Monday, 31 December 2012

Sally's most anticipated thirteen (ish) for 2013

So the plan for this post was that I would outline thirteen books that I was looking forward to getting my hands on during 2013.  Epic fail!  I actually ended up with a list of about nineteen.  So I've had to be tough.  Even then I couldn't cut it back to thirteen.  So fourteen it is.  With a couple of quick mentions at the end. If this list ends up reading like War and Peace I apologise.  Here we go then - it's my must-reads for 2013.  Like last year these are in no particular order.  Except for number one.  Which is definitely number one. AS usual links to goodreads are provided.  I have included covers where they are available.

1.  The Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare.

I originally had this book down as being a Nov 2012 release hence it also being in my most anticipated for 2012.  As a result of a whole heap of deadlines and publishing schedules it was unfortunately pushed back to March 2013 which made the wait so much more painful!   Here's what I wrote last year:

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it's too late. As Jem's health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves — even if it means never seeing the other one again? 

We've been treated to a variety of snippets over the year and I can't say that these have done anything to ease the tension among the elite group that is TeamJem.  If anything they've made the whole situation worse! Clare created the perfect love triangle with Will, Jem and Tessa and it's worked amazingly.  No character is unlikeable and I don't think there's a reader out there who looks forward to axe falling one way or the other.  Everyone dreads the consequences.  The thing we do know is that there will be consequences and now we only have to wait until March to find out what they might be.  I never realised you could look forward to and dread a book so much at the same time.  I have booked counselling sessions.  #TeamJem

2.  Divergent #3 (As yet untitled) - Veronica Roth

So it's time to say goodbye to another series as this is the last in the Divergent trilogy. Called Detergent at the moment I think the last book of the series is going to be huge.  There are a plethora of ends for Roth to tie up in this final chapter.  As yet we have very little to go on. What we do know is that at the end of Insurgent Four and Tris discover that there is a wider world to be explored.  Indeed it was the corruption of that same world that led to the creation of the society that they exist in.  Their task now as Divergents and future leaders is to go back to the world they have left behind and try to restore humanity as it once existed.  I'll be gutted to say goodbye to Tris and Four but I'm hoping that they really go out with a bang!

3.  Prodigy - Marie Lu

At the end of Legend June realises that everything she thought she  knew about the society she lives in was wrong and that the boy she thought killed her brother, the boy that she finds herself drawn to was innocent all along.  Realising her mistake June rescues day before his imminent execution and they find themselves on the run and seeking a role in the imminent uprising against the republic.  Here's the blurb for Legend:

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

Thankfully we only have to wait until the end of January for this one - Wahey!!

4.  Chosen at Nightfall - C.C Hunter

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  The Shadowfalls series is brilliant! It's such a shame that this hasn't received the attention it deserves.  That said, now that the last in the series is due for release perhaps now is the perfect time to add these books to your collection.  Chosen at Nightfall is the fifth and final book and it takes Kylie on a journey to discover who and what she is, hopefully providing her with the answers she needs  not only about herself but also what she can do to save herself and those she loves.  Here's the blurb:

Kylie Galen's life hasn't been the same since her world was turned upside-down in Born at Midnight, Shadow Falls #1, and now an epic conclusion to her journey—not to mention a tough choice between two guys!—is brewing in Chosen at Nightfall:

When Kylie Galen left Shadow Falls, she thought it was the hardest decision of her life. Heartbroken and separated from everyone she loves, she has to embrace her abilities and what it means to be a chameleon. But as Kylie's journey comes to a close, she must return to the camp that started it all...and she must finally chose between the two boys who love her. The werewolf who broke her heart when he chose his pack over her, and the half-fae who ran from their intense attraction before they ever really had a chance. For Kylie, everything will finally be revealed and nothing will ever be the same.

I know what I want to happen in this final read - not long til I get to find out!  Well... I get to find out in May.  so not too long!

5.  Eternally Yours - Cate Tiernan

Another amazing series that seems to find our heroine going the way of so many others at the moment as she goes off to discover her legacy and to right the wrongs that her family have endured over the centuries.  Nastasya now accepts who she is, namely Lilja af Ulfar and the war that she hopes to end also means a lasting truce between herself and Reyn the man that she loves whose family have been at war with her own for so long.  Here's the blurb!

