Monday, 31 December 2012

Best Books of 2012


So it's that time of the year again! When everything's coming to a conclusion and people start spouting out their best books of the year and what they plan to do for the new year and all that jazz. So.. That's what I'm here to do for you today!

Hmmm... Maybe I'll alternate between the books and what I plan on doing for the new year? Sounds like a plan.

So, coming in at number 10 this year is...

Revived by Cat Patrick
I read this book back in June or July (I can't remember which), and I absolutely loved it and it's characters! I went into this book knowing it was a si-fi and I absolutely loved it. So yes, Revived is my #10 read of 2012.


Goal #1Now, the first goal that I'm going to mention to you guys for 2013 in terms of reading is that I've decided to re-read the whole entire PJO series! Starting with Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief and ending with The Mark of Athena (which I finally got in the mail the other day!), or maybe even The House of Hades, depending on how long it takes me to re-read them all. :D 


Now, book #9 on my list of best books on 2012 is...

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I really, really, liked this book. I completely respect Amy for everything she does for the ships citizens and I just love Elder. My mom got me a copy of A Million Suns from my mom, so I can't wait to start reading it! :)


Goal #2: I would like to read 100 books again this year, but it was a bit of a stress for me the last couple weeks and I was cramming in book after book. So, considering I don't really want to do that again in the new year... I'm going to set my goal for 75, but aim for 100. :)


Coming in 8th place of 2012 would have to be...

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry is so full of cliches, it's ridiculous. But... I absolutely devoured this book because it delivers these cliches in a way that doesn't seem that cliched at all. The details are a little foggy, since I did read it back in February, but I do remember how ris-kay I thought this book was for a YA while I was reading, and I absolutely loved every single word. :)


Goal #3: I want to start branching out a little more, because it feels like all I read are teen books. And considering that I'm approaching the age of 20... I'd like to start reading more adult, non-fiction, and maybe even some more middle-grade books. With that being saaaiiddd... I'd like to read 5 adult books, 2 non-fiction books, and 5 middle-grade books. I know it's not a large number, but I don't want to over-whelm myself or force myself into doing something I don't want to. :P


The 7th best book I read in the year of 2012 is...

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5)Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)

Well, it's actually two books.
I figured I'd throw both Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice together since they're in the same series. Again, I read these two in the first half of the year, so I don't remember my exact feelings towards them, but again, I do remember absolutely loving them and devouring each page. This series was nothing but an intense ride the whole way through and I still need to read Bloodlines!



Goal #4: Now, as you all know (or if you don't, just click here to find out), I have a teetering To Be Read tower of books. It would be wonderful if I could stick to my TBR challenge of reading five books before I'm aloud to buy another one. So! Goal #4 is sticking with this plan for the entirety of the year until my TBR pile hopefully drops down to a more reasonable number. :)


Book #6 for the year of 2012 would have to be... 

Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

I was SO stoked to read this book when I first heard of it. And let me tell you, it did NOT let me down. This book I did read more recently, so the memories of me reading this book are still fresh in my mind. Sophie, the main character of the book, is a very strong protagonist who I loved with all my heart. This is definitely one of the better MGs that has cross over appeal into the YA genre, and I absolutely loved it. I happen to buy this book while the author was promising out swag packs to anyone who bought it that weekend and I was lucky enough that they both fall on the same weekend! :D So that was really cool and nice of her to do. :) Messenger also has a YA book coming out in March of 2013 called Let the Sky Fall and I am SO EXCITED for this book. You don't even know. :P


Goal #5: To finally start up my own YouTube channel! I know I've been going on about starting this thing for a couple of months now, but I really do plan on starting it! Hopefully I'll be able to start it sometime in the new year. :) And I can't wait till I finally get it up and running! :D


The book coming in 5th place for the year of 2012 is....

My Life Next Door
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I read My Life Next Door back in July and it was probably one of the bestest, cutest contemporary reads I've ever read. This book made my toes curl in happiness as a dopy grin spread across my face whenever the two main characters were together. It's just... If you haven't read this book already, than I really think that you need to go out and get it with some of that Christmas money!


