Review + Giveaway: Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian


I’m really sorry I haven’t updated my blog in quite a while, but I broke my laptop a week back and now it’s display is shattered to smithereens. Hopefully, it will be back in good condition by next week in which case I will be able to post more often. In the meantime, I’ll be using my friend’s laptop, so please go easy on me if the posts are sporadic.

So, anyway, today I bring to you a book that will appeal to all fantasy fans. Plus, there are TWO awesome giveaways. The first is blog specific and is for five ebook copies of Cobweb Bride. And the other giveaway is for paperback and hardback copies of the same.

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Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books 

Imprint: Leda 

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6

$24.95 US / 20.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4

$14.95 US / 12.00 UK 

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2

$5.99

Many are called…
She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father … Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Rating:

four-stars

Review:

I received a free copy of this book from Fiction Addiction Blog Tours and I’m so glad I did.

I have read many books to date but none like this. The best word I can think of to describe this book is unique. Everything about this book is unique – the story telling, the characters, the plot, everything. When I first started this book, the language seemed a little too flowery for my taste but as I delved deeper, I realized the language was just setting the tone for the book. The story is every bit as beautiful as the language in which it is written. The characters are far from flat. They jump out of the pages. They are very, very real. They are neither good, neither bad. They are gray, as are all humans. The descriptions and world building are important elements of the story as they add the necessary magical touch to the book. Plus, unlike many books that are coming out now, romance is kept on the backseat while plot develops at a slow but steady pace. If you are looking for a good fantasy book with awesome characters and close to no cliches, I would definitely recommend this book for you.

As for cons, the only thing that bothered me about this book was the pace. In some parts, I wished the story would move a little fatser but that didn’t make me lose interest in the story in any way.

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2

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Interview + Giveaway: Safe by Dawn Husted


Today, on That Artsy Girl’s Book Blog you get to read my interview with Dawn Husted, author of Safe. Also, she has been generous enough to offer an ecopy of Safe to ONE international winner. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Q: Hi Dawn! Welcome to That Artsy Girl’s Book Blog. I’m super happy to have you here.

Thank you for allowing me on your blog!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I never thought I’d be a writer! It wasn’t until I had kids, that I started writing. In 2008, I began a book intended for my eldest child. A book filled with magic and mystical beings, called Nicova. However, I was new to writing and found out later how horrible the book was! I like to think that I’ve improved considerably since then.

Q: Now, your book SAFE which is releasing on August 1, 2013 is a post-apocalyptic YA book. What was the inspiration for you to write this book?

For years now, I’ve loved almost everything I have watched and read in regard to post-apocalyptic fiction. My notion of wanting to write something, not sure what, within that genre grew. I’m also a huge fan of zombies, but I didn’t want to write about that particular subject (if you read SAFE there is a mention of zombies in a non-science-fiction way). SAFE combined my desire to write science-fiction with a post-apocalyptic twist. It’s a young-adult novel, and I hope readers enjoy it!

Q: Is the main character of SAFE based on a real life character that you know? Yourself, perhaps? No. There may be a few qualities of myself within Penny, but not much.  I wrote the character as someone that thought she knew everything about where she lived, and as she discovers the truth, her world is changed dramatically.  I had to be careful about letting myself decide the way a character would react in situations; letting it be the character speaking, not myself. There were a few times I deleted dialogue, because it just didn’t fit Penny.

Q: What qualities in Penny do you think sets her apart from other YA heroines? Lots of YA heroines are tough, athletic, and physically capable of winning the story. Penny is fully capable, but she lacks the physical strength. She finds herself relying more on her mind than her body to survive, but overall, it takes all three characters working together to stay alive. Those three are: Penny, James and Lucan.

Q: Who is your favorite character in the book apart from the MC, Penny?

I really like Lucan. He’s funny and brings a lot of humor amidst the threat of dying.

Q: Who is your writing muse?

My husband. I’m fortunate to have someone constantly encouraging me to achieve whatever I go after. On the days I’m feeling off my game, simply being around him makes me a better writer.

Q: What and who is your absolutely most favorite book and author in the whole, whole world?

To be honest, I never enjoyed reading when I was younger. Now that I’m older, I like….Patrick Ness, Stephanie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, and the list goes on. Of these authors, Patrick Ness’s book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, was unexpectedly amazing.  His writing style is unique and different. I really like that. And the story was unlike anything I had read before.

