Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Conclusion: December 2011

Hi everyone! "In Conclusion" isn't exactly a meme, but just a post talking about what happened on the blog in the month of ____. In this case, it's December! The last month of the year!(:
I know for a lot of people December was a hectic and crazy month. Decorating and preparing for the holidays. It wasn't too hectic for me, however. Well, maybe the week before my break, since the teachers at my school decided to have tests that week. But that's about it. Winter break was a chance for me to catch up on my reading. Sadly, I had TONS of homework. But I did get a couple of books done. December was also the month I started this wonderful blog! December 23, to be exact!
In the month of December, I read:
(Clicking on the title takes you to my review)
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My favorite book I read in the month of December would have to be a tie between Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and Daimon. But in truth, I enjoyed all of the books I read this month! Four and a half books! (The half being Daimon, since it's a short novella) That's pretty good! I am currently reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer! I look forward to sharing the rest of my blog with you in 2012, and I can't wait to read more books!
Happy New Year!(:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best 10 Books Read in 2011

Wow, 2011 whipped past me before I could say "happynewyear". Can you agree with that?! Although I just started this blog, I think that it is still appropriate for me to do my favorites of this year. In the year of 2011, I read 73 books, which was MUCH less than I anticipated, sadly. My goal was 100 books.. better luck next time! These books were not all published in 2011, and are in no specific order.

My Top 10 favorite books I read in 2011 (Click on the title to link to Goodreads):

1. Beastly by Alex Flinn (Read this book countless amount of times. Plus, the movie is phenomal. Just saying.)

2. Hush, Hush

3. Crescendo

4. Silence

by Becca Fitzpatrick (I seriously loved ALL 3 books. They are the best. Ever.)

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (I'm sure this was MANY people's favorites. I still need to read Lola..)

6. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (C'mon. EVERYBODY loves Clara and Tucker!)

7. Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Ugh, so disgustingly creative and I LOVED.)

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Probably my most loved book of all time. Seriously, Four & Tris <3)

9. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly (Oh my goodness, one of the best angel books I have ever read!)

10. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Guys, this book made me CRY. See my review here)

Yep, those are my Top Ten Favorites of 2011. What are your

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

NOTE: Forever is book three of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It may contain spoilers to Shiver or Linger.

"In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. InLinger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in."

Linger did not end on a good note for me. Yet, Maggie Stiefvater's writing still draws me in, no matter what the story is. And I still loved Sam and Grace. So I knew I had to pick up Forever, the conclusion to Sam and Grace, and the wolves of Mercy Falls. I am so grateful that I did so, because the resolution of the trilogy did not disappoint. Forever was filled with heartbreak, friendship, and some hardcore action.

The plot of the book was more to the point and straightforward. Tom Culpeper, Isabel's father, has decided that he wants to eliminate the entire pack of wolves in Mercy Falls. By using helicopters. And not only does it set tension for the wolves and Sam, but they have two weeks to come up with a plan on how to escape. Also, Grace, Sam's beloved, is stuck their in the woods, as a wolf. I must admit, the story line was a bit slow-paced in some parts of the book, but the near ending, it really picked up. The scene where the wolf pack hunt goes on, my heart was skipping beats and my eyes wouldn't slow down, I had to know what was going to happen. It definitely made up for the slow-paced scenes. Though the plot was great, the characters were even better.

I have always loved Sam. From Shiver, he was a kind and gentle creature. His eyes made it all the more sad. Sam will always have a special place in my heart. He is not a forgettable character. I always loved Grace. I loved her brilliance, her wise comments. Grace and Sam are meant to be. Cole and Isabel were not my favorites when they were first introduced. I thought they were both shallow and careless. Just two teenagers who hooked up. But in Forever, I finally understood their meaning of their importance. As their relationship grew, I discovered that I loved both. They proved to be earnest and trustworthy. I found myself constantly surprised with Cole's actions. I loved it.

Do I have to, yet again, rave about Maggie Stiefvater's writing? I can't seem to get enough of it. The scenery described awes me every single time and she always takes me into the story with Sam and Grace. It's astounding on what she can do.

All things considered, Forever was a great conclusion to The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Even though the story is left open-ended, it is strangely satisfying. Sam and Grace's story was phenomenal and delightfully beautiful, and highly, highly recommended.

Forever is now out!

Source: Library

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mini Review: Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.
According to her mother, that’s a good thing.
But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill.
The daimons have found her."

There was no way I couldn't start this book. I have heard SUCH amazing reviews on all of the books that Jennifer has written so far--I had to get my hands on one of them. So I decided to start off with the short novella. I wanted to try it before reading anything else of Jennifer's. Let me tell you, I had set some high expectations. Thankfully, Daimon met those expectations, and much, much more.

Alex was the most kick-ass character I have ever met. She's a half-blood--which means she has extreme strength. She is so fierce, it's awesome. I liked Alex, quite a lot. I look forward to more of her witty actions.
Speaking of action, this short novella consisted of 90% action. It was extremely intense! It was simply fantastic, I couldn't get enough of it. The daimons are seriously scary--they make robbers seem nice and friendly. No kidding.

