BEA 2014

This past weekend I attended Book Expo America for the second time! I was so glad that I was able to make it because being eight months pregnant, I wasn’t sure it was in the cards this year. Fortunately, I’m having a really great pregnancy and not only was I able to attend BEA 2014, but I actually got some great exercise in from walking around NYC and the Javits Center!

DAY 1:

BEA 2014 Day 1For those of you who have never attended BEA, let me assure you that your first year can be very overwhelming. The temptation to just pick up every book you see is so great that you end up nearly breaking your back trying to carry everything home. This year, being 32 weeks preggers, I knew that I had to be much more selective about the books I picked up. So, being the super book nerd that I am, I made myself a detailed (and color coded) schedule of which author signings I wanted to go to most. I’m so glad I did this because while I didn’t bring home as many books as last year, every single book I brought home is something that I really want to read!

My first day I was lucky enough to get books signed by Lauren Oliver, Melissa de la Cruz, and Alexandra Adornetto. I’m really excited about Lauren Oliver’s book Rooms, because it is actually geared towards adults and is her first non-YA or middle grade book.

 

DAY 2:

BEA 2014 Day 2My second day at BEA was a huge success! I was able to get in line to get a bunch of great ARCs from Harper Collins, and I got an ARC of Heir of Fire signed by Sarah J. Maas herself! I had to wait on line for TWO HOURS for Heir of Fire, but it was totally worth it! My baby girl will be here at the end of July and Heir of Fire doesn’t come out until September so I knew I would never get to read it if I wasn’t able to get it at BEA. This one is next on my TBR list, so keep an eye out for my review soon!

 

 

 

 

DAY 3:

BEA 2014 Day 3My third and final day was CRAZY!! Last year at BEA on the final day they allowed consumers to come to the show as “Power Readers,” which was really cool because they got their own badges and were able to participate in the show even though they weren’t part of the book industry. This year, the people who run BEA changed the way they handled this and instead of having people come as “Power Readers,” they changed the last day to be BookCon. The problem with this was that they closed off only a small area of the Exhibit Hall and designated it as BookCon and people who only had tickets to BookCon were only allowed to stay in this area. The result? Thousands upon thousands of people concentrated in a small area, pushing and shoving each other like crazy. For a little pregnant lady like me, it was a bit scary. Also, my mom came with me on the final day and since she had a ticket to BookCon only, was not allowed to come into the rest of the Exhibit Hall with me and was not even allowed to go in the same entrance!

Even with the pandemonium that was BookCon, I still managed to have a great time on the final day. I stood in line for another almost two hours to get a copy of Sinner signed by Maggie Stiefvater (also worth it!) and was able to get a copy of Talon signed by Julie Kagawa as well. The amount of people at BookCon definitely made the lines super long–you literally had to get on line an hour and a half in advance for EVERYTHING–and the BEA only side of the Exhibit Hall was basically a ghost town, which I’m sure publishers on that side were kind of bummed about, but all in all I still had an amazing time and was so glad my mom was able to enjoy BookCon/BEA with me!

One of the best parts of BEA this year was that my amazing pen pal and fellow blogger, Lisa Parkin over at Read.Breathe.Relax., was able to join me! Lisa and I have been pen pals for about two years now and have actually managed to meet in person a few times, but this was the most time we have been able to spend together and I’m so glad we were able to! We had such a great time, even waiting two hours in line for Heir of Fire, and I’m so grateful we were able to share two days at BEA together this year!

Did any of you guys make it to BEA this year? Which Fall 2014 books are you most excited to read?

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Favorite Books of 2013

There were so many fantastic books released this year so it was really hard for me to narrow it down to just ten books like I really loved. Since it would have been even harder for me to distinguish the best of the ten, I have simply put my list this year in alphabetical order:

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth

I know there was a lot of controversy surrounding this book–some people gave it one star on Goodreads, others gave it five–but overall I really loved the way the series was concluded. There were so many people that hated the ending but I think that it made sense for it to end the way it did. I also liked that in this book we were able to get more into Tobias’s mind and I think it helped me to understand his character a lot better.

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been a huge fan of the Shadowhunter world since I first read City of Bones a few years ago, and I was so excited that Clare’s prequel trilogy was just as good if not better than The Mortal Instruments series. I admit that I was nervous about how this trilogy would end, but I am so glad that it ended the way it did. I honestly think that this is Clare’s best book yet, and I’m excited to read all of the new series she has in the works already.

 

 

 

 

 

17167166Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t know if this book could be as good as Throne of Glass, but Maas did an excellent job with this one. It was even better than the first book, filled with so many twists and turns that I had to keep turning pages. The ending was not something I expected either, so I eagerly await the next book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare You To by Katie McGarryDare You To by Katie McGarry

I will probably read anything that Katie McGarry writes because so far every book I’ve read by her has been great. Dare You To has been my favorite of her books so far. I loved Beth’s attitude and the way that Ryan was able to finally make her trust again. This was a great love story that I highly recommend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

THIS BOOK! I absolutely loved The Raven Boys and the sequel was just as good. The writing in this book was beautiful and the story got even better. I love this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass

This is another series that I absolutely love. While I will admit, some of America’s back and forth between Aspen and Maxon did annoy me a little, I still could not put this book down. I have no idea how it is all going to end but I can’t wait to find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This was such a cute story! It really brought me back to my own fangirl days of Harry Potter fanfiction. This was a really great story about family and adjusting to college life, and definitely a must read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Madman's Daughter by Megan SheperdThe Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

This book both fascinated me and scared me. It was super creepy at times but the scientist in me loved it. The ending almost made me scream until I realized that there is a sequel planned. Definitely not something I would recommend reading alone at night, but a must read for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver

This was another book I was nervous about, because the ending of the previous book was definitely not expected. I wasn’t sure how Oliver would wrap this all up, but I think she did a good job. It wasn’t your typical ending but I liked how it was slightly open ended. Overall, a great conclusion to the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer

I love how each of these books is a retelling of a different fairy tale. This one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, yet we still get glimpses of what is going on with Cinder. Scarlet is such a great character, and I loved the way her story intertwined with Cinder’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously this was a fantastic year for YA! What were your favorite books from 2013? What are you excited to read in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver“We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.”

**SPOILERS for Delirium and Pandemonium ahead!!

Lena has become an active member of the resistance, fighting alongside her friends for the right to love. The rebellion that has been brewing throughout the previous two books has finally escalated, with Lena right in the middle of all the action. After rescuing Julian Fineman from his execution, Lena and he flee to the Wilds in hopes of safety. However, the rebellion has reached the Wilds as well. While Lena is dealing with the aftereffects of rescuing Julian and the upcoming revolution, her best friend Hana remains in Portland, dealing with being in the public eye as the future mayor’s fiance.

The previous book, Pandemonium, ended on one of the cruelest cliffhangers ever!! I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of Alex, but I never expected Lena to be torn between her love for Alex and her attachment to Julian. I honestly liked both characters and I liked that they each had their own independent story so that I didn’t have to spend the entire trilogy wondering if Lena would choose Alex or Julian. Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job by not making Requiem too “love-triangly” and instead the book was focused more on sending the powerful message that everyone should fight for their freedom even if it seems impossible.

Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana’a point of view. Though I usually don’t like the back and forth type of narrative, I think it worked really well in this book especially because Lena and Hana’s stories are completely different. I recommend reading the novella Hana before reading Requiem, however, because it gives you the background on what was going on with Hana while Lena was falling in love with Alex. I actually started reading Hana’s POV in Requiem and had to go and download the novella before I continued because I was a little bit confused. I enjoyed reading Hana’s story both in the novella and in Requiem because I feel like their stories are completely opposite–while Lena started out very timid and law abiding and ended up becoming part of the rebellion, Hana started out as a bit of a rebel and a rule breaker and became the ideal citizen. It was interesting to see their stories in comparison with each other and I liked how Oliver tied both stories together in the end.

I’m not sure how I expected this trilogy to end, but I definitely didn’t expect the ending it had. There was a lot left up to the reader’s interpretation I think, but that worked really well for the story. Again, I loved how it wasn’t about Lena picking one guy over the other, but I also liked how it didn’t have the most perfect happily ever after ending.

Overall, Requiem was a fast paced story that was an excellent conclusion to the Delirium trilogy! While I’m sad it’s over, it had a great ending that I think many readers will appreciate.

Requiem was released March 5, 2013 and is the final book in the Delirium trilogy.

March 2013 Preview

Oh my goodness, this has been such a busy semester for me! If I haven’t been reading a book for school I’ve been writing papers or working, so I’ve had very little time to blog. Thank goodness Spring Break is only two weeks away so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on my non-school reading! Here are a couple of books I’m looking forward to this month:

 

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

The Delirium trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian trilogies! Lauren Oliver writes a thrilling story that keeps you turning pages until the end. The previous book, Pandemonium, ended on a crazy cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see how everything is resolved in Requiem.

Release date:  March 5, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices trilogy is a steampunk prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, but it can still be read even if you haven’t read any of those books. I love both of these series, but I’m incredibly torn about the love triangle in this one! I honestly think I’ll be happy with however it turns out because I love all of the characters, and I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up in this final book.

Release date:  March 19, 2013

 

 

 

 

Hopefully I can catch up on my reading this month because April is going to be an even busier month for YA book releases! Which March releases are you looking forward to? Anyone else looking forward to Spring Break?

Valentine’s Day Reads

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s my first V-Day as a married woman, but unfortunately I’m spending it in bed with the flu. My hubby has been great though, making me tea and heating up chicken soup, so hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I decided to make a short list of some YA reads that are guaranteed to get you in a romantic mood:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This was one of my favorite reads last year. Anna’s parents send her to boarding school in Paris for her senior year, where she tries her hardest not to fall for Etienne St. Clair, a charming, handsome, and overall droolworthy guy who unfortunately is unavailable. The relationship between Anna and St. Clair was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end and I loved every minute of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

This is a really cute love story that ends up spanning three books. Belly spends each summer at the beach with the Fisher boys and has been in love with Conrad Fisher for years. Neither boy has paid her more attention than they would a sister, but one summer everything changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This is a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet-esque love story about a rich girl and a boy from the opposite side of the tracks. When they get paired up in their chemistry class, they are forced to realize they have more in common than they thought and they try to fight the stereotypes that keep them apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Remy’s mother has had multiple husbands, so Remy doesn’t have much faith in love. When she meets Dexter however, she can’t seem to get him out of her head. I haven’t read this one yet but it’s pretty much a guarantee that anything by Sarah Dessen is going to be a romantic hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

This one is about a girl who lives the day before Valentine’s Day over and over for a week, trying to solve the mystery of her death that took place the previous day. I’m about to start this one soon! If it’s anywhere near as good as Oliver’s Delirium, I know I’ll love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite romantic reads? How are you spending Valentine’s Day this year?

Favorite Books of 2012

2012 was a fantastic year for YA, filled with a ton of debut novels and some really great sequels! It was so hard for me to pick favorites because I literally read over 100 books this year, but I did my best! Here are some of the best books I read this year:

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I didn’t think the sequel would live up to the incredible book that was Divergent, but Insurgent was actually even better than the first book! I loved learning about the different factions and I liked that Tris and Four’s relationship wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. I can’t wait until the final book is released!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This was the first John Green book I had ever read and it definitely turned me into a die hard fan. The story was so moving and the writing was phenomenal. I literally wept after reading this and would gladly do it again because this book was just that good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book really surprised me and I am so glad I gave it a chance. It had a cast of fantastically written characters and an exciting quest to find a lost king that brings them all together. I absolutely loved this and can’t wait for the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I was so excited to return to the world of Graceling and I couldn’t wait to see how Bitterblue had grown to become queen. She is such a strong character and throughout the book grew into an even better queen. It was eerie to read about the destruction that still lingered after her father’s death and how the sick things that he did still affected people years after. I only wish this weren’t the final book because I would love to return to this world for just a bit longer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I absolutely loved this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I loved how it was a retelling of a classic but had sci-fi elements mixed in. Elliot is such a strong character that single handedly runs her father’s estate and is willing to give up everything, including the man she loves, to save the estate and the people working there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet is a retelling of Robin Hood in which Robin Hood’s fellow thief Will Scarlet is actually a girl in disguise, hiding from her past. Scarlet is loyal to Robin Hood and fights as well as any man. I loved Scarlet’s stubbornness and strength and her interactions with the other thieves were hilarious. This was such a great story and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This sequel to Across the Universe was absolutely fantastic. Elder and Amy are left to deal with the aftermath of shutting down the Phydus and figuring out the truth behind their lives on the ship. Both characters grew so much in this book and their relationship evolved as they discovered more about both themselves and their role on Godspeed. The ending was a huge cliffhanger so I am very excited to read the sequel next month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I am so glad that I finally was able to read this book! I loved Aria and Perry’s story and the whole idea behind the evolution of the senses was incredible. I can’t wait to see where Rossi takes this in Through the Ever Night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I was really apprehensive about this one because I figured it was another dumb romance featuring fallen angels but I was definitely wrong. Angelfall is in fact a post-apocalyptic story about angels that brought death and destruction to earth. I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

This was such a fantastically written book. It was such an original story about reincarnation and a world where souls are reincarnated multiple times into different bodies. Ana is a Newsoul, living her first life, and she is shunned by everyone else because when she was born, another soul died and was never reincarnated. This was such an amazing story and I could not put this one down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I really loved this sequel to Delirium. Lena became such a strong character in this book and decided to fight back instead of hide. The cliffhanger at the end was SO MEAN and I am super excited to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This is another book that surprised me. I could not put this one down! It was very Hunger Games-esque because America has to be part of a televised competition to be the prince’s bride in order to earn money for her family, who are poor. She is forced to leave behind the boy she loves and instead is expected to try and win the prince’s favor. The ending of this book was great and I hope the sequel is just as good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I initially was skeptical about this once I heard it was about vampires, but this is so much different than any other vampire story. Kagawa reinvents vampires in The Immortal Rules and I really loved the completely different direction she went in. This book was a really pleasant surprise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

This book mixed fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi elements to create an incredible story. Rachel is another strong heroine, determined to find her father, and Logan is quite possibly one of my favorite characters ever! He’s extremely intelligent and has a logical way of thinking but is also an excellent fighter. This was a really great one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I loved reading about Celaena, a female assassin that is able to take down nearly every man that crosses her path. She gets chosen to compete to be the king’s new assassin and has to defeat man after man all while trying to figure out who keeps brutally murdering the contestants in the middle of the night. This book had a little bit of everything and I definitely could not put it down!

 

 

 

 

 

So 2012 has definitely been a great year! What books were your favorites this year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?