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Before I Wake

    Book Watch: Soul Screamers Volume Three

    Soul Screamers Volume Three

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    SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME THREE by Rachel Vincent will be released in the U.S on July 30, 2013 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 768 pages.

    SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME THREE is a bind-up of IF I DIE and BEFORE I WAKE and includes, for the first time in print, the novella NEVER TO SLEEP.

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    Okay, I know I’m cheating, sort of, by choosing an omnibus as the book to watch out for this week. But SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME THREE is the book I’m most excited for.

    I have each of the previous volumes in print in my collection. And I may have purchased them in eBook format too…. Yes, it may not seem to make much sense given the fact that I own each of the books in electronic format individually, but it’s really fun to read multi-book volumes on a Kindle. It’s like one really long, continuous book.

    Of course I have to buy this next volume in print, because the first two volumes look super pretty on my book tower. And I just know that this one will look absolutely gorgeous next to its predecessors.

    So, while I have read each of these stories before… more than once… I can’t help but be excited for this book’s release. And as I have been going through major Soul Screamers withdrawal since the series ended this past spring, VOLUME THREE’s release couldn’t come at a better time. I think, actually, that this series is due for a re-read. It’s been way too long.

    This particular volume will also be my most favorite of the ones released so far. Because, after much thought, I’ve come to the realization that IF I DIE is my favorite book in the series tied with the final book, WITH ALL MY SOUL. And as BEFORE I WAKE is a very, very close second, it means that this bind-up is so full of win.

    These stories are tear-jerkers. They put your emotions on a roller-coaster… or a dozen. They are just so amazing I can’t even… there are no words. Well, maybe just the one: Tod.

    So, while I may utterly adore INDELIBLE and EARTHBOUND – yes I read them early and loved them – I think, given my mild obsession over all things Soul Screamers that anyone who knows me knows that SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME THREE is the book I just had to put in the spotlight this week and is the book I am most eagerly awaiting the week of July 30th.

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    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s WEBSITE

    The author’s BLOG

    The author on GOODREADS

    The author on FORMSPRING

    The Soul Screamers series on FACEBBOOK

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    What happens when the reapers come for Kaylee? Don’t miss Volume Three of New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s compelling, spellbinding Soul Screamers series.

    IF I DIE
    Thanks to her mother’s sacrifice, Kaylee Cavanaugh has lived most of her life on borrowed time, but now that borrowed time is almost up. Kaylee has only seven days left to prepare for the end. To say goodbye. And yeah, to stop an incubus from preying on her high school. Tick tock…

    BEFORE I WAKE
    Dying wasn’t easy for Kaylee, but faking life is a whole new kind of struggle. The only good moments are those spent in Tod’s arms. But death hasn’t stopped her old enemies, and now everyone Kaylee loves is in danger….

    NEVER TO SLEEP First time in print!
    Sophie Cavanaugh is sick of the social fallout from her cousin Kaylee’s mental issues. Doesn’t she realize people think “crazy” runs in the family? But then a cute boy, a fateful scream and a trip to a nightmare world leave Sophie wondering just what’s real-and how to get home….

    Soul Screamers… The last thing you hear before you die.

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are just a few of the many, many other awesome books releasing the week of July 30th:

    EARTHBOUND (Earthbound #1) by Aprilynne Pike

    INDELIBLE (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf

    UNDER THE EMPYREAN SKY (The Heartland Trilogy #1) by Chuck Wendig

    SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN (The Lying Game #6) by Sara Shepard

    ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS by Sarah McCarry

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    Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2012

    top10

    Today is DAY FOUR of Top 10 of 2012.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    I am so excited to be able to co-host this event again this year with Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. I am even more stoked that Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads has joined us as a co-host this year.

    In case you hadn’t heard of our week-long event, it runs for five days, starting on Monday, where we have been sharing some of our FAVORITE lists and inviting YOU to share yours in the Linky list each day.

    Throughout the week, each of the hosts will have a giveaway that you can enter, so be sure to check out all of our stops this week. Of course, if you’re just as curious as I am, you’ll want to check out as many of the top ten lists being shared this week as possible.

    And if you haven’t yet signed up, that’s OK, there’s still time. Just check out THIS POST for all the details.

    05

    The topic for today is…

    Best Book Boyfriends of 2012

    The rules insist that they be books that I not only read in 2012 but that were released in 2012… but… well, I’m not exactly one for sticking to the rules. (Last year, for my Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011 list, I had nearly twice the honorable mentions as I did book boyfriends. Yeah. So much for rules.)

    I mean, I can’t just leave off a few of my favorite book boyfriends just because I read their books early or read them a little bit late, can I? Noooo. I can’t do that.

    But I have decided to limit it to just one boy per book – which almost always means the bad boy. Sorry Az, Will, Adam, Jack….

    And because I’ve taken the plunge and spent a little too much time reading non-YA releases, I just had to create a book boyfriends post on my non-YA blog. Because there is just no WAY I could leave those darker, sexier, older book boyfriends out of the mix this year.. Though all I can say is that I am so relieved that I did not devour all the books in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series… yet….

    Next year is going to be so tough.

    Book-Boyfriends

    1.

    Before I WakeTod

    Good boy or bad boy: Good… most of the time

    Favorite characteristics: Angelic in appearance with a devilish personality, sarcastic, charming

    Best line: Too many to count, but here’s one…

    “I’m well aware.” Tod sat up and pulled me up with him until we faced each other on my bed. “Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise,” he said, and my chest ached, and I loved that feeling–that rare pain that came from feeling too much, so different from the emptiness I’d almost gotten used to. “All you have to do is stay here with me.”

    Why he won: Do you have to ask?

    Won out over: His terribly flawed younger brother Nash Hudson

    Book Read in 2012: BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent

    2.

    Destroy MeWarner

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad… except when it comes to… nope, not going to reveal that here

    Favorite characteristics: Sexy, broken, redeemable… I hope

    Best line:

    I almost forget that she still hates me, despite how hard I’ve fallen for her.
    And I’ve fallen.
    So hard.
    I’ve hit the ground. Gone right through it. Never in my life have I felt this. Nothing like this. I’ve felt shame and cowardice, weakness and strength. I’ve known terror and indifference, self-hate and general disgust. I’ve seen things that cannot be unseen.

    And yet I’ve known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching.

    Love is a heartless bastard.

