Wednesday, November 30, 2011

RTW: November Reads

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:

What's the best book you read in November?


I only managed three books this month *hangs head in shame* November is usually not a crazy busy month for me, but between my daughter's insane soccer schedule, my husband's playoff journey, the day job, critiquing, my own revisions,...sometimes I had to make a choice with my few spare hours minutes. And many times, revisions won out. Not making excuses. Just reality, peeps. You all know how it goes.

Anyway, since the three books I did read were incredibly AWESOME, I'm going to highlight all three.

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I've had this one on my TBR for a year, and FINALLY found it at the library. It was so worth the wait. I fell in love with the characters (even the seemingly evil ones), very much enjoyed the story and was surprised (okay SHOCKED) by the many twists and turns. And now I can't wait to read Demonglass (the next installment).

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

This was a MUST read for me - not just because Karen is a wonderful dear friend, but honestly, I would've read it regardless because of that COVER. It's beauty is BLINDING!!! And Karen's book is AMAZING. I’ve never been a super huge fan of mermaids, but thanks to Tangled Tides, I've officially become a merfolk fan. The story is brilliant, so many intricate nuances that add so many layers of richness to the story, and Treygan? Hoo boy. I won’t spoil it for you, but I am a big sucker for unconditional love and I FELL HARD for one super sexy merman.

If you want gorgeous prose, hot mermen, an incredible love story, and steamy romance, read Tangled Tides, um...NOW.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

This was probably one of the best books I've read all year. The story is riveting, unique, action-packed - it's been a long time since I tore through a book as quickly as this one. The characters? DYNAMIC. My heart broke for Juliette the minute I met her and I never stopped rooting. Adam? Hoo boy. Loved him the moment he entered Juliette's cell and NEVER doubted his motivations...EVER. And super insane creepy evil Warner? Despite Jessica Love's persistent insuation that Warner is SEXY, I was completely repulsed by his nefariousness. (okay...maybe he is a little sexy-I wasjust too blinded by Adam)

And the writing? I can only wish I ever achieve a tenth of Mafi's brilliance. Here's just a sample of her genius.

My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.

I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder how they're always falling down, tripping over their feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.

I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.

I flew through the book SO fast. I want to read it again and again if only to savor Mafi's prose.

So, that was my November. Not a long reading list, but a pretty fabulous one.

PS - I just went to the library last night to help the tween find books for her science project (I think she really just wanted to check out the entire Gregor series by Suzanne Collins). I was just going to renew a book I checked out three weeks ago and STILL hadn't read when I stumbled upon these...

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson


The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (btw, started it this morning - ohmygosh AMAZING)

That last one was all I needed to jump-start a reading frenzy.

SO, how about YOU? Any fantastic November Reads?


  1. Three excellent choices! AND three excellent new ones from the library :)

  2. Can't wait to read "The Future of Us," I've heard great things!

  3. Second the can't-wait for FUTURE OF US. Looks so good!
    Glad you liked SHATTER ME--if it's half as good as her blog, it will be amazing!

  4. So cool to get the scoop on these books- I was clueless. Can't wait to check them out!

  5. They all sound really good! I'm going to have to check them out :)

  6. I also enjoyed Hex Hall. I still haven't read Shatter Me or Tangled Tides. I need to get on that. Thanks for the recomendations.

  7. I really enjoyed Shatter Me! It was terrific! But I also can't wait to read the next Jay Asher book. If only Christmas could come sooner...

  8. SHATTER ME does sound like a good read. As for HEX HALL, does anyone else think that Harry Potter has so dominated this type of work that it's hard to read the description of a "witch/wizard-goes-to-special-school-for-people-like-him/her" without invoking HP? It's a shame, because I'm sure there are loads of great books out there that follow the same kind of formula (but take it in very different directions). I just need to get over it. :)

  9. Wow. That review and quotes from SHATTER ME make me wish I'd read the ARC before mailing it to you:)Unfortunately, my schedule has been mad crazy too...and shows no sign of letting up, so I'll just have to wait for the audio:(

  10. SHATTER ME looks so good. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

  11. I have got to pick up SHATTER ME. I've been following the author on Twitter and have been intrigued by it for quite a while.

  12. I haven't read any of your three, but they're all on my list. Can't wait to get a hold of them. Great choices as usual, Alison!

  13. I simply adore Rachel Hawkins! Her books are great! And I've been DYING to read Shatter Me!! (literally) :D I can't say that I am overly fond of mermaid tales, but Tangled Tides does sound great.

  14. Shatter Me sounds really good. Also can't wait to read the Future of Us. I am practicing great self control by not getting into my car and driving to the bookstore right now to buy more books after this week's RTW.

  15. Those 3 are on my TBR pile! I'm sooooo behind ... I mean, I read about 6-8 books per month, but I add 2 or 3 per day LOL

  16. THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS is SOOOOO GOOD!!!! Omg. <3 Plus I'm excited you're reading more fantasy! ;)

  17. Just about all of those are on my TBR list--which grows every time YAHighway does one of these best book things!

  18. Only 3 books? If I get a book a week read, I'm feeling pretty good. It's not that I'm a slow reader, but I feel guilty spending a lot of time reading. Also, while I'm faster than average, I'm no speed reader. Anyhow! I can't wait to read SHATTER ME. Tahereh's blog alone is brilliant. I'm so excited for her book. (Waiting for it to arrive... grrr!) My favorite of the month was DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. Absolutely amazing.

  19. I am so getting Tangled Tides. I might get it on Kindle since hubby has a new ipad :)

  20. I've added TANGLED TIDES to my wish list. It's a bit outside my wheelhouse, but Karen is such a sweetheart I have to read it! :)

  21. Awwwww. <3
    Thanks so much for posting about my book. I'm honored to be up there with Hex Hall. I really enjoyed that book.

    Big hugs to you! xoxo


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