Q: What is your favorite type of music and name a few of your favorite bands or singers.

I enjoy music that’s calming and helps me de-stress, but also fun. Here are a few names:

Flightless Bird, American Mouth – Iron and Wine

Serena Ryder – Stompa

Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

Eric Church – Creepin’

Karmin – Brokenhearted

Okay, I have a bunch more, but I’ll stop there.

Q: Favorite movies or TV shows?

The new season of Covert Affairs is about to start, love this show. I’m also sad that Walking Dead is over until October. A few more shows I like are:

Rookie Blue

The Vampire Diaries (can’t wait for this to start up again)

Grimm

Supernatural (I’ve caught every episode)

Rizzoli & Isles

Hart of Dixie

Nikita

I’m sort of addicted to movies, so there’s too many to list.

Q: What is your favorite food that you can never stop eating?

Chocolate and french fries.

Q: Do you have any writing quirks? Like you know, putting on classical music when you write and stuff like that (I’ve been known to do that sometimes).

I have to be in a room where I know I won’t be bothered. So if that means I need to close the door, I do. For some reason, I always feel someone is watching me, standing behind me, and then I can’t focus.

Q: Why do you want to be a writer?

It’s a way to express myself and allows me to write about anything I find interesting. I love that.

Q: Tell us a bit about your childhood. Were you a bookish kid? Did you want to be the President or a rock star? 🙂

HA! I always thought I would grow up and work for the CIA or NSA or anything along those lines. It makes me laugh, because until now, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. After graduating from college, I had a job or two, then I became a mom. Writing has been an amazing journey and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. However, I don’t know what the future holds. One thing is for sure, no matter what job I have, I will always be a writer.

Q: What book are you reading right now?

I’m in the middle of reading Infraction by Annie Oldham. After that, I’ll be reading Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden and then finally, I’ll be reading War World Z! That movie was great!

Q: Tell us something about you that only your closest friends and family know. (I know, I’m too nosy :D)

When I was 16, I helped build an orphanage in Malawi, Africa. I lived there for almost two months and hope to go back one day, visit the people living there.

Q: If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Voicemails that say, “Hey, call me,” would be outlawed. If you are going to leave a message, at least make it detailed. LOL. Of course, my sisters would say, “Then answer your phone.” I’m more of a text messaging kind of gal.

Dawn’s Biography

Dawn Husted resides in Texas with her husband, two toddlers, two dogs and a rescued cat named Kitty. She’s always around nature, including the crazy squirrels stealing food from birds in her backyard. Her passion for reading grew after she graduated college and started writing for fun. Her appetite produced many short-stories and books until finally, SAFE was born. This is her first novel, but not her first time writing science-fiction. Her favorite books to read and write are all young-adult fiction. For more information, please visit http://dawnhusted.weebly.com.

Website: http://dawnhusted.weebly.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDawnHusted

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DawnHusted

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434441.Dawn_Husted

What makes this book different?

BOOK: SAFE by Dawn Husted

The basis for how the apocalypse happened is new and refreshing for readers that enjoy these types of books. It’s not a story re-done over and over. And it’s not too terribly long, or short, about 56000 words.

Synopsis:  A science fiction novel in a post-apocalyptic setting; Penny, a teenage girl, has been genetically mutated along with other inhabitants by a vaccine given to their great-grandparents who settled the Land, an island. This particular serum caused everyone to develop vine like marks all over their bodies, along with enhanced abilities passed down through the generations. Penny finds a shift in her reality that causes her to fight for survival as she searches for the truth, even if it puts her at odds with the only person she can trust.

SAFE will be released August 1 on Kindle and Nook. Print copies will be available later.

Now, for the giveaway…

If the widget below doesn’t display “Click here to reveal Rafflecopter” go the following Rafflecopter page directly: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2749f11/

Character Interview: Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden


Hello again people! I’m so excited to bring you an awesome character interview from the book, Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amsden today. Evan Blackwood sure does sound like a character I would like to read more about. 😉

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        Print Length: 260 pages

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-275-7

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-274-0

Publication Date: May 15, 2013

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Evan Blackwood

My name is Christine Amsden, author of the new urban fantasy novel Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. This first volume in a (completed) four-part series introduces us to Cassie, the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers. Amidst mystery, romance, and family feuds, this “new adult” series shows us that there are many types of strength, and many ways to be a hero.

