In My Mailbox (34)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library!

It has been far too long since my last IMM post and people, SO MUCH has happened since then!!! I went to the RT Convention, bought a few new books, and pretty much just accumulated quite a large list for this IMM post! Take a look, add onto Goodreads, let me know what you think, and of course link up so I can see what lovely books you got in your mailbox!

RT Convention:

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong- Won

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout- Previously owned but now signed

Enclave by Ann Aguirre- Won & signed

The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams- Bought & signed (by 2/3 of the co-authors)

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes- Previously owned but now signed

Chime by Franny Billingsley- Previously owned but now signed

Sirenz by Natalie Zaman and Charlotte Bennardo- Previously owned but now signed

Swag from Jennifer L. Armentrout, Ivy Adams, Natalie Zaman, Charlotte Bennardo, Jeanette Battista

Eve by Anna Carey- Bought & signed

Heist Society by Ally Carter- Previously owned but now signed

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter- Won & signed

The Summerland by Elizabeth Cheryl- Won & signed

Oh. My Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs- Previously owned but now signed

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore- Bought & signed

Haven by Kristi Cook- Bought & signed

The Guardian by Carey Corp- Bought & signed

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting- Bought & signed

Swag from Anna Carey, Elizabeth Cheryl, Tera Lynn Childs, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Carey Corp, Kimberly Derting, Bree Despain, Kiera Cass, Rachel Caine, Ally Condie

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- Previously owned but now signed

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- Previously owned but now signed

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- Previously owned but now signed

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand- Previously owned but now signed

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand- Bought & signed

Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra Harvey- Won

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Wicked: Witch & Curse by Nancy Holder- Previously owned but now signed

Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder- Previously owned but now signed

Swag from Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Cynthia Hand, Nancy Holder, Jennifer Estep, Colleen Houck

Firelight by Sophie Jordan- Previously owned but now signed

Hidden by Sophie Jordan- Won

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade- Previously owned but now signed

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade- Previously owned but now signed

Body and Soul by Stacey Kade- Previously owned but now signed

Phantom Universe by Laura Kreitzer- Bought & signed

Forsaken Harbor by Laura Kreitzer- Bought & signed

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert- Bought & signed

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert- Bought & signed

Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel- Previously owned but now signed

Torn by Erica O’Rourke- Bought & signed

Swag from Sophie Jordan, Stacey Kade, Stephanie Kuehnert, Alyson Noel, Erica O’Rourke, Emily McKay, Michele Jaffe, S.R. Johannes, Saundra Mitchell, Mari Mancusi

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- Previously owned but now signed

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins- Previously owned but now signed

Die For Me by Amy Plum- Bought & signed

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- Bought & signed

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors- Previously owned but now signed

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready- Previously owned but now signed

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready- Previously owned but now signed

Soul Screamers: Vol. 1 by Rachel Vincent- Won

Swag from Stephanie Perkins, Amy Plum, Veronica Rossi, Suzanne Selfors, Jeri Smith-Ready, Sarah Rees Brennan, E.J. Stevens, Beth Revis

Review:

Promise by Kristie Cook (e-book)

My Thoughts: I got this book for a blog tour I am participating in later this month! I can’t wait to read!

Silver Knight by Caron Rider (e-book)

My Thoughts: I am fascinated by reincarnation so I am excited to see how this one is done.

Casey Barnes Eponymous by E.A. Rigg (e-book)

My Thoughts: I love, love, love books that have a music influence!

Shift by Kim Curran

My Thoughts: Thanks to Strange Chemistry, a snazzy new publisher for sending out this ARC! I can’t wait to get started on it!

Shackled by Angela Carling

My Thoughts: I read a more “light-hearted” book by Angela last year so I am very interested to see how her more “serious” writing turns out!

Elements: The Beginning by Kate Fuentes (e-book)

My Thoughts: Kate is awesome! I can’t wait to read this one for the blog tour I am participating in later this month!

 Any Love But Mine by Debbie Davies (e-book)

My Thoughts: Nothing is better than a forbidden love story!

Bought:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

My Thoughts: I FINALLY HAVE THIS BOOK IN MY POSSESSION!!!!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

My Thoughts: Do yourself a favor and go buy this book right now!

