Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books of 2012

It's the last day of 2012!!
Yup, that's right y'all. We made it through the end of the world. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back. 

Well, in honor of this momentous last day, I've created a list of some of my top favorite books read in 2012. These are books I can't recommend enough! So head to the bookstore with all that money you got for Christmas and buy them ASAP!
So, Without further ado,


Assassins and pirates? What more could a girl ask for? Oh yeah, feisty characters, action and questing! WINNING!
(Sadly, I've yet to review it. But I hope to remedy that soon!)

This is the third book in an absolutely fantastic high fantasy series. If you haven't yet started this series, do so ASAP. It's got great characters, a complex world and an intriguing and complicated plot. Go forth and enjoy!

This book is just so awesome that the review is full of GIFs! With its addicting, fantastical plot, imperfect yet amazing characters and beautifully vivid and terrifying world, what's not to love?
Go forth my lovelies and buy this book! You won't be disappointed! 

Two words: Cyborg Cinderella.
Go buy it. Now. 

Oh, Seth, you snarky, sarcastic, clever son-of-a-gun, you. 
If you read this book for no other reason, read it for Seth's voice.
Even if the synopsis doesn't intrigue you, Seth's personality will more than make up for it. 

She's a katana-wielding vampire. Yeah, you read that right. Now go to the bookstore and sate your curiosity.

What book has a kick-ass assassin for a heroine, a flirty, playboy prince, and a stoic, ever loyal Captain of the Guard? Throne of Glass! Throw in some magic, competition, Nehemia, sarcasm, wit and intrigue and you've got yourself a winner! 

Assassin nuns....freakin assassin nuns! And Duval. You can't forget him! Insta-love? What is this insta-love you speak of? Cause it sure isn't in this book. With this snarky hate-turned-love relationship, what's not to love? Court intrigue and a beautiful atmosphere are just icing on the cake. 

My final words:
That is all. 

All the best

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best covers of 2012

Well, it's the end of the year, so guess what that means? It's time for some "Best Of" lists. Some of these books I've been able to get my greedy little hands on, but some I've only been able to admire from afar (*sigh*). Well, without further ado, I give you...

The Best Covers Of 2012

Love, love LOVE! She's the perfect mix of girly and bad-assery. Cause, ya know, every dress needs a cross-bow to add a little extra flair. And the book? AMAZING! Definitely one of my favorites for 2012 (but that's a list for another day!). 

Alright, this one is just all around cool. The swirly, smokey tendrils, the "yeah, I'm a model with an iron-mask. So what?" stance and beautiful dress instantly drew me in. This book was...interesting, to say the least. Not at all what I was expecting, yet eerily fascinating. I hope to put up a review soon!

I absolutely love the old-school pencil drawing. The cover really captures the atmosphere of the book and portrays the story well. The intricacy of the drawing portrays the intricacy and detail of the book incredibly well. It's just so beautiful to see this type of cover after so many with models doing something that has little to nothing to do with the content of the book (how dare they lure us in with pretty covers that fail to deliver the true essence of the pages!). 

This cover is hauntingly beautiful. I love the colors used and the victorian feel that it gives off. Sadly, the book wasn't a big hit with me. Initially I was smitten, but after really thinking about it, it left a lot to be desired. Heck, even going back and reading my review, I think I could've changed some of it (Eh..the guys weren't so great). But at least it's a pretty cover, right? 

Look! She's crying tears of blood! Am I the only one that thinks that is cool? Oh well, it's totally awesome. And she's got that whole "Bring it on/I can kick your butt any day of the week" look going on. I don't know about y'all, but I definitely wouldn't be making this chick mad. And guess what? I get a pretty cover and an awesome book! That's right. I loved this book. She's a freakin katana wielding vampire. 'Nuff said. 

The cover alone will make me read this book. Don't get me wrong, the summary really sealed the deal, but this cover is just so full of kick-butt awesomeness that even if the summary sucked I'd buy this thing to look at the cover. It's just that awesome. I actually have this book and can't believe I haven't read it yet! Believe me, I plan to remedy that soon.  

