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Darkest Mercy

    Random Thoughts: My 2011 Top Ten List of Unread Books

    This post can alternatively be titled: My 2011 Unread Books Shame Spiral

    So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I can’t possibly read every single book when it comes out. But, oh, I so want to. However, I usually try to read all of my favorites within a week or two, but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And as more time passes, especially now that my evenings are taken up with blogging, some of my favorite reads are falling farther and farther down my “to be read” list.

    I never thought the day would come when a “can hardly wait” book would end up at least thirty books away from the top of the heap, but it’s happened. And I’m actually kind of devastated.

    When I first started blogging my enthusiasm fueled me and allowed me to pull any number of all-nighters to stay up reading and writing my reviews. Those days feel like a lifetime ago. Somewhere around two o’clock in the morning I crash and no amount of caffeine will keep me awake reading into the wee hours of the night. Or morning as the case may be.

    Of course what prompted this post of shame is the fact that I am sitting here, three weeks after release date and I still haven’t read City of Fallen Angels. I do blame iBooks and their download debacle which has yet to be resolved, but in the end, I am ultimately to blame for not taking the time out to read this book.

    I’ve posted quite a few giveaways, saw the author at both the signing and the RT Convention in Los Angeles, but still haven’t managed to finish the book. And right now, it’s about midway through the second page on my Kindle, and falling fast, as week after week more books download and push it farther away from my watchful eyes.

    But CoFA isn’t the only book that has drifted from my grasp. There are oh so many more that have slipped away – sometimes quietly, sometimes not – but I do feel their loss.

    If I had to go back to November 2010 when I started blogging I don’t think I could create a top ten list, as there would just be too many to choose from. And so I will list just those books released in 2011 that I was so eager to read on release date and yet still haven’t managed to squeeze in the time.


    Blue Bloods by Kailin Gow is one of the books I was eagerly awaiting. This installment was to be much more action packed than its predecessor and I couldn’t wait for its release. I’m sad to say it is still waiting a read.


    Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard was also a book I wanted to read right away. I even started to read it, but was on deadline for a promised review – I feel like I’m on way too many deadlines these days – so had to put it down. Sadly it has yet to be picked up again, but I have not forgotten just how much I want to read this book.


    The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker was so top-of-the-list for me. I couldn’t help but become hooked on all the craziness with the pink wigs and pinked Twitter avatars. I could not wait for this book and was so jealous of everyone who got a chance to read it before release date. I think four or five books downloaded that night for me and I knew that there was no way I could read it immediately, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to. I kept moving it forward so that it wouldn’t sink to the back of the pack on my Kindle, but now it’s four pages in.


    Lemniscate by Jennnifer Murgia wasn’t released too long ago, but it was a sequel I was waiting forever for. It took me two reads to fall in love with the first book in the series, but fall in love I did. It was one of the first Indie books I had read and wasn’t quite used to the different style of the Indies, but when a much wiser and more experienced me re-read it I absolutely adored it. And then couldn’t wait for the sequel. And I’m still waiting to find the time to read it. I don’t feel too bad as it’s only three pages back, but still. So much for reading on release day.


    The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith was an absolute must read. I have loved this series forever. (Both the TV show and the books.) I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next but I knew that there is no way I’d have time to read this book immediately as it’s a huge book. And sadly when time is a factor, it’s much easier to choose the shorter reads. Besides, I’m not entirely sure just how to write a review for these books as they are so elaborate and so detailed. But I really want to read this last book in the series written completely by the author and am sad that I still haven’t done so.


    Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany was a fairly newly discovered series for me. I read the first book only a short while before book two was to come out. I couldn’t wait. I was so hooked on this series that I couldn’t imagine not reading it the second it downloaded. But I can’t even remember what happened. I was so psyched to read it, and then somehow completely spaced. By the time I realized that I missed the chance to read it, I was already late on every single deadline and so I had to put this one back in the TBR pile. This is a book that I do not want to wait to read until the release of the paperback so that I’ll have a timely review. I just hope it doesn’t end up that way just because of my schedule.


    Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon is one one of the books that I hyped here on the blog. I couldn’t wait for its release and I absolutely love this cover. I was completely fired up to read this on release date and once again I had to set it aside for a mandatory read. I’m not too far off from release date, and I still see it hanging out on page three of my Kindle, but that’s way too far back for my liking. I really hope to have the time to read this one in the next few weeks. I think I have got to stop checking NetGalley and requesting new books to review.


