Monday, December 31, 2012

Memorable Monday ~ Anne Frank


Memorable Monday is a meme hosted by Escape in a Good Book.  I'm excited to join in on this one because I love quotes, which was the driving force behind the creation of Memorable Mondays.  I thank the ladies at Escape in a Good Book.

So... how do you participate?  It's simple ~

1) Share a quote that has captured your interest lately in a Memorable Monday post on your blog.

2) Come back here and leave the link to your post in the comment box below.  If you don't have a blog, I'd still love to hear, well, read, your quote.  Leave it in the comment box instead of a link to a non-existent blog.  :)

3) Visit other participants if you have time.  It's always nice to have visitors.  There's no overstaying your welcome this way, and they don't have to offer the obligatory drinks.  Or clean.

4) If you tweet your posts, feel free to use the hashtag #MemorableMonday.


Mostly my quotes will be from a book I've read, but they may occasionally come from cyberspace or from a friend.

This Week's Choice

"At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains."
~Anne Frank~

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review ~ Let it Snow

 Let it Snow
Title: Let it Snow
Author(s): Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: October 2009
Source: Own (gifted to me via Kindle)
Rating: 5 stars

~Goodreads Description~

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors - John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle - the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

I'm not even sure I read the description, ever, before adding to my to read list. I love Maureen Johnson and John Green, so I added it without thinking. And I'm so glad I did, and that Malissa gifted it to me. :)

So. Much. Fun. Despite the heartache, the drama, the intense snowstorm, it was so much fun to read. The characters felt real. I loved how they came to life for me. Not only in one author's portion of the story, but throughout the entire book. It was seamlessly tied together. It was a light read, as far as books can go, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want to put it down. 

"I can't really think of an easy way to say this. Um, in your opinion, what would be the ideal number of wheels for Carla to currently possess?... Because to be honest, I think the best possible number of wheels for Carla would be four. And right now there are three wheels physically connected to Carla herself, a nonideal number. Fortunately, the fourth is just a very slight distance away, but unfortunately I am not an expert in wheel attachment."
~John Green, Let It Snow
I add this quote because the sarcasm and wittiness of the character. :) Fits perfectly within the story and the character himself.
Have you read it? Did you like it? Want to read it? Leave a comment! :)

Smiles,
B

 


Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Reading Challenge

 

I came across this challenge from Evie Bookish. I thought it sounded like a great way to attempt to deplete diminish my TBR list. We shall see. lol



Here are the levels:
(how many books you're planning to read for this challenge in 2013)

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children  

If you look at my original post about this challenge, you'll see I want to commit to reading 21-30 books. Although I would love to commit to more, I would love to read more, I want my goal to be realistic for my life. So, I'm sticking with that. If I meet it and exceed it, then great! Since we can move up but not down in goals, I guess I could, in theory, raise my goal if I see I'm getting close enough at some point... but we shall see how it pans out.

More on the challenge...

Challenge Guidelines:
  1.  This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don't have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you've read (on your blog, Amazon, or Goodreads/Shelfari).
  3. Any genre, length, or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2012 and earlier. NO 2013 ARCs and 2013 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed.
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (if you don't have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Tweet!).
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign ups will be open until December 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. On the 20th of each month, one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway, and place for you link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from the Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up (i.e. the entire month)!
  9. If you miss a wrap up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking. :)
  10. December is a wrap up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January - November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - a box of books.
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways.
What books are going on the short list? Let's see... I'm going to attempt to list some books I know I want to devour read this year.. :)  The hard part is there are so many 2013 books I am looking forward to as well! lol

Update: As of today, November 11, I've read 11 books off this list. Others I've read with a pub date pre-2013 include:
  1.  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  2.  Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  3.  Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
  4.  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  5.  Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
  6.  Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  7. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  8. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
  9. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
  10. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  11. Heist Sociey by Ally Carter
  12. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
  13. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
  14. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
  15. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
  16. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  17. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  18. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  19. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  20. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  21. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  22. Dream Team by Lisa Ard
And makes a total of 33 books. I've already surpassed my goal! That makes me happy. :) What doesn't make me happy is the lack of reviews to go along with these. I got in a funk with writing reviews - even short ones that said basically nothing. lol  Hopefully I'm past that. We'll see. :)