Blood Born by Jamie Manning

My Thoughts: Jamie is seriously the bees knees! I won this book from Mandie (see below) but decided I needed an actual copy for when Jamie goes on an awesome 10-state tour sometime in the future.

Gifted/Won:

Blood Born by Jamie Manning (e-book)

My Thoughts: Thank you so much to Mandie for this awesome book! I cannot wait to read it!!!!!

Re-Cap: RT Teen Day

YOU GUYS!!!!! Are you ready for a post in which I tell you all about the awesome adventure I went on? You better be because there is a ton of WIN in the following novel-ish re-cap of Teen Day (beware: lots of !!!!!!! and ALL CAPS ahead)!

Teen Day was quite possibly the most fun I have ever had! I got to meet so many bloggers, authors, other random bookish people; it was just pure brilliance! Here’s how the trip went down:

Kati and I left Michigan early Friday morning. After getting lost only about 3 times (all my fault), we arrived in Chicago at around 1:30, checked in at the hotel, then proceeded to get lost in the city (also my fault). We got to see a whole lot of the city but what we really wanted was The Cheesecake Factory. It was hours later when we finally realized that the book signing we were going to that night was in fact an hour away (again, my fault). We somehow found The Cheesecake Factory, Cookie Dough for me and Lemon Raspberry for Kati, and then we were off.

We got lost on our way to the book store (you guessed it, my fault) but we managed to get there with a few minutes to spare. Kati and I took our places managing to cause a little bit of a scene which may or may not have included me tripping over my purse (don’t ask) and then making friends with a guy behind us who I have seen at a previous book signing. Some of my very favorite bloggers were at this event, and since my navigation skills suck hard-core, I was not able to see them before hand. Lynn (Bringing the Epic) and Laci (Blog-O-Rama) were some of the few lovely ladies wondering where the heck I was (never fear, I was only sitting in the back…behind very tall people *insert sad face*). The authors, Veronica Rossi (Under The Never Sky), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me), Anna Carey (Eve), and Cynthia Hand (Unearthly, Hallowed ) talked about their books, they were insanely funny and super sweet, then we got in line for the signing. Kati and I made lame jokes to one another the whole time and probably drove everyone else in line completely crazy.

After getting everything signed, I was FINALLY able to talk with everyone! The bloggers that were at this event were: Laci (Blog-O-Rama), Jamie (The Broke and the Bookish/The Perpetual Page-Turner), Heidi (YA Bibliophile), Kristi (The Story Siren), Anna (Anna Reads), Lynn (Bringing The Epic), Jasmine (The Reading Housewives of Indiana), Jacinda (The Reading Housewives of Indiana), Jen (Makeshift Bookmark), Tara (Fiction Folio). I will be honest, I was totally freaking the eff out! They might not have known who I was at the time but I knew of them (not literally of course, but from their SUPER AWESOME blogs) and I was finally seeing them in person! It is so crazy to finally meet someone you talk to on a regular basis, or see someone who writes a blog you read all the time, in actual person! Seriously you guys, I was basically in awe by how lovely, funny, and sweet these bloggers all were. (I’ll stop sounding creepy right about…now)

After we took a group shot, Laci, Jacinda, Jasmine, Kati, and I all went out to eat. I am pretty sure that at this point we were all so hungry we may have considered gnawing on the super cool recycled straws at the table. During dinner we talked about Jasmine’s SUPER tiny town (seriously, one cop!?!? And come on, how does this ONE COP manage to get his squad car stolen?),Jacinda’s (and my grandma’s) inability to pay attention when being talked to, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, and probably a whole lot more randomness. They were so funny and we all had a genuinely brilliant time, but mostly I was still super excited that I finally got to meet them. And then, what’s dinner without the desert (so what if I had cheesecake just hours before!)? We went to this tiny gelato place and it was so good! After that we went back to our hotels to get some rest before our next crazy day!

Saturday was the actual event. Kati and I got up and ready, I decided to rebel against dry floors by soaking our bathroom while showering (this made Kati…upset), we ate delicious waffles made by yours truly, and then we were off again. We got lost again (yes, my fault but I also blame the city’s super sucky “Parking Ramp This Way” signs). We managed to find a parking spot a whole half mile from the event, got my bags of books and headed in. So of course we arrived pretty early but an hour late in bookish people timing. We got redirected a million and one times, Kati asked Kimberly Derting if we were in the right line to check in (we were not, it was the Starbucks line), but we finally made it. And after waiting for forever, they finally let us in.