    Afterlife by Claudia Gray is my saddest missed read. I didn’t care that this was the end of the road, I just had to know what happened. I even set aside a book I was reading and began to read this one. It was just as grabbing as all the rest of the Evernight series and I couldn’t wait to finish it. But as I was reading, the guilt crept in and I had to put this down. There was a little war between good and evil going on inside, but sadly the hedonist did not win against responsible me and since that date I have not had a moment to return to this story.


    Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr is yet another final book in a series that I absolutely loved. I was desperate for this book to come out, but at the same time I was devastated. I knew, especially as there were a whole bunch of series ending, that I might not want to read this right away and say goodbye to some of the most interesting characters I’ve known in a young adult series. But I didn’t think I’d have waited this long. Really. This cover still calls to me from my book pile even though the eBook is now long buried I don’t know how many pages in.


    Oh c’mon did you really expect to see anything else here? I talked about this before I even started the list! City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is my greatest shame. There is no real reason why I shouldn’t have blown off every single deadline and read this from start to finish. Who cares that there’s a cliffhanger ending? Who cares that every single person would have read and reviewed it on the exact same day? There are absolutely no excuses for why this book has not yet been read and reviewed. None.


    Do you have any books that have fallen prey to the deadlines of blogging? Have you sacrificed your favorite read because your life got in the way? Have you overspent on books that were less important, forgetting about your favorite release and now your wallet is bare?

    I’ve shared with you my dirty little secret and would love to know what unread books are your greatest shame?


    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #8

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    February continues to be a fantastic month for new releases. Here are the books for the week of February 21st that I have ordered or am purchasing on release date.

    A few of these books were either part of my Book Watch spotlights or I’ve already reviewed, but the finished copies are on my pre-order list so they make the list. Yes, I buy all final copies of books unless I absolutely do not care for them.

    So, you may have seen these before on the site, but they’re releasing on Tuesday and if you haven’t already ordered, you still have time!

    A Touch Mortal is Leah Clifford’s debut novel. It will be released in the U.S. on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for pre-order in both formats.

    Published by Greenwillow Books, the hardcover is 432 pages.

    A Touch Mortal is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at It is one of the original twelve books I chose for the 2011 DAC.

    I think I’ve entered every possible contest on the Web to try and get this book early. Obviously I have been looking forward to reading this book for awhile. I’ve said it over and over that I love the cover, the premise – really everything that it seems to be offering.

    I can’t wait to start reading this book. Eternal struggles, heaven and hell, betrayals. It just sounds so very, very good. I can’t say that I hope it lives up to the hype, as I haven’t paid much attention to what’s being said on the blogs as I’ve created too much of my own hype for this book to overshadow what others might have said.

    If you want to read the Goodreads description or watch a video of the author reading from the book, check out my Book Watch post here.

    Darkest Mercy is the final book in the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. It will be released in the U.S. on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by HarperTeen, the hardcover is 336 pages.

    I can’t imagine that anyone who is a fan of the series hasn’t already pre-ordered this book or doesn’t already plan on heading to their local bookstore to buy this. But as it is one of the books releasing this week that I am purchasing I have to list it here.

    From what I’ve heard it is the perfect end to the series so I can’t wait to read it. After reading the first book in the series I never thought I’d enjoy other books written from a different character’s point of view, but I have. I’ve gotten to love Irial and Niall and all the other Courts just as much as Aislinn and Seth and the Summer Court.

    I am sad that this series will be ending, but I have no doubt that author Melissa Marr will come up with something amazing.

    If you would like to read the Amazon description check out my Book Watch post here.

    Book trailer for Darkest Mercy:

    Darkness Becomes Her is the debut novel for author Kelly Keaton. It will also be released in the U.S. on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is available online for pre-order in both formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Darkness Becomes Her is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at

    I hadn’t initially chosen this book for one my 2011 DAC picks, but I would have read this book regardless. I had it on pre-order for quite awhile as it fits the genre of books I love.

    Paranormal meets Greek Mythology in this super-exciting book. And because of this unique combination it is very memorable. This will definitely be a re-read for me before the second book comes out although this isn’t a book that will easily be forgotten.

    I was fortunate to receive an eGalley of this book and I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to skim through the final version on Tuesday as there are a few things I want to see if they altered from the ARC.

    If you’d like to read the Goodreads description and/or my review, scroll down to Sunday’s post or click here.

