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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 YA Audiobook challenge-Sign Up

Did you know that about a quarter of the books I "read" during the year are audiobooks? I always have an audiobook on the go. I find that they make certain mundane tasks, such as cleaning, and exercising much more pleasant. But I have never reviewed any of the audiobooks I have listened to. Which is to bad, because I have heard some great ones, experienced some fantastic narrators. Therefore I am going to participate in the 2013 Young Adult Audiobook challenge hosted by Jen at A Book and A Latte. You can find out more about the challenge and how to signup here.

From the challenge page:

Choose a level below that will challenge you, and listen to and review the amount of audiobooks required for that level. To complete this challenge, you must listen and review a minimum of 12 audiobooks (released any year) of the YA genre in 2012. 

 Easy Listening Listen to and review 12 audiobooks. 

 Rock’n Out Listen to and review 24 audiobooks. 

 Head Bang’n Listen to 36+ audiobooks, and review at least 24 of them. 

 Mosh Pit Listen to 48+ audiobooks, and review at least 36 of them.

For this challenge I am going to take it easy and go with the ``Easy Listening Listen`category. I am sure I will listen to more then twelve audiobooks but, will I review more? We'll see.

For your listening pleasure, below are a few of my favourite narrators:

- Khristine Hvam: Daughter of Smoke and Bone- She did a fantastic job with Smoke and Bone and I really would love to see how she does with Days of Blood and Starlight

-Dan Bittner: Linger and Shiver- Love his voice. He narrated Cole in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It was brilliant. He also narrated Gayle Forman's Where She Went.

-MacLeod Andrews: Will Grayson, Will Grayson- One of the best audiobooks I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The two narrators were fantastic and I am eager to see what other YA novels I can dig into that they've narrated.

-Nick Podehl: Will Grayson, Will Grayson- The other half of the Will Grayson duo. I know Nick has narrated The Chaos Walking trilogy and I have been wanting to read that novel for a while, so maybe I'll listen to it instead.

-Laura Flanagan: Identical & Crank- Laura narrates the majority of Ellen Hopkins' novels and she does a great job. She does uncaring, twisted teenager brilliantly. She also narrates The Running Dream which is what I would like to listen to this year.

So there you have it.  My challenge sign up.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (7) My Fave books of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish

It's that time of year again... the end of the year. The time of year where you talk about all the books you read, and chose the ones you enjoyed the most. Yup, this week's topic is...

Top Ten Books I Read In 2012

1) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows- I love this book. I thought it was unique and original. I thought the characters were creative and fun. The writing was beautiful. Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I am very excited for to read Asunder and see where Meadows is going to to take us next. 

2) If I Stay by Gayle Forman- What a beautifully written story. I don`t know what else to say. If I Stay broke my heart into a thousand little pieces and put it back together again, one painful piece at a time. I loved the way this story made me think. What would I chose, had I the choice? It was fantastic. 

**I read Where She Went right after and while I enjoyed it. The story did not impact me as much as If I Stay**

3) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan- What a marvelous book. I have never laughed so hard in a novel, I have never found characters more endearing. Both Green & Levithan did a wonderful thing with this novel and I loved every moment of it. I first experienced this novel through audio and I have to say that truly enhanced my love for this book. The narrators are awesome and they did a really great job. 

4) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake- This was a spooky book. I wasn't expecting it to be as creepy as it was. But I loved it. I loved Cas's (the protagonist) voice. I think that was one of my favourite things about the book. It was a fun and light read, and really funny. I have fond memories of this one. 

5) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- Yes, this is the second John Green novel to make it to my list. But... I had a really good year with him. TFiOS was beautiful. I think it was unlike anything I have ever read by him and the writing was exceptionally beautiful. I get the warm fuzzy feeling and the clogged throat thing all at the time same time just thinking about this book. 

