Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Reading Room (28)

The Reading Room is a weekly update on books I'm reading and planning to read, posted on Tuesdays. It was inspired by the feature On Myshelf at the blog All by Myshelf.

Not to go on excessively about Maggie Stiefvater, but... I am now the proud owner of a copy of The Raven Boys, which I snapped up at Walmart on Sunday. I was thrilled to see it and even more excited to buy it and start reading it. Between school and all the other books I'm reading, I'm still on the first few pages, but I already love it. Because it's Maggie Stiefvater. And incase you hadn't noticed, I'm kind of obsessed.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. A new topic is posted each week, and bloggers post their top ten in the category. I love making lists, especially about books, so when I found out about Top Ten Tuesday, I just had to participate.

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

10. Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I loved the Percy Jackson series and liked the first book of this series, The Lost Hero, but The Son of Neptune was horrible in more ways than I can describe. I couldn't believe that I could hate something Rick Riordan wrote so much, but it was just bad. I finished it, for some reason, but I can't bring myself to read the rest of the series - I prefer to remember the characters as they were in the absolutely amazing Last Olympian.

9. The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kawaga

So many people recommended this series to me, absolutely raving about how good it was, how much they loved the characters, and how they couldn't put it down. People whose judgement I trust in all things bookish urged me to read this series. So I picked up the first book from the library - and as much as I tried, I didn't like it. The characters annoyed me, the setting was vague, the plot was uninteresting. I  was still going to attempt to finish the series, but I haven't yet, just because I really don't consider it a great use of my time.

8. The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey

Oh, these books were so good until they started getting weird. I hate it when fantasy authors start bending their own rules. This series became so complicated I couldn't even follow it, which is why I stopped reading after Dark Fire. Part of me still really wants to read Fire World and The Fire Ascending, so maybe, someday, I'll finish the series.

7. Warriors by Erin Hunter

I loved these books when I was younger. They were my favorite book series, ever. I even met Erin while she was on tour. The problem was, the books just didn't stop. I'm sure part of the problem was that I outgrew them, but I can still reread the first two series without it being too painful. By the end of the third series, Warriors: Power of Three, Erin Hunter had made me completely hate all my favorite characters, the books were so predictable I didn't even have to read them, and the plot alternated between comically over-excessive action and absolute boredom. So I stopped reading them, and have no intention to finish them. I'll still recommend the original six books to anyone who asks, though.

6. Maximum Ride by James Patterson

I read the first book, The Angel Experiment, over the summer, and although it wasn't fantastic, I still liked it a lot. I have no good excuse for not reading these. Not even the fact that they don't have the second book at the public library, because they have it at the school AND I have a friend who I could borrow it from. I really want to read the rest of the series and the manga versions, and I really don't know why I haven't yet.

5. Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

I can probably quote from my review on Shelfari or some post on the blog: "I plan to read the rest of the series." This was around December or January, when I first read the first book. I think, because I didn't fall head-over-heels-in-love with it, (I liked it, but I'm not ready to marry it), it's just gotten pushed aside by more interesting reads. Hopefully I will finish it, someday, because the ending of the first book was kind of anticlimactic. I need something more to happen. Plus, I loved the mythology.

4. Need by Carrie Jones

This one's a little easier to explain, at least: the only way to get my hands on Endure would be to buy it, and I don't have the funds for that right now. It drives me crazy that I haven't finished the series yet, because Endure is the last book, and Entice set up so many exciting things to happen! Hopefully it'll come my way as a Christmas present...if I have to wait much longer than that, I might go crazy.

3. Madeline L'Engle's Time Quintet

I LOVED A Wrinkle in Time. It was absolutely incredible. The only thing holding me back from finishing the series, honestly, is the fear that the other books won't be as good, which I know is kind of crazy. I'm probably only missing out by not finishing the series.

2. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin

The Earthsea series is right up there with The Lord of the Rings as far as awesome, epic High Fantasy. I read the first book for English in eighth grade and finally got around to reading the second one last year. I really need to get going at a faster pace for these, because I finally own all of them and at this rate I won't get through them until I've finished college. And I definitely don't want to wait that long before taking another visit to that magical world.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I love C.S. Lewis, and I loved the first four books of The Chronicles of Narnia. The fact that I have not finished the series is a point of great confusion and distress. There's no good reason. I really, really want to read the rest of them. Why I haven't is beyond me. I love this series, and I need to read the rest of them - soon.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Album Review: Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

Released: September 4, 2012
Genre: Alternative

I have fallen in love with this band and this album. My obsession with Imagine Dragons began as simply an intense love of their song "Radioactive" off their Continued Silence EP. When I saw this album, my first thought was, "Ooh, cool, Imagine Dragons has a full album out now, I guess I'll check it out." That quickly changed to, "I MUST BUY THIS ALBUM. IMMEDIATELY."

1. Radioactive
I'm waking up
I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow

This was the first song I'd ever heard by Imagine Dragons and what got me into their music; I love it so much. There's some really great, almost acoustic-sounding guitar and softer vocals at the beginning, and the way this builds into a really amazing beat is fantastic. The distorted sound fits the song so well, and the chorus just rocks. It paints such a clear dystopian picture, too, all the way through to the incredible ending, which cuts off and then just echoes for a few seconds. Pure awesomeness.

2. Tiptoe
Watch me fall above
Like a vicious dove

I love the way this starts; it has a very intriguing beginning that builds into the rest of the song. The chorus is amazing. This is the kind of fast-paced song that gets inside you. The vocals really stand out on this song. I love the lyrics, and the places where they're sung really rapidly are just incredible.

3. It's Time
Now don't you understand
I'm never changing who I am

This is one of the catchiest songs of the album - the opening instrumental reminds me a little of Coldplay, and is impossible to get out of my head. Then there's lyrics - oh my goodness. I can't even begin to describe them. The way they're put together is so beautiful and meaningful, and I've been singing the chorus ever since I first heard this song. This is a song you have to at least tap your feet to; it has that anthemic quality that makes it completely irresistible.

4. Demons
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

This is one of those songs that's so good that I almost can't bear to listen to it, because it raises such strong emotions. I love the way it starts off with just the vocals and the instrumentals build up behind it. The lyrics are so poetic and so powerful, and the way it builds before the chorus is just too intense for words.

5. On Top Of The World
And I know it's hard when you're falling down
And it's a long way up and you make your round

This is a really different sound from the other songs so far on the album, which is one of the reasons I love it - it shoes how versatile on the band is, and how many different sounds they combine on this album. I like the music - it's so upbeat and happy and contributes a lot to the sound. The lyrics aren't complicated, but they're still original and brilliant, and the whole song just makes you feel good.

6. Amsterdam
Well these days I'm fine
No, these days I tend to lie
I'll take the Western train
Just by the side of Amsterdam
Just by my left brain
Just by this side of the tin man

Yet another song where I love the beginning and the way the lyrics fit together and rhyme - it's really impressive, and what makes the song both catchy and meaningfull. The chorus forms a sort of mini-crescendo every time it's sung, adding so much to the meaning. What I really love about this song, though, is the attitude - you know exactly what the singer is feeling, and you can relate to it as if you're experiencing it, too.

7. Hear Me
I said it before, I won't
Say it again
Love is a game to you
It's not pretend

This is another really catchy opening instrumental that reminds me a lot of Coldplay. The vocals and music are perfectly timed together to be both catchy and interesting. The way he sings fits the meaning perfectly, and the lyrics are really original, but relatable. More sounds get added into this song as it goes on, making the sound really layered and complex; then, at the end, each of the different components sort of fade out until it's once again just the opening instrumental, which gives it a really great ending.

8. Every Night
I'm coming home to you
Every night, every night
Every night, every night

This is a big song, especially the way it starts with just the vocals and the chorus. It's just raw, beautiful emotion, and while there are a few places that are almost sad, overall, it's filled with so much joy and determination. It grabs your attention and draws you in. And then there's the piano at the end - the first time I heard this song, I liked it a lot, and then I heard that little bit of piano at the end and I just fell in love with it.

