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Shatter Me

    Review: Ignite Me

    Ignite Me

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    IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi was released in the U.S. today, February 4, 2014, in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 416 pages.

    IGNITE ME is the third and final full-length book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy.

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    Description…

    The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love”

    Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

    In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was “dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

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    IGNITE ME is the riveting, unputdownable, electrifying conclusion to this epic, beautiful and breathtaking series by author Tahereh Mafi. Shocking and suspenseful and action-packed from beginning to end, this last installment proves to be the best yet.

    Filled with page after page of the author’s gorgeous writing, interwoven with humor, heartbreak and surprise after surprise, this story will keep the pages turning. And its fast pace, its gripping, emotion- and tension-filled storyline and its captivating characters will keep readers enrapt.

    With the rebellion on the verge of collapse, unlikely alliances must be formed. Decisions must be made that could put everyone at risk. Trust must be given to those who haven’t earned it. But it may be the only way if there is to be any hope of taking down the Reestablishment.

    As tempers ignite, success might be too much to hope for. Doubt, insecurity, distrust and a broken heart could so easily destroy any chance at a victory. Because without a united front, a leader and a solid plan, the supreme will be unbeatable. Even with a burning desire for revenge.

    Author Tahereh Mafi has crafted a powerful and empowering story in IGNITE ME. Through the course of her series, culminating in this final installment, she has allowed her main character, Juliette, to grow. To not only find her voice but to embrace it. To discover who she is and all that she is capable of. To figure out what she wants and how to go about getting it.

    She has created a finale that is thrilling and nail-biting, stunning and intoxicating, fragile and moving and utterly bewitching. She has developed enchanting and memorable characters whose outcomes will either delight or destroy. And she’s done a masterful job in bringing her story to a close, giving her characters an ending that feels true to who they are, in a way that doesn’t feel rushed or incomplete.

    IGNITE ME is an absolute must read for fans of dystopia and those who love intense, action-filled, sexy and incredibly exciting, beautifully-written stories. And it is a must read now for any and all fans of this remarkable series.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    6_purple

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

    On a personal note…

    There is so much I want to say. SO MUCH. But I’m not about to spoil one single second of this final book in the series if I can help it. Though I will say I am so very, very glad I read FRACTURE ME before I read this last book. Because it provided certain insights that helped explain certain things.

    I was so nervous when I embarked upon this final book in the series. I had certain expectations. Things I was sure were going to happen. Directions the story would take. These expectations – no, I’m not going to say if they were met in any way, shape or form – kept me on edge for the entire read.

    Arrrgh….

    There are SO MANY THINGS I want to talk about. So many things that happened that absolutely killed me. So many things that made me grin like a complete and total idiot. But I can’t. Which is killing me. Abso-freaking-lutely killing me.

    There were times that I laughed out loud. Times that my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach – yes it’s possible, if you’ve ever read a book by Tahereh Mafi you know it is. There were times I got so angry I nearly screamed. And would have if it hadn’t been the middle of the night.

    There were moments that were so freaking H.O.T. oh my gosh… just oh my gosh. And there were moments that completely and totally shattered me.

    This was an unforgettable, unputdownable, utterly amazing finish to the series. I could not have been happier that I chose to read it immediately. It was perfection. It was flawless. It was everything a final book in a series should be.

    It was epic. Completely and totally epic. It had everything in it. Action. Suspense. Heartbreak. Romance. Humor. Tension. Drama. Sexy times.

    And it went beyond. So, so, so far beyond. What I hoped it could be. What I imagined it would be.

    I could ramble on for days about what happened in IGNITE ME. I want to talk about that thing that Adam did. Or that thing that Warner said. Or the realization that Juliette came to.

    I want to go on and on about how I was surprised when I never thought I could be. I want to talk about weakness and strength and voice and having no voice. I want to talk about which characters I loved more than I thought possible and which characters broke my heart.

    I said before I read this book that reading IGNITE ME would first Fracture Me, then Unravel Me, Shatter Me and ultimately Destroy Me. And it did. It absolutely did. I’d pondered whether after the read a happily ever after ending would gather up all my broken pieces and Unite Me. That I won’t say.

    But for those who read this amazing, brilliant, breathtaking story, you know. You know.