Holy AMAZEBALLS! I have never seen so many people in love with books in one place before. It was amazing for lack of a better term. We got to the Teen Author section and this is where everything is a bit of a blur. I met SO MANY people that I could hardly keep my head on straight. Stacey Kade, Kimberly Derting, Kristi Cook, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Nancy Holder, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, Jennifer Armentrout, Ally Carter, Kiera Cass, Elizabeth Cheryl, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Stephanie Kuehnert, Alyson Noel, Erica O’Rourke, Jeri Smith-Ready, Stephanie Perkins, just to name a few (yes I do consider that list a “few”). The list goes on and on and on… I wish I could tell you all about every super awesome person I got to meet but we’d be here for forever, seriously! But I will say this, I got to meet nearly every YA author there, and I was truly blown away by how generous, sweet, and all-around awesome they were. Every time Kati and I went up to a table, the author was so quick to start a conversation with us regardless of how socially awkward we both are. I still can’t get over how great this part of the day was.

After checking out of the book signing and paying for the crap-load of books I bought, we finally took the stuff back to the car (which, if you remembered, was a half-mile away. FUN!). I regained some feeling in my arms at this point and we headed back into the convention. There were then three sessions of panels and author events you could choose to go to. We first went to the Author Speed Dating session. This was so much fun! There were about 20 tables set up and you sat at one of them for the whole time. The authors rotated between all the tables every three minutes. Many of the authors remembered Kati and I from the book signing (what can I say, we are incredibly lame and hard to forget) and then we were able to make friends with the new ones we hadn’t met yet. After this we attended two sessions of Author Speed Reading. Each author had a short amount of time to read a section from one of their books. It was great to hear a little bit of each of their stories but the authors teased us so much!

Finally it was time for the Teen Party!!! We got in line again (they really liked lines at this place!) but it wasn’t for too long. Teens at this event got an awesome bag filled with books (heck yes for being a teenager!!!). There was food set up, a psychic in one corner, a face painter in another, and then there were authors crawling all over the place! It was the perfect time to chow down on cupcakes and take pictures with some of your favorite authors. Kati and I got to take pictures with Stacey Kade, Stephanie Perkins, Franny Billingsley, and Kimberly Derting, and then we even got a few more of our new books signed! After making our rounds around the room 20+ times and stalking just about every author there was to stalk, it was time to head out. *sad face*

The whole day, as you can clearly see was SO FANTASTIC! It was the first big bookish thing I have ever been to and it honestly couldn’t have been a better first experience. I will definitely be going to it again in the future.

After the event, we had food (…again! Obviously we like to eat.) and went back to the hotel to pass the out. We woke up, packed up, and then headed into the city for our very last time. We got to spend a few hours exploring Chicago and seeing all sorts of cool things. This was Kati’s first “real” time in the city so I just HAD to show her all the great things in Millennium Park. All too soon, we had to head home. It was a long drive but we finally made it. Visiting Chicago and attending the RT Convention was one of the greatest trips I have ever been on. I was so excited to go to a fun place with Kati, I learned that I was one crap-tastic navigator, I was able to meet so many AMAZING bloggers and authors, and I got a whole slew of new books and swag; what could be better?

And now, a slideshow of the whole thing!!!!

p.s. This song’s for you Ginger! (I sooo wish you could have been there! One day, we’ll meet and it’ll be epic)

The Best of Twenty-Eleven

The year has come and gone so quickly that I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was starting my winter semester as a college Freshman and I was trying to squeeze in every ounce of fun that I could. A ton of memories were created this past year, some bad but mostly all good, and I like to think it has been one of the best years yet. In keeping with the same format that I used last year, here are some of the best moments of 2011!

Sidenote: Almost all of these are a tie between two or more things. Sorry about that, I tried my best to narrow it down but it just wasn’t happening!

1. Best Vacation– This is definitely a tie between the Myrtle Beach vacation I took with Kati and the Myrtle Beach Vacation I took with my family a month later. The weather was gorgeous both times and I got to experience a ton of different things with each trip. I was so lucky to be able to go on two vacations back to back like that!

