Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Book Lists Pt. 4: Paranormal Day

*Back to Introductory Post; Pt. 1; Pt. 2; Pt 3; Pt. 5; Pt. 6; Pt. 7
*Books are linked to my reviews, if available. Otherwise, they're linked to Amazon. I have read all of these books and written reviews for most, but haven't posted many of them yet. As I do, I will update this page.


Paranormal Day

Who doesn't love a paranormal romance? Actually, until I became obsessed with Twilight, I wasn't. But now I have officially gone over to the dark side. Here are the paranormal romances I read and enjoyed this year, separated into categories:

Vampires
-My favorite paranormal category


Vampire Academy: Blood Promise and Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
Each Vampire Academy book is fun, suspenseful, and oozes romance. There’s the boarding school element. As the series continues, you have complicated royal politics. There are three really hot guys, Dimitri, Adrian, and Christian. One bold, kick-butt girl, Rose. And twist after twist in the plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Blue Bloods: The Van Alen Legacy and Misguided Angel - Melissa de la Cruz
Old school wealthy "blue-bloods" are really vampires. More specifically, vampires descended from angels. If you like angel and vampire mythology, you'll love this. The series becomes less about shallow rich kids and more about a great battle between good and evil as the books go on. Prominent love triangle between the hot, sweet, powerful guy and the best friend. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Sucks To Be Me and Still Sucks To Be Me - Kimberly Pauley
Mina grows up with two vampire parents. She now has to choose whether to become a vampire after the Vampire Council finds out about her. Mina attends vampire classes with other teenage vamp wannabes. Mina’s complaining, sarcastic humor is hilarious. Great guy characters in both books. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Infinite Days - Rebecca Maizel
600 year old vampire queen is transformed back into a human. A 16 year old human attending a New England boarding school. Makes new friends, new enemies, and falls in love with Mr. Popularity. Still, her violent vampire past haunts her and comes back to rear its ugly head. (Amazon

Sunshine - Robin McKinley
A unique vampire romance book. It's set in an alternate universe where vampires and other paranormal creatures are known to exist. Vampires hunt and are also hunted. Rae is put in the unlikely situation of a working relationship with a vampire, Con. Together, Rae and Con fight the government and other vampires. They form an interesting friendship. (Amazon)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) - Chloe Neill
27-year-old Merit is changed into a vampire against her will. She's sucked into an impending vampire war. Merit must accept her new life as an immortal and also help protect her vampire house from those that threaten them. Heart-stopping, romantic, love triangle tension between Merit, master vampire Ethan, and rival house vampire Morgan. Merit has a fabulously snarky voice that will make you want to read more and more. (Amazon)

Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses and Dead Girls’ Dance by Rachel Caine
Claire moves out of her college dorm after being terrorized by the popular mean girls. Her new roommates are a strange bunch who are convinced that vampires run amok in Morganville. Turns out they're right. Claire and her new friends become vampire bait and must fight to save themselves. Of course, there's more to Claire's roommates than it seems at first glance. The books are a bit silly, but really addicting. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Werewolves
-I love a good dog story. :-)


Shiver and Linger- Maggie Stiefvater
Human falls in love with werewolf. Grace is fascinated by a particular wolf. Sam is a werewolf in his final year of transformation.When they meet in Sam’s human form, their love is instantaneous and immutable. Can they stay together somehow? Beautiful, atmospheric writing. The prose evokes a cold, gray winter day - very fitting with the book's setting. Fabulous use of lyrics and Rielke poems to hype up the romance. Haunting, sad, sweet, angsty, wonderful. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

The Dark Divine - Bree DeSpain
Daniel disappeared years ago and his friend Jude came home covered in blood. Now Daniel’s back, Jude hates him, and Jude’s sister Grace is falling in love. Grace and Daniel’s friendship gradually builds into something more - much more real than love at first sight. Paranormal romance with a slow introduction of the paranormal element that eventually turns into a “must keep reading” thriller. Modern Prodigal Son. (Amazon)