    I never imagined any book in this series could top SHATTER ME. But then I read UNRAVEL ME and fell so much harder. It was an unexpected love affair. It was such a surprise. A beautiful, astonishing, shocking, stunning surprise. And now that I’ve read IGNITE ME… well… all I can say is BEST BOOK OF THE SERIES.

    Okay, I probably could say a LOT more. But I really, really shouldn’t. And I won’t. But I will say – oh my gosh, you have to read this book straight away. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

    Are you done? Have you got to that part where…?

    Or that moment between Juliette and…?

    Not yet? Well, then stop reading this post and keep reading IGNITE ME.

    Favorite passage…

    There are too many to choose from. I want to include them all. Even the spoiler-y ones… especially the spoiler-y ones. And I want to include the swoon-worthy ones. Oh how much I want to. Because those are some of my most favorite. Though the heartbreaking ones are too.

    But instead I’ve chosen a favorite moment between Juliette and Kenji. It made me laugh out loud in the middle of the night, earning me a not so friendly glare.

    “I don’t know what’s happening to me.”

    “They’re called hormones.”

    I shoot him a dirty look. “I’m serious.”

    “Me too.” He cocks his head at me. “That’s like, biological and shit. Scientific. Maybe your lady bits are scientifically confused.”

    “My lady bits?”

    “Oh, I’m sorry”—Kenji pretends to look offended—“would you rather I use the proper anatomical terminology? Because your lady bits do not scare me—”

    “Yeah, no thanks.” I manage to laugh a little, my sad attempt dissolving into a sigh.

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    Book Watch: Ignite Me

    Ignite Me
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    IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi will be released in the U.S. on February 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 416 pages.

    IGNITE ME is the third and final full-length book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.

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    There are so many books releasing the week of February 4th that I have read and loved or am dying to read. But the book I’ve been pining over for what feels like an eternity is IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi. I had the chance to read UNRAVEL ME super early and I took the opportunity to do so. Which seemed like a really good idea at the time. But the wait has been killing me.

    I think this series is an amazing series. I think the author’s voice is unique and beautiful. I love her characters, even when they make me crazy – Juliette, I’m talking about you – and I am all sorts of terrified about just how things will end.

    I don’t know if there has been buzz about this final book, if anyone got the chance to read it early, as I covered my ears and screamed “la, la, la, la, la” whenever I heard a peep about IGNITE ME. And I refused to take more than one glance at the various teasers the author posted on Facebook as the early ones I did see were absolutely torturous.

    The countdown has begun, which makes me both excited and sad. I want to know whether the rebellion stands a chance. I want to know which side Warner will choose. I want to know which boy Juliette will.

    But I have a feeling this final book will leave me in tears, that it will be the most angst-filled read of the series, but it will also be the most epic. And I cannot wait. I will be turning those pages into the wee hours of the morning to devour this one in just one sitting. Not just because I’m dying to know what happens, but because I’m terrified that someone will spoil the ending.

    So while I normally would throw this on the “don’t let it end” pile to read later, I will be reading this the instant I have my copy. I just hope that if it does make me sob, scream or shout, I won’t wake everyone in the near vicinity.

    And as thrilled as I am about the release of all of the titles listed below and a number of titles also releasing the week of February 4th, the book that tops the list, the book that I am the most desperate to discover, the book I have been waiting for the longest, and the book I’m the most terrified of saying goodbye to is IGNITE ME. Which is just a fraction of the reason why I just had to spotlight it as the book to watch this week.

    What about you?

    Have you been anxiously awaiting the release of IGNITE ME? Are you all sorts of nervous about how this series will end? Are you Team Warner or Team Adam? And who do you think Juliette will choose?

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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 TUMBLR

    The author on INSTAGRAM

    The author on GOODREADS

    The series on FACEBOOK

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love”

    Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

    In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was “dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are seven other awesome books releasing the week of February 4th:

    CRESS (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

    THE SOUND OF LETTING GO by Stasia Ward Kehoe

    PRINCE OF SHADOWS by Rachel Caine

    ALIENATED (Alienated #1) by Melissa Landers

    LANDRY PARK (Landry Park #1) by Bethany Hagen

    MISTWALKER by Saundra Mitchell

    SOMETHING REAL by Heather Demetrios

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    Quickie Review: Fracture Me

    Fracture Me

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    FRACTURE ME by Tahereh Mafi was released in the U.S.  on December 17, 2013 in eBook format. It is currently available to order online in eBook format only at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the novella is 72 pages.

