Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite Books of 2010 - Happy New Years!!!

I've read some great books this year.  Books that made me laugh, cry and books I couldn't put down they were so captivating.  So if you are looking for some books to read in 2011 and you want my opinion, you can't go wrong with the following.  These are in no particular order and they weren't all published in 2010 I just happened to read them in 2010. 

1. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride - This was actually one of my very favorites this year.

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy - Loved all three books!

3. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine - the first book in the Morganville Vampires series. Excellent! 

4. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory - My first H.P. Mallory book and I can't wait to read more.  Jolie the witch is an awesome character. 

5. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong the third book in the Darkest Powers trilogy - Love this trilogy.  I always recommend this one when people ask me what to read.

6. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater book 2 in the Mercy Falls trilogy - Shiver was also wonderful.

7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman - This is one of those that made me cry.

8. The Ghost and The Goth by Stacey Kade - This was the first book that I reviewed on My Neurotic Book Affair.

9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - Great story!

10. Crank by Ellen Hopkins - a wonderful but dark story I'll be reading the next two this year.

11. The Iron King and The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa - the first two books of the Iron Fey series.

12. The Dead Is series by Marlene Perez - I read all that were out this year and I really like this series can't wait for the next.

13. Gone by Lisa McMann book 3 of the Wake trilogy - Not my favorite in the trilogy but as a whole I LOVED them.

14. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris - Again not my favorite in the series but I love Sookie too much to leave her out.  

15. Fantasy Lover by Sherilynn Kenyon - I finally started the Dark Hunter series this year and I really enjoyed this first story.

16. Awakened by Ednah Walters - This was a great story that I thoroughly enjoyed and I'm looking forward to the next. 

17. Beautiful Dead by Edan Maguire - This was a great book and it was different than everything else that I had been reading.

18. Hourglass by Claudia Gray book 3 of the Evernight series - another wonderful series.

19. She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens -  I really enjoyed this book it had a very fresh feeling too it, if that makes sense to anyone but me.

20. The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen - a really cool and very different story.

There are so many more books that are definitely worth reading on my shelf but I'm thinking 20 is more than enough to call my favorites for the year.  Happy Reading and may your 2011 be filled with wonderful stories.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Third Line Thursday (2) Beyond Beautiful by Jan Bornstein

Beyond Beautiful
Author: Jan Bornstein
Third Line Thursday Page 163, 3rd Paragraph

"And then- " Jim stopped, then looked Scott straight in the eye. "And then she was hypnotized , backed up with medication.  Her memory of the entire thing was eradicated."

At this point in the story I'm thinking what else can this poor girl have to go through. 

  My simple rules for Third Line Thursday are as follows: Pick up the book you are currently reading, go to chapter 3 or page 3 or any page or chapter with a 3(13, 23, ect.) then type in the third line (sentence) from that page. See simple!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (12/29/2010) The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Author: Jana Oliver
Release Date: February 2011

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (12/28/2010) Scourge by David H. Burton

Author: David H. Burton

Grim strained to see through the gunslingers and archers that blocked his view. He caught fleeting glances of robotic limbs and half-human faces. They each had one arm with a pincer-like hand and another mounted with a huge blaster.

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - Reviewed

Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 528
Target Age: Young Adult

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything-- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Nightshade was recommended to me again and again.  Finally, my daughter received her very own copy and was after me to get to it, so I did.  I loved Nightshade, not quite as much as Jessica did, but I did enjoy it. 
What I liked:
The characters!  They were all written so well that you felt as if you really knew these people.  Like you went to high school with them and saw them walking in the halls and eating lunch at their tables. You know right away who you should hate and who you should fall in love with. The politics of this book were explained well and were very interesting.  I also liked this new twist on the werewolf legend.  No spoilers but there are a couple of extremely romantic couples in this book that made me sigh and smile. Even though the main characters are in a love triangle, the side characters know who they are meant to be with. However, I'm not sure they are all in for happy endings.  
What bugged me:
Sounds like I was loving this book right?  Well, I was but there was one thing that bugged me through the whole book.  It's Calla our main character.  Ugh, she is SO wishy washy.  She's hot for him, but oh I think I love him.  Her attitude to the two leading males drove me crazy.  Now in her defense I loved them both too:)  I know hypocritical of me right? Luckily I don't have to pick either one of them and potentially anger lots of fans:)  Sorry Andrea but you get the honor of breaking hearts.  
On a side note:
This has nothing to do with the content of the book but I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book.  I think it may have been my favorite cover of the year.  
So if you enjoy reading about werewolves (that are different from most), love triangles, and sweet romances, then you should definitely check out Nightshade.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lure WINNER!!!!