    Haven is Kristi Cook’s debut novel. It is another book releasing on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is available online for pre-order in both formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 416 pages.

    Haven is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at It is also one of my original 12 DAC picks.

    I received and eGalley for this book and at the time this post was written I am currently reading it. There has been quite a lot of hype about this book (although I have avoided reading any reviews for fear of spoilers) and so far it does not disappoint.

    I have this on my pre-order list and have had it on there forever because it sounded so cool. Psychic visions, premonitions, an intriguing boy and a school for the psychically gifted equals a whole lot of awesome. Check out Goodreads for the full description.

    I’m really excited for author Kristi Cook and her book’s release as she is super-friendly and is very accessible to fans on Twitter.

    The Iron Thorn is author Caitlin Kittredge’s debut novel. It is the first book in the Iron Codex series and will be released on February 22, 2011 in the U.S. in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available online for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.

    Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, the hardcover is 512 pages.

    The Iron Thorn is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at

    This was not one of my original DAC picks, but I noticed this book on Amazon as a recommended read. I checked out the Goodreads description and it intrigued me. Books where a character is trying to escape their fate always interest me, and when that fate is insanity I definitely want to see if the character is successful.

    The cover did not draw me to this book – I’ve only seen the cover image online and it is a bit dark and creepy (which may be its intent) – but two other items did. One was the fact that there were quite a few books with the title “Iron” being released in January/February 2011 so I thought I’d check this one out too, not knowing that it was a DAC book.

    The other was that the city is named Lovecraft which makes me think the author is either a fan or very aware of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. It will be interesting to see how much of Lovecraft’s ideas and influences, if any, are included in this book.


    I never intentionally exclude a book from this list. These are just the books that I’ve purchased that are releasing this week. If you know of any books that I’ve missed that are “must reads” please feel free to comment.


    The Extras: February

    Whenever I find either a legal free download, an excerpt or sneak peek of a book online, I try to link to it in a related post or include the link in my sidebar (to your right).

    But once in awhile I’ll pop them into a post for a “one-stop shop” with a brief description.

    Some of these are new, and some of them are just items that have been offered for free for awhile but you might have missed. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice sneak peek or freebie now and again?

    Cryer’s Cross is a new book by Lisa McMann, author of the Wake, Fade, Gone trilogy. A nice long excerpt can be read at Scribd or you can listen to an audio excerpt at Simon & Schuster.

    Wolfsbane is the sequel to Nightshade by author Andrea Cremer. The first chapter is available for free download from the Nightshade website. It will definitely tease you in with the tagline “How many trials can love survive?”

    Darkest Mercy is the final book in the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. The author has been revealing excerpts of Darkest Mercy on her blog “one bite at a time.” Click here to read. I know I’ve posted the link before, but I’ve added here again as release date is in less than a month and she just updated with a long excerpt. Her next update will be on January 29th.

    An excerpt of the first chapter from The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan is available on the author’s blog. The Demon’s Surrender is the third and final book in The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy. It will be released on June 14, 2011 in the U.S.

    Cat Calls from Cynthia Leitich Smith is a brief story set in the same world as Tantalize, Eternal and Blessed. It is available for a free download from Amazon. It was published on December 23rd, but is still being offered as a freebie. It will be included in Blessed if you would prefer to wait and read it in print on January 25th.

    Don’t Die Dragonfly is a free Amazon download from author Linda Joy Singleton. It is a full-length book, and is the first book in the Seer series. It was originally released in 2004, but is currently being offered for free to entice you to read the other books in the series.


    The Trailers: February

    For those times when you just need a short break from reading. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few amazing book trailers for upcoming books releasing this February.


    Delirium by Lauren Oliver

    Release date: February 1, 2011

    (Fan made)


    Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

    Release date: February 8, 2011



    Desires of the Dead (Body Finder series) by Kimberly Derting

    Release date: February 15, 2011



    Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely series) by Melissa Marr

    Release date: February 22, 2011

    (COS Productions)


    We hope you enjoyed the lovely distractions. Stay tuned…we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled programming this afternoon.

    Book Watch: Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovey Book #5)

    Darkest Mercy the fifth and final book in author Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series is due out on February 22, 2011. A new excerpt is available on the author’s blog with a new peek (hopefully) each week. There is still time to get caught up on all four previous – and amazing – books and Stopping Time, the novella, before release.

    Some more possible clues to Darkest Mercy from the author’s blog here. description:

    The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

    Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

    Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

    The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

    Book trailer for Radiant Shadows: