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peace out, 2011!

image made by the amazing Ginger at GReads!

well folks, 2011 has come to a close. it was a pretty awesome year, particularly when it came to the amazing books i was able to devour. 

the lovely and ever-awesome Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner is hosting an End of Year Book Survey. and you know i am all about lists and surveys and recapping the greatness. so here we are!

you can write your own post and link it up over at her blog at the original post: right here

without further ado, faithful readers....

1. Best book(s) read in 2011?
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I know, this is a YA blog so it’s a tad horrid of me to say the est book I read in 2011 was an adult epic fantasy...but seriously you guys, this book is amazing. AND it heavily features YA characters. It takes forever to read, but it is so worth the investment. It’s one of those that I can put it down and pick it back up and get sucked RIGHT back in to the fantasy. So basically, the best kind. Also, Tyrion Lannister for the supreme ruler of the universe please. (i should also add that i am NOT FINISHED with the series so DON’T SPOIL THINGS)

2. Most disappointing book/book you wish you loved more than you did?
The Hunger Games series. Honestly, this is thought of as the END ALL BE ALL of YA literature and I was just not having it. You can read more about my disappointment here, here, and here.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
It was most assuredly Horton Halfpott! I loved this book SO much because it reminded me that middle grade books rule, that silly fantasy still has substance, and that dorky boys are just the best. I recommend this book constantly and was lucky enough to score a signed copy from Tom Angleberger himself. He even recognized me. I was dorkishly shy but fangirling on the inside.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
In addition to Horton Halfpott and A Game of Thrones, I shoved A Monster Calls down many throats (as it is an amazing emotional read that bleeds the lines between fantasy and reality and is written by PATRICK NESS and inspired by SIOBHAN DOWD), as well as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (for being an older YA book that features snarky main characters and dark humor mixed in with the fantasy elements) and also Eve (for being unputdownable and having some Lord of the Flies shout outs)

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG. I love middle grade. I love Greek myth. I am a moron for taking so long to read The Lightning Thief. I need to devour the rest of the series right stat now.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
I love authors who write sincerely and authentically from a YA perspective. The three that stood out to me this year as fresh faces (at least in my little reading world) were Michael Northrop, Elizabeth Scott, and A.S. King. I could read their words forever and a day and fell in love with their characters for a whole variety of reasons.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or a new genre for you?
Again, A Game of Thrones appears on my best of list for 2011. This was a new genre to me and one that I am SO glad I delved in to. Turns out well written high fantasy for adults is my thing. HOLLA.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
Three way tie. No surprises there. Shatter Me (seriously, the slow twists in this one were JUST my style and was like a freaking crack fiend), Divergent (dystopian done right will always be thrilling and unputdownable) and I Am The Messenger (I would just sit in my car to listen to this and sob. Sobbing while driving and sobbing in my driveway. I loved this so much.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Thank you forever to Heather of Candlewick for not reporting me or filing an order of protection against me for constant emails about this release. LOVE YOU CANDLEWICK PRESS!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Lost in the River of Grass. Did not love the book, but I did love that cover. 

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Tina Fey from Bossypants! Is this cheating because it’s non-fiction? I don’t care! I love Tina Fey and I am throwing common sense to the wind!

12. Most beautifully written book in 2011?
Shatter Me. Just like everyone else in the world who read the book this year.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
Tie between I Am The Messenger and A Monster Calls. Both were emotionally rich and presented such hard questions about life and hope and grief and relationships and burrowed their way into my heart.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to read?
The Lightning Thief! I’M SO SORRY PERCY! I’m here now. Let’s roll.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2011?
"I couldn't help but think about school and everything else ending. I liked standing just outside the couches and watching them - it was a kind of sad I didn't mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way." (172, Paper Towns by John Green)

"Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt." (pg 35, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness)

"I was wearing my best Gap turtleneck and my dates were two adult lesbians, so yeah, I was pretty cool." (pg 35, Bossypants by Tina Fey)

16. Book you read in 2011 that you'd most likely re-read in 2012?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. A lot of shiz went down and I will need to reevaluate before book 2!

