Sunday, December 30, 2012

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy at The Story Siren.

- Venom by Fiona Paul
- Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
- Crewel by Gennifer Albin
- Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
- Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
- Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
- ARC of Sirens by Janet Fox

These are all books I bought, won, or received as Christmas presents.  So far I've read Venom, Crewel, Meant to Be, Opal, The Lost Girl, and of course Insurgent, which I read months ago but I had to get the collector's edition. :) Can't wait to read Touching the Surface; it looks so amazing!  I'm really looking forward to Pure and Spark because they're both sequels in two series that I love.  And I won Sirens in a giveaway.  Can't wait to read it either!

- A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
- Survive by Alex Morel

These are all library books.  I've already read A Fractured Light (it was okay-ish; review coming soon) and Throne of Glass (which I adored and reviewed here), and I'm reading Survive right now!

Have you read or want to read any of the books I've gotten?  Let me know in the comments!  And please leave links to your IMMs!  Happy reading, everyone! :)

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Crewel

Goodreads summary:

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

My review:

Oh yes, this book was GOOD. 

The YA publishing world needs more dystopians like this.  I honestly thought I was done with the dystopian genre; I haven't been that crazy about some of the dystopians that have released lately.  But Crewel blew all my expectations away.

It's so creative.  It is unlike any dystopian I've ever read.  Sure, there's a couple similarities to other dystopians - for example, at the beginning, the society seems a lot like the standard dystopian society in many young adult books.  But slowly, as we delve deeper into the world, we find out just how stunning, unique, and scary it really is.

One thing I love is that there is absolutely no info-dumping.  Albin doesn't even introduce us to the world at the beginning; we are thrust right into the action and learn more about the way the world is set up as the story continues.  I like this method.  It made the dystopian world seem a lot more realistic and it always left me curious to know more.

The characters all stand out in their own way.  The main character, Adelice, is spunky and a touch rebellious, I couldn't help liking how she never gave up.  Her little sister is so sweet - I liked Adelice's family from the very beginning.  All the other characters that Adelice meets as she trains to be a Spinster are unique and compelling.

There is a love triangle, and while I don't particularly love it, I do like that Albin never lets the romance overshadow the main story.  There's less romance than I expected, but I suspect there will be more in the sequel.  And oh my word...that twist at the very end...let's just say I'm dying for the sequel!

And the world-building - I have to say it again, this book is just SO refreshingly creative!  The concepts and ideas that the author has come up with are so brilliant.  Before I read this, I saw many reviewers saying how creative Crewel was, and I thought, "Surely it can't be that creative and different from all the other dystopians," but I was so wrong.  Even if you're tired of dystopians like me, Crewel is definitely a dystopian worth reading.

My only complaint, besides the fact that I wasn't crazy about the love triangle, is that the pacing seems a bit slow at times.  Not noticeably so, and it's not a huge deal either; it's just that the book has its slower moments and isn't full of action.  Still, it's so creative and full of unexpected twists.  I would definitely recommend Crewel if you're looking for a fresh, unusual read!

My rating:  9 out of 10 (4.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review: Venom

Goodreads summary:

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

My review:

Venom was one of my most anticipated reads for 2012, and while I definitely enjoyed it a good deal, it didn't quite live up to all my expectations. 

I really liked the cast of characters in Venom.  I didn't always like the main character, Cass, though - she's really naive and makes some thoughtless decisions at times.  Yet despite this, she's a very determined character, and I like the metaphor of how she feels trapped and is trying to find freedom.  I wouldn't go as far as to say I admire Cass, but I found it easy to sympathize with all that she was going through - her hopes, dreams, and struggles to do right. 

A few other characters I really liked were Cass's Aunt Agnese, her friend Madalena, her servant Siena, and her fiance Luca.  At first, I expected her aunt to be one of those cliche, grouchy old women who never lets Cass do anything, is very strict about manners, etc.  But Aunt Agnese was an unexpected surprise - her character has depth and she just wants what's best for Cass.  By the end of the novel she'd become one of my favorite minor characters!

Of course, there's the standard love triangle.  At first, I liked the artist Falco.  He has a few funny lines, he's charming, and he has that "free spirit" kind of personality.  But after a while I got tired of him pressuring Cass to sneak out to solve the mystery.  And I didn't like some of the choices he makes.  I can't decide whether or not I like him.  Luca, on the other hand...I liked him right away.  He's sweet and quiet, and genuinely does his best to care for Cass.  I wish he was in more of the book, instead of just the last 100 pages!  I can't wait to see more of him in the next book.

As for the plot itself, unfortunately I guessed who the murderer is immediately.  It isn't horribly, groan-inducingly obvious, but I suspected him throughout the whole story and ended up being right.  However, there's quite a few other twists and turns in the plot that always kept me turning the pages. 

The setting was one of my favorite parts of the story.  Fiona Paul does a wonderful job paying attention to detail and description of Venice.  I want to visit it so badly now, after reading Venom!  The way she painted the atmosphere and feel of Venice was absolutely stunning. 

While I had a few dislikes about Venom - the obvious murderer, and the naive main character - it was still a very enjoyable read.  (Also, I thought the ending was one of the best endings I've ever read.  It was so satisfying and perfect, but leaves it open for the sequel!)  Definitely a great historical novel.  Fiona Paul is a talented new author and I can't wait to read the sequel, Belladonna!

My rating:  7 out of 10 (3.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: Throne of Glass

Goodreads summary:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My review:

Oh, this book was so fun!  I adore fantasy books and Throne of Glass was not a disappointment.  I really enjoyed this engrossing read.  Now, I think one's enjoyment of this book depends on two things: whether or not you like the main character, and whether or not the love triangle works for you.  I liked both fairly well.

Ah, Celaena.  She's one of the best characters I've read in a while.  She is not like all the other naive, whiny, helpless girls in YA fiction.  She's full of arrogance and self-confidence, and she doesn't let anyone tell her what to do.  Normally I'd find such arrogance annoying in a character, but I actually loved it in Celaena.  She has some fantastically witty lines too, and I liked her love of books.  My only problem with her is that she has a touch of Mary-Sue-ish-ness: she can fight, loves to read, plays piano well, everyone loves her, etc.  But I still love how she's so different from most characters.