    FRACTURE ME is a companion novella to Author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series. The final book in the trilogy, IGNITE ME, is slated for release on February 4, 2014.

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    Description…

    In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Timesbestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel MeFracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective.

    As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

    On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

    Fracture Me sets the stage for Ignite Me, the explosive finale in Tahereh Mafi’s epic dystopian series. It’s a novella not to be missed by fans who crave action-packed stories with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu.

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    FRACTURE ME is an exciting, action-filled and immensely entertaining novella in the Shatter Me series set following the events that took place in UNRAVEL ME, told from Adam’s point of view.

    It is the perfect seque into the third and final book in the series, giving readers a peek at some of the events that transpired that would not be known by the series’ main character, Juliette. It sets the stage for what looks to be an epic finish to this series. And it allows readers to get a better idea of who Adam is, what his priorities are and what he is and is not aware of.

    While brief, this novella is every bit as captivating as the author’s full-length novels. It immediately grabs hold and brings readers back into this oppressive, ravaged and war-torn world the author created. A world filled with people living in fear and those ready to fight back. A world where a touch can heal or it can kill.

    A world whose fate may rest in the hands of one girl.

    With a lightning fast pace and suspense-filled, nerve-wracking moments, FRACTURE ME is a thrilling, must read installment in this series. It shows a different side to Adam, it reveals his fears and doubts and motivations. It hints at what is to come in IGNITE ME.

    And it will keep readers on the edge of their seats, holding their breath, crossing their fingers and wishing and hoping their hearts won’t be broken at the novella’s end.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    5

    On a personal note…

    I had been on a bit of a reading hiatus. But there was no way I could resist picking up and devouring FRACTURE ME when it released. The Shatter Me series is one of my most favorite and memorable series. Ever. The author’s writing is breathtaking and beautiful and unique.

    Her stories and characters have taken me on an emotional rollercoaster in each and every book and story in this series. I love them, hate them, fear for them, hope for them, ache for them.

    I desperately wanted to wait until just before the release of IGNITE ME before picking up this novella. But I just had to see if reading this story from Adam’s POV would make me adore him again, after being firmly on Warner’s side throughout my reads of UNRAVEL ME and DESTROY ME.

    And while I am still a Warner fan, I couldn’t help but fall for Adam just a little bit, again. He proved that he is not a pushover and is not blinded by his feelings for Juliette. But he also revealed… oh, oops… just because he revealed something doesn’t mean I should.

    But I loved that there was more to this story than just Adam and Juliette – though I love, love, loved that it revealed that one tiny thing about Juliette that Adam noticed but that Juliette wasn’t aware of. I was shocked and surprised and heartbroken by what took place in this novella. I could not believe what transpired and I am dying to find out how things will look from Juliette’s perspective.

    The moment I finished reading I was desperate to get my hands on the final book. Even with my aversion to finishing books in a series, I can’t help but want to see how this series ends. The moment, second, instant it releases.

    I’d been somewhat anxious that I wouldn’t love this novella as much as the rest of the series because it was told from Adam’s POV and it was set after everything that went down in UNRAVEL ME. But my fears were allayed immediately and I fell in love with this read as easily I have every other by this author.

    FRACTURE ME is a definite, absolute, must, must read.

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    Quickie Review: Destroy Me

    Destroy Me

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    DESTROY ME by Tahereh Mafi was released in the U.S. on October 2, 2012 in eBook format only. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES &  NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the story is 103 pages.

    DESTROY ME is a novella in the author’s Shatter Me series set between SHATTER ME and UNRAVEL ME.

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    Description…

    Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

    In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

    Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

    Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

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    DESTROY ME is an eye-opening and incredibly entertaining novella told from Warner’s point of view. It picks up shortly after the climactic events that occur toward the end of SHATTER ME and continues through the early parts of the next book, UNRAVEL ME.

    This exciting short story lets readers see Warner as someone other than the monster he appeared to be in that first book. It gives a glimpse into what his earlier life was like, how and when it all changed, what his existence has been shaped into due to his father’s influence and just how different he is from his outward persona.