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce
Scarlett and Rosie March are skilled werewolf hunters and have been ever since a wolf killed their grandmother and horribly scarred Scarlett. While Scarlett lives for the hunt, Rosie longs for a normal life. Perhaps a life involving romance with Silas, their long-time friend and hunting partner. But life starts moving quickly when a huge influx of wolves come into Atlanta and Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas go hunting. Great werewolf mythology - they're monsters rather than big furry, cute dogs. Good mix of suspenseful plot and fun, likeable characters. (Amazon)

Witchcraft
-There are witches and wizards other than Harry Potter? Shocking, but true.


Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Ethan is entranced with the mysterious, dark new girl. Lena is a caster, a witch, who is on the cusp of discovering whether she is innately good or evil. Full of great side characters like Link, Macon, Amma, and Liv and a warm, slow, mysterious Southern Gothic setting. Ethan learns that his and Lena's worlds are more linked that he could have imagined as the series continues. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
Sophie is a witch who's been exiled to Hex Hall, a boarding school for paranormals. In addition to finding her way in a new school, Sophie must worry about mysterious attacks on students. Surprisingly funny for a paranormal drama/romance. Lots of different, fun takes on paranormal creatures (like vampires). Fabulous ending. (Amazon)

Once A Witch - Carolyn MacCullough
The only Talentless girl in a family of sorcerers, Tamsin lives in the shadows. She agrees to do a task for a stranger, pretending to be her sister, and discovers that there is a lot more to this little task than she expected. What's more, Tamsin is not the girl she thought she was. Teamed up with handsome Gabriel, she must save her entire family. Sweet, fun, and page-turning. An inventive twist on paranormal/witchcraft books. (Amazon)

Fairies
-Tinkerbell's come a long way.


Lament - Maggie Stiefvater
Deirdre meets Luke at a music competition and the attraction is incredible. One problem: Luke is an assassin for a faery queen and Deirdre should have been his next target. Deirdre has the ability to see faeries which makes her a very powerful person. Together, Luke and Deirdre must battle the Iron queen. Great faery lore - many are evil beings but others are kind, almost human. There are also humans who spend so much time in faery land that they aren't really human anymore. Beautiful writing - verdant. The prose feels like green grass and rainbow-colored flowers. (Amazon)

Iron King, Iron Daughter, and Iron Queen - Julia Kagawa
Meghan Chase discovers that she is the daughter of great fairy king Oberon. Half-fairy and half-mortal, Meghan can withstand the iron that cripples full-blooded fairies. Meghan initially goes into the Never Never to rescue her kidnapped brother, but it turns into a three-book journey to save the entire fairy world from the iron fey. Great character growth through the series: Meghan starts out simpering and boring and turns into a confident, capable, kick-butt warrior. Love triangle between dark and handsome Winter Prince Ash and best friend, funny Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow). Coolest cat character. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2, Amazon 3)

Wings and Spells - Aprilynne Pike
Finally a story where the faeries are the good guys. Laurel discovers that she is a faery who was sent to live with a human family. Laurel reconnects with her faery heritage when her family is threatened by a group of trolls who want access to the faery gate on Laurel’s property. Features a love triangle between two equally good, sweet guys, Tamani and David. A sweeter, more innocent story than most fey novels, but still has moments of action. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Glimmerglass - Jenna Black
Alternate universe where every knows fairies exist. The co-exist with humans only in Avalon, which is just outside London. Dana goes to visit her father in Avalon and gets twisted up in political intrigue that threatens her freedom and her life. She can't trust anyone: her father, her new friends, her aunt...especially once they realize that Dana is a Faeriewalker. (Amazon)

Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr
Enthralling, edgy fairy book. Aislinn has the Sight to see fairies, but must keep it a secret. Keenan, a cursed Summer Prince, finds her and must have her for his Summer Queen. But Aisleen doesn't need a king; she loves her boyfriend Seth. Two essentially "good" main characters who have needs opposite the other. Is there a way everyone can win? (Amazon)

Angels
-For someone who really doesn't like angel mythology, I sure read a lot of them this year.


Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
Norah is both repulsed and attracted by Patch. He alternates between being lewd and intensely romantic - a “bad boy” with a hint of something more. Norah’s human life suddenly collides with the dangerous yet sexy world of fallen angels. A suspenseful psychological thriller that will have you turning the pages. (Amazon)

Blue Bloods: The Van Alen Legacy and Misguided Angel - Melissa de la Cruz
Old school wealthy "blue-bloods" are really vampires. More specifically, vampires descended from angels. If you like angel and vampire mythology, you'll love this. The series becomes less about shallow rich kids and more about a great battle between good and evil as the books go on. Prominent love triangle between the hot, sweet, powerful guy and the best friend. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

Fallen - Lauren Kate
Dark, Southern gothic, fallen angel romance. Luce feels a strong, unexplainable connection to gorgeous, bad-boy Daniel at her new reform boarding school. Add handsome Cam to create a love triangle. Twists and turns as the mystery and danger builds and you don’t know who you should trust. (Amazon)

Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton
Celtic mythology brought to life. Goblins exist and are threatening Teagan’s family. Finn, Teagan’s cute, Irish, unrelated-cousin, is cursed/destined to fight all goblins. When the goblins kidnap Teagan’s father, Finn, Teagan, and her adorable brother Aidan go into the goblin world to rescue him. Goblins are cunning and cruel and far more intertwined in Teagan’s life than she ever imagined. Tyger Tyger connects goblin mythology to the popular fallen angel mythology. (Amazon)

Everything Else...
-Either too few paranormals to create a category or something entirely to itself.


Wake, Fade and Gone- Lisa McMann
Janie is cursed by the gift of seeing other people's dreams - good ones, creepy ones, really bad ones. The daughter of a single alcoholic mom mired in poverty, her normal life is no better than her dream life. She realizes that she can use her curse to help solve crimes - that some purpose can come from her life. She has a fabulous partner/boyfriend in Cabel, a damaged "bad boy" who becomes a passionate, kind, charismatic boyfriend. As the series goes on, Janie discovers just what possibilities and consequences can come from her dream-catching ability and must decide whether to ignore her gift and cut out everyone around her. The prose is as stark, edgy, and as fast-paced as the story. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2, Amazon 3)

The Ghost And The Goth - Stacey Kade
Fun, light paranormal romance. Popular girl Alona dies unexpectedly. The only person who can now see her ghostly figure is Will, a loser goth. They become an unconventional team: Will helps Alona move on and Alone helps will manage all the ghosts vying for his attention. Will is immediately sympathetic and likeable. Alona takes a little longer for the reader, and even herself, to realize that she's not just an airhead. (Amazon)

White Cat - Holly Black
The White Cat world is just slightly altered from our own. Certain people are born with magic - to do good or evil. Cassel is the only non-magic person in a dysfunctional family of evil curseworkers. Cassel is arrogant, a loner, a minor con artist...but he's also brilliant and naturally a good person. (Amazon)

Dream Girl and Dream Life - Lauren Mechling
Clair Voyante has always had extremely vivid dreams. But after her grandmother gives her a cameo necklace, her dreams start predicting the future! Can Clair use her powers to protect her friends? The mystery/paranormal element of this series is only half the fun. The best parts of this book are Clair's funny and cool friends; her kooky, supportive family; and the depiction of New York City. In fact, New York City is described so thoroughly and so often that it is a character unto itself. (Amazon 1, Amazon 2)

The Rise Of Renegade X - Chelsea Campbell
Damien is proud to be the son of a master villain. And then horrified to discover that he's the illegitimate son of a geeky super-hero. Now his actions will determine whether he becomes a villain or a hero. What seems like an easy choice towards villaindom at first becomes harder as he gets to know his hero family and discovers some disturbing things about his villain mom. Add to that a love triangle between cheating ex-girlfriend Kat and his new sidekick Sarah, and you have a really fun read. (Amazon)

Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey
Tristan Hyde is cursed with an evil twin that causes him to act cruelly and violently at unexpected times. It was Jill's ancestor, a science genius, who started the beast trait in the Hyde family. Now Jekel and Hyde are together again - in high school chemistry class. Tristan convinces Jill to use old family files to try to find a cure to rid himself of the beast before he is irredeemably changed. Tristan is great - dark, haunted, handsome, but also devoted and sweet. Jill is a pretty typical, boring, somewhat likeable girl. (Amazon)

Prophecy Of The Sisters - Michelle Zink
Kind Lia has always been at odds with her difficult twin sister Alice. Then she discovers a prophecyOne sister is the guardian of the gate and the other is the gatekeeper, the only one who can let evil enter. Lia naturally assumes that she is the guardian while her untrustworthy sister is the gate. To her great surprise, Lia is in fact the gate. She desperately wants to prevent the prophecy's fulfillment. With the help of two new friends, Lia embarks on a journey to prevent the gate from opening. Set in the 1890s, the rich prose strongly evokes that time period. Imagine gothic Victorian splendor. (Amazon)

Paranormalcy - Kiersten White
If the thought of another angst-ridden paranormal romance makes you gag, check out Paranormalcy. Evie: Kick-butt vamp/wereworlf/hag fighter who also loves anything pink and longs to go to high school to have her own locker. Lend: Handsome, smart, intriguing, genuinely nice love interest. Plot manages to be light and fun, but also thought-provoking. Are the “good guys” really good? Who or what is Evie? Who can she trust? One action-packed scene after another. (Amazon)

Forgive My Fins - Tera Lynn Childs
Lily is a normal high schooler who is secretly a mermaid princess. By an accidental kiss, she eternally mates herself to her worst enemy Quince. They have to travel to Thalasinnia, the mermaid kingdom, to undo the mating. I loved the well-developed mermaid world and cute sea cliches. Complete fun fluff. (Amazon)

Siren - Tricia Rayburn
A book about sirens, obviously. But just as much, a book about sisters. The main character Vanessa and her love interest Simon are relatable and likable. The paranormal element of sirens is just as creepy as the legend inspiring the story. (Amazon)

The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting
Girl who can sense dead bodies - specifically bodies of those who have been murdered. When teenagers start disappearing, only Violet can find the killer. The book is particularly fascinating because it is told, in part, from the killer's point of view. The story speeds along as Violet goes through every day life, finds love in her best friend Jay, and has to hunt a killer before he hunts her. (Amazon)

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for this list !! There are a lot of awesome books in it and others that I'm going to add in my To Buy List !!
    Happy reading !! =)

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  2. Thanks for compiling such a great list! I am going to copy it and paste it into my TBR list :-)

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  3. Greta list and I've read a good bunch of those books and agree with your assessment :)

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  4. Yay for paranormal day, my favorite! There are so many books on that list I still need to read, I can't wait to get to them. The Dark Divine is one I'm really looking forward to, as is The Body Finder, I just bought it and am dying to start it!

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  5. Awesome list-- thanks for compiling it! I've read a lot of these and know they're great, so I'm adding the rest to my TBR. I was especially glad to see Sunshine, an old favorite, on the list, and a new favorite, Tyger Tyger. :)

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  6. I just started Vampire Academy, and I loooooved it. Now I get what the hype is about haha great list, as usual, Alison! :)

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  7. Thanks so much for the list!

    For some reason, I never realized that Sunshine was a vampire novel . . . but I'd read it anyway, since I love McKinley's novels.

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  8. Wow! What a wonderful list! Thanks for taking the time to wrangle this one up.

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  9. I think I've said it for every list, but I love these lists! Thank you so much for putting them together. They look like they took a lot of time and effort.

    Pretty much everything here is either on my already read list or my TBR. It's nice to see them all together like this.

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  10. Gahhhh stop adding all these good books to my to-read list! :)

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