Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye, 2011 / In My Mailbox 33

Bye, 2011. You've been a crazy year -- a year full of learning, with this blog and in life. Taking trapeze, sign language and writing classes certainly helped on that front!

I hope you all leap to new heights and overcome new fears, so to speak, in 2012!

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly post hosted by the lovely Kristi at The Story Siren about what new books we got in the mail (or library or whatever) this week.

My dear friend Tara bought me these gorgeous hardcovers of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, Emma and Pride & Prejudice. I basically squealed with delight. Does she know me or much? Thank you, TQ! xo

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley is on loan from Ginger via Lisa, and I can't wait to read it!

Plus, my friend Rachael bought me The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder and Matched by Ally Condie as Christmas presents. I devoured Matched and already loaned it out to our friend Ali, so it's not pictured here. Thanks, my dear Rachy!


Also for Christmas, my big sister bought me these cute Jonathan Adler bookends. Kitties! I love them!

And after a library stop, I also have The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas and Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (on April's recommendation).

Happy reading and happy New Year!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar Review

Raw Blue Kirsty Eagar coverRaw Blue
By Kirsty Eagar

June 29, 2009
Penguin Books Australia, 274 pages
Source: Borrowed from Linds

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

— description

If this book were a feeling, it’d be that feeling you get in your gut when you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the monster to jump out from around the corner, for the giant sob you can just feel coming on.

Even thinking about it now, my stomach feels hallow, like I’m about to head down the drop in a rollercoaster.

Oh man, it’s good.

So Carly clearly has some tragedy in her past (think Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson) and she’s sad and lonesome and broken, but surfing and a boy named Ryan are helping her keep her head above water. The writing is gorgeous – it’s an ode to waves and fear and loss of power. The colors and scenery are stunning, and the Aussie lingo is exotic (to me in cold Chicago, anyway!) and fun to try to interpret.

I don’t know. I’m not doing it justice. Let’s just say that this is a stunning, WOW of a book.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu Review

By Marie Lu

Nov. 29, 2011
Putnam Juvenile, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

— description

Wow. I got this book in May, but didn't read it until November. WHAT A FOOL!

This stunning adventure swept me away, and considering Legend's cinematic qualities, I'm confident we'll be seeing it in movie theaters someday soon.

There's romance, family drama, BETRAYAL and government corruption -- everything you want out of a good dystopian. Of course, I adored the romance. It was full of all that "We know, but does he know? And does she know he knows?" tension that I never get sick of.

Yeah, I'm sure you're fed up with all the comparisons, but believe me when I say that fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent should check this one out.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows Review

Incarnate Jodi Meadows book coverIncarnate
By Jodi Meadows

Jan. 31, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies--human and creature alike--let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

— description

I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK ON SO MANY LEVELS. So Ana comes from this totally awful, abusive household that has taught her she deserves nothing -- no possessions of her own, no happiness, NOTHING. And to see begin to discover her own self-worth is just completely motivating yet painful to watch.

And then she meets Sam and he's got 5,000 years of memories from all the lives he's ever lived. AND THEY FALL IN LOVE and it's, like, probably creepy in an Edward/Bella way, but never mind that, because it's SO ROMANTIC I COULD DIE.

It's just so heartbreakingly beautiful to think that he's still discovering new things, new emotions as nuts as LOVE after so many years. And they are so clearly meant for each other even though they try to be all cool about it and it just ends up being SIZZLING.

Like, seriously guys. There's a masquerade ball in yourself. Holy hotness.

And there's dragons. I didn't even get to the dragons yet! Gah. I love a good romance/fantasy, and this one is just tops. I mean, I am aware that I'm not being very articulate, but this book was so good I'm just mush. MUSH, YOU GUYS! MUSH.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Hunger Games Soundtrack

So maybe y'all saw this while I was busy opening presents and stuffing my face with gluten-free gravy and soy egg nog (all of the above are better than they sound), but I just saw it AND HAVE TO SHARE INSTANTLY!

"Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift, featuring The Civil Wars, straight off The Hunger Games movie soundtrack. OMG.

Love. Some will probably hate, but I enjoy me some T-Swift. And the folksy sound is a nice fit to the setting, thanks to The Civil Wars.

See! I even went to her concert this summer with some girlfriends. Taylor + Hunger Games = two guilty pleasures in one. Can't beat that!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Top 10 Books of 2011

It's Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is
Top 10 Books of 2011

Okay, okay if I had to pick 10, here they are in no particular order...

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

But then after I wrote this list, I read Legend and Bittersweet and Cinder and ahhh how could I ever pick?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Love 2011

Today I’m on my friend Lisa’s blog (Lisa Is Busy Nerding), fangirling over my FAVORITE BOOK OF 2011 for her Book Love feature. 

Click here to see which of my 175+ reads of 2011 got the top honors. 

  Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley Review

graffiti moon cath crowley coverGraffiti Moon
By Cath Crowley

Feb. 14, 2012
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 272 pages
Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. 

Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

— description

Sure, I’ve read a lot of unputdownable books this year. But I haven’t stayed up ALL NIGHT LONG to read one in years. Yet, there I was on a work night, tucked away in blankets and lights dimmed, reading reading reading Graffiti Moon on my couch while my husband slept. The thought of separating myself from these characters and Cath Crowley’s words until I finished was just incomprehensible.

So I stayed up all night. And I read it all. And somewhere along the way, my heart imploded.

I have very few words to describe this romance, this author’s beautiful writing and how it made me feel. Just. No words.

“I stand behind her, watching her watching my work. I feel like I’m shedding my skin, feel like if she turns she’ll see a skeleton man behind her and then she’ll know.”

I mean…GAH. Swoon. Faint. Bring me some smelling salts.

For a gorgeous, romantic book that will make your heart soar, check it out. But learn from my mistakes, dear friends: Start it early on a Saturday morning when you have no distractions ahead. Trust. Prepare for goosebumps.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Shooting Stars 
By Allison Rushby
272 pages
Walker & Co., to be released Feb. 28, 2012

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

— description

Sounds cute & fluffy ... just the way I like my books!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2011



That's all.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Top 10 Books I Wish Santa Would Bring Me

It's Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is
Top 10 Books I Wish Santa Would Bring Me

This was alarmingly hard. I have a few favorite books that I'm trying to collect in print (versus the Kindle editions I have already), so those would be the first items I'd wish for, but new books? Hmm. That's harder. I'm thinking these:

Anna Reads young adult book blog
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