Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Year in Review

The good, the bad, and the books.

The Good
I started - and even managed to get 3/4 of the way through - library school, landed an internship at my hometown's library for almost as long, and started a craft business with my mom. (You can check out our very, very basic homepage here if you're interested!) On top of all that, I wrote a short snippet of a story for my kidlit class that was incredibly well-received, so I might actually have the confidence to try to write something for real next year. We rescued two pets and love them to pieces. Finally, I even managed to land a second (although still unpaid) internship at another local library, so I won't have any actual homework during my last semester of library school in winter 2012.


The Bad
However, other things haven't quite gone our way. My mom's best friend was told she was terminal with two years left to live back in January, and she has gone downhill much, much faster than we had hoped. Our beloved cat, Gus, passed away in October, after thirteen wonderful but too-short years. Boyfriend avoided an accident on the way to work but flipped his truck in the process. Having to buy a new truck messed up our financial situation, and someone else bought our dream home. Then he also had to have hernia repair surgery after one very scary week waiting for an opening with his surgeon, and we're still waiting for his doctor to clear him for work. It's been rough!


I have found that my life tends to go in three-year cycles: two good, one bad, though not necessarily in that order. Since 2011 was so rough, 2012 had better damn well be a good year! But enough with my pity train - let's get on to the book section!


The Books
As anyone who reads this blog probably knows, I am absolutely no good at narrowing down lists, and this is especially true for "Top 10 of the Year" picks. So, without further ado, here is my overly-long list of favorite books from 2011, listed in the order in which I read them:

by Beth Revis

First of all, I want to bring special attention to Across the Universe. I read the ARC of AtU in December '10, but since it was released in January '11, it's still going in this post.

Not only is this book indescribably fantabulous, but her design team did an AMAZING job with this double-sided removable cover, updated Razorbill logo, and the embossed Godspeed logo on the actual hardback! It's hard to believe that all of this fabulosity can be contained within one book. Yes, I am aware that most of these are not actual words. :) Moving on . . . Revis also made a lot of wonderful extras available on her website along with the addition of a "secret," password-protected page. I had so much fun with all of these extras, and it really enriched the reading experience. I also had way too much fun with her Creative Contest back in August. My entry is here.

Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber . . .

by Allison Pang

This is the book that brought me out of my urban fantasy funk. I loved everything about it! (Especially the spunky unicorn... hehe.) If you are looking for a great, unique, refreshing urban fantasy read, this is the book for you.

Six months ago, twenty-six-year-old Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod and a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer. With her lack of OtherWorldly knowledge, Abby needs all the help she can get. So when her Faery employer and some of her friends go missing, she must team up with the sexy and mysterious incubus who’s been haunting her dreams. As Abby’s sucked deeper and deeper into this dangerous world she barely knows – filled with daemons, angels, and faeries – she finds herself trapped at the center of it all. And she might not be able to escape . . . 

by Leah Clifford

This was such an original concept that it really took me by surprise. It's a great new addition to the angel/afterlife subgenres. It's certainly not for the faint of heart, but don't let the depressing topics within stop you from picking up this amazing book. I promise you won't regret it!

Eden first meets him on the beach. His opening line is unbelievably spectacular, really. But then so are his powers. Only she doesn't know that, in the beginning, and she falls in love. It wil take what seems like a lifetime and a journey into death and back for her to discover that her own powers are considerable and unimaginable. He hasn't fallen yet. Will he? Will she? This is a deeply satisfying, dark, and inventive paranormal romance by debut novelist Leah Clifford.

by Susan Maushart

I love tongue-in-cheek memoirs, and I love reading about other people's experiences. Oh, and I love Australia. So this book had just about all of my favorite things. :) It's obviously quite different from what you would expect on this blog, given that it's generally for reviews of YA and adult paranormal books, but give it a shot if you're interested in the topic.

The inspiring (and hilarious!) story of a family who discovered that the rewards of "unplugging" are more rich and varied than any cyber-reality could ever be.

For any parent who's ever IM-ed their child to the dinner table - or yanked the modem from its socket in a show of primal parental rage - this account of one family's self-imposed exile from the Information Age will leave you ROFLing with recognition. But it will also challenge you to take stock of your own family connections, to create a media ecology that encourages kids - and parents - to thrive.

When journalist and commentator Susan Maushart first decided to pull the plug on all electronic media at home, she realised her children would have sooner volunteered to go without food, water or hair products. At ages 14, 15 and 18, her daughters and son didn’t use media. They inhabited media. Just exactly as fish inhabit a pond. Gracefully. Unblinkingly. And utterly without consciousness or curiosity as to how they got there. Susan’s experiment with her family was a major success and she found that having less to communicate with, her family is communicating more.

At the simplest level, The Winter of Our Disconnect is the story of how one family survived six months of wandering through the desert, digitally speaking, and the lessons learned about themselves and technology along the way. At the same time, their story is a channel to a wider view - into the impact of new media on the lives of families, into the very heart of the meaning of home.

by Joss Stirling

I was so happy to finally get a chance to read this book! (And damn US publishers for not bringing this wonderful book to the states!) If you're in the US, shipping from Amazon UK to your doorstep won't cost an arm and a leg. If you can pony up the delivery fee, this book is well worth it.