6) All Fall Down by Megan Hart- This was a slightly different one for me this year. A novel about a young women and her three children being sent away from the cult like commune that she called home and surviving the mass suicide that took place. Hart is a wonderful writer and the words and stories she puts together never ceases to amaze me. I have already borrowed this book out to a number of friends and they want more. 

7) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- I was not expecting what I got from this novel. I was uninspired when I read the synopsis of this book, and the movie trailer again did little to impress me. But after reading it, I was in awe. Charlie was a great character and I loved him. I cried when he cried, I laughed when he laughed, I felt really awkward when he felt awkward. It was a great story.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have hopes. 

8) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Read this on a LONG road trip I took in the summer and I don't really remember the car ride being that long. This novel was good, very good. Full of adventure and romance, and deception. 

9) Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry- This book got a lot of hype. Tons. So I wasn't sure that I was going to like it. But I did, I really did. It deserved all the hype that it got. The story was great, McGarry is a wonderful writer and I loved her characters. Noah and Echo were what made the book. 

10) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- The characters are what made this book such an awesome thing. In case you didn't notice that about me, characters make or break a story. My Life Next Door does not have one bad character. As soon as I was done with this novel, I felt a little sad because I didn't get to experience anymore of the Garrett family. I am very eager to see what Fitzpatrick has in store for us next. 

Honourable Mentions: Easy by Tammara Webber and The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Thoughts: Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Thanks goes to Merit Press and NetGalley for eArc

This book sounds pretty crazy eh? A 24 hour birthday party that turns into a bloody massacre in a matter minutes. It was pretty intense I can tell you.

I whipped through The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab. It took me a matter of hours to read it. In the midst of papers and exams I could not put this book down. I was enthralled! Every time I thought it was time to put the book down and start doing something else, something would happen that would make it impossible. Benedis-Grad knows how to write a story that keeps readers on their toes. The Girl in the Wall was exciting to read.

I will warn you though. This is one gore ridden novel. I was not expecting the amount of death that was in The Girl in the Wall. Not just death, but graphic death.

In case you didn't get it before now, I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the concept of the novel- I thought the hostage situation was something different. It was frightening and thrilling all at once.  The plot of the story was great, however, at times it was a little transparent. It was easy to see who was behind the whole fiasco. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. But there were times  where there was little explanation as to why certain things happen. I wanted more from this book. I wanted it to be longer. It needed to be longer. The book itself is only about 250 pages (fairly short), however it would have been a wonderful novel if it had another 50-75 pages.

The characters as well were okay, but also could have used a little more development. I liked Sera, and Ariel wasn't as self-involved as I thought she would be. Hudson was the most complex character and I really enjoyed his interactions with Sera, also with Ariel.

Although I really enjoyed The Girl in the Wall and it was a quick read for me, ultimately I wish it was longer and that there was a bit more to it. Benedis-Grab is a great story teller and I will absolutely be looking to read more by her.

The Girl in the Wall hits stores Tuesday Dec 18th.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Thoughts: Everyday by David Levithan

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day

The only other book that I have read by David Levithan has been Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and as many of you know I absolutely loved that book. The premise for Every Day was interesting to me. The idea of waking up in a different body, a different town with different memories every day was very intriguing. It sounds fascinating and horrible all in one. I wanted to be a part of the phenomena. Prior to the novel's release it garnered a ton of amazing reviews and I was so eager to read it. I could barely wait. I was so sure I was going to love this book, but when I finally got around to reading it I wasn't completely thrilled with it.

While reading Every Day I felt incredibly sad for A, this gender-less being was so lonely, and I found this really heartbreaking. Levithan did a wonderful job of making you feel how lonely A was. How tired this entity was of the constant travel and having no one to confide in. It was sad. But then A falls in love with Rhiannon and no longer feels so lonely. It happens very quickly and when this happens in a book-It's not something I'm usually a fan of. But in this case it was necessary.

I loved Levithan's writing in this novel. There is no doubt that he is a fantastic writer. What bothered me a little was how the story became a little redundant and stagnant. It sort of stayed where it was and never progressed. A was always trying to find it's way back to Rhiannon. Having to prove that what it was saying was the truth and trying to figure out how to maintain this odd friendship it had developed with the girl.