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
Anything to do with Warner in Shatter Me. He is so complicated and broken and dark and mysterious. LET ME FIX YOU, WARNER!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog discovered in 2011? No surprises here, but I’ll go with Ginger at GReads! This girl gets me, has great taste in music, writes amazing reviews, and spends so much of her precious time pimping books, bloggers, and other bookish things. She’s amazing and wonderful and just the best, as is her entire blog.

2. Favorite review you wrote in 2011? Divergent, mostly because it was written in list/thank you note form. I love lists. And also thank you notes.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? Dear Bloggers, Untwist Thy Panties. In which I mused somewhat coherently on the regulations set by publishers for book bloggers.

4. Most thought-provoking discussion you read on someone else's blog? Almost always this happens at The Perpetual Page Turner. I mean seriously, she pumped this baby out and helped me to reflect on a years worth of reading. AND ALSO she inspired me to make my very own blogging manifesto. How much more though provoking could you get?! THANKS, JAMIE!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)? Armchair BEA, fo sho. I met many lovely new bloggers and really got a feel for the undercurrent of awesome that flows through this community.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011? Interviewing Patrick Ness and chatting with Markus Zusak. I know. 2012 can’t even compare and we all know it.
Markus Zusak
7. Most popular post on your blog this year? My ridiculous reread attempt. I failed miserably, but at least I tried...right?

8. Post you wish got a little bit more love? Pretty much any review for a book that was not a HUGE release or was an older release. I feel like I get bombarded with new release reviews all the time and try to go a bit retro here and there. I must be in the minority on this one.

9. Best bookish discovery (websites, bookstores, etc.)? Ereaders. I embraced the new technology with open arms. And while I haven’t given up on paper books entirely, I am loving the flexibility of my ereader. And being able to read at work. Stick it to the man!

10. Did you complete any reading goals/challenges set at the beginning of the year? I blew past my goal to read 50 books this year and aimed for 75. I feel just short of that, so 75 will be the goal for 2012.
Knocked out the 2011 YA Historical Fiction Challenge.
About finished the Ebook Challenge.
Halfsies for the Off The Shelf Challenge
Halfsies for the Gothic Reading Challenge
FAILED Bloody Jack Challenge. Not a fan.
FAILED Award Winning Challenge.

Looking Ahead...

1. One book you didn't get to in 2011, but will be your number one priority in 2012? The Iron Fey Series and Legend. Both of these are on loan to me from lovely bloggers and I don’t want to keep them hanging! Thanks for your patience, Yani and Jacinda!

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2012? The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Thanks to EVERYONE in the WORLD for sharing how awesome this book is. Also, Shatter Me #2. RIGHT NOW PLEASE and THANK YOU.

3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2012? It’s gonna be all about the balance in 2012.
I love spending time with my husband and watching movies.
I love making crafty things.
Ilove reading and blogging.
There is enough time in my life for all of these if I can find time and prioritize.
Also, I am limiting myself to 10 arc requests this year. That TBR tree is getting CHOPPED down, not whittled.
Also also, continue to work with the 2012 DAC ARC Tours Blog with Tara, Ginger, and Kristi. It’s such a wonderful idea and i’m stoked to be on the project.

If you’re still with me, thank you! I had a blast this year with the blog and I’m so happy to see your comments and chatty chat books with you. Thank you for listening to my rants and my musings and for being awesome. MUCH LOVE.

Hey, Marcie! A Love & Leftovers Character Interview

i've recently read - and loved - Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay.  after reading this fabulous novel in verse, i was very excited to have the opportunity to ask the main character (and narrator) Marcie some questions.

1. If you were to choose a soundtrack for your life, specifically during the time written in your blue journal, what would it include?

The soundtrack of my sophomore year would be a jumble Violent Femmes, Bowling for Soup, Son of Dork, and songs by the Leftover Lovers—the band my boyfriend, Linus, and best friend, Katie, are in.

2. Describe your perfect weekend.

Jogging + Pancakes (or donuts) + Coffee + a good friend to share them with.