The love triangle was not terrible, but it certainly doesn't have that same level of awesomeness as Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series or Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series.  I like both of the guys who are in love with her - Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall.  I admit at the beginning, I thought Dorian was charming enough but rather shallow and boring.  I take that back the story progresses, his character has some real depth and I began to like him a good deal.

While Dorian's a good character, I think Chaol is better suited to Celaena.  His dry sense of humor is quite amusing, and he understands her so well.  I really hope Celaena will start liking him more in the sequel.  (And while I'm on the subject of characters, I must mention that Nehemia is one of the best minor characters I've read in a looong time.  I love her!)

And the plot is very entertaining!  A touch predictable at times, but it's so well-written and thrilling that you just don't want to stop reading.  Lots of action.  And oh my word, those last fifty pages or so...I could NOT put the book down.  Those scenes at the end were really intense. 

I have to say that I don't like the cover, though.  The girl looks like she's trying to be tough and is failing.  I like the UK cover so much better.  Go check it out on Goodreads if you haven't seen it, it fits the story perfectly. :)

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass; it's an excellent fantasy.  I can't wait to read more of this author's work.  If you like tough, strong heroines, a couple swoon-worthy guys, and an action-packed adventure full of magic and sword-fighting, then Throne of Glass is for you!

My rating:  8 out of 10 (4 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Waiting on Wednesday: Unravel Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

My pick is Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi!

Goodreads summary:

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

My thoughts:

Gah, I want this book so badly!  I read Shatter Me last year and absolutely loved it.  The sequel, Unravel Me, comes out on February 5 and I can't wait.  The only thing I'm worried about is the potential for a love triangle between Juliette, Adam, and Warner.  I'm kind of sick of love triangles, but I do think that Tahereh Mafi could pull it off.  She's created such fascinating characters.

I love the new covers for this series too.  Originally I didn't like them much, but they're growing on me.  The colors are so vivid and pretty!

Oh, and that last sentence in the summary?  Decisions that might involve...Adam's life?  Please no, don't let him die.  Tahereh Mafi, I'm begging you!  Let Adam live!

The next 41 days waiting for this book to come out will be extremely torturous.

As usual, please leave links to your WoW in the comments!  Happy reading, everyone! :)

~ The Bookworm

Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review: The Unnaturalists

Goodreads summary:

In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

My review:

I was quite excited to read The Unnaturalists - I was able to meet Tiffany Trent at the Baltimore Book Festival back in September, where I bought a signed copy.  The premise sounded sooo good...I mean, an alternate London?  Sign me up!  I'm happy to say that this was an interesting, engrossing read.

The characters are wonderful.  I really like the main character, Vespa Nyx...and not just because she has a cool name.  Vespa is spunky, smart, determined, and easy to relate to.  The other narrator of the story, Syrus, isn't quite as interesting to me.  He never captured my interest as a character, maybe because he is a thirteen-year-old boy.  But I think other readers will probably like him - it is refreshing to have a young main character like him.

The romance is sweet, yet it doesn't overpower the main storyline, which I admire.  I like the love interest too; he has an interesting background and I loved finding out more about him.  The plot itself is so magical and creative.  Tiffany Trent skillfully combines steampunk, sci-fi, alternate history, and even some bits of mythology, and the end result is a fascinating book.

My only complaint is that it was slightly confusing at times.  We are thrust into this alternate London, and many creatures are introduced without much explanation and the reader is left to figure out some things on their own.  Yet at the same time, I do like this method because it feels more realistic and definitely makes you feel involved in the story.  The setting was so atmospheric and thrilling.

And I do have to say that I love the alternate London.  It reminds me a little of Doctor Who, so imagine my excitement when in the acknowledgements, Tiffany Trent mentions Doctor Who as a source of inspiration!  I thought that was awesome. =D

If you're a fan of steampunk, cool sci-fi elements, and exciting historical fiction, then I would definitely recommend giving The Unnaturalists a try!  It's a very unique and fun read!

My rating:  8 out of 10 (4 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: Flash Point

Goodreads summary:

Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America—and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life—on and off camera.

My review:

I was so excited when I got an ARC of this in the mail.  It looked absolutely amazing, and I couldn't wait to read it!  But I've been disappointed by many dystopians lately, so I was careful not to let my hopes get up too high - which was a good thing, because Flash Point was very disappointing to me.

The world-building: or rather, lack of.  I knew this was a sort of sci-fi dystopian when I started it.  But spread throughout the story, there's quite a few references to Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail, which really took away the credibility of the dystopian-ish world, at least to me.  And what was the Collapse mentioned in the summary?  That wasn't made very clear until much later on in the story.  And what on earth were the "phantoms" (some kind of vision in her head - I think?) that Amy kept experiencing at random moments in the story?  This book needed some serious world-building.

With the large cast of characters, I was sure I could find at least one or two that I cared about, but...guess what...they are all flat and boring.  The main character Amy drove me nuts, and her little sister is even more annoying.  All the other characters who are on the reality show are boring, as well.  It felt like they are all plot devices.  I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them.

One thing that was a huge let-down is when Amy's grandmother dies about two-third or three-quarters through the story.  (This isn't really a spoiler, because her grandmother is really ill throughout the story and her death is expected.)  Now during the beginning of the story, Amy is constantly worrying over her grandmother and doing everything possible to keep her well.  She really cares for her grandmother.  But when Amy's grandmother dies, only a page or two is spent talking about it, and then Amy moves on with life as if she's perfectly fine.  It's not really mentioned at all during the rest of the book.  What on earth?!  You'd think Amy would've spent more time grieving.

This book was just a huge disappointment to me.  It's a great concept, but it all fell flat.  Not to mention that it's 500 pages long.  I don't mind long books, but this was just way too long.  There were so many times when I wanted to not finish it, and when I was finally done, I was just glad it was over and didn't even care what had happened to the characters.  Not recommended - there are so many better dystopians out there!