With me today is a more traditional hero from the novel. It is my great pleasure to welcome Evan Blackwood, a young sorcerer with a great deal of talent and potential. Plus, he’s really good looking, even if I did create him myself! 🙂

The 21-year-old Evan hails from Eagle Rock, MO, where the existence of magic is accepted, if not exactly understood. Evan, like most sorcerers in the area, is tight-lipped when it comes to what he can do and how powerful he is, but he graciously agreed to talk to me as long as I don’t try to pry into his family secrets.

Christine: Evan, thank you for being here. I understand you’ve known our heroine, Cassie, for a long time. How did you two meet?

Evan: Cassie and I met in the first grade. I had never been to school or spent much time around other kids, and I made a fool of myself. She helped me out. Took me on as a project, you could say. That’s sort of her style.

Christine: Did you know at the time that your fathers were enemies?

Evan: No. I was six, and I don’t think I was that aware of what my father did unless it had something to do with me. He told me later in the year, but by then it was way too late.

Christine: So you and Cassie have remained friends this whole time?

Evan: Sort of. Things got a little awkward after I accidentally sent  Paul Ellerson to the hospital. She never said so, but I think she was a little afraid of me after that. She was hardly alone. She got over it, but between that and some rumors that started flying around about me, we weren’t quite as close in high school as we were before.

Christine: Are you talking about the rumors that you cast love spells?

Evan: (Glares) Yes. Those rumors.

Christine: Sorry. Sore spot. I assume they weren’t true?

Evan: Do you have any other question?

Christine: Where have you been for the past three years? After high school, you kind of fell off the map.

Evan: Magical apprenticeship. Henry Wolf took me on.

Christine: Henry Wolf? Isn’t he a little crazy? Lives in a cabin in the woods with no running water or electricity?

Evan: He’s brilliant. He just thinks modern gizmos interfere with magic.

Christine: Is that true?

Evan: The first thing I’m going to do when I finish my apprenticeship is buy a cell phone. Then watch movies, starting with the Star Wars trilogy. The original trilogy, not the prequels.

Christine: Why do you like Star Wars so much?

Evan: It’s a great fantasy. Good on one side. Evil on the other. I wish the real world was so easy to figure out.

Christine: Is there anything in particular you’re trying to figure out?

Evan: Lost of things. But mostly, I worry because of the way my father and Cassie’s father hate one another. They both think they’re right and the other is wrong. I suppose I should side with my family and I do, but I wish I didn’t have to pick a side at all.

Christine: Because you’re in love with Cassie?

Evan: I didn’t say that.

Christine: No, of course not. So, what are your future plans? After you watch Star Wars, that is?

Evan: I want to do some good in the world. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet. There are a few things I need to work out first.

Christine: And those few things are…?

Evan: Private.

Christine: I see. And I will leave you to that privacy, but first I have one last question. Is there any advice you would be willing to give us about how to deal with sorcerers?

Evan: Don’t.

Christine: What if we can’t avoid it?

Evan: (Pauses) Ivy. Plant some ivy to protect your home. And don’t leave any blood lying around.

Christine: Those sound like good tips. Thank you for sharing your secrets.

Evan: They aren’t secrets. You can learn some basic magical self-protection on the Internet. Although there’s a lot of crazy stuff, too.

Christine: Any way to know the difference?

Evan: For the average person? Not really. But the average person probably isn’t going to be in danger. It’s far worse if you have a tiny bit of talent you don’t know what to do with.

Christine: That sounds like something we should talk about when the next book comes out. I hope we’ll see you back then.

Evan: Wait. What happens in the next book?

Christine: Don’t worry about it. You’ve got to survive the first book first.

Evan: My grandmother is a seer, you know.

Christine: I know. I created her, too. But there are so many possible futures, I don’t know how much she’ll be able to help you. I did rewrite the series several times, after all.

Evan: (Glares again) I got to go. Master Wolf is calling me.

Christine: Well then, you’d better go. Thank you so much for being here with me today.

Evan: You aren’t going to hurt Cassie, are you?

Christine: Henry Wolf is calling you.

Evan: All right, but for the record, we’re not done.

Christine: Absolutely not.

