Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011 Debuts!

2011 was a great year for books, especially debuts.  Let's give some love to these great new books/authors!!  All of these books have been reviewed here on the blog, so if you want to read a review of any of them, just click on the Debut Author Challenge category at the top of my page and they're all there.

  • Best Overall - Divergent by Veronica Roth

  • Best Cover - Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

  • Favorite Character - Bridget from Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

  • Favorite Couple - Helen and Lucas from Starcrossed

  • Most Underrated - Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

  • Best Kiss - Helen and Lucas again.  Can you tell I'm a huge fan of this story?

  • Best Villain - The bad witch in Warped

  • Most Original Plot/Best Story - Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

  • Most Surprising Read - Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

    Genre Categories - Best of:
    • Paranormal - Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
    • Contemporary - The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
    • Fantasy - Across the Universe by Beth Revis
    • Mystery - Forgotten by Cat Patrick
    • Dystopian - Divergent by Veronica Roth AND Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • Romance - Timeless by Alexandra Monir


    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Debut Author Challenge 2012!!!

    It's that time of the year again!  So I participated in the Debut Author Challenge of 2011 and proposed to read 50 debuts.  Although there are a few days left in the year, I think I have it figured that I'll have just missed my goal by only a small handful... like less than 7.  It was a great effort though, so even though I didn't finish, I feel so priviliged to have been able to see the launch of nearly 50 new careers, or in the cases of some previously published authors branching out into a new market, it was exciting to see them launch a new phase in their careers.

    So now it's time to pledge my reads for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.  This challenge is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  If you're looking for information on how to participate, just visit her page for details and don't forget to add a participation button to your blog.  Remember, these are items debuting in 2012, read in the year 2012. 

    This year, I am pledging to read 50 again.  Perhaps my list will help get you started if you're also doing the challenge this year.  So here's what I'm planning to read...and my apologies that there are no pictures, but it would probably take me all day to save and upload this many pics, so I hope you'll forgive me that it's just a list:

    January 2012

    Marie Landry
    Blue Sky Days
    Avery Williams
    The Alchemy of Forever
    Maureen Lipinski
    Shadow's Edge
    Trisha Wolfe
    Destiny's Fire
    Kristen Simmons
    Article 5
    Megan Miranda
    Brodi Ashton
    Jodi Meadows

    February 2012

    Susanne Winnicker
    The Other Life
    Heather Burch
    Halflings (Halflings 1)
    Sara Etienne
    Veronica Rossi
    Under the Never Sky
    A. C. Gaughen
    Jess Rothenberg
    The Catastrophic History of You and Me
    Allison Rushby
    Shooting Stars
    Michelle Vail
    Undeadly (Reaper Diaries 1)

    March 2012

    Jessica Shirvington
    Ruth Warburton
    A Witch in Winter (Winter Trilogy 1)
    Ann Redisch Stampler
    Where It Began
    Elisa Ludwig
    Pretty Crooked
    Carley Moore
    Stalker Chronicles

    April 2012

    Leah Bobet
    Eve Marie Mont
    A Breath of Eyre
    Scott Speer
    Immortal City
    Elizabeth Norris
    Jamie Manning
    Blood Born
    Kiera Cass
    The Selection
    Elissa Janine Hoole
    Kiss the Morning Star

    May 2012

    Emily White
    Anna Davies
    Wendy Higgins
    Sweet Evil
    Galaxy Craze
    The Last Princess
    Kathleen Peacock
    Lisa Daily
    Zoraida Córdova
    The Vicious Deep
    Ann Banks
    Of Poseiden

    June 2012

    Martha Brockenbrough
    Devine Intervention
    Claire Merle
    The Glimpse
    Anne Greenwood Brown
    Lies Beneath
    Huntley Fitzpatrick
    My Life Next Door
    Trish Doller
    Something Like Normal
    Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
    Between the Lines

    July 2012

    Rachel Hartman

    August 2012

    Katie McGarry
    Pushing the Limits
    Alex Morel
    Gina Rosati
    Dan Krokos
    False Memory
    Ruth Frances Long
    The Treachery of Beautiful Things
    Lisa Luedeke
    Corrine Jackson
    If I Lie

    September 2012

    Kimberly Sabatini
    Touching the Surface

    October 2012

    None Yet

    November 2012

    Lauren Morrill
    Meant To Be
    Karen Amanda Hooper
    Tangled Tides

    December 2012

    Corrine Jackson

    Release Date

    Melissa West
    Vahini Naidoo
    Fall To Pieces
    A.G. Howard
    Talia Vance
    Tina Connolly
    Ironskin (Ironskin 1)

     Happy 2012 debut reading!!