What a bad-ass! Look at that weapon! This chick just oozes awesomeness. I can totally tell that the MC is gonna be just as fierce! I'm actually currently reading this and loving it! I wasn't in love with her first book Nightshade, but this book is historical fiction, doesn't deal with werewolves, and has a feisty heroine. I haven't finished it yet, but so far, so good! 

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Alright, this cover is about as legit as it gets. This guy/girl is fierce and looks like he's about to kick some serious booty. Me wants. Now

Alright, this list is in no way finished. There are so many covers out there that are gorgeous and cool and fantastic, I just don't have the time to put all of them on here. These are just a small few of the massive list I could concoct. But, I'd love to know what covers y'all fell in love with this past year! 
Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
(P.S. I've also realized that I love covers that scream "fierce bad-ass"!)

All the best

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

The Crown of Ember (Fire and Thorns #2)
by Rae Carson
Pages: 410
Source: Bought/B&N
Format: Hardback

Rating: Loved it!!!

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

My Review: 


I'm at a loss of words. This book was amazing. I really enjoyed the first one, but now I've fallen completely and irreversibly in love. Mrs. Carson, you sure know what you're doing.

Perhaps one of the things I love most about this series is how raw the characters are, especially Elisa. There is no holding back. There are weaknesses and flaws, but also incredible characteristics for each character. I love Elisa's lack of perfection because this makes her so much more realistic and relatable.  Elisa is such a passionate, loyal, caring, intelligent, and courageous young woman, but she is also vulnerable and has to try to find balance between being a strong, ruthless ruler and a caring, compassionate one. She was thrown into this life as queen and now has to adjust. Sure she makes mistakes along the way, but she's still young and trying to find her way in a sea of uncertainty. I loved every moment of it. 

And the romance! *sigh* I'll admit, I was shocked at Humberto's death in the previous book, but even though he was her love, I always had my eye on someone else. Wish granted! And boy is it delicious! Oh, Hector, you make my heart fluter! Stoic, incredibly loyal, stubborn, buff, courageous! I could go on and on! I loved how it was a slow-burn romance and how they really get to learn about each other. I absolutely loved getting to delve deeper into the mystery that is the Lord-Commander. But don't worry, there are definitely some steamy scenes in there (why does the third book have to be so far away?!?!). 

The story arc is definitely worthy of interest. I couldn't turn away! The political intrigue, the questing, the new information?! So much fantasticness in so few pages! Well, 410 pages aren't too few, but I definitely wanted more (especially after an ending like that!!). Carson isn't afraid of risks and I love her for that! Nothing is perfect, but realistic. 

And on a side note: I really enjoyed the new characters. The Captain seems like a great, humorous, jolly guy! And I personally look forward to learning more about Storm. I'm intrigued by his mysteriousness and believe he's got potential! 


Quite simply, I loved it. While I really enjoyed the first one, I fell head over heels for this one. It's so much more powerful and intriguing. Elisa is just an incredible young woman and the romance between her and Hector is to die for! I am eagerly awaiting the 3rd book. Here's to hoping for an ARC! 

All the best

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thinking Through Thursday (10)

Welcome to another "Thinking Through Thursday"! This is a post I write (or try to) every Thursday in which I discuss various bookish goodness. 

This week's discussion is:

Religion in Books:

There have always been books with religion and there always will be. However, sometimes, it's well done while other times....not so much. 

If the book is labeled "religious fiction" then it's a different story. You know what you're getting yourself into and often get the book based on what you believe (Ex. Christian fiction, Hindu fiction, ect.). However, there are many YA books out there that may not be "religious fiction" but deal with it in some form or another. Books such as Glow actually have religion as a important plot point. The thing is though, I really don't enjoy the "religious" plot line unless I'm specifically reading religious fiction. More often than not because most author's show them as religious nuts. It's very "in your face" and quite frankly crazy. 