9. Bleeding Out
So I bare my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in

This was the point in making notes for my review that I ran out of ways to say "This song is amazing," and ended up just writing down what I loved - which turned out to be everything, as my notes read, "Chorus, chorus, chorus. LYRICS. MUSIC." That was about all I could manage, because I was so blown away - this song just hits you. It's so filled with imagery and emotion, and sung so well and powerfully.

10. Underdog
That sounds like my luck
I get the short end of it
Oh I love to be, I love to be the underdog

I wanted to hear more of this song from the very beginning. I love the techno-sound - it reminds me so much of Owl City. This song doesn't sound like a copy of them, though - it has a really distinctive style, created by the combination of the style of singing, the music, and the way the lyrics are set up and where they repeat. They're not too complicated, but they still create a really great effect. The repetition of the chorus and the way it fades out at the end works really well here, too.

11. Nothing Left to Say/Rocks
Who knows what's right
The lines keep getting thinner
My age has never made me wise

The beginning of Nothing Left To Say is so melancholy - I love it. The sound is so spooky and gloomy. This song just pounds - the beat and the way the lyrics repeat give the song a fantastic rhythm and convey the meaning even more clearly. The echoes add so much. The chorus is big, loud, and desperate - amazing. And the song just keeps getting bigger as it goes on - it swells to huge crescendoes, and when he sings the bridge, he just belts it, and it blows me away. Combined with the strings - wow. And then it gets quiet at the end, really fitting the name of the song. The desperation is gone, all the energy has been spent, there's nothing left to say.

And then it transitions into Rocks. I have no idea why these two songs are combined, because they;re so different. Rocks is a more upbeat song; it's a lot simpler, although there are lots of layers to the music and meaning in the lyrics. I think the best part of this song is the instrumentals, though. It starts off pretty basic and straightforward, and then there's some really awesome drums and some kind of stringed instrument playing an awesome fast-paced riff that I really want to learn to play on guitar.

12. Working Man
Caught up in the middle of a headache and heartbreak
Just when I thought I was clear of the mistakes, no
Oh, oh, oh

This may be my favorite song on the album. The simple opening turns into a really incredible beat. Here's how I described it to one of my friends before playing it for her: "This song is going to tell you to shake it. Trust me, you are going to want to shake it." This is a fast-paced song that you can definitely dance to, and the fact that Imagine Dragons can do this well is impressive by itself. But then there's the fact that this song has great music, awesome lyrics, and meaning - it's a song I can dance to without feeling like my musical standards are being sacrificed, which is why I love it so, so, so much.

13. Fallen
Oh, oh, oh
We are fallen, we are fallen
Oh, oh, oh
We are fallen, we are falling down
We're just gonna ride it out
I just wanna take it in

I really wish we got to hear more of the beginning of this song, since once again it's awesome, but at least you can still hear it behind the vocals. Which are also incredible - the singing and music combine perfectly on this song, and the verses have a really nice rhythm to them. I love the chorus, too; like the rest of the song, it's simple, but so powerful and strong, making it a great closing to the album.

This is an incredible album with so many different sounds and styles on it. It makes its awesomeness almost impossible to describe, and while I've tried to here, I strongly recommend listening to it yourself. I'm pretty sure you'll love it as much as I do.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Reading Room (27)

The Reading Room is a weekly update on books I'm reading and planning to read. It was inspired on the feature On Myshelf at the blog All By Myshelf.

Just one new book this week; I'm still working through my stack of books from last week, along with finishing up The Crucible for English class and rereading some T.S. Eliot poetry and The Yellow Wallpaper. However, I did stop in the school library this morning to return Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and pick up the last book the series, Forever. I loved Linger even more than Shiver, and literally couldn't put it down while I was reading it. There were so many questions left unanswered at the end of the second book, and I need to find out how the story ends. I can't wait to start reading it.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Tuned In To (9)

Tuned In To is a weekly feature discussing albums I've been listening to, songs that have been stuck in my head, or artists that I've discovered, and is posted on Fridays.

It's another book-song edition this week. I don't think I've mentioned the new Imagine Dragons album on the blog yet, so I'll take a moment to do that: it is AMAZING. I have a review coming within the next few days that goes into more detail; right now I'll just tell you to go listen to it, like I've been telling everyone else over the past few days.