How did you like Evan guys? He sounds amazing, doesn’t he? And I have to say this book certainly piques my interest because Urban Fantasy is, like, one of my favorite genres. Hope you had a good time reading about Cassie and Evan. Until next time then! 😀

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Rating:

Review:

For some reason, I had been putting off reading this book for quite some time now. I don’t know why. Maybe the cover, although gorgeous, didn’t pull me in. Yeah, yeah, I’m kind of shallow when it comes to covers. But two days back, my brother and I had gone laptop shopping and while my brother was busy checking out all the cool new features in his laptop, I got bored and opened up this book on my e-reader. And I instantly knew I would love it.

I can write paragraphs on Laini Taylor’s writing style alone, but I’ll try to keep it short. It was simply spectacular. The descriptions pop off the page and hit you over the head like a sledgehammer, making you feel as though you are seeing Prague and Marrakesh and Brimstone’s shop with your own eyes. This book reminded me of why I started loving fantasy and still do. The story kicks off at an impressive speed and it is so thrilling that I couldn’t put the book down for ten hours straight. Yeah. It was that good.

And the characters! Oh, God, they were so beautifully written. You can feel Karou’s anguish as if it were your own and I loved Brimstone and Issa. And Zuzana? I wish Laini Taylor would write a book about Zuzana once she finishes Karou’s story. I loved Zuzana almost as much as Karou. The girl is seriously, side-splittingly funny! Every character in the book was amazingly crafted. I just wish when I write a book, I can manage to capture the essence of each character in such a beautiful way.

Coming to the topic of the love interest, I didn’t realize this book was going to be a romance from the way things started out. I mean, we see Akiva for the first time only about 35% into the book. But after he does enter the plot, we start to realize that the entire plot of the book wouldn’t happen if not for the romance. Which kinda, sorta disappointed me because I hugely appreciate a well-executed plot that doesn’t revolve around the “lurv” between the leads. But oh, well. It has been so hard to come across a good YA book nowadays that I let that slide. Because honestly? Even though the book was all about Akiva and Karou’s romance, I didn’t cringe while reading it. Karou is an independent and strong character who even the hardest cynics (me?) will like. If anything, I was a little let down by Akiva. He just didn’t light my fire, if you know what I mean. But like I said, he didn’t make me cringe either, so he is in the safe zone. The book did kind of drag (just a little) during the past-Karou-Akiva scenes, but it quickly picked up momentum after that.

The world building is awesome and I loved the idea that the seraph and the chimaera were not biblical creatures, but rather two warring races. I am definitely reading the next book and I so dearly hope it doesn’t let me down.

Top Books It’s A Sin To Not Read if You’re A YA Reader


Phantasma’s author, Penelope Reece has been kind enough to give me an e-copy of her book so I can review it. So far, I’m liking it quite a lot. In the meantime, I thought I’d do a top ten list on must-read books in the YA genre. After gathering my favorite books, I found that I had seventeen and not ten books like I had hoped. What’s more, there were fantasy/paranormal books in the mix which made it kind of hard to fit them into my list. SO, I’ve decided to make two lists, one for normal YA books and the other for fantasy/paranormal YA books. So, here we go.

Please click on the image to view the Goodreads page of the book. MUST-READ NON-FANTASY/PARANORMAL YA BOOKS: 10. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

I know this is more tween than teen (but it becomes more teen as the series progresses), but boy, is this series fun to read. Sure, it’s not very “literary” and includes a lot of pop culture references, but who cares when it’s this good? This series, which has 14 books in total, is in the epistolary format and makes for an uber-satisfying read when you’re in the mood for a light but also thoughtful read. My early teen years were spent getting nose-deep in The Princess Diaries books.

Books in the series: The Princess Diaries, Princess In Spotlight, Princess In Love, Princess In Waiting, Project Princess, Princess In Pink, Princess In Training, The Princess Present, Party Princess, Sweet Sixteen Princess, Valentine Princess, Princess On The Brink, Princess Mia, Forever Princess, Princess Lessons, Holiday Princess, Perfect Princess

9. When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

I read this book when I was in my final year of high school and I could totally relate to it. I picked the book up thinking it would be a cheesy high school romance with cliché characters. But it had surprising depth and the lead guy Tobey is wonderful. The protagonist is likeable for a change and their chemistry is believable and real. A must-read for mid to late teens.

8. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Looking at the cover of the book, you would think it’s just another book about a girl who has a bunch of boys fawning over her, but the cover doesn’t do this book any justice at ALL. This book is so heart-felt and touching, plus it describes exactly how you feel when you’re an adolescent. It talks about an adolescent’s feelings when one of your parents is suffering from depression and also how said adolescent would cope in an almost all-boys school. It is funny and deep. What more can you ask for?

7. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

I decided to include these books not because of their plots (although the plots are good too), but the style of writing. Levithan and Cohn have such a unique and fresh way of writing and their characters are always likeable and relatable no matter what. I love both books, but if I had to choose one among the two, I’d choose Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (which was made into an awesome movie) maybe because I’m a big music freak and the book has a lot of amazing music references. If you’ve already seen the movie version of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, try the book version. It’s a zillion times better. As for Dash and Lily’s book of dares, I was skeptical about it at first because there’s only so much you can do with such a concept, but the book didn’t have one boring scene. My only complaint would be that the kissing scene had been a little better. But it was still an awesome book, so, don’t NOT read it.

6. Easy by Tammara Webber

Again, when I picked this up, I was expecting it to be a light read. I so didn’t foresee the emotional rollercoaster I was about to step into. This was amazing on so many levels I don’t have words to describe how amazing it was. The book has some serious subject matter (the R word), but it deals with it in a really honest way. And, the chemistry between the two leads? Oh my God, it was burning, sizzling, hot! I couldn’t, didn’t want to put the book down!

5. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This was one of my earliest YA reads and still remains one of my favorites. The male lead, Alex is such a sexy badass that I couldn’t stop thinking about him for days after reading the book. And the girl is amazing too. Their chemistry is face-smackingly good (obvs) and when I finished reading the book, I had this big, goofy smile on my face that just wouldn’t go away. It was THAT satisfying. But I have to say the rest of the books in the series were not as satisfying as the first one.

4. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

I wish more people read this book because it is so beautifully written. Each line feels like it was ripped out of your heart. And the pictures. Oh, the pictures! The author drew them herself and I have to say, they add a special feel to the book. If you’re into backpacking (and even if you’re not), you’d love reading this book. It does help that Hubbard is a travel writer, I guess. When you’re reading it, it does feel like you’re travelling alongside Bria and Rowan. Bria’s issues with her ex-boyfriend feel so real and they way Rowan and Bria come together in the end is just… beautiful. I loved, loved, loved it.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

So much has already been said about this book across the Internet and I have very less to add. This book is a wonderful, wonderful love story of two people, Anna and Etienne (fabulous name, huh?), who go to a school in Paris. And I don’t tell you that Paris makes for a really magical place to fall in love in. When you read this book, you’ll be cheering for Anna and Etienne to unite with all your heart. And the scene where they both sleep in the same bed and do nothing but overthink the whole thing? So freaking sexy.

2. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

For whatever reason, before I read the book, I looked at the cover and thought ‘Sarah Dessen-like romance’. I didn’t read the blurb and thank God for it, because I would never have picked it up otherwise. You see, I have a thing against sad, depressing books. And this book was exactly that. Sad, depressing and heartbreaking. I read it at a very dark time in my life, when I myself was suffering from depression and feeling really down. I could totally relate to it and it made me cry rivers of tears into my pillow. Every word in the book felt like I had written them myself. And I loved the moral of the story, that every small action of every person we know affects us in some deep way.

1. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Okay, what can I say about this? This is my favorite Dessen book and Owen is my favorite Dessen hero (and my favorite Dessen heroine, btw, is Colie from Keeping The Moon). Owen has anger issues and Annabel is a rape victim. The romance between them is heartrendingly beautiful and reading about it, you’d wish you had someone like Owen in your life. And at the end of the book, (***MILD SPOILER HERE***) when Owen gives the dick Will a black eye, I punched the air with my fist and yelled “Woo!” so loudly my mom thought I had gone crazy (***END OF SPOILER***). I think I’m a little bit in love (read: obsessed) with Owen. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Owen, like me, is very serious about his music.

Okay, so, now onto the fantasy/paranormal list.

MUST-READ FANTASY/PARANORMAL YA BOOKS:

7. The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I started the first book of this series, Half-blood, two days before my exams. Bad decision. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I didn’t want to shower. I just wanted to sit in a corner and read the book. If anyone approached me, I bit their heads off for pulling me away from my Aiden (er, Alex’s Aiden). So. Anyway. The storyline of this series kind of reminded me of the Vampire Academy series. But having started VA and never finished it, I thought this was better than Vampire Academy. And the series gets better with every book. The latest book in the series, Apollyon was released last month and it was super-fabulous.