3. In what ways are you most like your mom? Your dad?

You had to ask that, didn’t you? I seriously wish I wasn’t like either of them.

from www.saratregay.com
Both my mom and I write obsessively—me in my notebook and my mom her novels. Both Mom and I have our ups and downs, although lately, Mom has been pretty depressed.

And my dad? Well, we both have had relationship issues—and we aren’t so great at dealing with them. Although I have to say, he’s got good taste in men. That Danny is a keeper.

4. Are there things you wish you would have done differently, after you and your mom moved?

When we “moved” to New Hampshire, I thought we were on summer vacation. Vacation means that you’ll be going back, right? Well, that’s what I thought. So I didn’t make an effort to make new friends, which turned out to be a really bad decision. Because we ended up staying in N.H. in the fall and I had zero girlfriends to hang out with.

5. What advice would you like to give to others at the end of this experience?

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say this: If a freaky-tall Goth girl asks you if you want to be friends, say ‘yes.’ If a really cute boy with a Prince Harry smile asks if he can kiss you, say ‘no.’ 

And I have MORE good news. Click on the link below to enter for a chance to win a swag pack from Love & Leftovers!

Contest Closed.

thanks to the Marcie for answering a a few of my questions, and thanks to The {Teen} Book Scene for making this possible!

be sure to check back on January 5th for my glowing review of Love & Leftovers!

Review: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

in a sentence or so: A teenage boy goes missing. A young missionary fails. A town obsesses over a bird. A common thread binds them all, though it may not be the one you expect.

Cullen and Gabriel Witter live in the small town of Lily, Arkansas. While they agree that this town doesn't hold much promise for anyone, the two brilliant minds experience life in very different ways. Where Cullen is bitter, jaded, and negative, Gabriel is patient, understanding, and hopeful. When the town works itself into a frenzy over a mysterious bird, the Witter brothers agree to scoff at the outlandishness of the claim. Then Gabriel goes missing.

Benton Sage has always known exactly what to do with his life. He is called to be a Christian missionary. The problem is, he sucks at it. At least, as far as he can tell. Defeated, he gives up and heads home...but not before learning about a little known book of the Bible that forever changes his worldview. When one's worldview changes, it tends to ripple out and seep into the lives one may not have intended.

After I finished reading, I felt like my heart had been hit - repeatedly - with a meat mallet. The first strike comes from Cullen. This kid is so jaded and angsty but has SO much potential. The second strike came from Gabriel (who felt like a Cullen 2.0) because his hope and faithfulness in humanity is called into question when he goes missing. The third - and hardest - strike came with Benton. There is nothing quite so awful as having your heart completely and totally set on something, feeling it's what you're meant to do forever and ever amen, and then you don't. Loss of purpose is one of the hardest losses to bear.

The hits just kept on coming. The grief, the wondering, the anxiety, and the reality that life will continue on in some way, shape, or form. Amid all the heaviness of grief and fear of what happened to Gabriel, the woodpecker that the town was obsessed over, perhaps at the expense of searching for Gabriel Witter, was a great balance of absurdity with social commentary.

The book wraps up enough without being too much. My stomach fell through to the floor several times, but none so hard as the final page. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Books that deal with grief and coming-of-age and worldviews stick to my ribs and wear me the hell out.

That is precisely why they are my favorite.

fix er up: It took me a long time to like Cullen. And even to say that I like him by the end is probably stretching it a bit. Do I respect him? Oh good grief, yes. But as I stated earlier, his negativity was a lot to handle.

fave quote: Okay, I'm going to cheat here and take an entire passage. There is a moment when Cullen has this waking dream where his family are all gathered around a table. It borders on emotional breakdown, packs some serious metaphors, and in it's own bizarre and fantastic way shows the rare manifestation of hope that Cullen has for his brother's life.

Title: Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publishing Info: 2011 Atheneum Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Family

[ftc notice: I borrowed a copy of this book from Ginger at GReads! I was not compensated in any way for this review. Thanks, G!]

gushy goodness

thank you to the following ladies for being a part of my Book Love 2011:

To Tara: Thank you for being consistently organized, sweet, thoughtful and fun. It's been wonderful getting to know you and thank you for your recommendation to read Saving June!