    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

    The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
    Release Date: December 6, 2011 (eBook Format Only. Print release pending)
    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken. Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?  -

    So-called friend is right!!  Addison has to be one of the most unlikeable characters I've read in a long time.  But then again, she was supposed to be.  I'm sure some people will read this and think, "how could Gemma stay friends with this girl?"  That was my first reaction too, but after reading it a bit more, I couldn't help but remember some times in my teen years when I had friends just like her.  You know the kind... You're close to them because you either feel obligated, or because who would you be without them, you think.  I remember having friends like that... friends that used me for things (usually a ride, because I was always older than everyone else and was the only one with a car), but when they didn't need me, they weren't there.  So really, if you think about it, Addison was completely realistic, and so was the dynamic betwen her and Gemma. 

    Just as Addison was realistic, so was Gemma.  A flawed teen who struggles with image somewhat, and in a way that is so typical to teen girls, but really all women.  I loved Gemma.  She was so strong, but didn't know it.  It was a subtle strength that grew and expanded throughout her experiences.  It was great getting to watch her blossom.

    Her love interest was so sweet and cute and funny and quirky.  He was perfect for her and the two of them were awesome together!!

    Let's go straight to the heart of Jennifer Echols' talent as a YA writer.  She just has a knack for writing realistic teenaged characters in teenaged circumstances.  Her characters, the situations they're in, and their reactions, all ring so true.  It really sinks you into the story until you forget you're reading a "story."  She's one of my favorite YA writers for this reason.  Her stories are simple.  They're about real people in real situations.  The emotions are so clear and bare for the reader.  And when the conclusion finally comes, you just feel satisfied.

    Her next book, Such a Rush comes out in July 2012.  How will we wait for the next one???

    If you liked this book, you might also like:


    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    Waiting On Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. WoW posts are about books that you can’t wait to get your hands on.

    This is one of my favorite posts to read on the blogs that I follow because other bloggers have found so many wonderful books that I had no idea about! I get most of those from reading Waiting on Wednesday posts. :-) I urge you to visit other blogs and read theirs to find these great lists!

    Release Date: January 10, 2012
    Why I love it: Sequel to Across
    the Universe.  The first Sci-Fi-ish
    story that I absolutely ADORED!!!

    Buy it on Goodreads

    Leave a comment and share your WoWs.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    My teaser this week comes from:
    The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
    Small blurb from Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.  Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend.
    Teaser from page 32: "In these situations I found it best to call up a surge of adrenaline and pretend to be extroverted.  I'm not saying it was best.  My extroverted imitation tended to get out of hand sometimes.  I'm just saying I found it best."

    I love Jennifer Echols!!!

    Come share your teasers for this week!

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    New Girl by Paige Harbison

    New Girl by Paige Harbison
    Release Date: January 31, 2012
    Publisher: HarlequinTeen

    They call me 'New Girl'...  Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.  Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.  Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.  And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back. -

    I fell in love with Paige Harbison and her writing with her debut Here Lies Bridget.  New Girl only confirmed my decision to become a fan.  Paige Harbison is a unique storyteller.  Her characters are so alive and vivid, painted to such completeness that you feel like they're standing in the room with you, or that you are there experiencing the story from a few paces away.  One thing I loved about Bridget, which I loved in this story too, was her ability to take an unlikeable character and make them likeable, to make you care about them when you don't want to.

    One of the things that made this story unique was that it is told in alternating points of view between third person (Becca) and first person (the New Girl.)  So you get to see what is currently happening as the New Girl attempts to settle into Manderley Academy, and what happened with Becca, revealed in flashback chapters that take you through events gradually.

    There was romance in the story too, and it was a good one... one that kept me interested and had me waiting and yearning to see what was going to happen.  The author did a great job keeping you dangling and waiting to see how things would work out, without feeling like you were being led along.

    Something I found truly amazing was how much one girl's life managed to touch and affect so many others.  Even more amazing was that this was not a "good" girl, by any means.   Becca was manipulative to the max, but because no one knew they were being manipulated, Becca managed to turn everyone into her followers, so much so that they shun the new girl for "replacing" her.  For her part, the new girl is a sweet one, not shy, but just your average girl who has a good heart, but flaws.  These two were polar opposites but made an impact in their separate ways.

    It's hard to write anything else without giving the story away.  I'm thoroughly satisfied with this book, loved its characters, and loved Paige Harbison's simple, yet raw style.  I can't wait to read more by her.

    If you liked this book, you might also like:

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    In My Mailbox (50)

    This is my Merry Christmas IMM!!!  In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  Here's hoping that Christmas brings you tons of of awesome new books!!

    I had another super haul this week, as people are starting to give me Christmas presents.  Squee!!! Here's what I got this week!

    Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
    The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

    Touch by Jus Accardo
    Saving June by Hannah Harrington

    Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
    Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
    The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

    Leave a comment! Let me know what you got this week.  I love reading other people's IMMs, because I find so many awesome new books that I didn't know about!!

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