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I Am the Traitor

    Top 10 of 2015: Best Contemporaries of 2015

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    Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2105

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As I mentioned previously…

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting Day One’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting today’s Day Three giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Contemporaries of 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    Best ________ of 2015

    Today is blogger’s choice and this year I decided to break with tradition and instead of debuts I have chosen to share my favorite contemporary reads of 2015 since I read so many of them this year. And while I may be stretching things a bit I am including contemporary thrillers in this list.

    If you want to know why they’re my favorites, just click their titles to check out my bookish thoughts and ratings.

    My Top 10 Favorite YA Contemporaries

    #1 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 PROOF OF FOREVER by Lexa Hillyer – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 THE TRAGIC AGE by Stephen Metcalfe – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 I AM THE TRAITOR by Allen Zadoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #6 ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #7 FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #8 PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD by Michelle Falkoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #9 FIRST THERE WAS FOREVER by Juliana Romano – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #10 LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    And instead of listing honorable mentions, though I had many of those, I am sharing…

    My Top 5 Favorite Non-YA Contemporaries

    I wish they didn’t have to be books I’d read in 2015 because I totally would have had MAYHEM by Jamie Shaw on this list. But while my review posted in 2015, I read it in 2014 so I can’t sneak it in.

    #1 MISSING DIXIE by Caisey Quinn – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 SWEET by Tammara Webber – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 BOUNCE by Noelle August – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 FROSH: FIRST BLUSH by Mónica B. Wagner – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 RULES OF SEDUCTION by Jenna Mullins – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Well, those are my picks. What topic did you choose for blogger’s choice? And what are your favorites?


    Leave a link to your Best *BLANK* of 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    Top 10 of 2015: Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 + Giveaway

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    Welcome to Day One of the Top 10 of 2105

    A Week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting today’s Day One giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting Day Three’s giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    BEST BOOKS I’VE READ IN 2015

    I’ve read so many seriously amazing books this year, that picking just ten was a dreadfully impossible task. I’m just glad I read THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent in 2014 or it would have made narrowing down my list that much more horrendous. It also didn’t help that I read more books this year than last, that I’ve been in an eclectic reading mood, and that there were just so many incredible books written.

    #1 MENAGERIE by Rachel Vincent – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s unique, it’s hard-hitting, the writing is beautiful, the story is phenomenal, the series potential has me desperate for the next installment.

    #2 DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because this series is an all-time favorite, because the ending is abso-freaking-lutely killer, because it’s dark and gorgeous and the waiting is exquisite torture.

    #3 SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the story is epic, the world-building incredible, the writing gorgeous, the detail impeccable.

    #4 TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because the writing is stunning, the world expansive and fascinating, the series riveting.

    #5 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s dark and gritty and edgy and shocking and disturbing, the writing brilliant, the story unforgettable.

    #6 SCHISM by Jenna Black – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s complex and interesting and fascinating. The world is chilling and still amazing. The characters sympathetic and scary. The story compelling.

    #7 AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s thrilling and epic and gripping and unputdownable. The dual POV makes it edge-of-your-seat exciting.

    #8 THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s so wicked and dark and wildly entertaining. It’s about villains. Nothing more needs to be said.

    #9 ROOK by Sharon Cameron – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s action-packed, nerve-wracking, suspenseful. There are twists and turns. There’s romance, betrayal and heartbreak. What’s not to love?

    #10 SALT & STONE by Victoria Scott – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Why? Because it’s awesome and amazing and adorable and nail-biting. The characters are ones you can’t help but love, love, love. Though the possibility that there might not be a next book in the series is heartbreaking.


    Honorable Mentions

    I really wanted to limit honorable mentions to just five, but I couldn’t do it. Limiting it to 15 was hard enough as it was.

    So those are my favorite reads for 2015. What are yours?


