Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 releases of 2012

The end of the year is upon us, and what better way to cap it off than to re-cap our favorite books? With only one day left to vote Inaugural 2012 YA Reader Choice Awards are winding up, but today I'm sharing my favorite releases of 2012.

top 10 releases of 2012

Well, that's my top 10 releases of 2012, in the order I read them. There are a few books which don't get mentiones here, purely by merit of them being 2011 releases. It made the task a LOT easier. What were your favorite 2012 reads? Did you post your top ten somewhere? Share a link in the comments!

Blogspiration (51): Merry Christmas

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

I am as light as a feather. I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A Merry Christmas to every-body! A happy new year to all the world!

Well, I think that about says it all. Merry Christmas! I hope you are all having an amazing Christmas period, and have a wonderful, happy, safe New Year's.

♥ ♥ ♥

More on Blogspiration and Linky sign-up below the jump!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blogspiration (50): Believe

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

Believe. The Polar Express.

Christmas is practically upon us and I've so many things I could tell you: that I hope you're safe, I hope you're happy, and I hope you find joy in your holidays, in the small things and the large.

But I thought I'd share this: Every Christmas Eve, the very last thing I do before I go to bed is curl up on the couch with my husband and watch The Polar Express and I cry like a baby and whisper that I believe, still.

While wanting to believe in Santa in my twenties may seem a silly wish, it's not truly this I'm affirming my belief in. It's that, Santa or not, I still believe in the magic of Christmas. I believe in love, I believe in friendship, I believe in the true meaning, and true spirit of Christmas. And I think that, really, magic is in all those things. Sometimes it's hard to find, and sometimes it's easy to forget, but, every year, I choose to remind myself that I believe.

And I do.

♥ ♥ ♥

Merry Christmas, guys. Wherever you are, I hope it's a happy one.

More on Blogspiration and Linky sign-up below the jump!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of Year Book Survey

Jamie from the Perpetual Page Turner is running an end of year book survey, and with sucha  fun way to talk the best of 2012, I couldn't resist!

The Diviners by Libba BrayBest In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
My favorite 2012 release was The Diviners by Libba Bray. This book is extraordinary. Don't even get me started on the 2011 releases I read!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Don't get me wrong. I liked this book. But I expected to love it and... I thought it was okay. I'm curious to see where the series goes, but  I was dissapointed Throne of Glass wasn't my new Graceling.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Easy, by Tammara Webber. I was unsure of this book. I don't take rape lightly, and – while it's a quality I dislike in myself – I'm aware I judge books for being self published alone. This book proved me wrong on the self-published front, and made me burst with pride that a book handles something like rape so deftly, effectively, with the power to really make a difference.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
My number one most recommended book has been Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost the past couple years running. This year? It's changed. I've recommended Storm by Brigid Kemmerer a lot, and I've been an ardent supporter/shipper/pusher of Anna and the French Kiss since I read it in January.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Elemental by Brigid Kemmer. I'm kind of in love with this lady.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Brigid Kemmerer (Jeez. This is becoming a theme). And after this year, Hannah Harrington's officially on my auto-buy list, as are Stephanie Perkins and the amazing Laini Taylor.

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
A story about a gay teen, brutal bullying, and contemp? Before this year I had never read a contemp. Then Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble came alone and shook me to my core. In a good way.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Unravelling, by Elizabeth Norris. High-stakes FBI sci-fi thriller. AMAZING. Slated by Teri Terry runs a damn close second. If I wasn't trying to give 2012 releases the attention her, it would be Divergent, by Veronica Roth, hands down.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This book is like happiness distilled into book form. It's the perfect bad-mood/weather/day/reading-slump book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

  The Diviners by Libba Bray

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Karou, from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Étienne St.Clair, from Anna and the French Kiss.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight  by Laini Taylor. Anyone who's read this will understand. For those of you who haven't, you truly won't regret it.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
There are two: Saving June by Hannah Harrington. This book broke my heart and re-made it better than ever before. It made me fall in love with contemporary, with life, and all over again with music.