I personally think Glow could've been an interesting book if it didn't deal with all that religious stuff. For one, it demonized it. Two, although it did show both sides, it really only showed both extremes, nothing in the middle. Three, I just don't feel like it was necessary. I feel like there could've been a different route (and better one) that it could've taken. 

Here's two reasons off the top of my head why it's a hit or miss with religion in books:

1. If it's not labeled as religious fiction, don't throw it in your face. Make it subtle and make sure it's necessary. Make sure it moves the plot forward. Again, if I know the genre is religious fiction, then I know what to expect. But if its not, I think religion can still play a vital role, especially if it actually moves the plot forward (ex. The Girl of Fire and Thorns). 

2. Don't demonize religion. Please, I don't care if its made up or not. I don't care if you have faith or not. If there is one way to turn off readers, it's this. It's grouping every religion or all people of a specific religion into a cult. Just don't. Don't try and shove your opinions down our throats. 

For me, these are the two major turn offs. If authors would listen to these two suggestions, it would be so much better! 

I really wish I had more time to go in depth with this. I don't feel like I covered nearly as much as I could. I'll admit, this was a quick post! Sorry! But if y'all want to discuss something, perhaps something I left out, let me know in the comments below!

All the best

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Audiobook Recommendations

Hey y'all. So I have a few questions for you. 
1. Do y'all like audiobooks?
2. If so, what audiobooks would you recommend?
3. If not, what are some of the downfalls of them?

I've never listened to an audiobook (if it's not obvious :P)and have contemplated getting one for some time. But, just like books, not all audiobooks are created equal. Sometimes the book may be good, but the person who reads it is an absolute bore to get through. No one wants to sit through a boring book for eight hours. That's like listening to a lecture given by an incredibly boring professor. No fun. So, I would love if y'all could give me recommendations of some really good books that are totally worth it! 

I hope y'all have an awesome day! And please pray for my mom as she is running the Marine Corps Marathon today! She'll be running 26 miles more than I'll ever want to XD

All the best ♥

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 5, 2013

Goodreads Synopsis:

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner

Why I'm Waiting:

Okay, Mackenzie. Just breath. In and out. Slowly. Hahahaha....yeah right.
Okay, now I can breathe and maybe write a coherent sentence.
I've heard this book is even better than Cinder. Better than CINDER. I freaking LOVED Cinder. Ugh.....why do I have to wait so long for this to come out?!?! ARCs are always welcome XD 

So what are y'all waiting on this fine Wednesday? 
Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

All the best 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #1)
by Richelle Mead
Pages: 327
Format: ebook
Source: Amazon

Rating: Enjoyed it

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...

Short and Sweet:

If any of y'all have read my review of the first book, then you know I didn't fall head over heels for this series like most did. However, this sequel has definitely changed my mind. Gone is the incredibly mean and downright witchiness that was Rose. Sure, she's still got a nasty bite to her, but she's finally matured and learned responsibility. Also, I'm beginning to understand all the love for Dimitri. He's more prominent in this book so we get to see more of his brooding sexiness. I love that he treats Rose with respect but still puts her in her place. And Adrien? This boy just oozes sexiness. Sure, he's your typical bad boy, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for it. Can't wait to see where this goes ;)

All in all, this book is downright entertaining. I'll give Mead props for creating and interesting story. It's fun, action-packed and juicy. Can't wait to get my hands on book 3!

All the best

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we've received this week!

Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Netgalley

Reincarnated Cleopatra? Potential for hot protector? Magic? 
I'm in. 

Katya's World by Jonathan L. Howard
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Source: Netgalley

"soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet"


So what books did y'all get this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

All the best 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What I want to know is...