To Yani: Thank you for sharing books with me and for being so down to earth and genuinely sweet. You will always be one of my faves and thank you for sharing your recommendation to read the Jessica Darling series!

To Ginger: Thank you for being fantastic and loving my weirdness and CAPS LOCK and for being my long distance email bff. You rock my face off every single day. Thanks for recommending The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han!

To Jacinda: Thank you for always being excited about whatever I'm doing on the blog and for encouraging me without even realizing it. I could not ask for a better twin. :) Thanks for recommending Touch by Jus Accardo!

To Anna: Thank you for your consistent enthusiasm and your unabashed adoration of nerdy things (myself included). You are adorable and I think you're wonderful. Thanks for recommending The Statistical Possibility of Love at First Sight!

Book Love from Anna

no one keeps it short, sweet, and awesome quite like Anna!

If I followed the conventions of "Lisa Is Busy Nerding," my blog would have to be called "Anna Is Busy Swooning." I'm a sucker for romance and proud of it.

So, clearly, if I'm naming my favorite book of the year, I'm going to have to name the book I read that threw me into an absolute, sinking-down-onto-the-chaise-with-hand-over-forehead/bring-me-the-smelling-salts romantic fit: "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" by Jennifer E. Smith.

Oh, I know, I'm a total tease because THIS BOOK ISN'T EVEN OUT YET. But, it was my favorite, so you better get pumped and start your preordering for Jan. 2.

So here's the deal: Hadley is flying to England, reluctantly, to attend her father's wedding. She misses her flight but happens to meet a charming young British man named Oliver at the airport gate while she waits for the next flight. Sure, I know what you're thinking: "Um, who talks to strangers at airports? This sounds like my worst nightmare!"

Well, then clearly you skipped over the part where I said "CHARMING YOUNG BRITISH MAN." Hellooooo. Okay, now you're with me, right? 

As the book title suggests, their connection is immediate and they spend hours talking. I just...my heart goes pitter-patter thinking about everything that happened between them during one measly little trans-Atlantic flight. But then what happens once they land? Oh ho ho, you'll have to see for yourselves, but trust me on this: 

- There are tears.
- There is kissing.
- It is beautiful.

It is perfect romantic story that needs to be made into a movie instantly. Buy it. Enjoy it. Let me know what you think!


thank you, Anna! MWAH!

Book Love from Jacinda

Book Love 2011 continues with the girl who could very well be my twin, Jacinda!

Technically, I’ve been telling everybody that I have two favorite books for 2011. These two books are the only ones I’ve re-read this year besides Twilight. These two books stand-out among the rest and those two books are:

I decided to talk to you about Touch instead of Divergent, because the former is in need of more readers! Plus, I read it recently so everything is a bit more fresh in my mind. Divergent has almost 25,000 ratings on Goodreads and Touch has less than 300. See?! This is why I need to get Touch into the hands of more readers.

I felt high as a kite when I finished Touch. I wanted to dance around everywhere and scream and laugh! I felt like I could do anything! I’ve only ever had less than a handful of books do this to me and Touch was one of them. Everyone has to know what I’m talking about! My pulse was racing, I couldn’t sit still, and my hands were shaking! AHHHH! I wish I could re-read this book all over again for the first time!

For those of you who follow my blog and follow me on Twitter, are probably becoming annoyed with my constant talk about this book. I JUST CAN’T HELP IT! I’ve done everything in my power to promote this book and to get people to read it. So far, everyone I know, unless they aren’t telling me, have completely enjoyed it.
In case you don’t want to read all of the gushing I’ve written above or you need more reasons to read this book, here are the main reasons for you to read Touch by Jus Accardo:

