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2011 End of Year Book Survey [Part 3]

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 is coming to an end! Which means it's time for the End of the Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

This is the 2nd annual survey, but my first year participating. Go over to The Perpetual Page-Turner if you'd like to participate too!

Part 3:
Looking ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
I've been meaning to read this book for a while now.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
This is so hard to choose! But here are a few sequels:

  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 
  • Mara Dyer #2 by Michelle Hodkin 
  • Shatter Me #2 by Tahereh Mafi 
  • A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young 
  • The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
I really want to continue to blog! That's my #1 goal. I would also like to try to review books after I finish them. My reading goal is now 150 books by the end of 2012.

Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2?

Happy New Year 
to a new year of blogging!

2011 End of Year Book Survey [Part 2]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 is coming to an end! Which means it's time for the End of the Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

This is the 2nd annual survey, but my first year participating. Go over to The Perpetual Page-Turner if you'd like to participate too!

Part 2:
Book Blogging & Reading Life

1. New favorite book blog(s) you discovered in 2011?
Katie's Book Blog - Katie's blog is all sorts of awesome.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
This was my informal review using only gifs. I had a little too much fun with this one.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I actually haven't done any kinds of discussions on my blog. The most I've gotten to a discussion was asking how to balance blogging and school. THAT was a good discussion, but there wasn't ONE post about it.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog?
Melina over at Reading Vacation did an amazing post about Sexy Times in YA.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
  • Wordstock - My first book festival I went to in Portland. It was so fun and I met so many awesome people.
  • Books Signings at Powell's - I met so many authors and bloggers at these events.
6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
When I reached 100 followers!
That was my goal for 2011 and I reached it a while back thanks to everyone.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Most Popular by comments:

Most popular by views:

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
It's kind of strange really. My review of The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Chima is the 3rd most viewed post on my blog, but there's only one comment. I really loved that book and wished more people would have commented. But it's also the 3rd book in the series so I can understand why people don't want to be spoiled.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I've lived in Oregon for over 14 years but didn't have a clue what Powell's was. Powell's my local indie book store! Now I've been to Powell's countless times.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes! My reading goal for 2011 was to read 100 books. I've read 134 books in 2011 so far. Exceeding my goal by 34 books!


2011 End of Year Book Survey [Part 1]

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 is coming to an end! Which means it's time for the End of the Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

This is the 2nd annual survey, but my first year participating. Go over to The Perpetual Page-Turner if you'd like to participate too!


1. Best Book You Read In 2011?Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
That book. I'm still an emotional wreck.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?The Girl of Fire and Thorn by Rae Carson
I was expecting a lot more from this book. I enjoyed it but not as much as I wished I did.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I'm not that big on contemporary so I was very surprised by how much I loved both books.

4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2011?
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Young 
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth 
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
I have to be the last person to read this series. I'm not that big on vampire books either, but LOVE this series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2011?Lisa Schoeder.
She's so amazing! I love her novels in verse. I've only read a few of her books so far.
  • The Day Before by Lisa Schoeder 
  • Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schoeder 

7. Best book(s) that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?Contemporary is definitely out of my comfort zone. A few contemporary titles were:
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 
  • Moonglass by Jessi Kirby 
  • The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle 
  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book(s) in 2011?
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
At the time, I was still in middle school so class started at 9:05. B&N opened at 9 so of course I dropped by to get my copy before class.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

11. Most memorable character in 2011?Adam from Where She Went by Gayle Forman
[+1 for being a musician ;) ]

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
  • Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schoeder 
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
Yes. I admire "Where She Went" greatly. ;)

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer 
  • The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

16. Book(s) That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
17. Book(s) That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.)
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  • Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 10 of 2011 is hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Lisa from A Life Bound by Books, Rachel by Fiktshun, and Jessica & Lisa from Two Chicks on Books.

The books featured in my lists are books that I've already read and that were published in 2011.

