Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This surprised me. I thought this was really smart. I loved how well thought out it was. I loved the dialogue between all of the characters. I thought the premise was cool. And I for sure did not predict the twist. Now, I don't read a lot of suspense/mystery books, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I was actually surprised by a twist. Apparently this is going to have a second book...I look forward to it. 

This was a sit down and start, and read till your done kind of book for me. Great from beginning to end.

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Overall, we have a pretty dark subject here. However, it is still really a clean read. No swearing that I can remember. 

Thanks NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the read.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Yikes it is here again! Time to think about and share my favorite reads of this past year. So for 2013 my total books read went down by half. Mostly because I started a ton of books that I did not finish. I've started to realize pretty quickly if I am going to like a book and I honestly just can't bare to read more than a chapter or two of some of them. I mean, who wants to spend time reading a bad book? :)

I only gave 8 books out of my 141 reads this year 5 stars. So there were some standouts, yes, but not as many as I have had in year's past. After much deliberation I have come up with my top 10 of 2013. And one lucky reader will get to choose from one of these amazing reads for their own collection.

Admittedly, I don't remember that much about this book. But I do remember that I loved it very much. A friend and I were talking about it and we weren't sure if this book was really that good, or if we had been in that bad of a reading rut. I think it was that good. This might be the first time I've really enjoyed reading a story within a story which is what you will find in Golden.

This might be the saddest book I have ever read about a neglectful horrific mother. How this book is still so hopeful is a testament to an amazing job by Emily Murdoch. It might be the first horrifically sad book that I would be willing to read again. 

This is my favorite "cute" book of the year. There isn't any huge family issues, or some horrible story of abuse, or someone dealing with a death of a loved one. This book is just a cute little romance with plenty of sassy lines, swoony moments, and good fleshed out secondary characters. There is just no better word for it than CUUUUUTE!

This is the only book I have found so far in all of my reading that is the equivalent of a Chick-Lit book written by a guy about what it is like to be a guy. But don't let my Chick-Lit comparison make you think less of it. It is smart, funny, very funny, and hilarious, and has a ton of heart. Parts of this might shock my more innocent readers because it talks of guy stuff pretty openly, but if you can get through the first bit and you are still enjoying it then you will definitely enjoy the rest. I really wish there were more books like this in the world.

Can Miss Rainbow Rowell have two books on my list this year? I'll give you a hint: the answer is the opposite of "no way hoseay". Fangirl is great, and it was a nice comfort to know that Rowell was not an author who could only come up with one amazing book. She had more tricks up her sleeve and this book is one of them. It is a great college coming of age tale. I did find some of the added fanfic, written by our MC, kind of distracting at times...but...I could overlook it because the rest of Fangirl was freaking fantastic.

This was my favorite debut of the year. I never wanted it to end. I just wanted to keep reading and reading and reading about these characters. I read it back all the way in January so I honestly don't remember that much to tell you here except for this: I may have forgotten the details of it, but I remember the loving of it.

I actually read this for the first time last year, but I didn't put it on my best of 2012 list because it was officially released by Penguin this year after winning the Amazon Breakthrough Award. Regina came to Utah (where I live) this year and she is so darn lovely, and her book reflects that loveliness all over. I read it again this year, and I can tell you now that you have never read a coming of age book just like this. But at the same time this feels so familiar. This has such an interesting male love interest unlike any one I have ever read before but again so like lots of boys I've actually known in real life. Wonderful this book.

I champion Paige Toon on this blog constantly. I adore her stories and my only complaint is usually that they end much much too soon. One Perfect Summer is (I think...hard to choose) my favorite of hers. It takes place mostly in college and it is not some sexy New Adult trashy book that is thrown together to sell cheap copies on Amazon (sorry...little rant there...). So have you not yet read a Paige Toon book? What are you freaking waiting for? They are wonderful! Go on Amazon and buy a used one for a penny and find yourself a new girly author to love. May I suggest One Perfect Summer?

I was honored to be at the book debut party for Sara Zarr's 2013 release. It was beautiful to hear her speak so openly about the effort she put into writing this book. It made my read that much richer. Over the years I have come to really admire Zarr's writing. As you read one of her books you feel as if she chooses each word with extra thought and care. No words are just throw away words. They are all important. The Lucy Variations is probably my favorite of her books and as usual her characters shine bright, just daring me to love them.

I'm sure I won't be the only blogger to list Eleanor & Park as their #1 read of the year. But this book, I can't help love it as much as the next gal. In fact I just recently re-read it to make sure I liked it more than Fangirl, and I was instantly transported to the hearts of misfits Eleanor and Park. It was equally wonderful the second read through and I stand by my original review from earlier this year where I sang this book's praises to high heaven. It is sad, hilarious, beautiful, and rings so true. It is just one of those magical books you so rarely find and if you haven't read it yet...get going...I'll wait...

So that is a list of my favorites for 2013. Thanks to the all the authors out there that persevere and face the challenges of the publishing world to get their voice out there for all of us to enjoy. I'm glad there are people that write, just like I am sure they are glad that there are people like us who read. I hope this list has inspired you to give one of these reads a try in 2014.

Thanks to Bookhounds and I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting this best of 2013 blog hop!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I thought this author's first book was completely forgettable. In fact, I thought this was a debut book while I was reading it because I really didn't remember that I had read her first release. Good thing I have Goodreads to keep track of my books...

Anyway, I really liked a lot of things about this book. First off, I loved the really good music mentioned throughout the book and the list for readers at the end was extremely good. Good job Ms. Sales for exposing a few young kiddos to some actual good music, heaven knows they don't hear enough of it. Mostly though, good job for reminding me of some of the great music I have loved over the years. Our MC reminded me of what it felt like to love a great song. 

I had trouble reading this in the beginning (I didn't like the depressed, attention getting suicide attempt). But, as I got into this, I really loved the story. I especially loved our older, cooler, but obviously insecure love interest. What a way to shake things up with the boy characters. Most of all though, I loved the idea of being lost in music.

I did have one HUGE issue with the book, and I can't seem to get over it. In what world would a club promoter hire a 16 year old DJ to work in a club that you have to be 21 or older to get in? I was willing to go with the whole underground club idea, but when her first big DJ night is advertised in the local paper I just couldn't come to terms with it. There is no real world in which that would fly. So that bugged me, but I was willing to look past it and I recommend the read.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Read more about it HERE.