The Best of 2012!

2012 was an absolutely AWESOME year of books for me! I had such good look with many of the books I read. This past year I really branched out of my comfort zone as far as my reading taste goes. I slowly started to get more into the mature YA and NA books that were popping up like crazy. After having awesome luck with a few, I read as many as I could fit in. I also began seeing some of my blogging friends dipping their toes into the world of adult books and since I trust their opinions with my bookish life, I decided to give it a try. Some positive reviews led me to purchase a few and falling in love with those few led me to purchasing a whole lot more and boy am I glad that I did! Out of the 85 books I was able to squeeze into 2012, I gave 5 stars to nearly 40 of those books, crazy I know!!!! Below are all the books that I loved & adored with all of my heart in 2012. Clicking the picture will lead you to the Goodreads page of that particular book unless I had the chance to review it on the blog, if so, the picture will lead you to the review!

In no certain order, the best books of 2012:

The Hunger Games  Queen of the Dead  Die For Me  Throne Of Glass

Something Like Normal  Second Chance Summer  Shade  Born Wicked

Body & Soul  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight  My Life Next Door  The Knife and the butterfly

Dark Days  Anew  Any Other Night  Pushing The Limits

Simply Irresistible  Awkward  The Fault In Our Stars  The Vincent Boys

On Little Wings  Smart Girls Get What They Want  Slammed  Shift

Easy  Crash  Just Remember To Breathe  Charade

Dizzy  Yours To Keep  Losing It  Try Me

Wallbanger  Hopeless

Did you get a chance to read any of these titles in 2012? Did you love them as much as I did? Are there any books you would recommend to me for 2013?

Holiday Reads!

In just a few short days, Christmas will be upon us! I am ready to sit back & relax with the family, eat my weight and Christmas cookies, and curl up with a good book. Over the past year or so, I’ve read a few holiday/winter-inspired books that I’ve really liked and I have come across even more that I want to read! I thought I’d put together a fun little post showcasing those very books. Please feel to join in on the holiday festivities by sharing your favorite holiday reads in the comment box below!

Have Read:

Decked With Holly

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: Marni has created yet another laugh-out-loud funny book! I adored her first book Awkward and I equally adored this one because let’s be honest, it’s centered around Christmas!

Snowed Over

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: This was a sweet Christmas tale! Two college students stranded in an old cabin over Christmas — what could possibly go wrong (or right!)?

Falling

Falling by Jolene Perry (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: This isn’t exactly a Christmas story but with the snow (and there are LOTS of it) and the cozy lodge, this is the PERFECT curl-up-on-the-couch-with-fuzzy-socks-and-a-cute-story type of book!

Ex-Mas

Ex-mas by Kate Brian (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: I read this book last year and I thought it was a really cute, Christmas-themed love story!

Want To Read:

Tempestuous

Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: I recently received this book and I must say, it sounds like the perfect winter break book although I may not want to be at the mall or any other public venue while reading it!

Clara Claus

Clara Claus by Alexandra Lanc (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: Jack Frost and Santa’s granddaughter!?! As cheesy as this may or may not be, I must say I am oddly fascinated by the whole premise!

Santa Baby

Santa, Baby by Jennifer Crusie, Carly Phillips, and Lori Foster (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: All three stories included in this book sounds so good! I am always game for some Christmas romance!

Mistletoe

Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories by Hailey Abbott, Melissa De La Cruz, Aimee Friedman, and Nina Malkin (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: An awesome set of authors putting together what seems to be an awesome set of holiday stories!

All I Want

All I Want by Rachael Renee Anderson, Kaylee Baldwin, and Jolene Perry (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: All three stories in this book sound adorable! Jolene has made this list already with Falling so I’m excited to see what other holiday romance she’s put together!

Let It Snow

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle (Amazon/Barnes & Noble)

My Thoughts: Take a look at the authors behind this holiday book. That is all.

TGIF (55)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Back to School Reading:

Which books would you like to see in today’s high school Literature classrooms?

I owe my re-love of reading to my Young Adult Lit class. It is that little fact that really makes me think that if more teachers went above and beyond the required reading material, then maybe there would be more teen readers out there today. What if teachers were to push certain books onto you because they knew you could relate to certain characters? What if they got reluctant readers to enjoy reading because of a well matched book recommendation? Mrs. Andersen, my YA Lit teacher had an AMAZING classroom library on top of an awesome required reading list (After interrogating her yesterday I found out some of her required reading this year and it includes The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner, and Looking For Alaska by John Green just to name a few). Add these great books and our daily discussions about the latest Y.A. books that were rocking her socks off and you have one incredible combination. There was so much love for YA books in that class and I just know that so many others learned to love books as well. However, I know not everyone has the option to take a Young Adult Lit class during high school. And even more than that, the amount of books their teachers are able to provide for them may be limited. A few books that I wish so badly would be in more classrooms would be:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (8/17-8/24):