2. Best Concert– This one also has a tie! It is between Warped Tour 2011 and the acoustic performance by We The Kings! Warped Tour is a day filled with music awesomeness! I saw so many bands perform, got a ton of stuff signed, and I even got to talk to a few of the performers. The We The Kings acoustic performance was brilliant for so many reasons: It was acoustic, it was small, it was free, it featured my future husband, I got to put my arms around my future husband, and I even got to take a picture with my future husband. IT WAS AMAZING!

3. Best CD– This is also going to have to be a tie! We The Kings dropped their latest album this year entitled Sunshine State of Mind. The title of the album couldn’t be more perfect because I get in a sunshiney state of mind EVERY TIME I listen to their CD. So what could be the competition to such an epic CD? All the mixed CD’s I got this past year! I had a lot of friends make me CD’s and all of them were filled with awesome songs that brings a smile to my face!

4. Best New Activity– I can’t explain too many details because I have yet to send out Christmas presents to some pretty freaking lovely bloggers but I do enjoy jewelry making. It takes time and is far more expensive than I could have imagined but it is so much fun to create!

5. Best Birthday Present– Last year I got a whole new bedroom so I was wondering how anything could ever live up to something like that. The answer came in the form of a brand-new bookshelf! I was making just the one work but I was desperately in need of one and my parents luckily noticed it! I love it so freaking much!

6. Best Movies– Well I do love me some movies…and popcorn! Some of my favorites were: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bridesmaids, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows: Part 2, and Footloose.

7. Best Books– Oh gosh! It was my original goal to read 100 books in 2011 but Goodreads just wouldn’t stop telling me how sucky I was at completing that goal so I changed it to 80 and I still didn’t accomplish it! However, I did squeeze in 76 books. The best ones (some 4’s and all 5 stars) are:

Sidenote: Some of the titles will be linked to my reviews and other will be linked to Goodreads since I have not yet reviewed them!

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Faithful by Janet Fox

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Matched by Ally Condie

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Re-reads of both Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols books

Fade by Lisa McMann

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

Between by Cyndi Tefft

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Girl v Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

8. Best Blogging Moment– How does one even choose something like this? In the past year I have met more authors, connected with more bloggers, reviewed more books, joined more weekly features, and had the most fun than I have EVER had! This whole experience has been one joyous event after another and I have all of YOU to thank for that. I have found some of the greatest friends and most influential people (and let’s not forget they all also kick butt when it come to writing reviews!) than I could have ever imagined. I would not trade this past year for anything!

9. Best Friend(s)– It is no secret that Kati has and always will be my best friend. I talk about her awesomeness all the time. But because of recent events, I feel like I must give a shout-out to my dear friend Stacey. Her and I were running buddies in high school. You could never find two girls who hated cross-country with such a deep passion like the two of us (even though we secretly loved it!) She has been there for both Kati and I through so many things and now it’s our turn to be there for Stacey. These two girls make my days so much better and I love them for that!

10. Best Family– Well of course this goes out to my family once again but not without some complaints! Zack and Zeke aka The Brat Pack drove me absolutely INSANE this past year. Those two boys are the epitome of annoying little brothers. I love them to death but jeez louise they sure are crazy! In all honesty, I am lucky to have my family always there for me. They support me through everything and even though they make fun of me every once in a while, they always know how to make me smile!

So that’s it for my 2011! I hope you all had a great year and an even better 2012!

TGIF (22)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Spooktacular Reads:

Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

I would like to think that I am a tough person who can handle scary books but in reality I am a big, big baby. However, I have managed to sneak in a few creepy books and by somewhat of a shock, I actually enjoyed them. The first couple are books that just really freaked me out. The rest are ones that have Halloween-ish elements in them (a.k.a. Paranormal books that I find to be totally, freaking awesome!!!)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

I just read this one. HOLY FREAKING CREEPY!

The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way

I read this one over a year ago and I STILL think of how twisted that story is!

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Of course fighting off demons with swords can be considered a great Halloween read!

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

This is a book about a girl who can sense dead bodies, FREAKY!

Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

This book is more of a love story but the main characters do spend quite a bit of time in the cemetary which is ALWAYS good for freaking people out.

Beautiful Creatures + Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both of these books a million times YES! Everything about them shouts great Halloween read! Plus Ethan and Lena…I <3 those two!

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

This is the PERFECT book for this time of year. It definitely makes me think of one of those cool made for TV movies that ABC Family always has this time of year. It could totally be right up there with Hocus Pocus!