Of course, I was reading Maggie Stiefvater's Linger (which I've mentioned a few times in the past few weeks) when I downloaded this album, and one song immediately jumped out at me as fitting the book:

If you've read the books, I have three words for you: Isabel and Cole. "Demons" blows me away with how well it fits them. I absolutely loved these two characters, their relationship, and how they reacted and interacted with each other, and this song captures that so perfectly. It fits them so well that I made this graphic for it, just because:

So that's my music update for this week. Like I said, a full review of the album, Night Visions, is coming soon.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Reading Room (26)

The Reading Room is a weekly update on books I'm reading and planning to read, posted on Tuesdays. It was inspired by the feature On Myshelf at the blog All By Myshelf.

Reading Competition is upon us once again! Unfortunately, with the combination of seniors who graduated (almost ten, although only three of them really showed up for stuff) and people who quit (two or three) the Senior High Team now consists of only four people. Still, at least we have a team, and it did give me an opportunity to grab two new books from the library to add to my reading list.

The first was Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I've wanted to read this book for awhile, so when I saw it on the list, I immediately claimed it as mine. Well, after I realized that it said "Between Shades of Gray" and not "Fifty Shades of Gray." Plus, it's another book to add to my YA Historical Fiction Challenge reading list, which is pretty sad in comparison to my other lists.

The second was Bamboo People, by Mitali Perkins. It was the cover of this book that caught my eye and I haven't had a chance to look closer to find out what it's actually about yet, but I can't wait to start it and find out. I'm really excited to read both books, and hopefully I'll be able to remember details of them in November at the competition.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. A new topic is posted each week, and bloggers post their top ten in the category. I love making lists, especially about books, so when I heard about Top Ten Tuesday, I just had to participate.

Top Ten Books That Make You Think

10. Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins

This was an obvious choice for a lot of reasons. Not only were there moments when I had to stop and think about the morals of the characters and the situation - Katniss's agreement to be the Mockingjay, the idea of hosting one final Hunger Games, Coin being basically the same person as Snow, Gale's aggressive nature and the bombing at the end - but the entire book as a whole made me think about writing: things like what makes a book good and how books in a trilogy work together. I didn't like most of Mockingjay when I first read it, and since then I've spent some time wondering whether it was because the book really wasn't good and didn't mesh with the other books in the series, or if I was just too attached to the characters to accept an ending that wasn't perfectly happy. 

9. Wonder
By R.J. Palacio

This book made me think a lot about kindness: what it means, why people don't do it more often. It was a very uplifting and inspiring book, but it also made me stop and consider what I would do if I was in Jack, Via, or Summer's place, and how I would react to August. It made me look at what kind of a person I really am. 

8. Bitterblue
By Kristin Cashore

Unlike most of the other books on this list, Bitterblue didn't have me pondering any philosophical questions, but it was a workout for my brain. I was analyzing every page for clues to unraveling the mystery of King Leck's reign, while trying to figure out what Saf's grace might be and contemplating the complicated politics of The Seven Kingdoms. This book really engaged my brain, which is part of the reason I loved it so much. 

7. I Am The Messenger
By Markus Zusak

If I had to summarize this book in one sentence, I would say it's about single actions that change people's lives, which is a really thought-provoking subject. It makes you wish there was someone sending you directions so you would know where to start, wonder whether you would have the courage to follow through with things, and think about what people around you need and how you can help them find it.

6. The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

I can never find adequate words to describe this book, even though I've blogged about it many times. The main reason it's on this list is that it's such an unique take on Word War II, and makes you really think about what life must have been like then. 

5. The Penultimate Peril
By Lemony Snicket

The books in A Series of Unfortunate Events became much more serious as the series progressed, and dealt with more complicated themes, such as right and wrong, shades of gray in people, and what really makes a villain. The Penultimate Peril was sort of where all these questions came together, making it by far the most thought-provoking of the series. 

4. To Kill A Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

This book is like a playground for my mind. There's so much to think about, so many characters, so many themes, and they all tie together in ways that are so amazing to see. I love reading this book because I always - always - discover something new to think about.

