Thursday, 20 December 2012

My Ten Best Books of 2012


1. Days of Blood and Starlight    by    Laini Taylor
        Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series #2
        Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers November, 2012
        An old world tale of Magik and the supernatural, exquisitely told.

2 Dead To You     by     Lisa  McMann
       A stand alone novel
       Published by Simon Pulse February, 2012
       A story of intrigue, escalating tension and anguish.

3 Pushing The Limits   by   Katie McGarry
       Pushing the Limits Series #1
       Published by Harlequin Teen June 2012
       The author weaves a wonderful story of love and new found trust.

 4 The Lux Series   by J. L.Armentrout
       Obsidian - book #1  &  Onyx - Book#2
       Published by Entangled Teen both in 2012
       This author has just blown me away with her new series.  Read It

5  Lover Reborn   by  J. R. Ward
     Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #10
       Published   by   NAL  March, 2012
       This is a book that surprises and promises an incredible ride.

6  Darker After Midnight   by   Lara Adrian
      Midnight Breed Series #10
      Published by Robinson Publishing January, 2012
     A remarkablely daring change of storyline with stunnung results.

7  Shadow and Bone   by   Leigh Bardugo
       The Grisha Series #1
       Published by Henry Holt & Co. June, 2012
       This debut novel is an incredible work of fantasy at it's best.

The Raven Boys   by   Maggie Stiefvater
       Raven Cycle Series #1
       Published by Scholastic Press September, 2012
       A strange and compelling story, definitely Maggie Stiefvater's best.

9  Gabriel's Rapture   by Sylvain Reynard
         Gabriel's Inferno Book #2
         Published by Penquin Berkley may, 2012
         Prepare for an intense, emotional and heart wrenching journey.

10 Pure  by  J. L. Armentrout
         Covenant Series Book #2
         Published by Spencer Hill Press April, 2012
         Never before has an author succeeded in having two entries in the same year on
         this list.
         J. L. Armentrout has earned that distinction.

       Books of Honorable Mention 2012 

The list that follows is comprised of books that I couldn't bring myself to scratch off this 
year's list even though I had reached my limit of ten.  A great effort by each  author.

1 Third Grave Dead Ahead   by   Darynda Jones
      Charley Davidson Series #3
      Published by Piatkas February, 2012

2  Rogue Rider   by    Larissa Ione
       Lords of Deliverance Series #4
       Published  by Piatkus November, 2012

 3  Until I Die   by   Amy Plum    
       Revenant Series Book #2
       Published by Harper Collins Publishing

 4  Finale   by   Becca Fitzpatrick          
        Hush,Hush Saga #4
        Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers November, 2012

 5  Immortal City   by   Scott Speer
        Immortal City Book#1
        Published by Razorbill April, 2012

6     The Fault in Our Stars   by   John Green                 
          Stand alone novel
          Published by Dutton Books January 2012.

7    The Selection   by Kiera Cass                           
         Selection Series #1
         Published by Harper Teen April, 2012

And this brings another great year of reading to a close.  Soon the new releases of 2013 we've all been waitng for will start to hit the shelves and the revelry begins once more                  




Tuesday, 27 November 2012

EXISTENCE by Abbi Glines

Pagan is a teenager, in her senior year at high school, who looks like a normal girl, but Pagan is different. Pagan sees souls. These souls have no other way to make contact as they have no voice,so  Pagan, unable to help them in any way, chooses to ignore them until they leave.  When Pagan soon notices a soul lounging on table in the school yard, she's not surprised. What does surprise her though is that he talks and not just directly but she can hear him in her head.  This soul seems taken back that Pagan has been able to see souls for as long as she remembers. For the first time a soul  is following her every move.

At lunch, when left alone by her friends, Pagan is approached by Lief, the school's star footballer. He asks for her help as a tutor.  Put off by his arrogant attitude Pagan says no.  Only to later rethink her judgemental reaction, Pagan finds Lief she accepts his plea for help.  Lief makes his move and he and Pagan start to date, even though her hearts not in it. The next conversation Pagan has with the soul is his warning for her not to leave school that day.  Pagan dismisses the warning and is in a serious accident that should have taken her life. Somehow Pagan knows that the soul is the reason she survived.  Now all the rules are broken and things begin to change.  There's a new student at school, meet Dank (that's right I said Dank!  In my head I changed to Drake, worked much better for me!), Dank Walker, who as the lead singer in the famous rock band "Cold Soul" causes quite a stir.  While both Dank and Pagan are dating others  the connection and pull between them remains. Will Pagan find out who Dank really is?  Will Dank and Pagan end up together?  Will Dank pay the price for Pagans' survival?  Is there more to Lief than meets the eye? What will it cost Pagan to make a stand and claim Dank for her own?