*Thanks to Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of this!

My rating:  3 out of 10 (1.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Summer I Became a Nerd

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

My pick is The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller!

Goodreads summary:

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

My thoughts:

I.  Need.  This.  Book.  Now.

Seriously, this is probably one of my most anticipated 2013 debuts.  This sounds so amazing!  I mean, the word "adorkable" is used in the summary. =D I already know I'm going to love this book.  May 2013 can't come fast enough!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Leave links to your WOW in the comments!  Thanks for stopping by!

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week a new list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Favorite Books of 2012."

My Top Ten Favorite Books of 2012:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I'm sure this will be on many lists of 2012 favorites, but it totally deserves it.  I absolutely adore this book!

2. The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  Oh my word, this is one of my favorite series ever!  Who knew that books about aliens could be so awesome? :D

3. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg.  When I started reading it, I knew it was the type of book I'd enjoy, but I didn't expect to love it so much!  So.  Good!

4. Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.  Best angel series out there.  I love the characters, the plot, the story, everything!

5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth.  Yes, I read this 500-page book in one day.  It was that unputdownable.  And of course it ended with a huuuge cliffhanger. *sigh*

6. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.  Ahh, I love this so much.  And I usually hate love triangles, but I wholeheartedly love Clare's.  Best love triangle ever.  I love both Jem and Will so much!

7. The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers by Rae Carson.  One of the best fantasy series I've ever read.  I couldn't put these books down.  Rae Carson is so talented!

8. Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis.  I love these books and the way they're kind of a mixture of dystopia and sci-fi.  These books are so thought-provoking and well-written.

9. Fever by Lauren DeStefano.  Fever was every bit as good as Wither, the first in this series.  I wish I could write like Lauren DeStefano.  I'm in love with her gorgeous writing style!

10. Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.  This is an amazing dystopian series.  So brilliant and mindblowing. 

Hmm.  Technically, if you count each of the books separately and not as a series, that's sixteen books.  Not ten.  Oh well. :P

Please leave links to your TTT post in the comments! :)

~ The Bookworm

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Opal

Goodreads summary:

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

My review:

I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Opal ever since the terrible cliffhanger in Onyx back in August.  This is one of my favorite series ever, and Opal is just as amazing as the previous books, Obsidian and Onyx.  Also, I totally admit to stalking Opal on the UPS tracking website.  Yes, I was that anxious to know when it would arrive.  And it was completely worth it. :)

Anyway...on to the actual review.

Opal.  Was.  Epic!

I loved everything about it!  The characters...I could gush about them all day.  Katy is as wonderful as ever.  She is one of the best characters I've ever read.  I relate to her so much because of her love of books and her snarky sense of humor.  And I loved Daemon so much in Opal!  He's so sweet and caring and protective of Katy, yet he still has his cocky and arrogant side at times.  Completely swoon-worthy.  And poor Dee - she went through a lot in Onyx and it's so heartbreaking to watch her deal with it in Opal.  Then there's Dawson.  This one scene where he's talking to Katy almost made me sad!

The plot is amazing!  I read this book in one day and I barely put it down at all.  I always had to know what was happening next.  There's slightly less action than in the previous books, I think, but the stakes are constantly rising.  Unputdownable!  I loved it!

Another thing I love is how these characters are so realistic.  Take Katy, for example.  In Opal she struggles over whether she's able to kill someone if she needed to and how she'd deal with the guilt.  It was so refreshing to have characters that care about things like that. 

I should probably also mention that I despise Blake.  Yes, he shows up again in Opal.  He's just one of the most annoying characters on the face of the planet.  There's this awesome scene where Dee punches him.  I seriously loved that part.  And I love how Katy acts toward Blake - she's not afraid to stand up to him and tell him to mind his own business or stay away from her.  Yet on a more serious note, Katy worries over whether she and Blake are really so alike - is he truly evil?  He just did whatever it took to save his friends, and Katy knows she'd do the same.  I loved this particular struggle that Katy tries to figure out in Opal.

Lastly, I'd just like to say that Jennifer L. Armentrout is the definition of awesome.  I wish I could write like she does.  There's something about her books that makes them impossible to put down.  And her strong characters, hilarious dialogue, and action-packed plots are always amazing.  I love that while Opal has its serious moments, there's tons of hysterical scenes that make me laugh and smile.  She's such a talented writer!

Oh, and that cliffhanger at the end?  That was simply cruel.  I thought the cliffhanger in Onyx was bad.  Well, Opal is ten times worse.  Waiting for Origin to come out in July will be torture.

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

Goodreads summary:

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.

My review:

So I've been wanting to read Beautiful Creatures for quite some time, and I decided that since the movie is coming out in a couple months, I'd better hurry up and read it.  I was pretty disappointed, though.  Beautiful Creatures was quite boring to me.

It's not a terrible book.  I can see why some people love it.  But to me, it was very...meh.  For example, the authors wrote from the guy's point of view.  I hoped this would make the book more interesting, but I found that Ethan's voice totally lacks authenticity.  He is, in my opinion, a wimp.  He doesn't seem brave at all, and I never really understood why he is so in love with Lena.  Plus, he has this weird habit of describing what everyone's wearing all the time.  It seemed very unrealistic to me.

As for Lena, she's okay.  She's a flat character and I never felt like I knew much about her.  Some of the other characters, like Ridley, were unique and interesting.  But on the other hand, characters like Amma struck me as sterotypical and boring.

Oh, and this book is full of sterotypes.  Part of what drew me to this book was the idea that it was a southern gothic love story, but the southern aspect actually ruined it for me.  It was all just so stereotypical.  All the people in the town of Gatlin were judgmental, had extremely southern accents, were old-fashioned, etc.  It was so predictable and it drove me nuts.

Also, was there even a plot in this book?  It felt like the whole story was some vague thing about old secrets being uncovered and Lena worrying about whether her powers will become "light" or "dark" on her sixteenth birthday.  It just seemed so repetitive.  Ethan is arguing with Amma...again.  He and Lena are having a long conversation about whether she will become good or evil...again.  You get the idea.  There was no need for this book to be nearly 600 pages; you could easily cut in half and still have the main storyline.