Goal #6: I hope to do the Summer Reading Challenge again for this year, but ACTUALLY COMPLETE IT this time. :P There's about 10 criteria that you have to fill out, some of them being a book that's over 400 pages, a book recommended by a friend, a book that's been sitting on your shelf for over a year, a classic.... And so on. :P Check back again around the end of April for more details on that one!


Book #4 on my top ten countdown of 2012 is....

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I read this book basically as soon as it came out and oh god did I ever love it. Just, this book is SO GOOD. Dare I say... Even better than the Hunger Games? Just thinking about this makes me smile with happiness at how good it was. :):) Hopefully I can re-read it this year in prep for the third and final book in the series!


Goal #7: To participate in NaNoWriMo in 2013! Last year I saw everyone prepping for it and it just made me really really excited! I always have tons of ideas floating around in my head for stories... Maybe I can start prepping early this year and just do an outline for the story before starting to write it in November! :D


Number 3 !  :D

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Divergent by Veronica Roth

This was a re-read for me this year. I read it just before Insurgent came out so that I would remember every single detail of this book before getting into the second one! As much as I absolutely LOVED the second book to this series, the first book will forever have a place in my heart as my favourite. :D


Goal #8: This year I hope to par-take in the A-Z Challenge. :D Every year I see tons of bloggers and BookTubers participating in this challenge and I though that I'd give it a go this year! :D


The 2nd best book of the year for me would have to have been...

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Holy cow, do I ever love Brent Weeks. Along with John Green, he is one of my top favourite authors. Never ever has a book by Brent Weeks let me down. I absolutely love his Night Angel trilogy, it being my favourite trilogy of ALL TIME. But anyways. The Black Prism was an epic tale with plot that was so intricate and amazing that I just couldn't put it down. And it was funny too! God. This book just contains the perfect bit of every genre there is. YOU MUST READ IT!


Goal #9: To complete the debut author challenge! I participated in this challenge last year, and while I did read 12 debut novels this year, I did not review them all like the challenge requires. :( So hopefully, the new year will change that! :D


And the NUMBER ONE BOOK of 2012 iiissss.......

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

Of course, after mentioning John Green as one of my favourite authors EVER, how could I not put this book as my number one read of 2012? Hazel is just amazing and I love how what you would think of as the main theme or focus of this book actually ISN'T the main theme/focus of this book, but instead is merely a "side-effect" as Hazel would put it. :)

And there you have it, everyone! My top 10 books of 2012 and my 9 goals for 2013! :D

Friday, 28 December 2012

Stacking the Shelves (7)


Hello fellow book lovers! I'm here today to bring you my Stacking the Shelves! :) 

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews. StS allows bloggers alike to share what books they bought/borrowed/received over the past week.


Here's how you can go about making your own STS:
  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun! 
  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit! 
  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!
  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!

Here are the books that I have received over the past week:


The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

A Million Suns by Beth Revis


Elemental by Antony John
 The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
False Memory  by Dan Krokos
Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

The only book I legitimately received as a gift this year for Christmas was A Million Suns by Beth Revis, which my mom got for me. :D (Love you, Mom!) All of the other ones were basically a Christmas gift from me to me. :3 I thought I'd deserved it. ;D

I'm just so excited to start reading every single one of these books! Have you guys ever gotten so swept up with the excitement of a book(s) that you just find yourself staring at them all and not actually reading anything? I find I do it all the time...

But anyways! What did you guys receive this week in books? :D Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?! I got an old-school refurbished Macbook! :D So hopefully I'll be able to start up that YouTube channel that I've been mentioning for a while sometime soon... I'll give more details on that later!

Happy Reading!
      Lex.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Genesis by Bernard Beckett


Rating: Wide Eyed - 4/5
Release Date: March 24th, 2009
Publishers: McClelland & Stewart
Pages: 185
Source: Bought
Series: Stand Alone

First, a quick summary from Goodreads: 
“‘Explain to us why you wish to enter The Academy.’” 
Anaximander, a young Academy candidate, is put through a gruelling exam. Her special subject: the life of Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. 
It’s late in the 21st century and the island Republic has emerged from a ruined, plague-ridden world, its citizens safe, but not free, and living in complete isolation from outside contact. Approaching planes are gunned down, refugees shot on sight.
Until a man named Adam Forde rescued a girl from the sea.
Anaximander, we have asked you to consider why it is you would like to join the Academy. Is your answer ready?
To answer that question, Anaximander must struggle with everything she has ever known about herself and her beloved Republic’s history, the nature of being human, of being conscious, and even what it means to have a soul.
And when everything has been laid bare, she must confront the Republic’s last great secret, her own surprising link to Adam Forde, and the horrifying truth about her world."
Genesis packs quite a large punch for such a small book. Touching upon issues such as Ethics, Morals and what it means to be human, Genesis proved to be a really amazing and insightful read for me.