I find this book difficult to review, there a parts of it that make me want to rant on and on and parts that deserve a rave..  First and most important in my mind, is Pagan.  The storyline would have been much better served if Pagan was shown as a stronger more confident character.  Somehow whining and self doubt don't a heroine make.  The other problem I had with the book were the frequent repetitions in dialogue, I found it very distracting  while trying to follow the storyline, my mind kept saying didn't we just do that!.  With all that taken into consideration, I must confess that Ms. Glines still pulls it off.  So here are aspects of this book that deserve a rave.  The storyline is great and the other characters do not suffer from Pagan's shortcomings.  There are unexpected twists and turns, not to mention a cliffhanger ending perfect for making you yearn for the next book.  Abbi Glines is a young gifted writer with huge potential and under the guidance of a good editor has a very bright future.  For my money, definitely worth the read.  3.8 out of 5 Stars

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Book Nine - The Midnight Breed Series

Hidden by the dark of night, a blood war is raging.  For centuries the Breed have maintained their secrecy while existing along side unaware humans.  A horrendous act of violence and retaliation puts the entire vampire nation at risk of exposure.  It falls to The Order, a network of Breed warriors to stop the evil forces who seek total domination over all. The featured character of this book is Sterling Chase, a Breed warrior who is battling his own demons and the addiction of Blood lust that's driving him hard toward his final destruction.  Hope suddenly glimmers on the horizon when Chase meets Tavia Fairchild, a beautiful young woman who may be much more than she first seems.  Will Chase be able to overcome his agonizing addiction?    Given her past can Tavia accept her attraction to Chase and bring him back from the brink?  Will Tavia be able to face the truth of who and what she truly is?

Any dramatic change in the well established world of a series is tempting disaster. Rarely does an author manage not to destroy the backbone of the storyline. That said, not only did Lara Adrian pull this off successfully, but this is the best book so far, by far, in an incredible series.  Ms. Adrian has not only made the changes work within the fabric of the story, she has opened it to a line of nearly endless possibilities.  There are thousands of authors who write paranormal romance but out of that number there is only a handful of those that are genuinely worth reading and Lara Adrian is definitely one of them.   If you have somehow missed reading the "Midnight Breed" series, start now!
5 out of 5 stars

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield

Vida Winter, the most noted and reclusive author in England, who's health is failing, is in need of a biographer she can trust. She approaches the young writer Margaret Lea, with an offer to hear her life story and pen her biography.  Barely familiar with the ageing author, Margaret digs out her father's prized copy of Winter's "Thirteenth Tales of Change and Deception" and sits down to read.  Finding herself enthralled in the book Margaret discovers it contains only twelve stories.  Fascinated by Winter's prose and now curious about the author, Margaret agrees to a meeting.

Margaret has already decided not to accept the offer made by Vida Winter, but reconsiders after the ageing author pleads for Margaret to stay and promises family secrets, a mystery involving two twin girls and the revealing of three verifiable truths.  The deal is struck when Margaret starts to recognize a common thread between the author's history and her own. As Margaret records Winter's strange story she becomes total immersed in the tale. What are Vida Winter's three truths and family secrets?  What happens in the troubling tale of the two twin girls?  Will Margaret ever hear the missing thirteenth tale?

The Thirteenth Tale is a remarkable debut novel by Diane Setterfield.  It's a Gothic romantic story full of secrets, ghosts,obsession, murder and madness, what more could you ask.  You will be swept away by the richness of Setterfield's daring tale and filled the satisfaction of a great read when your done. 
This is a book that will earn it's place in your permanent library, to be read again and again.  Don't Miss It!  5 out of 5 Stars


Abby Abernathy is a girl who's come to college to leave her past behind.  She's determined to walk the line, be a top student and do it right.  Enter Travis Maddox, by day the campus' infamous heartthrob who loves the girls and leaves them just as fast, and by night, the top bare fist fighter in the campus illegal  floating fight ring.  Travis's lean, ripped, tattoo covered body and rugged good looks make this bad boy hard for Maggie to resist, but resist she does. Intrigued by Maggie's resistance to his charms, Travis sets up a bet to manipulate Maggie into his life and his apartment for one month.  Their relationship starts out platonic enough but slowly turns into more, despite the denials on both sides. Will either Travis or Maggie be willing to change enough to make their relationship work?  Can Travis and Maggie ever be honest with each other and confess how they really feel or will the gap between them prove to vast to conquer?