3. The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins

Although the first book in the series is the most straightforward of the series (Katniss has one main goal: Stay alive) it also causes readers to ask the most important question: could something like this actually happen in our society? It doesn't seem so far-fetched when you think about reality TV shows now, combined with the fact that everyone who picks up the book is drawn in by the idea of the Games themselves. For being such popular YA novels, these books deal with some pretty heavy stuff. 

2. 1984
By George Orwell

This book made my head spin. It left me questioning every single concept I had of reality and struggling to understand the concept of Doublethink, while marveling at the brilliance of Big Brother's control and then questioning my morality for being both amazed and repulsed by it instead of just horrified. It was an amazing book, but I haven't even skimmed it in the two years since I first read it just because I can't handle what it does to my brain. 

1. Brave New World
By Aldous Huxley

We read this book for English last year, and it is still the only book that makes my brain hurt more than 1984. There were things in this book that I knew were wrong, and yet I was completely unable to put together a logical argument against them. I took pages and pages of notes, and had a ridiculously hard time narrowing them down to one topic for my final essay. 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Important Things

Be happy. Be kind. Be brave. Don't be afraid; think instead of all those times your fear was unwarrented. And don't be afraid to fall in love. It's called falling for a reason.

Believe in something, no mater what it is. Believe it truly, deeply, with all your heart. Have something in your life worth dying for. Have something in your life worth living for. And fight for something every now and then.

Do what's right for no other reason for that it's right. Know who you are, but don't be afraid to change it. And know that no matter who you are, you are IMPORTANT. You are part of something BEAUTIFUL. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Wish List (9)

The Wish List features one book from my wish list each week, along with why I want it. Thanks to Jill and Breaking the Spine and Ren at All By Myshelf for the inspiration for this feature.

Mastering Manga by Mark Crilley

There's more to manga than big, shiny eyes and funky hair. In these action-packed pages, graphic novelist Mark Crilley shows you step-by-step how to achieve an authentic manga style - from drawing faces and figures to laying out awesome, high-drama spreads. You'll learn how a few basic lines will help you place facial features in their proper locations and simple tricks for getting body proportions right. Plus, you'll find inspiration for infusing your work with expression, attitude, and action.

This is the book fans have been requesting for years, packed with expert tips on everything from hairstyles and clothing to word bubbles and sound effects, delivered in the same friendly, easy-to-follow style that has made Mark Crilley one of the "25 Most Subscribed Gurus on Youtube." Take this opportunity to turn the characters and stories in your head into professional-quality art on the page.

Even though I'm ashamed to say I've read very little manga, I absolutely love the style of drawing and would love to be able to master it. I love Mark Crilley's drawings and tutorials on Youtube, which is how I originally found out about this book. Plus, I think manga is a fantastic means of storytelling, and I'd really like to be able to experiment with it. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Reading Room (25)

The Reading Room is a weekly update on books I'm reading and planning to read, posted on Tuesdays. It was inspired by the feature On Myshelf at the blog All By Myshelf.

I made my first trip to the school library of junior year today, and although I did have to spend some time working on my math homework, I was also able to browse the shelves and take a look at the new arrivals, along with books I didn't get a chance to read last year. It didn't take me long to come away with two books I'd been wanting to read for awhile.

The first was Linger, the second book in Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy. I recently reread Shiver, the first book, and even though Shiver definitely wasn't a cliffhanger ending, I still want to know what happens next in the lives of Grace, Sam, and Isabel. And read more by Maggie Stiefvater. I think I've mentioned four times in two blog posts on the same day that she's amazing. I'll try not to say it again. Instead, I'll just mention that I'm really excited to read this book. (Though I've already said that, too.)

I debated a few other books, but there wasn't much contest, and I ended up getting The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. I'd thought this book looked kind of interesting last year but was never really in the mood to read it; after reading her book The Demon King in her other series, not much would be able to stop me from reading this book. She's such an incredible author. I've said that a lot today, too.

So, yeah. I'm pretty excited for these two new books to add to my reading pile, and I don't anticipate that it'll take me long to finish them. Hopefully I'll be ready to move on to the next in both series by next week.


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. A new topic is posted each week, and bloggers post their top ten in the category. I love making lists, especially about books, so when I found out about Top Ten Tuesday, I just had to participate.

