Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop-International

bestof2013

December 18 marks my one year anniversary of book blogging. I’d say I jumped in on an amazing year of books with some of my favorites releasing. I had to join this giveaway hop to share with you, my readers, some of my favorites along with the chance to win one. This is an international giveaway and you can request and earlier book in the series if you would like to. I’ve selected all of my 5 star reviews for books that released in 2013. Click on the title to read my review.

  World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)These Broken StarsThe Bone SeasonScarlet by Marissa Meyer
World After by Susan Ee, These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

 In the Shadow of BlackbirdsCrown of MidnightNot a Drop to DrinkThe Burning Sky
In the Shadow of Catbirds by Cat Winters, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

 The Dream ThievesSiege and Storm
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Showcase Sunday #25

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

Purchased:
All of these were purchased at the Austin Teen Book Festival-you can see pics and small recap here. I have read and reviewed each of these. You can read my review by clicking on the title.
Not a Drop to DrinkThe buring SkyThe Dream Thieves

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Won (thank you Derek Silver)

I have been trying everything in my power to get my hands on an arc of Rebel Spring, I sent in an email request (no response), requested on Edelweiss (a few times–all declined) and I’ve entered a lot of giveaways. Finally, finally I won a copy. I was overjoyed! I plan on reading it next month. Derek, being awesome, threw in a couple of other books as well.
Rebel SpringThe Way We FallCountdown
Rebel Spring
by Morgan Rhodes, The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe and Countdown by Michelle Rowen aka Morgan Rhodes

What did you get last week? I’m thinking I won’t be getting very much in the upcoming weeks because I have so many books I need to read I’ve stopped requesting.

Be sure to check out my GIVEAWAY (INT)- Winner chooses a book from Book Depository

Review of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream ThievesThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pre-order:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

The Story:
The sequel The Dream Thieves takes all the rich and lavish world building of The Raven Boys and adds in some new surprises and additional characters. I actually think that this book is my favorite of Stiefvater’s so far.

As with The Raven Boys the pacing is slow yet still intoxicating and gripping. Stiefvater doesn’t rush her story buildup or character development but lets us immerse ourselves and become fully invested page by page. This book is rooted in a world so familiar to ours yet it wasn’t difficult to imagine and believe that the extraordinary things happening to and around our characters.  This magical atmosphere honestly created a dream feel to the book that I absolutely love.

The Characters:
Stiefvater gives us much deeper insight into each of her characters. I loved reading about Ronan’s past and seeing the world through his view point. It was heartbreaking to see the walls he’s built to shield himself and his emotions. I was always fond of his character but in The Dream Thieves I was able to visualize him so clearly and really get attached to him. This book felt like a devotion to him and the impact his dreams are having on his waking life.

Gansey is an easy favorite from the beginning of the series. We get to see him in his childhood home and interacting in the experiences he was raised in. It was enlightening to see him putting on the airs of high society. His relationship and understanding with Blue deepened and was so enjoyable (if not devastating) to read.

Blue continues to be outstanding and beautifully unique. The threat of her kiss being the demise of her true love wasn’t nearly as focused in this book but wasn’t forgotten either. I felt how tragic this was for her possibly even further in this book than the first.

I was impressed with how Stiefvater crafted the relationships of all the characters as a group, individually and with one another. I can’t think of another book where the character’s dialog and interactions felt so real. Each personality is completely unique and you truly feel that you know them after reading their stories.

Final Thoughts:
Overall Maggie Stiefvater is brilliant at creating characters that are well rounded and broken in the most beautiful way. Her stories are creative and her writing seamless. Though most of her books are slowly paced they are worth the buildup and continue to exceed my expectations.

Showcase Sunday #19

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

Purchased:

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

For Review (via NetGalley):

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

I had a small book haul last week but I’m so happy with the two books I did get. What did you get?