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

I love me some Stacey Kade! You can’t have Halloween without a friendly little ghost (or in this case, a spoiled little ghost who wants things to go her way!)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

I was so surprised by how much I loved this book that is based so heavily on Edgar Allen Poe. This story is dark, creepy, and twisted, what more could you want?!?

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

I don’t think this one has anything to do with this time of year but I think it is a phenomenal paranormal book!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Oh yes, definitely a great paranormal book that is perfect for reading this time of year!

Released by Megan Duncan

Demon slaying people on the run? YES please!

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Oh how I love this book! Another great paranormal book that has NOTHING to do with Halloween but you should read anyway!

So what do you think? Are any of these on your list of books to read during Halloween time?

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (10/21-10/28):

TGIF (21)

Life As Kate (4)

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Tune In Tuesday (31)

Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast Book Trailer + Giveaway!!!

TGIF (6)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is: 

Mr & Mrs:

Who are your favorite book couples?

It is official now, Ginger @ GReads! is trying to stump me with her questions of awesomness! I have read a lot of books. I have read a lot of books that include romance. I have read AND loved a lot of books that include romance and super awesome couples. To narrow down the list is impossible so I say, why not name them all? Here it goes!

Ashlyn & Kai from Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Abby & Max from Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Avi from The Ruined series by Simone Elkeles

Clara and Tucker from Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Anna and Ettienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Calla and REN from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Ethan and Lena from The Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Lori and Adam from Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Meg and John from Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Zoey and Doug from Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Amy and Poe from The Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund

Janie and Cable from The Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann

Isobel and Varen from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Evie and Lend from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Luce and Daniel from Fallen by Lauren Kate

Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Brittany and Alex from Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Kiara and Carlos from Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

ALL major relationships from these following Sarah Dessen Books:

Along for the Ride

Lock and Key

This Lullaby

The Truth About Forever

Just Listen

Okay, there are all of my favorite relationships! These relationships stick out the most for me because they have chemistry. The characters aren’t perfect, the situations they face aren’t ideal, yet they still find an understanding with someone and from that, their love grows for each other.

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (6/24-7/1):

Happy Birthday Kati

In My Mailbox (16)

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Tune-In Tuesday (14)

Monthly Wrap-Up (January 2011)

This is a new feature I decided to try out on my blog. At the end of each month I will post exactly what happened on my crazy little blog for that previous month. January has been an extremely busy month so there is a lot to cover!

Books I Read In January:

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Fade by Lisa McMann (Book Club)

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez (2011 Debut Author Challenge)

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Faithful by Janet Fox (Y.A. Historical Fiction Challenge)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (2011 Debut Author Challenge)

Other Words For Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (2011 Debut Author Challenge)

* That is a total of 8 books for the month of January. I am only 8% done with my goal to read 100 books in 2011. I need to pick up the pace in February!*

Books I Reviewed In January:

Jane by April Lindner. (Read my review here.) This book was fantastic. It gives a new, modern-day twist to Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre.

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols. (Read my review here.) I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of this book (a fact that is still super exciting to me). I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Echols and Endless Summer just proved to be yet another great book (technically it is two books but still..) by Jennifer.

Beastly by Alex Flinn. (Read my review here.) I loved this book! First, it is a playoff of one of my favorite Disney stories. This is a  modern version of Beauty and the Beast told from the Beasts perspective. Second, it has been adapted for film! None other than uber cute Alex Pettyfer plays the beast in the movie version! (I included the movie trailer in that particular review; I am so excited!)

 What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez. (Read my review here.) I received this book through netgalley to read and review. I was so excited to start reading this 2011 debut novel! It really is a must read!

 Fade by Lisa McMann. (Read my review here.) This was the latest book we chose to read for book club. It has been great being able to read this series! I love it.

Faithful by Janet Fox. (Read my review here.) Because of this wonderful book, I am now obsessed with historical fiction. It is a beautifully written book full of great characters and imagery!

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout. (Read my review here.) Loved this book! It is a super cute novel about Battle of the Sexes. I loved the constant arguing between the main character and her anonymous counterpart.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. (Read my review here.) Yet another great book by a 2011 Debut Author. This particular novel is about angels, my new obsession. I just loved it!