I've been pretty critical of Beautiful Creatures in this review, and I feel bad.  It really isn't so terrible.  In fact, one thing I do like is that you can't even tell that two different people wrote this - the writing blended and flowed perfectly.  Still, overall this book was just very boring and was a waste of time to me.  But I have to say that I still want to see the movie - the trailers for it look quite exciting.  Fingers crossed it will be better than the book!

My rating:  4 out of 10 (2 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: Reached

Goodreads summary:

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

My review:

Oh, this book is so beautiful.  I loved every moment of it.  This series has been one of my favorites for quite some time.  Matched was the first dystopian book I ever read, and I loved it.  And while I still loved the sequel, Crossed, it wasn't quite as good as the first one.  However, Reached is a perfect conclusion to this amazing series!

One thing I love about this series is the symbolism.  Take the covers, for example.  They're so simple yet striking, and I love how they convey the journey Cassia's character takes throughout the series.  And the titles are so poetic too: Matched, Crossed, Reached.

Ally Condie's writing is just as beautifully poetic as ever in Reached.  There's something about the way she writes.  It's so simple, yet filled with gorgeous imagery and metaphors.  And despite the lovely writing, Reached is a fast read.  While it's just over 500 pages, I read through it in a day.

It was so much fun to read about the characters again.  Reached is told from three points of view: Cassia, Ky, and Xander.  I really loved this.  It was never confusing, and it gave great insight into each of the different characters and their motives.  While I never cared much for Xander in the previous books, I grew to admire his character in this one.

The plot was wonderful.  Though it was a bit slow-moving at first, I thought it was necessary to the storyline.  I felt so much for the characters as they tried to figure out who was truly on their side and who they could trust.  Amazing!  And that ending was just perfect.

Reached was a powerful, thought-provoking conclusion to the Matched series.  Definitely recommended!  And now I'll end with a couple of my favorite quotes from Reached:

"Mountains, I realize.  That's what the ocean is.  Those waves are peaks.  The stars are lights in houses and on streets.  The earth reflects the sky and the sky meets the earth and, every now and then, if we're lucky, we have a moment to see how small we are." - pg. 236.

"'Sometimes paper is only paper,' my mother says.  'Words are just words.  Ways to capture the real thing.  Don't be afraid to remember that.'
I know what she means.  Writing, painting, singing - it cannot stop everything.  Cannot halt death in its tracks.  But perhaps it can make the pause between death's footsteps sound and feel beautiful, can make the space of waiting a place where you can linger without as much fear.  For we are all walking each other to our deaths, and the journey there between footsteps makes up our lives." - pg. 510.

*sigh* I could go on and on about how beautiful this book is and how much I love it, but this review is long enough already.  So anyway...just go read this book. 

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: False Memory

Goodreads summary:

Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter... when there may not be a future.

Dan Krokos’ debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series.

My review:

I was really looking forward to False Memory and it did not disappoint!  This was an incredible read!

What I really loved was that the protoganist, Miranda, was so easy to relate to.  This book was written by a guy, but he captured Miranda's voice perfectly.  I really loved all the other characters too.  They were realistic and likeable.

I seriously hope this book gets made into a movie.  It would be so fun to see on the big screen!  I couldn't help picturing it as a movie as I was reading it.  The action scenes were written so well.  The sci-fi element was very interesting, too.

False Memory is truly what every book should be: the plot is compelling and full of action, there's constantly a new twist or turn with every chapter, and there's lots of character growth.  I can't think of anything I disliked.  There was always something stunning happening; whether it be the betrayal of a character, something in a character's past get the idea.  This book was full of adventure! 

This is an excellent, well-written book that was thrilling, mindblowing, and unputdownable.  Recommended for fans of Variant by Robison Wells or Legend by Marie Lu!

My rating:  9 out of 10 (4.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Free ebook! Today and tomorrow only!

Goodreads summary:

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.

This book is amazing!  The River of Time series is one of my favorite series ever.  It's about time travel, is set in Italy, and has some seriously swoon-worthy guys. :) You can't ask for more than that.

It's free on Kindle for today and tomorrow only, so be sure to get it right away!

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week a new list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2012."

My Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2012:

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout.  She's one of my favorite authors ever now!  If you haven't picked up one of her books yet, then you are seriously missing out on some awesome books. 

2. Anna Godbersen.  I just read the Luxe series this summer and it was sooo good.  I love historical books and hers were so much fun to read!

3. Rae Carson.  The Girl of Fire and Thorns and its sequel, Crown of Embers, are some of the best fantasy books I've read this year.  Rae Carson has created a wonderful fantasy world with compelling characters.

4. Rachel Harris.  I adored Harris's debut book, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.  I can't wait for the sequel to come out next year!

5. Cynthia Hand.  Unearthly and Hallowed are, without a doubt, the best YA books about angels that I've ever read.  Not only has this author created a totally awesome main character, but she's also written one of the best love triangles I've ever read!

6. Michael Grant.  I love the Gone series.  As in, love, love, love it.  Those books are jaw-droppingly-good and creepy in the very best way.  I cannot wait for the final installment in his series!

7. Veronica Rossi.  She is a seriously talented author.  I had the opportunity to read in ARC of Through the Ever Night, the sequel to Under the Never Sky, and it is amazing!  (And Roar is one of my favorite characters ever!  Squee)

8. Beth Revis.  Oh, her books are so good.  They're so thought-provoking and beautifully written!  Plus, I love that this author is also a Doctor Who fan! :)

9. Brodi Ashton.  I loved her YA debut, Everneath.  One of the best Greek mythology books ever!  The story was so heartbreakingly beautiful. 

10. John Green.  Let's face it, everyone, John Green is a genius.  The Fault in Our Stars, my favorite book of 2012, is a masterpiece.  (Yes, I read it in four hours straight and sobbed for a half hour when I finished it.  It was that good.) 