Ones I Own:
  1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  3. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
  4. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  5. Ashen Winter by Mike Mullins
  6. Hana by Lauren Oliver
  7. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  8. Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  9. Last Summer by Anne Brashares
  10. The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
  11. The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson
  12. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  13. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  14. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
  15. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  16. Hare Moon by Carrie Ryan
  17. Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
  18. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  19. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  20. Here Today by Ann M Martin
  21. Falling Stars by Sadie Grubor
  22. Stellar Evolution by Sadie Grubor
  23. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  24. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  25. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  26. Switched by Amanda Hocking
  27. The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, & Tessa Gratton
  28. The Narnia Series by CS Lewis 
  29. Flutter by Gina Linko 
  30. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Ones I Don't Own:
  1. Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Now Own :)
  2. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr Now Own :)
  3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  4. Crossed by Ally Condie
  5. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
  6. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
    Now Own :)
  7. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  8. Unwind by Neil Schusterman
I think that's all I want on there... for now, at least. lol 

What books have been on your TBR list that you plan on reading this coming year?

Smiles,
B




Friday, December 28, 2012

Review ~ Code Name Verity ~ Review

Publication Date: February 6, 2012
Publisher: Egmont Press
Format: Hardback, 343 pages
Source: Own (Bought)
Rating: 5 stars

Description:
I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.


~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

I do not know how I finished this book. Not because it wasn't good. Because it was that good. 

I am going to try to do this without spoilers, but let's be honest. There will probably be spoilers. If there are, I will make them where they have to be highlighted to be read, though. Hopefully that will allow anyone and everyone to read my review without worries. :)

Honestly, I only started this book because Malissa told me I had to. She did the same thing with The Hunger Games (and by that I mean she bought me a copy so I was forced to read it out of guilt... lol), and I had absolutely no regrets. She has yet to steer me wrong in any other recommendations. Yet. And we can keep saying yet as I have no regrets with reading this one either. It was a slow start, though. I lacked the time to devote to simply reading. But once I was able to dive into it properly, I wanted to devour it. So much so that I had to place something (hand, bookmark) below where I was reading so I wouldn't try to read ahead!  

The story begins with a female character narrating and she has been captured and tortured. But her attitude, her snarkiness, her determination and strength, fight, was amazing. She was giving them information in exchange for prolonging her life (no spoilers yet, I promise). The writing, the character (who shall remain nameless to prevent any spoilage) development - superbly done. Beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking... It felt like she was talking to me rather than writing her story for someone else. Then the first part ends. And by ends I mean, just cut off mid-sentence. What the hell just happened? Really? Who does that? And makes it work!? Elizabeth Wein, apparently. ;) 

Begin part two. We meet Kittyhawk, another female character (I'm really trying for no spoilers, so I'm stealing a codename... lol). Different from character number one in personality traits, but just as strong. I swear I could feel her panic, her desperateness. Which is just another kudo for Wein. There was one part, I'm nearly crying as I write this, where I almost screamed out loud. Thank goodness for quick reflexes since my kids were napping, but... wow.

How hard this must have been to write. The routes chosen, the strength of friendship, love. Heartbreakingly good... I would recommend this to anyone who breathes... has a soul. Except maybe my children; they're not quite ready for that. ;)  Seriously... read it. If you regret it you are dead inside. Okay, maybe not. But I really don't think you'll regret it. If you do, my apologies for steering you down the wrong path of reading happiness. 

If you've read it, or even if not, I'd love your feedback. :)

And I think I did it. I'm going to have Malissa read this first, but I *may* have done this without spoilers. We'll see. Note: Malissa says I'm good to go! lol  :)




Smiles,

B

♥Follow Friday♥

Gain New Blog Followers
RULES
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
(Taken straight from the hosts)
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Happy Follow Friday!

This week's question:
What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

If you read my latest review (will be posted today; need to proof it), you'll know that answer. I'm sure it has something to do with being so fresh in my mind. There's so many books I love so choosing one to share with the world is a tough task. But Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) is not only a book I love, it's beautifully written and amazingly good.

That being said, just like a song that no one hears the same, no one will read the same. So I suppose it may not strike a chord with everyone as it did me. But still. I think everyone should give it a shot.

If you have one, add the link to your FF in the linky below! :)



What books have you loved that should be shared with the world?

Smiles,
B

Monday, December 24, 2012

Favorite Books of 2012

 So excited to join in the fun here! Check out more on the challenge at Jen Ryland/YA Romantics. There's a challenge for nearly everyday; I get to post this one and it's all about my faves of 2012.

So many books I *loved* in 2012. Let's just begin. :) In no particular order, here are my favorites:

The Space Between
 
~Goodreads Description~
Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?
Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.
This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

This was actually the first book I read in 2012. I had *loved* Brenna's first book and I got this as a gift from Malissa when my daughter was born. I fell in love with the writing (once again), the characters were great, and the story... oh, the story. I loved this just as much as the first. :)



Delirium (Delirium, #1) Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
Delirium & Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

~Goodreads Description~
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Delirium leaves the readers with lingering feelings of both sadness and hope; it will stay with them long after the last page is turned.

Note: Only posted Delirium description just in case someone hasn't read it. I don't want to do any spoilers. :)
I had never read Lauren Oliver before this year. As of right now she's definitely in my top favorites. I loved the premise of this story. Love as a disease? Awesome idea! I think it was very well done and I'm chomping at the bit to read Requiem. I wish I could be one of those who waits for the whole series to come out. I'm not very good at that! 


The Fault in Our Stars 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

~Goodreads Description~
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I don't even know what to say about this book. It rubbed me raw in the best possible ways. Hazel, Augustus, Isaac... I love them all. I miss them all.


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares 
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

~Goodreads Synopsis~
 “I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Amazingly funny, quirky. I loved the adventure. Such a great book... and I already got it as a Christmas gift!  
 :)


The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

~Goodreads Synopsis~
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.


This is the book that made me fall in love with Maggie Stiefvater (as a writer, of course... I don't want to sound too stalkerish... lol). So of course it would go on my favorites list. :)


Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

~Goodreads Description~
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


I am loving this series. It's beautifully written and the characters have just come to life for me. 


The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

~Goodreads Description~
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.


A.MAY.ZING

Code Name Verity
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

~Goodreads Description~
Oct. 11th, 1943--A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. 
When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

Another beautifully written story. I love [I'm not quite finished] the characters, their relationship(s). I would recommend this book to anyone. :)

What were some of your faves that you read this year?

Smiles,
B

(sorry for the weirdness of the highlighting... copy/paste and I'm tired and not re-typing... :))

Have a very Merry Christmas! 
Or a happy holiday if Christmas isn't your thing.
:)

Friday, December 21, 2012

End(ish) of the Year Recap ♥



This survey of awesomeness was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Note: The survey is for books you read and is not limited to just books that came out in 2012.Also, most links will take you to the Goodreads page for that book. :)

Best in Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read in 2012 (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Contemporary Fiction:

Supernatural Fiction:

Dystopian:

Historical Fiction:

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn't
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan. I mean, these two together should equal amazing, right? For some it did, I suppose. Not for me. Still pondering why.

3. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2012
Almost by Anne Elliott. I got this as a free Kindle book. The synopsis sounded just okay, but it turned out to be really good.

4. Book You Recommended to People Most in 2012
Toss up, depending on what genre they might be leaning toward:
 
5. Best Series You Discovered in 2012
Toss up:

6. Favorite New Authors You Discovered in 2012
I love that this has the plural of author here or I'd be in trouble. :)  Note: These links take you to the author's website.

7. Best Book That Was Out of Your Comfort Zone or Was a New Genre for You
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. If you've read my blog much you'll know that I'm rather new to liking Historical Fiction. But I *love* this book. :)

8. Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book in 2012?
Oh my. I can't choose one. I'll say this: These are the books I lost sleep over...

9. Book That You Read in 2012 That You Are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year

  • Delirium & Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver ~ I will want to re-read them before I read Requiem.
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, most likely, for the fourth time, before the movie comes out as well.
  • Beautiful Chaos before I [finally] read Beautiful Redemption.
 
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2012
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff ~ there's just something about her covers. The Replacement I bought without even reading the jacket flap; the moment I saw the cover I just had to have it. I got the Space Between as a gift when my daughter was born and just loved the cover.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Most Memorable Character in 2012

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2012

Most of them did not let me down in this department. Some stand out ones (with the first two deserving an extra star...):

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2012
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ~ Just WOW