After a deadly confrontation at the end of Darkness Falls, the second Immortal Beloved novel, Nastasya Crowe is, as she would put it, so over the drama. She fights back against the dark immortals with her own brand of kick-butt magick...but can she fight against true love? In the satisfying finale to the Immortal Beloved trilogy, ex-party-girl immortal Nastasya ends a 450-year-old feud and learns what "eternally yours" really means.

Laced with historical flashbacks and laugh-out-loud dialogue, the Immortal Beloved trilogy is a fascinating and unique take on what it would mean to live forever.

6.  Requiem - Lauren Oliver

What to say about Requiem?  Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!  When we left Pandemonium Alex returned and blew Lena and Julian's world apart.   Now in Requiem with Lena and Julian taking part in the uprising there's everything to play for.  Here's the blurb for Requiem:

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Sounds good no? I still find myself asking the same question I was asking before I read Pandemonium though - What about Alex???  Not long to wait now...

7.  If I Should Die - Amy Plum

Amy, Amy, Amy, what did you do to me at the end of Until I Die?  Did Vincent die?  Having fought to be together Kate really starts to come into her own at the end of Until I die only for it all to fall apart in the final few pages.  Until I Die was another instalment that had me screaming at the pages but the wait for the sequel is nearly over.  I still have hope for Vincent...

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

8.  Goddess - Josephine Angelini

I'm sure Bungles also with me on this one!  Dreamless ended with an amazing battle scene but also left Helen with bigger challenges than she faced at the beginning not only in her battle against the gods but also as she finds herself attracted to more than one person.  Given who she's attracted to I can't say I feel that sorry for her! Let's be honest though, you know who you're supposed to be with Helen! Here's the blurb!

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

9.  Sever - Lauren DeStefano

When Fever finished we didn't leave Rhine in a very good place.  She was shattered physically and emotionally, she was back with Linden  and she had just seen her long-lost brother Rowan on the television. She was also without Gabriel having left him behind as Vaughan took her back to the house, threatening to kill Gabriel if she didn't  leave quietly.  On the plus side by the end of the book she was thankfully free of Vaughan's clutches after Linden discovered the truth behind Vaughan's work.  So the challenges seem pretty insurmountable at the beginning of Sever.  I love DeStefano's writing style and can't wait to get my hands on the final book in this dystopian series.  Here's the blurb!

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

10.  Through The Ever Night - Veronica Rossi

I love Perry. There I've said it.  And according to the reviews I've read of Through The Ever Night anyone that's come into contact with this series feels the same way I do.  At the end of Under the Never Sky there were big changes afoot.  Aria was determined that she would find the Still Blue in order to save Perry's nephew Talon and Perry himself became Blood Lord of the Tides.  So challenges for every girl and boy!  I love the characters that Rossi has created, especially watching how they evolved through the first installment. If the synopsis is anything to go by things get even more challenging in Through The Ever Night and I can't wait to see how.  Even better is the news that this book is only days away!! More blurb!

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.

11.  The Eternity Cure - Julie Kagawa

Book two of The Blood of Eden series.  Not sure how much more I need to say really!  In writing this series Julie Kagawa took the world of vampire literature and turned it on it's head to create something new, refreshing and utterly brilliant.  When we left The Immortal Rules Allison Sekemoto had become the kick-ass heroine I wish more female protagonists would be, Zeke was safe and Allison was off in search of Kanin.  I always knew that whatever came next for Allison was going to be a rough ride so I wasn't surprised when I read the blurb for The Eternity Cure:

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.

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Sounds good no? I'm so excited about this book you have no idea!  Which leads me onto...

12.  The Traitor Son - Julie Kagawa

Boom!  Another book by Julie Kagawa!  Just when I though my fey world had come to an end Ethan Chase came to my rescue! The Call of The Forgotten series is linked to the Iron Fey series but is a separate and distinct trilogy which follows Ethan and his journey into the Fey world.  I loved The Lost Prince and by the end there were all kinds of twists and turns in the plot.  I'm not going to reveal any spoilers here except to say that if you've read Iron Legends and The Lost Prince you'll probably be bouncing on one foot to find out what happens next.  I can foresee all kinds of tears and tantrums.  Mainly my own...