I'd love it if you leave links to your Top Ten Tuesday in the comments so I can check them out! :)

~ The Bookworm

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: Stormdancer

Goodreads summary:

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

My thoughts:

I was so excited to read this book.  I mean, it has everything you could want: griffins, steampunk, tons of cool fighting scenes, and it's set in Japan!  It sounded amazing!  So I was a bit disappointed when Stormdancer wasn't everything I thought it would be.

Don't get me wrong, this is still an excellent book, but it just wasn't for me.  All the cool stuff with griffins, steampunk, and awesome fight scenes?  Yes, it's in the book, but what I had a huge problem with was the writing style.

This book is slow.  Extremely slow.  The first 100 pages or so took such a long time to read, mainly because we are introduced to Kristoff's steampunk/dystopian world.  And we are not just introduced to it...we are immersed in it.  There is tons of detail and description, and honestly, it was hard to keep my attention on the book.  Several times I thought about not finishing it, but I forced myself to continue and I'm glad I did.

Stormdancer does get better, about halfway through.  There's less detailed description and the plot picks up, but it was still a slow read.  The author's writing style is just very...heavy.  Even the action scenes don't read as action scenes because they're so slow.

But despite the tedious writing style, I found myself enjoying the story.  By far, my favorite aspect of Stormdancer is the bond between Yukiko and the griffin, Buruu.  Their friendship is so endearing.  I also love the way other relationships in the story were explored, like Yukiko's relationship with her father.  The characters in this book are strong, vivid, and realistic.

Stormdancer really is a wonderful book if you can get past the detailed writing style.  If it was written in the style of, say, Divergent ( which has lots of fast-paced scenes, rather than being bogged down with description), then I would have given it five stars without a doubt.  But, the writing style of Stormdancer ruined some of my enjoyment of the book.

I'd suggest giving Stormdancer a try if you don't mind a slow but well-written read.

My rating:  7 out of 10 (3.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I'd upload a picture of the books I got this week like I usually do, but my computer is acting up and won't let me upload anything right now, so no picture this time.  (But if it starts working later, I'll edit this post and add a picture!)

Anyway...I got six new books this week, all library books this time:

- Reached by Ally Condie
- The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
- A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan
- Endlessly by Kiersten White
- Starters by Lissa Price
- The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

I'm so excited about these books; they've all been on my to-read list for months!  So far, I've only read Reached (the conclusion to Ally Condie's dystopian series) and Endlessly (the final book in a paranormal trilogy).  I loved them both, but I especially can't wait to read The Dark Unwinding and The Girl in the Steel Corset!  Those are both steampunk books, and I love steampunk, so I hope they'll be good!  Also, A Girl Named Digit looks like a really fun contemporary, and Starters sounds like an interesting dystopian.

So that's my haul for this week!  Again, sorry about the picture problem.  The Internet has been loading slow on my computer for over a week now and it's driving me crazy.  Hopefully it will be fixed soon...

Have you read or want to read any of the books I got this week?  Leave a comment and let me know!  And please leave links to your IMMs, I'd love to check them out! :) Happy reading!

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review: Storm

Goodreads summary:

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

My review:

Ahh!  Storm was such a fun read!  It has everything an urban fantasy should have: cool magic powers, strong characters, action, and lots of laugh-out-loud moments.  And the guys?  Let's just say that they are very, very swoon-worthy.  All five of them.  (But especially Gabriel!!)

The main reason I read this book was after seeing lots of positive reviews from my Goodreads friends, and so I decided to give it a try.  I'm so glad I did!  I read this book in a single day and laughed so hard that my family kept looking at me like I was crazy. 

The main character, Becca, is wonderful.  She's both strong and vulnerable, and even though she makes some wrong choices during the story, she still tries to do the right thing.  And then...we have the Merrick brothers.  Gah, I love them all so much!  For one thing, they're so realistic.  They fight with each other but they'll also do whatever it takes to save each other.  And I adore all their funny lines and sarcastic quips.  Brigid Kemmerer captures the relationship between these four brothers perfectly.

The action scenes are amazing.  I couldn't put Storm down.  This book is pure fun, with some serious moments mixed in.  I loved each of the characters and I can't wait to read the second book!

If you're looking for a fresh, unique YA urban fantasy, then by all means pick up a copy of Storm.  It's unputdownable!

My rating:  9 out of 10 (4.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review: Time Between Us

Goodreads summary:

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

My review:

I enjoyed this book so much.  I was anxiously awaiting its release for months, and I'm so happy it didn't disappoint.  I'm of the opinion that there is a huge lack of time travel books in YA fiction.  I've read some great ones - My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and the River of Time series - but also some disappointing ones, like Tempest.  So I'm pleased to say that Time Between Us is a book that I would consider great; it's beautifully written and filled with strong characters.

One aspect of Time Between Us that I really appreciate is that this book is not fantasy or paranormal.  The characters don't have special powers; they don't have to fight off an enemy or save the world.  They are just normal teenagers who fall in love with each other.  The focus on the characters and their relationships makes this book more refreshing and makes you feel more deeply for their struggles.

And I love the characters in this book so much.  You can't help liking Anna: she's so easy to relate to and you have to admire the calm way she deals with what she's going through.  Bennett is very sweet too.  He has that friendly boy-next-door personality, but there's also an air of mysteriousness about him.  I like that he tries so hard to protect Anna, and I love the way they are both honest with each other and care for each other so much.  Minor characters like Anna's best friend and her parents add depth to the storyline.

Another aspect of this book that I like is Anna's desire to travel.  I love how she's so adventurous and unafraid, and the scenes where she and Bennett travel through time to different places are some of my favorites in this book.

Lastly, the love story.  I like that it wasn't insta-love.  Bennett and Anna form a friendship that gradually develops into love for each other.  There is no dramatic "you must stay away from me, I'm too dangerous for you!" or "I can't live without you, there will be no purpose to life!" that is common in so many YA books.  Instead, Anna and Bennett's love story is realistic and heart-wrenching.  I quite like the fact that they are determined to find a way to be together, but they don't let it take over their lives.  It makes their romance so much more bittersweet.

