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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 Resolutions and Reading Challenges!


I love new years. It's always just so exciting to me getting to make tons of new plans and wondering where the year will take you.
Last year was a crazy year for me in my real life, so my blog suffered. 2013 I will be back in full swing on the blog. I missed everything about blogging so I can't wait to jump back in and really give it my all again.

So for 2013 my blogging/reading list of resolutions is:
- Read at least 100 books. (That was my goal last year, but I only read half that...oops)
- Comment more.
- Get involved in the author/blogger community again. I miss you guys.
-Take it easy. I stress myself out so much for not having been able to post that much, but I don't want blogging to be a stressful thing. It's my fun thing, so when I don't get posts up there will be no stressing.
-Expand my reading horizons. Last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and picked up my first romance novel. I loved it and devoured many throughout the year. This year I will try more books that I never thought I would pick up. Suggestions are welcome :)

So far, that's what I have. I may think of more later if any come to mind.

For my reading challenges I am joining:

I love debut authors and I get so excited for new authors to have their books FINALLY get released. I'm super stoked to take part in this challenge again and be able to celebrate these awesome authors accomplishments again!
I will have a tab up by the end of the week with some of the debut books (with links) that I want to read.

TBR Pile 2013 hosted by multiple bloggers. (6 to be exact)
I have a lot of books. When Borders went out of business I went a little over board with buying sale books, I frequent Half Price Books almost weekly, library sales happen, school fund raiser sales, Amazon cutting prices on ebooks....throughout the years I acquired more books than I realized. This is the perfect challenge for me to get in gear and get some of those books I already have read.
Since you can move up levels but not down I'll start out with the goal of 'A Sweet Kiss' which is 21-30 books. Hopefully I'll be able to move up.

I love most British things so this sounded like a fun challenge to take part in this year, getting to branch out and find some British authors to love :)
The first two weeks of January I'll be looking up some books to read for this one and will post them on my challenge tab soon.

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
I did this one last year...and read 30 books less than I did in 2011.
So here's to hoping I do better than that in 2013.
I'm going for 'Breaking a Sweat' which is 11-15 more books than last year.
Piece of cake :p

Around the World Challenge hosted by Giraffe Days
This one just sounds like so much fun. Hunting down a book from each of these countries and giving them a whirl. Count me in!
These are the countries we will be visiting:
JANUARY = France
MARCH = Wales
APRIL = Fiji
MAY = Belgium
JUNE = South Korea
JULY = Israel
AUGUST = Palestine
DECEMBER = Argentina

And last but not least, I'll have my Goodreads reading challenge which will be set to 100 books!

Happy 2013 everyone!!

Bout of Books 6.0

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books 6.0 team

I attempted to do Bout of Books, I failed miserably. I challenged myself to 1o books so that I could work on catching up on my TBR pile. Not even one book was finished.
The second half of 2012 was pretty stressful for me, but with this year ending and 2013 just beginning I've made one of my resolutions to stress less and take more time for the things I love. So what better way to start that than with a read-a-thon since I love reading. 

Even though I didn't make even the slightest dent in my challenge last time, I'm sticking with trying to get 10 books done the week of the read-a-thon.  The books are still to be decided, but I am behind in review books so that might be what I will focus on.

I hope to see you participating in the read-a-thon as well!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

'Tis the Season for a Giveaway!


Giving is my favorite part of Christmas so I've put together a little giveaway for all you wonderful readers.

What can you win?
A snazzy swag pack that includes:

 Some bookmarks.
 A Snitch Christmas Ornament
 Matched Trilogy Button Set
 Breaking Dawn Slap Braclet
Vampire Academy Temp Tattoos
Beautiful Creatures Mini Poster
Book Sample

And my favorite part of the WHOLE giveaway:

The Fault in Our Stars (B&N Exclusive Edition)
A copy of the Collector's Edition of The Fault in our Stars by John Green!

The giveaway is from now until December 24th and I will announce the winner on the 25th for Christmas. The winner will have 72 hours to get back to me or I will choose another winner.
Since this edition of TFioS doesn't release until January 3rd I will preorder it and send everything once I get the book.
This giveaway is open to US Residents only (unless you know someone in the US who I can send the box to and they can forward it along to you). I wish I could afford international shipping.

So get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 10 Books I Would Love Santa To Bring.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and The Bookish.