Anax is a girl with a particular interest in Adam Forde. Continuously, Anax visits a hill side to watch the sunset so she can feel more connected to her idol of the past.  One day, she meets a man up there who also has an interest in Adam Forde and he begins to tutor her for the Academy.

This is the story of - not only Anax's audition for the Academy - but also a re-telling of the story of Anax's hero, Adam Forde.

During the audition Anax has three breaks when she gets to re-collect her thoughts, and the judges converse with each other to see in which direction the questioning should be done.

DUring the questioning periods is when you get to know Adam's story and a little bit of how Anax thinks, but for the most part we get to know Anax during the breaks. Where she came from, why she has a love for Adam and why she wants to get into the Academy.

I think that's what made the ending for Genesis all the more epic/awesome/surprising for me. How completely and incredibly ironic the ending was for Anax.

Genesis is a book I would easily recommend to anyone who likes those reads that leave a big impression on you for quite a while.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

WOW is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Through WOW, bloggers and vloggers and commenters a like are able to share what books they're most excited to get their hands on in the near future!

This week I decided on sharing two books with you that I'm most excited for! 

Ready?! Drum roll please....

            Splintered                                  Through the Ever Night 
 by A. G. Howard                                  by Veronica Rossi

Splintered is a re-telling of the classic Alice in WonderlandAlyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Thoughts:
Although the sound of this love triangle is slightly making me cringe, I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this book (which is coming out on January 1st, by the way), and I cannot wait for it to come in the mail! (Because of course I pre-ordered it.) I can't wait to see how this compares to the classic Wonderland, but I guess in order to do that I might want to actually read the classic first... Maybe I'll read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland then Splintered, and then Showalter's Alice in Zombieland and see how the three compare. That would be an exciting treat! Try and find common themes and such. This is making me so excited! But anyways...

Through the Ever Night is the second in Rossi's trilogy and although I can't remember why I loved the first one so much, I do remember that I wanted to read the second one as soon as I was finished! 

WARNING:THIS SUMMARY MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM THE FIRST BOOK!***

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

My Thoughts:
Now, if I'm to be completely honest with you guys, that summary up there was more for your benefit than mine. I don't know about you guys, but when I read a sequel I like to go into it knowing as little as possible so I can fully enjoy the journey of the novel without spoiling it in the slightest.

But look at that cover! I absolutely love it! The pretty Aether... The wonderful blend of colours... And Perry looking so... Tame? What?! Perry looks like he just woke up from a night full of partying. Nothing like the wild Peregrine that we all know and love. In preparation for Through the Ever Night I would love to re-read the first book, but with my teetering TBR pile, I don't know if I can spare the time... We shall see! 

What are you guys waiting on this Wednesday? :D

Friday, 7 December 2012

Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Across the UniverseRating: Wide Eyed
Release Date: November 29th, 2012
Pages: 398
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Bought
Series: Across the Universe #1

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:

"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."

Disclaimer: It may be hard to understand my review if you haven't read the book... But I just have to let my thoughts be known! But I promise that I've kept it spoiler-free. :)

So, you know how the publishers do that annoying thing where they change the cover of the book? To be honest, the fact that they changed the cover is what attracted me to this book. Across the Universe is the second space-ship kind of book that I've ever read. The first one that I read was Glow, and I can tell you that I didn't find it that great.

So, going into this book, I didn't except much to come out of it. But as it turns out... I really, really, really loved this book. At the beginning, how juvenile the writing felt really bothered me. And also the fact that there were many typos in the book when they called Elder Eldest! It really confused and slightly annoyed me. If you're going to pick tovery similar names for two of the main characters, I would suggest that you edit the book very carefully to make sure that the names never get mixed up. 