We have no blurb or covers for this one yet as it's not due to be released until autumn 2013.  As soon as we have something I'll add it to the blog.

13.  Boundless - Cynthia Hand

Team Tucker or Team Christian? Team Tucker obviously! At the end of Hallowed Clara realises that she needs to leave her life in Teton County, and Tucker and head out to find her own destiny.  A destiny which includes facing the Black Wings.  And apparently Christian Prescott is going with her.  All well and good liking Christian but I think we all know deep down that she's supposed to be with Tucker.  So let's just leave it there shall we?  Anyhoo, I've really enjoyed this series.   Cynthia Hand writes beautifully and you do get the feeling that you really know the characters and what motivates them throughout the series.  Now just crossing my fingers that I get the ending I want!  Here's the blurb!

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

14.  Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

At the end of Throne of Glass Calaena Sardothien became the King's Champion having fought a series of trained assassins and thieves for the position.  The deal is that once she has completed her contract with the King she will be free to leave to return to her family home.   Her relationship with Dorian now appeared to be a professional one and her friendship with Chaol looked like it was becoming something more.   Now in book two one would imagine that life would be starting to fall into place.  But no, sometimes things just aren't that simple!  Can't wait to get hold of this book!  Here's the blurb!

She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known.

But does she have the heart of a killer?

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. But Calaena is far from loyal to the crown. Keeping up the charade - while pretending to do the king's bidding - will test her skills in an entirely new way. And it certainly isn't the only point of confusion for the young girl. Because though she's made her choice between Dorian and Chaol, the ways of the heart are never simple...

So now there are other books that I have to mention at this point.  I should point out that I love these books as much as I love those written about above. I just ran out of time!  so again in  no particular order my other most anticipated books for 2013 are:

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson
Blurred (Kissed by Death #2) by Tara Fuller
Asunder (New Soul #2) by Jodi Meadows
Elegy (Hereafter #3) by Tara Hudson
Untitled (The Raven cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Requiem (Books of Faerie #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

So there you have it!  My fourteen twenty most anticipated books of 2013!  Hope you find something in there worth a bit of investigating!  Maybe you have others you think are also worth a mention?  If so we'd love to hear from you!

Happy new year!!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Stacking the Shelves #30


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your     shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves.  All links added here will take you to goodreads.

So even with Christmas happening all around us Bungle has remained a book-free zone this week.  I understand this is something she's trying to rectify using the medium of the January sales so fingers crossed this time next week she'll be laden down with books of all shapes and sizes!

I on the other hand have six books to tell you about this week.  I was lucky enough to get all of these as gifts so for once the pursestrings haven't felt the strain!

The first three books I received were a present from my son.  Somehow he managed to pull off a minor miracle by choosing a series which I don't already own!  My boy got me the Black Magician series by Trudi Canavan.  I've had a look at the synopsis for these and they look fab! I can't wait to get stuck in!

I also got three fab books from Bungle in my Christmas parcel!  Bungle gave me Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt, Geek Girl by Holly Smale and Sister Assassin by Kiersten White.  Bungle has told me how much she enjoyed all three of these and by the looks of the covers I think I will too!

So that's it from us this week.  Over the next few days we'll be posting our recommendations for 2013.  In the meantime what books did you get for Christmas?  We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 28 December 2012

UKYABB Secret Santa

Hey all, I know I'm a little late posting this, even more so when I think my Secret Santa arrived mid December. I won't lie, I opened but in my defence I thought it was going to be wrapped but it was just in the box it came in. The box was massive and inside was a lovely red stocking.

I really like the stocking, I think I'm going to do some embroidery work on it ready for next Christmas :) So when I opened the stocking there was all little bits and bobs in there, I think my cousins daughter wants most of it! haha! There was a hand warmer, a strawberry ring, paper soap, a singing mug, a badge, a bookmark, lip balm, tissues, a cardboard birdhouse, breakfast book, a key-ring, flip flops for doing your nails with, a little cardboard photo frame and a sudoku cube.