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble is just... extraordinary. This book... it's one of those books with the power to change lives. Wonderful.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
In my defence, I wasn't really aware of its existence till late last year, but I'm going to have to go with Divergent, by Veronica Roth.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? am I supposed to answer that with just one? :O
“This new thing between them it was... astral. It reshaped the air, and it was in her, too—a warming and softening, a pull—and for that moment, her hands in his, Karou felt as powerless as starlight tugged toward the sun in the huge, strange warp of space.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

“I gaze out at the glittering sea, the breathtaking sky above it, and think of birds and the moment before the fall, and how my sister as a child had been strong enough for the both of us, and I wonder when exactly that changed. I don't know when, but it did. Jake was right - I'm strong in a way June never was. Because I know that I want to be here. Even with the pain. Even with the ugliness. I've seen the other side - marching side by side down city streets with people who all believe they can change the world and the view of the sunset from Fridgehenge and Tom Waits lyrics and doing the waltz and kisses so hot they melt into each other and best friends who hold your hand and stretching out underneath a sky draped with stars and everything else.

There is so much beauty in just existing. In being alive. I don't want to miss a second.”
― Saving June, Hannah Harrington

“I’ll never understand why some people can’t just let others live their lives, you know,” Danial said. “You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to agree. Just leave people alone. When I look at the moon and planets and stars, all that narrow-mindedness and hate seem so petty. The universe is such a big place. One hundred thousand light years just from one end of the Milky Way to the other. One hundred. Thousand. Light years. In the time it’s taken for light to travel from one end of our galaxy to the other, thousands of generations have passed. It really makes you realize how small we are, doesn’t it? How short our time on earth is.”
― J.H. Trumble, Don't Let Me Go

“Love is a luxury.”
“No. Love is an element.”
An element. Like air to breathe. Earth to stand on.
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Shortest: Choker, Elizabeth Woods (233 Pages)
Longest: Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead (594 pages)

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. There was a scene in this book involving a cat that had me raging to anyone who would listen (big kudos to the wonderful Mandee from Vegan YA Nerds who listened while I ranted – repeatedly). I didn't wind up reviewing the book because, despite thinking it brilliant, I couldn't see past my anger over this one 'small' thing.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012
Burruu and Yukiko in Stormdancer. The bond between Thundertiger and human girl is the stuff legends are made of. And, I mean, this:

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
I read so many new authors this year that my old favorites barely got a look-in! That being the case, it has to be A Million Suns, by Beth Revis. She followed up a near-perfect debut with a book just as shiny, terrifying, and brilliant.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Anna and the French Kiss - Celine and Brodie. You Guys ♥
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - Brodie
Divergent by Veronica Roth - Yes, Brodie, you're always right. I'll listen better in the future. I promise.
Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble - thank you the amazing Brigid Kemmerer

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

Novel Sounds
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

I started blogging only shortly before the end of 2011, so this is very hard to answer as all my favorite blogs were 'discovered' this year! I love Novel Sounds, though. Elena runs wonderful features, and her music recommendations are perfect.


3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
The response to my post on 'Why I Love This Community' was wonderful, and only re-enforced the huge love I had before!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
The Amazing Wendy Darling's discussion with Dan Krokos on reviewer space, Authors as public figures, and author/reader interaction was insightful, intelligent, and wonderfully handled by both parties. I loved Wendy long before this, and I respected her even more afterwards.

The amazing Lisa, behind Badass Bookie, recently posted a blistering retort to those who label YA fiction 'trashy' that had me cheering, and, well, pretty much every discussion post by one of my favorite blogger peeps, Amanda, at On A Book Bender.

5. Best event that you participated in?
Is it biased to pick Author Appreciation August, which I co-hosted with the beautiful Becca of Reading Wishes? I loved the spirit behind this event – saying thanks to the authors who give us so much, and it's so, so Becca to come up with an idea so thoughtful and beautiful and perfect – such a reflection of herself ♥ I also loved participating in Brigid Kemmerer's book tour for Storm. This was a ridiculous amount of fun.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
Meeting my BFF Kristin in the flesh. Kristin and I met last year, online, through blogging. When Kristin flew out to Australia to spend the week with Lauren and me, and we met up with Alex from Alexandra's Scribblings, it was like the stars aligned.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
It's a fairly even tie between my review of Easy, by Tammara Webber, and my discussion posts on Blogger Burnout and Why I Love This Community.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My review of Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble. This is one of those books I want to make ALL THE PEOPLES READ.