TGIF (54)

Life As Kate (22)

In My Mailbox (37)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Tune In Tuesday (66)

Book Playlist: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

 

 

 

TGIF (51)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Issue Books:

Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

Over the past couple of years I have read such a wide variety of books. Most are fun, light-hearted books but every now and then I come across a book that makes me think, a book that tears my heart apart only to put it back together, and in the end it makes me feel completely different, it makes me completely different. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This book is all about life and death. It’s about being faced with a premature expiration date and there being nothing you can do about it. This book is also about finding love when you least expect it. Reading this book was not easy, it broke my heart and made me ugly cry hardcore but in the end it was so worth it!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I love this book soooo much! Like the book listed above, this one is about death, a girl losing her father. This was not an easy read at all, yet another book that made me full-out cry ugly tears and stain the last 30 pages of my book with lots of tears. I love that this book was very hard to take at some points but it was also filled with enough heart-warming moments to make me feel somewhat better in the end.

Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

This book is a bit unconventional when it comes to tougher issues. It deals with just about the most dysfunctional families I have ever heard of. Nothing comes easy for the main characters but Chelsea does such a fabulous job of tearing their lives apart and then piecing them back together again in a not so perfect way but definitely in a way that makes you feel okay about their futures.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Let’s be blunt here, this book is about rape. This issue is not a fun one to read about and I cringe every time I even hear the word. BUT Sarah wrote this story in such a way that you were able to learn about and cope with the issue without it all being thrown in your face. Even though this book is about something I really don’t like hearing about, it still ends up being one of my all-time favorite books.

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/25-6/1):

TGIF (50)

Life As Kate (17)

Help An Author Out!

Tune In Tuesday (61)

The Soul Saver’s Book Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway!

TGIF (48)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Supporting Characters:

We tend to gush over those main characters the most, but what about those supporting roles? Who are some of your favorites?

There is no doubt in my mind and in the minds of people who know me best that I am a HUUUUGGGGEEE sucker for a side character that is done well. In nearly every review that I write up, I make sure  I mention at least one supporting character and what I liked or didn’t like about them. I mean they can make or break a book! They are the ones that push a main character to act, think, do things a certain way. They can make readers laugh, cry, get upset, or swoon just as much if not more than the main character.

So in preparation of this very important post of very important characters, I looked through my “read” list on Goodreads. But instead of being helpful/productive,  it turned into a walk down memory lane. I was recalling great supporting characters, some of my favorite scenes they were involved in, and creating a list that was far too long for a simple TGIF post. That being said, I tried to pick only a few of my favorite supporting characters but the list turned out to be rather long and then upon further inspection it turned into more of a list of supporting characters that I would want to makeout ummm I mean read more about. I am well aware that a supporting character can be in the form of a parental figure, sibling, best friend, enemy, boyfriend, best friend that wants to become a boyfriend, etc. but let’s just face it, some of our favorite supporting characters are the guys that steal our heart and threaten to never let them go (well until the next great guy comes along).

If the supporting character could potentially have a book all about them or in the case of a hot guy, they make me swoon like no other, then you know they are something special! A few of my very favorites are (after some very intensive research):

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: Augustus Waters

This book was just as much his as it was Hazel’s. Hazel’s story captured my attention and Augustus’ personality made sure it stayed in my heart. He added so much to this story. My life will never be the same after reading about those two.

The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty: Marcus Flutie

This boy makes my heart flutter every time his name is mentioned…which is quite often…which I do NOT mind in the slightest…because he is MARCUS FREAKING FLUTIE!

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Four

He is strong, pushes Tris to be just as strong, he has his own deep dark secrets that I loved figuring out, and he is oh so swoon-worthy.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Basically every character that isn’t the main character

This whole book is filled to the very brim with vibrant, mesmerizing characters. Each character holds a very special place in the story and in my heart. I could read about each one’s own story and never get bored with it.

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout: Syd & Kali

I loved the adorableness of this book so much. Syd and Kali were very much a part of the main character’s story from start to finish. They had such entertaining personalities and I LOVE that the authors continued on with another story from Kali’s point of view (Trade Secrets).

Anew by Chelsea Fine: The Archer Brothers

These two boys, oh my! They helped to create the most amazing, heartbreaking, breathtaking love triangle I have ever seen.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: Basically every character that isn’t the main character

Oh this story…<3 I love Macy’s mom’s craziness, heartbreak and all; I loved Delia and how loving and supporting she was no questions asked; I loved Bert whose nerdiness added so much laughter to this book; I adore Kristy and Monica who befriended Macy without a second thought; and last but not least, I LOVE Wes, just for him being who he is and how he helps Macy to find out who she is.

