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Looking Back at 2012

December 31, 2012 4 comments

As today is the last day of 2012, I thought it would be a good time to look back at what has happened on The Flutterby Room in 2012.

The Flutterby Room celebrated it’s 1 year blogversary in March. We also held 4 giveaways.

And we went from posting just one review a week to posting two reviews a week – Mondays and Fridays.

So, as today is the last day of 2012 I thought I would do My Top Ten Books of 2012.

Abandon by Meg Cabot, UK edition cover

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1) by Meg Cabot

Pierce knows what it’s like to die.

Last year she flatlined following an accident.

During that time Pierce saw a dark world and met a mysterious, irresistible boy.

Now that boy, John Hayden, has turned up at school. Every time she sees him Pierce finds herself in terrible danger. Yet she’s still drawn to him.

John wants to take her back to the place she fears the most: the Underworld.

The question is, why?

You can read my review for Abandon here and for its sequel UnderWorld here.

I really liked Abandon. I thought Cabot did a brilliant job of re-writing the Persephone myth – kind of. It was a really interesting premise and there was a LOT going on. I didn’t enjoy UnderWorld as much, which is why it’s not on the list, but I did like finding out what happened next to Pierce and John. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the third and final book!!

Black Heart by Holly Black, UK edition cover.

Black Heart (The Curse Workers, Book 3) by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows that he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong is blurred. When the Fed’s ask Cassel to do one of the things he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s the truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet – this time on love.

You can read my review for Red Glove here, and my review for Black Heart here. Apparently I read White Cat before I started the blog, so no review.

Black Heart was the final book in The Curse Workers, a series which I had really enjoyed; Black Heart was no exception. What’s not to love about magic and the mob?! I also thought that Cassel was a really interesting and likeable character, even if you couldn’t really trust him.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943–A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

You can find my review for Code Name Verity here.

Code Name Verity really moved me. And whilst it’s not all that accurate, it was a really beautiful and moving story.  This book moved me to tears, and for that reason alone it deserves a place on this list. I really want to get myself a copy.

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including a handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately he’s taken – and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

You can find my review for Anna and the French Kiss here, and my review for the companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door here.

Anna and the French Kiss was the first contemporary romance I fell in love with this year. There is just something incredibly readable about Anna and her adventures in Paris. I would go as far as to say that Anna and the French Kiss is one of my favourite novels EVER. Perkins does a great job making the events in the story seem and feel real.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

THREE FLYING BIRDS . . . ONE FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY I LEFT BEHIND.

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.

So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choice lies ahead.

You can find my review for Divergent here, and my review for its sequel Insurgent here.

I tend to either absolutely love a dystopian, or it somehow doesn’t quite work for me. Divergent REALLY works for me. I found it really readable, and I tore through it and its sequel Insurgent. The dystopian world Roth creates is believable, and I find it really interesting to read about.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limitsby Katie McGarry

THEY SAY BE A GOOD GIRL,
GET GOOD GRADES, BE POPULAR.
THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME.

I can’t remember the night that changed my life.
The night I went from popular to loner freak.
And my family are determined to keep it that way.

They said therapy was supposed to help.

They didn’t expect Noah.

Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned
me about. But the only one who’ll listen.
The only one who’ll help me find the truth.

I know every kiss, every promise,
every touch is forbidden.

BUT WHAT IF FINDING YOURDESTINY MEANS BREAKING ALL THE RULES?

You can find my review for Pushing the Limits here.

Pushing the Limits is one of the stand-alone novels that I fell in love with this year. I really enjoyed the story and fell in love with the characters. I have heard a rumour that there’s going to be another novel set in the same world, but I think that Pushing the Limits works well on its own and McGarry answers all of my questions.

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Immortal City (Immortal City #1) by Scott Speer

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He’s days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone’s obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect – everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy’s the one girl in Angel City who doesn’t breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn’t recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson’s scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi – and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels’ wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it’s up to Maddy to save Jackson.

You can find my review for Immortal City here.

In spite of myself, I fell in love with the world and characters in Immortal City. When I picked it up, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like it but before I knew it I was completely engrossed in the story and the world. It’s an interesting take on life in Hollywood, where the stars aren’t actors and musicians but angels. I thought it was a unique twist.

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he’s been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye – an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic . . . and her life.

You can find my review for Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye here.

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye has everything I love in a good sword and sorcery fantasy AND it’s set in a world like China or Japan AND there be dragons! What’s not to love?! I found the world of Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye a really fascinating one, and very different to anything I’d read before. I thought the concept of the book was really interesting, and I thought Eon was a really interesting and brave character.

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

You can read my review for Heist Society here, and my review for Uncommon Criminals here.

Heist Society is a fun read, it’s as simple as that. I also found Kat an interesting character, and I loved reading about her interactions with her family and Hale. Kat has an interesting mind. I also liked the idea of a family of criminals. Carter does a brilliant job of making the read fun and enjoyable but at the same time realistic and believable.

