Top Ten…New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

You guys…only SIXTEEN days until Christmas and only ONE WEEK until Hanukkah! After that it’s like a minute until New Year’s Eve. Where has the time gone? I’m hoping that you’re all enjoying your holiday season and that where ever you may be, that you’re staying safe, happy and warm! My husband and I are currently preparing for a big storm to hit our area which always seems to happen this time of year! When the weather gets like this, all I want to do is get my wood stove roaring and curl up with a good book by an amazing author, like the ones in my top ten list today.

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

As some of you may know, I’m new to Young Adult books as of this year, so pretty much every author is a new author to me. I’ve read so many fantastic books in 2014 by so many fantastic authors, so it was pretty difficult for me to narrow it down to just ten! I buckled down though and managed to come up with a list of ten ridiculously talented women who are also suppppper kind to their readers! Needless to say, they’re all the perfect package…beauty, brains and sass for days!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Sarah J. MaasAC GaughenEmery LordHeather DemetriosLeigh Bardugo
Cora CarmackHuntley Fitzpatrick / Stephanie PerkinsLaini TaylorRae Carson

Pretty epic list of female authors right? This is just a small list of authors I fell in love with this year. If given free rein I could have easily come up with ten more! Did I list one of your faves?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own The Most Books From

click for source

click for source

Welcome to another installment of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is the ten authors I own the most books from, but I’m new to book blogging and still building up my library. Soooo…this post will be short and sweet since I only have four authors dominating my shelves. All four authors have written series that I absolutely adore and they all live on my “favorites” book shelf.

personal photo

personal photo

I’m loving the fact that each series is about a powerful woman asserting her strength and wisdom in a unique and inspiring way. Also, something tells me I enjoy me a good fantasy novel! If you haven’t already, you definitely need to check these series out!

Robin LaFeversHis Fair Assassin series
*editors note: Gail from Ticket to Anywhere kindly loaned me her Mortal Heart ARC but I fully intend on purchasing my own copy to finalize my collection.

Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass series

Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone series

Rae CarsonFire and Thorns series

Are any of these authors on your shelves? Do you have a fave pictured here? Or, give me a suggestion of a novel or series I would enjoy based on the selections above. Have a great Tuesday!

Fangirl Friday: YALit Fan Art

I had a few fun ideas rattling around in my head for this installment of Fangirl Friday, but when I came up with the idea of featuring fan art based on some of my favorite books I knew I had a winner! It was so much fun pulling this post together…there are some seriously talented people out there. For someone who can barely draw a straight line I was freaking amazed at how gorgeous some of the fan art that’s out there is. For each book I’m featuring my four favorite pieces of fan art but I could have chosen soooo many more. If you’re looking to kill some time and want to be blown away just google your favorite book(s) along with “fan art” and prepare to be amazed! Fair warning: there’s some pretty bad (and weird) fan art out there too. Very amusing!

I’m kicking off with Grisha Trilogy fan art to celebrate the release of the final book in  Leigh Bardugo’s epic adventure! Enjoy…oh and be sure to click on the source link to see the original full-size image.

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Grisha Collage

Clockwise from top left: FrozenAntlers / Fictograph / Bottom two images: The Fandom’s GeekGirl

Publisher Summary

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance

Visit Goodreads for more information

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl Collage

 Clockwise from top left: Esquisse / Simini Blocker Illustration / Yasminwithane / Andiree

Publisher Summary

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Visit Goodreads for more information

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

DoSaB Collage

  Clockwise from top left:  leahbharlann / Calivel / Simini Blocker Illustration / Lelu’s Garden

Publisher Summary

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Visit Goodreads for more information

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna Collage

All images but bottom left: leabharlann /  Bottom left: Simini Blocker Illustration

Publisher Summary

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Visit Goodreads for more information

 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

TOG Collage

Clockwise from top left: Fan art by Susan Dennard / 143believeme / walkingnorth / leafette

Publisher Summary

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Visit Goodreads for more information

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

DOSAB cover

 

First thoughts: I found myself reading and rereading so many passages in this book. I couldn’t get over the beauty of Laini Taylor’s writing and her ability to build a world that totally drew me in. I guarantee you’ll feel like you stepped through the pages of this book and into the fantasy of this unbelievable and epic story.