Miscellaneous: All the swoon-worthy, drool-inducing, heart palpitation-causing boys

This one is for all the guys I am too tired to think of at this very moment. The ones that make me say “aww”, the ones I dream about, the ones that the very real and very alive guys are now compared to. They bring love and sweetness to the pages of many books <3

Miscellaneous: All the crazy, goofy, interesting, fun, fabulous best friends

They are in a TON of books, we may not always remember exactly why we loved them but it is safe to say the best friend character is filled with someone who brings humor to the story, is always there for our main character, the one that reminds us of a friend or someone we know in real life. They are the ones that add so much extra little awesomeness to the story.

Miscellaneous: Everyone else I am forgetting

The evil villains that make your skin crawl but fascinate you at the same time, the grandma/grandpa that smells of old person but is really sweet and can teach you important life lessons, the pet that loves you unconditionally, the moms and dads that are either uberly crappy or utterly overbearing, the moms and dads that are there and supporting their children (because those types of parents DO and SHOULD exist in books), ALL of these characters are important. They may not have a whole book centered around them but they deeply affect the main character and help to shape the story into something that we love, adore, and gush endlessly about!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/4-5/11):

TGIF (47)

Awry by Chelsea Fine + Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Tune In Tuesday (58)

Tune In Tuesday (52)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the very last week of Tune In Tuesday Book Playlist Edition and it makes me so sad! I really wish I didn’t miss that one week because there is a ton of music related books I would have loved to share with you guys! But since it is the last week, I will try to make it extra special by posting a few of my very favorite songs that remind me of a few of my very favorite books!

Endlessly by Green River Ordinance paired with The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I really felt so many raw emotions while reading this book that I could have easily picked 20 songs to go along with it! It broke my heart in the most beautiful way but it also showed me all about love and I think this song displays that perfectly.

Everything Falls Apart by Carter Hulsey paired with On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

I recently saw Carter in concert and picked up his CD. As soon as this song came on, I was reminded of Jennifer and Nathan’s story ESPECIALLY when the line from Robert’s poem is mentioned in the song. That plays an important role in the book.

Birds of a Feather by The Civil Wars paired with Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

This song has that sort of hauntingly beautiful feel to it and that is exactly what I experienced while reading this book.

Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift paired with Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I still don’t know what it is about this song. It could be the mention of green eyes but I like to think it is just the whirlwind of feelings flying between Zoey and Doug in this book. You can definitely tell there are sparks flying between the two!

Daughter Of The Sun by Windsor Drive paired with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is another hard one to really explain. It may be because I listened to this CD a lot right around the time I read the book but I like to think that the lyrics tell a very similar story.

You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson paired with The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

You know I had to pick at least one Sarah Dessen book! I actually had a super hard time because I feel as though her stories are so specific, it’s hard to match a song perfectly. I know this song gets paired with a lot of paranormal books but I actually really like how it fits with this story. Wes brings out a whole other side to Macy. She is just going through all the motions but Wes and the whole gang get her to open up and grow as a person.

In My Mailbox (33)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library!

It has been far too long since my last IMM post! I tried to think of all the books that I got the past couple of weeks but if I forgot something, I apologize!

For Review:

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois (signed)

My Thoughts: This book was brilliant! I loved the journey the main character went on. Review coming soon!

Revealing Eden: Save The Pearls Part I by Victoria Foyt (signed)

My Thoughts: I am just now starting this one but the summary is definitely super interesting!

Gifted/Won:

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (signed)

My Thoughts: Thank you SO MUCH to Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books for sending me this awesome surprise. I cannot wait to read more of this series!

A special thanks to C.A. Kunz for sending over a Childe Bookmark! It was so nice to get a hand-written, thoughtful letter!

 A special thanks to Michelle I. Brooks for sending over a Bone Dressing bookmark!

Bought:

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I loved this first book so much! I had it for quite a while but took it to Leah’s book launch to get it signed!!!

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I am so excited to see where this book takes Az, Eden, Gabe, and the whole gang!

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

My Thoughts: Lexcade has convinced me that I will love Leanna’s books and I trust her completely! I have been waiting a while for this one.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

My Thoughts: So heart-breakingly beautiful! I love this book so, so, so, so, so much. There will never be enough words to explain all of its brilliance.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

My Thoughts: Witches, sisters, first love, magic, really is there anything unappealing about this book? I think not.

So that is it for my mailbox this week! Leave a link in the comments section and I will be sure to check out yours as well!