Top 14 of 2014: Day 7

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Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Books of 2014….and a GIVEAWAY!

1. Unhinged and Ensnared by A.G. Howard
I know that TECHNICALLY Ensnared shouldn’t count since it doesn’t come out until 2015, but I read it in 2014 so I put it on this list!

2. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

3. The Jewel by Amy Ewing

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

5. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

7. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

8. Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

9. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

10. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

11. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

12. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

13. My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

14. TIE: Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele and Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler

memelistThese are MY personal top 14 reads of this year, and I know there are still a ton of books in my TBR from 2014 that I didn’t get to yet!  Thank you so much for participating and be sure to enter my Top 14 of 2014 giveaway!

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Visit the other blogs participating in this meme!

Top 14 of 2014: Day 6

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Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Books of 2015 on my TBR

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?”

2. I Was Here by Gayle Foreman

3. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

4. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

5. The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige
To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die….

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?”

6. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

7. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
“One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.  Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.”

8. The White Rose by Amy Ewing

9. The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings

10. Winter by Marissa Meyer

11. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.”

12. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

13. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

14. The Cage by Megan Shepherd
“When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?”

memelistWhat are some of the books you are looking forward to in 2015?  Do we share any in common? What books do you think I should add to my TBR?

Join Our Meme! Only one more day and the topic is: Top 14 Books in 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Day 5

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Due to me pushing Save instead of Schedule, this post is a day late. So sorry! Hope you like it!

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Favorite Characters

1. Meadow from The Murder Complex

2. Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles
Cinder has a lot of self doubt and hatred left from her life as a cyborg, but over the course of the first novel (the only one I’ve read so far) she becomes much more self assured and learns her true worth.

3. Morpheus from Unhinged
Morpheus is temptation, he is chaos, he is sexy as hell.

4. David from Rebel Belle
Much like I’ve mentioned before, David is the delightfully nerdy love interest in the novel, and he loves Doctor Who. I cannot stress how important his love for Doctor Who is to his characterization (not really, but I love him for it).

5. Nova from Nova trilogy
Over the course of these novels, Sorenson did an excellent job of making Nova more and more relatable as she overcomes her emotional past relationship and becomes a much more solid character.

6. Cassie from The Naturals series
She is basically a criminal behavior profiler like on Criminal Minds.  She has had an interesting past, including a character that wanted to kill her. She’s pretty awesome.

7. Death from The Arcana Chronicles
Much like Morpheus, Death is temptation.  However, he is more rigid, but still sexy as hell.

8. Clara from Winterspell

9. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead
Laurel has a lot of flaws, and she isn’t the strongest character or person at the beginning of this novel.  But she grows immensely and I think that is why she became one of my favorite characters–her journey is amazing.

10. Bree from Loop
She can be a bit demanding and a little bit sarcastic. What isn’t there to like?

11. Britt from Black Ice
To me, Britt’s journey in Black Ice is a bit similar to Laurel’s from Love Letters to the Dead.  While she starts off as a relatively weak character that is hard to relate to, her journey throughout the story really just allows her to grow and flourish.  Plus, she is doggedly stubborn and I love it.

12. Mrs. Q from Belzhar
Yes she is a secondary character, but she knowingly gives these journals to the students she knows needs it the most. I would have loved to have her as a teacher.

13. Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves
Linda was an expertly crafted character.  She is not only an outsider because of her race during desegregation, but she also harbors feelings for women that also put her outside the norm during her time.  She becomes stronger and determined. I’d love to read more about her and where she ends up next.

14. Emi from Everything Leads to You

memelistWhat were some of your favorite characters of 2014?  Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be just from books that came out in 2014, it can include characters from books that you just now read in 2014! Join our Meme!

The next topic is: Top 14 2015 Books on your TBR

 

Top 14 of 2014: Day 4

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Due to me pushing Save instead of Schedule, this post is 2 days late. So sorry! Hope you like it!

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

 Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Favorite Couples

1. Alyssa and Morpheus from Unhinged
The queen of Wonderland truely has found her match in Morpheus, and as much as I love Jeb and Alyssa’s relationship, Alyssa and Morpheus are completely and totally meant to be.