9. Best bookish discovery ?
E-READING! Oh goodness. Getting the Kindle App on my phone has revolutionised my reading!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Eep, no! I'm failing terribly at my Goodreads challenge! I'm up to 87 of 100.

Looking Ahead…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Under the Never Sky. It's insane I haven't gotten to it yet!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I just wrote a post about this! It has to be The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Consistency and balance. A blogging place that is comfortable for me to maintain, and I'm happy with! I'd really like to hit that 100 for my Goodreads challenge next year, too ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Best of 2012 Young Adult — FINAL Round!

Best of 2012 Young Adult
You’ve voted, we’ve tallied, and the numbers are in! Here are your Top Ten (give or take) contenders in each category for the best of 2012 Young Adult releases. Place your final votes, have fun, and may the odds be ever in your favourites’ favour!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogspiration (49): Fantasy

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.



♥ ♥ ♥

More on Blogspiration and Linky sign-up below the jump!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: June 26th 2012 by Avon
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 1 star2 star3 star4 star

A smoking hot vampire lead, an electrifyingly kickass heroine, and bloody fantastic action, Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost delivers, with a very different take on everyone's favorite Prince of Darkness...
From Goodreads:
She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire

...He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

The Story

Leila Dalton is anything but normal. As a child a terrible electrical accident tore apart her family, left her scarred, and worst of all, with the 'gift' of psychometry: She can see a person's past, present and future by touching an object they've come into contact with.

Oh, not to mention she electrocutes anyone she touches.

When a chance encounter exposes her abilities, Leila's talents arouse the interest of some very dangerous 'men,' bent on exacting revenge against an ancient enemy: none other than Vlad Tepesh — Dracula himself. But Vlad rescues her, spirits her away to his Romanian castle, and, as if finding out the Prince of Darkness isn't fiction wasn't enough, turns out to be the first man Leila's ever encountered who can withstand her lethal touch...

The 101

Frost has a knack for tough, likable heroines, and our newest Frost heroine is engaging, sympathetic, and with enough dark secrets to create an excellent balance with our favorite Prince of Darkness. Unable to touch another human being thanks to the lethal electric current that runs through her body, the discovery that she can touch another person — Vlad — makes for some incredibly sexy moments and complications.

Long a fan favorite in Frost's Night Huntress series, Vlad's charismatic, arrogant and dangerous as ever, though it's worth noting much of the humour that has previously characterised our favorite 'showy old bat' is dampened. I'd posit, however, that this humour is largely drawn from the easy friendship and banter he shares with a certain redheaded vampiric vampire hunter, and Cat (and friends), while making an amusing appearance in this book, are not its focus. What we see instead is a deeper side of Vlad: a history of pain, an immovable dedication to his people and more of the intensity that made him such a compelling character when he first made his appearance in At Grave's End.

But this isn't the happily-ever-after love story Frost's provided in previous Night Huntress spin-offs. Vlad and Leila each see something in the other that draws and attracts, and their relationship grows from one of mutually agreeable usefulness to something far more interesting. The romance is emminently palatable, yet, despite life-and-death stakes, the story lacks a feeling of conflict, despite it existing at every turn. As Jane at Dear Author states, the story feels 'safe'. There's an instant attraction between Vlad and Leila, and a guaranteed romance. Of course, that's always guaranteed romance in romance novels, but it's generally preceded by greater obstacles than Vlad and Leila face. In Once Burned, the romance is a matter of 'when', never 'how'.

It's difficult to discuss Once Burned removed from the context of its parent series, especially when characters as beloved as Vlad 'Dracula' Tepesh are key. But it does work as a standalone, and a satisfying start to a series in and of itself. Having said that, if you're after an introduction to Frost's work, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning: Halfway to the Grave. One of the strongest aspects of Once Burned is its building upon characters and a world already brilliantly developed.