But. With all that negative out of the way, I can honestly say that I loved this book! When we found out who the murderer was and what his role had been, I just knew my guess had been right! But it wasn't one of those annoying, "Oh, pshh. Who didn't see that one coming?" It was one of those ones where your mouth spreads into a large smile because, dammit, you were right! You solved the mystery and good on ya! But at the very end... Ohboy. I didn't see that twist coming at all. That one through me for a loop.

I absolutely loved Elder and completely respected Amy. I could understand why Elder was hesitant at times when he was facing up to Eldest. It would be easier to just let things on the ship go on as they have been. But the fierce determination that Amy fought back with? Her complete dedication and passion for what she believed in to make the citizens lives better when she didn't even know them and the vast majority of them looked at her as if she was a freak? I can so respect that, because I can't say that I would have stuck up for them so fiercely with the way they were treating her. 

So, if you can't tell, this book was fantastic, and I absolutely loved it. What knocked it down a star for me was the typos between Elder and Eldest because, you can't just mix up two characters like that constantly. You just can't. And also because Amy kept referring to her parents as "Momma" and "Daddy," because I don't care what century your from, but if you're seventeen years old, and you come from Earth, you don't refer to your Dad as "Daddy" all the time.

But yeah. I absolutely loved this book and I literally cannot wait for the next one. As in if someone's not buying me this for Christmas (because it's only a couple weeks away), I'm going to go out and buy it right now.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1)Rating: 5/5 Starry Eyes
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 496
Source: Bought
Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities #1

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:


" Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.
Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.
Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.
In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first." 

My Review:


While Keeper of the Lost Cities has a slow start, once it takes off, does it ever take off. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish, even though the writing was a tad bit juvenile. 

Sophie is an amazingly strong girl considering she's only 12 years old. She's never fit in at her school and even with her family she's felt out of place. But it's no wonder she feels that way when she finds out that she's an ELF. 

This is not the only things Fitz tells her when he finds her. But that they've been looking for her for twelve years. 

If that doesn't pull you in and make you want to read it, listen to me when I say that this book is just plain amazing. The world is fantastic and described so well. I found it very easy to imagine all of these things Messenger introduced us to in the book.

I just... This book! You need to read it, really. It's taking all of my power right now not to sound like a gushing fan-girl. If you're fans of the PJO series or Harry Potter series, you will definitely enjoy this book. I am not saying that this book is trying to be like those books, because it's complete on it's own page. But the way it sucks you in and gracefully shows you the world of the Elves, it's just a great book. It's along the same lines of HP and PJO in the sense that it's packed full of adventure and questing and intricate plot twist and just.... Fantastic pacing! 

While it was a bit... Info-dumpy? No, I don't think it was quite that. More like... You were thrust into the world a little too suddenly. To the point where I felt over-whelmed. But that's what Messenger was trying to convey! Sophie was extremely over-whelmed by all of this as well, and it just works out perfectly and this book is just AWESOME AND YOU NEED TO READ IT!

Howdey Strangers!

So... Hi guys! It's me... Back from, well... Not blogging.

If any of you have been wondering where I went, I just sort of lost interest in the whole book blogging thing. When I first started blogging, I started blogging for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be one of those cool, popular bloggers who got all the ARCs and had tons of Swag and... Well, you get the point.

But, since I wasn't really blogging for me, blogging often felt like a chore that I didn't want to do. I would constantly chant "ARCs, ARCs, ARCs,"  in my head to get me to blog. And honestly? It just wasn't working for me.

Although, recently I have been watching many videos on the BookTubing community and it's gotten me really excited about books again. Plus school is over for the semester and I have so much free time on my hands and it's just going to be awesome!

Anyways. I did try and start up a YouTube channel... I even got a fancy camera that records HD videos! But, unfortunately... I can't get it to work with stupid Windows Live Movie Maker. Therefore, I can't edit the videos & therefor, it's just not going to happen until I can figure this whole thing out.

But! I will say that I'm back to blogging, but I can't promise that it'll be a continuous stream of posts and such. A post a day is really hard to keep up with if you don't plan ahead of time. So, as a result, I'm only going to blog when I feel like it!

So I hope to see you guys in the near future!

Happy reading!