The Best of 2012!

2012 was an absolutely AWESOME year of books for me! I had such good look with many of the books I read. This past year I really branched out of my comfort zone as far as my reading taste goes. I slowly started to get more into the mature YA and NA books that were popping up like crazy. After having awesome luck with a few, I read as many as I could fit in. I also began seeing some of my blogging friends dipping their toes into the world of adult books and since I trust their opinions with my bookish life, I decided to give it a try. Some positive reviews led me to purchase a few and falling in love with those few led me to purchasing a whole lot more and boy am I glad that I did! Out of the 85 books I was able to squeeze into 2012, I gave 5 stars to nearly 40 of those books, crazy I know!!!! Below are all the books that I loved & adored with all of my heart in 2012. Clicking the picture will lead you to the Goodreads page of that particular book unless I had the chance to review it on the blog, if so, the picture will lead you to the review!

In no certain order, the best books of 2012:

The Hunger Games  Queen of the Dead  Die For Me  Throne Of Glass

Something Like Normal  Second Chance Summer  Shade  Born Wicked

Body & Soul  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight  My Life Next Door  The Knife and the butterfly

Dark Days  Anew  Any Other Night  Pushing The Limits

Simply Irresistible  Awkward  The Fault In Our Stars  The Vincent Boys

On Little Wings  Smart Girls Get What They Want  Slammed  Shift

Easy  Crash  Just Remember To Breathe  Charade

Dizzy  Yours To Keep  Losing It  Try Me

Wallbanger  Hopeless

Did you get a chance to read any of these titles in 2012? Did you love them as much as I did? Are there any books you would recommend to me for 2013?

My End Of Summer Blues…

It’s that time of year again; the leaves are changing colors, I am spending hundreds on books (not the fun kind of books either), Starbucks is on my good side again (three cheers for pumpkin spice!!!), school has started (three boo’s for school!!!), and most of all it is the time to say goodbye to summer (how about a hundred boo’s for end of summer!!!). Don’t get me wrong, I love fall especially considering that 90% of my closet supports the cooler weather,hello cute sweaters and boots, but nothing compares to those lazy summer days spent by the pool or lying on the beach reading some of my favorite summery books.

So in honor of those warm summer days, I decided I would list off a few of my favorite summer reads. Some are new favorites and some are older favorites but in the end they are ALL fantastic. If you have any great summer recommendations that will help to brighten my first few weeks of fall and ultimately prolong my summer just a bit more, please let me know in the comments section!

Easy by Tammara Webber

Holy freaking cannoli I just adore this book like no other. The chemistry between these two is hot enough (but not in a dirty way, I promise) to warm up any chilly fall day.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The sweet, adorable, charming romance in this book is positively PERFECT for summer time…and fall time…and well any time!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

There’s a beach, there’s a family, there’s a romance, and there are quite a few tears but this book was a top read from my summer of 2012!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Summer days are not complete without a road trip and no book does it better than this one!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This book, oh goodness, this book. My love for this book comes so easily much like my love for summer.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

This is such a funny, relatable, and incredibly enjoyable book. Even though I read it last winter, it is perfect for a pool-side re-read.

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer’s books are full of romantic tension and characters that are so freaking loveable. This is my favorite book by her and I try to re-read it every summer!

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

The title has summer in it so OF COURSE it is a great summer read. But honestly I read this two winters ago and I still thought it was positively brilliant.

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

I read this book Every. Single. Spring/Summer. Kati and I agree on very little but this is one of them. It’s easily our favorite series and we just love starting our summer off right with these books.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie’s writing is so incredibly delightful. Every page of this book is made of awesome and since summer is made of awesome, it’s a solid match!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Since I am me and Sarah is Sarah, and you know since Sarah writes what Sarah writes and I generally fan-girl over anything that Sarah writes, then there was 100% chance at least one of her books would make my list. This one just shouts IT IS SUMMER. READ ME NOW!

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

This is my FAVORITE book for summer time. Heck, it is my favorite book for all-time but I just don’t think you can go wrong with this one!

Book Playlist: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Lately I’ve been having far too much fun with Spotify! For those of you who may not know, Spotify is a free app you can get for your computer and it allows you to listen, categorize, and make playlists up of all of the world’s recorded music…for free! So if you are a music lover and are not already utilizing this app of awesome, I suggest you get it like now!

I’ve literally been making up playlists for EVERYTHING lately including books. I love when authors use music as a huge inspiration for their books and 9 times out of 10, it is those music-inspired books that become instant favorites of mine. So you can imagine how happy it makes me that more and more authors are sharing playlists that go along with their books! I thought it would be fun to share these playlists with you all from time to time.

Today I’m sharing the most epic book playlist of all-time! Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson was one of my favorite books of 2011. I loved the story, the setting, and the characters so very much. This great book was enhanced by awesome little things like Amy and Roger’s receipts, pictures of their trip, and my ultimate favorite, their road trip music! There was a great mix of Roger’s music (Alternative rock, classic rock, etc.) and Amy’s music (Show tunes and Elvis)!

So if you have Spotify, take a look at the playlist below and if not, I have a few of my favorite songs from the book in forms of YouTube videos. Hope you enjoy!

