Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

Hey guys! So this past year has been an amazing year of blogging.We have made so many new friends. We've learned so much about blogging. We've read the most amazing books. We met tons of authors and went to conferences. I don't think either of us could have imagined blogging would be this amazing. At this time last year we had just started our blog and had no idea what we were doing! Now, our little, bitty blog isn't so little. We both accomplished our reading goals for the year which were 100 books. Marissa finished with 100 and Jasmine finished with 130! Next year Marissa's goal it 110 books and Jasmine's is 125.We owe you guys lots of thanks for sticking with us. You guys really make us feel like our hard work paid off. This post is pretty much gonna be a combination of things we feel you should know from the past year and what to expect in the future. We hope you enjoy! Also be sure and watch our Best of 2012 vlog at the bottom of this post!

Meme's: So this year we participated in Teaser Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday and our meme's Author Love and Series Love. The past 2 months we've been taking off Author Love and Series Love because we were running out of things to use. Both those meme's will be back in 2013. Instead of doing Teaser Tuesday were going to start doing Top Ten Tuesday. We're also going to start doing Cover Crazy on Monday's. Instead of just doing a post though we're going to try and do vlogs! So be sure and keep an eye out for those.

Conferences and signings: This year we both attended TLA and ALA Midwinter. For 2013 we plan on going to TLA and ALA Annual. So if you were there or are planning on going let us know! We went to the Pitck Dark/Breathless Reads event in February( you can find our post on that here). We also have a pretty cool post about the author signings at TLA( which you can find here). We attended a Michelle Hodkin event that you can read about here. We attended the release party for Opal by Jennifer L. Arementrout you can read about that one here. I don't think there's any signings we plan on attending right now but if its in the Texas area we could possibly be there. Usually we tell Twitter about things like that so be sure to follow us there. The information is on the Contact page.

Giveaways: Yes, we know we had a lot of giveaways this year. It got a little crazy. But, we hope you enjoyed them and want more! For now we plan on slowing down till after summer then having a couple big ones. The big ones will hopefully be for milestones. The reason were waiting till after summer is because we're going to conferences and that's where most of our giveaway books come from.

 I think that's it! Now onto the fun stuff we have a vlog for you. We even filmed it together which is rare for us. It's a combination of our best of 2012 choices.  We decided to be a little creative and have some fun this year! We gave ourselves lots of categories so we can pick lots of books. We have 8 categories. Those are Debut, Addition/Start to a series, Standalone, Most Cute, Best Couple, Cover, Tearjerker, and Most Anticipated. Since we have a lot of categories we're only picking first and runner up. Basically every category will have two books from both of us. Some categories may have some we wanted to include so those will be the exceptions. Choosing was really hard for us! Filming this was also incredibly hard. We have a blooper video we wanted to include because its funny. We hope you guys enjoy! Be sure and leave us links to your end of the year posts :). Keep reading below the videos because our most anticipated books for 2013 are there. Sorry the pictures are all jacked up they didn't want to look pretty.

Marissa's most anticipated 2013 releases-

 Marissa also included Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins! Those don't have covers yet though so we couldn't add a picture

Blooper video. This was our first attempt. We thought it was funny so we included it :).
We managed to film a video! We had a ton of books so we kinda had to rush through. We also didn't have all the books so we were a little flustered. But we made it work!

Overall 2012 has been an amazing year of books and blogging. We're sad to see it end but we know 2013 will be even better. See you guys next year!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman Review

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Speak
Source: Borrowed
First book in the If I Stay series
A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family. 
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

I have never wanted to read this. Why? I really don't know. It never interested me. But, this book is hugely popular. Everyone has read it and had good things to say about it. So I gave it a shot. And I am so glad I did. Yes, it may have torn out my heart, jumped up and down on it, and then gave it back. But it's okay because I loved it with all my heart. It was beyond amazing.

I can't imagine being in Mia's place. She basically had to watch everyone's reactions to her being in a comma. Then she had to make probably the hardest choice of her life. Do I stay? Or do I leave? I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I can honestly say I cried my eyes out. I really liked the flash backs. It really helped understand Mia's life before the accident. It also helped understand her relationships and what she was staying for or leaving behind. Mia was an amazing character. I absolutely adored Adam. He was also an amazing character. Adam and Mia had the most amazing relationship. They were so cute. The amount of love they really had for each other was amazing. Adam was all Mia had left. And she had to decide if that was enough. I'm not going to tell you the outcome you'll have to read for yourself. But I will say it was beautiful.

This book had the most amazing storyline. I've never read anything like it. It had some really amazing aspects. It was impossible to out down. The story was unraveling before my eyes. You couldn't predict where it was going because you had no idea what choice Mia would make. You could definitely say the story was moving. It was hard for me not to curl into a ball and cry my eyes out. Overall this book was absolutely amazing. I'm so glad I finally read it. I can't wait to start Where She Went. I know it's from Adam's point of view. So I will be reading that as soon as possible. If you don't mind tears and moving storyline with great characters this one is perfect for you!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech Review

The Great Unexpected
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Conference
Stand Alone
I had big thoughts to match the big wind. I wondered if we find the people we need when we need them. I wondered if we attract our future by some sort of invisible force, or if we are drawn to it by a similar force. I felt I was turning a corner and that change was afoot.
In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield. Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens. For she knows all the peculiar people in town--like Crazy Cora and Witch Wiggins and Mr. Farley. But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed--three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge, and that boy. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . . .
As two very different worlds are woven together, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech celebrates the gossamer thread that connects us all, and the great and unexpected gifts of love, friendship, and forgiveness.

Yay for middle grade! Okay I'm not sure how I felt about this one honestly. This probably isn't going to be the best review ever. Sorry! I found myself having to push to finish this. I was confused pretty much the whole time. But I know this wasn't written for my age. It's middle grade. I think younger kids would love it. That's the whole point right?

The best thing about middle grade is the characters. Their always super adorable. Naomi was great. I loved her sense of adventure. I loved how mature she was. I liked now she never gave up. She was so determined to solve this mystery. Now Lizzie, I didn't enjoy very much. She's one of those kids you hope you don't act like. There wasn't anything really wrong with her. She just bothered me. Finn was quite the mystery. There wasn't a lot of detail gone into him. I think he was supposed to remain a mystery. Not much was explained about him. By the end of the book I still had no idea who he was.

Like I said earlier it was hard to keep up with this story. I think it was because there was two stories being made into one. I read fast and sometimes I miss things. I was in somewhat of a rush to finish this so I'm not surprised I wasn't sure what happened by the end. The storyline was pretty good. It was very creative. There was a fair bit of action too. If I had to pick me word to describe this book is would be mysterious. Overall this was a little meh for me. It wasn't a bad read at all. I just don't think it was for me. But I do think it would be a great read for younger kids!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Days of Blood and Starlight by LainiTaylor Review

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Borrowed
Second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Laini Taylor never ceases to amaze me. Here I was thinking Daughter of the Smoke and Bone was so amazing and how could it get better than that? Throw that right out the window and across the street. This book was absolutely fantastic. It was such an amazing sequel. The wait for this one was killer and this made it worth it. It was such a good addition to the series.

I didn't reread the first book before starting this one. I don't remember much so I don't have much to compare too. Karou seemed pretty different in this. She was having a tough time. She seemed very confused. It seemed like she had somewhat given up. I didn't enjoy her character as much as I remember enjoying her in the first one. She was like a whole new person. But I can understand why she was she was she was. She needed to toughen up to survive. Akiva also seemed like he had given up. He seemed very tortured. It was really sad to see. I felt bad for him. He's my favorite. I was proud of him for trying take a difference though. There was on,y one thing that bothered me about this book. I missed the cuteness between Akiva and Karou. They were so cute in the first book and I want them to get back to that. I absolutely adored Zuzanna. She's the best. I'm glad she had us h a huge part to play. I really enjoyed reading from her point of view. Her and Mik gave me the cuteness I needed so badly. I swear all these characters are so well done. Their amazing!

You know what I want to know, how does Laini Taylor come up with this stuff. The creativity never ends. The storyline was incredibly unique and exciting. I read this in like five hours because I couldn't put it down(and it's a pretty big book). The suspense was killer and the action was great. The setting was fantabulous. I loved getting to read about the Chimeras and the Angels. That was such a cool aspect. I liked the glimpses into the past. I feel like I really got to learn so many things from this. I loved it. I understand so much more now. Overall this was the most amazing read. I had to wait forever for this to come out and it didn't disappoint. The wait for the third book shall be awful. If you haven't read this series, you have to. It's one of those hunt you down, throw it at your face, and force oh books. Save me the trouble!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel Review

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher
First book in the Vampire Queen series
“Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you... no one.”
Those were some of Rhode’s last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.
It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.
Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.
I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn’t Rhode.
But Justin was... daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.
I never expected to be sixteen again... then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...