Thank you to my Secret Santa and To Lynsey over at Narratively Speaking for hosting Secret Santa this year.

Bungle's top 12 of 2012! Make that top 14!!

So when Sally told me she had a problem sticking to just 10 books I laughed thinking it would be easy, there are always books that stand out more than others. How wrong was I!?! It was so hard when I thought back to all the books that have come this year and I couldn't even stick to 12!!! I'm up to 14 but you will see why. Here in no order are my top 12/14 of 2012. Also is my stinker of the year, my biggest let down. Links will take you to goodreads and reviews where possible.

The Vincent Boys / The Vincent Brothers

The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)WOW!! These two YA books recently came on the scene for me via twitter. I saw a few people mention them and I wanted to see what the hype was all about and oh my!! I loved them both!!! These are what YA books are all about! I love the fact that Abbi Glines isn't afraid to show reads what being a 17/18 year old is really like. I urge you to read these if you haven't already. I want a Beau and Sawyer, I love both of them and Sawyer really comes into his own in book 2. I really enjoyed the story about these two boys and the leading ladies in their lives because it's the kins of story people can actually be living in the real world. Pick up the uncut versions of these two books now!! They are HOT HOT HOT!!! 

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Days of Blood and Starlight

I really loved this book. Although it was a second book we found out so much information, which we needed to know and it's left me with so many questions! I can't wait for book 3 and just need to know what happens. I love Karou and I'm hoping things are going to work out. I'm hoping for world peace and for the angle and the devil to be together. Laini Taylor sure knows how to tell a story and she does so with beautiful language and exquisite detail.

 Skin Deep
Skin Deep
Skin Deep was a surprise read for me! I had it for so long as a proof and never got to it. The proof was just a plain black cover and I know we shouldn't judge but it obviously didn't grab my attention. However, I had to read this story for work a while back and I loved it! A book has never moved me to tears but Skin Deep came rather close just because of similarities in my own life. You can read my review here. It's the kind of book that makes you think, makes you truly realise that the choices we make dictate the life we lead. It's the kind of story that you should pay attention to, a story that will touch your heart and make you see things that little bit differently.

Sister Assassin (Sister Assassin, #1)Sister Assassin

Although not out until February 2013 I was fortunate enough to be sent a proof of Sister Assassin and I really enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of first person stories but with some books it's just needed and this is one of those books. Told by dual narratives from sisters Annie and Fia this is a story with a difference. I'm not going to lie, the book was a little confusing at time with going from past to present but once you are past that you really get stuck into the story. I didn't feel it was the kind of story that had be on the edge of my seat but it was a gripping read that had my attention from star to finish.
I look forward to reading more in this series.

Seeking Crystal
Seeking Crystal (Benedicts, #3)
Everyone knows I'm a big fan of the Benedict Brothers and Joss Stirling just keeps getting better and better with her story telling. I loved that with Seeking Crystal we got two for the price of one with 2 of the Benedict Brothers finding their Savant. I was so excited to see Xav get his book, I love him. Actually I think I love all the brothers, who doesn't!? Stirling does another fabulous job with Seeking Crystal and book 3 blew me away. I can't wait to read more from the Benedict Brothers. Read my review here.


This was another book I had to read for work, it's one I was really looking forward to, just the cover alone made me want to read the story. This is a story about dragons but with a difference. It's rich in detail and has a lot of political affairs running through it which I loved. I wouldn't say the book was a difficult read but it felt like there was a lot happening within the story but if you're the kind of reader that likes depth to their book then Seraphina is the book for you.

Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)
When I came to review Dreamless my initial review was simply 'Heartbreakingly Beautiful'. When I came to try and write another review I didn't think I could have come up with any words to say how I felt about this beautiful story at the time and I still can't so I'm sticking with heartbreakingly beautiful, because that's what it is! It's the kind of book that has you up to the early hours of the morning, you just have to read one more chapter. I loved it and I can't wait for book 3!


