YA (Young Adult)

2012 Year in Review!! My top books and series of the year!

If you have any favorite reads for this year please share! 2012 has been quite a year for me. I’ve read some incredible books, some great books, some not so great books, some terrible books.  But overall it contributed to read count of over 131 stories this year. It’s kind of funny because I feel like a slacker compared to some other Goodreads friends who I’ve seen read over 400+ books; one even read over 900. But good or bad, I’ll take it as a victory. Communiting to and from my job takes a good 2 hours of my day, which allows me to and dedicate most of that to reading. A broken iPod has helped quite a bit too, but Christmas kind of rectified that so I’ll have to see how my read count in 2013 compares. But in the meantime, I want to narrow things down and present my favorite urban fantasy/paranormal books of 2012.


Ever After ARC (The Hollows #11) by Kim HarrisonEver After

I debated listing this one because it technically doesn’t come out until 2013, but it rocked my personal socks this year, and I’m sure it will rock yours in January, so I’m going to list it.


All Dorina Basarab novels, including Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

Fury's Kiss, Karen Chance, dorina basarab

Though I was fairly familiar with its original sister series, Cassandra “Cassie” Palmer, I was really surprised to find that I love this series infinitely more. It’s got all of the pluses, none of the annoyances. Dory is a riot, but she kicks ass too. It just pains me that it take 2 years between books.


Wicked as They Come (Blud #1) by Delilah S. Dawson

Early on in the year this was my favorite book.  The world was new, interesting and exciting. And Criminy was awesome! I definitely can’t wait for the next book featuring him and Tish, but much like Karen Chance, this author alternates from book to book.


A Perfect Blood (The Hollows #10) by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood, Rachel Morgan, Kim Harrison

Yes, the Hollows takes two spots on my list.  In addition to the Ever After ARC, with all of the different publications this year from Into the Woods to Blood Crime to Trouble on Reserve to Trent’s POV from the paperback of A Perfect Blood, two spots can’t be surprising. However, while good, this book wasn’t quite in the same class as Ever After, but I did love it.  And like most Trenchers out there, Trent’s POV left me speechless! Oh and it’s also pretty awesome anytime I can meet Kim Harrison!


Kingmakers (Vampire Empire #3) by Susan and Clay Griffith

kingmakers, susan and clay griffith, vampire empire #3

This was another fantastic finish to a wonderful trilogy.  I was fortunate enough to read the ARC for this series and I loved it! If only there was more!


Dead Morning Sky (Experiment in Terror #3) by Karina Halle

experiment in terror, dead morning sky, karina halle

I wanted scary and I got scary! Just a little more than I bargained for with the weird crap that was happening OFF the pages while reading it.  And funny enough, there was no repeat of that peculiar activity after I was done. I have since stopped here, but there are definitely more books with Dex and Perry’s adventures. I plan to get to them after catching up with the Night Huntress series that I’m currently reading.


Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire

ashes of honor, seanan mcguire, october daye, toby daye

I read this book at a pretty difficult time. I started reading it and then I got my hands on the Ever After ARC.  I was riding too much of a high for anything else to compare, including this.  But in hindsight, this book rocks and I bet the next book will be my favorite of the series!


Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater

Tale of the Vampire Bride, Rhiannon Frater

I was gripped from beginning to end on this one. It’s not an easy read, and do not mistake this for a romance. It’s more like one of those train-wrecks that you can’t look away from.  Unfortunately the sequel was nowhere near as good, but I hope this series continues eventually. I would love to read a third book if it could get back to the level of book 1.


Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

ANGELFALL, Susan Ee, Penryn & The End of Days

I have a bit of an aversion when it comes to the Young Adult genre, but this is an exception. I LOVED this book and I often find myself wondering how long it’d be until the second book is released. That’s definitely a sign of a book worthy of this list. Even better, it’s probably the best $0.99 I’ve spent on a book!


Love is Fear (Valerie Dearborn #2) by Caroline Hanson

Love is Fear, caroline hanson, valerie dearborn 2

Though this trilogy arc is complete, this book is probably my favorite of the three. I finished wanting more, more, MORE!

Honorable Mentions

Iced (Dani O’Malley #1) by Karen Marie Moning – I definitely didn’t inhale this one as fast as the original Fever novels, but it did leave an impression. Honestly though, I just want more Mac and Barrons!

At Grave’s End (Night Huntress #3) by Jeaniene Frost – The review is pending right now because I wanted to post this year in review first, but I did enjoy it the most of the three novels thusfar. This series isn’t really among my favorites, but it seems to be positioning itself in the tier of series that are right below my favorites.  Not a bad place to be. There’s Bones to thank for that.

Fire Baptized (Habitat #1) by Kenya Wright – I inhaled this book as well.  This fresh take on the urban fantasy genre was just what I needed at the time and unlike some series where the sequels don’t measure up, its sequel certainly did and I look forward to book 3!

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – I enjoyed this book quite a bit, as well as the movie. It presented a different take on the genre that I found refreshing.

A Blood Seduction (Vamp City #1) by Pamela Palmer – an alternate Washington, DC gets some bonus points!  This book introduced a pretty intriguing world. I read it in a day and enjoyed it, so that’s why it gets a mention.  Just beware that this isn’t true romance.  If you go in with those expectations you’ll likely be disappointed.

The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords #1) by Kathryne Kennedy – I read this particular book in one day and I loved the world building and build up to the eventual romance. Unfortunately the sequels never really struck the same chord.

