s suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

What grabbed me:
Yikes!  Killing your twin?!?!  Definitely sounds similar to Hunger Games.  Looks like a fast-paced and exciting read!

Some debut novels from January that I purchased and also plan to read:

Which debut novels are on your list?

Top Ten 2013 Debuts I Want




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more information about Top Ten Tuesday and a list of upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.
Top Ten 2013 Debuts I Want

(In order of release date, and book titles link to Goodreads)

1. Pantomime 
by Laura Lam 
(Feb. 5)

Goodreads Summary:

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

What grabbed me:
This sounds like such an imaginative and unique story, and I love the cover!

2. City of a Thousand Dolls 
by Miriam Forster 
(Feb. 5)

Goodreads Summary:

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

What grabbed me:

This sounds like a gripping and suspenseful read set in a fantastical world. Add a dash of romance to the adventure and mystery, and this sounds like my ideal read!

3. Pivot Point 
by Kasie West 
(Feb. 12)

Goodreads Summary:

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

What grabbed me:

I love this concept of two completely different lives stemming from a single choice and how intriguing that she can see the possibilities and both options have serious pros/cons. I love everything about this premise!

4. Dualed 
by Elsie Chapman 
(Feb. 26)

Goodreads Summary:

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Elsie Chapman’s suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

What grabbed me:
Yikes!  Killing your twin?!?!  Definitely sounds similar to Hunger Games.  Looks like a fast-paced and exciting read!

5. Poison 
by Bridget Zinn 
(Mar. 12)

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

What grabbed me:

I love this cover and the protagonist sounds like a strong and conflicted character. Elements of adventure and hints of fairy tale lore, I want to check this one out!

6. The Collector 
by Victoria Scott 
(Apr. 2)

Goodreads Summary:

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big, red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.
Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

What grabbed me:
This is my guilty pleasure, swoony bad boy read for the year.  I enjoy books from the male perspective, and I’m looking forward to reading about this guy with an attitude go soft and get in touch with his emotions.

7. Taken 
by Erin Bowman 
(Apr. 16)

Goodreads Summary:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.
Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

What grabbed me:

The high stakes and intriguing dystopian world make this a must read for 2013. I’ve already heard lots of buzz for this book and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be a favorite.

8. The Ward 
by Jordana Frankel 
(Apr. 30)

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.
However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.
Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

What grabbed me:

Disaster/Survival novels terrify me, but I can’t help myself. I devour them. The Manhattan setting and need for freshwater are total pulls for me, and the reference to Westerfeld definitely caught my eye.

9. Reboot 
by Amy Tintera 
(May 7)

Goodreads Summary:

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

What grabbed me:

This is a totally strange but interesting idea. Humans being rebooted and made stronger. And I love novels that make you think about what it means to be human.

10. Linked 
by Imogen Howson 
(Jun. 11)

Goodreads Summary:

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.
Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.
Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.
Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.
Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

What grabbed me:
I love the idea of mysterious links between human beings, and this sounds like a suspenseful read with hints of dystopia.

Which debut novels are on your list?

January Debuts 2013

Each month I’ll be doing one post to highlight book releases by debut authors that I have my eye on. At the end of each post, I’ll name my MUST READ for the month. Check back at the end of the month for my review. Or feel free to try to sway my opinion to read one of the other debuts as well!


Debut Author Challenge:
January Releases

Altered by Jennifer Rush
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Why I’m Interested: I’m a huge fan of science fiction.  Throw in secrets, escape, love, and a mysterious connection and this sounds like my kind of read!

Splintered by A. G. Howard
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Why I’m Interested: I normally avoid books about mental illness because it’s such a heavy and dark topic that really gets to me.  However, the reviews that are posted and the description intrigue me, especially the vivid setting and spin on a literary classic.

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Release Date: January 15, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend … and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.
Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

Why I’m Interested: This book has a lot of buzz already.  The summary sounds strange, but it also sounds action-packed and intriguing.

Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.
After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.
Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

Why I’m Interested: I have this fascination with Medusa and think she’s a totally awesome character/legend/myth to play around with as a writer.  That alone made me want to check this book out.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.
Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

Why I’m Interested: I heard an agent speak about acquiring this manuscript and it immediately jumped out at me when I saw the list of debuts.  While I haven’t read H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, I’m really into YA books that are spins or twists on classic literature, so this one definitely intrigues me.

Hooked by Liz Fichera
Release Date: January 31, 2013
Goodreads Summary:

When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.
But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.
But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…

Why I’m Interested: Native American protagonist and a girl who golfs could make this a fresh and original contemporary read.

My MUST READ January Debut is…

Level 2
Look for my review on January 30!