Carnival of SoulsCarnival of Souls

Most of you may know by now that I'm rather a big fan of the Wicked Lovely series and I was so excited to hear about Melissa Marr's new YA series. Carnival of Souls was brilliant as far as I'm concerned. Marr has created a whole new world with some brilliant characters. The story does take a while to get into but not because the story is hard or boring but because we are introduced to so many things. Carnival of Souls is the start of another fantastic series by Melissa Marr, I can't wait to read more. See what I first thought here.

Until I Die (Revenants, #2)Until I Die

I love Amy's writing!! Although Until I Die is the 'middle book' we are kept on our toes with the introduction of some new characters who are not what they seem. Until I Die is the fantastic second book in Plum's enthralling trilogy. And not only does the story line get better Plum is growing as an author and I look forward to not only book three in the Revenant series but anything else she writes in the future too. Read my review here.

Night School (Night School, #1)Night School

I really enjoyed reading Night School. I was hooked from the first page and taken on a roller coaster of a ride. This is a story full of mystery, intrigue and it kept me reading until all hours of the night. The characters are exciting and engaging and you feel like you never really know whats coming. You can see what I thought here.

A Witch in Winter (Winter Trilogy, #1)
A Witch in Winter

I said in my review that A Witch in Winter is a British book, set in Britain by a talented new British author and one I will be keeping both eyes on!! It was a fab read with brilliant characters and fantastic secondary characters too which I think always makes a story so much better when strong characters are involved. I've book 2 waiting and I'm looking forward to seeing how this story develops. See what I thought here.

Black Dawn (The Morganville Vampires, #12)
Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11)Last Breath / Black Dawn

I can't include Last Breath without adding Black Dawn it's a two parter in a 15 book series! I won't lie, the Morganville series really dropped off in the middle for me and I became a little bored with some of the story lines but they sure did start to pick up again. Last Breath and Breaking Dawn give us the old style Morganville we came to love with a lot of goings on, marriages & deaths. If like me you became a little bored part way through the series I would encourage you to just keep reading! Read my review of Last Breath here and Black Dawn here.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) Stinker of the year

Mockingjay was my biggest let down of the year was Mockingjay! I watched The Hunger Games then read the books. I rather enjoyed the first book but now I wonder if this was because I'd seen the film first. Catching Fire was only 50/50 and it wasn't until they were back in the games that I started to like book 2 but book 3 was annoying. It felt like someone else had written it, like there were mistakes in the plot and the book just frustrated me!

So that just about sums up my best and worst of 2012. I hope to discover just as many, if not more, exciting new reads next year.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Stacking The Shelves #29


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves.
I'm very sorry our post is coming late in the day. Things are crazy busy in the Bungle household! Below are the books Sally and I have gotten over the last 2 weeks.

Sally's Shelf

I have been an angel this week and only acquired two books! The first one I bought was Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder. I got this as a review copy last year and wanted to have a copy for my shelf. Can't wait to get my hands on the second instalment! The second book I got this week was Night School Legacy by C.J Daugherty. I loved Night School and wasn't expecting to see this out yet. Imagine my surprise when I came across it yesterday! This makes me very happy indeed!!

Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan, #1)     Legacy (Night School, #2)

Bungle's Shelf

Last week I bought Decked With Holly which I'm reading at the moment, only a chapter in and it's had me laughing. I also bought The Raven Boys which I know Sal loved. We were sent an awesome Hobbit goodie bag at work which had 3 copies of The Hobbit, I took the kids cover, a massive Hobbit bag, which you can see & some lovely Hobbit biscuits. I also won a twitter giveaway last week which were 2 signed Will Gallows books. This week I was sent a proof of Requiem as well as a copy of the Gathering Dark form the lovely Michelle over at Much Loved Books, my thanks to both Hodder & Michelle!! This week I was also sent a hardback copy of Eternally yours, again from Hodder and a lovely little package arrived at work this week which contained a copy of House of Secrets written by Chris Columbus, back by none other than JK Rowling. I also got an ebook which was The Vincent Brothers, read it, loved it!!!!



 The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)

 So that's our last 2 weeks in books. Off to look at what everyone else got this week :) Happy reading everyone.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Winter Warmers Event ~ Thank You Authors

We just wanted to say a massive thank you to all the authors who took part in our Winter Warmers Event! We had so much fun and it was another fantastic event with truly amazing authors and fabulous books.

Thank you very much to everyone who took part, we are truly grateful.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Sally's top 12 of 2012!

So it’s that time of year where Bungle and I sit down and pick our favourites books of 2012 and what a year it’s been!  This year I’ve waved goodbye to quite a few of my favourite series, welcomed some new ones in to my world and sadly been slapped around the face by a couple of stinkers along the way. So here then, in some kind of order (although the order does keep changing) are my faves of 2012 and my stinkiest book of the year. There are links to each book in goodreads as well as links to our own reviews where possible.

1. The Fault in our Stars – John Green

Just wow.  I picked this book up at the beginning of the year and to cut a long story short it chewed me up and spat me out in small pieces.  TFIOS tells the tale of three teenage cancer sufferers.  Not a happy read I hear you cry and you’d be right on one level.  That said, it is witty, heart-string pulling, anger inducing and ultimately uplifting.  If I was to recommend one book out of all those written about here, this would be it.  There’s nothing I can say about this book that I didn’t say in the review which you can find here.

2. Beautiful Redemption – Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Well, this was the first of my most beloved series that I had to wave goodbye to this year and boy did it end with an epic tale! I’ve loved everything about the Beautiful Creatures series and Beautiful Redemption was one of my most anticipated for this year.  It lived up to my expectations and more. This book was a multi POV and follows the major characters as they try to achieve some kind of resolution after the final events that took place in Beautiful Chaos . With Ethan.  And the water tower. And Amma (Takes deep breath). The story is in essence one long journey. There are mysteries to be solved and acts of friendship and bravery that prove the characters devotion to each other.  One of the consequences of such devotion however is that there are also heart-breaking sacrifices that need to be made.   Beautiful Redemption ties this series off perfectly and as gutted as I am to say goodbye to the books I still have the film to look forward to which looks awesome! Beautiful Creatures the movie is out on Feb 13th 2013. So excited!! The review for Beautiful Redemption can be found here.

3. The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa

Just when you thought that nothing new could be done with the vampire genre Julie Kagawa comes along and totally blows that theory out of the water.  I had this listed as one of my most anticipated of 2012 based on the pre-amble alone and rightly so.  Kagawa took the old rules and gave them a dystopian twist.  Allison Sekemoto is the heroine in our tale.  Her world is controlled by vampires and has been since a virus all but destroyed human civilisation.  Now humans either live as donors exchanging their blood to survive or like Allie,as one of the unregistered where survival comes from scavenging and risking the dangers of the rabids who exist outside of the safety of the city. It is when she is protecting a friend that she is attacked and the end result is she becomes what she hates most – a vampire.  We watch as Allie struggles with her new identity, especially as she hides it from a group of humans who are seeking not only ‘the promised land’ but a cure for the disease that threatens to destroy them all.  This book provides an amazing backdrop for what promises to be an amazing series.  I can’t wait to get my hands on book two!  You  can find the review for the Immortal Rules here.

4. The Lost Prince – Julie Kagawa

Anyone who reads the blog will know how sad I was to see the Iron Fey series come to an end last year.  Don’t get me wrong.  The Iron Knight was everything I’d hoped for and more but I love the world in which the characters are set.  That there might be no more Ash or Puck or Meghan or Grim seemed quite frankly unsettling.  I was over the moon then when I finally got my hands on the first book in a new fey series which follows Ethan, Meghans younger brother.  As much as he tries to fight it Ethan ends up being dragged into the world that took his sister from him and that he detests as a result.  With his appearance comes new challenges, new characters and what looks to be a storyline as epic as the original series.  As I’ve stated in the review which can be found here, this is not a follow on from the Iron Fey series.  It is a series in its own right although we do see some of the original characters from time to time.  I loved it all the more because it wasn’t hanging on to the coat tails of The Iron Fey series.   Having read this and The Iron Legends I can already see that things are about to get ugly for a fair few people in this story.  Can’t wait to get my hands on the next instalment. You can read the full review here.

