Friday 30 December 2011

Jess's Top 10 Reads for 2011

So the end of 2011 is fast approaching and we thought it would be a good idea to show you what we thought were our favourite reads of 2011 were. 

As you might have seen already Donna has already given her top 10, if not here's the link so now I'm going to be showing you my top 10. It's been a tough one to decide, because I've read a lot of awesome books this year so hopefully this list will do it justice.

Number 10
Hushed by Kelley York
Why I chose Hushed: This had to make my top 10. I was given this to review by the publisher for Kelley's blog tour. And my God! Did this book turn out to be incredible. I didn't think I would enjoy it. It's a YA Thriller (ages 17+), so something totally not me, but it was fantastic, it had me on edge all the way through, and I read it in one sitting! 
See my review for Hushed

Number 9
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Why I chose Daughter of Smoke and Bone: This was another review book, and one that I wasn't expecting to like, and ended up absolutely loving. Very different from other books I'd read before, a lot of information to take in at some points, but in the end it was one of the best books I'd read in the year and I anxiously await the sequel.
See my review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Number 8
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Why I chose Delirium: At number 8 we have Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I was given this for review (with the creepy UK cover) but I ended up buying the US special edition and reading it from that cover. It was an amazing read, although a little slow to start, it does really pick up, and I loved the whole concept of the story. Eagerly anticipating Pandemonium (book 2)
See my review for Delirium

Number 7
The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
Why I chose the Iron Fey Series: I couldn't choose just ONE from this series, although if I had to, it would have been The Iron Knight. Anyway, this series was completely spellbinding, and I was hooked from page 1 of The Iron King. I even featured both Puck and Ash as Book Boyfriends a couple of weeks after finishing book 3. Wonderful series, and definitely deserving of a spot on my top 10.
See my reviews for The Iron Fey Series

Number 6
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Why I chose the Mortal Instruments Series: Again another series I couldn't just pick one book from. They were all amazing, and I can't wait to continue along with this series along with Cassie's Infernal Devices Trilogy, definitely a deserving number 6. 

Right! On to the top 5. Who's made the list I hear you ask? Well keep reading and you'll find out :D

Number 5
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Why I chose The Hunger Games Trilogy: Another awesome series that I read this year. It was my first Dystopian set of books that I had ever read, and I ended up loving them. Although there is a slow start and a lot of information to take in, it does get incredible as you read on, and Catching Fire and Mockingjay will leave you speechless. I can't wait for the movie! :D 
See my review for The Hunger Games Trilogy

Number 4
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Why I chose Hunting Lila: Number 4 was really hard, I had two other books in mind when it came to this position, but ultimately Hunting Lila won. It was one of the BEST books I had read this year. I couldn't get enough of it. As a YA thriller, it had everything; including humans with special powers and a sexy army man named Alex. Definitely top 5.
See my for review Hunting Lila

Number 3
Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
Why I chose The Night Huntress Series: Ahh the Night Huntress Series. This was recommended to me by Donna before we started the blog. Everyone was talking about this man 'Bones', how insanely amazing he was, how gorgeous he was and how great in the sack he was *ahem*. So, naturally I had to read for myself, and I'm so glad I did! I couldn't get enough. I still have to read book 6, and I've read one of the books in-between this series, but this became very quickly one of my favourite reads of 2011.
See my review for The Night Huntress Series

Number 2
The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
Why I chose the Fever Series: This series was incredible. It was recommended to me by two Goodreads members, actually I was BULLIED into reading them. But I'm glad I did. I do believe Donna wanted to add this to her top 10, but she had too many others that she read that thought were better. Fair enough. I'm so glad I've managed to fit this into my top 5, and at number 2! I thought I was going to make it number 1, but no. This was an intense series all the way through. I was hooked from Bloodfever (book 2) and couldn't put them down. My favourite of them all was number 5, Shadowfever (which I sadly couldn't picture here). Anyway it had sex faes, Barrons, a kick ass heroine, Barrons, sex fae...oops...did I already mention those? Anyway, it has everything, and it became on of my favourites.
See my review for The Fever Series

Right, so I bet you're wondering what my number one is? This was extremely hard, and I didn't think I was going to place it as my top read of 2011, I thought I was going to put it further down my list (whichever way you look at it), but after going through all the best books I've read, the others books didn't really compare for me. It took me around 24 hours to finish it. It's written by a British author, and it's based on a very taboo subject. Incest. guessed it. Although this book had me crying like a little baby, it was extremely powerful and completely heartbreaking to read. I won't read it again, I'm just going to leave it as a single read in the memory of 2011. The reason being, there isn't any way I can put myself through that kind of heartache again. I couldn't stop crying for almost a week. *sniffle*. Right so, without further a top read of 2011 is....:-