• A rebellious main girl. Dez doesn’t seem to be afraid of much and she always fights the right fight. I <3 her!
• Comic-book like characters. This seems to be the simplest way of telling everyone what this book is about. Kale is unable to touch anyone without hurting them or killing them. Other characters have other powers as well, but I will let you read the book to find out about those ones. I’m evil like that. ;)
• HOT romance! I’m all about romance in books. I’m sure other readers are the same way.
My review of this awesomeness should persuade you. If not, the My Book Boyfriend post of Kale should do it.
• Kale. Everyone should read this book just because of him. You see the dude on the cover? That is Kale. Many times I’ve seen people on the cover of books and while reading I thought, “That girl on the cover is nothing how I picture this girl in the book.” I didn’t have that problem with Kale.
• Jus Accardo did a fantastic job of writing her story so I couldn’t guess what was just around the bend. As soon as one surprise popped up and I was like, “WOW, OHMYGAWD, THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!!!” I was repeating that same line all over again.
• No cliffhanger! The story wraps up nicely. At the same time, Jus has left us some questions I will look forward to finding out in book two.
I’m chomping at the bit for Toxic to come out! I’ve also heard, not sure how many people actually know this, that there is going to be a novella released a day before my birthday in February from Kale’s point of view! How exciting is that!
Now that I’ve raved about Touch all over again, I want to re-read it AGAIN! See, this is why you should read this! You will become addicted! Or maybe that’s a reason why you don’t want to…lol.
This video has nothing to do with this book. For some odd reason, I can’t seem to not think about this song when I think of Touch probably because of the similar titles…at least it will make you want to dance!

Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives
Find me on Twitter

I’m a 26 year-old Hoosier. Currently I’m a SAHM to a 4 year-old boy and a 3 year-old girl. I’ve been married to my hubby, Seth, for 6 years and I’ve known him since I was senior in high school. I have two dogs and a cat which I love dearly even though they can make my life more hectic than it needs to be. Besides my love of reading which is obvious, I love my Keurig, crafting, and football. I’m afraid of heights to the point where I will not stay in a hotel 
room above the 7th floor or drive in mountains unless it’s at night. I dislike milk and anything banana or coconut flavored, so I’m limited on my cocktail choices. I’m a big young adult reader, but I do read an occasional adult book. My favorite types of books would have to be contemporary and historical fiction, but it used to be paranormal before I became more of an avid reader.

thanks, Jacinda! <3

Book Love from Ginger

Book Love 2011 continues with one the bloggers nearest and dearest to my heart. GINGER!


Dear Followers of Lisa the Nerd,

                I was asked by the amazing (and quite hilarious) Lisa to share with you, one last time, my favorite book that I’ve read in the last year.  First of all, ONE BOOK?! Are you kidding me???  That’s like trying to choose your favorite child (not that I would know because I remain child-less, for now).  Needless to say I found it to be difficult because I’ve read SO MANY GREAT THINGS this year.  From dystopian, to contemporary, and back to paranormal; I’ve found a new love to match each of these categories.  BUT to keep with Lisa’s demands (I mean.. so kindly requests, hehe) I have chosen ONE book that I can’t end the year on and NOT scream my love and devotion for.


Yup. That’s THE book (well 3 book series in this case) that completely won me over this year.  I’m a girl who appreciates a well-written contemporary.  When an author has the ability to take one coming-of-age character, place her in the most breath-taking scenery, and conflict her world – I am SOLD.  Take me off the shelf, package me up, and deliver me because this book defines what Ginger loves best in YA lit. 
There is this fictional place called Cousins Beach.  And I know it’s fictional because I’ve totally tried to look it up on google maps.  IT CAN NOT BE FOUND, dammit.  This beach.. ohh this beach.. it sets the tone for the whole story.  I imagined my toes sinking in the warm golden sand, feeling the salty spray on my face from the waves rolling in.  Let’s not forget to mention how unbelievably gorgeous a blanket of stars strewn across a night sky can be, resting atop an endless body of ocean.  Yup.  That’s my fantasty island. Right there.

Then there’s the boy. Oh wait. BoyS? Yes, that would be plural.  On this side of the beach we have Conrad: the dark, mysterious, broodingly handsome, OMG-I-WANT-TO- RIP-YOUR-SWIM-TRUNKS-OFF.  Then over there, making sand castles, we have Jeremiah: the quirky, cute, mischievous, little brother who in the right light could be one serious HOT ASS.  As you can see, I was torn; just like Belly (oh did I forget to mention her name? Yes, it’s weird. Get over it.)  But let’s be real here.  I always, ALWAYS go for the broken beautiful boy.  So Conrad, he’s my dude.

