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Jennifer Murgia

    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.

    #10

    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.

    #9

    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.

    #8

    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.

    #7

    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.

    #6

    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.

    #5

    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.

    #4

    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.

    #3

    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.

    #2

    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.

    #1

    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?

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #12

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

    These are books for the week of March 22nd-28th that I have pre-ordered.

    The Dark and Hollow Places is the third book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by author Carrie Ryan. It will be released on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 in the U.S. in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    It is currently available for pre-order online at Amazon in all formats and Barnes & Noble in hardcover and eBook formats.

    Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 384 pages.

    To read an excerpt from Random House, click here.

    I am very excited for the release of this book. I just started reading this series last week and so far it’s as awesome as everyone has said. A few weeks ago I had a chance to read an amazing unpublished review by Jeremy West of Novel Thoughts for The Dark and Hollow Places (which is now up on his blog) and it made me immediately go out and buy the first two books in the series and do a whirlwind trade for this final book which I should be receiving shortly.

    I haven’t read very many zombie books, although I love zombie movies, but the author’s writing gives this niche in the genre such a sophisticated feel that it has me completely hooked. So I can’t wait to have all three books to devour.

    Wither is the first book in The Chemical Garden trilogy and the debut novel for author Lauren DeStefano. It will also be releasing on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 in the U.S. It is available for pre-order online in hardcover and eBook formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 368 pages.

    Wither is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    I had a chance to get an early read for this book from Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab program and I thought this book was simply wonderful and cannot wait to read the rest of the series to see where the author will take us next. It’s a beautiful and gracefully written dystopian novel and a stunning cover that is definitely worth a read.

    If you’d like to see my review, read a description of the book or watch the trailer, click here.

    Invincible is the second book in the Chronicles of Nick series by author Sherrilyn Kenyon. It will be releasing on March 22, 2011 in the U.S.in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is available online for pre-order in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    I cannot wait to read this next book in the series. I’ve already spotlighted it this week with a special posting when the trailer was released, and had it up earlier in the month for my “Book Watch” post. I discovered Infinity when it was first released as it was everywhere and the world that author Sherrilyn Kenyon created was just so cool. I only wish I had time to read all the books in her Dark-Hunter series which take place in the same world.

    I really hope to read this book next week as it’s one I’ve been anticipating for a long time and spent way too much time searching Amazon for its availability for pre-order for the Kindle.

    To read the description, watch the trailer or for links to an excerpt, click here.

    To read my “Book Watch” post for the book, with the trailers for the first book in the series, Infinity, click here.

    Not a young adult novel, but one I just had to buy.

    The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen will be released in the U.S. on March 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available for pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover in both formats.

    Published by Bantam, the print edition is 288 pages.

    I saw the cover for this book on Goodreads and it was just so amazingly beautiful. I would have bought it for the cover alone. And even though it’s contemporary fiction and not young adult, I just had to take another look because of the cover. The description promises mystery, betrayals and tragedy, so how could I refuse, plus the author is a New York Times bestselling author so I’m sure it will be well worth the purchase.

    I’m not sure when I’ll get to read and review the book, but I’m glad to add it to my permanent collection.

    ***

    There is another book that I want to order this week, and will do in print format if the electronic version isn’t made available. I would have included as part of last week’s post, since it will be released on March 21, 2011, but was hoping it would be available for the Kindle by now.

    As it is not yet available in eBook format, I will make the sacrifice and purchase the print version on Tuesday.

    Lemniscate is the sequel to Jennifer Murgia’s Angel Star. It will be released in the U.S. on March 21, 2011 in paperback format. It is available to order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    I can’t wait to read this sequel. I had discovered Angel Star from an Amazon recommendation. I was desperately looking for young adult angel-themed books after having read The Mortal Instruments series, Fallen and Heavenly. Most of the books were only for pre-order so I decided to take Amazon’s word that this would be something I might like.

    I loved the idea of the book but did not fall in love on my first read. I loved the character’s names and the general plot, but I found myself somewhat lost in places. I saw so many high marks for the book so I decided that I clearly must have missed something to have been so off with my viewpoint. (This was prior to my days as a blogger.)

    I re-read the book and found that everything clicked the second time around and of course I then have had to suffer the long wait for this book’s release.

    I am hoping to squeeze this in next week, as the description has me anxious to find out what is going to happen with Garreth and Teagan.

    To learn more about Angel Star and Lemniscate, click here for information on the author’s website.

    Description of Lemniscate from the author’s website:

    For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth—especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more “human” than either of them expected. Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.

    In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most.

    Book trailer for Lemniscate:

    ***

    Some other books releasing this week that I don’t have on pre-order, but will either be purchasing or considering for purchase as all look amazing.

    The Poison Eaters by Holly Black is now being published by Simon & Schuster in paperback format on March 22, 2011. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon and Barnes & Noble with this lovely new cover.

    Between Shades of Gray is the debut novel for author Ruta Sepetys. It will be releasing on March 22, 2011 in the U.S. in hardcover, eBook and audio formats and is available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Between Shades of Gray is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    Ten Miles Past Normal is the debut novel for author Frances O’Roark Dowell. It will be releasing on March 22, 2011 in the U.S. in hardcover and eBook formats and is available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Ten Miles Past Normal is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane will be released on March 22, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats and is available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    ***

    And in attempt not to miss too many new releases, here are some other young adult books releasing this week:

    Scorpia Rising: An Alex Rider Mission by Anthony Horowitz

    A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

    Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

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