Number 1
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Why I chose Forbidden: That's right. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I know it's crazy isn't it? A book that had me bawling like a baby is my top read of 2011. I cease to amaze myself sometimes. I won't write much more on this as I explained a lot of my reasons before announcing it. But I hope you all get to read this one day, try to look past the concept of the book being about incest. It isn't about that, it's a about a love so strong and so (excuse the pun) Forbidden, that the characters you learn about you begin to love, and want them to have the happiest of endings. Just please, read it everyone, try to move past your 'ICK' factor and give this wonderful, compelling and powerful read a go. Make it your top read of 2012.
See my review for Forbidden

That's it from me. Probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in a while (except take down and throw my Twilight posters away). I think I've made the right 10 choices, they all stood out in their own way; but they were all amazing in their own way too. I hope this helps you to choose some of your next reads if you haven't already read them. I have a feeling I will need to add another two here, but it wouldn't make sense having a top 12, so I'll stick with this list, and I'll just keep a note that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Fifty Shades of Grey have also come onto my top reads of 2011!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Happy Reading! :D

Thursday 29 December 2011

A Review for Madly & Wolfhardt (Madly #1-2) by M Leighton

Posted by Donna

Published Date: June 1st, 2011
Finished Date: December 22st, 2011
Source: Bought
Format: Kindle
Pages: Unknown 
The Blurb from Goodreads: Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl-for a mermaid princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in Slumber when the unthinkable happens-there's a prison break in Atlas, Madly's home beneath the sea. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.

The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt's obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden's grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he's back...with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.

Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt's descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves?

The Review: A joint review for book one and two together. May contain spoilers.
I was looking for a short read and can across Madly on Amazon. I first noticed the amazing book cover and then I read the blurb and I instantly sold. Now let me just say Madly completely surprised me and had me captivated from start to finish. I loved it! And of course, I went straight on to read book two, Wolfhardt and loved it even more. 

Who would have thought mermaids and werewolves could work? Well it did and I fell in love with M Leighton’s work from page one. I instantly liked Madly and connected with her as a character quite easily. I found her fun, strong and just an all-round awesome character to read about. It was very easy to slip into her head and go through her motions and understand why she loved the people she did in her life. Everyone around her is supportive and trust worthy, but not just because she is a princess but because she has genuine friends that love and care her so it was nice to see she had that support system even when her parents are held captivate.

The story itself was intense, action packed and dangerous. I loved finding out about Madly’s world under the sea and what her life is like above ground but most of all, I loved finding out about Jackson. *Sigh* Jackson! He literally took my breath away, but of course with Madly being a Princess and Jackson being of a lower status; a sentinel who trains and protects Atlas, it’s forbidden for them to ever be together. There love however does shine through and they have several heart-warming moment together and boy I WANT MORE!! I love Jackson and I think any fans of Jennifer L.Armentrout’s Covenant series will love Madly’s world just as much as me.

Overall, I’m extremely glad I picked up this series and I cannot wait to continue with book three once it’s been released. 

Tuesday 27 December 2011

In My Mailbox (#36.1) Jess's Christmas Edition

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the New Year.

Unlike Donna, I don't have a lot of books to show you today, but I'm going to show you the ones that were gifted to me, and one is for review.


For Review:

Supernaturally by Kierston White

*Thank you to HarperTeen for sending this to me. I still have the first one to read though...

Christmas Gifts given to me by Donna:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Christmas Gifts given to me by Misty:

*Thank you Misty. I now have all 11, and just need to buy number 12 when it's released in  May 2012.

Christmas Gifts from my Dad and Brother:

*Lee Evans is a British Comedian who's released his new book. My brother gifted me this for Christmas. Not sure when I'll get around to reading it though. Very excited about Fifty Shades though! Its my current read :)

So that's it for my Christmas edition. Thank you to everyone for giving me these books. Told you my list wasn't as big as Donna's lol. 

What did you get in your mailbox?

A review for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

Posted by Jess
Published Date: September 27th, 2011
Finished Date: December 27th, 2011
Source: For Review from Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback
Pages: 452

The blurb from Goodreads: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

The Review: Noah stood slowly, his body skimming mine as he rose. "Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever." Noah's eyes held mine. His stare was infinite. "I was made for you, Mara."

Whoa! This book was too amazing. I've wanted to read this book for so long. I'd only heard good things and it didn't disappoint. It pretty much lived up to the hype I had. 

I'm not going to talk about the book, becuase this is a book best to be read when you know nothing about it. Let me just say that it was full of suspense, love, humor, and mystery. It had me on edge the whole time, and other than over the Christmas weekend, I really just couldn't put this book down one bit! It' s adarkly twisted read that will leave you wanting more after each chapter.