    The Giveaway

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    I’m offering up for giveaway…

    • Books of Your Choice (up to $30 US) open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships

    ***The giveaway is ONLY open to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event***

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on December 31st at 11:59 PM Pacific
    • Giveaway is open ONLY to those participating in the Top 10 of 2015 event
    • Giveaway is open internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Winner will be chosen by and announced in the Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be contacted by email and have 72 hours to respond

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Leave a link to your Best Books I’ve Read in 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    I AM THE TRAITOR Blog Tour: Interview with Allen Zadoff, Review + Giveaway

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    I am super excited to be today’s stop on the I AM THE TRAITOR Blog Tour. I love, love, LOVED this series and I’m so sad that it’s ending and really, really, really hope that there will be future stories in this world.

    I am also really hoping that the film will be produced – yes, it’s been optioned. Because I think this would be an amazing trilogy of films. Anyway…

    For my stop today I have an awesome interview with Allen Zadoff in which he talks about his series and his characters. And in one of his answers he’s opted to defer to my blog’s readers for an answer. SO…

    If you answer the question in the comments about who you’d like to see play Boy Nobody in the film, I am offering up for giveaway a book of your choice from Amazon or The Book Depository up to $20.

    If you aren’t yet familiar with the series, information on each of the books is below. And if you’d like to know what I thought about I AM THE TRAITOR, my review is also below.

    This tour includes a giveaway for a set of The Unknown Assassin series to FIVE winners. So if you’d like the chance to win one for yourself, enter in the Rafflecopter.

    And if you’d like to visit any of the other stops on the tour, check out the schedule with direct links to each of the stops, at the bottom of this post.


    About I AM THE TRAITOR

    Zadoff_IAmTheTraitor

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: I AM THE TRAITOR (The Unknown Assassin #3)
    Author: Allen Zadoff
    Release date: June 9, 2015
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Trust No-one.

    The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

    Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson — he can’t trust anyone.

    On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he’s forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

    Allen Zadoff packs the final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Interview

    Q&A with Allen Zadoff

    Q. If you had to describe your Unknown Assassin trilogy in 25 words or less, how would you describe it?

    A lonely teen assassin moves from mission to mission, befriending the children of his targets so he can eliminate their parents. Over time, he begins to question his loyalty.

    Q. What was your favorite aspect to creating the character of Boy Nobody? What was the most challenging aspect?

    It’s difficult to write a character who is mostly alone and who is shut down to his own emotions. On the other hand, the arc of the story is about a young soldier waking up to being a boy again, and that’s an exciting idea for me. I thought a lot about young veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. How do they re-enter the world?

    Q. What was it about Boy Nobody that caused him to defy The Program, go against his training and trust others, and make connections with those outside The Program? And do you think it was to his benefit or to his harm?

    What causes you to defy your parents and teachers, go against their wishes? We all have to leave our family system at some point and explore the world outside. You take what you’ve been taught at home and in school and examine it against your own experience and feelings. Hopefully, you find that a lot of what they’ve taught you is valuable and wise, and you have the humility to go back and say, “You were right about a lot of stuff. But I have questions about a few things…”

    Q. Howard has become both a series favorite and a friend to Boy Nobody. Had you always planned on keeping Howard a part of the series or was his continuing involvement in the story something that developed as writing the series progressed?

    I developed a writer crush on Howard, the geeky, earnest, funny guy who slowly becomes the assassin’s “home office.” I thought the assassin might have a sidekick at some point, but I didn’t know it would be Howard. That very much developed through the writing process. Once I met Howard, I couldn’t bear to get rid of him. He’s Boy Nobody’s first and only true friend. 

    Q. I AM THE WEAPON was optioned for film. Congratulations! And I’m so excited about the possibility of seeing this on the big screen. If you could choose, who would you like to see play Boy Nobody? And why?

    Thank you, Fiktshun! The first book I AM THE WEAPON (BOY NOBODY) was optioned by Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment. It’s a tough character to play. He’s only sixteen, but he’s a gristled veteran in a lot of ways. On the other hand, there’s a boy inside of him with feelings that are poking through the hard exterior. In a sense, he’s a character at war with himself. There are a few fantastic young actors who might be able to do it, but I can’t choose. I wonder if the readers would tell us who they’d like to see in the role?    


