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?

TGIF (53)

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:

Unexpected Books:

Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

It feels so good to be back and doing these TGIF posts again AND on such a good week since I totally love this question! Before I list things off here, let me be completely honest about something: I am totally SHOCKABLE. I am not even kidding here. I can have certain exceptions for books, I can predict that I am going to like/dislike certain books but 9 times out of 10 I am getting shocked good or bad. With that being said, here’s a list of book that shocked me the most:

Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer

When I first accepted this book for review, I thought I was going to enjoy it. I mean it sounded interesting enough. I did not anticipate falling in love with it. The storyline and characters were so much more than I could have expected.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

One of the best books I’ve read so far this year! I don’t want to say I thought it was going to be boring exactly but I mean come on, it’s about poetry! I hate poetry! Some of the major points in this book caught me completely off guard and it is most certainly safe to say I was also shocked to see how much I fell in love with the poetry this book introduced me to!

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

The summary of this book makes it seem nice, the cover is pretty, it seemed like a nice simple read. But as it turns out, I enjoyed it times 1000 because it was not nice and simple! The writing was truly beautiful and the family/life issues dealt with in this book were so relatable. It was one of those books I did not expect to fall in love with but in the end I am so glad that I did!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Holy wow! I just finished this one the other day and I was blown away! I hadn’t heard much about this book so I really went into it blind. I did not expect the world to be so fascinating, the characters to be so interesting, and Sarah’s storytelling to be so impeccable. It has been a good while since I’ve been so totally enraptured with a fictional world.

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

This is the first real “adult” book that I have read and I must say, I have so been missing out! After meeting Meg, I assumed that her books would be funny and charming. And I was right of course but this series has been so addicting and I did not expect that! It is charming, and it is funny but it is also mysterious, full of quirky characters, and there is also romance. If every adult book was like this I would most certainly be re-thinking this whole YA thing (kidding….sort of!)

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the scariest cover ever! I wanted to basically punch my best friend for suggesting we read this for book club because Katelyn + scary DO NOT MIX…AT ALL. However, what I found within the pages of this book was a super fascinating story and an author’s extreme talent of turning old, creepy pictures into a story that made sense and was supremely enjoyable!

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Ask me what my favorite book is and it will likely not be this one (I mean come on, Sarah Dessen…DUH!). But ask me for a book recommendation and I will always, always, always suggest this book. I really picked this up on a whim at the store. I never heard anyone really gushing about it but I liked the pretty colors on the cover. Holy-freaking-bejezus! There is music, there is the most interesting main character EVER, and there is just so much goodness filled throughout the pages of this book. Maybe it’s because of the little-to-no expectation I had for this book or maybe it’s just that it’s that good (the more likely option) but this was definitely the most shocking (in a good way) books I’ve ever read.

This week on Kate’s Tales Of Books And Bands (8/3-8/10):

I’m Back (Hurray!!!!!!)

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Tune In Tuesday (64)

It’s Almost Party Time! Please stop by and help me get ready for a blog birthday!




Giveaway: Help An Author Out!

I am beyond excited to bring you this news today!!!!!! Back in April I read and reviewed an amazing little book called On Little Wings by Regina Sirois. This book was such a lovely surprise, a beautifully written story, and the perfect summer read. Now that you are all caught up on how much I thoroughly loved this story, let’s get to the great news!

This book, the book I loved oh so much is a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award!!!! Being one of three finalist a HUGE freaking deal and I am so proud of Regina! If On Little Wings is voted for it will be published and I want nothing more than for that to really happen! Now since I adore Regina, her book, and all of you, I thought it would only make sense to combine all three!

So here’s what’s going to happen:

You will first sign into your account

You will then click THIS LINK RIGHT HERE!!!!

After clicking the link you will vote for On Little Wings!

Finally, once we have shared this information with all our friends, voted until our little fingers fall off, and On Little Wings wins this amazing honor, I will giveaway a copy of the book. So spread the word and vote for this very deserving book!

p.s. Do it fast because you only have until Wednesday night!

TGIF (45)

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:

Book Blogger Influences:

Has there been a particular book blogger who’s influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.

Answering this question could go one of two ways: First I could compile one freaking huge list of bloggers that have influenced what I’ve read (even though I kind of already created this list on my Bloggers To Check Out Page!) or secondly, I could name one specific blogger who got me to read a book that I would not be the same without. So since I suck at making decisions, I’ll do a bit of both!