Jennifer's writing took me by surprise. I loved her writing style, it was perfect. Heck, everything was perfect about the novella. I can't really think of anything that I disliked!

All in all, this was a fantastic short novella introducing the world of the Covenant, and I cannot wait to get my hands on Half-Blood, the official first novel of the Covenant series. I am officially one of Jennifer L. Armentrout's fans! Do NOT hesitate to read this book, you won't regret it!

Daimon is now out!

Source: Bought from Amazon

Waiting on Wednesday (1): Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

This week I'm waiting for:

"Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then Taylor's dad gets devastating news that changes everything. Her parents decide that the family will spend the summer together at their old vacation home in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them are very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love."

I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour not too long ago by Morgan Matson and I absolutely LOVED IT! I will read ANYTHING by Morgan. I was so extremely excited when I found out that she is writing another contemporary novel! And this is her next novel that's coming out, it sounds so fantastic! I can't wait!

What are you waiting for?

Second Chance Summer will be released on May 8, 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

NOTELinger is book two in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series. It may contain spoilers to Shiver, book one.

"In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, inLinger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget."
After reading Shiver for the second time, I immediately picked up Linger, still high from Stiefvater's beautiful and poetic writing. I expected it to be just as good or even better. Sadly, Linger was a disappointment. It picked up a little in the end, but I found myself waiting for something to happen throughout the whole entire book.

In Shiver, the story was told from Grace and Sam's point of view. But in Linger, it's told not only from Sam and Grace's, but also from Cole and Isabel's point of view. I think that this was pointless, and the story could definitely do without. After finishing the book, I still don't understand why Stiefvater did this.

The plot in Linger is somewhat boring and slow-paced. Don't get me wrong: I still loved Sam and Grace just as much as I did in Shiver, but Cole and Isabel as the main characters? Not so much. I never liked Cole; he was plain annoying, and I didn't see why he was so important. He didn't stand out at all. Isabel was somewhat important in Shiver, but I don't see why she was significant enough to have her point of view included in Linger.

The storyline basically went like this: Cole is a new werewolf, and Sam takes care of him, now that Beck is permanently a wolf. Sam despises Cole, but tries his best to like him. Grace gets grounded because she was found sleeping with Sam. Isabel is attracted to Cole. Grace starts losing her humanity, and gets very sick. In the end, Cole thinks up a theory: Wolves don't die of old age. They die when they don't shift anymore. Which is why Grace is dying. The wolf inside of her never shifted. So Cole bites Grace, turning her into a wolf.

It was until the end that it picked up some pace, when it got more interesting. Stiefvater's writing style is still phenomenal, however, which is the main reason why I kept on reading.

Yet I do want to find out what will happen to Grace, so I will continue on to the last of the Mercy Falls trilogy, Forever. I do hope Forever will end on a better note than Linger.

Source: Library

NOTE: Linger is book two in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series. It may contain spoilers to Shiver, book one.
Linger is now out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

"the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.
the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.
the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future."
When I read Shiver one or two years ago, I remember that I ADORED it. A lot. Second time through, I feel like I didn’t love it as much, but still loved it just the same. The ending of the book really hit it home for me. Heartbreaking, lip-trembling, and heartwarming all at the same time.

It starts out as Grace watches a yellow-eyed wolf from a distance, and that wolf stares back out at her. This continues for 6 long years, until one day, Grace finds the wolf in human form. The only way she knew that the wolf is human is because of the unforgettable and distinct yellow eyes. The wolves in these books are different: they shift according to the temperature—if it’s cold, they shift into wolf form. So they are only human in the spring-summer months.

From there on out, Grace and Same are in love and forbidden at the same time. Sam knows this is his last year before he changes into a wolf permanently. We are introduced to Jack, a student that goes to the same school as Grace. Jack gets bitten, and turns into a werewolf. Rachel and Olivia are Grace’s bestfriends. Isabel, Jack’s sister, is a nosy, snobby girl.
Later, Jack bites Olivia, turning her into a werewolf. Jack believes there is a cure, since Grace was bitten when she was young, but has never turned into a wolf. Isabel extracts 3 vials of an infected patient, to give Jack, Olivia, and Sam meningitis, so they are heated from the inside. Jack takes the vial and dies. Olivia doesn’t take it and decides to live her life as a wolf. Sam only had time to take half of the vial before turning into a wolf again, and he turns into a human.

Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so incredibly musical and beautiful, it hurts. Shiver is the PERFECT book to read on a wintery day. So many parts of the story, especially towards the end, was definitely very emotional and intense. My eyes were definitely flying through each word, craving to know what will happen in the end.

