10 Best Reads of 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic and the last one is 10 Best Reads of 2010.  Not all of these books have a 2010 release date but are books that I read in 2010.  And instead of talking about why I loved each book I have posted a favourite quote from each one.  ~drum rolls~ And the winners are in no particular order:

"From the moment you stepped into the nevernever, you've been my undoing. I should never have agreed to that contract."

"When I turn around, he cups my face in his hands and he kisses me so deeply that I don't know who is breathing for who, but his mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don't know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it already."

"Well, don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear."

"And then we're at that moment where you both go and get what you want or you both go back. The moment when you say, Stuff being scared; what's on the other side is better. That moment when you inch closer to each other little by little, till you skin starts and ends in the same place. Till your faces get so close your lips start and end in the same place, too. Till you taste milk shake and salt and sugar days and the world spins and the stars sound like harmonicas."

"Now play nicely, make-believe dead girl"

"I look into his sorrowless eyes and a door in my heart blows open. And when we kiss, I see that on the other side of that door is the sky."

"Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them."

"You were just worried about me"
An exhale, relieved that i had understood. "Yeah"
I turned. "Because you think i'm worth it"
He put his fingers under my chin. "I absolutely think your worth it"
But you don't think you are"
His mouth opened. Shut.
That's what this is about, Derek. You won't let us worry about you because you don't think you're worth it. But i do. I absolutely do".

“The ocean is a vivid emerald colour and the wind ruffles the wave faces so that they shatter the sunlight like glass. Seeing that glittering skin always tightens my throat with joy. It’s stupid, but that how I feel: joyous. I forget about the underbelly of things, my secrets, and I feel easy and free. I know that I’m meant to stay on the surface and be happy. Just enjoy being alive.”

"The campus lay before me, pristine and untouched by the terror I was experiencing tonight.  The school had dorms filled with people who would hear me scream, which made it my best option.  The quickest path was through the graveyard, so, already gasping for breath, I took off at a sprint, bearing down on the old cemetery."

Back to normal posting tomorrow.  I have enjoyed participating in the Five Challenge and found some great blogs along the way.  Hope everyone has a great New Years!

5 Great Miracles

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 great miracles that occurred to me to get me reading more contemporary fiction.  Before this year I was a paranormal girl but now I read just as much contemporary fiction.  In no particular order the winners are:

A novel about music, love and friendship.  Beautifully written with characters that capture your heart.  Realistic and gritty so I found this easy to relate to my teenage life.  Just thinking about this book makes me wants to go re-read it.

This book is gorgeous from the writing to the characters to the cover to the postcards, receipts and all the other little added extras inside.  After reading this I wanted to go on a road trip.

Don’t let the light and fluffy title of this book deceive you. This book will make you cry, break your heart and then fill it up with hope again.  A story of friendship, grief and love.  One of my favourite books.   

This story was more than I expected. It sucked me straight in and took me on an emotional ride and that I didn't want to end.  Another coming of age story that deals with grief and first love.

BEST BOOK EVER.  It deals with so many issues like abandonment, addiction, friendship, love, suicide and more.   A plot that unravels beautifully and cast of characters that I will never forget. There is really something special about this book.

~Honourable Mentions~
Books I would have loved to squeeze in the top 5

Tomorrow is my top 10 of 2010 and then it is back to normal posting.

5 Great YA Bloggers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 Great YA Bloggers:

This one was a tough one since there are so many great blogs out there.  Originally I had 15 plus blogs.  I am still a little bit over but here they are in no particular order.......

Inkcrush -  Nomes is super nice and a blogger that I admire.  Her reviews are always interesting, funny and smart.  Best place to go if you are looking for Aussie YA or contemporary reviews.

Words on Paper - I am always jealous of all the amazing books Cass is reading and reviewing.  She normally gets her hands on a book before it comes out and is always ahead of the news about author blogs and competitions. 

Lost in Stories - Romy reviews are always so detailed you get a clear idea whether the book is for you  or not.  Great place for paranormal and fantasy reviews.