Hey y'all! So instead of doing a Thinking Through Thursday this time, I wanted to ask about y'alls opinion on something. As I'm sure you all know, unless you've been living under a rock, J.K. Rowling has a new book out. And I'll admit, I want to read it. I want to because it's by the fantastic Mrs. Rowling herself (Seriously. This woman is amazing!)! But this is also why I don't want to read it. No matter how much I may wish and beg and plead and cry, I know this book has absolutely nothing to do with Harry Potter. Heck, it's about as far away as you can get from it! But part of me is still intrigued even though the synopsis sounds incredibly boring. I'm a book blogger so I'm always giving my opinion on books but it's time for you to have a voice. So here's what I want to know:

Have y'all read Rowling's new book? What did y'all think about it? 
Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I know I've been gone lately and I really do apologize for it. I know I keep saying that I'm going to come back and I promise I will! Just bear with me please :) I'm still getting the hang of things! Thanks for sticking with me thus far and I hope y'all are having awesome days wherever you are

All the best

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Rebel Heart (Dust lands #2)
by Moira Young
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

Why I'm Waiting:

OMG.OMG.OMG.OMG!!!!! I absolutely loved Blood Red Road. It was unlike anything I'd ever read before and was just oozing awesomeness. I can't believe I've had to wait so long for this sequel!!!!!!!!!!!! I really hope it's good and doesn't suffer from series stretching. I've only read one review on it and it wasn't a very good one :'( 
But I'm gonna read it anyways XD
Keeping my fingers crossed!

So what are y'all waiting on this fine Wednesday?
Be sure to let me know in the comments below! 

All the best ♥

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (25): Days of Blood and Starlight

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
by Laini Taylor
Release Date: November 6, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Why I'm Waiting:

OMG y'all. I'm so freakin excited for this one! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was just....I don't even have words to describe it! Taylor has such a talent for writing that it just sucks you in and you can't stop till the very last word. It's addicting to say the least. The world and plot just blew my mind in it's creativeness. I can't wait to jump back in. 500+ pages? Heck yeah!  (btw: total cover love!)

So what are y'all waiting on this fine Wednesday? 
Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

All the best
Mackenzie Barham

Monday, September 17, 2012

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon #1)
By Alison Goodman
Pages: 531
Source: Bought/ B&N
Format: Paperback

Rating: I liked it/really liked it

Goodreads Synopsis:

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragon-eye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light, readers won't be able to stop turning the pages...

My Review:

Alright, let me just go ahead and get this out of the way:

If you don't like political intrigue, don't read this. 

Oh, so you read the synopsis and thought this would be an action book? Yeah, me too. LIES AND SLANDER! Ok, well maybe not slander, but definitely lies. I actually liked the book because I love myself some political intrigue, but even for me it dragged in some places so if that's not your thing, I'm not sure you'd enjoy it. 

Now don't get me wrong, there is action. Just not till the last 100 pages. But when that action comes, it comes. It's like "BAM!", it's action time! And so it's pretty awesome. However, this book is looooong. And normally I'm all for long books, but this one dragged a bit.

However, the creativity and just pure awesomeness of the plot made it so worth it. No lie. This world is just amazing! It's so intricate and mind-blowingly well-done! This girl thought of everything. Even down to all the rituals. Now that is where it dragged a bit, but she definitely gets brownie points for thoroughly thinking through the world. 

And A+ for girl power. Personally, I didn't really care for Eon(a) for some of the book. And, to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about her at the end (grant it, I am writing this thing about 2 1/2 months after reading it :P) But her growth? Amazing. She learns that she can be a woman and still kick butt. She learns to love herself for who she is, female and awesome dragoneye. 


The synopsis promised action, but didn't live up to it. Yeah, action finally comes at the end and its really awesome and all, but unless you can get through 400+ pages of political intrigue and whining, you won't like it. However, the creativity of the world makes it all worthwhile! Honestly mind-blowing in its intricacy. I had a love/hate relationship with Eon(a) but her growth is amazing. And this book definitely brings up some interesting topics on sexism, feminism, ect. so it's a very thought-provoking book. If you're into that kind of thing, jump right in! 

All the best