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December 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #22 - Christmas Edition!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.

Subscribe to my channel!

Christmas Gifts!!!
From Hawaii when my boyfriend's sister went

Left: From Jena - an amaaaazing package!
Right: From my grandma :)

 
Both from the Boyfriend <3


Books Mentioned:
Torn Souls by Crystal Cattabriga
Witch Born by Amber Argyle
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Down To You by M. Leighton

Bloggers Mentioned:
Jessica @ Just a Booklover
Jena @ Shortie-Says

Thanks St. Martin's Press!

What did you get over the holiday?
TELL MEEE :)

December 28, 2012

Best and Favorite Books of 2012

Hello folks.
It's that time of the year where I must painstakingly pick a list of books and dub them the best and my most favoritest of this year. To be quite frank, I have no clue how many books I've read this whole year because A) I refuse to count, B) I forget, and C) I'm just too lazy. I don't do Goodreads challenges to see how many I have read (that would be the easiest solution, yes?) because I'll never get to that goal. Why? Because I'm slow and I'm fickle and because apparently school is much more important (who said?) Anyway, I have read a ton of books this year that were absolutely incredible, great and damn straight good!

Some had made me cry bucket loads for hours at a time.

Some have made me smile so much my cheeks hurt.

Some have even made me laugh out loud to the point where people think I've lost my mind.

And some have made me feel like this..

And this..

And one most certainly had me doing this..

So lets get on with the books right?!
These are in no particular order, I think.

Flawed by Kate Avelynn

This book. THIS BOOK. Killed me. Broke Me. Changed Me. Moved Me. Haunted Me. Shattered Me. Devoured Me. Grabbed my soul, yanked it out, stomped on it, and shoved it back into my body withered and dying. Everything. Literally all the feels. It's the best book I have ever read and if you have not picked this one up, please do so. Seriously, you will never be the same.
"You'd give up everything for me?"
"When are you going to get that you are everything?"

"I figured out pretty quick that this is a forever thing for me. I think it has been from the very beginning."
asdfghjkl. Damn, I love this book so hard.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

With the amount of times I have mentioned, raved, swooned and basically obsessed over this book it would be a shame if I didn't put it on this list. I love this book. From the cover to the words inside to the witty characters to Brennan's ability to devastate me. This book had immense amount of humor, magic and gothic themes, really what's not to like? Plus Jared Lynburn. Jared Lynburn, my love and my life.
“Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Kami yelled up at him, “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!”

Down to You by M. Leighton

Heaven and Hell. Sweet baby biscuits. ohmygoodnesssgracious. This book is definitely why my Santana fanning self gif is up there. Oh, this book is deliciously hot, smexy and so damn satisfying. It's like eating ice cream on a hot day, like peeing after holding it for so long. Actually, it's like getting laid after not getting laid for freaking  years. This book, yep, I want to hook up with it, marry it, have babies with it and grow old with it. If I could, I'd have my way with Cash Davenport right here, right now, on screen for all to see. Good gracious great balls of fire, M. Leighton what have you done to me?
“Look at yourself,” I say. I pull her long hair over one shoulder and place a kiss in the bend of her neck. She tilts her head to give me better access. “You’re the most beautiful girl in the room.”

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Intense, riveting and passionate this book hooked me deep. I loved Echo. I loved Noah. I loved how intertwined their stories became and I love how both was able to just break me and put me back together again. McGarry did a brilliant job developing both characters and their stories. Her writing didn't just deliver, she freaking nailed it. This book had me so invested, it was just amazing.
Her eyes met mine again. “So what does this mean for us?”
I lowered my forehead to hers. “It means you’re mine.”

"I gazed into her beautiful green eyes and her fear melted. A shy smile tugged at her lips and at my heart. Fuck me and the rest of the world, I was in love".