Not Enough Bookshelves - One of the friendliest bloggers I have meet.  Has great taste in books and writes awesome reviews.  Alexa has just done a Christmas Countdown featuring favourite couples and it is one of my favourite posts of the year.

Supernatural Snark - The best place to go for paranormal.  Well structured, interesting and honest reviews.  Jenny did a little feature called Harlequin Cover Critique and it was the funniest post of the year (I am hoping she will do more).

I Swim for Oceans - Love Melissa VLOGS for In My Mail Box and her feature Friday Fix always makes me laugh.

Bibliophile Brouhaha - Reviews young adult, paranormal, contemp and dystopia.  I always look forward to Literary News Round Up post each Thursday.

~Honourable Mention~
 My Love Affair With Books (does a great range of genre and features)
 Good Golly Miss Holly (one of the first blog I started following)
A Myraid of Books (upcoming blogger - one to watch)
Collections (super nice and a Marchetta fan who converted me)

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodreads Description:
At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?

My Review:

The first thing that grabbed me about this book was the striking cover that makes it hard to resist.  I normally avoid the whole mean girl subject as I am not a big fan but I thought I give it a try and well I was right, it isn't my thing.

The Lipstick Law is a fun and quick read that made me laugh out loud several times but as an older reader reading young adult fiction, I found this too young for me.  I couldn't relate to the characters and the choices they made.  Not that I didn't like April, the main character, she has all the factors that make her a adorable lead, but rather I couldn't understand her reasons why she let her so called friends treat her that way.  There just wasn't enough depth to the characters. 

However I do think younger teens will love this.  I am thinking of buying a copy for my 13 year old niece.  The fast moving plot and fun premise makes the pages just fly by.  Actually, I could see this book being made into a hit teen movie.

Overall, this book just wasn't my style.  Would I read something else by Amy Holder? Probably if the blurb on the book interested me.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Thank you to netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me a copy.

Read more reviews (there are lots of rave ones so maybe it was just me):  Goodreads

For more info: Amy Holder's website

Watch the trailer:

5 Great Movie Deals

Monday, December 27, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 Great Movie Deals:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is probably going to be on everyone's list but so it should be.  Hopefully the movie can live up to the fan's expectations.

The Dead of Night by John Marsden

My favourite series when I was teen.  Tomorrow When the War Began already has been made into an amazing movie and can't wait to see what they do with the next installment.
 Watch the trailer here for Tomorrow When The War Began.

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

This is book is quirky, completely original, funny and brilliant.  Hopefully the movie will be the same.  

Firelight by Sophie Jordan 

Dragons, who doesn't love them!  I can imagine great special effects and a gorgeous cast will equal blockbuster.
Movie deal details here

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Mystery, werewolves and a good love story.  Lots of twists and turns so if you haven't read it and watch the movie you will be sitting on the edge of your seat. 
Movie details here

My wishlist:  I would love to see Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta be made into a movie.  Also Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley.

What books do you think would make great movies?

5 Hopes for YA in 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 Most Hopes for YA in 2011:

1. Less love triangles.  While I do like them occasionally when they are done right, I don't think every  book needs one.  It would be nice to have a guy or a girl know who they want.  The back and forth bit drives me crazy.

2. Still on the subject of romance since I love a good love story.  More of the nice, bestfriend type, average guy getting the girl.  Not always the dark sexy stranger or most popular boy at school that every girl is crushing on.

3. More realistic parental presence in story lines.  Quite a few books I have read the parents come and go in the story.  One minute they are protective and the next minute they have disappeared from the story line all together. 

4. More Aussie books available international.  I have lots of friends that can't get their hands on some of my favourite books.

5.  Less cliffhangers.  Not every book that is part of a series needs to end on a GIANT cliffhanger.  If the story is interesting and the writing is good we will come back for more.

What are your hopes for YA in 2011?

5 Most Anticipated (2011 titles)

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 Most Anticipated 2011 Titles and is the hardest to pick so far.  In no particular order the winners are:

~Honourable Mention~
Can't wait for these as well

And these two that don't have covers yet

Stayed tuned 5 Hopes for YA in 2011 tomorrow!

