Friday, December 16, 2011

Best of 2011 - The Second Half

There are not too many books that I read that I do not thoughly enjoy. So for this posting, I am going to list the top 10 books I enjoyed the second half of 2011.

  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices book 2)
  • Stephanie Perkins. I adored both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. I cannot wait to see what she does with Isla in 2012!
  • The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima. Han and Raisa, enough said.
  • Eve by Anna Carey. I really hope this one becomes a television show.
  • The Pledge by Kimberly Derting. Excellent start to a new trilogy.
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendrae Blake. Horror at it's best and a BIG thanks to Shelburne for turning me on to it.
  • Crave by Melissa Darnell. Love the Romeo and Juliet forbidden romance.
  • The Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. Hope to see this one on the Big Screen.
  • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. Desperately hanging on the cliff for Bloodrose in January. Team Ren all the way!
And watch for these in 2012 that I have already got a sneak peak at.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices book 2)

SPOLIER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Angel, STOP! I don’t want to ruin one of my favorite series for you!

In Victorian England, Tessa Gray has found safety from the Magiater within the confinds of the Institute and the Shadowhunters who have become her friends. Her safety is in jeopardy when Benedict Lightwood goes before Counsel Wayland in an attempt to remove Charlotte Branwell as head of the London Institute. If Charlotte is replaced, Tessa will be out on the streets and easy prey for the Magister.
In an attempt to find out why the Magister’s war against the Shadowhunters is personal, Tessa travels to York with the fiercely loyal James Carstairs and the brooding William Herondale. There, a shocking discovery is made that sends one member of the trio into a tailspin. Back in London, the Shadowhunters realize that Mortmain’s web reaches further than they ever imagined and that one of their own has betrayed them.

As questions are answered, even more secrets come to light and the mystery surrounding not only Tessa and the Magister, but Will deepens. Tessa is soon caught up in not only finding out what she is but torn between two boys. Even though her rejected her at the end of Clockwork Angel, Tessa still finds herself longing for Will while at the same time discovering her burgeoning feelings for Jem, who is more than willing to reciprocate.

Join Tessa and the London Shadowhunters as they race against the clock to uncover the Magister’s evil plan.

The Infernal Devices trilogy will conclude with the publication of Clockwork Princess in the fall of 2012.

Visit Cassandra Clare's website.
Visit the Infernal Devices website.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

“I don’t believe in fashion. I believe in costume. Life is too short to be the same person every day.”

Seventeen-year-old Lola Nolan has three simple wishes in life. She wants to dress as Marie Antoinette for her winter formal, complete with the extra wide dress and elaborate wig. Beneath the dress will be platform combat boots “so everyone can see underneath the frills,” she is punk-rock tough. Lola wishes her parents would approve of her boyfriend. Twenty-two-year-old Max is in a band and has no aspirations of college. Lastly, she never wants to see her former neighbors, The Bell twins, ever again.

For Lola, life is good. She has a part-time job at a movie theater and she knows her boyfriend Max is the one. Life could be better. Her parents could accept Max instead of continuing their weekly Sunday brunch plans that involve an interrogation session. But things go quickly from good to bad when Lola’s birth mother comes back into her life. Just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, they do. The Bells move back into their house and the twins, Calliope and Cricket come with them. Calliope, a hopeful Olympic ice skater returns to her old coach and Cricket starts college at Berkeley. Lola still carries a grudge about the time Cricket, whom she had a huge crush on, rejects her and then moves away.

Running into the Bell twins is inevitable, especially since Lola’s bedroom window looks out at Cricket’s. Still hurt from his rejection two years earlier, Lola is shocked when Cricket asks her out for a date every night for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t help when Max overhears and becomes jealous. Lola soon finds her heart and mind pulled in two different directions; the boy she thinks is the one and the boy who was her first love. Join Lola on her heart wrenching journey of self-discovery as she learns just what it truly means to be in love.

Lola is a companion book to Anna and the French Kiss. Anna and Etienne make several appearances as Lola and Anna are coworkers at the movie theater and Etienne and Cricket live in the same dorm at Berkeley. Etienne imparts some of his relationship wisdom to a struggling Lola. Perkins gives a little insight into Anna and Etienne’s relationship for those readers who fell in love with these two characters as I did.

Isla and the Happily Ever After will be published in the Fall of 2012.

Visit Stephanie Perkins' website.

Crave by Melissa Darnell

At recess in the fourth grade, Savannah Colbert pretended to marry Tristan Coleman in a mock ceremony on the school playground. The next day, Tristan and all of the other Clann kids turn their backs on her and refuse to have anything to do with her. For the past five years, Savannah has tried to ignore the bullying by the Clann kids and make new friends. Even though Savannah’s mother and grandmother warn Savannah to stay away from Tristan, she finds herself inexplicitly drawn to him.

Tristan, the son of the ruling head of the Clann, is strictly forbidden to even speak to Savannah. When she becomes ill in their Algebra class, Tristan fights to stay away from her. Savannah’s absence from school for the week nearly drives him insane with worry. When Savannah is well enough to return to school, Tristan finds that he is not the only person to notice the physical changes in her. Boys begin to swarm around her whether she wants them to or not and Tristan cannot help but be near and protect her.

Sick for the first time in her life, Savannah is shocked to awaken after five days of being unconscious to find not only her mother and grandmother standing over her but her father who has been out of the picture most of her life. Even more unsettling to Savannah is when her parents fill her in on her true heritage and why it has been kept a secret from her until now. Her father is a vampire who wasn’t supposed to be able to father children and her mother a witch who use to be a member of the Clann. Savannah realizes she really is a freak and both the Vampire Council and the Clann fear that she will join the opposite side. She will not be trained in magic and must watch for any blood lust she might have.

Nervous about returning to school, Savannah’s physical changes immediately cause problems. When she unwittingly meets the eyes of three boys from her Algebra class, they are struck by her “gaze daze” and become enamored with her. Unfortunately they literally become stalkers. Savannah is no longer able to trust the feelings of any boy she encounters. When Tristan can no longer fight his attraction to her, despite the Clann’s ruling of no contact with Savannah. She is not sure whether or not to trust his feelings. Is he under her “gaze daze” spell like the others or are his feelings genuine?

Which side will win out in Savannah; vampire or witch? Will she be able to trust Tristan’s feelings and finally be able to reciprocate? What is the connection between Savannah and Tristan? What happens when the Clann and Vampire Council discover Savannah and Tristan’s true feelings for one another? And what will happen when Tristan discovers the truth about Savannah?

Told in alternating viewpoints between Savannah and Tristan, readers are not kept in the dark about the true feelings simmering between this Romeo and Juliet pairing. Darnell leaves quite a cliffhanger at the end to set up the next book, Covet, in the trilogy that will wrap up in 2013 with Consume.