5. City of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare

Jace, Jace, Jace...what have you gone and done now? Oh that’s right, you’ve gone and become part of a double act that dances along the axis of evil... Jace is now controlled by Sebastian.  Each feels what the other is thinking, hurt when the other hurts and if one is killed then it’s bye bye to both of them! Sebastian wants to pick up where Valentine left off which puts all the shadowhunters at risk especially Jace as he is all that stands in the way of Sebastian being killed and his evil plans destroyed.  Would the council sacrifice Jace to make that happen? Damn right they would! It is of course up to the usual suspects to stop that happening. COLS has a tonne of twists and turns in it. Sebastian’s character develops into someone who maybe isn’t really as bad as first thought (considering his upbringing), Simon develops into a more confident person which I love as does Izzy who even admits to her own weaknesses and shows her vulnerable side! Malec? Sweet and tragic all at once, I can’t believe how their relationship was left hanging!  I also love how confusion reigns with Clary as she tries to figure out where evil Jace ends and angelic Jace begins or if in fact that evil Jace was there all along, he just never had a chance to get out before.   In the end of course, as with all good tales we are left with some kind of resolution and a two year wait for the finale City of Heavenly Fire which isn’t due out until 2014 – seriously?! I hope I can be that patient!

6. Insurgent – Veronica Roth

The middle book in any trilogy is usually the weakest.  It’s the one sometimes known as the ‘mid-series crisis book’ which transports us from book one where the scenes are set to book three where the series reaches its conclusion, hopefully a dramatic one.  Not so with Insurgent.  In book two the main characters evolve dramatically, not just in terms of who they perceive themselves to be but in terms of their political affiliations and how they interact with those most important to them.   Tris and Four have to try to overcome some major hurdles in Insurgent many of which result from the events of Divergent but battle through them they do taking us to a place where the scene is, as you would expect, set for a grand finale.    There are only a few months to wait now... Can’t wait!! You can read the full review here.

7. Whispers at Moonrise – C.C Hunter

This is a series which for some reason seems to exist under the radar somewhat and I have no idea why!  There is something for everyone in the Shadow Falls series, including fae, werewolves and vampires plus a few others besides.    In this instalment Kylie Galen, our main protagonist has finally found out what she is and though this is good news her life hasn’t gotten easier.  She is plagued by ghosts one of whom seems to be out to warn her of the impending death of her friend and school ‘headmistress’ Holiday.  She’s also worried that her love interest Lucas, who is a werewolf, will not accept her for what she is.  Enter love interest number two, Derek, a fae who is more likely to accept her no matter what she is.   Whispers at Moonrise details Kylie’s challenge to find out the truth about Holiday’s impending death as she tries to find out more answers about herself.  The finale was brilliant and leads us straight to the finale which is out next year.  If you haven’t gotten hold of this series so far, try it, you won’t regret it!

8. Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

I love this series.  Pandemonium was down as one of my most anticipated for 2012 and I was right! More than anything I needed to know what had happened to Alex.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to find out straight away which killed me.  What we do get is more detail about Lena’s journey as she joins the resistance and carrying her fake ID lives among the cured.  It’s when she’s attending a rally in the city she ends up being kidnapped along with Julian, son of the Deliria-Free America movement.  Talk about your chalk and cheese.  And of course your potential new love interest given Alex’s disappearance.   I hated Julian at first but as the walls come down he becomes a really likeable character.  The ending of Pandemonium? Well... It certainly had me screaming for the last book in the series.  Not long to wait now...

9. Rapture – Lauren Kate

And so here we said goodbye to another series as Luce and Daniel race to find location of the fall before Lucifer returns to earth and effectively wipes out mankind in its entirety both past and present.  I loved and hated the ending to this book.  I got most of what I wanted but I also felt a little short-changed even though if I had gotten everything I wanted it could have caused all sorts of problems.  Cryptic much?   Most of the characters were wound up quite nicely save for Cam who I hope will reappear at some point so we can find out more about what happens to him next.  As with the other big series that have finished this year it’s sad to have to say goodbye to the characters of the Fallen series.  That said I can’t wait to see what Lauren Kate produces next.  The full review for Rapture can be found here.