    Why he won: Because he breaks my heart. And yet he’s just so broken. Hero potential

    Won out over: Adam, who while incredibly sexy and just so perfect, might be a little too perfect

    Book Read in 2012: DESTROY ME, UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi

    3.

    SplinteredMorpheus a.k.a. Moth

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Mysterious, devious, otherworldly, clever, sexy

    Best line:

    Raising one hand, he tilts his hat to that sexy slant. “You want me. Admit it.”
    Even if he’s partly right, I’ll never tell him. “Why would I want you?”
    He lifts thee fingers to countdown. “Mysterious. Rebellious. Troubled. All those qualities women find irresistible.”

    Why he won: Because he doesn’t have to be good and yet he sometimes is

    Won out over: Skater boy Jeb who is a knight in shining armor but doesn’t have that propensity for wickedness

    Book Read in 2012: SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

    4.

    Wings of the WickedCadan

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy with a good heart

    Favorite characteristics: Sexy, redeemable, honorable

    Best line:

    He was quiet for a moment. “You have a lot more to deal with than most people. Nobody is like you. No one else is what you are, or has ever been what you are. You’re changing, trying to adapt to this world.”

    Why he won: Because he chose the difficult path. Because he doesn’t just want to be good, he actually works against everything in him to be good

    Won out over: Will who didn’t have to overcome nearly as much to be who he was and to get what he did

    Book Read in 2012: WINGS OF THE WICKED, SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE by Courtney Allison Moulton

    5.

    Sweet EvilKaidan a.k.a. Kai

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Dark, super sexy, a bit of a tease, a bit of a jerk, musician

    Best line:

    “So that’s it, then?” he asked. I ignored him. “I always wondered what it would feel like.”
    That made me curious enough to turn to him.
    “What what would feel like?” I asked.
    “Rejection.”

    Why he won: Did I not say dark, super sexy, a bit of a tease already?

    Won out over: No one. There is no competition for Kai

    Book Read in 2012: SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins

    6.

    Poison PrincessJack

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Dark, dangerous, smokin’ hot, possessive, protective, knows what he wants and goes for it

    Best line:

    Jackson growled at his friend, “Want a taste of dat girl, me.” The look in his blazing eyes . . .

    Why he won: Because while he is a bad boy he’s not such a bad guy. Being smokin’ hot didn’t hurt his chances. Not at all

    Won out over: Death. It’s still too early to tell if Jack will win next year, but I’m incredibly intrigued by Death

    Book Read in 2012: POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole

    7.

    SilverBlake

    Good boy or bad boy: Both… but leans toward the “good”

    Favorite characteristics: Driven, deadly, gorgeous, rebellious, hero

    Best line:

    Blake’s lips curve into a smile.
    “Mine,” he whispers, shattering the silence.

    Why he won: Because he said to heck with star-crossed love. Because he and Brianna have amazing chemistry. Sizzling

    Won out over: Austin. Because in SILVER, Austin did that one bad thing. In GOLD, though? Buh-bye Blake

    Book Read in 2012: SILVER, GOLD by Talia Vance

    8.

    NeverfallCole

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Manipulative, musician, immortal, sexy

    Best line:

    I looked Meredith straight in the eye. “There’s no such thing as epic love.”

    Why he won: Because everyone is against him. Because he is so right for Nikki, she just doesn’t know it

    Won out over: Jack. Because Jack should have been better but wasn’t. Not until the end

    Book Read in 2012: EVERNEATH, NEVERFALL by Brodi Ashton

    9.

    A Touch MorbidLuke  a.k.a. Lucifer

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy. Can’t really get much worse. He’s Lucifer

    Favorite characteristics: Evil. Manipulative. Self-centered. Manipulative. Yeah, I said it twice. Singer. H.O.T.

    Best line:

    With effort, she forced the wonder from her voice. “You think I can be bought with pretty things?”
    Luke chuffed in disbelief before she turned her attention back to the dresses. “You’re a black hole of a girl, Kristen,” he snapped.
    “And to think,” she said. “Most guys would have kept on with the poetry.”
    “Most guys aren’t worthy of you. I am. And you are worthy of me. You see my gifts for what they are. You’re a challenge.” He twisted her to face him. “I won’t insult you with bribery again.”

    Why he won: Because he makes me grin. He’s just so evil and yet so incredibly charming. Because he makes me want Lucifer to win out. How sick is that?

    Won out over: Az who really never stood a chance. But after what Az did, I want to throttle him

    Book Read in 2012: A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford

    10.

    StarlingThe Fennrys Wolf a.k.a. Fenn

    Good boy or bad boy: A good bad boy

    Favorite characteristics: Ability to handle a sword. Charming. Mysterious. Dangerous. Uber-sexy. He is the Fennrys Wolf

    Best line:

    “I’m scared, Fenn.”
    “I know, Mase,” he said quietly. “Would it help at all if I told you I was scared too?”
    She twisted around and looked up at him. “No,” she said seriously. “Not even a little bit.”
    “Good. ‘Cause I’m not.” He grinned. “Not even a little bit.”

    Why he won: Because he’s the Fennrys Wolf. Because he is a master at swordplay. Because even with amnesia he is still just so super cool

    Won out over: Cal. Why? Because Cal is a bit of an asshat. There. I said it. Mason deserves so much better

    Book Read in 2012: STARLING by Lesley Livingston

    Honorable-Mentions

    Gavriel Duval from Robin LaFever’s GRAVE MERCY – an absolutely swoon-worthy hero. But maybe just a little too good to make my list of bad boy book boyfriends.

    Elliott and Will from Bethany Griffin’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH – it was because the two were so equally matched and I couldn’t choose between them that they didn’t make the Top Ten List. I still don’t know who’d be more right for Araby.

    Colt from Karsten Knight’s EMBERS & ECHOES – only an honorable mention because I can’t reveal just how amazing he really is.

    Daemon from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s ONYX – drop-dead gorgeous, totally swoon-y, super sexy, stubborn, jealous. Would have… should have… made the list. Why am I restricted to only 10? It’s like these lists want me to stop reading!

    ***

    It’s still not too late to sign up for the event, even though it ends tomorrow. Whether you want to go back and post your Top Ten Lists for any of the missing posts or you just want to start today… you can!

    Tomorrow’s topic is Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2013. And the only rule is that they be books releasing in 2013. Which sounds easy enough. But not quite. There are a ton of books on my reading pile from 2011 and earlier. Books I’m totally looking forward to in 2013. It will not be easy to create that final list.