The Winner of Lure by Deborah Kerbel is wanda f.  I'll be emailing you shortly.  Congratulations Wanda and I hope you enjoy Lure. 

I'm crazy busy getting ready for the Holidays as I'm sure most of you are.  I'm just about to finish a very interesting fantasy book (which I'm not used to reading) A Dream of the Past, and will be posting it's review soon. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith - Reviewed

The Other Side of Dark
Author: Sarah Smith
Release Date: November 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 312
Target Age: Young Adult
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
What good is being able to see and speak to the dead if it doesn't help solve a mystery surrounding them? Fifteen-year-old Katie Mullens can interact with ghosts, including that of her father, though not of her more recently deceased mother. Law Walker is the mixed-race son of activists--an academic father who's a prominent advocate for slavery reparations ("Even in pajamas, standing at the top of the stairs and saying, ‘Susan, I have lost my toothbrush,' his voice quivers with the weight of four hundred years of injustice") and a mother struggling to save a historic Boston building. Forging a friendship as outsiders--their classmates have written off Katie as crazy, and Law is a self-described geek trying to escape his domineering father's shadow--Katie and Law dive into a thickening tangle involving slavery, a treasure, and an old cabal that has modern-day repercussions for living and dead alike. Alternating between the teenagers' distinct and searching first-person narratives, and combining real history with quests for identity both personal and national, adult author Smith's YA debut is much more than just a ghost story.
I signed up for this book through Star Book Tours. I saw the word ghost and thought "ooohh I like stories about ghosts."  This was not quite the ghost story I was expecting though.  The Other Side of Dark focuses on Katie and Law, two very different characters that come from very different worlds.  I really enjoyed reading about Katie. Something about her character really pulled me in and I felt like I had known this girl her whole life, and I wanted to help her through the horrible loss of her mother.  Law was a bit harder for me to connect with.  Rich and privileged, he feels smothered by his father's beliefs and has a hard time deciding on what he believes.  The story focuses on a house that Law's mother wants to save and one his father can't stand to have around. My favorite part of reading this story was how much it made me stop and think about things like: losing everything you know, reparations, and standing up for what you believe in, no matter what the consequence.  A great story about growing up and overcoming obstacles with many great twists and turns that kept me on my toes. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (12/15/2010) Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. This week I'm very excited to mention Dead Reckoning book 11 of the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I love these books and can't wait till May 26, 2011.
 "With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . ."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Joining the 2nds Challenge for 2011

 Guidelines for the 2nds Challenge 2011

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. If you're not a blogger, leave your information in the comments at A Few More Pages.

2. There are four levels to choose from in this challenge:
  • Just a spoonful - Read 3 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author. 
  • A few more bites - Read 6 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • A full plate - Read 12 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • All you can eat - Read 20 books (or more) that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
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. Any genre counts.

3. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2011. Don't start reading until January.

4. If you're a blogger, write up a sign-up post that includes the URL to this post so that others can join in. Feel free to use the button above. When you sign up in the Linky, put the direct link to your 2nds Challenge sign-up post.

I'm signing up for A Few More Bites.  Mostly because I quickly named 6 second books right away so I'm pretty sure I will at least get those read. I'll post that the book I'm reading is for the 2nds challenge when I review those books. 

Teaser Tuesday (12/14/2010) A Dream Of The Past

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
A Dream Of The Past
Author: Lisa Rusczyk

A chill of fear spread down Nakkir's back, for he was sure the assassin was right behind him with a blade about to plunge into his liver.  He looked back and only saw a wall with a painting of the bay.  He shuddered, wishing he hadn't covertly stuck the Paleweed in his mouth on the docks.  It was a relaxing thing to chew, but now his senses would not be sharp enough.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Author Interview with Deborah Kerbel and Giveaway of Lure

Not all that long ago I reviewed Deborah Kerbel's newest Young Adult book, Lure here. She's been kind enough to stop by My Neurotic Book Affair to answer a few questions. Deborah has an amazing website you can check it out here to learn all about Deborah and how she got started writing.  I decided to take a slightly different approach to my interview with Deborah and I had some fun asking her a few off the wall questions.  She was a wonderful sport to play along with my unconventional interview.

Shari: What's your favorite candy?
Deborah: Starburst - sweet and chewy all the way!

Shari: What's your favorite t.v show?
Deborah: Okay, confession time: I never miss an episode of America's Next Top Model - it's actually the only TV show I watch.