  

Human by The Killers

Show Me What I’m Looking For by Carolina Liar

Come What May by Elvis Presley

TGIF (51)

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:

Issue Books:

Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

Over the past couple of years I have read such a wide variety of books. Most are fun, light-hearted books but every now and then I come across a book that makes me think, a book that tears my heart apart only to put it back together, and in the end it makes me feel completely different, it makes me completely different. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This book is all about life and death. It’s about being faced with a premature expiration date and there being nothing you can do about it. This book is also about finding love when you least expect it. Reading this book was not easy, it broke my heart and made me ugly cry hardcore but in the end it was so worth it!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I love this book soooo much! Like the book listed above, this one is about death, a girl losing her father. This was not an easy read at all, yet another book that made me full-out cry ugly tears and stain the last 30 pages of my book with lots of tears. I love that this book was very hard to take at some points but it was also filled with enough heart-warming moments to make me feel somewhat better in the end.

Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

This book is a bit unconventional when it comes to tougher issues. It deals with just about the most dysfunctional families I have ever heard of. Nothing comes easy for the main characters but Chelsea does such a fabulous job of tearing their lives apart and then piecing them back together again in a not so perfect way but definitely in a way that makes you feel okay about their futures.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Let’s be blunt here, this book is about rape. This issue is not a fun one to read about and I cringe every time I even hear the word. BUT Sarah wrote this story in such a way that you were able to learn about and cope with the issue without it all being thrown in your face. Even though this book is about something I really don’t like hearing about, it still ends up being one of my all-time favorite books.

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/25-6/1):

TGIF (50)

Life As Kate (17)

Help An Author Out!

Tune In Tuesday (61)

The Soul Saver’s Book Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway!

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!!!!!

TGIF (47)

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:

Literary Vacations:

If you could take a trip this summer to any place within a fictional book, where would you go? Tell us about your summer dream vacation!

Where wouldn’t I go? At this point, skipping off into the demon-infested world of Megan Duncan’s book, Released, sounds like a rather enjoyable vacation (kidding!)

I guess in all seriousness, this question comes at a perfect time because as of yesterday at precisely 6:30 p.m. my summer vacation OFFICIALLY began! As for my answer to this question, I will have to cheat and answer with a ton of books! In no particular order, here are the places I would LOVE to spend my summer vacation:

Yellowstone National Park. Janet Fox does such a phenomenal job creating vivid images of Yellowstone in her book Faithful. There would be so much of nature to take in and I am certain it would be one of the most beautiful places to visit.

Paris. If you are at all familiar with this darling little book called Anna and the French Kiss by an even lovelier author, Stephanie Perkins, then you too will want to spend your days traipsing around town with Anna and St. Clair (but mostly just St. Clair!)

Colby. Sarah Dessen is one of the best authors when it comes to creating towns that I want to be a part of! They all seem so normal but she makes them almost magical with all their little quirks. I think Colby, a small town in Along For The Ride, sounds like a cute, fun, relaxing place to spend my summer…plus there are cute guys riding around on bikes all over the place. Count me in!

Colonial Essex Village. Call me a nerd but I happen to think dressing up in old-fashioned clothing (or at least visiting a place that requires their workers to dress up in old-fashioned clothing) would be loads of fun. In Past Perfect by Leila Sales, life in the Colonial times is not the main character’s favorite thing but I think it would be great fun to try out at least once!

Somewhere-in-Alabama. You know that one author I just adore, gush about constantly, and will read anything by? Does the name Jennifer Echols ring a bell? Well she created this one series that I devoured in less than 3 days called Endless Summer. Well if you want to know where I want to spend my days, THAT book, wherever it takes place, is where I want to be. Days on the boat, soaking up the sun, nights spent with cute guys. I don’t think life gets much better than that!

On the road. Road trips are my very favorites! I love the junk food, the naps in the passenger seat, getting lost, finding my way back, singing at top-volume with not a care in the world, discovering new places, and driving at top speed with the windows down. Every single part of a road trip is fun for me and no one has written a better road trip than Morgan Matson with Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. The places they visited, the things they did, all the memories they created…it just sounded like the best time!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/27-5/4):

TGIF (46)

Defy by Raine Thomas + Book Trailer

Tune In Tuesday (57) Random Playlist Edition

Defy by Raine Thomas + Blog Tour+ Giveaway

The Fine Art of Truth Or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Tune In Tuesday (50)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the first week of Book Playlist Edition! The point of this edition is to pick your favorite book playlists, an author’s playlist they used while writing a book, or show us all some songs that remind you of certain books all throughout the month of March!

I am just going to say right now, I appologize to you all in advance! I knew the first book I would have to start off with as soon as Ginger sent over the e-mail. The one book that continues to blow my mind because of it’s musical genius is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I enjoyed the story but it is the musical playlists included throughout the whole book that stole the show. There are SO many awesome performers/bands included in the pages of this gem of a book. I had trouble picking just a few songs so I picked one song from a few of my favorite playlists in the book. Keep in mind, this is no where near how many awesome songs are among it’s pages. This only makes a dent in it! I hope you do enjoy the ones I did pick out though and if you have time, go look up all the other songs in the book!

Come What May by Elvis Presley

The Resolution by Jack’s Mannequin

Ulysses by Franz Ferdinand

All Hail The Heartbreaker by The Spill Canvas

Not The Same by Ben Folds

Cast No Shadow by Oasis

Time After Time by Quietdrive

Love Like A Sunset, Part 1 by Pheonix

Fake Empire by The National

Adrift by Jack Johnson