14. Book You Can't Believe You Waited UNTIL 2012 to Finally Read

Most books I read in 2012 were not older books. The picture book that I can't believe I waited so long to read was Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems. Not only am I mom, I'm also a Children's Librarian. I was just surprised I hadn't read it yet. It was super cute and I loved it. :)  The oldest book I read otherwise was An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. The surprising part is how much I love John Green and how not quick I am to seek out his books when I'm ready to start a new one.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2012
Really? One?
  • "It's like being in love, discovering your best friend." ~Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • "Blue never grew tired of feeling particularly needed, but sometimes she wished needed felt less like a synonym for useful." ~The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • "We don't get to choose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it." ~Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • “There are moments that you'll remember for the rest of your life and there are moments that you think you'll remember for the rest of your life, and it's not often they turn out to be the same moment.” ~Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • "What a slut time is. She screws everybody."~The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2012

17. Book That Had s 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!
  • Beautiful Chaos ~ Can't say much, but the ending. Wow.
  • The Fault in Our Stars ~ I sort of saw it coming, maybe not something as drastic, but something, and it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

18. Favorite Relationship From a Book You Read in 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc.)

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From an Author You Read Previously
Tie:
Both are wonderfully amazing.

20. Best Book That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Someone Else
Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater ~ My best friend gave it to me as a gift; I can honestly say I'm not sure I would have picked it up otherwise... She and I have similar tastes and she nearly hated Shiver. I owe my current ♥love♥ affair with Maggie to Malissa. :)

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (Optional)
I'm so new ~ I just started in September. I'll skip a few (or most?) of these. ;)

1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2012
I don't know that I have a favorite - yet. Ones I visit regularly include:

2. Favorite Review You Wrote in 2012
I only posted a few on the blog because it's the end of the year and my reading slowed down. My goal next year is to write more! :)

3. Best Discussion You Had On Your Blog

4. Most Thought-Provoking Review or Discussion You Read on Somebody Else's Blog

5. Best Event That You Participated In (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc)
Memes have been a great way to hop around and meet different bloggers and see all the different fun things there are to see. :)

6. Best Moment of Book Blogging in 2012
Starting one? :)

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)
Memorable Monday 11.17 with 124 views.

8. Post You Wished Got a Little More Love
My Future Fun post. :)

9. Best Bookish Discover (book-related sites, book stores, etc)
The book-blogging world in general. It's been great. :)

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I did meet my small Goodreads goal of 25 books, even though there were, I think, 4 picture books on that list. I'm setting a similar goal for next year, of 30 books. :)

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

3. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging in 2013
  • Reading: 
    • I want to read more and review all the books I read . :)
  • Blogging: 
    • Be more organized with my blogging
    • Come up with a 'logo', or 'feel' for my blog  :) 
    • Discover more bloggers and create better/more blogging relationships. 
That's all, I believe. :)

Have a great day!!!

Smiles,
B

~Follow Friday~

Gain New Blog Followers
RULES
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
(Taken straight from the hosts)
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Happy Follow Friday!

This week's question:
What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?
Being a librarian I was familiar already with some terms. But I wasn't aware that ARCs, Galleys, etc were so easy to ask for or try to get. I did make a rule for myself, though. To only request one if it's one I am dying to read for whatever reason. :)

Add the link to your FF in the linky below! :)




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

♥ A Reason for the Season ♥







So my son, Eli, who is three, asks every day we get in the car to listen to the "shopping" song. [see above] If you watch it, you'll see it's not exactly a shopping song and last year he called it the "Christmas" song. But I love it, he loves it, and Zoe, who is almost a year, can be heard making noises right along with it. We go through more of the Straight No Chaser Christmas CD as we drive into town ~ he also loves the "five golden rings" song, the "Grinch" song, and the "Rudolph" song. Then I get to choose. lol  Eli's excitement is contagious ~ he's even got my husband excited to listen to Christmas music! (shocking!)

I am looking very forward to next week when we get to open presents with the kids. Eli is super excited about what might be under the tree (my secret hope: he loves his book the most... anyone think I'll get my wish?).

Anyway... back to books now:

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme hosted by Pen to Paper where you post a book that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that you can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto your wonderful shelves.

How do you join in?
  1. Pick a book from your wishlist that you are dying to get to put on your shelves.
  2. Do a post telling your readers about the book and why it's on your wishlist.
  3. Add your blog to the comments at the bottom of this post.
  4. Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere in your post with a note saying that Pen to Paper is the host of the meme.
  5. Visit other blogs and enjoy.
  6. (Note from Pen to Paper): Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too. Help spread the word! 
This week's choice...