    Anyway…

    I can’t wait to check out your Top Ten Book Book Boyfriends of 2012. Just leave your link in the Linky List below so everyone can take a peek.

    04
    PLEASE NOTE: This is the SAME Linky List that is on each of the co-hosts blogs, so please just enter your links once!



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    Top 10 Book Quotes in 2012 + Giveaway

    top10

    Today is DAY THREE of Top 10 of 2012.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    I am so excited to be able to co-host this event again this year with Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. I am even more stoked that Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads has joined us as a co-host this year.

    In case you hadn’t heard of our week-long event, it runs for five days, starting on Monday, where we have been sharing some of our FAVORITE lists and inviting YOU to share yours in the Linky list each day.

    Throughout the week, each of the hosts will have a giveaway that you can enter, so be sure to check out all of our stops this week. Of course, if you’re just as curious as I am, you’ll want to check out as many of the top ten lists being shared this week as possible.

    And if you haven’t yet signed up, that’s OK, there’s still time. Just check out THIS POST for all the details.

    05

    The topic for today is…

    Best ____ of 2012

    Today’s post is one where we get to choose what “best of” topic we want to talk about. Last year I chose to share my Top 10 Villains. But as four of those villains don’t feel very much like villains to me anymore, I decided to go with something different this year.

    The problem is that I keep changing my mind. First I was going to do love triangles, but I haven’t read books with that many actual triangles. Then I thought of bad boys but that list was virtually identical to my book boyfriends list. After that it was cliffhangers, but I couldn’t exactly remember which ones were really cliffhangers and which ones just felt that way. And forget about favorite heroines… I have way too many of those.

    Then – yesterday – I was so sure I was going to do my top ten re-reads – which would have allowed me to list WINGS OF THE WICKED, EVERNEATH, A TOUCH MORBID, IF I DIE, THE LONG WALK, CITY OF BONES… yeah, it would have been a great list.

    But, in the end, I decided to go with Favorite Quotes/Passages. Because I always love to tease them. They’re moments in books that stand out to me. And while I have hundreds and hundreds of them, I had no problem choosing a few of my favorites.

    Although they have to be from books I read in 2012, I’m also assuming it means that they can be from books I re-read in 2012. Which leaves the door wide open. Though I still refuse to put my favorites if they’re super spoiler-y.

    I am also cheating, just a little bit, by including one or two “runners-up” quotes from the books with my favorite passages. Of course some of my favorite books, like BEFORE I WAKE, have over 30 favorites.

    Let’s just say it has not been easy.

    FavoriteQuotes

    1.

    Before I WakeBEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Avari and Kaylee…

    “It’s a crescendo of death, all building toward that powerful note at the finale that makes the audience gasp and hold its collective breath. You are that last note, Kaylee. You are my finale, and the symphony of pain we create together will echo throughout eternity before finally fading into an agonized silence….”

    And

    Tod and Kaylee…

    “You can see as much as you want, whenever you want.”

    “Unless you’re working, right?” I teased, but the heat in his eyes when he shook his head was unmistakable.

    “Whatever you want. Death itself would wait for you, Kaylee….”

    And

    Tod and Kaylee…

    “I’m well aware.” Tod sat up and pulled me up with him until we faced each other on my bed. “Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise,” he said, and my chest ached, and I loved that feeling–that rare pain that came from feeling too much, so different from the emptiness I’d almost gotten used to. “All you have to do is stay here with me.”

    2.

    Poison Princess

    POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Evangeline and Death…

    “Remember, Empress,” he said. “Death always defeats life. It might take time, but I will always win.” As he mounted that mighty steed, he pinned me with his hypnotic eyes. “When your blood bathes my sword, I’ll drink it just to mock you….”

    And

    Evangeline and Jack…

    “Evie, I’ve wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “I got it bad, me.”

    My heart felt like it’d stopped–so that I could hear him better.

    “For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.”

    3.

    A Touch Morbid

    A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Luke and  Kristen…

    Luke tilted his head, his neck tense, cracking with a snap. He rolled his shoulders.

    “You’re a silly little dead girl.” He glared at her, his tone harsh. “You should mean exactly nothing to me.” He grabbed her chin, forced her to meet his eyes. “And yet I covet you more than anything else on this Earth.”

    And

    Luke and Kristen…

    Her breath caught, and she dropped her hand from his shoulder. “It’s been a year,” she said quickly. “God knows you’ve moved on.”

    He didn’t break her gaze. “God knows nothing.”

    4.

    Grave Mercy

    GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Duval and Ismae…

    His smile flashes, quick and surprising in the darkness. “When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice. I bid you good night.”

    And

    Ismae and Madame Hivern…

    Her words are sharp, but her voice is sweet, like honey on the edge of a blade, and meant to be cutting. I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face and commending his soul to Mortain.

    5.

    Embers & Echoes by Karsten Knight

    EMBERS AND ECHOES by Karsten Knight

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Wes and Ash…

    “People like you and me weren’t built to lead peaceful lives together in the suburbs. Two of us together in one place is as inevitably fatal as running around a stack of dynamite with a torch.”

    And

    Ash and Colt…

    “Colt,” she said, her voice breaking. He paused and looked over his shoulder. “Did we . . . Was there ever a happy ending for us?” she asked. “Any of the times?”

    Colt wet his lips and gave her the smallest of smiles. “The odd thing about living forever is that the word ‘ending’ doesn’t apply to us. But just because there are no happy endings, doesn’t mean you can’t hope for a ‘happy-for-now.”

    Then he was gone.

    6.

    Sweet Evil

    SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Anna and Kaidan…

    He was kissing me. On my neck. I should stop him, I thought, but the softness of his mouth was so . . . Oh. I could feel the beauty of each crease on his lips as they rested against the pores of my skin. The only sounds in the room were our beating hearts and breath.

    And

    Anna thinking about Kaidan…

    My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy–a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. Seventeen-year-old boys were not supposed to be so…nongangly.

    7.

    Everneath

    EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Nikki and Cole…

    He put his lips against my head. “Heroes don’t exist. And if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them.”

    And

    Nikki and Jack…

    I turned against his body, so I was facing him, and wrapped my arms around his back and tangled my legs up with his.

    I’d spent a hundred years with Cole, in a similar position, but this was nothing like it. There were no outside forces keeping us together. No otherworldly powers interfering with this simple act.

    No. Jack wanted me close because he wanted me. Separating from him now would be worse than anything I’d felt before. Separating from him now would make me bleed, and I would never stop.

