Reading Challenges for 2013


The debut author challenge for 2013 is hosted by Tara over at Hobbitsies!

 

My goal is to read 25+ debut novels in 2013.  I believe that I can read more than that amount because there are so many amazing debut authors this year. This is a great challenge that benefits everyone and it is one of my favorites. Come and join it.


The Dystopian Reading Challenge is hosted by Ula at Blog of Erised!

I am a big fan of Dystopian reads and I plan to reach to do my best to reach the Rebel level.





The TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Evie over at Bookish!

I have a TBR pile that is just overwhelming and I glad that there is a challenge that will hopefully assist me in getting that taken care of. So many good books, so little time...So to be realistic I will commit to the friendly hug catagory.

The YA Contemporary Challenge for 2013 is hosted by Katie's Book Blog

I am new to this category, but upon realizing that my top favorite reads for 2012 were in the YA contemporary category I knew that I had to join this challenge. Katie has been a long time supporter of this venture and I am excited to join in.  I have set my goals on reaching level two.

The 2013 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge is hosted by Jen at A Book and A Latte Blog


I have a wicked long commute and audiobooks make my journey so much more enjoyable. Some day's I cannot wait to get in my car so that I can listen to another fantastic story. I listen to a great amount so I plan on joining the MOSH PIT and listen to 48+ books this year

Bay Area Book Event: CASSANDRA CLARE

   
Sat., March 23, 7:00 pm
Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center

Click HERE for tickets


FANS OF CASSANDRA CLARE and KEPLER'S  

 

My Top Reads of 2012


05/08/12
THE HUNT
ISBN-13: 978-1250005144
St. Martin's Press, 304 pages.
-------------
"A book that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. The Hunt is both terrifying and sublime, with every page evoking that fragile, yet unyielding thing we call humanity.—Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade Trilogy
  This novel renewed my faith in the Vampire franchise for it was dark, exciting and completely original. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone that wants read a story that will keep you riveted to your seat and gripping your book for dear life.
05/21/12
ANGELFALL
by Susan Ee
ISBN13: 9780983597018
Amazon, B&N

This is my surprise sleeper hit of the year, dark and riveting and set in Northern California. I could not ask for anything more in a read.  This novel will truly grab you and keep you enthralled.
05/01/12
SWEET EVIL
by Wendy Higgins
ISBN-13: 978-0062085610
Harper Teen, 464 pages.
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

This novel took me by complete surprise. I had expected something different and was amazed at how dark and deep this novel was. It was a pleasant and well welcomed surprise and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
04/24/12
UNRAVELING
by Elizabeth Norris
ISBN-13: 978-0062103734
Balzer + Bray, 464 pages.
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
ZOMG!!! Unraveling is one of my very favorites for 2012. It was quite original, taking me by complete surprise. I just adored it and zipped through it with a velocity that I rarely have for many books. I enjoyed the sci-fi edge that this novel had for it further solidifies my new enjoyment for that genre.
10/23/12 THE LOST PRINCE
Iron Fey Spinoff, Book One
by Julie Kagawa
ISBN: 978-0373210572
Harlequin Teen, 304 pages.
AmazonB&NGoodreads

I was most excited about this novel because I really enjoyed her previous Fey series. This new series, while seeped in the same world now has a new host of characters while keeping some of our old favorites. This novel also made me cry tears that made me look like Rudolph. 
12/11/12
FALLING KINGDOMS
Falling Kingdoms, Book One
by Morgan Rhodes
ISBN-13: 978-1595145840
Razorbill, 400 pages.
AmazonB&NGoodreads

A young adult version of Game of Thrones complete with memorable characters and a plot that is as thick as thieves. This debut effort by Morgan Rhodes is well delivered and I cannot wait for more.
10/02/12
POISON PRINCESS
The Arcana Chronicles, Book One
by Kresley Cole
ISBN-13: 978-1442436640
Simon & Schuster BYR, 320 pages.
AmazonB&NGoodreads

A wicked original concept, hot guy and amazing dialogue that ensnared me from the beginning. I could not get enough of Jack and that ending had my head spinning for a good long while. 
04/03/12 I HUNT KILLERS
Book One

ISBN-13: 978-0316125840
Little, Brown BYR, 368 pages.
Being a fan of the DEXTER series I was immediately drawn to this novel. It was twisted, scary and left a mark on my brain that will not easily be erased.
10/23/12
ASK THE PASSENGERS
by A.S. King
ISBN13: 9780316194686
Little, Brown BYR, 296 pages.