    About Allen Zadoff

    Allen

    Allen Zadoff is the author of the new thriller series, The Unknown Assassin which earned starred reviews and has been optioned for a feature film by Sony Pictures and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. His YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and was a YALSA selection for Most Popular Paperbacks of 2012. His second novel was My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies, the story of a techie hiding from life after a family tragedy. His third novel Since You Left Me is set in Los Angeles and tells the story of a religious school student who doesn’t believe. He also wrote the memoir for adults, Hungry:Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin.

    Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. Visit him on the web at www.allenzadoff.com.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS


    The Review

    I AM THE TRAITOR delivers non-stop action, excitement, shocking revelations, tension and suspense, in this, the electrifying and absolutely riveting end to the series. It returns readers to a world of assassins and missions. But this time Boy Nobody isn’t following The Program’s directives – he’s looking to save his friend Howard and find out the truth about his father before The Program finds out what he’s up to and sends someone out to end him.

    Boy Nobody learned to follow orders, not to question. He learned to work alone and form no attachments. He learned to fight and to kill. He learned to trust no one. He learned to obey Mother and Father. That is until he learned that everything he’d been told to believe might be a lie.

    Desperate for answers about his father, Boy Nobody is willing to risk the full force of The Program coming down on him for his disobedience. But the longer he can keep them in the dark about what he’s up to, the better. He’ll just need to evade their tracking software, escape any assassins sent to bring him in, take down any assassins sent to terminate him, free his friend who may already have the answers he’s been looking for, and put his trust in someone who may be trying to deceive him.

    Allen Zadoff created an epic and nail-biting and jaw-dropping conclusion to his series with I AM THE TRAITOR. The pace is lightning fast. The story is instantly engrossing. The characters both old and new are likable, detestable, and somewhere in-between, fascinating, deadly, and surprising. And the outcome is most definitely unexpected.

    The author produced a three-book series that is thrilling, dramatic, immensely entertaining, highly addictive, and unputdownable. He introduced a character who went through a radical shift from who he was at the start of the series to who he became at the end. And he took readers on an awesome and wild ride with Boy Nobody from the series beginning to its stunning conclusion.

    I AM THE TRAITOR is a must for fans of gripping, intense, fast-paced, action-packed, intriguing stories that build to a climactic conclusion. It’s for readers who love stories of missions and assignments, assassins, rogue assassins, the hunt, the chase, and harrowing escapes. And it’s for those who love to be kept guessing right up to the very end.

    The Rating

    05NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    Other Books in the Series

    ZADOFF_IAmTheWeapon_PBTitle & Series: I AM THE WEAPON (The Unknown Assassin #1)
    Author: Allen Zadoff
    Release date: June 11, 2013
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Call him Boy Nobody.

    He is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

    But when The Program assigns him to the mayor of New York City, things change. Somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and a girlfriend; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    Zadoff_IAmtheMission_HCTitle & Series: I AM THE MISSION (The Unknown Assassin #2)
    Author: Allen Zadoff
    Release date: June 17, 2014
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    He was the perfect assassin.

    No name. No past. No remorse. Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability.

    And so Boy Nobody is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty.

    His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of an extremist military training camp for teenagers. It sounds like a simple task, but a previous operative couldn’t do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Now Boy Nobody is confident he can finish the job. Quickly.

    But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.

    The riveting second book in Allen Zadoff’s Boy Nobody series delivers heart-pounding action and a shocking new twist that makes Boy Nobody question everything he has believed.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    • FIVE (5) sets of THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN Series (Books 1-3) – US ONLY

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    June 8th | The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia – Excerpt
    June 8th | Curling Up With A Good Book – Guest Post

    June 9th | Parajunkee – Interview
    June 9th | The Book Landers – Review

    June 10th | Swoony Boys Podcast – Interview

    June 11th | Fiktshun – Interview + Review

    June 12th | YA Book Nerd – Guest Post

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