Since this weeks topic is which books would we like Santa to bring, and he is magical and all, I decided to put some books on my list that are not yet released.
(This list is in no particular order)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
As soon as I read about this book I knew I wanted it, especially since I was going through a "The Bachelor" phase and this was being compared to that show...and it's dystopia. Yeah, I swore I had to have it...but it's been out for a bit now and I still haven't gotten it. 

Warm Bodies
I like the new take on zombies.
And it has been made into a movie. I prefer reading the books before I see the movie.

There is no cover for this one yet, but I'm sure it will be just as cute and romance-y as Stephanie's other covers.
But I've read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next this one is a MUST.
Though it doesn't release until May 7th I know Santa could work a little of his Christmas magic ;D

This is another one that I don't want to have to wait for (releases June 4th).
I love apocalyptic and dystopian stories so this was right up my alley.
Come on, Santa! Put this under my tree. It will be a Christmas miracle!

The Madman's Daughter
This book may be a little bit more reasonable than the other two, seeing that it releases end of January.
It sounds really creepy though.
And right in the synopsis it pretty much states there will be a love triangle...and I am a sucker for a GOOD love triangle.

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was weird to me. I wasn't sure for a while after I read it how I felt about it.
Now thinking about it I've decided that I really liked it. And all I see is that the sequel is even better, so naturally I want it.

Guys, the synopsis had me giggling. This book came out of nowhere and very few blogger friends seem to have read it, but the ones that have say it's hilarious and really entertaining.
Bring on the funny!

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)
I can haz more Rhine for Christmas, please?

Second Chance Summer
This book just screams emotional summer contemp.
I want.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
So I met Sarah at ATBF12. She stood on a chair which almost gave Libba Bray a heart attack, talked about killing the other people on her panel Hunger Games style, and was just genuinely funny. 
Why have I not added her book to my shelves yet? I really don't know.
So Santa, let's remedy this.

That's only a small part of my Christmas Book Wish List. There are so so many more that I would be perfectly content with showing up underneath my tree.
So, fellow book lovers, what books do you want Santa to bring you?

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 End Of Year Book Survey

Hosted by the wonderful Jamie @
best books read in 2012

The books used in this survey are from January 2012-November 2012. If I read any in December that just HAVE to be added, I'll come back and edit it

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Ha! Do you think I could honestly pick just one?? Not at all, so I'll list a couple.
(Genre list copied from Jamie @ Perpetual Page-Turner)
Adult fictionThe Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
This year I read a lot more adult fiction than I ever have , but this series was by far my favorite. It's fun, fast-paced, sexy...and it has Jericho Barrons. 'Nuff said.
Contemporary YAThe Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han.
I used to roll my eyes at contemps, never really understanding why people would want to read about real life, especially tragic situations. Then at the end of 2011 I read The Summer I Turned Pretty and my mind was changed forever. I love contemps now, particularly the ones listed above.
Dystopian YA: I read two dystopias this year....TWO! How incredibly lame is that??
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Since I only read those two I can't really say I have a favorite...they were both only alright to me. 2013 I have a whole list of dystopians that I want to read since it is one of my favorite genres.
Sci-fi/supernatural/paranormal-ish (big lumping together):
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Mara Dyer was so so good. Even though it has the cliff hanger of doom. I've had the Evolution of Mara Dyer for a couple of months now...but I'm too scared to read it!
I really liked Rachel Vincent's take on banshees in her Soul Screamers series. Can't wait to get to the rest of them.
FantasyThe Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The stigma that hangs over YA and middle grade books, that they are cheesy and have no literary merit, is so dumb. The Emerald Atlas proves that even a middle grade can have a great story. I adored this book.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
I really liked Personal Demons so I was thinking I'd like this one just as much...but it really fell flat for me. It just wasn't as good as the first one...not even my angel Gabe could save it.
 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma- this one freaked me out a little bit. Definitely outside of my comfort zone, but it ended up being such a great, and tragic, story. Quite a few tears happened.
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han - The final book in a series or trilogy always worries me. Especially if the other books were really good. I was so nervous that the final book in the Summer Trilogy was going to be awful...but it ended wonderfully though.
 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I told people to read TFioS so that they could feel all the things with me.
And Divergent because people want another great dystopian after The Hunger Games, so that's what I tell them to check out.
 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
John Green! TFioS was my first John Green book and it was fantastical. I can't wait to read more by him.
Michelle Hodkin. She created Noah that automatically makes her a favorite.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
2012 was the first year that I started reading some romance. That was a big change for me and most definitely out of my comfort zone. But I really enjoyed Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert. It was a fun read.
 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Being the last book of the series, Shadow Fever was an intense and very unputdownable read. Finally everything was being explained and was coming together.
Mara Dyer was so twisty and turny and it seemed like with the turn of every page more questions came to mind than answers. It was awesome.
 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Even though I've already read TFioS twice, there is a very good chance I'll read it again in 2013. It's just too good not to read it on a regular basis.
The Summer trilogy are great summer reads. So when I get down to the coast next year, they will be in my beach tote...again :)
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
I heart this cover so hard. It is beautiful. I love that it is underwater and that it is also intimate without being overtly sexual. It also wasn't one of those typical "beautiful girl staring longingly" covers.
11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars.
Conrad Fisher from The Summer Trilogy.
Jericho Barrons from The Fever Series.
Yeah...I have a penchant for awesome guy characters.
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.
She has the most amazing gift when it comes to words. It was such a beautifully written book.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I went through some very tough things this year and this book really hit close to home. In the way that there is always someone there to help you up when you've fallen, there is always room for forgiveness, and that fresh starts are possible.
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I really wish I had picked this book up when I was in highschool. It most certainly would have helped with some of the situations I went through.
 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
Oh lord.
“There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

