Tag Archives: Razorland Series

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

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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

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Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

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America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

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

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

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

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

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

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

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Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

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Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

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Bridge Books and Short Stories

17 Dec

In my last couple of reviews, I have been mentioning bridge books a lot. Bridge books are short stories that are written to enhance the overall series an author is writing. There are many different kinds of bridge books but the ones I read usually are written as an “in between book”, typically given a 1.5 or 2.5 designation, and bring in a different character’s perspective. I personally, loooove bridge books. They can develop and enrich your story in a magnificent way. You can be introduced to a new character, a new way of thinking. You can grasp or understand a concept you couldn’t in the full book. You can live a moment through different set of eyes. It’s an amazing aspect of writing that I wish every author would do. Authors like Cassandra Clare and Lauren Oliver have fully grasped this concept. It also, and this pure selfishness on my part, can help ease the pain of having to wait for the next book to be released. I can’t tell you how many times I am uber bummed I have to wait a year until the next book comes out and then I find out that a bridge book will be released in 6 months and it makes my life so much better.

Below is a collection of a few different categories of bridge books/short stories I’ve read over the last year. Each one gives you an idea of what bridges and shorts can add to a story. You can read my full reviews of each by clicking on the links attached to the titles and it will take you to my Goodreads account. I highly encourage everyone to read the bridge books and short stories associated with series. It can make the books so much more enjoyable!

13013051Tortured by Caragh M. O’BrienBirthmarked 1.5

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book is the 1.5 book in the Birthmarked Series, a pretty decent dystopia trilogy with a female protag, and is probably my favorite bridge I’ve read thus far. I enjoyed the series with my ratings of each book fluttering between 3 and 4 stars. This bridge, however, added a HUGE piece of insight into the heroine’s love interest, Leon. He is narrating this bridge which is awesome because the entire series is told from Gaia’s point of view. It also connects how Leon ends up where he does in Book 2, Prized and in Book 3, Promised you wouldn’t understand the unique dynamics between Leon, Gaia and the prison cell unless you’ve read this bridge. It’s an amazing add on to the series.

15715106 The Audition by Rachel Hartman, Seraphina 0.5

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

This was a sweet and simply story and very enjoyable. It gave to quick insights into each character but didn’t give anything away, which is hard to do since, unlike most bridge books, it was actually written and PUBLISHED before the actual book, Seraphina, was released. Seraphina was set to be a huge sell this year and this was meant to be a teaser trailer by the author/publisher. It’s a nice little read to add some dynamics before you start Seraphina, even though I actually read it after I had already finished the book (review to come!)PS – it’s available for free online if you click the link on Goodreads!

15362992Endurance by Ann Aguirre, Razorland 1.5

Rating: undecided out of 5 stars

Pulling directly from my review I wrote after reading this, “I don’t think I can thoroughly comprehend my feelings towards this one until I read book two and three.” Well, I’ve read book two, Outpost, (read my review here) but I still don’t know how I feel. What’s makes me shifty about giving a solid rating is that this bridge introduces us to Thimble and Stone whom we barely knew in Encalve. Deuce refers to them constantly but I am hesitant to give my feelings to these two because if I don’t see them in book three, Hoarde, my poor little heart is going to be crushed. After I initially read this, I rated and reviewed it at 2 stars but I think now it’s just because I didn’t want to get attached to them if I wasn’t going to see them later. Ahhh Ann you manipulate my emotions so much in this short 70 page story! I love it!

12663646Hana by Lauren Oliver, Delirium 1.5

Rating: 3 our of 5 stars

Lauren Oliver does a lot of bridges and shorts. She has a o.5, 1.5 and a 2.5 in this series and omg does it add some depth to the plot. In this one, she actually retells the ENTIRE first book through a sub character’s view. It’s crazy intense viewing scenarios through Hana’s eyes, especially when interacting with Lena, who’s the main character throughout the rest of the series. The third book, Requiem is actually told through both their eyes so it was very smart, in my opinion, to introduce readers to Hana (and her questionable morals/actions) in a short. Read my review of Pandemonium, Book Two here and see what I want to see in Requiem here.

“Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” Christopher Paolini, Eragon

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

13 Dec

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Book Two in the Razorland Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

Oh Ann, why do you have to leave off on such cliffhangers?! And now we have to wait and wait and wait until Book 3 comes out. In the words of Stephanie Tanner “How Rude!”

Alright, not really rude. I would much rather be aching for more than have a bad ending and not caring when the next book is released. My feelings about this book are muddled. I truly love the story and characters but the first half was so slow for me. It wasn’t BANG BANG outta the gate like Enclave. I understand the transition needed to be made but there was a lot of thinking and not as much action as I wanted in the beginning. That being said, the second half of Outpost gave me everything I enjoyed about Enclave. It was action packed with the right amount of emotions sprinkled in so you weren’t overwhelmed. And the dynamics between the characters flourished which brought me deeper into the story.

About the characters…I like Deuce, but sometimes I get a titch bit frustrated with her. Give me a badass heroine who is not afraid to be herself and I am in! Unfortunately, Deuce’s guilt annoyed me at times. Part of me wanted to be like “Oh well, get over Stalker already!” But I did reign in some of my antics because Aguirre does a nice job of explaining how Deuce just doesn’t understand emotions the way we do today. As for Stalker and Fade, I plainly don’t understand Fade’s appeal. I am the type of person who usually crushes on the protag’s love interest but I can’t get into Fade. Perhaps because Aguirre makes him a little TOO emotionally distant at times and then a little TOO emotional at others? It could be. Hopefully book three will explain it more.

Overall it was an excellent follow up to Enclave. Nicely done not changing Deuce into a frilly-pants but not keeping her uncivilized either. The internal conflict was amazing to read.

BTW… please please please include Stone and Thimble and Robin in Hoarde! While the first bridge story was very mediocre, Endurance (Razorland 1.5) still makes me want to see them in the next book. The writing was meh but the bonus to the story was bomb! K thanks!

Oh and I am super stoked to read the second bridge book Foundation (Razorland o.5)!

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