I really enjoyed Time Between Us.  Definitely recommended if you are looking for a solid romance that stands out from most YA fiction.  Also, it works well as a standalone, but I'm pretty sure I heard the author say somewhere that there's going to be a sequel!  Yay!  I can't wait to read more from this talented author.

My rating:  10 out of 10

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 End of Year Book Survey

Hey everyone!  Here's my 2012 End of Year Book Survey.  This survey was created by Jamie at the Perpetual Page-Turner, and this is my first time doing it!

Best in Books 2012

1. Best book you read in 2012?  (You can break it down by genre if you want)

There are so many books that I loved...but my absolute favorite was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I read it one sitting and bawled like a baby for nearly a half hour when I finished.  A very close second favorite is Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  And there are so many other good books, so I'm breaking it down by genre too:

Fantasy:  Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Sci-Fi:  Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Contemporary:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dystopian:  Fever by Lauren DeStefano, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Historical:  The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Steampunk:  Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Mythology:  Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Paranormal:  Hallowed by Cynthia Hand, Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lol, that's quite a lot of books, but I seriously love them all.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu.  I thought it would be amazing but it turned out to be very meh.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter.  I had read the other books in this series, and while I enjoyed them, they weren't favorites, so I was surprised by how much I loved The Goddess Legacy.

4. Book you recommended most to people in 2012?

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.  I could gush about those books all day.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Okay, three favorites: The Gone series by Michael Grant, the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, and, of course, the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  They are all such wonderful books!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Yes!  Notice how the "authors" is plural?  I can list more than one without feeling guilty, haha!

Obviously, Jennifer L. Armentrout (in case you haven't noticed, I'm a huge fan of hers :P), and also Cynthia Hand, Beth Revis, and Jessica Khoury.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or a new genre for you?

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, for sure.  I normally don't read contemporaries and I was surprised by how emotional and heartbreaking this book was.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Hmm...Variant by Robison Wells.  I read it one day and absolutely loved the nonstop action.  And Onyx by JLA.  It arrived in the mail on a Thursday afternoon, and I spent the entire evening reading.  I didn't stop until I finished it!

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to reread next year?

I plan on rereading Everneath by Brodi Ashton before the sequel comes out in late January!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Ugh, I literally can't choose just one.  Everneath, Hallowed, What's Left of Me, and Time Between Us all have really fantastic covers, though.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

So many good characters!  But I have to say Katy from JLA's Lux series (she's a book blogger!  And she has the greatest sense of humor ever!) and the Merrick brothers in Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series were very memorable.

12. Most beautifully written book in 2012?

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, and Origin by Jessica Khoury, to name a few.  They just had this lovely poetic feel to the writing.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Hm.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman was a book that was very thought-provoking.  Also, What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang was a very emotional, heartbreaking read.

14.  Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to read?

I'm going to say Gone by Michael Grant.  I can't believe I've been missing out on that fantastic series for so long!

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?

Just one???  Okay, fine, here it is, from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars:

"Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.

"Right, of course.  But you keep the promise anyway.  That's what love is.  Love is keeping the promise anyway."

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2012?

According to Goodreads, Hunger by Michael Grant was the longest at 590 pages.  Not sure what the shortest was, though.

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling in it and dying to talk to somebody about it?  Be careful of spoilers!

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.  It doesn't release until January, so I don't know anyone else who has read it yet.  But let's just say there was a scene that had me in tears...

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2012?

Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace (The Fault in Our Stars), Daemon and Katy (Lux series), and Hector and Elisa (Crown of Embers).  Their relationships are so sweet and unforgettable.

19. Favorite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously?

Probably The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.  He's a genius and I love everything he writes!

20. Best book that you read that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?

Umm...probably the Shadow Falls series by C. C. Hunter.  A good friend of mine loaned me her books and I really like them now!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional):

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

The Midnight Garden!  I really enjoy their thoughtful reviews.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

Hehe, I gotta say Half-Blood by JLA.  I had so much fun writing that review.  I was gushing about it pretty much the whole time.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Honestly I don't know.  I've actually only had my blog since August so there hasn't been a ton of book discussion stuff yet.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?

I mentioned the Midnight Garden above, and I really do love all of their reviews, especially Wendy Darling's.  Her reviews are amazing!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?

This one's easy!  I got to go to the Baltimore Book Festival back in September and it was absolutely amazing!  I got to meet Jennifer L. Armentrout, Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, Tiffany Trent, Alethea Kontis, and Leanna Renee Hieber.  Best.  Day.  Ever!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

Probably when people comment on my book reviews.  It's nice to know that people take time to read my reviews!

7. Most popular post on your blog this year (whether it be by comments or views)?

My book review of Through the Ever Night has gotten quite a lot of views!

8. Post you wished got a little more love?

All of my book reviews, to be honest.  I get lots of comments on memes like In My Mailbox, Waiting on Wednesday, and Top Ten Tuesday, but I wish my book reviews would get more comments!

9. Best book-ish discovery (book related sites, bookstores, etc.?)

Goodreads!  I joined back in March and now I spend almost as much time on it as I do on Facebook, lol!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set for yourself this year?

My goal for 2012 was to read 300 books.  Right now I'm at 297!  So by next week, I'll have read a few more books and reached 300! :)

Looking ahead...

1. One book you didn't get to read in 2012 but will be your number one priority in 2013?

Anna and the French Kiss.  I know, I know, everyone keeps telling me to read it.  I'll get to it soon, I promise!

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2013?

Everbound, The Madman's Daughter, The Elite, The Essence, Unravel Me, The Bitter Kingdom, and the last Divergent book, to name a few.

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging 2013?

I'd really just like to keep up with my blog and keep posting book reviews regularly.

Okay, well that's it!  Man.  That took longer than I thought it would, haha, but it was fun!  Let me know what you think of my choices, and if you've done the book survey, leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!

P.S. My review of Time Between Us will be up tomorrow!

~ The Bookworm

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Antigoddess

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to read!

My pick is Antigoddess by Kendare Blake!

