Monday, December 31, 2012

Most Anticipated Standalone Novels in 2013

Yesterday I shared my Most Anticipated Sequels of 2013 with you. And  I want to conclude this year with one last blog post in which I pick my Top 10 most anticipated standalone novels of 2013. Do you see the pattern? I already read HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES and it was an awesome read! Still I had to put it on the list, because I can't wait to hear how you are gonna like it. See you in 2013! 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Falling in love in the world’s most romantic city is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year at the School of America in Paris, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to deal with the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever. Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Author of CATCHING JORDAN, Miranda Kenneally’s RACING SAVANNAH, about an underprivileged girl training to be a jockey while working in the barn at a high-stakes horse farm whose on-again, off-again relationship with the owner’s son has an upstairs/downstairs effect on race day, pitched as Downton Abbey in the South, to Leah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks Fire, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in 2013, by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency (world)

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harijuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Nobody But Us by Kristen Halbrook

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.

The Moon And More by Sarah Dessen

Emaline works at her family's vacation rental company the summer before she leaves for college. She must confront her values, goals and choices as her relationship with city-boy Theo evolves and she's forced to say goodbye to the beach town where she grew up.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Most Anticipated Sequels in 2013: Fanart Edition

I can't wait for 2013 to come. See part of my reasons below. These are my Top 10 Most Anticipated Sequels in 2013. The first five picks come together with fan fiction.


Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fianc√©e of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

For those of you who've read the Delirium series, I don't think you need an explanation why I want to read REQUIEM so badly. I love Lauren's books and am so desperate to find out what's going to happen in book three.


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

 * The Evolution of Mara Dyer Summary

The past several pages of THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER were insane and the ending killed me. Of course I'm dying to find out what happens to Mara and Noah!


Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose. Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment. Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Jem or Will, who will Tessa choose in the end? I'm rooting for one special book-loving gentleman! 


Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Ruled by chaos. Now it’s time to come home. But life on Centauri-Earth is far from perfect. Threats from the planet and from within the colony are tearing them apart, although Elder and Amy do all they can to keep it together. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been meaningless.

 A MILLION SUNS ended with Amy and Elder finding a new earth for the Godspeed population to inhabit. Will they encounter another species? I'm awaiting the conclusion to the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series with dread!


Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

I loved Tahereh Mafi's writing and am looking forward to get my hands on the sequel to SHATTER ME. More Adam and Juliette!

Divergent #3 by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

* Insurgent Summary

I wasn't shocked by the INSURGENT ending, I'm still curious about the last book in the trilogy though. I love Tris and Four, but will they finally stop bickering?

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.
When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

Also the last in a series. I really do hope that Violet won't be caught in another horror scenario in which she has to face the murderer on her own. Jay's the best bodyguard there can be!

 If I Should Die by Amy Plum

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.
Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.
It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.
After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

In September I spent a few days in Paris and can't wait to come back. Amy Plum's beautiful descriptions of the city of light and seeing Vincent again should be enough to cure my wanderlust for the moment. 

Vortex by Julie Cross

Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

I devoured TEMPEST in only a few hours and can remember the pull Julie's writing had on me. One of the best time travel stories I've read lately. Huge fan of Jackson. 

Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

Ohh, do you remember Jack's sacrifice? How could he do that to us?! And there are only a few days left until we can find out if there is any way for Nikki to get her life back. Exciting!

Are any of these on your list, too? Tell me in the comments about your most anticipated book of 2013!

Mini Reviews # 2

Here's part two of my mini review series featuring  titles I didn't get to review for a long time. Todays's post is dedicated to contemporary titles that deal with personal and familiar conflicts that affect our protagonists in IF I STAY, RETURN TO PARADISE and RICH AND MAD.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In IF I STAY Gayle Forman confronts us with a precarious and more than difficult decision that has to be made. Leave this world forever or stay and try to rebuild the ruins of your life?
After the horrible car accident that led to the death of her family, Mia is in a coma. She is the girl in between. Told from her perspective, Mia’s constantly reflecting on the sequences that have defined her life so far and compares them to her current situation. There are moments with her family, simply eating breakfast, or her falling in love with her boyfriend Adam.
I had high hopes in the relationship between Mia and Adam. I imagined it to be romantic and epic, but I felt just slightly entertained by Mia’s retelling of some of their relationship highlights. Tough Adam was the person I liked most in IF I STAY. He is sweet, has inner strength and is willing to fight for Mia no matter what.
But unfortunately I just didn’t click with the other characters. Mia’s parents felt too alternative for my taste. Nonetheless I find it helpful and necessary that Gayle Forman includes moments of their lives and retells the most important stations to offer the reader a glimpse of what could be forever lost to our torn protagonist Mia.
And torn is exactly how I felt about Mia, too. On the one hand I totally got how she felt about this whole messed up situation. On the other hand I couldn’t really identify with her character. Her life- as her parents’ lives- is highly dominated by music. She’s so passionate about her violin and I admire her for that. People who are interested in music the same way Mia is should like this read a lot.
I might not have cared about the characters as much as I’d wanted to, but the overall discourse definitely affected me and made me think a lot about what I would have done if I had been in Mia's situation.

