2012 Half Year in Review: Autumn’s Picks

This week we’re doing something a little different. Along with our usual reviews, we’re posting a sort of half year in review. I asked each of the girls to write down one or two books that they’ve read from January to June that grabbed them – they could have been their favorite, what disappointed them, what surprised them, etc. With the exception of myself, everyone picked their favorites so far. Yeah, leave it to me to be different. I haven’t read as many as the others, and while I haven’t been fully disappointed by any of the books I’ve read this year, I’m not quite sure if the ones I picked for this feature are my favorite. However, they are books that surprised me. They are the ones that I go and tell others about because I didn’t think they’d be that good.

The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Having never read anything by Julie before, I must admit, I was totally drawn in by the beautiful cover. I mean, seriously, look at it! Beautiful! Although I’ve read plenty of vampire-based novels, I haven’t gotten into the dystopia genre. The Immortal Rules was a great introduction and made me rethink my avoidance of dystopia. I was easily grabbed from the first chapter. The action never stopped and I was left wanting more. It’s not quite like anything I’ve read before.

Elemental by Brigid KemmererThe Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer
I frequently judge a book by its cover. I know that doing so can be bad. If the cover draws me in then I’ll read the summary and see if it sounds interesting. When Lisa gave me the code to put the countdown widget on the site for Storm I looked at the cover and thought, “Meh. Big deal. Four guys. Young adult.” I honestly never even thought about reading it. Ever. Not on my radar in the slightest. I could seriously kick myself now for ever thinking that.

Storm by Brigid KemmererWhen Spark showed up on NetGalley under Kensington Books, who I got auto-approved for, I read the description and thought that maybe I should check it out. I requested it and picked up the prequel novella, Elemental. After reading Elemental I was intrigued and wanted to know more about the Merrick brothers. I’m so thankful to have a Kindle because I downloaded and started reading Storm that same night and completed it in three days. That is very, very unusual for me. I then started Spark and finished it in two days. Also very highly unusual for me. All I did for five nights was come home from work and read all night long. I was consumed, although I’m not sure that word even quite fits. When I finished Spark I wanted to go into a corner and sob hysterically for the year while waiting for the next installment.

Spark by Brigid KemmererAlas, I have too much junk and no free corners in my cramped apartment. This bitch had to buck it up and move on with her life. Now I need a t-shirt that says “Earth, Fire, Air, Water. I Love the Merrick Brothers” on it.

What do I love about these books? Every freakin’ thing. The relationship between the brothers is unique and true to life. The balance between family, action, romance, and supernatural-like elements is superb and extremely well done.

This is one of those series where when you’re finished and try to move on to something else, but you have hard time doing so. Why? Because you can’t stop thinking about it and what happened, what will happen, and what you want to happen.

Spark is being released at the end of August while a novella, Fearless is out at the end of July, but the next full installment, Spirit, isn’t due until June 2013. Now I know what hell is – it’s waiting for a book in a series that you’ve desperately fallen in love with.

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