Also the creativity. I thank Maggie so much for not writing a wolf-changing-by-the-moon story. I LOVE HER IDEA SO MUCH MORE. My description of how talented Maggie Stiefvater is won’t do her justice. It’s one of the books you have to read yourself to understand. And even if the storyline isn’t the best for someone else, the writing style definitely makes up for it. It is just. So. Brilliant.

Maggie Stiefvater is one of the only authors that has made me cry in a book. That’s saying something. Shiver is surely a must-read, and I am so incredibly glad that I chose to read it a second time.

Source: Library

Shiver is now out!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

Hi everyone! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.

This is my first IMM! Yay! I'm not allowed to do vlogs, and I can't take pictures of my books because they are 95% of the time library books, which show the barcode, which show the location of my library. So, I'm left with the image of the book cover to show you guys. Even though it's Christmas (Merry Christmas, everyone!) I didn't get much because I already got my Kindle for Christmas waaay back on Black Friday. I know, a month early present. But this week, I got:

Delirium (Special Edition) by Lauren Oliver

Significance by Shelly Crane

I am SO incredibly excited to read both. And for all you Kindle people, Delirium (Special Edition) was only $2.99 on Amazon! So GO GET IT like I did! Significance was only $0.99 (: What you guys get for Christmas (this week)? (: Comment! I'd love to know!

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

"Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself."

I honestly don’t think I have read such an amazing contemporary since Anna and the French Kiss. This book reminded me of how much I love contemporary novels. Just as I was drifting to the I-don’t-like-contemporary side, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour made me fall in love with it once again.

After Amy’s father dies in a car accident, Amy has no will to drive a car ever again. But her and her mother are moving from California to Connecticut. Which means someone has to drive their car across the state. Since Amy’s mother has to get to Connecticut first, her mom finds Roger— an old childhood friend whom Amy doesn’t remember—to drive the car to Connecticut with Amy as the passenger, since he has to go to his father’s house in Philadelphia anyways. Neither of them are pumped about the trip. While Amy is depressed and shut-off about her father’s death, she decides to take a detour, not follow her mother’s directions. Roger agrees, and they go on a series of adventures.

They go to Yosemite, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and their last stop was Philadelphia. My favorite adventure that they had together would have to be Kentucky. Roger reveals that in the beginning, he only accepted to drive because he wanted to see his ex-girlfriend (Hadley) in Kentucky. In Kentucky, Amy and Roger meet Lucien, Hadley’s brother. The setting description there was just very beautiful and it just gave a comfortable vibe that I loved. But honestly, every state they went to was fun to read about and entertaining.

There was so many unique components throughout the entire book. First off, the images. Morgan Matson DID in fact go on a roadtrip herself, and the images were very helpful for the visuals, and made the story 6401047193871 times more interesting. Next: the receipts! They were also a very cool touch to the story, almost as if you were there with Amy and Roger. Also, she had included Amy & Roger’s playlists, you can’t forget about the playlists! Throughout the roadtrip, they listened to music, and they made playlists. Those were fun to look at.

Amy’s character development was very strong and steady. I loved her character so much. Her thoughts were so sympathetic, Morgan Matson does an astounding job of creating Amy. Roger, oh boy. He is such a sweetheart. We need more Rogers in this world. Somewhere along the way, Amy develops feelings for Roger, and the feeling reciprocates. Amy & Roger reminded me of Anna & St. Claire from Anna and the French Kiss. My favorite type of relationship: strangers to friendship to couple. :)

The ending was a tad dissatisfying. I certainly did not want the book to come to an end! My heart broke as I saw Amy and Roger leave each other. In the end, Amy drops off Roger at Philadelphia, and drives by herself (she finally did it!) to Connecticut. And just like that, THE BOOK WAS OVER. Ugh, I wish there was a second book.

But all in all, it’s quite obvious that this book is one of my favorites of 2011. This is a must-read, must-love. I now am officially in love with Morgan Matson’s novels, and roadtrips. :)
Source: Library
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is now out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody! Even though I started this blog just this week, I still feel the need to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. This is the time of year to be thankful for everything that you have, and look back into the year on what you've accomplished. I hope everyone has fun spending time with their family and friends. With best of luck, I also hope everyone got what they wished for. Merry Christmas, once again! I'm looking forward to a fantastic year of 2012 with you guys! (:

P.S. Be looking forward to my favorites of 2011 coming soon (:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hi Everyone :)

Hi everyone! This is The Dancing Reader speaking. As you can tell from my blog name, I'm an obsessive reader, and dancer. This blog is going to be about books, however, since it's a little difficult to talk about dance daily. Some things you should know about me: I'm a girl, and a teen. Who loves to dance and read. But you knew that. My favorite genres of dance are ballet and contemporary. My favorite genres of reading are only YA novels: Paranormal romance, Dystopian, and Contemporary. I used to have a book blog, so it's like meeting an old friend again.

On this blog, you'll be finding reviews and weekly memes (IMM, Waiting on Wednesday, and possibly more!) I'm very excited to start again, and I hope you enjoy your time here at the Dancing Reader.

Happy reading!