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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Best Reads during 2011

And now the post that none of you knew you were waiting for! Because everyone else has already done their top reads from last year! HA!

I read and listened to so many great books last year it was hard to choose, but I've whittled it down to my top 10 (books or series) out of the 110 books I finished. These are in no particular order.

Title/Series: Soul Screamers Series
Author: Rachel Vincent
Kaylee is a teenager struggling to come to terms with her powers/curse/gift, the knowledge of which has been hidden from her. Start with the Novella My Soul To Lose to get the real sense of the fear she feels as her heritage manifests. As she learns the truth about herself she discovers the existence of a whole new dark world that is eager to get to her side. Rachel Vincent has also written the Shifters series for adults that I'm looking forward to getting into and has started a new series called Unbound that looks great!

Title/Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Author: Kevin Hearne
The Iron Druid Chronicles was a great new find for me this year! Atticus is one tough guy, no matter what gets thrown at him, he can handle it, one way or another! Kevin has created some wonderful, lovable characters, and some not so lovable characters, that always keep Atticus on his toes. With friends like his, he doesn't really need enemies, but he's got those too, poor guy! I loved the first two books of this series and will definitely be reading the rest!

Title/Series: Dream Catcher
Author: Lisa McMann
The Dream Catcher books were something I discovered for a read-a-thon. I had received the first one from another Bookcrosser, and it had sat on the shelf for awhile. Looking for quick reads, I chose this one because of the type size, but became quickly enthralled by the story. Janie gets sucked into other people's dreams and she has no way to control this disturbing ability. With a mother that is often the one needing to be taken care of instead of caring for her daughter, Janie's life is difficult, but she does have a couple of close friends, and does finally learn to use her Dream Catching ability, though it comes with a high price.

Title/Series: The Lies of Locke Lamora (#1 of the Gentleman Bastards)
Author: Scott Lynch
Fantastic! The Lies of Locke Lamora has been described as a cross between Oceans Eleven and Robin Hood, and I completely agree! Locke and Jean are very lovable characters, their interaction with each other is great, and their schemes are so complicated, there's no way they should work, and they don't always, at least not as planned. There is quite a bit of drama as well, it's not all fun and games, there is a lot of meat here, and I highly recommend it.

Title/Series: Insider series
Author: Maria V. Snyder
#1 in this series was on my list last year I believe, and #2 was just as good! Trella thinks she's off the hook now that she's led the rebellion to success and can spend her time exploring and letting others make decisions, but everything soon dissolves into chaos and that's when the real trouble starts, when they realize that something from Outside wants to get In.

Title/Series: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
I think that 4.5/5 stars across over 400,000 ratings on Goodreads speaks for itself. I'll just say that I stayed away from this series for a long time because the premise sounded horrific to me, a truly deadly game of survivor played by kids. When many of my reading friends were gushing over it, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. It is horrific and shocking, kind of in the same way as Lord of the Flies made us think. Will it become a classic? I don't know, but it does have a better overall rating than Lord of the Flies, if a 160,000 or so fewer. *Shakes head in wonderment* Anyway, I'm excited to see the movie and see how it compares, and to read other work by Suzanne Collins!

Title/Series: Leviathan
Author: Scott Westerfeld
I've listened to the first two in this series so far, and I have to say that Alan Cumming is excellent! He does all the different voices and accents and it's very easy to get wrapped up in the story! This is completely different than Westerfeld's Uglies series, which I also really liked! The setting here is World War I, but with the fantastical organic technology of the Allies facing the Clanker technology the Axis (not terms used in the book, but ones I remember from history class). The characters are well developed and likable, Deryn (who disguises herself as a boy to join the air service) and Alec, a prince on the run with only a few loyal men to take care of him. Coming from different sides, they become unlikely friends, and there's enough action and interesting creatures and machines to keep your attention!

Title: Vamped
Author: David Sosnowski
I was really surprised at how much I liked this one. It seems to have a little bit of so many genre's mixed in, horror, humor, family drama, a little chicklit, it was an unexpected pleasure. Martin is a vampire who is bored with life and ready to end it all when he finds something rare, a human girl. He takes her home to snack on, delaying his gratification, or so he keeps telling himself. Somehow he never does get around to making a meal of her, and ends up raising her, in constant fear that someone else will find out she's there. There are just so many complications to having a human around! By turns humorous, horrible and heart-warming, I highly recommend this one!

Title/Series: The Felix Castor Series
Author: Mike Carey
I have the first three of these on audio and listened to #2 last year, Vicious Circle. They are very dark, yet also sarcastically humorous and the premise is interesting. Felix "Fix" Castor can call ghosts by using music, his instrument of choice being a tin whistle. He always gets himself into huge trouble, usually just by trying to help out, and the resulting detanglement is quite the ride! I would say that fans of the Harry Dresden series might also enjoy these, but that they are grittier in content.

Title/Series: Master of None (Gavyn Donatti #1)
Author: Sonya Bateman
Gavyn Donatti has to be the worlds unluckiest thief, poor guy. Everything goes wrong for him. He even manages to get a genie, who only helps him out if he really thinks he needs it, and their opinion differs on when that is. This was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wicked Winter Read-a-thon - Feb. 3 - 5

It's time for the The Wicked Winter Read-a-thon, hosted by Kindle Fever! Here are the Signup and Details if you haven't joined yet. I'm going to read all e-books this time (notice the hopeful plural). I'll do all my updates here. I'm not going to set a goal this time, just going to see how I do! We'll be using Twitter hashtag #WWReadathon

Curiousity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Start Day 1: page 1
EOD1: page 70
EOD2: Page 195
EOD3: Page 324 - finished!

Good Luck Everyone!

I only finished one book this time, but at least I'm staying pretty consistent at 108 pages per day! Thanks for a fun read-a-thon @kindlefever and co-hosts! I'm definitely in for next time!
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