This one was a little hard for me to get into. I've never read vampire story about becoming human again. I think that is such a cool concept. I really enjoyed this one. More than I thought I would. It had a great storyline. The characters were pretty well done. The ending wasn't very nice to me so I can't wait to continue this story.

I loved Lenah. I loved how human she was. She fit in so well it was hard to believe she was ever anything but human. I loved the little snippets from her past. I'm still really curious about her past. I think a prequel would be amazing. It was hard to keep up with Lenah towards the end. I was pretty confused. It didn't explain what she was or what she had become. I'm curious to learn more about that in the next book. I loved Justin very much. I thought him and Lenah were the cutest thing ever. I loved how even though he was human, he still played a very big part in the story. Lenah's coven wasn't a huge aspect of the story. One member was featured more than the others and his story was left open so I hope to see some of him in the sequel.

This had a slower plot. There was a good amount of excitement in the beginning and at the end but not much through the middle. It was more focused in Lenah's life as a human. It didn't bore me at all in cacti had problems putting it down. If you fall head over heels in love with the characters you won't be bored. The characters were very well done. I liked the boarding school setting. I loved the unique concept. Overall I really enjoyed this one. It had a lot of aspects I liked. I think it's a great start to the series. I can't wait to see where the story goes. If you like vampires and great characters this one is for you!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

My pick for this week is:
Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Expected publication: June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
I know it says cover not final but I really hope this is the cover. It's super cute and would go beautifully with the first book. Shadow and Bone was an AMAZING read. It only took me 4 hours to read it. I can not wait for Siege and Storm. I can't wait to see where the story goes. The wait is going to be torture. If your not waiting on this one, you should be. Drop a comment and let me know what your waiting on this week!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jennifer L. Armentrout Opal Release Party!

*happy dances* Texas won the contest for which state got to host the Opal by Jennifer L. Arementrout release party. This was our first ever release party. We drove from Dallas all the way to Houston for it (which is a 5 hour drive that Jasmine drove and almost killed us both a few times). It was such an amazing event. There was an insane amount of readers, role model-big bloggers (like Yara from Once Upon a Twilight, Valerie from Stuck in Books, the girls from YA Sisterhood ect. it was like being surrounded by celebrities), Entangled authors and even the owner of Entangled herself, Liz Pelletier (who we owe many thanks to since she's the person behind the lovely covers among other things). We made so many new friends and had long discussions about books. We did lots and lots of fangirling. We got about 15 books signed between the two of us and came home with almost 20 books. We are so lucky that Texas won. This was the most amazing experience. We have tons of pictures for you guys and a giveaway below.

Us 4 hours before the signing after a 5 hour drive. (I know, how is it possible we were so cute after 5 hours on the road? We're just that cool-ha no we changed in the bathroom)

The display! Almost all these books were gone by the end.

The huge crowd. The turnout was insane. The lines were super crazy. See if you can find us in the crowd (it's super obvious)! 

They had the cutest swag ever! The little gold things are guitar picks for Apollyon. On the left is an Obsidian button and a "Hey Kitten want a cookie" bookmark. The bookmark Jasmine won in the raffle :). The rest of the swag was just handed out.

The city of Humble giving Jennifer a certificate and making December 15th Jennifer L. Armentrout day for all her amazingness.

Jennifer and Pepe answering questions. Jennifer is hilarious and she made it feel like we were all a bunch of friends hanging out on a Saturday night. For all you Pepe lovers his accent is amazing (we should have recorded it). He's more like Dawson than Daemon but we don't mind one bit. Everyone in the crowd would fangirl every time he spoke. Everyone also spent a lot of time staring at his face. In doses though. It's kind of like looking at the sun.

Lets all take a second to stare *pets the screen*
Its blurry but it serves its purpose.
Us with Pepe and Jennifer.

A little extra Pepe for you guys! (That definitely added to the reading experience)

Our signed Covenant series books

Our signed Lux series books. If you look closely you can see that Pepe wrote Hey Kitten in all the books.
 Jasmine got Cursed signed too.
That's about it for the pictures! As I'm sure you can tell we had an amazing time. By the time we left we had been there for 7 hours and were exhausted but on one of those awesome book event highs. It was one of the best events we have been to and we both wish we had a time machine so we could do it again. If you were there be sure to let us know in the comments! But please keep the Pepe admiring
PG-13 ;)
 We have a nice giveaway planned for you guys. There's going to be two winners. The first prize winner will get a signed copy of Opal that has Hey Kitten signed from Pepe. The second prize is a signed copy of Opal but doesn't have Hey Kitten, instead you get some pretty cool swag. This is US ONLY. Sorry INT!


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