Discovering your soulmate has never been so dangerous.

"You have half our gifts, I have the other . . . "

When English girl, Sky, catches a flimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can't get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love forever. Shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. Sky must face the dark even if it means losing her heart.

by Melissa Marr

This series converted me to faery books. (Well, at least to Melissa Marr's!) I had yet to find one that I really connected with before reading this book. Marr is now on my auto-buy list! If you are, like me, very skeptical of books about faeries, consider giving this one a shot before you write them off entirely.

RULE #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

RULE #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

RULE #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost - regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life, everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century fairy tale.

by John Marsden

Yes, I know, I need to stop re-reading these books. Too bad they're my favorite books ever and I love them to pieces! (Sometimes literally! I need new copies!) The movie of the first book came out this year, too. If I ever see Stuart Beatty on the streets, I will give him the biggest, most awkward hug ever for writing such a faithful adaptation of the novel. Same goes for Caitlin Stasey for her portrayal of Ellie Linton. (The rest of the actors were amazing as well, but Ellie has always been my favorite.) Here's hoping that movie #2, The Dead of the Night, will be just as good when it is released in September 2012.


When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong - horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and their entire town has been captured - including their families and all their friends.

Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

by Kim Harrington

Veronica Mars in book form. Enough said. :)


Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the vision comes to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother, who has supernatural gifts of his own, becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?


by Janette Rallison

I kept seeing reviews for this book (and its sequel, My Unfair Godmother) everywhere, so I finally bit the bullet and bought them for myself. Best. Decision. Ever. These books were laugh-out-loud hilarious. I can only hope that Rallison has a few more Fair Godmother books in her.

Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience!

After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.

by Karsten Knight

I was not originally planning on reading Wildefire, because books by male authors usually end up not appealing to me. However, I received an ARC and was pulled in - first by the beautiful cover, then by the fantastic story.

Ashline and her wild-child sister, Eve, never appeared too remarkable, besides being Polynesian in a white suburban town. That is, until a petty schoolyard quarrel escalates to violence, during which Eve kills a rival of Ashline’s in cold blood. Shocked, Ashline moves across the country to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start doesn’t go as planned. After a series of dangerous and mysterious occurrences—an attempted kidnapping, the appearance of paranormal beasts in the local forest—Ashline learns that she and four of her classmates are actually demigods who were summoned to this middle-of-nowhere school by an enigmatic blind girl. As a war between the gods looms over the campus, two very powerful organizations—with very different ideas on how the demigods should use their powers—are vying for control. Both groups want Ashline and her newfound abilities on their side…and some are willing to kill for her.

by Eva Gray

My first middle grade dystopian novel! This is the first in a series of four.

In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.

Louisa is nervous about being sent away to a boarding school -- but she’s excited, too. And she has her best friend, Maddie, to keep her company. The girls have to pretend to be twin sisters, which Louisa thinks just adds to the adventure!

Country Manor School isn’t all excitement, though. Louisa isn’t sure how she feels about her new roommates: athletic but snobby Rosie and everything’s-a-conspiracy Evelyn. Even Maddie seems different away from home, quiet and worried all the time.

Still, Louisa loves CMS -- the survival skills classes, the fresh air. She doesn’t even miss not having a TV, or the internet, or any contact with home. It’s for their own safety, after all.

Or is it?

by Lois Lowry

I can't believe it took me until age 23 to read this book! The ending is a little strange and very vague, but I loved the concept of the story.

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.

When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does Jonas begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

by Cheyenne McCray

This is the first in an incredibly fun urban fantasy series.

Meet Nyx. This half-human, half–Drow private eye investigates paranormal crimes by day and is an elite Tracker of demons by night. She prefers working solo—and playing rough. So when a terrifying force starts murdering innocent humans and paranorms, and leaving strange demonic symbols burned into their buildings, it’s a case Nyx takes very personally . . .

Meanwhile, Nyx’s fellow Trackers are being killed one by one—and a sexy new Tracker named Torin is shadowing her every move. Torin has powers Nyx can’t read, and sometimes she wonders whose side he’s on. Nyx’s instincts tell her something’s brewing in the city’s meanest supernatural streets, and that it’s ready to unleash hell on Earth. Who can she trust? Now it’s five minutes to permanent midnight . . . and Nyx’s last chance means risking everything—even her own life.

by Anna Carey

I got this at BEA, started reading it in line, and almost didn't give it to Anna Carey to sign because I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't want to let go!

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

by Jay Asher

It took a while, but I read enough positive reviews about this book that I finally picked it up. I read this in audio format, which is definitely the way to go with this book.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

by Keri Arthur

Moon Sworn is my favorite book in this series, which I consumed in about two weeks!

Some nights never end.