    It shows his human side, that he has a human side. And it reveals just how he feels about his father, his role as a leader, those he commands, his isolated existence… and Juliette.

    This brief look at the story from Warner’s perspective brings to light just what Juliette really means to him, how important she is, how similar their pasts and how connected he is to her. It also sheds light on how cold-hearted and calculated his father is and to just what lengths he is willing to go.

    DESTROY ME paints Warner as a character deserving of sympathy. It reveals someone who is very much in need of human contact, someone who is brave and yet fearful, kind but also cruel, and someone who may be unlovable but has the capacity to love.

    For readers who are fans of the series, even if not of Warner, this story is a must. It can be enjoyed before or after having read UNRAVEL ME but it will be a much more enlightening story if read before that second book in the series. And for those who haven’t yet read UNRAVEL ME, this story will make them want to dive right in to find out just why getting to know Warner is so important.

    DESTROY ME is fast-paced. It is surprising. And it’s more than a touch heartbreaking. Even though it’s not necessary to the story arc, it is necessary to gaining a better understanding of one of the series’ more important characters, one who has a significant role in UNRAVEL ME.

    This short novella includes not only an excerpt of the first two chapters of UNRAVEL ME but an excerpt from Warner’s Files.

    Reviewer gives this novella…

    Rate05

    On a personal note…

    I don’t know why it took me so long to read this novella. It was amazing. And if I were the type to use lots of exclamation points I wouldn’t need to utter another word, just fill the page with those slashes with dots at the end. But as I’m not….

    I read UNRAVEL ME early, long before this story was released, and had been a Warner fan since the first book in the series. So not immediately devouring this novella affirms the fact that I am insane.

    While I knew some of Warner’s feelings – as they were revealed in UNRAVEL ME – getting to know about them from him was so much better. And getting to know even more about what he thought about Juliette made me adore him all the more.

    I loved learning about why he was first interested in Juliette. I loved learning the truth about his actions. I loved learning about what he thought about a certain journal. And I loved hearing about just how he was destroyed.

    I could go on and on about the awesomeness that is Warner or how this short story broke my heart for him all over again. But I probably should keep my lips sealed just in case someone hasn’t yet read this novella or the second book in the series.

    I’ll just say that this is unquestionably a must read. Even if you don’t love Warner. Yet. Or ever. Because it explains a lot. It will make you see certain events from both books in a different light. It is a story that gives you pages and pages of the author’s heart-achingly beautiful writing.

    And maybe, just maybe, it will introduce you to a character who is redeemable.

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    Book Watch: Unravel Me

     

    Unravel MeUNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi will be released in the U.S. on February 5, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 480 pages.

    UNRAVEL ME is the second full-length book in author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series. The third book in the series, as yet untitled, is slated for release in November 2013.

    ***

    I may have cried a little when I had to choose the book to watch for the week of February 5, 2013 because there are a few books I’m so excited for and choosing just one was not at all easy. But… I read UNRAVEL ME and I know it’s out-of-this-world amazing and I’ve been dying to get it back in my hands so I can re-read it.

    So for those reasons, and for so many, many others, I just had to choose it as the book to watch this week. Reasons such as…

    It’s a book I miss terribly, one that breaks my heart just thinking about it, one that invades my subconscious thoughts and one that hit me as hard, if not harder, than the first book in the series.

    It’s a book so aptly titled – yes it did unravel me – and one that made me so very anxious for what will come next and so very sad that when that time does come where I will find those answers, there will be no more to pine for, ache for, crave. There will be no more Warner, Adam or Juliette. There will be no more of that beautiful, beautiful writing. Why only a trilogy? Why!?!

    UNRAVEL ME was an absolutely stunning follow-up to SHATTER ME. The description calls it “exhilarating” and I wholeheartedly agree. As I’ve read it and loved it I know exactly how exhilarating it is.

    I know just how much it affected me. How much it made me miss Warner and Adam. How much it made me want to ask Juliette just what was she thinking when she did that one thing… or said that other thing… or didn’t say that OTHER thing.