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011:

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth 
  2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  3. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting 
  4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 
  5. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins 
  6. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey 
  7. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross 
  8. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand 
  9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 
  10. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 

What were some of your favorite covers of 2011?

Top 10 Books I’ve read in 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 10 of 2011 is hosted by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Lisa from A Life Bound by Books, Rachel by Fiktshun, and Jessica & Lisa from Two Chicks on Books.

The books featured in my lists are books that I've already read and that were published in 2011.

Top 10 Books I've read in 2011:

  1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor 
  3. Divergent by Veronica Roth 
  4. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare 
  5. Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
  6. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 
  7. Unearhly by Cynthia Hand 
  8. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder 
  9. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting 
  10. A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young 
What were your favorites of 2011?

Looking Back at 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011
2011 is almost over.

This is my first year as a blogger and even then it's not my complete first year either. I'm fairly new to everything book blogging but everyone here has been the most supportive with helping me get through.

Thank You.

2011 is quite a year that had more good moments than bad. The highlights of 2011:
  • 8th grade year was amazing. 
  • I graduated middle school. 
  • I'm now a Freshman! 
  • I got my permit! 
  • I started book blogging. 
  • I've made amazing friends and met a bunch of amazing people through this crazy world of books. 

Thank you to all of my blog followers and subscribers.

You all are amazing. You all are amazing. Seriously. I want to thank every single one of you and give you all a big hug! My goal when I started blogging was to reach 100 followers by the end of 2011. I now have 263 followers and 14 subscribers.

While I was digging through some stats I also found some fun search words people used to find Vy's Blog. The two search words that showed up the most were:
"hate everything cat"
I don't understand! When have I ever posted about cats?!
"housewife killing boy next door"
This one was just weird. But I can see where it came from. "Lola and the boy next door"

There was one that I saw that was really clever:
"Vy's Vlog"
That's a really good name. If only I did vlogs then that would be neat.

I'll be off now for Christmas with my family and will see you all next year. Next week I've scheduled a week of Top 10 of 2011 though, so there will be more posts coming. I just won't be present and will only drop by once in a while.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.

Review: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Monday, December 19, 2011
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Powell's

Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

This was one of those moments where I picked up a book just because of the cover. I am in LOVE with this cover. It was also a plus that I really enjoyed this book.

Lenzi is kind of a reincarnating ghost buster. Her job as a speaker is to help lead wandering souls to where they need to be. Things get complicated when she doesn’t remember a single thing about her past reincarnations. Lenzi is just such a fun character. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning, but she becomes this strong character who’s ready to take down anything. She’s also really funny and throws in a few jokes here and there.

While working as a speaker she’s required to have a protector. Alden, her protector, and her have quite a history together. But with her amnesia, Alden comes off kind of stalker-ish. The sense of humor between them has to be one of my favorite things about them. Alden is such an honorable guy and he’s just so sweet!

The romance is just too cute! But it’s kind of complicated because of their history. Of course it gets even more complicated since Lenzi has a boyfriend named Zak. Zak was the one character that irked me the most. He really does care for Lenzi, but he makes some stupid mistakes. I give him +1 for being a musician though.

As complicated as it was it was still adorable! It wasn’t “love at first sight” because it has been going on for years! Alden has been her protector since she begun doing her job so their relationship runs very deep. Which only makes their job even more interesting.

Overall: This was a great debut. I loved the whole world of speakers and the main characters. It was a very light read that I finished in day.

In My Mailbox (29)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives bloggers a chance to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week.

Titles that are linked go to goodreads and covers that are shown on my iTouch are eBooks.

Received(Thank you Spencer Hill Press, Lisa T. Bergren, & Vi from Confessions of a Vi3tBabe )
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Torrent by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
2 Mysterious Christmas Presents (Thank you Bailey from IB Book Blogging)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
The Scorpio Races by Kelley Armstrong

Be sure to leave a me a link with your comment so I can check out what's in your mailbox.