2. Bree and Finn from Loop
Both of these characters are clever and sassy: an excellent match that reminds me of my favorite science fiction couple of all time: The Doctor and Rose Tyler.

3. Meadow and Zephyr from The Murder Complex
Two characters beaten down by the society they live in, both are fairly prickly (even after they meet one another!) but I fell in love with them.

4. Jamie and Mason from Fan Art
I absolutely adored this novel and how the homosexual relationship between these characters developed so naturally. It was a beautiful progression and I’m so happy that the YA world is producing some LGBTQ romances

5. Sarah and Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves
I love how this relationship develops organically over the course of the novel, and I especially enjoy the fact that this romance is backburnered because the narrative concerning desegregation is more in focus.  Talley just did an excellent job with this.

6. Emily and Frank from Since You’ve Been Gone
From practically strangers to friends to lovers.  I just really loved the two of these characters together and I’m not lying when I say that I could read a whole book of them just bantering and enjoying one anothers company.

7. Harper and David from Rebel Belle
David references Doctor Who in this novel. I spent the rest of the book pretending that when the characters were “off screen” that he was introducing Harper to the wonderful world of Gallefrey.  Plus, they were ridiculously fun to read as a blossoming friendship/couple.

8. Nova and Quinton from Nova Trilogy
I’ve read a lot of Jessica Sorenson’s novels, but I can honestly say that none of her other characters were as real and raw as Nova and Quinton for me.  I love that they come to forgive themselves and each other over the course of the books.

9. Sing and Nathan from Strange Sweet Song
Not going to lie, at first I thought this would be weird. But again, this story is very remnicent of The Phantom of the Opera for me, and it really was kind of imagining what it would have been like had Christine chosen the Phantom instead of Raoul.

10. Emi and Ava from Everything Leads to You
Slow and blossoming love over the course of a friendship and a familial mystery.  Evidently that is definitely a trend that I’ve noticed while making this list.

 11. Cinder and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles
Okay, I’ve just now finally started reading this series by Marissa Meyer, and I absolutely adored the awkward and genuine interactions between these two characters.  I’ve only read the first novel, (no spoilers, please!) but I can only hope that this relationship gets back on track after the events that transpired at the end of Cinder.

12. Ash and Violet from The Jewel
Um, yes. More of this story, ASAP.  I’m looking at you, Amy.

13. Evie and Death from The Arcana Chronicles
This relationship started off rocky in the first installment of this series, but I cannot help but adore this relationship/friendship/enemy-ship.  I ship it.

14. Eleanor and Daniel from Something Strange and Deadly
Ah. The back and forth between these two characters and their relationship almost made me keep them off this list, but I couldn’t let heartbreak stand between me and admitting that they were one of  my top 14.

What were some of your favorite couples from 2014?  Doesn’t have to be just YA!  Maybe I haven’t read those books, and I definitely want to!

Join our meme!

Top 14 of 2014: Day 1

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Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

 Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 New-to-You Authors

1. Cheryl Strayed: Author of Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, and the non-fiction book, Wild, which has been adapted to a movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

2. Meg Wolitzer: Author of Belzhar, her first Young Adult novel. Wolitzer has written a lot of Fiction but I fell in love with her first foray into the YA genre, and hope she keeps bringing her talent to teens!

3. Morgan Matson/Katie Finn: My praise is definitely a double edged sword here, because I absolutely adored Matson’s novel Since You’ve Been Gone, but I really wasn’t happy with her pseudonym’s novel, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend.

4. Rachel Hawkins: Evidently I’ve missed out on some good novels by not reading Hawkins’ work until this year, but I read Rebel Belle and fell in love.

5. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Another author that I had never read before this year, but I fell in love with The Naturals (which I read in 2014) and managed to get my hands on the sequel. I don’t know if I’ll check out her supernatural series, but I really do love her Criminal Minds-eque series and hope it keeps going!

6. Jennifer Armentrout: I should just label the middle of this list as the authors I regret ignoring until 2014.  I still have only read one of her novels, Don’t Look Back, but I went ahead and bought a few more of her novels to read for 2015!