What a Boy Wants and What A Boy Needs by Nyrae Dawn
(click on the covers to take you to their Goodreads page)

Yeah, I put both of them and cheated. Sue me! Both of these books belong together just like Bastian and Jaden are the dynamic duo I have loved so damn much. These two not only make my heart ache, but they freaking make me grin and laugh like no other. And Nyrae Dawn! She has come to be one of my favorite authors ever and like I have said a million times before, she never ceases to amaze me. These two books of hers will always be my favorite. 
"First of all, you're nuts. I'm way hotter than you. And second, I'm being serious man. We're like, Batman and Robin. Scooby and Shaggy. Actually, none of those duos have shit on us. 
We're Sebastian and Jaden."

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Ah, the book that made me fall for historical fiction and high fantasy! This book is huge, but filled with assassin nuns, deaths and killings, forbidden love, a kick-ass heroine and one Gavriel Duval to swoon after. Yes, it had lost of elements and yes, it had lost of court politics, but damn it all! I loved every single thing about this book. LaFevers created one heck of a novel, really. Will I be getting her next book? Hell to the yes.
"I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face".

"Every time he glances at me I feel it just as surely as if he has reached out and run his finger along my soul. It is all I can do not to smile at the sheer wonder of it".

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Jack! Cole! Ashton made me love and fall for both. I had to put this book on this list even though I read this way back in January. Man, the ending to this book rocked my world. It's no joke that I adore Greek mythology and the fact that Everneath has a sprinkling of that, I was a fan way before I even started it. I love that this book goes from past to present. I love Nikki and her story and the growth she goes through in this book. I love how sweet Jack is and how persistently cool Cole is. I love it all, really.
“I didnt tell him I'd thought of him every day. That even when every other memory had faded, he never left.

“Tell me why you care," I said.
He put his hands on the windowsill. "Because it's you. Despite what you think of me, your pain will always be my pain.”

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Oh, Celaena! My clever assassin, how I love you so. This girl's will and determination blew my mind. Plus her big mouth and witty come backs just had me loling! The young assassin was just full of trouble! Because of my new found love for fantasy and such, I had to put this book on this list. Not to mention that I adore SJM, her writing and how she made me feel for Dorian. Yeah, I'm in the minority. BITE ME. The beautiful world building, the magic, the fighting, the competition, the betrayal.. all of it really stood out to me. Especially near the end, that one moment that seriously had my pulse racing and my heart beating, I just knew that this book would be unforgettable.

Because Celaena rocks..
“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

And Dorian, my sweet, you have stolen my heart with this line..
“I'm not married," he said softly, "because I can't stomach the idea of marrying a woman inferior to me in mind and spirit. It would mean the death of my soul.”

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

No words of mine can truly explain this book. Every time I think about it I have this ache inside that reminds me I never truly healed. So if you have read it, you know what I mean and if you have not, I leave you with this..
"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
Be still my heart, my dear Augustus Waters. I will always and forevermore, love you.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

This book is a piece of art. 
Beautiful. Lyrical. Fun. Poetic. It's all about adventure, discovery and budding romance that all takes place in one night. This book holds a very very special place in my heart. Not only was it the first book I was ever approved for on Netgalley, but it's my all time
favorite book, ever. My #1.
“Every time he looked at me I felt like I'd touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. In art class I'd watch him lean back and listen and I was nothing but zing and tingle. After a while, the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I had nothing in common with a sheddy like him, but a girl doesn't think straight when she's that close to electrocution.”

“Kept dreaming of this spot she had on her neck, this tiny country. I wanted to visit, to paint a picture of what I found there, a wall with a road map of her skin.” 

“If my like for you was a football crowd, you’d be deaf ’cause of the roar. And if my like for you was a boxer, there’d be a dead guy lying on the floor. And if my like for you was sugar, you’d lose your teeth before you were twenty. And if my like for you was money, let’s just say you’d be spending plenty.” 

And others I thought were equally bests and favorites 
but I couldn't make this post any longer that it already is..
(if the cover was changed, I'm putting the cover I read the book in)





And that's it.  
What are your best/faves reads of 2012?