    While I haven’t yet reviewed it because I gave my ARC away before I did – where was my brain exactly??? – I already know it is the stuff of awesome, that it will be a forever favorite, that it will get my off-the-menu rating and that it cemented the fact that Tahereh Mafi is, and will continue to be, one of my favorite authors.

    So… those are just some of the reasons why I’m putting UNRAVEL ME in the spotlight this week, even with the releases of SCARLET and ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE – both of which I’m desperate to read. But if I were to list all the reasons why, I’d not only go on forever and ever, but I’d likely spoil exactly what did happen with Juliette and….

    Oh. My. Gosh. Is this true? Will Shatter Me #3 be releasing in November of this year? No way. No way. No WAY!

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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 YouTube

    The author on GOODREADS

    The author on TUMBLR

    The author on PINTEREST

    The series on FACEBOOK

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
    it’s almost
    time for war.

    Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

    She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

    Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

    In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

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    Goodreads description #2:

    Juliette’s world is beginning to unravel.

    Everything is falling apart changing.

    Juliette has escaped to Omega Point-the headquarters of the rebel resistance. There she discovers other people with abilities. Abilities they have learned to control. And for the first time in her life, Juliette has hope. Hope that she can have a life with Adam. Hope that her touch can be used to save instead of destroy.

    But Juliette is only just beginning to understand the depth of her power, and she’s struggling to fight the desire to use it. She’s still haunted by her past, terrified by her future, and too tempted by Warner, who still wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

    In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart-and Adam’s life.

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are quite a few other awesome books releasing the week of February 5th:

    SCARLET (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

    ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

    HOUSE RULES (Chicagoland Vampires #7) by Chloe Neill

    PERFECT SCOUNDRELS (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter

    CROSS MY HEART, HOPE TO DIE (The Lying Game #5) by Sara Shepard

    CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster

    THE VOID OF MIST AND THUNDER (The 13th Reality #4) by James Dashner

    FEARLESS 2 – Twisted, Kiss, Payback (Omnibus ed.) by Francine Pascal

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    Top 10 Characters in 2011 – Villains

    Today is day four of Top 10 of 2011.

    Top 10: A Week of Looking Back….
                                    ………and Looking Forward.

    You can still sign up if you haven’t already, there is still time to participate. Just click on the banner above to read the details in the original post and sign up with the Linky.

    I was so excited to be invited by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books to co-host this event along with my very best blogger friends Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

    This was probably the easiest of all the posts to create, as I don’t feel too bad about forgetting villains. But wow, I really wish I had created these much, much earlier so that instead of fretting over who to choose I could have spent my time stalking everyone else’s posts.

    ***

    Today’s topic is “Top 10 Characters in 2011” and I chose VILLAINS. And why not? Villains are awesome. They’re what make us love the heroes and heroines even more. They’re the ones we love to hate.

    Without a villain in any of our paranormal or urban fantasy stories they’d be pretty boring. What would Harry Potter be without “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”? A cute story about a boy who went to magic school. Fun for pre-schoolers maybe but not as enjoyable for readers of all ages.

    We want someone to root against. We want someone for the hero or heroine to defeat in the end. We want someone to create that drama that we love, the tension and angst we feel as we read our favorite stories. Without the villain we’d have none of that.

    Now, not all villains are created the same. There are some that are the baddest of the bad, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. But there are also those that may have a chance at redemption. And still others who may not be quite good enough to be redeemed, but have brief flashes of goodness which make them sympathetic characters.

    These are the villains, the ones who shine brightly if only for just a moment, that I tend to love just a little bit more. Okay, well, maybe not “love” exactly, but definitely find more interesting.

    I always enjoy a devious, sexy, evil – but not so evil – villain. And if he happens to be a demon, well that’s even better.

    ***

    Top 10 Villains in 2011

    1.

    The Warden

    I don’t know anyone more evil than the Warden in the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. I’ve read three of the books in this series this year and, by far, the Warden is the most villainous. Though I haven’t really had a chance to meet Alfred Furnace. I know he’d be way more evil. But I really, really don’t want to meet him.

    One look from the Warden and prisoners get lost in the soulless depths of his eyes. He instills fear in all who hear his voice. And he sends in monsters to kill without mercy. His cruelty is unfathomable. Yeah, he’s definitely villain number one.

    2.