Our protagonist Mara is a wonderful heroine, she's very strong and deals with all her issues in her stride, makes her own choices, sometimes the wrong ones, sometimes the right ones. Noah, ah Noah. A lot of reviewers have called him a jerk, or called him a stalker...he isn't any of those things. He's completely swoon worthy and wonderful in his own right, his and Mara's relationship is intriguing and quite fragile, both of them bounce off of one another but contest each others choices and coincidentally won't leave each others side. I can't say much more about them together as it'll spoil the book. Like I said at the beginning, this book is best read when you know nothing of it.

Well there isn't a lot more I can say. The ending to this book was incredible. Such a cliffhanger that will leave you gasping and wanting the next book straight away! The next book will reveal so much, and possibly put Mara and Noah's already fragile relationship to the test. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. I can't wait to see what happens!! Read it everyone, it's immense.

Donna's Top Reads of 2011

So the end of 2011 is fast approaching and we thought it would be a good idea to show you what we thought were our favourite reads of 2011 were.  We're going to be doing to separate posts because Jess and I have read different books this year, so I will be starting and Jess will feature later on in the week. 

Now when you look at my list you may see there is more than one book listed by a certain number. I know this may be cheating but these are all books that I read in 2011 and are apart of the same series. I tried to break them down to my favourite one but....I couldn't. I felt guilty for not picking all of them so I have picked them all! Yay! 
So let's get started! 
Number 10: 
Starcrossed by Joesphine Angelini
Why I chose Starcrossed: Starcrossed was one of those novels that I just knew I was going to love and when I read it, I was left with that wow feeling. Greek Mythology is fast becoming my favourite and I think Josephine did an awesome job with it. Not only that but the Starcrossed lovers was just epic and I'm dying to see what happens next. 
See my review for Starcrossed.

Number 9: 
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Why I chose Silence: Ahhh Silence. Where to start? This book being my top 9 is mainly because of Patch. When I read Hush Hush I fell in love with him but Crescendo kind of fell flat for me....I lost that spark for him. Now I know a lot of people had mixed reviews for Silence but I still feel now that it was by far the best. Patch is back and better than ever. You see a totally different side to him and it makes you fall in love with him even more. Becca did a fantastic job with this book and I'm dying to read book four. 
See my review for Silence. 

Number 8: 
Firelight / Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Why I chose Firelight/Vanish: This for me was a totally unique series. I remember reading Firelight and I was just totally amazing at the amount of creativity that had gone into the story. The Draki's felt so real to me that it was easy to picture their world. And of course, Vanish was a great sequel. 
See my review for Firelight / Vanish

Number 7: 
Nightshade / Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Why I chose Nightshade / Wolfsbane: Nightshade was my very first read for 2011 and it started  bang! Ren and Shay? Do I need to say more? Lol. It wasn't just the hot guys that made this book for me but the story that Andrea created was just so amazed me. I'd seriously recommend these books to any wolf fans. 
See my review for Wolfsbane 

Number 6: 
Perfect Chemistry Series by Simone Elkeles 
Why I chose the Perfect Chemistry Series: It pains me to put these books at number 6 but I couldn't do it any other way. Simone Elkeles work is what converted me to love young adult contemporary. I mean after reading her work how could you NOT love it? It's raw, it's intense and full of passion. It just makes your heart melt. I picked the whole series as my number 6 because even though I love Rules of Attraction more....I think they were all awesome in there own way. But yeah...Carlos is my favourite brother. 

So is where I get to hard top 5! 

Number 5: 
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson 
Why I chose Hunting Lila: Hunting Lila was Sarah Alderson's debut novel and boy was it a great novel. From page one your captivated into Lila's world and I just wanted more and more. Lila was one of the best female leads I've read about this year and the secondary characters were second to none. Alex? Jack? Need I say more? Even after finishing this novel it stuck with me for days and even now I'm still thinking of that quote from Alex.....“When you came down the stairs, and fell into me, that was the moment.” OMG!!! Talk about taking your breath away. Pure awesomeness! 
See my review for Hunting Lila.

Number 4: 
The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare
Why I choseThe Mortal Instrument Series: So I want to admit something right now...before I started this series...I DID NOT WANT TO READ IT!!! Shocking! I know right? I ended up reading this as a buddy with a friend and my god did I get one hell of a shock. I could have smacked myself for not starting this series so yeah, it's safe to say this series took me by surprise and left me utterly speechless. Cassandra Clare is a pure genesis and her work just keeps getting better and better. I love all her characters that now when I read her books I feel like there friends. I miss them when I'm not reading about them and book 5 in the series can not come soon enough. 
See my reviews for City of Fallen Angels.