December 23, 2012

Book Buzzers #13 Why did I start blogging?

iMovie meltdown.
I was *supposed* to have a Book Buzzers video up for this week, but stupid iMovie was being a complete biatch to me. After recording an agonizing 20 minute STS video and major editing to bring it down to the mere 11 minutes, I finally was able to stop and attempt to record another video, my Book Buzzers one. Well low and behold, iMovie decided to A) Freeze and B) F up the audio. I tried. And tried again and again and again to do it over. I was so ready to toss my laptop across my room, stomp on it and give it the fiery death it deserves that I basically just yelled..
and dropped the whole darn thing all together. For the life of me, I couldn't do it. It was that point where it was almost 5 am, I was tired, had little to no sleep, haven't done diddley shit and wasted hours that I was on the verge of some meltdown. When you're having a meltdown you just STOP, DROP, and RELAX. So hence this post will replace the video that should have occupied its place. Forgive me, dear iMovie, but if you do this to me again we are SO breaking up. 

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This week's topic:
Why We Started Blogging?

Thanks to the lovely Emily @ Doodle's Book Blog for this wonderful topic!

Why did I, Jessirae, start blogging in the first place?

1. BOOKS. BOOKS. BOOKS. 
I think even as a young girl, I liked to read. More than the average kid, but still not an avid reader. But who hadn't been reading Dr. Seuss books at that age, right? lol. Anyway, I've always liked reading but it wasn't until I graduated high school where I really found the passion for it. (Mostly because high school required reading sucked asdfghjkl). I went from Literature Fiction and graduated to Young Adult in just a few weeks and since then I've been reading non-stop. My love for reading and books grows steadily each and every day. If I didn't love or have passion for books so much, I don't think I would have even bothered with a blog. 

2. Loneliness and sharing.
I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, but I'm the only one in my family and in my group of friends who loveslovesloves to read; who enjoys books. I needed an outlet, something, anything, some sort of place or group I could belong with. When I found the book blogging community, I felt like I was at home even before I started. It just seemed natural to me, the burning want, need, and desire to start my blog not only for the loneliness and alienation I felt, but also because I wanted to share this love with other people. I couldn't do it at home. What better way than to do it with people online who love books just as much (maybe even more) as me? Even if no one really read my blog or what I had to say, at least I was able to let my feelings out through my blog, through my reviews. It's safe to say that it was love at first blog. 

3. Christina Reads YA. 

I met Christina through Twitter, before I got my blog going, when I asked her a question about receiving the new dust jacket for Andrea Cremer's Nightshade. She had gotten hers, I hadn't. I was bummed because I requested one and was worried/sad/afraid I wouldn't. It wasn't set in stone. (First 75 people, I believe). Well to make a long story short, I did get my dust jacket and told Christina and well.. the rest is history, sort of. I noticed that she had a blog, that she reviewed books. At this time I was following some blogs (never interacted with them on twitter), but was still iffy about joining in. I was (still am) a college student and heck, I was so busy I seriously doubted I could even start a blog. But Christina (though I'm sure she didn't know at the time or even intended on inspiring me) was a college student, with a blog. She could do it and I thought.. yes, maybe I could too! (Thanks Christina <3) 

1 2 3 Words, Pages, and Books was born, kind of.
I say kind of, because... SPOILER ALERT.. this blog was originally my personal blog. Yep, that's right. Somethingsomething daysmonthsyears (I don't even know) in the making too. When Christina became my reason #3 and that little big push I needed to start my blog, I converted/changed/ this personal blog My Circumstances into some other absurdly long title I can't remember to my book blog I now call Words, Pages, and Books. I was still clueless on what to do, how to proceed, but with the help of some bloggers I met along the way and my drive to keep going, you now have my small, but slightly cool-ish blog :)

It's tough, it's hard work, but so damn worth it! 
If I could go back and do it all over again, would I?

There's really one answer..

For the comments:
If you have a blog, why did you start it?
If you don't, do you want to? Why or why not?