First off, book bloggers as a whole, influence what I read. They are the ones that are making my TBR pile grow exponentially every single day. Whenever I see a book featured on a blog (review, author/character interview, cover reveal, IMM posts, etc.), and it seems interesting to me, I eventually go buy it or find a way to read it. So thank you to pretty much all who are reading this! I may love you but my wallet hates you :)

As for the one specific blogger that pushed and pushed until I couldn’t stand her pushing any more, that would be the insanely wonderful book blogger, Ashley @ Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing! Ashley has been a busy little bee with her new job but before things got to crazy for her she made it her life goal to get everyone she knew to read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I am not kidding you guys, she would tweet me ALL THE TIME to see if I had read it yet and then once I did read it, I would get on Twitter to see her attempting to get another person to read it; pure brilliance! Thank goodness for this girl’s ability to be extremely persistent because that book rocked my world so hard. It was so beautiful, descriptive, the story was rich and heartbreaking but also so full of love…okay I will stop trying to describe it yet again (trust me, trying to do it the first time while reviewing was hard enough). Basically, this story is one of the best I have ever read and it is all because of Ashley that I took the time to read it!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/13-4/20):

TGIF (44)

Swag Giveaway!!! (Still open!)

Tune In Tuesday (55)

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

RT Teen Day: Re-cap!

Book Review: On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

Title: On Little Wings

Author: Regina Sirois

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 361 Paperback

Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

My Rating: 5/5 stars

This is a story of the countless ways we get love wrong. And why, despite every disappointment, we keep fighting to get it right.

Jennifer must do the impossible – bring her mother home. When a family is torn apart by death, two sisters take violently divergent paths and the story of their family appears to end terribly and abruptly. Two decades later Jennifer never dreams that the photo she finds stuck between the pages of a neglected book will tear open a gaping wound to her mother’s secret past. Abandoning her comfortable life with her parents and best friend in the wheat fields of Nebraska, Jennifer’s quest for a hidden aunt leads her to the untamed coast of Maine where she struggles to understand why her mother lied to her for sixteen years.

Across the grey, rocky cove she meets Nathan Moore, the young, reluctant genius surrounded by women who need him to be brother, father, friend, provider, protector and now, first love. The stories, varied, hilarious, and heartbreaking, unfold to paint a striking mural of the shattered past. As Jennifer seeks to piece together her mother’s story, she inadvertently writes one for herself.

You guys, I love this book so hard core! It knocked me right off my feet with its unique voice, real emotions, genuine relationships between characters, and a ton more! In many ways it reminded me of a Sarah Dessen novel combined with the raw emotions seen in Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, and then finally mixed with all the family drama that is included in Squalor, New Mexico by Lisette Brody. So yes this book reminded me of all three of these BUT it also stuck out in its own way. Regina managed to take every single thing I loved about Sarah, Lorraine, and Lisette’s books and then added more to it.

Jennifer’s life changes drastically when she finds a photo of a girl (taken several years earlier) that looks just like her. Digging further and further into the mystery surrounding the photo, Jennifer soon finds herself at her estranged Aunt Sarah’s house, in a small beach town, states away (despite the many attempts from her mom to keep her home). The journey that Jennifer embarks on means major changes for not only her, but her mom, her Aunt Sarah, and few others as well. I love that this book is primarily about how Jennifer grows as a person, but we are also able to see a HUGE change in many of the secondary characters.

Jennifer’s character was so easy for me to relate to! She may be an only child and a whole lot quieter and more timid than I can ever imagine being but she was an old soul much like myself. She seemed like a real teenager with real teenager-ish thoughts running through her head yet she made relatively level-headed decisions like someone so wise beyond her years. She was just such a great mix of shy, vulnerable, determined, and sweet. All the experiences that Jennifer goes through do not take away from these already great characteristics; instead they make her stronger, braver, and even wiser.

The story was going beautifully from the beginning, but it was really when Jennifer went to visit her aunt that it truly started for me. Meeting Aunt Sarah and her neighbor Nathan as well as some of the town’s people just added so much to the story. Aunt Sarah is exactly the type of person you would want for an aunt. She is a great friend when you need it and a motherly figure when you may not think you need it but actually do. She so clearly loves Jennifer and her mom, Claire, regardless of how painful the years of distance have been. The connection between Jennifer and her aunt proved to be a strong one, even if it was their first time meeting. Also, the relationship between Sarah and Claire is complicated at best. We get to learn all about their falling out and let me just say, it had me rooting for the both of them. You were able to see how much hurt they caused each other but also how much they missed one another, I just couldn’t wait for them to reconcile.