Lone Wolf
Aside from Between the Lines, this is the only other Jodi Picoult book from the last 7 years that I don't own. There's only a few from before that I don't own. I haven't read the last three books, including this one, but I certainly plan to. I think I just needed a break from the heaviness for a bit. :)

Any books that you want to add to your shelves? Leave a link or just a comment below!  :)

Smiles,
B

Monday, December 17, 2012

Memorable Monday ~ Code Name Verity (Again...)


Memorable Monday is a meme hosted by Escape in a Good Book.  I'm excited to join in on this one because I love quotes, which was the driving force behind the creation of Memorable Mondays.  I thank the ladies at Escape in a Good Book.

So... how do you participate?  It's simple ~

1) Share a quote that has captured your interest lately in a Memorable Monday post on your blog.

2) Come back here and leave the link to your post in the comment box below.  If you don't have a blog, I'd still love to hear, well, read, your quote.  Leave it in the comment box instead of a link to a non-existent blog.  :)

3) Visit other participants if you have time.  It's always nice to have visitors.  There's no overstaying your welcome this way, and they don't have to offer the obligatory drinks.  Or clean.

4) If you tweet your posts, feel free to use the hashtag #MemorableMonday.


Mostly my quotes will be from a book I've read, but they may occasionally come from cyberspace or from a friend. And yes, it's the same book as last week. :)

This Week's Choice
 
"I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can't believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant
But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old."
~Pg 114

Last Reads of 2012 Readathon

 
 
Patrick @ The Bookshelves, Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain and Jen @ Jen Ryland/YA Romantics are hosting a LAST READS OF 2012 READATHON!

So what is it?
Direct from the hosts:
"Are you a little short on that 2012 Goodreads reading goal? Maybe there's a few last books that you really meant to read this year but never got around to it? Want to meet some new friends who love to read?
I say yes, yes, and yes!

We hope this event will inspire you to achieve any and all last reading goals of the year. Maybe there's just one book you want to finish or maybe you've got a whole stack. How much you read and what you read is completely up to you. You can join us for as many days as you want and you don't have to be a blogger to participate.

Keep the group posted on your progress through Goodreads updates and/or Twitter --  we will be tweeting with hashtag #LR2012."

How do you participate?
Visit one of the host blogs and sign up in the linky. You can also read more details there, as I'm not going to copy it all here. :)

My Goal
I really want to finish Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein) and start/finish Let it Snow (John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle) and The Name of the Star (Maureen Johnson). Those seem like lofty goals when I consider that I have two kids and holidays coming, but I'm going to shoot for it anyway. :)

What about you all ~ any goals you want to reach?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Follow Friday!

Gain New Blog Followers
RULES
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
(Taken straight from the hosts)
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Happy Follow Friday!

This week's question:
What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

I really had to think a bit about this one. I sometimes tear up but typically don't full-fledged cry. Except in the case of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm convinced if someone reads this book and doesn't cry they may be soulless. For real. (Maybe a slight exaggeration, but still...) I can't point out a specific scene; the entire book is so emotional that sometimes I would cry even when it was supposed to be funny. You know, one of those laugh-cry moments? Laugh because it is funny, but cry because it's sad since it won't last? Yeah, that.

Share the love ~ Leave a comment!  :)

Smiles,
B


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Excitement Brewing

Disclosure: Totally not book related.  :)

I am really looking forward to the holidays. So much family time and fun time ahead.

This will mark my son's fourth Christmas and my daughter's first. As you can imagine by their ages, my daughter will not care about presents or really much of anything but the extra attention. Eli, on the other hand, is already super excited about presents and what Santa might bring him. We have fun with Elf on the Shelf and every day he is on the hunt to see where Batman (what he affectionately named his elf last year) is and if he left him a note this time. I am eagerly anticipating his excitement come Christmas. Of course, I'm hoping he's most excited about his books, but I imagine I'm living in a dream world. :)

Also looking ahead, my mom, sister-in-law, and close family friend (she is Nana to our children) will be doing our annual Cookie Baking Day in a couple weeks.We will be baking most of the day and trying new recipes this year. Woo-hoo! I'm definitely going to stick with my chocolate chip cookies, though. Can't live without those.

My dad and I do a Christmas shopping trip every year, and we typically wait until the couple weeks before to go. This year, due to having my daughter in January, I have no time left to take off work during the week, so we will be going the Sunday before Christmas. EEK! I procrastinate like crazy every year as it is, but even this is cutting it a bit close for me. I only have one shopping/gift goal by the end of the week: ship out my best friend's gift and my Bookish Secret Santa's gift (thru The Broke and the Bookish). If I feel froggy this weekend I will wrap some presents for under the tree. :)

Anyway, I was just sitting here thinking about how excited I am for Christmas (this is a yearly occurence) and I wanted to share my excitement. 