    I didn’t tell him this. I didn’t have to.

    We stayed like that for hours–my head on his stomach–trying so hard not to fall asleep. As if we could stop time.

    8.

    Masque of the Red Death

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Araby and…

    “And I’m falling in love with you,” he whispers. “But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”

    And

    Araby and….

    The velvet voice holds a hint of amusement and a hint of something else. He leans over and looks down into my face. My disorientation intensifies when my eyes focus on his. The tattoos, the dark hair. My heart speeds up. I think . . . I think . . . can a person’s heart stop if she is only seventeen years old? I suppose that if I do fall apart, my father can put me back together again.

    9.

    Wings of the Wicked

    WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Ellie to Will…

    “How we feel about each other makes us stronger. It makes us fight harder for each other. You’re standing there and telling me you can’t let Michael kill you because you don’t trust anyone else to be my Guardian. Will, you’re the best not just because you’re the strongest. You protect me like no one else can because you love me. Fighting it weakens us. We’re tearing ourselves apart!”

    And

    Will to Ellie…

    He closed his eyes and his forehead touched mine. “I’m so sorry for everything. I never wanted to hurt you or make you doubt me. I need you to trust me. I need you. And I love you. I want you. You know I do. I’ll never stop doing any of those things until the day I die for you.”

    10.

    Hallowed cover

    HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Clara and…

    I stop. We’re both breathing heavy, snow clinging to our hair, melting on our clothes. I stare down at him. Snow floats around us….

    He sucks in his bottom lip for a second, the quickest, tiniest motion, to moisten it.

    All I would have to do is close my eyes and let go.

    Try it, he says without words, so softly it’s like the brush of a feather in my mind. Let’s find out what’s next

    But there’s hesitation in him too; I feel it.

    And

    Clara thinking about Christian…

    “You must think I’m an idiot,” he says then.

    I look up, started. There are a lot of words I’d use to describe Christian Prescott: mystery, enigma, conundrum, destiny, terrifying, and, well, just plain hot, if I’m being honest, but the word idiot has never crossed my mind. Except maybe that one time at prom.

    Honorable-Mentions

    Starling

    STARLING by Lesley Livingston

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Mason Starling about Fenn…

    There was something so naked in his expression, Mason thought. And then she started to actually blush at the memory of what he’d looked like just a few minutes ago. Okay, not naked more like raw–uh, no. That wasn’t helping either. She winced inwardly. How about vulnerable?

    Yes. That was exactly it.

    03

    Silver

    SILVER by Talia Vance

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Brianna and Blake…

    When he finally lets his eyes slide to mine, there’s anger, yes, but something else too. A fear that claws at my neck. A sadness that floats up from nowhere and pulls me along. Desire, so strong that I want to fall into him.

    04So that’s my list. The hardest one yet to create. And I’m still thinking of posting a few of the “outtakes” on The Annex this week. Because there are just so many amazing quotes and passages, I feel awful leaving them off the list.

    Are any of those quotes and passages among your list of favorites for 2012? Do you keep a list of favorite passages in the books you read? Or is quote collecting not something you do as a reader or blogger?

    Anyway…

    I am super stoked to check out just what topics everyone chose today. There will be so many different types of “best of” lists that it will be extra fun to see just what books, heroes, villains, heroines, love triangles, cliffhangers, et cetera that everyone picked.

    But before you head off to check out some of the other posts around the blogosphere, today I’ll be the blog hosting the giveaway. All the details are below.

    the Giveaway

    What’s Up for Grabs?

    Two YA Books of Your Choice (not to exceed $30 total) released in 2012 or releasing in the first week of January 2013, to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository.

    The Deets

    You must be 13 or older to enter

    ONE entry per HOUSEHOLD

    Giveaway is international

    Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter on January 2, 2013 at Midnight Pacific

    Winner will be announced on this post and contacted by email

    Winner will have 48 hours to respond

    There is no requirement to like or follow but spreading the word would be awesome!

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    Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2012

    top10

    Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2012.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    I am so excited to be able to co-host this event again this year with Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. I am even more stoked that Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads has joined us as a co-host this year.

    In case you hadn’t heard of our week-long event, it runs for five days, starting today, where we are sharing some of our FAVORITE lists and inviting YOU to share yours in the Linky list each day.

    Throughout the week, each of the hosts will have a giveaway that you can enter, so be sure to check out all of our stops this week. Of course, if you’re just as curious as I am, you’ll want to check out as many of the top ten lists being shared this week as possible.

    And if you haven’t yet signed up, that’s OK, there’s still time. Just check out THIS POST for all the details.

    05

    The topic for today is…

    Best Books I’ve Read in 2012

    Thankfully it doesn’t have to be a book released in 2012, just one I’ve read in 2012, as my reading was all over the map this year. Of course that actually increases the possibilities…. darn it!

    And there are a few books I read this year that I’d LOVE to have listed below, but as they are secret books, I can’t. But I hope the authors know that I would list them here if I could.

    I am trying so hard to stick to just ten this year, and have put the creation of this list off to the very last minute because of that fact. I thought it’d be easier to do my book boyfriends list, so I started that one first, but reducing it to 27 is where I’m stalled right now. So much for taking the easy route.

    Last year I totally cheated and created two lists – Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 and Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011. Thankfully I had two blogs in order to create those lists.

    This year, while I plan on breaking many of the rules of this event, I will just create the one. And only list four honorable mentions.

    Anyway…

    After a LOT of hair pulling, a few tears, maybe one or a thousand shouts of frustration and a ton of guilt, guilt, guilt, here is this year’s attempt at listing my favorite reads of 2012. Though I decided to restrict them to YA reads only AND books I have reviewed. Hey, I have to save SOME of my 2013 reads for next year’s list, right?

    [Thankfully I did NOT finish reading EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton (and read EVERNEATH and already counted it in 2011) so that’s one less book to try and squeeze onto this particular list. And now I’m even more glad I read A TOUCH MORBID by Leah Clifford in 2011.]

    So without further ado, after that really, really, really long intro, here they are….

    BIR-2012

     1.

    Splintered

    SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I am just so madly in love with A.G. Howard’s SPLINTERED. While it is a 2013 release, as I read it and fell under its spell this year, I just had to include it on my Top Ten List.