    Avari

    Avari is a hellion. He’s power hungry. He’s greedy. He’s fixated on Kaylee. He loves to savor the memories he strips from those he controls. He takes pleasure in people’s pain. So, yes, Avari is no doubt a villain.

    There are no particularly redeeming qualities in Avari. But he is definitely charming. And interesting. And the fact that he sees Kaylee as being quite worthy of his attention shows that he has good taste.

    So, while I never could imagine being BFF’s with Avari, he’s definitely a villain I’d love to see more of in this series. And he’s definitely a villain I love to hate.

    3.

    Luke

    You may have seen Lucifer on my list of Book Boyfriends yesterday. Well, he’s also one of my very favorite villains. He’s both. He is a master manipulator. He is devious. He is spiteful. He is vengeful. He is cruel.

    But he is incredibly sexy and charming and dangerous. And while redemption is probably the farthest thing from what he’d want or what he’d be entitled to, he is capable of doing good and being good, even if it’s only to further his evil motives.

    Luke is a villain I love to love. And no matter what he does in this series, I can’t imagine ever hating him. He can’t help who he is after all.

    4.

    The Magister

    There’s just something about the evil tinkering men in these steampunk novels that give me the heebie-jeebies. Well, the Magister is one of these characters – a twisted, sick-minded, creeptacular villain. The kind of villain that gives me the chills, makes me want to take a boiling-hot, industrial-strength shower just to rid myself of the ick.

    I can’t imagine anything good about the Magister. I don’t claim to understand his motives. I don’t know that even if I did, I’d sympathize. His creations, this clockwork army he’s building, are twisted and so incredibly wrong. And his strange fascination with Tessa makes me want to protect her.

    Yeah, the Magister totally belongs here in the top half of my list of villains. And no, I do not think he’s sexy or mysterious. Ewwww. No.

    5.

    Lucien Fallon

    There are a couple characters I have consider villains in this series – Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe – but I ultimately decided that while they aren’t model citizens, they haven’t crossed the line to being full-fledged villains. Yet…. I’m sure that will change as the series progresses.

    But Lucien Fallon is a whole other matter. He’s dangerous. He’s evil. He’s dead-set on getting what he wants no matter what the cost.

    While it’s in his nature to be a villain, to do all the things that he does, I don’t allow him the same leniency I might for a much hotter, sexier villain. Lucien is just bad news and a little smarmy. He’s an attorney after all.

    Which makes Lucien a villain that I absolutely love to hate.

    6.

    Warner

    There was much shock and dismay by most of those who saw Warner on my list of Top 10 Book Boyfriends. He’s not exactly great book boyfriend material. The whole imprisoning, torturing and forcing a girl in the hopes that she’ll grow to like him are probably not what most people consider lovable qualities.

    They’re not. They’re his villainous qualities. The qualities that make me love to hate him. But it’s Warner’s vulnerable side, the side that made me see just how much like Juliette he really is, just without that inner strength that makes her good, that makes him a possibly redeemable villain.

    And while he became more cruel, more evil, as the story went on, I still hold out hope for him. I have a love/hate relationship with Warner and until the author does something to completely change his character, he will always be one of my favorite villains and book boyfriends.

    7.

    The Machinist

    I would have loved to say that Jack Dandy was the villain in this story, but he really wasn’t. He was just an awesome bad boy.

    But the Machinist, who is hellbent on creating a clockwork army is seriously bad news. He’s one of my favorite villains that I’ve met this year because he’s one of the few that are just bad. Not sexy. Not redeemable. Simply diabolical.

    His clockwork contraptions are super creepy and extremely dangerous. And his motives, while not completely apparent, are definitely not pure of heart. No, the Machinst isn’t a villain that you love to hate, he’s just a villain you hate. And I really, really hate him.

    8.

    Evelyn Wilde

    There is another villain in this story that I wanted to include here. But as revealing who they are would be a huge spoiler for those who haven’t read the book, I chose to add them anonymously to my dishonorable mentions list.

    But Wildefire didn’t have just one villain. There’s Eveline Wilde. And she is definitely a villain. And the one and only female on my top ten list.

    Eve is powerful and violent, power hungry and cruel. She’s manipulative and deceitful and ungrateful and willing to do whatever it takes to win – even if it means taking down others who stand in her way.

    Where her sister Ashline has a heart, Eve has none. Where Ash shows compassion, Eve only shows contempt. In my book that makes her a villain. And I love, love, love to hate her.

    9.

    Cole

    Ahhh Cole. Cole is one of my very favorite book boyfriends. He’s got the whole sexy and charming thing going on. He’s a musician. He’s gorgeous. He’s immortal. But he is also a villain.

    He is manipulative. He drains the life force from others just to sustain and extend his own. He is secretive. And he would do almost anything to get what he wants. Especially when it comes to Nikki.

    But he isn’t creepy. He isn’t the darkest of evil. And he is definitely a villain that I love to love and hope I never, ever grow to hate him.

    10.

    Arawn

    Arawn, the Erlking, is another quasi villain. He’s the leader of the Wild Hunt and is controlled by the hunt. He’s power hungry. And he, too, is manipulative.

    He’s motivated by his need to be free from those who order him around. He’s violent. He’s dangerous. He will let nothing get in the way of what he wants.

    But he is also so incredibly sexy and smart, and not inherently evil. He manipulates, but not always in ways that will harm others, even if it is almost always for his own gain.

    While I see Arawn for the villain he is, I have never once hated him. And I do think he can be redeemed if he ever thought he might want to be.

    ***

    I wish I could have said Morganstern, though I haven’t read a TMI book this year, or a Harry Potter, so I can’t say Snape.

    There are a few other villains that I’d have loved to have included on my top ten list, but unless you’ve read the books you won’t know they’re villains. And I’m all about not spoiling things.

    So, I thought I’d give an anonymous shout out to those, plus a couple others that I think are bad news and deserve to be on the list, here.

    Dishonorable Mentions

    Unnamed – Soul Thief by Jana Oliver – If you’ve read it you’ll know! Were you shocked?

    Unnamed – Wildefire by Karsten Knight – Did you even guess? I had my suspicions.

    Unnamed – Supernaturally by Kiersten White – Knew it all along. But oooh. Unbelievable.

    Vivian – Hushed by Kelley York – for being all sorts of crazy bad.

    The Red King – Smokeless Fireby Samantha Young – for being evil and not at all sexy.

    ***

    This event ends tomorrow. Each day I have been posting a different list of top ten favorites. Tomorrow’s topic will be Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2012, which I already know will be my worst nightmare. It’s not even 2012 and I know of at least fifty so far, so there’s no way I’ll be able to narrow that list to ten. NO. WAY.

    I’m also supposed to be coming up with year-end stats, but as I read only ARCs and eBooks I have no idea what page counts I have. However, I will have a very different number of books read in 2011 than the ones I have listed on Goodreads or on my 2011 Reads widget, because I don’t count books I haven’t also reviewed or books I’ve re-read in either of those places.

    If you’d like to see what the previous topics were, check out the original post or the update post for more details.

    ***

    NOTE: this is the SAME Linky on each of the Co-hosts Blogs, so please only enter your Name, Blog Name and the URL for YOUR Top 10 post of the day on one blog. Thanks!

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    Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2011

    Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2011.

    Top 10: A Week of Looking Back….
                                    ………and Looking Forward.

    If you haven’t yet signed up, there’s still time to participate. Just click on the banner above to read the details in the original post and sign up with the Linky.

    I was so excited to be invited by Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound By Books to co-host this event along with my very best blogger friends Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books.

    Of course I didn’t really think about what this would entail. Especially as I’m not someone who’s really very good at putting together top ten lists. This post has caused me sleepless nights – yes, it’s true – and took over four hours to actually pull together.

    I don’t really think of books in order of most favorite to least favorite, they’re either favorites or they’re not. So, this was definitely a challenging way to end the year.

    ***

    Today’s topic, “Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2011” was the hardest for me. It was so tough for me to pick, that I decided to cheat the system.

    Forget about honorable mentions, I’ve created two lists – Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 and Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011.

    Not that it made it much easier, but there was just no way I could narrow it to only ten. I’ve listed my Top 10 Debut Books below and my Top 10 Non-Debut Books will be revealed in my post on Fiktshun’s Ramblings tomorrow for the Top 10 Tuesdays meme I participate in on that blog.