The Verdict

Vlad's long awaited story is thrilling, but more than anything, this is Leila's story, and this new heroine is one fans and newcomers will easily connect with and enjoy. The pressure for Once Burned to deliver may have been crushing, but it doesn't disappoint. Once Burned delivers all the elements we've come to expect from Frost at her best: action, engaging characters, heady romance and steamy sex-scenes. A must-read for Frost fans.

Books in This Series:

  1. Halfway To The Grave

  2. One Foot In The Grave

  3. At Grave's End

  4. Destined For An Early Grave

  5. This Side Of The Grave

  6. One Grave At A Time (September 2011)

    • Once Burned (Night Prince #1) (June 2012)

    • Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) (March 2013)

  7. Up From the Grave (2013)

Get Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost from:

Amazon | Kindle | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Borders/Bookworld | Dymocks | QBD

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blogspiration (48): Advice to Aspiring Writers & Human Beings

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

I know, I know, videos can be a pain to watch when you're trawling through blog posts, and I apologise. But if you have 90 seconds, and you've ever thought to yourself 'I can't', or 'I shouldn't' or 'but someone else has done/will do it better than I could,' I urge you to watch this video. If it's a choice been commenting, and watching this video, please, watch this video.

It's no secret I practically worship Neil Gaiman but, I think, you will understand precisely why after this.

Happy Sunday, folks. I hope you're having a loving weekend, and feeling inspired for the week ahead ♥

More on Blogspiration and Linky sign-up below the jump!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Post + GIVEAWAY: "Butterflies Fly Around Me" - On Inspiration, by Samantha Faye Rogers

Many of you will already know Faye from her fantastic blog, A Daydreamer's Thoughts. But Faye's not here today to promote her blog, she's here because she has a very special, once in a lifetime opportunity: the chance to win earn a paid job blogging. If you'd like to help Faye, it's simple: At the end of this post is a link to a YouTube video.  All you need to do is watch the the video and 'Like' it, Comment on its YouTube page, and if you're feeling so inclined, share! And there's something in it for you, too! Comment or share the video, and you automatically go into the draw to win a fabulous bookish prize!

I want to start this post by thanking Sarah for being kind enough to host me on the blog today. It’s quite nice here, I’ve always wanted to be here and it feels good to finally be here. But um... moving on! So, I am here today to talk to you all about inspiration. With her lovely, and amazing, meme Blogspiration, I find myself often inspired by Sarah and so it felt fitting to write a guest post on inspiration.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Best of 2012 Young Adult — Have Your Say!

Best of 2012 Young Adult
What a year. We've survived apocalypses, The Dreaded Alice during Goodreads downtime and getting the news we have to wait another year for more Stephanie Perkins. But, on the bright side, from historical to contemporary, dystopian to paranormal, 2012 has been an amazing year for Young Adult fiction. The Goodreads Choice Awards are well underway, but I'm super excited to be working with the nefarious mastermind behind Eleusinian Mysteries of Reading to bring you the chance to have your say on the books you love, with a ‘choice awards’ just for Young Adult!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Blogspiration (47): Inspiration is Like Food Poisoning

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author's choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

Inspiration is Like Food Poisoning

I've been a fan of The Oatmeal for a long time, but when Matthew Inman posted his comic on 'Making Things' recently, commenting that 'Inspiration is Like Food Poisoning', I knew I had to share this with you all.

Whether you're an aspiring writer, a designer, stuggling with the pressure to produce more content as a blogger (I struggle with this constantly), or working in any kind of creative capacity, I think we can all relate to this on some level. I really hope you can take the time to read this and laugh along with me ;D

More on Blogspiration and Linky sign-up below the jump!


Currently Reading:

Follow Me

Can't see Google Friend Connect? Join This Site

Want an e-mail notification when there's a new post at saz101? Enter your e-mail, and the Feedburner faeries will answer your wishes ♥


I receive books from publishers, in exchange for honest reviews. When this is the case, I state so at the end of each post. This doesn't effect my review of the book, or my opinion, and I receive no monetary compensation for anything posted on this site.
When you click on a link to Amazon from, I receive a small referral fee on any purchases made. It won't cost you any more to buy your books this way, but it does help to support this blog.
If you have any questions about any of the content on this site, contact me :)