3,5/5 ***/* IF I STAY- A philosophical discourse about the safety of life and the security a family offers. Gayle Forman tells the story of Mia with the right amount of sensibility and beautiful piano notes contributing a soundtrack to the sad story.

Publisher: Random House UK
Publishing Date: May 13th 2010
Length: 232 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary romance, car accident, coma, loss, music, love, friendship
Source: Bought 

Return To Paradise by Simone Elkeles

The sequel to LEAVING PARADISE circles around Maggie, Caleb and the accident…again. There might still be the need to talk about Maggie and Caleb’s feelings and the events of the past, but sometimes their conversations just felt like a revision of the LEAVING PARADISE talk.
Now Maggie and Caleb are forced to spend a four week trip together to talk about their experiences with drunk driving. Time to sort out their differences one could think, but to me it felt like Maggie and Caleb seem to be stuck in their old dialogues and actions. It’s not like in LEAVING PARADISE where they made progress by approaching the other. In RETURN TO PARADISE they are caught in a silly loop and unnecessary frictions, pushing the other away and letting him get close again.
New about this part of their story is that they join four other teens on their trip. They are Matt, Erin, Trish and Lenny. These teens have stories of their own, that are definitely worth hearing. Thanks to them and their refreshing personalities RETURN TO PARADISE doesn’t feel like a total dragging read. My favourite character in this novel might be Lenny with his ridiculously funny actions and jokes.
I didn’t really need a sequel after LEAVING PARADISE, but I’d already got it and so I made myself read it. There are some things that could have been solved faster. In the end I was content that the story came to a decent end.

3/5 *** RETURN TO PARADISE - A decent but unnecessary sequel. RETURN TO PARADISE promises more talk about the accident and its consequences, luckily with a few funny and fresh character cast additions.

Publisher: Flux
Publishing Date: September 1st 2010
Length: 312 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary romance, love, drunk driving, friendship
Source: Bought

Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Two teenagers falling in love for the very first time. Doesn’t that sound like a romantic and potentially overwhelming story? I imagined Mad- Maddy- to be independent and strong and Rich-Richard- to be that reckless and sexy young man. They both were nothing like that though. Maddy is so gullible and somehow doesn’t get what’s really happening around her. And then Richard is compulsively insecure and clumsy with all things concerning girls.
Rich and Mad’s families as their friends and crushes play a big role in the story aswell. How many illusional feelings and miserable thoughts can a young person bear and what does it take to take them away and replace them with self-confidence and happiness? That’s what RICH AND MAD is all about. I also liked that he involved the topic of sex and that he made clear that it can be a very dominant part of a teenager’s life.
But their love story simply wasn’t what I'd expected. I had been really looking forward to read RICH AND MAD, in the end it just wasn’t for me. There were too many issues and no clear line to follow. And I cannot believe the low self-esteem many characters showed so my connection to the characters was rather distant.  Rich and Mad's romance didn’t convince me either since it felt forced and meagre most of the time.
Note that RICH AND MAD contains explicit content such as physical and psychical violence and sexual interactions. William Nichols provides the reader with vivid details. Those scenes would have felt a lot more meaningful though if the romance between them had been a part of the story from the beginning on and not just some kind of rational decision. 

2/5 ** RICH AND MAD- Hormonal teenagers and a ton of personal, familial and social issues. That’s what William Nicholson’s RICH AND MAD has to offer. Unfortunately the story lacks the emotional depth I had wished for.

Publisher: Egmont UK Limited
Publishing Date: April 5th 2009
Length: 314 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary romance, love, sex, family
Source: Book Fair