As 2013 quickly approaches, we must all take a moment and reflect upon the beautiful literary year that was 2012. I mean, it was a pretty fantastic year for authors, new and old. Some of my favorite books of all time were published this year. I can’t wait to find out what the future holds. But as for 2012, here are my top ten.

10. So Close to You by Rachel Carter. Never read a time travel book before, this one definitely showed me the error of my ways. Fun, quick read with a sequel to come. You should probably pick it up, I’m thinking that is something you should probably do.

9. Fire by Kristin Cashore. The companion novel to GracelingFire did not disappoint. It’s a totally inventive fantasy world  that was beautiful and complete with its imagery. Like, if I had only read the descriptions, I would have been happy. But then you add in the diverting story and the badass heroine and you have one top-notch piece of literary prowess.

8. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This was a great twist on the traditional Peter Pan story. I never really noticed Tiger Lily much in that story, but Anderson proves that she is not a character to forget. Did I view Peter Pan differently after I read this book? Yes. But it is a new light that I am glad to have bathed in.

7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I thought this was a bit slow at first, but towards the middle of the book, the characters and story really picked up and it was an awesome dystopian read. If you’re into that recently popular genre, this is a can’t-miss. And it’s part one of a trilogy, which is always fun.

6. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. I’ll let you know that I read this book and I only cried for twenty minutes (said in a Spongebob voice). But seriously, this is one of the best road trip books that I’ve read in a while. It speaks to the human condition, and to the troubles and decisions that new high school grads face. Very honest, very important. If you are human, you have to read this.

5. Meant to Be by Lauren Morill. Girlfriend wrote a romantic young adult book set in London. Girlfriend can do no wrong. Check out my review of this book for a full description. Basically, if you love cute stories set in cute cities, you should read this.

4. Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham. Check my review on it. This is also one of the best road trip books that I’ve read in a while. Three ex-best friends on the verge of adulthood traveling across the nation in an ugly green VW bus. What’s not to love? Also, the author seems like a pretty super cool person, which always makes a book more fun to read.

3. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Review here! I like to describe this book as a Young Adult romance with the substance of a “classic” romance. (Side note: This is not to say that Young Adult books don’t usually have impressive substance to them, I was just particularly impressed with this one). If you don’t fall in love with Jase, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Maybe you’re a llama.

2. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. I loved the original Percy Jackson series, but as they were written for the younger set, they lacked some issues that teenagers face, so they weren’t as entertaining as this spinoff series. The Heroes of Olympus series, of which this book is third, is the answer to this short-falling. We see the characters in all their teenage glory and it is so great. The action and the romance and the friendship combine to make one outstanding story. Read it if you enjoy intelligent people writing intelligent words.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Everyone has books that are always somewhere on their mind. Like, it will pop up in your mind for no reason, except for the fact that it was important to you. The Fault in Our Stars is that book to me. And I know it is that book for many people, which makes me unforgivingly happy. If any book on this list transcends through the centuries, it will be this one. So read it, if you haven’t already.

That’s all of them! It’s been a good year. See you in the grand 2013 for more books, more authors and more words. I shall be blogging from jolly old England for the next couple months, and I’m going to be putting adventure pics up on another blog. More details to come if you’re interested.

Fare thee well, brethren.


2012 In Review!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thursday Thoughts: Questions

Thursday Thoughts

I just saw Les Mis. It was beautiful and perfect and everyone should watch it. My favorite movie of the year.

In one of the songs, Valjean asks himself, “who am I?”. He repeats it over and over and has a bunch of different answers, struggling to pinpoint the correct one. He eventually does and the song ends in triumph (to a degree), but this really got me thinking.

As a young person, it is generally thought that we are all searching to discover who we are, to identify and characterize ourselves. Everyone wants this. People want to figure out who they are and what they are meant to do. And this is good, but sometimes I think you can get too caught up in the search.

You know, I want to figure out who I am and what I’m supposed to be as much as the next person. But I tried to figure this out, I tried to pinpoint the correct answer, and I just ended up even more confused and stressed. So I decided to stop trying and let whatever happens to me define me. It’s a bit of a relief actually.

I’ve found that how you react to situations, the books you read, the friends you have and the risks you take define who you are. (Side note: this is not a groundbreaking discovery to mankind; but to me it is). So in a way, by not trying to define myself, I have come closer to doing just that than ever.

This very mightily makes zero amounts of sense, but it was nice to write. Peace yo.

