Archive | January, 2013

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima – the most amazing book I have ever read.

11 Jan

The Crimson Crown

Fourth Book in the Seven Realms Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

After finishing this book, I am attempting to write my final review for this series. This is almost painful for me because I am so passion about this book, these characters, this author, I want to do them justice. I feel like I need to hone and perfect my writing skills purely to try to make this review captures just how incredible this book is.

I have been a high fantasy lover all my life. I grew up with Harry Potter throughout childhood and went through high school with Eragon. Wizards, witches, and dragons were my mind’s companion and I adore my author’s imaginary worlds more than the bleak, sometimes colorless and cruel world we live in. This book though, has introduced my mind and soul to a completely different delicious culture of imagery.

I wish I could explain just how amazing Cinda Williams Chima‘s work is, but unlike her I lack the language to articulate the emotions she creates in me while I read. Her gorgeous world building, incredible prose, tangible character had me so invested in this series. I laughed, I cried, I hurt with Han and I was desperate with Raisa. I hated and loved right along with everyone in the book. Han and Raisa are more than just characters to me. They are living and breathing friends in my mind. They are the most wonderful, passionate, fierce people I know. They have fears, insecurities, unwavering faith in each other, and a true epic romance.

The pure brilliance of this writing literally has me wonderstruck. I am gagging on my praise because I just can’t focus my mind on one thing long enough to get out all of my swooning. I love that there is heartbreak and deaths because that what really happens in the world. People have awful things happen to them, but this fantasy novel shows that you can overcome even the most insurmountable obstacles if you trust your instincts, believe in your friends, and rely on love to power all.

Basically what I am trying to say, is this is the best series I have ever read. It’s the most beautiful, real, tragically wonderful (although it does have the best ending!) book/series of all time. Sorry, JK, your HP books have been usurped.

To-Read Tuesday – Top 20 To-Reads of 2013!

8 Jan

Goodreads  2013 Reading Challenge - Mozilla Firefox_2013-01-07_14-33-42

Goal: 100 books by December 31, 2013

2012 Goal: 75

2012 Actual: 80

2013 is going to be a Fanstadactile!

The year 2013 is probably my most anticipated book release year of all time. There are some really interesting new series coming out and some redic second and third installments in legit badass series coming out. Wow… soo much lingo. But I am just so excited my uber poor use of slang is coming out. Eeeeeee!!!

Anywho… here are my Top 20 To-Reads of 2013

  1. 1/29/2013 – Prodigy, Legend #2 by Mary Lu 13414446
  2. 4/23/2013 – The Elite, The Selection #2 by Kiera Cass 14748094
  3. 2013 – Penryn and The End of Days#2 by Susan EeNo_Cover_
  4. 2/12/2013 – Override, Glitch #2 by Heather Anastasiu14759331
  5. 10/29/2013 – Horde, Razorland #3 by Ann Aguirre10596724
  6. 2/12/2013 – Sever, The Chemical Garden #3 by Lauren DeStefano12383869
  7. 2013 – Annex #2 by Rachel CohnNo_Cover_
  8. 2013 – Crewel World #2 by Gennifer AlbinNo_Cover_
  9. 2/19/2013 – Mind Games, Mind Games #1 by Kiersten White12578294
  10. 3/5/2013 – Requiem, Delirium #3 by Lauren Oliver9593913
  11. 9/26/2013 – Divergent #3 by Veronica RothNo_Cover_
  12. 1/8/2013 – Through The Ever Night, Under The Never Sky #2 by Veronica Rossi13253276
  13. 3/19/2013 – Clockwork Princess, Infernal Devices #3 by Cassandra Clare6131164
  14. 7/2/2013 – Shutdown, Glitch #3 Heather Anastasiu16045008
  15. 1/29/2013 – Asunder, Newsoul #2 by Jodi Meadows13043180
  16. 2/5/2013 – Etiquette and Espionage, Finishing School #1 by Gail Carriger10874177
  17. 3/19/2013 – City of Heavenly Fire, Mortal Instruments #6 by Cassandra Clare8755785
  18. 1/22/2013 – Everbound, Everneath #2 by Brodi Ashton13115995
  19. 7/9/2013 – Dracomachia, Seraphina #2 by Rachel HartmanNo_Cover_
  20. 4/30/2013 – The Program, The Program #1 by Suzanne Young11366397

“Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon . . . is not the dragon the hero of his own story?”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien

3 Jan

13010211

Book Three in the Birthmarked Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

I enjoyed this book, but overall I think it’s the weakest in the series. Still, the ties and emotional connections I had to the characters from the previous books makes me want to bump my rating to 3 stars.

Here is my criticism: Why oh why do authors think it will be boring if people have normal emotions? Fo reals. I understand the need for drama and foreshadowing and plot twists blah blah blah. But heavens above! I could not keep up Gaia’s epiphanies or Leon’s brooding love-sick control freak-ness. Gaia seemed to change direction in each chapter and I was so flustered by her mood swings I almost stopped reading. Now I understand men when they deal with PMSing women! For a character who was so steadfast and determined, solid and stubborn in the first two books, she sure does a lot of roller-coasting in this one. And I find it hard to believe that she would just get up after that tragedy happens, shrug and move on. I wish O’Brien would have spent more time focusing on her emotions during that realization. And Leon, oh brother. Just the same old same Cassandra Clare type love interest. All passionate brooding but nothing I could really sink my teeth into until the final chapter.

With my love loss for Gaia and Leon, it was hard to truly adore this book the way I did the others. I was infatuated with Gaia’s bravery in book one and two but her heroism in these books stretched by WSOD a tad too far. I couldn’t connect that way I wanted to. Thank goodness the story was technically well-written or I would have set this down. I would have also enjoyed a quick recap from the first books. I hadn’t read the other two books in awhile and it took me a quarter of the book to play catch up before I remembered everything.

If you have read the first two books (and the bridge), you should definitely read the third to complete the series. The story itself is still captivating, even if its pushed to be unrealistic. Just go into with the notion that the characters are not the same they were when you met them.

Best Of 2012 – Not just the boring categories!

2 Jan

Hello and Welcome to the year 2013!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! 2013 has some amazing book releases so I am SUPER STOKED for this year. Now, like all book lovers and bloggers, I just had to create a Best of 2012 blog. While most people do one in December, I read lots of books over the holidays so I wanted to wait until the year actually ended before I created my list. You never know what gems you can find in the last weeks of the year! I also wanted to add some variety to the blog so I asked my book soul mate Amy to pick her favorites in each category. You can read her Top Ten Books Read of 2012 here.

Please note that these books are not only the books that were published in 2012. We wanted to included all the books we read so some of them are a few years old. I hope you all enjoy and please add your favorites in each category in the comments!

Favorite Book of 2012

Sydney                     Amy

Selection3236307

The Selection by Kiera Cass     Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Author of 2012

Sydney               Amy

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Cinda Williams Chima         Neil Gaiman

Best Female Protagonist

Sydney           Amy

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Penryn – Angelfall by Susan Ee          Beatrice – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Male Protagonist

Sydney         Amy

94094693236307

Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

Selection3236307

America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

69095442118745

Gaia, Birthmarked  by Caragh M. O’Brien    Viola, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

607641312578077

James, Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater    Katy, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

101930623236307

Deuce, Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre       Katsa, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

940946924770

Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

323630716793

Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

996957113450339

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

940946913335037

Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

115002178525590

Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

1341444612106940

Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

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