I loved the excitement, the banter and the sexual tension between Maggie and Travis, as well as Maggie's strength of character.  What concerned me was Travis' aggression and possessiveness.  I don't like condoning that kind emotional instability toward women, even in a novel.  I would have been more comfortable had Travis' reactions been toned down a little and I don't think the story would have suffered if it was.  With that said, I'll get down off the soap box and openly admit that I loved everything else about the book.  It was an exciting, fun, humorous and very sexy read.  I will definitely be picking up Walking Disaster, the same story but from Travis's perspective, Jamie McGuire's next book, to be released in April 2013.  One more thing, just so I'm sure I'm being clear, this book is still a grest story and one I definitely recommend.   4 out of 5 stars 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

ONYX by J. L. Armentrout

Book Two - Lux Series

Katy's still unconvinced that Daemon's sudden change of feelings for her isn't just this crazy alien connection they share. He only thinks he cares, but surely his feelings will fade with their connection or when he gets bored with the little human girl, namely Katy.  Daemon on the other hand is trying to curtail some of his attitude and sarcasm to show his "Kitten", what he feels is real. At school Daemon repeatedly makes public gestures to prove to Katy his feelings are genuine and the more Katy tries for self preservation by pushing him away, the more she finds herself falling for him.  Katy's resolve is fading when a new boy by the name of Blake, shows up at school.  Blake is Daemon's opposite, brown hair, blue eyes and human, not to mention pretty hot.  Blake's real surprise though, is just how much he knows about Katy and Daemon, and Katy's emerging and uncontrolled powers. Will Blake come between Katy and Daemon?  How does Blake know all the Luxen secrets?   Will Daemon and Katy learn who all their enemies are?  Will there ever be time enough for Daemon and Katy to reveal their true hearts to each other?  So many questions remain.

This is usually where I list any flaws I find with the story.  That said, I have to admit that I don't really have a fault to find. The characters, the storyline and the way there are still so many unanswered questions all work for me.  J. L. Armentrout has again demonstrated that she writes far beyond most authors of the YA genre.  After reading "Obsidian", which I loved, I wasn't sure that Ms. Armentrout could keep the pace of the storyline and the vibrancy of the characters in "Onyx".  I should have known, it's not just as good . . .it's better!  Read It - Don't Miss Out.  5 out of 5 Stars.

OBSIDIAN by J. L. Armentrout

Book One - Lux Series
Arriving in a new town in West Virginia, Katy and her mom are making a fresh start, after the death of her father.  Slipping next door in need of directions, Katy meets Daemon.  Daemon is tall, dark, green eyed and gorgeous, he's also a Jerk!  Katy feels an attraction but she just can't seem to get along with the arrogant sarcastic boy wonder.  Then one night they run into real trouble causing  Katy to be saved by Daemon, doing something that should have been impossible. The drawback to the saving is that now Katy knows the truth, that Daemon and his family are aliens. Oh yes, and also Katy and Daemon now share an almost electric connection, one both of them constantly feel when near to each other.  If this weren't enough, Katy also learns that by having close contact with him, Daemon has marked her with an alien light trace.  For those who can see it, Katy glows.  It's the kind of trace that Daemon's enemies can track to find and eliminate them.  Will Daemon and Katy's new connection be their downfall?  Is this connection the real reason Daemon feels his attraction to Katy?  Will Katy's marking draw their now common enemy directly to them?

Comparisons to The Twilight Saga nearly kept me from reaching for this book . While I will admit that there are some similarities in the storyline like many paranormal romances, that's where the likeness ends.  Katy is what Bella never had the courage to be, an character capable of thinking for herself and sticking to her beliefs, right or wrong.  Daemon on the other hand is arrogant, sarcastic and irritating but also a young  man with goes after what he wants with determination and conviction.  If you add the Hot factor to that, Daemon makes Edward's character look like a prep boy with fangs.  All of J. L. Armentrout's characters have more grit and sense of self than those in Meyer's Twilight..  I loved this book and hope I have convinced all those sitting on the fence to take the dive.  You Won't Regret It!  4.5 out of 5 Stars