Miscellaneous Things On The Blog In January:

Like I said earlier the month of January was just crazy! I decided to jump on board with all the crazy bloggers who do In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren. It has been great so far! I am definitely spending way too much money still but I love being able to just hop from blog to blog and to be able to see what fellow book lovers are picking up to read.

(Read my IMM posts here, here, here, and here.)

I also happened to have a rough patch during the month of January. The loss of my job, the lack of sleep, and my dad’s wackiness caused me to make a blog post in which I complained a lot.

 (You can read my complaining post here.)

On the happier side of things, we got puppies this month! My dog Tipsy finally gave birth to five pups almost three weeks ago. So far all the puppies are healthy, hyper, and extremely adorable! It is going to be tough when we have to get rid of them in 5 weeks.

(You can see pictures of my adorable little puppies in my post right here.)

Back to the World Of Books for a second; I had my first ever Author Interview! I was (and still am) extremely excited and honored to be able to interview the lovely Ashley Hope Perez. Her novel, What Can’t Wait (an excellent book) is one of the books I read and reviewed in the month of January. I asked her 11 questions (11 questions for a 2011 debut author…do you get it???). Ashley was just awesome! She answered every single one. Thanks again to Ashley for that!

(Read my SUPER AWESOME interview here.)

And sticking in the World Of Books for a second, I joined yet another challenge. This one is hosted by Thoughts of a Book Junkie and it is called the A-Z Challenge. Throughout 2011, I will be reading one book per letter in the alphabet. It is an awesome challenge so you should check that out right here.

(Be sure to check out my A-Z Challenge list here.)

Wrap Up:

So that is it for the month of January. It has been an awesome month! Checked back in roughly 28 days to see how the month of February turns out!

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)

Author: Cynthia Hand

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 435 hardcover

My Rating: 5/5 stars

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.

After reading that synopsis, how could you not want to read this book?

Wow! That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Unearthly. For angels being such a popular category in the world of young-adult, Cynthia Hand did such a phenomenal job of making her story unique! The story follows a young girl named Clara; she just happens to be an angel-blood, part human, part angel. This whole angel business is still pretty recent news to Clara and her younger brother Jeffrey. Of the little she knows about angel-bloods, there is one thing she is sure of, she has a purpose here on earth. The way angels receive their purposes can range but Clara happens to get hers through series of visions. Her visions lead her and her whole family away from their California home and friends to the small mountain-town of Teton County. It is in this small town that Clara meets the man of her dreams (literally, he is the exact same guy in her visions!), named Christian. So far she isn’t sure what exactly her purpose is, but she is instantly drawn to this boy. Aside from studying Christian’s every move, Clara manages to find a few more friends. Wendy is a sweet girl who just happens to have a not-so-sweet (but completely cute!) twin brother named Tucker. Clara also meets Angela who just may have more in common with Clara than she could have expected! When Wendy and Angela leave for the summer, Clara is forced to befriend (or to do more than befriend him) Tucker, as well as try to figure out what exactly her purpose on this earth really is. The plot for this story was just awesome. There are twists & turns, mysteries, romance, really it just has it all!

Now for my thoughts on this wonderful little book: The characters were great! I absolutely love the realness and quirkiness of Wendy and Angela. Wendy happens to be a fellow nerd (for lack of a better word). She is sweet, good-natured, and a true friend. Angela is stranger that is for sure. She is so direct in everything that she does; she really says exactly what is on her mind. I am really excited to see how these two characters play a role in the next novel. As for boys, this book is chop-full of awesome ones! First there is Christian, the vision boy. He seems like a nice, all-American guy, who happens to be extremely cute. What girl wouldn’t be attracted to him? Then there is Tucker, Wendy’s smart-mouth, obnoxious brother who also seems to be extremely cute but more like a rugged, hot cowboy. The banter between Tuck and Clara is so cute (and funny)! I love their form of flirting! Then there is Jeffrey, Clara’s younger brother. The relationship between these two is so realistic. They have the same arguments of real brothers and sisters (even though they are a tad bit more different from normal ones), yet they are there for each other when it really matters. I am excited to see how Jeffrey’s character changes and grows. I am especially excited to see if we ever find out what his purpose is! In general this was just a great paranormal fantasy book by a wonderful 2011 Debut Author (any author who uses the word Adorkable in their book, is wonderful to me!). I’m so excited to see what Cynthia Hand comes up with next!