The Super Sweet Blog Award

I guess I can’t go a week without blogging. Today, Reen (of The Wanderer) nominated me and my blog for the Super Sweet Blog Award. I was so surprised! This is my first blog award, and I am so thankful to Reen for nominating me. (By the way, her blog totally rocks, you all MUST read it). When I started this blog about a year ago, I never expected people to actually read it. I just loved the books I read so much that I needed an outlet to write about them, and this blog provided me with one. Now, a dozen or so books later, my project has turned into an exceptionally important part of my routine. It’s more than just the books, you know? It’s the satisfaction of knowing that people are giving these stories I love the time of day. Even if people don’t go out and buy the books I write about, at least they are aware of their existence. I want people to know authors, to be impressed and proud of the work they produce. I think that writing a good, personal and universal book is one of the hardest things a human being can do. When I find a person who is successfully done that, I need to tell people. At first, I wrote for myself. Now, I still write for myself, but I also write for authors and for readers and for people who hate books and for people who love them. It’s turned into something much more personally important than I could have expected. And I’m glad that Reen nominated me for this award, even if only for an excuse to tell you all this.



The rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Nominate other blogs for this award and let them know.
  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Answer 5 questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake? Cookie cake
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, because I’m not afraid of flavor.
  3. Favorite sweet treat? Swirly frozen custard.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? When I wake up, and then for rest of my waking day with a break around never.
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? ho-ho (you really set yourself up for that one).

My Nominees:

So thanks everybody! It’s been a fun year.

P.S. As a side note to my nominees, don’t feel obligated to accept and/or thank me on your blog! I understand that everyone blogs differently and that this might not fit in with the themes of each person’s blog. I just really wanted to mention everyone on that list because you all are truly my favorite blogs out there, and I love reading every single one of them! Just wanted you guys to know that!! Happy holidays!


Thursday Thoughts: Merry Christmas!

Thursday Thoughts

Happy Holidays, everybody! Just wanted to write a quick little something about the holiday season and also why I will not be blogging next week (with one exception to come over the weekend).

This is, unsurprisingly, my favorite time of the year, which is why I won’t be blogging. Gotta soak up that merriment, ya’ll! When I was little, I loved Christmas for the presents and for the cousin fun time, but over the years, the holidays have become more important to me for different reasons. I look forward to Christmas for the tradition. The lights, the food, the family tree decorating/gingerbread house making and just the hearthy warmth and comfort of being nestled in a blanket with a pug on my lap and a family at my side.

Also, there’s the books. Oh yes, the books. My traditions extend to the literary sort, of which you will discover in my upcoming post about the necessity of Christmasy tales.

Peace out (said like Kip).

Happy Belated Birthday Jane!

Yesterday was Jane Austen’s birthday! Say what you will about her, but to me, she was a dreamer. And she lived her dreams in her books. Maybe some people don’t see that as an accomplishment. I see it as one of the greatest things you could do. So, in honor of her life, I decided to tell you some of what I think are her best quotes. Just a fun little thang to brighten up your dull Monday.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” – Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
― Jane Austen, Sense And Sensibility

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
― Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

“Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another!”
― Jane Austen, Emma

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.”
― Jane Austen, Love and Friendship

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”
― Jane Austen, Emma

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

And for the grand finale…

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday Thoughts: Movie Adaptations

Normally, when a movie adaptation for one of my favorite books is announced I freak out. Then IPERCYK_QUAD@50%AW_V5 wait a year, go to the midnight premiere, and then leave feeling slightly let down. I do this every single time. So why even bother caring when a movie is announced? It never does the book justice (except in the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice). I’m always upset after and I have a list of complaints. They left this out! Or what about that girl? Stuff like that. The movies can be good, but they never live up to my expectation.

256494141249027936_72e3EkseBut you know what? I will always be excited for movie adaptations. No matter how much I don’t like them or how much they let me down, I will still be psyched. And that’s because when I finish a book that I really loved, I basically want to die. I loved it so much that I don’t want to let it go! Anyone feel me on this? So even though I know I will be disappointed, I will always look forward to movie adaptations because it’s an extension of this book, this experience that I loved so much and a movie means that it lasts a bit longer. And that’s worth it, in my book.

I admit I’m totally ridiculous and crazy. Because it’s just a book. But, really, it’s not. Like I said, it’s an experience, an adventure and (dorky, but) a friendship.