    It touches on everything I love about the books I read. It’s dark. It’s a little bit twisted. It’s magical. It has characters I utterly adore – Alyssa, Morpheus, Jeb, Chessie. And it’s a book that got its hooks in me and just won’t let go.

    It has everything I loved about Lewis Carroll’s story and then some which is why it takes the number one spot.

    2.

    Poison Princess

    POISON PRINCESS (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    POISON PRINCESS was my very first Kresley Cole read. It was dark, disturbing, incredibly sexy and so totally addictive. The world was chilling. The Arcana even more so. And Jack Deveaux was absolutely delicious.

    Then there was that ending. Oh my gosh, the wait for book two has been killing me. I don’t know how I’m supposed to last until the next book in the series releases. Although I’ve been trying to fill the void by devouring the author’s Immortals After Dark books. Which helps. Just a bit. I’ve only read three but I love, love, love them.

    Still… I really, really, really would love to know just what happens in the next book in the series. The world the author created is wicked awesome and I most definitely want more.

    3.

    Before I Wake

    BEFORE I WAKE (Soul Screamers #6) by Rachel Vincent

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Do I really need to say why BEFORE I WAKE by Rachel Vincent has made my top ten? This series is one of my favorite series of all time. I am devastated it will be ending in 2013 and I’ll have to say goodbye to Kaylee, Tod, Nash, Sabine, Emma and even Avari. Yep. I’ll even miss that hellion. I clearly have it bad.

    But why this book? Because it is just as much a roller coaster as each of the author’s other books. It piles on the heartbreak. It shocks. It surprises. And it leaves readers – me, me me! – desperate for the next installment.

    I cannot believe it’s ending in 2013. I don’t even want to think about it. Because what will I possibly do without the agony of waiting for the next installment in this series?

    4.

    Silver

    SILVER (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    What a surprise SILVER by Talia Vance was. I did not anticipate just how much I would love this book. It was an insta-love book for me. The moment Blake and Brianna truly saw each other I was ensnared. And it left me a little breathless for the rest of the read.

    The mythology was unbelievably awesome. The world was deadly. The story tied me up in knots. The boys were incredibly swoon-worthy. And I totally inhaled this book.

    Of course the sequel, GOLD, blew me away, too. Which I really didn’t think was possible because of certain directions the story took – no I won’t reveal those here! – but as it was such an early read, and a book without a cover revealed, I thought I’d wait to add it to next year’s Top Ten List.

    5.

    Sweet Evil Cover

    SWEET EVIL (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I have loved SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins for so long that I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t in love with it. From the very moment I learned of its title I was in love. I fell harder when I saw the gorgeous cover. And I was irrevocably in love after having read the description.

    It wasn’t just Kaidan Rowe, the totally swoon-y bad boy, that made me love this book. There was a depth to this story, there was definitely a darkness to it. All I could think about was how amazingly captivating and interesting and different this story was. And all I wanted was more, more, more.

    I bit my nails to the quick waiting for word on the sequel. Because I just had to know what was next for Kai and Anna, I had to find out how dark this series would get, and I had to be able to return to the world. And no, I haven’t had that opportunity yet, but now that the trilogy has been picked up, I will get that chance.

    Which makes me so unbelievably happy.

    6.

    Shadows in the Silence

    SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I had the hardest time choosing which book to pick – SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE or WINGS OF THE WICKED by Courtney Allison Moulton. Because they BOTH deserve to be on this Top Ten List. But as there were only ten spots, I couldn’t justify choosing two books from the same series. But I really wanted to.

    This is a brand new read for me, and I just know if I had longer to sit with it before choosing my top ten books, it would totally be a top five. Because it was heartbreaking, gorgeous and so totally epic. It was my favorite book in the series. And I’m still tearing up just thinking about how things ended and the fact that they did end.

    The writing was amazing, the battles were fierce and devastating, and the love story was beautiful and heart-warming. I couldn’t think of a more perfect ending to the series.

    Though, of course, I wish there were more. Because I miss Ellie and Will and Cadan and it’s only been days since I said goodbye. I hate to think how sad I’ll be at this time next year.

    7.

    Demon Eyes

    DEMON EYES (Witch Eyes #2) by Scott Tracey

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    There was no way I was leaving DEMON EYES by Scott Tracey off my list. Because this series is so incredibly awesome. I may have read this book more than a few, but less than several, times this year. And no, it wasn’t too many times.

    I got to love Braden even more in this sequel, though it was Drew I fell madly in love with. But it was the unbelievably jaw-dropping, heart-stopping events toward the end of the book that blew my mind, that made me say “no way, no way, no way” and left me shattered. In tears. Broken.

    And if that wasn’t enough, the author added another twist to the knife he stuck in my heart. So, yes, of course, this book is a favorite of mine.

    8.

    Masque of the Red Death

    MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I was so worried that MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin wouldn’t be everything I hoped it would be, that it wouldn’t live up to my super high expectations. With a cover as stunning as it has and a premise based on Poe’s, this story had a lot to live up to.

    And it did. Oh my gosh it did. I felt myself sink right into this story from the moment my eyes devoured the author’s hauntingly beautiful writing at the very beginning. I immediately wanted to know more about Araby Worth and the dark and chilling world she lived in.

    One where breathing the air could mean death. One where people were suffering from the Weeping Sickness. And one where there two amazing boys – Will and Elliott – to be surprised by.

    There was no question this would make my list this year and I am anticipating the sequel, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, making the list next year.

    9.

    Embers and Echoes

    EMBERS & ECHOES (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I am a huge fan of author Karsten Knight’s writing. But I thought that after that holy wow ending in WILDEFIRE that he couldn’t top things in EMBERS & ECHOES. I was so totally wrong.

    Because this book… this book… was… so amazing, so heartbreaking – that one scene, oh my gosh that scene still squeezes my heart – and so completely shocking, so action-packed, so freaking epic.

    I am dying for AFTERGLOW, although at the same time I’m so totally terrified. Because I don’t know just how dark things will get or if there will be even the tiniest of happy endings for any of the characters.

    But, yeah, this is definitely a top ten favorite book of 2012 for me.

    10.

    Unraveling

     UNRAVELING (Unraveling #1) by Elizabeth Norris

    (Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris was another complete and total surprise. I did not expect to fall in love with it. I did not expect it to be a genre that would captivate me. I did not anticipate shedding any tears.

    So of course I wasn’t prepared when the tears came. That first time, the second or the third. I did not expect to be as fascinated by the genre. I did not expect to be desperate for the sequel. And yet I was… I am.