Goodreads summary:

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

My thoughts:

I LOVE Greek mythology.  I've read tons of YA Greek mythology books: Half-Blood, The Goddess Test, Touch of Frost, Abandon, Starcrossed, Sweet Venom, and so many more.  They're so good and so much fun to read!  I already know I'm going to love Antigoddess!

That summary is amazing.  It looks so unique and different from all the other mythology books out there.  Plus, Athena is my favorite Greek goddess, so I'm thrilled that she's in it!  Antigoddess sounds fantastic.

And that cover is awesome!  It's simple, but striking.  I like it.  It's different from the usual "girl in a dress" covers!  I can't wait to read Antigoddess.  Why does it have to come out in September?  That's too far away!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Leave links to your WOW in the comments so I can check them out! :)

~ The Bookworm

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Broke and Bookish.  Each week a new list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their choices.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me."

My Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me:

1. Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini.  This book sounds amazing.  It's been on my TBR list since May!  I really, really want to get my hands on it.

2. Timepiece by Myra McEntire.  I just finished Hourglass, the first book in this series, and enjoyed it.  I'm dying to read the second book now!

3. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer.  Gah.  I want this book so bad.  It sounds like a sweet, funny story, exactly the type of book I'd enjoy.

4. Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George.  This book is coming out next week, and I'm absolutely dying to read it.  I love Jessica Day George's fairytale retellings and I know this one will be amazing!

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.  I seriously need this book.  I adore fantasy books and there's been so much hype about this one. 

6. Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton.  I read the first book in this series, Angelfire, and loved it.  I still haven't read the sequel, even though it came out almost a year ago.  I really need to read it soon!

7. Black City by Elizabeth Richards.  Yes please!  There's been an enormous amount of hype for this book.  I mean enormous.  Seems like everywhere I look, people are posting about it and reviewing it.  I want to read it so badly now.  And who doesn't love that gorgeous cover?

8. Feedback by Robison Wells.  I loooved his book Variant, the first in this series.  I read it one day and it ended in a huge cliffhanger!  It was one of the worst cliffhangers I've read all year, and I'm dying to know what happens next!

9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan.  I've read quite a few glowing reviews for this book and everyone keeps telling me I should read it.  It sounds like a very fun read!

10. Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate.  Michael Grant is one of my favorite authors ever, and I really want to read this book!  It sounds like an interesting read, and I love the cool cover!

What books are you dying to get this Christmas?  Comment and/or leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post! :)

~ The Bookworm

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review: Through the Ever Night

Goodreads summary:

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 review:

I love this book.  Love, love, love it.  I was lucky enough to win an ARC of it through a contest on the author's blog, and oh my word, it's so good!  Fans of the first book will not be disappointed.

First of all, there's tons of character growth in this sequel.  The poor characters go through so much.  (And I sobbed my eyes out at a certain scene towards the end.)  Anyway, Perry is Blood Lord of the Tides now, and you can't help feeling for him as he's forced to grow up and take responsibility.  He faces tough decisions - for example, like whether he should do the right thing or do what will please his people. 

And Aria deals with a lot, as the people of the Tides don't accept her right away.  But instead of whining or sobbing endlessly about it, she does her best to earn their trust and support Perry.  I really love Aria.  She's matured  and changed so much from the girl she was in the beginning of Under the Never Sky. 

And the plot?  Amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  With each chapter, the stakes kept rising.  I read this book in one day, staying up late into the night to finish it.  The story ends with a huge action scene and lots of fighting, and I'm so excited for Into the Still Blue, the third book, to come out!

As always, Veronica Rossi's writing is lovely.  She has such a beautiful writing style, full of detail and description, that makes the characters' emotions so vivid and real.  Speaking of characters, I really loved all the characters, even the minor ones, which is saying something for me.  Usually I forget minor characters easily if they don't stick out, but it was easy to remember all the characters in this book; they all played an important role and added to the story.

I want to end by saying how talented Veronica Rossi is at torturing her readers.  I constantly felt bad for the different characters and what they suffered in this book.  They are all so endearing in their own way.  The relationship between Perry and his nephew Talon particularly stuck out to me; it's so heartrending!  And of course Roar and his devotion to Liv is adorable.  I can't spoil the story, but I'm just warning everyone: you will cry at a certain point in this book.  It was so sad and heartbreaking.

I can't wait to see what Into the Still Blue will be like.  Veronica Rossi is a marvelous writer.  I don't care if you like dystopian or not, go read this series!  You won't regret it.

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Top 5 Books of November 2012

Each month I post a list of the books I read and what my top five favorite books of the month were.  Here's all the books I read in November:

- The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
- For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
- Easy by Tammara Webber
- Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
- Every Day by David Levithan
- A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
- Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
- Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
- In Honor by Jessi Kirby
- Partials by Dan Wells
- Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
- False Memory by Dan Krokos
- The Hunters by John Flanagan
- Pulse by Patrick Carman
- Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
- Hourglass by Myra McEntire
- Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler

I didn't get around to as many books as I would've liked this month, mainly because I was so busy with NaNoWriMo, but I read a lot of enjoyable books this month!  Here's my top five:

1. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone.  I'm a sucker for anything related to time travel, and Time Between Us was just amazing.  It was sweet, beautiful, and heartbreaking.  I felt so much for the characters and the journey they were going through!

2. Storm by Brigid Kemmerer.  This has been on my TBR list for ages, and I absolutely loved it!  Such a fun read. :D Tons of action and unforgettable characters, and I laughed out loud over and over.  Pure awesomeness!

3. Easy by Tammara Webber.  I have heard so much about this book, and it was just as wonderful as all the reviews said.  I started it one evening after dinner and literally did not stop until I had finished it a few hours later!

4. Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale.  I adore Shannon Hale.  Her books were some of the first YA books I ever read, and I've read them countless times.  (I even got to meet her at a book festival a couple months ago!  She's so sweet!) Anyway, this is the sequel to Princess Academy and I think I love it even better than the first.  Simply beautiful.

5. False Memory by Dan Krokos.  I was thrilled when my library got this book - I've been wanting to read it for months.  It was fantastic!  Kind of like a superhero story with lots of sci-fi elements and nonstop action.  Very well-written!