This is my second best favorite read of the year. A refreshing read filled with emotion and honesty. I adored it's main character and the author had an amazing ability of creating characters of depth and understanding that will stay with you long after your finish it.
02/07/12
BORN WICKED
The Cahill Witches Chronicles, Book One
ISBN-13: 978-0399257452
G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR, 272 pages.
The paranormal reading genre is overwhelmed with Vampire, Were's and Faeries so it was refreshing to read about these witches that are wickedly amazing to read about. This story is mesmerizing, intoxicating and well descripted. I did not want to stop reading it.
08/28/12
DEFIANCE
Defiance, Book One
by C.J. Redwine
ISBN-13: 978-0062117182
Balzer + Bray, 416 pages.
AmazonB&NGoodreads

Never have a read a book that hosted a villain that I hated as much as I did in this novel.  I had enjoyed this book so well that I was well enamored of it's storyline and characters unlike any novel before it.
04/03/12
GRAVE MERCY
His Fair Assassin, First in Trilogy
ISBN-13: 978-0547628349
Houghton Mifflin/ Harcourt, 560 pages.
Not only did this novel have one of the best tag lines around, but it had a storyline that completely took me my storm and kept me eagerly transfixed. A great mixture of La Femme Nikita and Game of thrones. A must read for 2012 

01/10/12
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by John Green
ISBN13: 9780525478812
Dutton Books, 313 pages

My absolute favorite read for 2012. Despite reading many books after this one, none could compare to it's AWESOMENESS.  This storyline, characters and dialogue are beyond compare and I defy anyone to read this book and not end up ugly crying upon completion. This masterpiece has been permanently etched in my brain and I will never forget Hazel and Augustus. This is one of the few novels that I cannot wait to see on the big screen and I hope they don't ruin it. 
08/28/12
EVERY DAY
ISBN-13: 978-0307931887
Knopf BYR, 304 pages.
I adore this novel unlike many before it. It changed my life and made me look at relationships in a different way. Could I really love someone unconditionally, no matter what? I was completely blown away by this story, it's premise, characters and uniquely life altering premise. A MUST read that will be a welcome addition to anyone's library.

Waiting on Wednesday: OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jacy


Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

Stacey Jay has long been one of my favorite authors. So, you can imagine how crazy I got once I read the synopsis for her upcoming novel OF BEAST and BEAUTY. Then the cover was released and I am in total book lust over it. I cannot wait for this to reach my hand for I am eagerly waiting for it.

That is my WOW for this week, what is yours?

 OF BEAST AND BEAUTY
by Stacey Jay
Coming 07/23/13
ISBN-13: 978-0375991004
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Find it on AmazonB&NGoodreads

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret. . . .

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight returns, she will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Everyone! I hope you had a great day filled with family, friends, love and BOOKS!

Happy Holiday's


 HAPPY HOLIDAY'S
I wanted to wish my followers, fellow bloggers and friends the most happiest of holidays. I know I have been absent this past month, but everything is set for the new year and I cannot wait to get back to reading, blogging and talking about books.

Waiting on Wednesday: ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake


Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

Since I read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake I became obsessed with her writing and could not wait for what she had in store for us next. ANTIGODDESS is Kendare's next effort and it sounds amazing. What do you think? and ooooh what a wicked cover. It definitely has my interest.

 ANTIGODDESS
Antigoddess, Book One
by Kendare Blake
Coming 09/10/13
ISBN-13: 978-0765334435
Publisher: TOR Teen
Pages: 352
Find it on AmazonB&NGoodreads

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

The Secrets and Lies Blog Tour



Kate’s heard of messages from beyond the grave, but she never expects to find one in her fortune cookie. Especially from her best friend, Grace—who’s supposed to be dead.

At the elite Pemberly Brown Academy, nothing is as it seems. A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there’s no way she’ll let them get away with it twice. It’s up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions and nothing’s as it seems, who can she trust?
This exciting sequel in The Liar Society series is filled with suspense, danger, and mystery as Kate stops at nothing to prevent the secret society at her school from getting away with murder again.
LISA and LAURA ROECKER are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a passion for good books, pop culture and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. Lisa has always been a phenomenal liar and Laura loves to write angsty poetry, so writing for young adults seemed like a natural fit. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn’t agree to a duplex. To learn more about The Liar Society series check out www.theliarsociety.com

Today as part of the SECRETS and LIES blog tour Authors Lisa and Laura Roecker discuss on how to write quirky but not crazy characters.  Please stay a bit and enjoy what these authors have to say about their writing views.


Quirky But Not Crazy­- How to make your original character unique but still relatable to YA readers
               We’re old. Not old-old, but old enough. There’s always risk in writing for teenagers when you’re not, in fact, a teenager. We had all these goals for Kate—we wanted her to be independent and funny and cute and smart and sad and lonely and loving. The list goes on and on. But we needed to ensure that she wasn’t a thirty-something trapped in the body of a neon-haired detective. Because, let's face it, there's nothing worse than a bossy thirty-something trapped in the body of a blue-haired teen.
So we channeled our inner-YA, our awkward high school selves, and imagined who we always wished we could have been. We thought we knew everything in high school, we had it all figured out so we needed Kate to have a little of that—most teenagers do.  
Kate is extremely goofy and makes us laugh out loud. This is actually very sad because it means that we’re laughing at our own jokes. The reality is that as we switch the book back and forth while drafting, we’re always trying to one-up the other sister. Our main goal is to play make-me-laugh with the manuscript (or make-me-scared, make-me-cry, etc., depending upon the scene).
Kate is also very sensitive, even if she doesn’t show it all the time (what teenager does?). She’s fueled by her love for Grace and her need to right a wrong. She takes advantage of her devoted neighbor Seth, but sometimes she lets her guard down just long enough for the reader to witness her love for him. It will take a long time for her to learn that Seth is the kind of guy she’ll want to marry! Liam and Bradley are there to mix things up even more. Each of these characters help define the true Kate Lowry.
But at the end of the day, Kate isn't perfect. She says stupid things, judges people way too harshly and generally makes a ton of stupid mistakes. But she's a TEENAGER. A very imperfect teenager. But fun and brave too. Part of our goal when we started writing The Liar Society Series was to chronicle Kate's journey as she slowly grows up and in THE LIES THAT BIND, Kate takes one more step toward adulthood. And maybe even half a step backward. Hey, no one ever said growing up was easy!

ON A BREAK

Dear Followers,

I am sorry for my lack of posts, but I am on a much needed break and will return very soon.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.  

Earlier this year I read a wonderful book by a debut author. That book was BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood. I simply adored it and have been waiting on tender hooks ever since for it's sequel STAR CURSED. Now, I can get a little happy by enjoying this tasty first chapter treat and if you are a fan (how could you not be?) Then enjoy this bit also.

06/18/13
STAR CURSED
The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two
by Jessica Spotswood
ISBN-13: 978-0399257469
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 272
Amazon, B&NGoodreads 
 
CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER AND READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.  

Now that contemporary fiction has seized my heart I am on a quest to find that "ahhh, yes!" read. THE TRAGEDY PAPER by Elizabeth Laban is just that book. Forbidden love and tragedy amongst a backdrop of a private school. It all seems too perfect to be true and now you can read the first 35 pages and see what all the hype is about. I promise you will not want it to end.

01/08/13
THE TRAGEDY PAPER
by Elizabeth Laban
ISBN-13: 978-0375870408
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Amazon, B&NGoodreads
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR A SNEAK PEEK

Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, The Tragedy Paper has been called “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak,” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner.

It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
nancy has read 0 books toward her goal of 125 books.
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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

2014

JULY

MAGGIE STIEFVATER
Books Inc. event at the Alameda Free Library
Wednesday, July 23 @7:30pm

MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 24 Time TBA

Not YA but a favorite author of mine
DEBORAH HARKNESS
Books Inc. Palo Alto
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7pm

ERIKA JOHANSEN * The Queen of Tearling

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS-THE BOOK OF LIFE
Book Passage in San Francisco
Wednesday, July 30 @ 12:30pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS

Copperfield's Petaluma
Wednesday, July 30 @ 7pm

AUGUST

RACHEL DEWOSKIN
Book Passage in San Francisco
Monday, August 4 @6pm

GAYLE FORMAN, NINA LACOUR & JANDY NELSON
Books Inc. in San Francisco
Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm

ANN AGUIRRE, VERONICA ROSSI and CORRINE JACKSON
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, August 8 @ 7pm

SEPTEMBER

SARAH J. MAAS and VERONICA ROSS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, September 12 @ 7pm

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN and MARK HUNTLY PARSONS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 17 @ 7pm

GRETCHEN MCNEIL and ANNA CAREY
Books Inc. San Francisco
Thursday, September 18 @ 7pm

OCTOBER

LAUREN OLIVER
Book Passage in San Francisco
Thursday, October 2 @7pm

LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
Fox Theatre in Redwood City
Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

What I am Reading Now

and this too.....

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♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

Would not recommend

DNF=Did Not Finish

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