So we have the beach. We have the boys. Now enters conflict.  Belly is following after her first true love, yet she’s also noticing a new love that’s always been by her side.  In the background we have some family drama going on, too.  Then there’s SUSANNAH.  Pretty sure this woman broke my heart in the best possible way.  She’s the mother of Conrad and Jeremiah.  The story that is centered around the three of them, prepare yourself, grab a box of Kleenexes because you’ll need them.

Like all good things, summer must come to an end.  I cried like a baby when it was time for Belly to leave Cousins beach and go back home.  I know that longing one has for summertime.  There is something about that season that sets your soul at ease.  It’s as if you have an excuse to get away with not doing things by simply saying, “its summertime, I’m on vacation!”  If I could transport myself to being 16 again, I would totally put myself at that beach, inside that house, with all those fabulous characters.  The Summer I Turned Pretty completely, 100% turned my love for reading up a huge notch. 

When I look back on 2011 and my reading piles, it’s this series that will jump out the most at me.  Not only did I read it, I shared my passion for it with everyone in the book blogging community (even by sending actual copies to people who HAD TO READ IT!), but I also MET JENNY HAN HERSELF.  Yes, that happened.  I totally geeked out and went all fangirl on her.  And you know what she did?! She gave me a Team Conrad button.  Oh yes she did.  Dreams do come true.  Now I just need to invent Cousins beach and find me a Conrad there.  THEN my life will be complete.

xoxo Love,
Ginger (the girl who blogs at GReads!)

Book Love from Yani

Book Love 2011 continues with the wonderful and lovely Yani!
she also made that lovely graphic. pretty sweet, no?

When Lisa first emailed me about doing a guest post on my favorite read of 2011, I immediately thought of several books. I have read so many great debuts this year plus many old ones I never had a chance to read before, thanks to recommendations from my blogger friends, and I didn't know how to pick a favorite. Then I thought... well which one meant the most to me??

And that without a doubt was the conclusion of the Jessica Darling Series.

This is an ode to the series, because You. Yes, You. Must read it!

I first read of Jessica Darling (Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings) when I was in high school. I related to this girl who felt like an outsider even with her own friends. In the beginning what stood out to me the most was Megan's writing. It was witty and sarcastic and spoke to me in a way no other book had. Then as I got to know Jessica, I fell in love with the story, and with Marcus Flutie. There is no other flawed, yet charming and real character like Marcus Flutie. I could write pages and pages on why Marcus Flutie is the BEST LOVE INTEREST OF ALL TIME, but I won't. Because even though it is true, there are many conventional (and unconventional) swoon moments in the books, this story is more than just the romance.
Sloppy Firsts (and the rest of the books) is about growing up, being your own person, making mistakes, and understanding that nothing in life works the way you plan it, yet it still works. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and I sighed. I am so glad Ginger pushed me to finish the series this year after I had lost my way in it.

Jessica Darling is more than a character, she is a symbol of everything I strive to be. Independent. Bold. Strong. Unique.

thanks for stopping by, Yani! MWAH!

Book Love from Tara

as i've been reflecting on all the bookish goodness from 2011, i was thinking it would be fun to ask some of my most treasured bloggers what their favorite reads were. 

so i did!

for the rest of the week, a different blogger will be featured each day and they will be sharing their book love from 2011 with me - and also with you!

i'm kicking off this week of book love with Tara, who just so happens to be
a lady in the street but a freak in the bookstore. 

Saving June was by far my favorite contemporary novel of 2011. It has all of the ingredients that I have been searching for - romance and swoony times but with that bit of an edge. I seem to enjoy books more when they have a not-so-perfect plot. Not just girl loves boy, boy doesn't love her back, then something happens and wham, they're together. I love those books, but I like them even better when there is an element of not-so-perfectness thrown in. Enter in Saving June

Since I already reviewed the book (http://www.fictionfolio.com/2011/10/review-saving-june-by-hannah-harrington.html), today I'm going to share with you my top five reasons why you should read the book. I can't rave about this book enough and I hope if you decide to read it you'll enjoy it too!