Books in the series: Daimon, Half-blood, Pure, Deity, Elixir, Apollyon, Sentinel (unreleased)

6. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

I had low expectations for City of Bones (mainly because a lot of people said good things about it and I’ve been disappointed way too many times because of that), but this one surprised me. I liked Clary, the protagonist, Simon, her best friend, Jace, her romantic interest, Alec, Isabelle, Magnus and every other damn character in the book. I even liked Valentine, for God’s sake. So, if you don’t like the book, there’s something wrong with you. That said, I’m not a fan of the extended series, aka, any book after Book 3. But the first 3 books are awesome, so do check out!

Books in the series: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire (unreleased)

5. The Ghost and the Goth Series by Stacey Kade

OMG, this series was so hilarious! Will and Alona are now one of my favorite couples. I liked how Will and Alona didn’t like each other at first, but then, gradually learnt to see the good in each other. And it has such a unique storyline too. If I saw someone with Will Killian’s eyes, I would probably jump his bones right then and there. And Alona is such a kickass heroine. She is a nice mean girl, if you know what I mean.

Books in the series: The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, Body and Soul

4. Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins

I loved the protagonist’s voice so much in this book. She is funny, sarcastic and totally the kind of girl I would like to be friends with. And the banter between Archer and Sophie is just adorable. Archer is just perfect for Sophie and her smart mouth. They are meant to be. And the twist at the end of the first book just about killed me.

Books in the series: Hex Hall, Demonglass, Spell Bound

3. Nevermore Series by Kelly Creagh

Although I have a thing for brooding boys, I have never had the hots for an emo or goth boy. Before I read Nevermore. Varen (which, btw, is one of the weirdest names I’ve ever read in my book-reading experience) is a goth boy with piercings, black wardrobe and the works. He’s into Edgar Allen Poe and drawing sketches. Isobel Lanley is a popular girl who is initially creeped out by Varen. Not the makings of a love story, right? Well, wait till they’re both paired off on an English project. Soon, sparks fly and Isobel starts to fall for Varen. But Varen has secrets of his own and Isobel is somehow dragged into his secrets (or secret world, if you will). The ending of each book in the series is a huge cliffhanger that makes you want to throw the book against the wall. I’ve not read the final book yet, but I have high hopes that it will be just as fantastic as the first two.

Books in the series: Nevermore, Enshadowed. Untitled Book 3

2. Angelfall Series by Susan Ee

I have only read one other “angel” book before and that is, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It was an okay book with good sexual tension between the characters, but the story just didn’t hook me in, you know. It didn’t make me reach for its sequels. And after that, I was kind of wary of other angel books. Angelfall had such good reviews (almost unanimously positive), but I was a little hesitant because the blurb sounded a little cliché. But the cover was pretty and like I said, it had good reviews on Goodreads, so I picked it up. I am so glad that I did. Because this is not a cliché story AT ALL. It was so different and unique that I had to pinch my arm a couple of times in between to check if I was indeed reading a YA paranormal book. And the protagonist is so freaking amazing! She is my favorite female YA paranormal lead right now. The romance between Penryn and Raffe is so believable and Raffe is just delicious to read about. The book has a lot of humor, romance, action and emotions that will never leave you bored at any point in the story. And, it SO bugs me that this book is not as famous as it deserves to be. I mean, how come books like this have to be self-published when other crappy books manage to get publishing deals? I am offended on behalf of Miss Susan Ee. So, if you’ve not read this book and still refuse to pick up this book after reading this, I hate you. No, really.

Books in the series: Angelfall, Untitled Book 2, Untitled Book 3

1. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Okay, what else were you expecting in this spot? I know, almost everyone would have read this, but still I have to put this on the list. This is the series that started my love for magical worlds. I read this as a twelve year old, but even when I re-read this now, I enjoy it immensely. These books deserver every credit that has been bestowed on it and more. I loved it so much that even after four years since last reading it, I could name every character, magical object and curse in the series. For the poor souls who have not read it, you’re missing out on SO much.

Books in the series: Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-blood Prince, Deathly Hallows

So, there you go. This is my list(s) of must-read books. Do you think any other book deserves a place here?