Some desires never die . . .

Shape-shifting werewolf and vampire Riley Jenson is through with death—causing it, solving it, surviving it. Her soul mate, Kye Murphy, is dead—and at Riley’s own hands. Not even the seductive embrace of her vampire lover, Quinn, can fully ease her mind, for she has begun questioning everything that makes her Riley—including her job at the Directorate.

Now, the ritualistically slain bodies of ex-cons have started turning up. Reluctantly, Riley takes the case, but something even worse is waiting in the wings. A vicious enemy from her past is determined to strip Riley of everything that gives her life any meaning: her lover, her brother—and even her own identity. Can Riley survive this ultimate assault? All she knows is, she must fight one last time to find answers, before everything goes dark forever.

by Gini Koch

Finally, a FUN, light-hearted science fiction romance! I loved this book! This is also the book that got me to seek out other SFR books, many of which will be reviewed during January. It's a great gateway SFR title!

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll?

Easy . . .

She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

by Maggie Stiefvater

This is one of the most original books I have read in a long time! It was a little tough to get into in the beginning, but I promise that it's worthwhile in the end!

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.

Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

by Rachel Vincent

This is one of the most creative urban fantasy books out there! Rachel Vincent is seriously one of my favorite authors, and I love how awesome every single one of her books are.

By blood, by word, by magic . . .

Most can't touch the power. But Liv Warren is special—a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

But when her friend's daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can't rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner . . . every touch . . . every kiss.

And more blood will be spilled before it's over . . .

by Rachel Caine

If you don't pick this book up because Rachel Caine is an awesome author, then at least pick it up because of the fantastic title!

Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn't the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment--until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated--literally, and with extreme prejudice.

With the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem--pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She'd better do it fast, before she becomes a zombie slave--a real working stiff. She'd be better off dead . . .

by Nalini Singh

This is the story that all of Singh's Psy-Changeling fans have been waiting for! I was so excited to finally get to read Hawk and Sienna's happy ending.

Since her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness: Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. Now he walks alone. But Sienna stirs his primal heart, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets, a deadly enemy is striking at everything the pack holds dear . . . but Sienna's darkest secret may savage the pack that is her home-and the alpha who is its heartbeat.

by Linnea Sinclair

Linnea Sinclair was the first SFR author I picked up after Gini Koch, and I just love her books!

Award-winning author Linnea Sinclair brings her special sizzle to science fiction with this action-packed blend of otherworldly adventure and sexy stellar romance . . .

After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit–and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan–alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom – for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line–but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

by Isobelle Carmody

Obernewtyn is the first in the classic fantasy series that no American seems to know about. I finally found it at Schuler Books in Lansing, and it's such a great series! If you like fantasy and post-apocalyptic books, this is definitely a series that you should check out!

In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. And for Elspeth Gordie, it is also dangerous. That's because Elspeth has a secret: she is a Misfit, born with mysterious mental abilities that she must keep hidden under threat of death. And her worries only multiply when she is exiled to the mountain compound known as Obernewtyn, where—for all her talents—Elspeth may finally and truly be out of her depth. Then she learns she’s not the only one concealing secrets at Obernewtyn.

by Carrie Ryan

A fantastic conclusion to the first zombie series I ever attempted! I can't say that I'm not disappointed that the series has ended, but I am so glad that I finally read it.

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day and she's been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn't feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

Except, Catcher has his own secrets - dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah's longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah - can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

by Tahereh Mafi

This is the best YA dystopian I have read in a long time, and Tahereh Mafi has an amazing style of writing.

"You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time - and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

by Beth Revis

Seeing the name "Beth Revis" should pretty much answer why A Million Suns is on this list!

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

by Andrea Cremer

Whoa, total blindside! I can't decide whether I love or hate the ending to this series, but either way it's perfect!

The third and final installment of the international bestselling Nightshade trilogy!

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. In this remarkable final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, international bestselling author Andrea Cremer crafts a dynamic novel with twists and turns that will keep you breathless until its final pages.

by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is my gateway fantasy book. I wasn't expecting to like Graceling as much as I did, but it was so frickin good!

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

by Veronica Rossi

Besides Shatter Me, Under the Never Sky is one of my favorite dystopian/post-apocalyptic reads of 2011! I really enjoyed this one!

For readers who loved GRACELING and THE HUNGER GAMES comes a startling new world and a breathtaking, unforgettable love.

Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - called the Death Shop - are slim. Violent energy storms scan strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild, dangerous - a savage. He's also her only hope.

Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption. Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

by Lia Habel

Oh, Dearly, Departed, how you surprised me. I loved this book!

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid's arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead - or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria - a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique eta. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country's political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible - until she's nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she's suddenly gunning down raenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting "The Laz," a fatal virus that raises the dead - and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. but as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. Ad when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there's no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a truly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

by Marissa Meyer

This book was freaking amazing, and perfect, and absolutely lovely - and has cyborgs!!! Seriously, what's not to love?

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.

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