Nathan, Sarah’s neighbor, student, and Jennifer’s primary love interest in the story was so complex yet so great. He is really freaking smart, like genius status, so that kind of makes him socially awkward. He is cute, quiet, and so observant of everyone and everything around him. He may not say a whole lot but when he does, it makes it that much more important. Through their (Nathan, Sarah, and Jennifer) nightly reading sessions, we were able to see more of who Nathan really was. Even though things may seem relatively easy for him, he actually has way more responsibility than any teen should. Taking care of his younger sisters takes a lot of his time and energy and as much as he would like to dedicate some of that time towards Jennifer, it is just hard. Their relationship did not form into much more than a very close friendship but there was definitely something simmering beneath the surface. Throughout a lot of the story, they are both going through so much, and have yet to learn quite a few things that I really found their situation believable. Sometimes you can meet a super fabulous person, it just may not be the perfect timing. I love that the story was not all rainbows and unicorns, yet it left room to believe in a happy future for the two.

The town of which Jennifer is visiting could be a character in and of itself. I could so vividly picture whatever it was that Jennifer was seeing. From the houses to the smell of salt water in the air and even the boaters heading out to fish, it seemed so real and tangible. The quirky towns people like Little and The Jacks caused for some great laughs through this story as well. Regina’s writing was so wonderfully descriptive even when it came to the smaller details.

This story is full of all things beautiful. The characters shined so bright in this story, the relationships between them all seemed so genuine, I LOVED Regina’s attention to detail throughout the whole story, and more than anything, I love the paths the characters go down through this book. There are so many positive things I can say about this book but instead I’ll leave you with, On Little Wings surprised the heck out of me and I just know you guys will love it too!

Tune In Tuesday (52)

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 very last week of Tune In Tuesday Book Playlist Edition and it makes me so sad! I really wish I didn’t miss that one week because there is a ton of music related books I would have loved to share with you guys! But since it is the last week, I will try to make it extra special by posting a few of my very favorite songs that remind me of a few of my very favorite books!

Endlessly by Green River Ordinance paired with The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I really felt so many raw emotions while reading this book that I could have easily picked 20 songs to go along with it! It broke my heart in the most beautiful way but it also showed me all about love and I think this song displays that perfectly.

Everything Falls Apart by Carter Hulsey paired with On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

I recently saw Carter in concert and picked up his CD. As soon as this song came on, I was reminded of Jennifer and Nathan’s story ESPECIALLY when the line from Robert’s poem is mentioned in the song. That plays an important role in the book.

Birds of a Feather by The Civil Wars paired with Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

This song has that sort of hauntingly beautiful feel to it and that is exactly what I experienced while reading this book.

Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift paired with Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I still don’t know what it is about this song. It could be the mention of green eyes but I like to think it is just the whirlwind of feelings flying between Zoey and Doug in this book. You can definitely tell there are sparks flying between the two!

Daughter Of The Sun by Windsor Drive paired with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is another hard one to really explain. It may be because I listened to this CD a lot right around the time I read the book but I like to think that the lyrics tell a very similar story.

You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson paired with The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

You know I had to pick at least one Sarah Dessen book! I actually had a super hard time because I feel as though her stories are so specific, it’s hard to match a song perfectly. I know this song gets paired with a lot of paranormal books but I actually really like how it fits with this story. Wes brings out a whole other side to Macy. She is just going through all the motions but Wes and the whole gang get her to open up and grow as a person.

In My Mailbox (33)

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! I tried to think of all the books that I got the past couple of weeks but if I forgot something, I apologize!

For Review:

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois (signed)

My Thoughts: This book was brilliant! I loved the journey the main character went on. Review coming soon!

Revealing Eden: Save The Pearls Part I by Victoria Foyt (signed)

My Thoughts: I am just now starting this one but the summary is definitely super interesting!


Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer (signed)

My Thoughts: Thank you SO MUCH to Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books for sending me this awesome surprise. I cannot wait to read more of this series!

A special thanks to C.A. Kunz for sending over a Childe Bookmark! It was so nice to get a hand-written, thoughtful letter!

 A special thanks to Michelle I. Brooks for sending over a Bone Dressing bookmark!


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I loved this first book so much! I had it for quite a while but took it to Leah’s book launch to get it signed!!!

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford (signed)

My Thoughts: I am so excited to see where this book takes Az, Eden, Gabe, and the whole gang!

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

My Thoughts: Lexcade has convinced me that I will love Leanna’s books and I trust her completely! I have been waiting a while for this one.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

My Thoughts: So heart-breakingly beautiful! I love this book so, so, so, so, so much. There will never be enough words to explain all of its brilliance.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

My Thoughts: Witches, sisters, first love, magic, really is there anything unappealing about this book? I think not.

So that is it for my mailbox this week! Leave a link in the comments section and I will be sure to check out yours as well!