    I knew I should never have read the description for book two. Because, while the wait for me isn’t as long as it has been for some, knowing just what might come next has made me incredibly anxious.

    I love being surprised by books. I love finding a gem when I wasn’t even looking. And that’s what UNRAVELING was to me when I discovered it this fall. So I just had to give it a spot on my Top Ten of 2012 List.

    Honorable-Mentions

    This Is Not a Test

    THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

    Beautiful. Haunting. Unexpected. Heartbreaking. Chilling. A must read.

    Cinder

    CINDER (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

    Imaginative. Delightful. Surprising. Heartbreaking. Familiar yet wonderfully different.

    Grave Mercy

    GRAVE MERCY (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

    Epic. Epic. Epic. Kick-a**. Amazing. Heartbreaking. Gavriel Duval.

    Onyx

    ONYX (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    Sexy. Bewitching. Suspenseful. Addictive. Frustratingly yummy. Hello Daemon.

    04

    Since this is my YA blog I didn’t feel it would be fair to take three of my top ten spots away for my favorite Non-YA Reads of 2012. But there were three exceptional books that I read in 2012 that rival quite a few of my favorite YA ones and they are…

    Hard Bitten

    HARD BITTEN (Chicagoland Vampires #4) by Chloe Neill

    One of the most heartbreaking ends to a book I’ve ever read. Ever. A punch to the solar plexus. It destroyed me. I have not recovered.

    Shadow Bound

    SHADOW BOUND (Unbound #2) by Rachel Vincent

    Fierce. Devastating. Gorgeous. Seriously kick-a**. Sarcastic. Awesome to the nth degree.

    Halfway to the Grave

    HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost

    Sexy. Sexy. Sexy. Wicked. Dark. Deadly. Ah-mazing.

    02

    Well, those are my Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2012 with just four honorable mentions and a shout out to my three favorite Non-YA reads this year. It was just so hard to choose only ten, but at least I kept it close. And those ten are definitely my top ten picks of the year.

    I know I rambled on… and on… and on… about my ten picks, but I promise to only do that for today’s post. I hope. But as I haven’t created any of those posts yet I can’t be one hundred percent certain.

    Anyway….

    I can’t wait to check out your Top Ten Reads for 2012. Just leave your link in the Linky List below so everyone can take a peek.

    And don’t forget to check out today’s giveaway on…

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    A LIFE BOUND BY BOOKS



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    Before I Wake Mini-Reading Challenge Wrap-up

    The BEFORE I WAKE Mini-Reading Challenge has officially ended, which makes me just a bit sad. Mostly because there are no new Soul Screamers novels left for me to read this year. And without a reading challenge, I have no excuse to re-read the entire series once again to hold me over until WITH ALL MY SOUL releases next year.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s mini-challenge. I am so glad to see just how much you all loved this installment in the series. IF I DIE was a hard act to follow, but this book was so awesome and heartbreaking it was easy to see it as its very own amazing story.

    I can’t believe there were so many sign-ups for this challenge. So, thank you all for signing up and participating. New releases are not always easy to get a hold of, read and review in the month of their release, so I’m so thrilled to see just how many of you did manage to do so!

    Because I had the chance to read it early and I posted my review on release date, I wasn’t as challenged by the challenge as I had been with the books each month for the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. But I still had fun checking out your reviews and posts.

    And while WITH ALL MY SOUL won’t be released until April of next year, I think I may just have to do another month-long challenge for that book, too. But before I say, “Until then!” I have some prize winners to announce….

    Oh, and in case you hadn’t been aware, Rachel Vincent’s blog has moved. You can check it out HERE. And it’s awesome.

    The first place winner of the $50 in books of their choice from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location is….

    Congratulations Helene!

    The second place winner of three Rachel Vincent books of their choice (which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order) that I will order and send to the author for signature is…

    Congratulations Christina!

    The third place winner of two Rachel Vincent books of their choice (which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order) that I will order from Amazon or The Book Depository is…

    Congratulations Alaiel!

    And the fourth place winner of one Rachel Vincent book of their choice (which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order) that I will order from Amazon or The Book Depository is…

    Congratulations A Book Obsession!

    Congratulations again to all the winners! I will also be notifying you today by email. And thanks again to everyone who joined this challenge and the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge before that. You are all so awesome for sharing your love of Rachel Vincent’s books and (most of her )characters.

    I hope the challenge was fun and I’m sorry not everyone could win a prize. Well, except for having had the chance to read such an awesome book like BEFORE I WAKE, that is.

    And for those of you who didn’t get a chance to attend the author’s BEFORE I WAKE spoiler chat, you can watch it HERE or below.

    [Just click on the little “x” to close the ad and keep your volume down for the first few seconds of the video until you see Rachel reach for her speaker volume.]

    Watch live streaming video from rachelkvincent at livestream.com

     

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    The Extras: Teasers #12

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past few months.

    ***

    I have so many favorite passages in Unravel Me that if I were to include them all I’d practically be reprinting the book. Which, contrary to popular belief, would not be good. So I had to choose just one favorite, which proved impossible to do.

    And so I chose two. Both with just enough to tease, but that are not too revealing – though my very favorites are the most spoiler-y of them all. And both that definitely made me sigh.

    And yes, I left off just who was sharing either or both moments with Juliette.

    “Hey, you,” he whispers, right up against my neck.

    I bite back a shiver as the blood rushes up to blush my cheeks and for a moment, just for this moment, I drop my bones and allow him to hold me together. “Hey.” I smile, inhaling the scent of him.

    Luxurious, is what this is.

    And because one just wasn’t enough….

    “Let go of me.”

    “No.”

    I feel his breath on the back of my neck and it’s killing me to be so close to him. It’s killing me to know that I have to rebuild the walls I’d so carelessly demolished the moment he came back into my life.

    I am so in love with this sequel to Wildefire. Embers & Echoes is definitely a book I’d call epic. But it’s so much more than that. There are so very many passages that are absolutely gorgeous.

    My favorites, of course, are completely spoiler-y. Especially the one about… Oops. Nope. Sorry.

    So I chose this one from a scene I absolutely adore that is beautiful and intriguing.

    The song released its explosive last breath, and the band trickled into a slower song. Ash tried to latch on to the ghost of a memory; to dig further for a vision like the ones she’d been having over the last few nights. But the phantom slipped away from her, and she was left only with Wes holding her, unmoving, watching.