So all in all it’s been a good year! This blog has been good to me. YOU guys have been good to me. And I hope 2013 is even better!! The great thing about books is that there’s something for everybody.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

I saw The Hunger Games Movie last night

Nothing beats being able to see a major franchise film during its opening weekend for FREE! W00T for movie passes! I was honestly surprised that they accepted it. Normally for new releases theatres won’t allow you to redeem the passes. The film itself was pretty good, I gotta say! I honestly felt like they stayed true to the book aside from a couple of major plot points****SPOILER****primarily that the dead tributes were those beasts at the end, and wasn’t Peeta supposed to lose his leg? Or was that after the second one? ****/SPOILER**** . I read all three books back to back in 3 days so some things kind of blend together for me, but the first book was definitely the best one.  I sort of wish there was more carnage, but they were very obviously aiming for a PG-13 rating so that they could make an insane amount of money.  It’s interesting to me how the books are YA, but if they showed a little more gore like how I imagined it when reading the books, the film would have likely been bumped to rated R.  Did anyone else get to see it this weekend? I know that other countries have a different ratings system. I’m curious about that.

Everneath – Forced to finish this one

Everneath Brodie AshtonThe cover suggests a slightly more mature theme, even within the YA genre.  It can happen. I just finished reading a book where it happened.  But 99% of the book is spent with her outside of this “Everneath”, resulting in a fairly uninteresting read.  I read it quickly so I didn’t waste too much time on it, but I really don’t like it when covers are so deceptive.

Nikki is the central character of the story.  6 months ago she was taken to the Everneath by Cole, an immortal who used her life force to sustain his own and his Queen’s.  She spends 100 years literally attached to Cole as he feeds from her.  Once the feeding is done it is discovered that Nikki is a unique case, surviving it as most others wouldn’t.  This suggests that she has a special power, making her very attractive to Cole.  She has a choice to stay in the Everneath with him, but she decides to go back home to be with her family and her boyfriend, Jack, who was her biggest motivation to remain alive.  However, going back to the real world puts her on a countdown to destruction, destining her to spend an eternity in the Underworld. She tries to live her life (or what she has left of it) but Cole is an obvious interference, desperately trying to convince her to be with him and rule the Everneath.  But her heart is with Jack, putting her in a predicament and forcing her to look for any alternative she can find.  And therein lies the story.

I didn’t really like how 100 years in the Everneath is only 6 months in the real world.  That was too convenient.  There is a lot of time jumping (showing POVs from past to present to past, etc. ) while counting down to the climax, but the build up isn’t intense.  It’s very “day in the life”.  The beginning ropes you in in hopes that you’re in for a super cool roller coaster ride, but then it turns into an unoriginal high school teen drama; I would have avoided this book had I known to expect that.  In terms of characters, I preferred Cole simply because he was actually interesting and that was an actual challenge.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s manipulative and a horrible love interest, but as a character I would have liked to have seen more.  I like my villains to be more than one-dimensional.  I started skimming the scenes with Jack after a while, though I got the point.  This book was more teen romance with a dash of paranormal lore.  Overall, if they took out the lore most of the book would be unaffected.

The best parts were the brief mythology references.  While it seems as if the next book could focus on a little more adventure, I’m not taking the bait.  There are two  other potentially interesting worlds that we merely hear about: the Everneath and the Underworld, and I wanted Nikki to get explore both.  This was the chance for the series to stand out to me and it didn’t.  It’s got pretty good ratings overall though, so maybe it’s just me.  I might be willing to read the second book if she does explore these worlds in future books, but I’m not waiting with bated breath for it.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Touch of Power – Engaging all throughout

Touch of power - maria snyder - healerMaria Snyder is off to an excellent start with Touch of Power, Book 1 of The Healer series.  The book centers on Avry of Kazan, a young woman with special power to heal those around her while she absorbs their ailments.  One would think that this would be a revered power, but instead it puts a huge target on her back.  Suspected of creating the plague that wipes out a significant part of the population, Healers are now persecuted and murdered.  Against her best interests Avry secretly continues to heal those in need, often exposing herself. To survive she must lead a nomadic and lonely lifestyle.

This all changes when she ends up abducted by a rebel group who needs her power to heal their leader who has been M.I.A.  There’s a hitch of course; healing this leader will cost her own life.  Their leader, Kerric, is a prince himself though unconventional with a set of magical powers all his own.  Against her will, she treks on a journey with them facing off against mercenaries, the undead, and nature itself.  She begins to bond with them much to her chagrin, and re-evaluates who the enemies really are.

There’s a lot of action, adventure and magic in this series that I really enjoyed.  The character development is well done, keeping it fairly realistic in this fictional setting.  They aren’t as one dimensional as I was fearing, so I really connected with the story.  I would put Avry in the “strong heroine” category.  She’s not too badass but she’s not a fool either, taking a lot of initiative and being extremely brave when necessary.  Overall, I like her.

I think the magic was very interesting without being too confusing.  I look forward to how that evolves over the course of the series. The villain was slightly on the predictable side, and I sort of predicted how this would ends since I know it’s the beginning of a series, but I still enjoyed it and look forward to where things go next.

I may start reading more YA series again.  For a while I haven’t been enjoying them as much as their adult counterparts, but it seems as if YA books centered around adults is as good as anything for me.  Avry is twenty, and many of the adult novels are centered on twenty-somethings too, so the overlap works. I definitely recommend this one.

*ARC provided by NetGalley

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