    While there are a few books that I absolutely loved, that are top-of-my-list favorites like Angelfire, Unearthly and Delirium, apparently I read all of those in 2010 and can’t list them in either post.

    So, here is my attempt at narrowing my list of favorite debut books down to just ten….

    ***

    Top 10 Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011

    1.

    A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    If anyone didn’t guess I’d pick A Touch Mortal as my number one debut book I’ve read in 2011 then they really don’t know me too well. I think I’ve talked about this book endlessly. I’ve read it umpteen times. Yes, that is a word and umpteen is just how many times I’ve read it.

    2.

    Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    This book slaughtered me with its awesomeness. I was not able to instantly recover after reading it. So I had to read it again. And it killed me. Again. I listed it as my number two book, because it’s still clinging to me. Making my heart ache.

    3.

    Wildefire by Karsten Knight

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    You may have heard me ramble on and on about my love for this book and its jaw-dropping ending. If you haven’t, then we just met this past few months. Because I could talk of little else but this book from the moment it landed in my mailbox until months after I’d read it. Seriously kick-a**.

    4.

    Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I fell so in love with this book earlier in the year when I read it. It has turned me into a slightly obsessed Jennifer Armentrout fan. And she has many of those. Well, I am one of them. Half-Blood is amazing and her heroine Alex is seriously awesome. Of course Aiden is no slouch either. Yum.

    5.

    Everneath by Brodi Ashton

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Yes, this is a 2012 release, but I’ve read it in 2011 so I have to list it here, even if I haven’t yet reviewed it. This is another book that clings to me. I cannot even think about some of the passages in this book without it feeling like my heart is being squeezed. And so, there was no way Everneath would be left off my list of top 10’s this year.

    6.

    Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I live in torment awaiting the sequel to Witch Eyes. I want to head back to Belle Dame, okay not in reality because that place is seriously dangerous, but as it exists for me as a reader. I want to get enveloped once more in the beautiful writing, find out who has demon eyes and see just what sorts of hell the author will put Braden and Trey through in book two.

    7.

    Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    How could a book full of snark, sarcasm and beauty not make my top ten list? It couldn’t. This book is gorgeous from its cover to its story to its characters. Lenzi is all sorts of amazing. I don’t think I smiled or laughed out loud – yes, it’s not just an expression – when reading a book quite as often as I did while reading Shattered Souls. Talk about a great character and story to connect to.

    8.

    Divergent by Veronica Roth

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    I am still asking myself what’s wrong with me. This was on my original DAC list for the year and I only read it this past week. This book was, is and always will be full of win. I love the world – not that I’d want to live there – and I love Tris. Yes, everyone goes on and on about Four, but Tris is so much more awesome than he is. It’s really nice to meet a super strong heroine that gets to take center stage instead of the boy every so often.

    9.

    Die for Me by Amy Plum

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Who knew I could love beings, aside from vampires, that weren’t exactly alive? I didn’t. Revenants are so much sexier than zombies. And Jules and Vincent are two of my very favorite revenants. I haven’t been able to get this story – but even more so its characters – out of my mind since I read it those many, many months ago. And I’ve been dying for the sequel ever since.

    10.

    Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Oooh, I loved this book. I loved the gods and goddesses and loved the promise of what is still to come in Dreamless. The ending – as is the case with most of my favorites – has left me in torment. I can’t wait to read more. I read this book three times this year and loved it each and every time.

    ***

    If I could pick just two more books they would have to be Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton and Dead Rules by Randy Russell. Oh I hate all things ten. I really do.

    If you’d like to see what my Top 10 Non-Debut Books I’ve Read in 2011 are, head over to Fiktshun’s Ramblings tomorrow.

    ***

    This event runs through Friday, and each day I will be posting a different list of top ten favorites. Tomorrow’s topic will be Top 10 Book Covers of 2011, which will be a much easier list to come up with, though sorting them is an entirely different matter…. (And, no. I did not create tomorrow’s list yet.)

    If you’d like to see what the rest of the topics will be, check out the original post or the update post for more details.

    ***

    NOTE: this is the SAME Linky on each of the Co-hosts Blogs, so please only enter your Name, Blog Name and the URL for YOUR Top 10 post of the day on one blog. Thanks!

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