7. Amy Ewing: Ewing’s debut, The Jewel, was definitely one of the best novels I read this year. It was also her debut novel, so she really should be on everyone’s New-to-Me author list!

8. Ava Dellaira: Another debut author for 2014, whose novel Love Letters to the Dead, really exemplified how the grieving process can effect a teen.

9. Lindsay Cummings: So proud of this former book reviewer and now successful author! I’m not much for middle grade books, so I haven’t read The Balance Keepers, but I adored The Murder Complex!

10. E. Lockhart: I’m starting to get concerned for myself for not hearing about some of the authors on this list prior to 2014, but man, We Were Liars is now one of my favorite books of all time.

What are some of your favorite New-to-You Authors for 2014?  Be sure to join our meme!

 Tomorrow’s topic: Top 14 Moments or Quotes from Books

memelist

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands on!

1. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
Book 3 of the Arcana Chronicles

2. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Book 2 of Rebel Belle

3. The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
Book 2 of Dorothy Must Die

4. Unleashed by Sophie Jordan
Book 2 of Uninvited

5. The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings
Book 2 in The Murder Complex

6. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
Book 3 of The Shades of London

7. A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd
Book 3 of The Madman’s Daughter

8. Rogue by Julie Kagawa
Book 2 of Talon

9. Lady Celie by Melina Marchetta
Book 3.5 of the Lumatere Chronicles

10. Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil
Book 2 of Don’t Get Mad

 

What sequels are you waiting on?!

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

1. Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele
I mean, didn’t you see this one coming?

2. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
I met A.G. at BEA and I may have fangirled a little bit. I want to get my hands on an ARC of the final book, or I might cry. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but still!

3. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
This book was super fun to read and I just cannot wait until more of the story comes out.

4. Uganda be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler
Heck yeah, Chelsea. Always on my best lists.

5. My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
Beautiful story with LGBT and Religion storylines.

6. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Serial killers and super smart profiling teens? Yes. All it is missing is Matthew Gray Gubler…

7. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My first Armentrout novel, and it was freaking awesome.

8. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
I’m an Alice girl, but Paige has me almost on the Wizard train!

9. Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
Beautiful story that reminds me of Phantom of the Opera. Pick it up!

10. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Historical fiction, women’s rights, and a decent love story? Yes, please!

 

What were some of your favorite reads this year?!

 

 

Book Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth. 

Wow! What a fun read.

As a southern girl who actually did go through cotillion, (yes I had to learn how to be a proper lady, learn how to correctly set a table for a dinner party, learn to ballroom dance, and had to have a big final dance where we showed off everything we learned to our parents), this book gave me a wonderful sense of nostalgia and a super enjoyable way to look at it and realize how ridiculous it all was.  Let it be known that I most definitely wasn’t as excited as Harper and her friends about it, but I liked that the novel showed both sides of the cotillion argument.

This story had a really interesting premise to me, and I honestly had no idea what a Paladin was or any specific knowledge concerning oracles.  To be honest, I still really don’t understand a whole lot of it, but the plot was a lot of fun and it was easy to follow.  This is definitely a book that would serve as an excellent beach read, and hey, maybe visit one of our southern beaches!

 Random side note: the main  character’s boyfriend’s name is Ryan  and he escorts her to cotillion where  there is a big fight. Coincidence?

Anywho, I really Hawkins employment of the vernacular sometimes used here in the south, and how important it is to show your emotions through baked goods.  It is definitely a code we southern women live by.

Also, while it might seem a little typical for the heroine’s love interest to be the complete opposite of her in every day, I really loved the development of David’s character.  Just Hawkins’ description of his wardrobe and his bedroom really painted a clear picture of him.  Extra points for the Doctor Who mention on page 184.

Oh, and Hummingbird Cake has many different names down here, but you can find a really good recipe for it here.

4.5 Bards for pure fun, originality, and appealing to the southern girl in me.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday

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Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: April 7, 2015

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

Waiting on Wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on: 
 
Release Date: April 8, 2014
 
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. 
 
Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth. 
 
With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.
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