Any great reads that you've read this past month?  Have you read any of the books on my list?  Leave a comment and let me know!

~ The Bookworm

Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: Finale

Goodreads summary:

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

My review:

Honestly, I'm just glad this series is over with.  I disliked the first book, but I thought the second and third were a little better, so I was hoping maybe I'd end up liking the final one.  I just didn't care much for it at all.

The Hush, Hush series has improved, I admit.  But Nora's character is still annoying.  In Finale, she's a lot tougher and goes through lots of training.  She's definitely not as whiny as she was in the first book, which is good.  However, she's still really naive and clueless, and she made, in my opinion, some stupid decisions, so overall I don't like her.

I still don't like Patch.  I know, you can go ahead and yell at me.  Everyone else seems to love him.  I just find nothing attractive about him.  At least in Finale, he's not as aggressive and mean as he was in the first book.  He's nice and protective of Nora in this one, but nonetheless, I found him to be a bland character.

Fortunately, there was not much romance in this book.  I was majorly relieved by this - I felt like in the earlier books, there was too much of Nora whining about Patch not paying attention to her, and not enough action.  Well, in Finale, there's more action and plot development, which I appreciated.

However, Patch and Nora's relationship just makes me mad.  On page 59, Nora says, "I'd lost Patch once before, and not to be melodramatic, but death was preferable."  That's just...I can't even.  That's an unhealthy relationship. 

Okay, so onto the actual plot.  I liked it except that the book was so long.  I mean, it was 450 pages, and I definitely think it could've been shortened.  Some parts were kind of boring.  But mostly, the plot was entertaining.  I thought that the betrayal of a certain character was a good twist; I didn't see it coming.  And the ending is very satisfying - although, poor Vee!  I've never liked Vee that much, but I was so sad for what she goes through.

My feelings about the Hush, Hush series are very mixed.  I'm not a fan of this series - I simply can't stand the characters - but I think Becca Fitzpatrick is a decent writer, so I will probably give her future books a try.  And while I personally don't like this series, I think that the diehard fans of Hush, Hush will find Finale to be a great conclusion to the series.

My rating:  5 out of 10 (2.5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

I'm baaack!

This is the last day of NaNoWriMo, and I managed to complete the 50,000 word goal this morning!  My novel is now finished and it's 133 pages and 50,517 words long. :) So excited!  Writing a novel in a month was a crazy but super fun experience!

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an idea of the posts and book reviews I'll be adding soon.  I'm going to start doing In My Mailbox, Top Ten Tuesday, and Waiting on Wednesday posts again weekly, and tomorrow, I'll be posting my monthly Top 5 Books post.

Also, you can expect reviews for these books in the next week or two: Through the Ever Night, Time Between Us, Storm, Finale, Stormdancer, and False Memory.  Those are a handful of the books I've read this month that I really want to review. :)

~ The Bookworm

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update

So it's halfway through NaNoWriMo now.  Only two more weeks of me staying up late in the night, writing madly to reach each day's word goal.  Then I can read and blog to my heart's content. *happy sigh*

Seriously, NaNoWriMo is crazily fun, and I'm enjoying writing a novel in a month even though it's super stressful.  I have almost 25,000 words so far, so I should hopefully be able to reach 50,000 by the end of the month.  Of course, this probably means no more blog updates till December.  I have a bunch of book reviews I'm dying to write, but I'm so busy with my novel - so they'll have to wait a couple more weeks.

Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!  I look forward to posting regularly once again once November is over. :-)

~ The Bookworm

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Top 5 Books of October 2012

Each month, I post a list of the books I've read and what my top five favorite books of the month were.  Here's the books I read in October!

- Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
- Secret Letters by Leah Scheier
- Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
- Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
- Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
- Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
- Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
- The List by Siobhan Vivian
- Breathe by Sarah Crossan
- Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- Auracle by Gina Rosati
- The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
- Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
- Switched by Amanda Hocking
- Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
- Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
- Taken at Dusk by C. C. Hunter
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- Hidden by Sophie Jordan
- Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard
- Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (I was actually rereading this one!)
- Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

I read a lot of books during October that I like to refer to as "meh."  They were neither good nor bad, just okay-ish.  Fortunately, there were a few books that I really loved, so here's my top five!

1. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  If you spend enough time on my blog, you'll discover that I adore JLA's books.  Half-Blood is pure awesomeness!  It was a thrill ride of a novel and I thought the Greek mythology aspect was utter genius.  And Alex and Aiden?  If there was an award for two characters who need to be a couple, they would totally win it!  Can't wait to read more about them in the rest of the series!

2. Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson.  Another mythology book.  This story is guaranteed to put a smile on your face with the hilarious Tucker Halloway and the sweet yet feisty heroine, Ellie.  (And Loki is in it!  Yes, THE Loki, god of mischief.)  Just read this book, okay?!  It's epic!

3. Auracle by Gina Rosati.  What a fun read!  The premise is so unique and refreshing and I couldn't wait to turn the page and find out what would happen next.  This was an exhilarating, exciting, and unputdownable book!  Not to mention the great cast of characters.

4. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.  Aww, I just love fairytale retellings.  And this book is just as enchanting as the title suggests. :) Sweet and magical, this is one spellbinding story that fantasy lovers won't want to miss out on!

5. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.  I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this through a contest on the author's blog, and I absolutely adored it.  Fans of the first book will not be disappointed!  This sequel is heartbreaking, action-packed, and flat-out amazing.  I'll be writing a review eventually!

Honorable mention goes to Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi.  I admit that I didn't find Warner that attractive in Shatter Me, but I kind of sort of fell for him in Destroy Me.  Reading this novella from his POV and finding out so much more about his character and background is just heartbreaking.  I can't wait for Unravel Me to come out!

So those are my latest reads/recommendations.  What new books have you discovered recently?  Please leave a comment and mention some books you've just read and loved, or tell me if you've read any of the books on my list!

*Just wanted to remind my followers that I probably won't be posting till next week!  NaNoWriMo is going great so far but it's keeping me busy!

~ The Bookworm