Shari: Do you listen to music while writing?  If so do you have a preference while writing?
Deborah: No, I don't usually listen to music while writing because the words in the songs inevitably get mixed up with the story in my head.

Shari:  What are your worst and best habits especially when it comes to your writing?
Deborah: Worst habit - checking Facebook whenever I'm looking for a distraction from the story.  Best habit - being open to ideas and inspiration every moment of the day.

Shari:  Are you a frantic, have to get it all down now writer or do you plan and research and spend lots of time getting ready to write before actually writing?
Deborah: I'm impulsive by nature.  When I have an idea, I run with it!

Shari:  If you could meet any one person dead or alive who would it be?
Deborah: Any of my four grandparents - they all passed away before I was born.

Shari:  Are you currently working on anything new and if so can you tell us a little about what it is that you are working on?
Deborah: I'm currently working on a YA manuscript called UNDER THE MOON about a girl who's lost her sleep and a boy who's lost his dreams.
Shari: This sounds really interesting and I can't wait to hear more about Under The Moon.

Lure was a great book and I truly enjoyed it, and now you can too. All you have to do to win your very own copy of Lure is to leave me comment with your contact information and your thoughts on ghosts.  Do they exist or not? I'll announce the winner next Monday evening.  Good Luck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Third Line Thursday

Last night I got to thinking that it would be fun to have a Thursday meme and third line Thursday came to me.  I'm pretty sure I've never seen this on any other blog, however if I'm wrong about that please let me know and I'll give props where they are due.  My simple rules for Third Line Thursday are as follows: Pick up the book you are currently reading, go to chapter 3 or page 3 or any page or chapter with a 3(13, 23, ect.) then type in the third line (sentence) from that page. See simple!

A quick online check showed American Airlines had a flight leaving in two hours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (12/08/2010) Across the Universe

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. This week I'm anxiously awaiting Across the Universe by Beth Revis, set to be released January 11, 2011.

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (12/07/2010)

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

 The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

She's so cold; I'm shivering too.  She drew them and now I see them too.  I'm so scared I'm panting, I can't breathe.  I wrap my arms around her like we're drowning, and our lips are an inch from each other.  

I had to stop reading everything else and read this for a tour and so far it's pretty good. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens - Reviewed

She Smells The Dead (Spirit Guide, Book 1)
Author: E.J. Stevens
Release Date: August 2010
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Pages: 184
Target Age: Young Adult
Summary: Shelfari
It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television. SHE SMELLS THE DEAD. The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears. Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?
I'm going to do this review just a little different.  Why? Cuz I want to!
What I loved:
The characters: Yuki took me the longest to fall in love with, but I was instantly in love with Cal and Emma, her best friends.  I think Cal just might be what every young girl should wish for in a guy, well...except for that one little thing. You'll see. (you know I don't do spoilers)  Emma is amazing!  I love a girl that believes in things that go against the mainstream and trust me Emma walks the walk. Poor Yuki is so overwhelmed at times that she borders on whining occasionally. I have faith that she is going to step it up and be a wonderful heroine.  She was very believable as a character with this flaw and that had me loving her as well.
I loved that there is NO love triangle.  Now don't get me wrong, I love a good triangle as much as the next girl.  However, it's been a bit over done lately and it was refreshing to have a romance that is strong for a change.
I loved the story.  It definitely has the feel of a first book in a series, lots of set up and getting to know the world that is being created and the rules of that world.  It totally worked though.

What I didn't love:
The ending!!! UGH how could you do that to us E.J. Stevens?  I can't wait to read the next book! ( I guess that's a good thing too.)

Reading this book was fun and at the end frustrating (what a cliff hanger).  I would definitely recommend reading She Smells the Dead.  I keep telling people that if you liked Kelly Armstrong's The Darkest Powers Series then I think you would like She Smells the Dead. I'm not exactly sure why I think this.  For some reason I just thought it had that kind of feel to it.  Trust me, coming from me that is a VERY good thing.  So grab a copy of She Smells the Dead get comfortable and enjoy.  You might not be able to get up till you've finished. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello All!!  I hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday full of happiness.  

I'm thankful for so much.  My wonderful husband, amazing children, great friends, a lovely home, living in a country where I am free to live my life as I see fit, my families health, happiness, and of course books, nooks and libraries. 
May your pie be sweet and your rolls buttery! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (11/24/2010) Warped

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we (bloggers) are anxiously awaiting. This week my pick is Warped by debuting author Maurissa Guirord.  This sounds very intriguing and I'm looking forward to having it in my possession. 

Release Date: 1/11/2011 
Summary: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy. From the Trade Paperback edition.