1) The characters: Every single character in this book contributes something to the overall story and enhances the reading experience. 
2) The underlying emotions: The backbone of Saving June is June committing suicide and the emotions and actions of the people who were affected. It's real and gritty and sad, but not so much that it takes the story somewhere else.
3) The romance: Oh yes, this book has some major romance thrown into the mix. It's all about balance - the sad and emotional mixed with the excitement of new love.
4) The writing: Hannah Harrington, in a word, ROCKS. She has such a way with words that make your insides just twist and turn and leave you wanting more and more and MORE.
5) The music element: I'll admit, I love music but I wouldn't consider it one of my passions. However, the music incorporated into this book was amazing and truly made the book stand out more. 

thanks to Tara for sharing more about her favorite book of the year!
be sure to swing by her blog and give her a shout out.

stay tuned for the rest of the week to see what other bloggers will be sharing their fave book of the year!

add it to the list [31]

add it to the list is a variation of In My Maibox hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

i won this cool stuff from Heidi at YA Bibliophile


i got this Christmas surprise package from Carrie at Stalking the Bookshelves!
she is the best. 

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. IT IS SIGNED. IT IS WONDERFUL!
Harry Potter badges! so cool!

what did you get in your mailboxes or add to your list of things to read this week? be sure to let me know!

Review: Can You Survive Sherlock Holmes

in a sentence or so: a choose your path book where you get to be one of the most famous detectives of all time. choose carefully because surprises, and danger, lurk around every turn.

you're in a strange room in your uncle's house, spending yet another night trying to power through that stupid math homework.

seriously. math is the worst.

and then, quite unexpectedly, you find yourself in the place of the famed Detective Holmes. Watson briefs you on three cases that need the good inspector's eye. two of them are innocent enough...but one of them is a trap that just may cost you and Watson your lives. will you be able to make the right choices to solve the cases and save your lives?

man, i forgot how fun Choose Your Own Path books can be. this was a super fun book with legit mystery and detective skills. while obviously a middle-grade book, this is certainly one i could bust out with friends and have fun with.

and of course, i cheated like crazy. i died no less than 6 times.

for a fresh and fun way to experience Sherlock Holmes, i definitely recommend this book! it's a great one to enjoy with friends or kiddos.

fave quote: "Anything is better than math homework." (7)

fix er up: nothing. this was quick and fun and just right!

title: Can You Survive Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
author: adapted by Ryan Jacobson and Deb Mercier
genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
pub info: Nov 2011, Lake 7 Creative

[ftc notice: i received a copy of this book from the author as part of the tour hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene. i was not compensated for this review in any way.]

i've got my own car, i'm popular.

image from Ginger at GReads!

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. this is my favorite meme. and not just because Ginger is an elite book blogger with incredible design talent. mostly, i adore this meme because she poses a great question for us to discuss and share more about who we are as a reader and as a person behind the blog. she’s insightful, that way.

so, without further gushing, let us get to this week’s question!

Most Popular:
Which blog post has gotten the  most comments/activity on your blog this year?

most viewed
it's a tie between my review for Among the Hidden and my massive assive post in which i declare an attempt to reread my favorite books. i have failed horribly at this, by the way.

most comments
it's probably the recent discussion about a publisher sending a letter to bloggers putting out some new reviewing expectations. you can see the full conversation at the article right here

favorite post of the year
as if y'all didn't know. it's my Patrick Ness interview! also know as the best day of my blogging life forever and ever amen. 

favorite review of the year
i've read a lot of wonderful books this year. one that keeps coming back to me again and again is I Am The Messenger. it spoke to me and made it's way into my heart forever. also, it prompted a really rad conversation with Markus Zusak that made me super duper happy. 

what were your most popular posts this year? any that you think i should check out? be sure to let me know in the comments and link it up over at GReads!