Top Ten Books on Your Fall TBR List

This was an especially fun topic because there are so many books I'm looking forward to reading this fall, both books that are just being released and ones that have been out for awhile that I haven't had a chance to read yet. One of the best things about back-to-school is the access to the school library, although finding time to read between homework, golf, and marching band is always a little tricky. 

10. Who Could That Be At This Hour?
By Lemony Snicket

I love Lemony Snicket, and his Series of Unfortunate Events are still some of my favorite books. This book has been on my wish list for months, ever since I discovered its existence, and it's finally being released this October. I can't wait to read more of the backstory of A Series of Unfortunate Events - there were still so many mysteries left to be solved, even after the last book. 

9. Endure
By Carrie Jones

Even though Entice didn't quite measure up to the other books in the series, it introduced a lot of new concepts and characters and set up for some really exciting things to happen in the final book in the series. I have a lot of theories and predictions and there are a lot of plot threads hanging in suspense as of the end of the third book, so I can't wait to see how it all comes together. 

8. The Queen of Attolia
By Megan Whalen Turner

I absolutely LOVED The Thief, and while I'm not sure it's the type of plot that lends itself well to being continued, I can't resist an opportunity to read more about these incredible characters. Plus, if Megan Whalen Turner can write something as amazing as The Thief, I trust that the other books in the series will be at least half as good - which would still be pretty awesome. 

7. Lost Voices
By Sarah Porter

I've always loved mermaids - they've been among my favorite mythological creatures ever since I was little, and even though I'm not as obsessed with them as I once was, they're still up there. Plus, this is such a unique, original take on them and it sounds like such an interesting conflict to read about. This book sounds awesome, and I will read it this fall. 

6. The Warrior Heir
By Cinda Williams Chima

This was the first book of Cinda Williams Chima's that I'd ever heard of, but because of the mood I was in when I saw it at the library (rather cynical towards YA fantasy, I'm afraid, after a few bad experiences) and things in the synopsis I was unsure if I'd like, I didn't really have any desire to read it. Now that I've read The Demon King and discovered what an AMAZING author Cinda Williams Chima is, I can't wait to read this book. I snatched it up at the library today and it's sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me to crack the spine. 

5. Linger
By Maggie Stiefvater

I'm not really sure why I didn't read the second and third books in this series when they first came out, considering how much I liked Shiver. (Surprisingly.) I think it was probably because I felt like too many YA books were series just for the sake of being a series, and I thought this would be more of the same. But then I read Lament and Ballad. And then I read The Scorpio Races. And then I realized it was actually completely impossible for Maggie Stiefvater to produce something I didn't absolutely love. So then I downloaded the free sample of the book on my Nook and then immediately sprinted to the library to check it out because it was so incredibly amazing and I needed to read more. I can't wait to start it. 

4. The Exiled Queen
By Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King is one of the best books I have ever read, period. I loved it. I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved the writing, and I desperately want to go back and revisit it all and learn what happens next. This book has been high-priority on my TBR list for awhile. 

3. The Eternal Ones
By Kirsten Miller

Another author I absolutely love. I initially looked at The Eternal Ones because I stumbled across it online while looking for more information on Kirsten Miller's third Kiki Strike book, The Darkness Dwellers. This book sounds incredible and I immediately wanted to read it, and I plan on ordering it as soon as I get my hands on a Barnes&Noble gift card and setting it on top of my stack of books to be read. 

2. House of Shadows
By Rachel Neumeier

This book looks incredible, and I've heard nothing but good reviews. I'm not sure I can describe how badly I want to read it. I've been looking for it everywhere - libraries, bookstores, friends' houses, etc - and haven't found it, so I'm almost to the point where I'm just going to order it from Barnes and Noble. I want to read it so much that it's well worth the eleven dollars to get my hands on a copy. 

1. The Raven Boys
By Maggie Stiefvater

See above explanation about how it is impossible for me to dislike anything Maggie Stiefvater has written. This book FINALLY comes out on the 18th, and I am beyond excited. It has mystery, magic, and romance, and, again - it's Maggie Stiefvater. Really, I don't need to say anything else.