Number 3: 
Angel Fire by LA Weatherly
Why I chose Angel Fire: Ahhhh I'm so sad I couldn't put this as my number two because I absolutely adored this book! LA Weatherly totally out did herself with Angel Fire because I loved her Angel the first book in the series but to love this one even more was fantastic. For 700 pages I was in love every single part of this book and I even after finishing it, I wanted more. I felt every emotion possible during this book, I cried,  I laughed and I loved it! Fantastic job to the author!!
See my review for Angel Fire.

Number 2: 
Half-Blood/Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout
Why I chose The Covenant series: I honestly had a tough time not putting these two books as my number one. I really wanted to because there are just PURE AWESOME! Jennifer L Armentour has taken the writing world by a storm this year and I seriously hope she's here to stay. Her writing is like nothing I've ever read before, she knows how to give that little bit that keeps us interested and she is especially well known for creating hot characters. Aiden...I love him! could you not? I need book three and four like now because I'm dying to know what happens next....I just adore this series and I know only good things can come next. 
See my review for Half-Blood.

Number 1: 
The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
Why I chose The Iron Fey Series: Yay!!!! My number one is this awesome series. It was a close call between number two and this but how could I turn my back on my beloved Ash! I'm so pleased I read this series this year because mainly I was never a fan of Fae...but Julie Kagawa soon changed my mind with her awesome and intense series that honestly took my breath away. I adore everything about this series, the characters and the Faerie world. I don't think Julie could of created such a perfect set of books that just complete each other and adding The Iron Knight was just the PURE AWESOME! Ash! I do seriously love him!!!! I highly recommend you read this series if you haven't already! 
See my review for The Iron King / The Iron Daughter / The Iron Queen / The Iron Knight 

So that's it! My top reads of 2011. I'm really sad I couldn't fit some many other awesome books in like The Fever Series, The Night Huntress Series and of course The Hunger Games. These books will all be my favourite but I've based my top reads on how I feel about the books now and the ones that made it are the ones I'm dying to read again! 

I hope you've enjoyed my top reads, if you have something similar please send me your links so I can look. Otherwise, Happy Reading & Happy Holidays!!!!

Saturday 24 December 2011

In My Mailbox (#36) Donna's Christmas Edition.

I hope you've all had an awesome time with your family and friends opening presents. 

Today I'm going to be showing you what books I had over the last two weeks. Because I didn't do an In My Mailbox last week, I do have more than usual to show and plus with Christmas this week is HUGE!! So, let's get started!  


For Review:
Chocolate SOS by Sue Limb 
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Slide by Jill Hathaway 
The Killables by Gemma Malley
Touch of Power (Healers #1) by Maria V Synder

Thank you to Bloomsbury, Mira, S&S, HarperCollins & Hodder 

Gifted from my UK Swap buddie Lindsey:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Shift (Shifter #5) by Rachel Vincent
Alpha (Shifters #6) by Rachel Vincent

*Thank you so much Lindsey!! You know how awesome I think you are!! *Hugs*

Christmas Presents from my Secret Santa: (Melanie, our guest reviewer)
Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L.Armentrout
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

*Mel, thank you for two awesome books and it means even more that I'm quoted in one of them. Thanks so much hun and most of all, thank you for all your help this year! 

Christmas Present from Lesley (My Keeper Shelf)
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

*Thank you Lesley, your awesome as ever and even more for getting your not so Secret Santa a present too (lol) 

Christmas presents from Misty (Bookaholic Book Club)
Ladybird, Ladybird by Abra Ebner
Crossed (Matched #2) by Allie Condie

*Thank you, thank you, thank you Misty for so many great presents! It's been awesome getting to you know you this past 6 months. Bring on dinner again soon!!!  :) 

Christmas presents from Carina (Fictional Distraction)
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hiber 
Illuminated by Erica Orloff

*Thank you Carina!!! And thank you for making Twitter so fun this year!!! :) 

Christmas presents from my Facebook friend (Natalie) 
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
The Taker by Alma Katsu
Between by Jessica Warman

*Merry Christmas hun! Thank you for the amazing gifts, your kindness amazes me! 

Christmas presents from Jess (Co-Blogger)
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Locket by Stacey Jay 

*Man Stealer (lol) you do realise you have to share Adrian with me now? Lol. Thank you for the awesome presents! I'll look forward to blogging with you through-out 2012! :)

Christmas presents from my BBBFF Haley (Ya-Aholic)
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey 
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

*Mrs Goodfellow....I <3 you! (lol) You always get me such awesome presents and it's been a blast getting to you know this last year. Bring of 2012....I'm sure it will be full of lots of laughs! :) 

So that's it for my Christmas edition. Once again thank you to all the amazing people in my life that made 2012 such a fantastic year. 

What did you get in your mailbox?
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