    This Is Not a Test is a surprisingly beautiful and heartbreaking story for a book that involves zombies. I never anticipated finding a passage to love let alone the very many that I did.

    One of my most favorite is completely spoiler-y and one of them I included with my review. But as there were so many to choose from, I couldn’t help but tease this one. Though I am not going to reveal the two people in the scene.

    …[S]uddenly everything is just slow and tender in a way it wasn’t before. The energy in the room shifts. They’re kissing still, but now they’re really kissing. It’s so open and so honest and so end-of-the-world and I can feel it from where I’m standing. I feel the absence of it from where I’m standing. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.

    Still here. Still here. Still here.

    There is so very much to love about Demon Eyes. Talk about a seriously amazing follow-up to a wickedly awesome book. And with the way this book ends…. Well, that’s the biggest teaser of them all, so I couldn’t possibly reveal that here.

    I have a ton of passages that I think are beautifully written that teased me throughout the read. But I think this one is the perfect one to tease with. Especially since I know who is asking the question and I know what happens next.

    “WHAT DID YOU DO?!”

    I don’t know. I could barely hold the thought together.

    Visions continued to freight train through my head, thousands and billions of snowflakes that crashed into me, lighter than feathers but harder than steel.

    He yowled in a voice that wasn’t human–sounds I don’t think even animals could replicate.

    I have nearly fifty passages marked as favorites in Before I Wake. Most of them are total spoilers for If I Die so I’ve been hesitant about talking about them. But it’s long past release date for IID and Before I Wake has been out for a couple of weeks, so I figure I can be just a tiny bit spoiler-y for If I Die.

    Of course choosing a passage to tease with was oh so tough. I already teased one with my review that was intense and beautiful. So I thought I’d go with something just a little bit more fun and a lot more grin-worthy.

    “I signed on for the role of ‘boyfriend,’ not ‘conscience.’ If you want wholesome and ethical, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But I promise that won’t be half as much fun as this is….”

    His hand slid down my side and over my hip, and my heart beat faster.

    I expected Cold Fury to be a story with action-packed sequences and so I did not anticipate finding one, let alone several, passages that I could call favorites. But the way the author talks about Chicago throughout the book is absolutely beautiful and I found so many passages that pulled me in simply from the pictures he painted.

    I have one of my favorite passages earmarked for my review that talks of betrayal, but this passage just clings to me.

    The room was so beautiful and comfortable, so desolate and remote, that it felt like the end of a life. I wanted to get up, pack my few things, and continue on my desperate journey to nowhere, but my body was dead weight.

    I tried to lift an arm but it wouldn’t move.

    I willed my leg to bend but it was paralyzed.

    I turned inward to my aloneness and cried until I was unconscious.

    I am reading Onyx right now and I can say with absolute certainty that there are so many awesome passages in this book. I think I already have at least twenty marked down and I’m not very far along in the read. This bodes very, very well.

    Of course the passage I chose just has to include Daemon Black. It wouldn’t be a teaser without him. And I decided to tease this one for just a little bit longer.

    I came off the desk swinging. My knuckles only brushed his face before he caught my hand. Wowzers, he was fast. Daemon pulled me up against his chest and lowered his head, eyes snapping with restrained anger. “Don’t hit, Kitten. It’s not nice.”

    “You’re not nice.” I tried pulling back, but he kept my wrist secured in his hand. “Let me go.”

    “I’m not sure I can do that. I must protect myself.” But he dropped my hand.

    “Oh, really, that’s your reason for–for manhandling me?”

    “Mandhandling?” He pressed forward until my lower back was against the cubicle desk. “This isn’t manhandling or whatever the hell that is.”

    Visions of me against the wall at my house and Daemon kissing me danced in my head…

    Grave Mercy is an absolutely beautifully written book. I found myself lost in the words and the world from the very start. And I knew from the author’s writing that I’d be enchanted by nearly every word that was written. And I was.

    I had an absolute favorite passage, which I included with my review, along with another passage I loved. But they were most definitely not the only ones. Passages like this one also held me captive.

    And yes, the very next paragraph is even more….

    His eyes never leave mine, but his hand comes up and brushes a strand of hair away from my collarbone. Without even realizing what I am doing, I lean toward him.

    His hand moves up to cup my face. Slowly he draws me closer, lowering his head to meet mine. His touch is careful, as if I am fragile and precious. And then his lips are on mine, firm and warm and impossibly soft.

    This was my most challenging teasers post yet. All of the eight books I chose to tease from had writing that was just so amazingly awesome that almost every word was a tease. So selecting just a few favorites was impossible.

    Add to that the fact that I wanted to tease and not spoil made creating this post almost cruel.

    For me that is. I hope the passages I chose aren’t too torturous for you.

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    Review: Before I Wake

    Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent was released in the U.S. today, June 26, 2012, in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harlequin TEEN, the print edition is 352 pages.

    Before I Wake is the sixth book in author Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series. The seventh and final book in the series, With All My Soul is slated for release on April 1, 2013.

    ***

    WARNING: Goodreads description has SPOILERS for If I Die, the fifth book in the series.

    Goodreads description:

    I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn’t get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school…

    Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent “recovering,” she’s back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won’t keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn’t just gambling with her own life….

    ***

     ***REVIEW has spoilers for If I Die but NOT Before I Wake***

    All things considered, Kaylee Cavanaugh was pretty lucky. Sure, she died. But she got a second chance. And although she technically wasn’t alive, at least she wasn’t a reaper. She didn’t have to take souls, just reclaim them.

    Immortality, however, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Sure, she could make herself invisible when she wanted to hang out with her boyfriend. No, she didn’t have to sleep. No, she didn’t have to eat unless she wanted to. No, she wouldn’t age. And no, she didn’t actually have to go to school. That was her choice.

    But being invisible was easier than being corporeal – not ideal when trying to pretend to be normal at school. Not being able to sleep left long periods of time with little to do and no one to do it with. Not aging meant that nearly everyone she cared about would eventually be gone.

    And being immortal didn’t mean being invincible.

    So when someone from Kaylee’s past looks to make a deal, she must decide whether the risk of working with them is greater than the danger of facing down her enemies alone. Not a decision she ever thought she’d have to make. Not a decision she ever wanted to make. And not someone whose side she ever thought she’d have to choose. Especially when she knows they can’t be trusted.