“He didn’t give me flowers or candy. He gave me the moon and the stars. Infinity

-Belly Conklin-” 
― Jenny HanWe'll Always Have Summer
“Headline?" he asked.
"'Swing Set Needs Home,'" I said.
"'Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home,'" he said.
"'Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,'" I said.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“I'm in love with you," he said quietly.

"Augustus," I said.

"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Longest — Shadow Fever by Karen Marie Moning at 594 pages.
Shortest — My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers novella) at 61 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!
The end of Mara Dyer made my jaw drop. Pretty much I was like "WTH just happened?!!"
And the end of TFioS had me bawling and I just wanted to bawl with someone.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. Hands down. The witty banter that they had is some of my favorite ever. John Green knows how to create some incredible characters.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Melissa from "I Swim For Oceans" raved about it on her blog and twitter, so before I really knew anything about the book I decided to read it solely based on her love for that book.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
I haven't been around that much in 2012 because of personal matters, so I've started following new blogs, but I haven't really had a chance to sit down and read them. I plan on changing that soon, so as soon as I do I'll post 'em here.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 
Again, I haven't done very many posts in 2012 and even fewer reviews. But if I had to choose I guess I would say my review of "Anna and the French Kiss".
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Discussion posts are where I have always lacked. I always have such a hard time coming up with ideas for them. It's on my blogger resolutions for 2013 to do more of them.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I didn't read very many posts this year, sadly. And the ones that I did read were at the beginning of the year so I don't remember many of them :/
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I got to go to the Austin Teen Book Festival, again! This year I went by myself, which was different, but still lots of fun since I got to meet new people, go to whatever panels I wanted, and all that bookish goodness. And I got to meet Libba Bray which was so awesome!
6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
There were a couple people at ATBF that told me they had heard of my blog, which was really surreal and incredible.
And right now is a good book blogging moment too. I've taken some time off from it to sort some difficult stuff out in my life and I finally feel ready to come back at full force again.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My post on the incredibly nonsensical reasons for banning books  has been my most popular.
My review on Letters to Elise by Amanda Hocking still gets a lot of visits too.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Reviews seem to get the least amount of love...and not just on my blog, but a lot of blogs...which is weird since that is really the whole point of our blogs is reviews. So reviews. And my bookish crafts posts. I love the crafts that I find for those posts.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Book playlists on Spotify. I love listening to what songs authors were inspired by for their stories.
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I failed at most of my goals. I was going to read more books off my shelf, read more books that I already had on my Kindle, catch up on my NetGalley review books, and read 100 for the year. I was doing really well, then about May my whole life was changed and things just went downhill from there (book blogging wise, not so much life wise). I only read 50 books, put more NetGalley ARCs on my Kindle...barely touched the books on my bookshelf...haha good thing 2013 is a new year with new goals that I am going to try my hardest to keep this time.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I'm working on my most anticipated list right now, so you'll have to check back on the blog to see what I put on it.
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Keep up with the blog better and get a handle on my TBR pile. I haven't finished my blogging resolutions list yet, there will be some smaller goals set, but those are the biggest ones that I am going to focus on.

Can't wait to see what 2013 brings!