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2010

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." 
~Norman Vincent Peale

Wishing you a Merry Christmas! 
Have a wonderful day.

5 Great Re-Reads

Friday, December 24, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE Challenge.  Today's topic is 5 Great Re-Reads. Books you've LOVED so much that you went back for moreIn no particular order the winners are:

I only read this a few weeks ago and I keep going back for more.  Gorgeous writing that made my heart ache.

My favourite bunch of characters and whenever I read this I feel like I hanging out with friends.

This book is powerful, gritty and gut wrenching.  Everytime I re-read it still shakes me up but yet I still go back for more.

My favourite book in the series partly because of Claire and Shane's romance but mostly because of the action, twist and turns, suspense and witty characters that you can't help but love.

This book will come up every year as it is my all time favourite read.  INCREDIBLE plot and unforgettable characters.

~Honourable Mention~
Other re-read favourites!


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Goodreads Description:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Review:

Favourite Quote: "He seems to gaze right into me, like he's seeing me for who I truly am.  And in that moment, I want to tell him the truth. Crazy, I know. Stupid. Wrong.  I try to take a step back, but my foot slips and I almost go headfirst into the river but he catches me."

Wow! Surprisingly I loved it!  I have been having a bad run with angel books lately but this is exactly what I have been looking for.  Unearthly has an original plot, interesting characters, a swoon worthy crush and overall is a pleasure to read.

Cynthia Hand's writing was just easy to read.  Before I knew it I had read 300 pages.  The plot wasn't filled with action but rather mystery.  Never did this go down the predictable path, it seem to subtlely surprise me.  Unearthly is probably the most interesting angel concept I have read.  There was a little bit of good angel vs fallen angel but for a change it didn't have anything to do with the love interests.  The vision and purpose element is what made this so different.  Sometimes with angel concepts too the history can be far too complex and hard to understand but this was effortless to follow.

Now to my favourite part of this book, the characters and that is what drives this story.  Clara is sweet, sometimes funny, believable and made smart choices.  Tucker (~swoons~, sorry but every time he is mentioned that happens) is a crush worthy male character.  A true gentleman, witty, gorgeous, and a cowboy (which makes him extra swoon worthy).  I adored the playful banter aka flirting between Clara and Tucker, it provided plenty of awwww moments.  Christian, well he was okay.  At first I thought I knew his type - typical, popular, gorgeous, nice guy that every girl is crushing on but in the end he was more than I expected. 

I know that I have just mentioned two guys so therefore it equals love triangle but do not fear.  This love triangle was gentle (although I do think that it might be brewing for the next book).  Clara is pretty certain of her choice and doesn't go back and forth.

The ending, no cliffhanger here, yay!  There are a few questions but it ends in the right place for more but still leaving readers satisfied for now.
Overall, I highly recommend this book, it had all the right elements.  An outstanding debut.

Rating: 5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperTeen for providing me with a copy.  I have already pre-ordered my own copy.

Some interesting info:  The above cover is our cover here in Australia.  Isn't it gorgeous!

For more info: Cynthia Hand's blog

Check out the trailer:

5 Great Series

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Over at Persnickety Snark, Adele has created the Pernsnickety Snark FIVE ChallengeToday's topic is 5 Great Series (which to me means series that have had a book released in 2010).  In no particular order the winners are:

Scary vampires, fast paced and action packed plot, witty dialogue and guaranteed good read every time.  Need I say more!

Katniss is one of my all time favourite characters - strong, brave and loyal.  This series made me a fan of dystopia novels.

This is the first series I fell in love with and holds my first literary crush, Dimitri.  This series has me made laugh, cry, smile and scream.  So sad it has ended.

This series is funny, smart and sexy. I am always crushing on the Fuentes brothers.

This is the most incredible world and it is filled with unforgettable characters.  So excited there is going to be a fourth book in this series.

~Honourable Mentions~
These series nearly made the list:

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