(I wanted to pick The Madman’s Daughter but it comes out January 29 and I want to read one of the above in January, so look for Madman’s Daughter to slip into another month as a debut read.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Resolve to Read in 2013


A HUGE thank you to my awesome brother for my new Top Ten Tuesday button  🙂

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For more information about Top Ten Tuesday and a list of upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Yeah. I am the only person in the world who hasn’t read this series. I resolve to fix that!

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
I’ve heard such great things, but have allowed the length of this book to intimidate me.

Eon by Alison Goodman
Another chunky book that I haven’t tackled but heard wonderful things about, and I love a good fantasy.

Legend by Marie Lu
I love sci-fi and dystopian novels, so I purchased this eBook awhile ago… But still haven’t read it.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
I try to make a point of reading Newbery Honor books, and I purchased this one a VERY long time ago. I want to finally get around to reading it.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Both my mom and other bloggers have raved about this book, and rumors are this book is a tear-jerker.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Another book that I’ve heard great things about and I’m really making an effort to try more contemporary fiction.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
I heard Sarah Dessen speak in 2011, and have since wanted to read one of her books. This one I already downloaded as an eBook but I’d take recommendations of other books by Dessen.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Another series that I feel like I’m late to discover, but would really like to check out because it screams everything I like.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
So many people say this series is exceptionally well done and one of their favorite, plus this book has been sitting on my shelf for ages.

Any recommendations on what to start with?
What are you resolving to read?

Winter Break Book List 2012

Today is the start of my winter break. I have eleven glorious days off. I am hoping to get a lot of reading and writing done, and want to share what books are at the top of my to-read list. I literally have to put together a list because I have to pack to go home to my parent’s house. So these are the books I’m taking with me… as well as my Kindle for back-up.

Titles link to Goodreads.
Links to reviews that persuaded me to read the books are included as well!

I’ve spent the last month re-reading Leviathan so that I could finish out this series. I finished reading Behemoth last week, and am now ready to tackle the last book in this clever steampunk trilogy. If you love great world-building and spunky characters, you should check this series out!

Re-Read Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Read UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
Unwind is probably the most eerie and thought-provoking dystopian books I’ve ever read.  The story stuck with me long after I finished.  Originally intended to be a standalone novel, when a sequel was announced years after Unwind’s publication, everyone in my family got excited because we’d all read Unwind.  My mom has read Unwholly already and said it’s genius.  I can’t wait to find out for myself!

Re-Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Read Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of my favorite books of 2012, and I’ve long been awaiting the sequel after the cliffhanger ending that Laini Taylor left us with.  I’ve heard that this is an emotionally draining but amazing sequel.  I’m drooling a little bit as I look at the book sitting on my bookshelf.  Can’t wait!

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefavater
I’ve read every book by Maggie Stiefvater except her two most recent releases.  I love Maggie and adore her blog.  I’ve started Scorpio Races twice already, but life keeps getting in the way whenever I pick it up.  Maggie’s books also tend to take me awhile to get through because her pacing is a little slower than I’m prone to read.  Plus both these books are on the hefty side.  Friends and bloggers are raving about both books and I have had them on my TBR list for awhile now.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Everyone is praising this book as one of the best fantasy reads of the year, and I’m eager to see what all the hype is about!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Another book with a lot of hype and praise circulating.  This hardback is begging to be opened!

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson
The premise of this book captivated me as well as all the positive reviews.  I’m hoping this is a book I can recommend to my middle schoolers, but we’ll see!

I’m probably overestimating myself with this list, because not a single one of these books are short, quick reads.  But all of them are books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time now.  Here’s to lots of cozy reading days!

To-Read January 2012

This year, I’m striving to read 75 books.  In 2011, I read 63 (my goal was 50).  Since I overshot my goal by 13, I decided to aim higher for 2012.

In order to stay on track with my goal (which averages at 6.25 books per month) and also keep up with the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, I decided to set up a “To-Read Notebook” where I planned out my reading selections.

Above is page one, with titles and authors in blue, reasons behind the selection in red.  And the pretty typewriter paperweight I got for Christmas is holding my notebook open.  Don’t you love it?  😛

I chose Cinder as my first debut novel because I’ve heard sooooo much about it, and I’ve been bit by curiosity.

Other debut novels I’m interested in:
-The Cabinet of Earths
-Black Boy White School
-The Alchemy of Forever (after reading rave reviews)
-The Gathering Storm
-Tempest
-The Book of Wonders
-Incarnate (after reading rave reviews)
-Article 5 (after reading rave reviews)

This is the first time I’ve done this… planned my reading selections in advance… so we’ll see how it goes.  I tried to balance traditional paper books with Kindle selections.  Because I still own and buy paper books… despite the fact that I now prefer the experience of reading on my Kindle…

And so far I’m LOVE, LOVE, LOVING Daughter of Smoke and Bone.