Are you as excited as I am? Anyone else still have most/all shopping to do?  lol 

Smiles,
B


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WWW Wednesday



WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
     1. What are you currently reading?
     2. What did you recently finish reading?
     3. What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading
I am loving both of these, for very different reasons. The Curiosities are great for work - short stories make it easier to stop when I have to go back from lunch. Plus I love the side notes from the authors.  Code Name Verity is engrossing, beautifully written, and I'm so looking forward to more of the story every time I'm forced to put it down.

Recently Finished
 The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
I recent finished The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. You can read my review here if you want. I absolutely loved it. Amazing writing, story... the whole package. Can't wait to see how the story continues.

Read Next
Let it Snow       The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) 
I've wanted to read Let it Snow for some time now. My best friend, Malissa, bought it for me not too long ago so I'm excited to read it now. :)  Name of the Star has been on my to-read list for some time and I've owned it for some time (by some time, I mean nearly a year since I've owned it... sad, but true). I received a Net Galley copy of The Madness Underneath (the sequel to The Name of the Star), so I figure to review that one I must read the first one soon. ;)

What about you? Leave a comment with a link or just your answers. :)

Smiles,
B
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a Top Ten topic for you to create your list, then you share it on their post so others can find you. :)

Out of all the new authors I have read this year the following are the only ones I liked enough to mention. I don't know that I would call all of them my favorite, but definitely ones worth mentioning. All authors names will link directly to their website or Goodreads website (David Levithan's website came up "internal server error" and I didn't want to post a possibly broken link... *shrug*).

1.Maggie Stiefvater
Oh, Maggie, how do I love thee? Stalkerish? Maybe. I'm okay with that. What's funny is that for as much as I have loved the books I have read by her, I have not read them all. Not even half. I've read a mere total of two. But those two... man were they great. It makes me look forward to reading The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and the Books of Faerie trilogy, though.  And anything else she comes out with.

2. Lauren Oliver
I got lost in the world created in Delirium. I really enjoyed the characters, the setting, the idea of love being a disease. Definitely looking forward to Requiem coming out in March. :)

3. Kami Garcia
Oh my... Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos... beautiful writing. I can't wait to get to Beautiful Redemption. I also look forward to reading some of her solo work. 

4. Margaret Stohl
Oh my... Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos... beautiful writing. I can't wait to get to Beautiful Redemption. I also look forward to reading some of her solo work.(I was just going to write See: Kami, but that seemed more lazy than need be. ha!)

5. Elizabeth Wein
Although I'm sort of cheating with this, as I'm still reading Code Name Verity, I am absolutely loving the writing and the story. I guess I can't really say I don't like or shy away from historical fiction anymore. I've been adding quite a few to my 'read' list. 


6. David Levithan
My best friend loved Dash & Lily and I had been wanting to read it for a while. So thankful I did! Turns out not only did I love the story but I loved the writing as well. :)

7. Sara Zarr
How to Save a Life was such an amazing story. It felt true, real, and honest. My library won some books and a Skype visit with Sara Zarr and I wanted to read the book with the teen book club. Such a great read.

8. Rachel Cohn
My best friend loved Dash & Lily and I had been wanting to read it for a while. So thankful I did! Turns out not only did I love the story but I loved the writing as well. :)  (Yes, I copy/pasted from David's note... lol)
9. Anne Elliott
I ran across Almost as a free Kindle purchase. I probably wouldn't have bought it otherwise; the description sounded just okay. I was very pleasantly surprised. It was well written and had a much better story than the description led me to believe. I will definitely read more by this author.

10. Kathryn Stockett  
I shied away from The Help for quite some time. Historical fiction? Not my cup of tea, typically. But this part of history is a bit more interesting to me and after so many rave reviews and recommendations from friends, I bit the bullet. And I am so glad I did. I was transported to a time I never lived in and felt like I lived it. Kudos to Kathryn Stockett and a wonderful debut novel.

Of course if you've read anything I've written before, you'll know that Maggie Stiefvater is probably my favorite new author I've discovered this year. :)

What about you? Any new authors you've discovered you want to share? Let me know in the comments, or create your own post and paste the link. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Smiles,
B