And follow these awesome bloggers:


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That's it for me this week! I hope I'll have a video up for you guys next time!
Thanks and toodles!

December 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #21


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.

Subscribe to my channel!

Books Mentioned:
Received -
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick
The Summer Prince by Alaya Sawn Johnson
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (borrowed)
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Beta by Rachel Cohn
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Live Through This by Mindi Scott
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Venom by Fiona Paul

Ebooks mentioned:
For review/blog tour-
Down to You by M. Leighton (blog tour)
Waterfall by Lacy Danes (blog tour)
Mind Games by Kiersten White
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Won-
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
Wings of Tavea by Devri Walls
Temptation's Heat by Michelle Zink
Temptation's Kiss by Michelle Zink
Unwrap Me by Carolina Jordan and Samantha Spencer
Captivated by You by Diane Alberts

Bought-
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle
Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde
Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan
The Secret of Ella and Micha byJessica Sorensen
Devoured by Emily Snow

Kindle Freebies-
Scorched Skies by Samantha Young
Rogue by Leigh T. Moore
Enemies & Playmates by Darcia Helle
Lawful Escort by Tina Folsom

Bloggers Mentioned:
ARCycling
Emily @ Emily's Reading Room
Aeicha @ Word Spelunking
Susan @ Wasterpaper Prose
AToMR Tours
Bewitching Book Tours

Special thanks to:
Macmillan
Edelweiss - Harper Teen
Netgalley -  Harlequin Teen & Random House
Jessica Redmerski
Devri Walls
Michelle Zink & Swoon Romance


What did you get?

December 21, 2012

REVIEW: Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Send Me a Sign
Author: Tiffany Schmidt - Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Published: October 2, 2012
Format: egalley via Netgalley* 384 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon || B&N || The Book Depository
Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
Send Me a Sign begins with a teenage girl who discovers news that nearly shatters the life she once knew right before her eyes. Cancer is something we all face whether it be from the people around us or in ourselves and we all know it’s a tough thing to overcome. In Send Me a Sign, Tiffany Schmidt creates a beautiful and refreshing novel that allows us to experience someone literally dealing with life and death and the consequences of secrecy. 

Mia believes in signs. Before deciding on any big decision, she feels she needs some kind of sign to move forward. When Mia finds out she has leukemia, she continues to look for signs whether to tell her friends or whether she will live or die. In the midst of this, Mia is afraid people will pity her or run away from her because of her illness. Throughout the book, Mia struggles with acceptance, alienation, and wanting to live a normal life. No matter how strong and brave Mia appeared to be, deep down she was terrified and barely holding on. Keeping up pretenses of being healthy was just slowly killing away Mia’s spirit and strength and it hurt so much to see her slowly give up. Mia tried her very hardest to keep her parents happy and even when she nearly crumbled, I always thought Mia was a good person who was just scared for herself. 

The romance in Send Me a Sign was one that certainly touched my heart. I loved how Schmidt was able to make me fall in love with both of the love interests. My heart swelled and raced and broke for both and I won’t be surprised if other readers have a hard time choosing as well. Ryan, who starts off as a player, later shows his true feelings. He becomes the ever faithful and devoted boyfriend that Mia could ever want. He stays with Mia even after knowing about her illness. While I loved Ryan and deeply ached for him, I could not help but adore and love Gyver even more. Gyver was Mia’s best friend from childhood and they’ve always been close. He was sweet, charming, smart and super cute. He was always supportive of Mia, but he never sugar coated his feelings and always told Mia what he felt and thought straight up. Mia cared for both Ryan and Gyver, but only one really captured her heart and seeing her have to choose and lose one was very hard to read. It was difficult because both guys were just wonderful and either one would have been perfect for Mia. 


The writing in Send Me a Sign is incredible. Schmidt’s writing really shows depth and power. She was able to really touch me in ways I don’t think I ever thought I could be touched. Just a few pages in and I was already feeling all kinds of heart wrenching emotions. Schmidt really sets the pace beautifully, building up to end that really got me sucked into the perspective of someone struggling with cancer. It became vivid and descriptive and really intense, I could not stop myself from reading. I really loved how Schmidt brought in the fear of death, of giving up, losing hope and then believing and fighting for life. She really weaves in Mia’s superstitions into the story very well. Not only does this book tackle cancer, but it also tackles relationships, friendships and family. 

Overall, Send Me a Sign was fantastic novel about the belief in fighting back, the meaning of communication and learning what you really want in life. It’s a book that will definitely capture the hearts of many and more. 

*Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's Books for sending me a copy for review

December 19, 2012

REVIEW: Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway

Title: Touch of Death (Touch of Death #1)
Author: Kelly Hashway - Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Format: ARC* 235 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon || B&N || The Book Depository
Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

My Review
Life and death are always intertwined..

Touch of Death starts off with an ordinary girl who seemed to be accident prone, nearly killing everything and everyone she comes into contact with. This really blows for a girl like Jodi Marshall, even more so when she can’t even kiss the boy she likes. But Jodi is destined for greater things and not being able to a kiss a boy is the least of her problems. In this book, we are introduced to a whole new world full of necromancers and a twist in Greek mythology’s Medusa. Kelly Hashway creates one book that is pure excellence and will leave you with mind blown goodness. 

Jodi was a fantastic character. I loved her immediately because I felt like I could relate to her easily. She was really cool, but was a powerful girl even before everything went down. Jodi was a little clumsy and awkward, but a believable and real character. She had a strong voice in the beginning, but even more so by the end of the book. Jodi was the type of person who was brave and thought ahead. She was definitely funny too. What I admired most about Jodi was how she takes everything with a mature and graceful manner, no matter how weird or unbelievable things felt to her. Jodi had a heart of gold and was an overall good person. She had morals and beliefs and with all the power at her fingertips, she doesn’t abuse it. She uses it for good and is never tempted. I loved how Jodi took into consideration of the feelings of the living and the dead. She truly cared for everything and everyone. Jodi doesn’t brush things off, but takes responsibility for her actions. She embraced her true identity and power and made sacrifices that left me in awe. 

Even though Alex spooked Jodi out in the beginning, I knew he was going to be character I was going to fall hard for and boy was I right! Alex was a great guy. He saved Jodi from herself and taught and trained her all the things she needed to know. He helped her and he comforted her when she was feeling down. I loved how Alex continued to encourage and believe in Jodi, especially when she felt like she didn’t have confidence in herself. Alex was a charming, friendly guy and was just a total endearing sweetheart. He is not hard to love. His close relationship with Jodi was a joy to read. I loved seeing them together because they just had a deep connection and wonderful chemistry. Their romance will definitely make hearts flutter. 

Kelly Hashway wrote an amazing novel. Her writing captured me and reeled me in. Her writing style was lively and appealed to all the senses. I loved her take on the mythology with Medusa, Ophiuchus and the Ophi. Medusa is usually seen as a bad character, but in Touch of Death, we see a whole new side of Medusa that I absolutely loved. Hashway made necromancers completely fascinating and alluring, but she also made them tough, powerful and extraordinary. I loved every aspect of the storyline that Hashway created and how she explained the powers, history and origin of the Ophi very well. The pacing was just right with the information trickling and dispersing through the story to keep one enticed. Hashway did a great job of keeping things hidden until they were revealed later in a way that you never saw coming. She brought the mystery and suspense at just the right moments and she made sure to keep things entertained so you felt like thing were always happening. The best parts are the plot twists and the dangerous, ominous feel of the whole book. The very last scenes become such a rush, it leaves you with no words. 

Overall, Touch of Death was a novel that put me at the edge of my seat, made me swoon and had me itching and begging for more. Kelly Hashway is one spectacular writer and storyteller and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of her books!

*Thanks to Spencer Hill Press for providing a copy for review