Guest Post: Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

Monday, December 12, 2011
Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon
Website | Facebook

Publisher: Flatiron View Books
Release Date: October 26, 2010

To escape the emotional turmoil of his father’s death 12-year-old Kevin Tobin has retreated inside himself, developing his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes everyone with his superhero antics, his ability to escape inside himself becomes critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father’s death. When a mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted by a ruthless villain who is determined to retrieve the package, which holds the key to his plans for world domination. After enlisting Kevin’s teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the group escapes into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado and eventually discover that Kevin’s entire existence is because of the love of someone we never expected.

I hate writing about myself. The next time you’re around a Ouija Board ask it what it thinks about Del Shannon. I’m pretty sure the answer will be ‘Who?’ Each morning when I look into the mirror I see a boring civil engineer with republican looking hair. An uglier, shorter Mitt Romney who’s too cheap to spring for the $6.99 box of ‘Just For Men: Mustache and Beard’ to chase away the gray spreading throughout his goatee.

Maybe this is why I wrote Kevin’s Point of View; the wonderfully addictive story of a 12-year-old boy who hates talking about himself too. Except that Kevin goes even farther – he hates being himself. Because being Kevin means facing the horrible reality that your father was killed in a mountain biking accident, and this is a pain that is simply too heavy to face. To deal with his emotional aching Kevin has developed his imagination into a powerful ally and also a dangerous foil. He imagines himself the superhero Captain Disaster, or a valiant submarine captain, or anyone else he can conjure to escape the harsh reality that surrounds him. Of course this drives everyone around him completely nuts; his mom, sister, best friend, teacher…everyone.

This chaos goes on for a year after his father’s death, until something odd happens. A strange package shows up unannounced at Kevin’s house one Saturday morning and it contains something so bizarre, so phantasmagorical, so indescribable that not even Kevin’s supercharged imagination could summon it into existence, and its owner (the very evil and very determined Devin Talon) wants it back…now. Inside the package is the Influxitron and what it is or what it does is a mystery. But this small box, no bigger than a television remote control, plunges Kevin, his best friend Tony, his sister and her pizza delivery boyfriend into an adventure and battle over time itself. At the end of this battle Kevin realizes his very existence is because of someone he never expected.

It really is a great book.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what a few others had to say about Kevin’s Point of View.

"I was sucked in from page one. Kevin's Point of View is one of those books I just couldn't stop reading. I had to konw what was going to happen next. There's a lot happening in the book, but Del Shannon weaves it all together wonderfully." Kelly Brocklehurst, The Bookscape Report,
"This book is awesome! Kevin's Point of View is a really fun, witty, engaging read that left me both happy and thoughtful. It has plenty of thrills, action, and humor that will have readers of all ages captivated and never bored. This is definitely a book that is worth reading and sharing." Aeicha, Word Spelunking,
"I absolutely loved this book. I never wanted to go to sleep because I could not leave Kevin and Tony hanging. I did not want to leave the world that was being painted in my head as I read it. Not only being suspenseful but often times funny Kevin's Point of View makes you want to keep reading and not stop for anything." Kathryn at Book Trends -
"A hugely enjoyable read. Mr. Shannon really has a talent for catching a young boy's attention." Austin Reale, Reading Teen
"Fun! Funny! Delightful! Heartwarming! It is books like Kevin's Point of View that get me so excited. It is books like this one that truly are what reading is all about to me." Tracy, Tracy's Happy Bookshelf,
"Heaps of action, adventure and imagination wrapped up with a surprisingly emotional story line. I was frequently either smiling or staring open mouthed at what happened." Jessica Pitcairn, Nayu's Reading Corner,
“I truly loved this novel! So far it’s my favorite book this year. I cheered for Kevin and his compatriots the whole way through and at the end I was astounded. Some things were revealed that I couldn't believe.” Heather Rosdol, Buried in Books
"A wonderful and fast paced book. This book was a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns. Please let there be more adventures for Kevin!!!" Donna Lawrence, Kids 'N' Books
Go out and get your own copy of Kevin’s Point of View! It’s available for order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or just about any bookstore in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and lots of countries in Europe (the book sellers and distributors keep adding more countries all the time and it’s hard to keep up with all the new additions). All you have to do is find your friendly, neighborhood bookstore (or online bookseller), walk up to the very nice sales person (or order form), ask them to order it for you (or fill out the order form yourself), and Kevin’s Point of View will be delivered to your hot little hands. Pretty easy stuff.

Del Shannon is full-time civil engineer and designs and constructs dams and reservoirs around the world, and also a part-time writer. When not working on dams he has written award winning essays, newspaper columns, and children's stories. His first children's story was the serialized novella The Map, and was published in several newspapers. Kevin's Point of View is his second children's story and first full-length novel. He lives with his family in Boulder, Colorado.


Guest Post: Forgotten Self by Rachel Carr

Saturday, December 10, 2011
Forgotten Self by Rachel Carr

Seventeen year old Abigail has just finished her junior year of high school. Her relationship with her parents is distant, but she has a tight group of friends. Everything is pretty normal...except a little secret she's kept from everyone about her cousin, Kelly. But even this secret – which Abby more or less brushes off – will pale in comparison to what she's about to discover. A half-remembered car crash, a new boy at school, and an old friend with secrets of his own: Abigail's entire life is about to be turned upside down when she finds out that not only are angels and demons real, but she's a part of that world as well.

This is an introductory novella and book one of the Standing Alone series.

Why Self-Publishing is So Fantastic 

So. You've probably bought into the stigma that self-published books aren't usually very good.

Stop right there.

I was once like you. And then --- I saw a paranormal romance published onto Amazon. I read its intriguing blurb, I saw its cheap price (0.99), and I said: “What the heck, why not.” After reading it in three hours straight, I was hooked. I don't even know how many self-published books I've bought since. Enough to fill more than a few pages of my Kindle library.

Let's be honest, though. Self-published books can be bad. I've encountered my fair share of them – shoddy plot line, misspelled words, grammar that looks like someone beat it with a dumb stick. But you know what? There are gems out there. Once you can look past the typographical errors, you can really get into a great story. Just consider that these people can't afford editors. That doesn't mean they aren't fabulous story tellers.

These authors are people who don't want to go through the motions of traditional publishing. Or they're too scared. Or they just don't buy into it.

Me? Well, after consuming an unhealthy amount of these novels, I decided to write one of my own. I experienced the solo editing, cover-creating, publishing experience – not to mention the PR. It takes a lot of work!

These authors are putting themselves out there for you, readers.

And, I know, I know – a lot of you don't like ebooks. That's okay, too. This publishing area might not be for you. You might see them anyway, rarely. Once in a while these authors go viral and get picked up by a print publisher (in which case 0.99 won't really be a feasible price).

There is hope for the Kindle-less ones. Websites like Smashwords offer these ebooks in different formats like HTML (right in your browser), Word documents, Adobe, etc.

Well, there you are. Take a chance on a 0.99 ebook. Check it out. Who knows? You might find your “favorite series in the history of all time” by buying one.
Rachel Carr published her first ebook on October 14th, 2011. It is called “Forgotten Self” and is the first in a paranormal romance series. It is available at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. If you have questions, comments, or if you just want to know which self-published books are good.

In My Mailbox (28)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives bloggers a chance to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week.

Titles that are linked go to goodreads and covers that are shown on my iTouch are eBooks.

Netgalley: (Thank you Harlequin Teen)
Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
New Girl by Paige Harbison

Received: (Thank you Lisa Schroeder)
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Legend by Marie Lu
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Be sure to leave a me a link with your comment so I can check out what's in your mailbox.
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