    ***

    The sixth installment in the Soul Screamers series, Before I Wake is every bit as tension-filled, emotionally charged, intense, gripping and entertaining as its predecessor. With new dangers, the return of old enemies and even greater obstacles to overcome, this book is nerve-wracking, suspenseful, heartbreakingly sweet and sad and absolutely unputdownable.

    As with each of the previous books in the series, Before I Wake takes things to the next level – more excitement, more heat, deadlier threats and more complex challenges for the characters to face. Especially for the story’s heroine, Kaylee Cavanaugh.

    While she struggles to cope with her new existence, or lack thereof, she must find a way to balance school, her new job, her new boyfriend, her ex-boyfriend, her Dad’s overprotectiveness, and a mara who still manages to get under her skin.

    Engaging from start to finish, Before I Wake delves into just what “life” is like for Kaylee. It touches on the very real issues of isolation, loneliness and despair that come with not quite being part of the world around her. And it shows that immortality does not always guarantee a happy ending.

    But the story also shows a positive change in the way Kaylee interacts with the people in her life. She’s developed a new strength never before seen in the series, she’s become more confident in who she is and her importance in the lives of the people around her and she’s become more forgiving and understanding of those who have let her down in the past.

    We also get to see a more witty, fun and flirtatious Kaylee. Even with the enemies that plague her existence. Even with the return of someone she hoped she’d never have to see again. And even with an ex who is not about to make things easy on her just because she died.

    Add to this a new mystery to solve, a threat that no one ever saw coming and one not everyone may survive, and you have a story that will captivate, that will surprise and that will leave the door open for the possibility of anything – good or bad – to happen.

    Before I Wake is an absolute must read that not only doesn’t suffer a lag, but challenges itself to be better than what came before. It’s a nail-biter. It’s a heartbreaker and a heart-stopper. It’s a fast-paced, intense, incredibly addictive and wildly entertaining addition to the series. It’s shocking. It breaks the rules. It leaves readers anxious for the final installment.

    And it’s all connected by author Rachel Vincent’s heart-felt, tearful and beautiful passages and the humorous, fun and sarcastic dialogue readers have come to expect.

    Reviewer gives this book….

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note:

    I don’t think I could have been happier with this series than I was when I reached the end of If I Die. It was the perfect end to the perfect series. And yet it wasn’t. There were two books still to come.

    While If I Die was an absolutely tormenting roller coaster ride, the ending had me crying tears of joy. There were so many possibilities ahead for my two favorite characters. So many potential happily ever afters. If the series stopped right there I would have been sad but at the same time happy. Satisfied. Hopeful.

    Then along came Before I Wake. And I was a mix of excited and nervous for its arrival. After that happy ending, I was scared about what new torture author Rachel Vincent would put me through. What she’d put her characters through. I was hopeful that what started to develop between Tod and Kaylee would grow and not end up the same twisty nightmarish mess that was Nash and Kaylee’s relationship.

    I raced through the book. The first time I read it. And because once wasn’t quite enough I read it again. I was so desperate to learn what happened next. I was anxious to find out if this follow up to the best book in the series would match its awesomeness or if it would fall just a bit shy of it, if not more.

    Well, where If I Die had a number of amazing moments, they were countless in Before I Wake. I noted passage after passage of moments that made me grin, moments that brought tears to my eyes, moments that took my breath away, moments that stopped my heart from beating.

    I cheered. I laughed. I was giddy – yes giddy – with excitement. I was hopeful. I was happy. And not just for the briefest of moments.

    But I also sobbed. I was crushed. Devastated. Heartbroken. Torn apart. And shocked. I really didn’t think I would be shocked this late in a series, knowing just how far the author will go with her characters and story. But I was.

    I couldn’t believe just how many shocks and surprises there were in this sixth book in the Soul Screamers series. While some of them were good, happy surprises, more of them were of the devastating “I can’t believe that just happened” variety of surprise.

    I was so shocked with the first read, I didn’t cry like I did during each of my many reads of If I Die. But on the second read I was in tears for practically the entire book. Yes, knowing what comes next doesn’t always lessen the pain.

    There is so much I want to talk about in this book, but I do not like to spoil what happens for those who haven’t yet read it. And while I may have revealed things from previous books in the series – like who lived to be in this book – I refuse to go into any real details of all the awesome that is Before I Wake.

    Because there was a lot of awesome. Like all those sarcastic exchanges between those bean sidhes, reapers and one troublesome mara. And all those conversations that absolutely yanked on my heartstrings. Oh, and all those moments that consisted of a glance, a touch, a kiss, where words weren’t required.

    Nope, I won’t talk about those. And I won’t reveal just what happened to make me cry, to make me so anxious to see how this series ends, so desperate to find out just what the heck that ending means for… well… everyone who actually makes it into the final book in the series.

    And, sorry, I won’t talk about just what may or may not have happened between Kaylee and Tod.

    What I will say, though, is that this book was outstanding. It did not fall shy of the awesome that was If I Die. It was awesome in its own right. In its own way. It took me to a different place. It made me think different things about the characters. And it kept me just as riveted as I was with each and every book in the series.

    I loved it for its progression. I loved it for its differences. I loved that it took my emotions on one heck of an insane ride. I loved it for its ability to keep me glued to the story, not once but twice. And I loved that it altered my opinions of not one, but almost all of the characters in this series.

    But most of all I loved how real and honest and frightening Kaylee’s emotions were about what she’s become. About what her existence means. About what it feels like to be there and not there.

    I am already dying to find out where this story leads and where it ends. I am nervous as to just how heartbreaking the final book in the series will be. I’m hopeful that it will be every bit as incredible as its predecessor. And I’m terrified of having to say goodbye.

    ***

    Favorite passage:

    I had over forty favorite passages in Before I Wake. I had the hardest time choosing, especially since I love all things sarcastic. And there was this one Sabine quote….

    But there was also this stunningly gorgeous, dark and amazing quote from Avari that starts with, “It’s a crescendo of death…” but it was just a little too revealing. So, I ended up choosing one of the most romantic passages I have ever read:

    His gaze burned into mine, like he could see past my eyes into parts of me no one had ever seen, and I knew I was seeing the same in him. No one else had ever seen him so vulnerable before, like if I pushed him away, he might crumble into pieces that could never be put together again. Yet there was strength, too. He was strong beneath that fragile need, and I knew that I could never fall with him next to me. If I tripped, he would catch me. If I lost my balance, he would find it.

    ***

    This review is based on an early finished copy of the book I received from the author and contains my honest opinions about the book.

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