***

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 418

Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Purchase the book

Publisher Summary:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

DOSAB

Before I dive into my review for Daughter of Smoke & Bone, can we just talk about the Fan Art above? I discovered it on Pinterest (while obsessively scouring the internet for all things Laini Taylor) and traced the image back to a user on Deviant Art by the name of Calivel. It’s amazing right? Total perfection! It’s always so fascinating to see other people’s interpretations of a book and this one just hit the nail on the head for me. If you’re looking for another piece of fan art you should check out this masterful interpretation of Akiva and Madrigal’s first meeting! Warning: image is spoilerific!!

“She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.” ― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

There are passages in this book, like the one above, that I would gladly crawl into and live there forever. Laini Taylor has a way of weaving her words and painting a picture on each page that makes you feel as though you are there. Whether you’re part of a gathered crown on Charles Bridge in Prague, winding your way through the dark alleyways of Morocco, or rejoicing with the crowds as they celebrate on their way to an other-worldly ball. Just a few pages into this book and you’ll find yourself completely engulfed in the world that Taylor has built and you won’t want to leave any time soon.

tangled

As for the story behind the lovely writing, Daughter of Smoke & Bone is about Karou as she is awakened to a secret hidden deep inside of her. The gradual peeling back of the story is so intriguing and presented in a way that allows you to discover right along with the main character, which is something I love as a reader. With the help of her friends (both old and new), Karou realizes that her life may have more meaning to it than she ever could have imaged and her actions now have consequences beyond even her wildest dreams.

Speaking of which, YES, there is romance! Swoony and heart melting romance! For example…

“And they were quiet but their blood and nerves and butterflies were not—they were rampantly alive, rushing and thrumming in a wild and perfect melody, matched note for note.” 
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Final Thoughts: I don’t want to go into too many details about this novel as I feel it is best experienced with as little knowledge as possible going into it. Just prepare yourself for an amazing journey that takes you to lands far and wide, as well as a journey of the heart.

 

Armchair BEA 2014 – Author Interaction

Happy Tuesday friends…I don’t know about you but getting into the swing of things today has been a chore! Long weekends are THE.BEST, up until you have to drag your butt out of bed on Tuesday morning! Thankfully I had another day of Armchair BEA to look forward to and today’s topic is about author interaction! What a timely topic as I was JUST reading a new post by Ginger over at GReads! where she talked about her dream YA panel of authors. I was so inspired by her post and by the topic for today’s Armchair BEA posting that I thought I would create my own list of authors I would love to meet!

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

I want to start off this list by saying that although I have never been to an author signing or panel, I’ve still been lucky enough to have some fabulous author interactions on Twitter with many of the people I list below. I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to your favorite authors, as most of the time they are super responsive and SO friendly. As a matter of fact, the interactions I have had with authors via Twitter is one of the things that inspired me to start this blog. What they bring to the book blogging community with their interactions and friendships with readers is so heart warming and I totally wanted to join in the fun! If you haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to reach out to your favorite author on their Twitter account. I guarantee it will be a great experience.

OK….now on to the authors I simply MUST meet someday. In no particular order…

fangirl

Sarah J. Maas
Do I really need to say anything besides the fact that this woman is responsible for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight? I’d love to meet Sarah simply to thank her for writing such a strong female character who is brave and strong, but also naturally flawed. I sped through these books and could not put them down. Her next book, Heir of Fire, is the third book in this story and I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating its release this September. I have a feeling her appearance at BEA will be one of its most popular events of the expo.

Rainbow Rowell
I’ve only read Eleanor & Park and Fangirl but Rainbow is definitely an author I would love to meet someday. Both books were told with such real voices that really made me identify with each of the female leads. I mean, who hasn’t gone through a little bit of self-exploration and discovery. Rainbow manages to take some really heavy life moments and write them with such wit and humor that you can’t help but immediately relate. Plus – her Twitter feed is hilarious so I know she has a great sense of humor and would be a blast to have a quick chat with! Look for her newest release, Landline, releasing on July 8th.

Stephanie Perkins
When I first started getting in to the book blogging community I met a fantastic blogger named Andi of Andi’s ABCs! She’s what I like to call my book guru and one of the first books she recommended to me was Anna and the French Kiss. I immediately picked up a copy because I ALWAYS listen to Andi’s suggestions, and I fell in love. Right after finishing Anna, I started Lola and the Boy Next Door and my love for all things Stephanie Perkins continued! She really knows how to right swoony love stories that involve the swooniest of book boyfriends. I’d love to sit with Stephanie and talk to her about her inspiration for each book and how she manages to write such amazing characters. She has an upcoming release this summer, Isla and the Happily Ever After, that fans are rabidly waiting on! Myself included.

Emery Lord
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to this fabulously talented debut author! Her novel, Open Road Summer took the book community by storm this spring and SOOO many people are absolutely head over heels in love with this story about forever friendships and new love. Out of all the authors I interact with on Twitter I would say that Emery is the most engaging and always takes time out to respond to my fangirl tweets…even if they get borderline obsessive sometimes! All kidding aside, Emery has such a raw talent and I am so excited to see where her writing takes her. I’d love to meet up with her, give her a BIG hug and then ask her if she wants to take a road trip to Cali this summer.

A.C. Gaughen
Ohhhh…A.C. Gaughen….do I have a bone to pick with you! I’m hoping we get to meet someday so I can scold you for breaking my heart into a billion little pieces! Just kidding….sort of! Her first two books Scarlet and Lady Thief are an exquisite re-telling of Robin Hood that left me crying my eyes out by the end of book two. My heart was broken…but in the best possible way. A.C. was actually sweet enough to sign her two books for me at a Boston-area author event that I wasn’t able to attend and for that I will be forever grateful. If I were ever to meet her I’d want to give her a big hug for being the sweetest and also bribe her for details on book three of her series so I can sleep at night!

Rae Carson
You guys…if you haven’t read the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, I don’t think we can be friends! OK, not really but I’m seriously urging you to pick up these books and binge read them as soon as possible! The world building that Rae is capable of is nothing short of amazing and I MUST get inside that ridiculously talented head of hers to find out how she can write such fantastic stories. OH…and the rooooomance in this series is one of my most favorite in all of the swoon-worthy love stories out there (say it with me now…HECTOOOORRR!!) and I would personally like to thank her for giving me ALL the feels! Seriously…all of them!

Veronica Rossi
Another author who knows how to build some seriously amazing worlds in her Under the Never Sky series! You’ve got Dwellers vs Outsiders, Aether storms, Perry and Aria, and Roar…oh my sweet little Roar (heart-broken)! What I wouldn’t give to pick Veronica’s brain to find out how she came up with this epic journey of a story and also thank her for writing one of the best male/female friendships I’ve ever read in a book. The supportive and protective relationship between Aria and Roar was such a refreshing change of pace from the love triangle scenario we see in so many books. So, Veronica, if you ever come to Boston you know I’ll be there!

Gayle Forman
Speaking of swoon-worthy romances!!! Sigh…where do I begin? Willem and Allyson of Just One Day/Just One Year? Adam and Mia of If I Stay/Where She Went? PLEASE…don’t make me choose! Gayle’s stories make me weak in the knees! The drama, the passion…it all weaves together into these beautifully told love stories that will make your heart just ache! Gayle is another author who is so engaged with her readers on Twitter and I don’t know how she finds the time to respond to all of the love/questions/comments that she must get on a daily basis. When I do meet her (because I will) I definitely want to just let her know how much I appreciate the kindness she shows towards her fans.

Last but most certainly not least…

Laini Taylor
Just give me a minute while I hyper-ventilate into a bag! AHHHHHH…Laini Taylor!!! To quote an upcoming review I will be posting in June of Daughter of Smoke and Bone (sneak peek ya’ll!!)

“There are passages in this book, like the one above, that I would gladly crawl into and live there forever. Laini Taylor has a way of weaving her words and painting a picture on each page that makes you feel as though you are there…Just a few pages into this book and you’ll find yourself completely engulfed in the world that Taylor has built & you won’t want to leave any time soon.”

Or in other words….girlfriend can WRITE! I found myself reading and then immediately re-reading entire passages from the books because they were so freaking beautiful! I could not get over how intense her world building was and how she manages to write soooo beautifully about some really horrible things! The final installment of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, was released in early April and I STILL haven’t managed to read my pre-ordered copy because I’m just not ready for the story to end. When the day finally comes for me to meet Laini Taylor I’ll probably lose my ability to speak and just stand their to bask in her glory!

There you have it..the authors that I fangirl over the most and really, really (fingers crossed) hope to meet one day! How about you? What authors are out there that you simply MUST meet! Do you have any favorite author interaction stories? Tips you can give me for not being completely star-struck when I finally do meet my favorite authors?