10. Promised – Caragh M. O’Brien

Another series that came to an end!  I got into the Birthmarked trilogy when I started reviewing books for Midnight Reads and Birthmarked was one of the first books I read.  I quickly became addicted to this dystopian series.  Over the past three books Gaia has been through a hell of a lot.  She’s witnessed the effects of the brutal regime in the enclave, helped deliver her own sister, witnessed the death of her mother. During book two, prized,  Gaia finds herself in the matriarchal enclosure called Sylum where she comes to realise that inequalities exist in all societies irrelevant of how they are constructed.   Now in Promised Gaia is given the task of leading the people of Sylum back to the Enclave in order to survive.  She soon finds out that things have deteriorated since she left and that women are now being used as baby making factories and it would seem it’s down to Gaia to fight for change no matter what the potential consequence.  I loved these books and the main characters and I loved how they evolved through the series.  I found myself as attached to the characters that emerged in Prized as in Birthmarked and not everything about the ending pleased me!   That said, it made for a ‘fuller’ ending by not just tying everything up in pretty bows.  Again, if you haven’t read this series I could thoroughly recommend it.

11. Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Finally we have something new to replace one of the many series disappearing this year!  I was definitely more of a fan of this book than Bungle J You can read her review here.  Don’t say we don’t offer a fair and balanced view here at Midnight Reads!  Throne of Glass has a kick-ass assassin which I like, who having survived the salt mines of Endovier is pretty much blackmailed into a Hunger Games style battle to the death fighting against some of the most renowned thieves and assassin around.  Which I also like. The prize? To become the King’s champion.  Whether she likes it or not.   The challenge isn’t helped when it becomes clear that not only are the contestants killing each other there’s an unknown threat which is also taking them out.  There’s intrigue,  a couple of nasty baddies, a bit of a love triangle, although this is a bit strange and an ending that left me wanting more!  I loved a lot of the secondary characters and I hope they show up in book two.   This was a promising start to a new series.

12. inbetween – Tara Fuller

The start of another promising new series!  Inbetween is primarily the story of Finn and Anaya.  Finn is one of a group of reapers.  Formerly a WWII pilot his role is to transport the dead to the underworld.  Anaya is a slightly atypical teenager.  Her father has been killed in a car crash and while she doesn’t know it yet Anaya is actually a soul reincarnated.  To go one step further she bears the soul of a girl that Finn once fell in love with and saved before.   So whilst she is the object of Finn’s affection she also an object of hatred for Maeve the girl whose salvation was taken away when Finn moved to save Anaya from the inbetween and hell.  I loved all the characters in this series!  The relationship between Anaya and Finn was very sweet but I also liked the secondary characters especially Cash and Emma.  It’s a multi POV which again, I love and I like how the plot is progressing for this series. I have to say book one didn’t end as I expected it to but that probably made me like it more!  Can’t wait for book two!

Stinker of the year!

Heaven - Christoph Marzi

So I'm sorry to say it but Heaven by Christoph Marzi is my stinker of the year.  I committed the cardinal sin with this book  I fell in love with the cover (because, let's face it - it's beautiful) and I didn't stop to read the premise or indeed have a quick scan through a few pages.  That said I might have still bought it had I read the premise which is:

The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood...

David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London’s brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she’s still alive...And so begins David and Heaven’s wild, exciting and mysterious adventure—to find Heaven’s heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins.  Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away...

Sounds good no? No.  Whilst the plot traversed along smoothly there was little to no action.  There was so much descriptive text I was flicking through the pages to find out when someone was actually going to say something.  I found the plot to be more than a tad confusing and the language seemed rather jumbled at times. Knowing that the author is German I wonder if perhaps this may be a poor translation rather than being the result of bad writing.  Either way it was in need of a good editor... My need to flick through the pages meant that I lost interest in the characters rapidly and I'm sorry to say that this was one of the rare occasions that I didn't finish the book.   Just goes to show you really shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.

So, that's my 12 for 2012 and my stinker! Are any of your favourites among them? We'd love to hear from you!

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