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Die For Me (Revenants#1) by Amy Plum

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were moving to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my life would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, he put me in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen . . . until I realized that Vincent Delacroix is no normal human–that he has a terrifying destiny and enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

Can I risk everything for love?

You can find my review for Die For Me here, and my review for Until I Die here.

Amy Plum does a brilliant job at evoking the city of Paris in these books. And I have to admit that I really related to Kate in a lot of ways, and found her to be a really interesting character. I also think that Plum does a good job of mixing and blending the supernatural in the books.

Now for some Honourable Mentions. These are books I loved, but didn’t quite (for one reason or another) make it in to the Top Ten. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, Angel (Angel #1) by L. A. Weatherly, The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa, The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead, and Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock.

So those were My Top Ten Books of 2012, what are yours? Do you think I’ve left anything out – if so let me know in the comments.

Review: Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

December 28, 2012 4 comments

Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye by Alison Goodman

Title: Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (Eon #1)
Author: Alison Goodman
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: David Fickling Books (1st January 2010)
Blurb:

Two swords, angled for slicing, came whirring towards my chest. My block was simple: a step of the back leg, a shift os weight, my right sword joining the left in front of me, cutting side slanted down. His blades hit mine. The impact resonated through my arm bones.

Does young Eon have the power to become a Dragoneye? Now the years of gruelling training, under a ruthlessly ambitious master, will be put to the test: it’s time for the terrifying Rat Dragon to choose his next apprentice.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

Reading this book reminded me of why I like the sword and sorcery/high fantasy genre so much. It has everything a girl could ask for: sword fighting, dragons, magic and crossdressing. Eon also takes a slightly different slant to what you’d expect in those kinds of books.

Read more…

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Title: Crewel (Crewel World #1)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: faber and faber (18th October 2012)
Blurb:

TONIGHT THEY’LL COME FOR ME

AN EXTRAORDINARY GIRL
Sixteen-year-old Adelice is a Spinster. She can weave time and matter. But no one knows just how talented she is.

DANGEROUS LOVE
Guild Ambassador Cormac Patton has taken a shine to her. The Guild demands loyalty . . . even in love. So Adelice’s handsome, mysterious valet poses a dangerous threat to her place at the Coventry.

A DEADLY SECRET
Everyone at the Guild has their secrets. But Adelice is about to unravel the deadliest one of all, a sinister truth that could destroy reality as she knows it . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

This book reminded me why, every now and then, I try a dystopian. Crewel had everything that I love in a good dystopian and nothing to knock me out of the story.

Read more…

Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk (5th October 2012)
Blurb:

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the self, please.

At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept.

Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect thing to keep him occupied this Christmas.

As they send each other on a snowbound scavenger hunt across Manhattan, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

I picked this book up in my local bookstore on a whim. I’d heard over the blogosphere that this book is the perfect book to get you in the mood for Christmas, and whilst I was somewhat dubious about these claims I thought I’d give it a go. Instead of a book full of Christmas cheer, I found a charming, unputdownable contemporary romance that stole my heart a little.

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Review: UnderWorld by Meg Cabot

December 17, 2012 3 comments

UnderWorld by Meg Cabot

Title: UnderWorld (Abandon Trilogy #2)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan (27th September 2012)
Blurb:

PIERCE ISN’T DEAD. NOT YET.

But John Hayden, lord of the Underworld, has taken her to the place where the spirits of the deceased gather. He says it’s for her safety, to protect her from the vengeful Furies. But could he have other reasons for keeping her close?

Pierce might be safe in the Underworld, but she soon learns that the people she loves back on earth are not. Can she convince John to release her in order to save her family – or will the price he asks her to pay be too high?

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

UnderWorld is the second book in Meg Cabot’s Abandon Trilogy, the series re-imagines the Persephone myth in the modern day. I really loved the first book Abandon in the trilogy (you can find my review here) so I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book.

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Review: Defiance by C. J. Redwine

December 14, 2012 2 comments

Defiance by C. J. Redwine

Title: Defiance (Courier’s Daughter Trilogy #1)
Author: C. J. Redwine
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (6th September 2012)
Blurb:

RACHEL’S WORLD IS CONFINED to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.

When Rachel’s father foes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.

Her only chance for escape is Logan. Once her father’s apprentice and now her sole protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel’s father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

In the autumn Defiance seemed to be the book to read on the blogsphere. I wasn’t too sure about the blurb, but I loved the cover. So, when I saw it in a local bookstore I decided to give the book a go.

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Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

December 10, 2012 2 comments
My Life Next Door cover

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Dial Books (14th June 2012)
Blurb:

“ONE THING MY MOTHER NEVER KNEW, AND WOULD DISAPPROVE OF MOST OF ALL, WAS THAT I WATCHED THE GARRETTS. ALL THE TIME.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer night Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. The something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

I saw a lot of My Life Next Door in the lead up to this summer, and as I thought the cover was gorgeous and the blurb intrigued me I thought I would give it a go. My Life Next Door is a sweet, adorable read with hints of laughter and some darkness.

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