I can't say I loved Every Day, but I did enjoy it. I just wanted more. There were certain things that were started but never completed. There were somethings I would have liked to see more of, for the end to be a little more complete. To me the end felt abrupt and rushed. Which was a little disappointing.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (6) My Christmas Wishlist

I haven't done one of these in a couple weeks. I had to take last week off- I was ten kinds of busy with the end of the term. University sucks sometimes! TTT is hosted over at The Broke and Bookish.

But I am pretty excited about this week... I get to share my wishlist.

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

1) The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky - I read this book earlier this year and I loved it. I, however, do not own this. I need it though. I have a special spot saved for it on my bookshelf.

2) The Taker by Alma Katsu- Another book I have read but do not own. I loved the book and I would like to own the trade paperback. I think the cover is beautiful and I must own this novel.

3) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood- I enjoyed this novel and I am obsessed with the cover. It's so pretty. Although I would like to own this book. I wouldn't be devastated if Santa didn't bring it to me.

4) Rapture by JR Ward- This is book four in her Fallen Angels series. I haven't read book three yet, but I own them all and I really dislike not having a complete series. However, I believe this one was released in hardback, and I have no problems waiting for the paperback.

5) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo- I loved this book when I read it back in the Summer. I loved the Russian feel to it. I loved the main character and I loved the writing. It was perfect. Such a good story, and I would love to have it on my shelf.

6) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- My favourite contemporary novel ever. Well this year at least.  This novel I would love for Santa to deliver to me. As soon and I was done reading it, I wanted to start over. I love books like that.

7) Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor- I don't generally buy books that I haven't read before. It's sort of my rule. I dislike wasting money on something that I am unsure I will love. But I was thrilled with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I am VERY eager for the sequel. So excited.

8) The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling- I know I want to read this book, and I will be the first to admit that I want to own it on principle alone. Jo wrote it, and I want to support any and everything she writes. My concern with owning this though is that I would never get around to reading it.

9) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy- I would love to read this book, and with the movie just out now I am even more curious about it. I want to own it, but Santa I am very specific on the cover I want.

10) The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta- Love, love, love this book!!! I NEED to own. But I am a little picky with this one. I want the Australian cover. I am not a huge fan of the North American Cover. I think it's ugly.

So there you have it. My Christmas wishlist. Books I have read and books I haven't. I love looking at these so please leave links to yours below so I can take a look.

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2013 Debut Author Challenge Sign Up

So- The Debut Author Challenge is one of my favourite reader/blogger challenges, and the 2012 challenge would have been my second challenge time participating. However with all the controversy that surrounded The Story Siren last year I chose to distance myself from it all and withdrew from the challenge. I continued to to read Debut authors I just didn't announce them. 

So, when I heard that Tara from Hobbitsies was taking over the challenge I was incredibly excited. SO viola, here it is. I am joining in the race again. 

To sign up and all the rules for the challenge can be found here. Everything is outlined clearly there. 

The generally goal is to read 12 debut between Jan 1, 2013 and Jan 31, 2014. I however would like to exceed that goal. And TRY for 20. This may not seem like very many, but that's my goal. 

Here is a short list of the 2013 debuts I am planning to read. 

**All links lead to the Goodreads page**

1) Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook 
2) The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd 
3) Taken by Erin Bowman 
4) Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway 
5) The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett 
6) Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller 
7) Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza 
8) The Murmurings by Carly Anne West 
9) If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch 
10) The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding 
11) Pantomime by Laura Lam
12) Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt 

So, there is my list of 12, some I will get to, others I will not. Some I will read that aren't on the list. But I love reading debut authors and I am excited about this challenge. I hope you all will consider participating. If you are please link your sign up links so I can see what debuts you want to read. 

~Happy Reading Eveyone! 

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl