Midsummer Favorites

Hey y'all! Welcome to Words Like Silver!Today I'm doing a post on my favorite books of 2012. I am so excited about some of these books. I stayed up until four last night (er...this morning) reading some books from BEA and am so happy that I found a new favorite. So here goes!

Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

Payback is paradise in this start to a trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently...” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

I love love love Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han is awesome so I was expecting to adore this, which I did. Siobhan Vivian has this way of writing incredibly complex characters and twists and making her books both entertaining and thoughtful. Jenny Han comes up with the most beautiful prose and her characters are poignant. They're both so incredibly incredible and I was speechless by the time I finished this. I was expecting to love it, but not as much as I loved The List and The Summer I Turned Pretty. Especially because normally I can't stand drama books. Everything about this book was just completely spot-on for me. A lot of the time, "revenge" books reveal characters that are petty but learning why they wanted revenge and seeing the characters discover themselves just made me love them more. I can't point out a flaw. I want to gush for hours about it. I finished this book at about midnight last night and could not fall asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it, so this was the book that spurred my impromptu read-a-thon. I am obsessed with it.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Wendy Higgins has crafted a paranormal romance that I could not put down. It was utterly delicious and compelling. The characters were wonderful and intoxicating. The writing style was lovely. THE PLOT! THE ROMANCE! It was hot and dreamy and I was obsessing over it. Anna is a sweet girl and is completely disarmed when she meets Kai. The system of the demons was so clean and it was perfect. I can't describe my love for this book. I can honestly say that it's one of my favorite paranormal romances. It is similar to other books, but everything about it just makes it stand out. It's on the next level.

Venom by Fiona Paul

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

I have come to the conclusion that Fiona Paul is psychic. How else could she have guessed EXACTLY what I wanted in a book? With a devastating and dark mystery, rich setting, swoonworthy romance, and gripping writing style, I adored Venom. Fiona Paul had this way of making you think one thing and then changing your perceptions about nearly every character at each chapter. It was addicting and BEAUTIFUL. The time period was indulgent. The imagery painted the most incredible pictures in my mind. There's this quality that it evoked, one that I haven't felt since I read Twilight for the first time that was just so unlike anything else that it blew me away. This is definitely a unique read that will come HIGHLY recommended by me to anybody who asks for a book recommendation.

Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge— he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues— and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Paper Towns was the first John Green book that I ever read and is probably my favorite. The other books impacted me more, but this book has a quirkier writing style that really drew me into it. The pranks that Quentin pulled reminded me of something that my brother would do and they really just reminded me of my life. I related more to it because it was more familiar to me. It was funny, sad, and really just the most memorable to me of John Green's works. I loved reading it and stayed up reading it way past when I should have been asleep.

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for the love that keeps her holding on.

Susane Colasanti made me cry. Many, many times throughout this book. It twisted my heart because there were all these things going on that shouldn't have been happening to the main character, Noelle. Everything in this book was just so wrong and it was all horribly true. This book is memorable to me and touched me. Nobody should have to go through what Noelle did. Her selfish mom hated her for existing, her teachers did nothing about the bullying going on right in front of them, and nobody helped her. She was going through hell. The character development, romance, friendship, family, themes....everything about this book just blew me away. Susane Colasanti has done a marvelous thing by writing this.

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

 Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.

Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.

First of all, this book is where I got the title for this post. I read it last night and this is by far (in my mind) Kody's best work. I also met her at BEA and she is awesome. I love everything about this book. Whitley was flawed and she needed to be and the character development was PERFECT! The basic premise was awesome and it was fabulous seeing how Whitley developed and how her relationships with other people changed (especially with Nathan, because that relationship was slightly incestuous). Bianca and Wesley from Kody's first book, The Duff, made cameos. It was funny, sharp, raw, and just overall the perfect read to start the summer. It was incredibly entertaining.

Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkableWill's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.

Wow. This is definitely a quieter book, but it didn't impact me any less. Lauren Oliver's other books have gotten more attention than this one, but while Before I Fall and her Delirium series are excellent, this book was extremely different. There isn't as much stunning prose. It's not as agonizing or passionate. But it is emotional, lovely, and thoughtful. Will was a great character. Liesl and Po's friendship developed throughout the book and while the book was mainly "plot driven", the characters were the true beauty. The ending was beautiful and the story was entertaining. This quieter book deserves a spot on everybody's shelves.

Waking Storms by Sarah Porter

After parting ways with her troubled mermaid tribe, Luce just wants to live peacefully on her own. But her tranquility doesn't last long: she receives news that the tribe is on the verge of collapse and desperately needs her leadership. Anais, their cruel queen, wants Luce dead. Dorian, the boy Luce broke mermaid law to save, is determined to make her pay for her part in the murder of his family. And while the mermaids cling to the idea that humans never suspect their existence, there are suddenly ominous signs to the contrary.But when Luce and Dorian meet, they start to wonder if love can overpower the hatred they know they should feel for each other. Luce's new friendship with an ancient renegade mermaid gives her hope that her kind might someday change their murderous ways. But how can Luce fulfill her rightful role as queen of the mermaids without sacrificing her forbidden romance with Dorian?Full of miraculous reunions and heart-pounding rescues, this haunting second installment in the Lost Voices Trilogy finds Luce eager to attempt reconciliation with humans—as long as war doesn't break out first.

Waking Storms has this incredibly evocative feel that's very hard to find. The description takes you to the beach. I could practically taste the salt, the sun, and the malicious feel of the ocean and of summer storms was dark and gorgeous. Everything about this book made me feel alive and I loved it. Not only do I simply adore mermaid books, but this one is a series that I reread over and over. Thanks to my friend, I was able to read it early and I fell in love with it. If I could give a thousand stars to this book, I would. Utterly haunting.

Those were some of my favorite books to start the year off with! I hope y'all enjoyed! I hit a streak last night because all of the books that I read (Burn for Burn, Keep Holding On, and A Midsummer's Nightmare) all made the list. Stay tuned for reviews coming closer to release dates for some of these! I'm so happy that I got to read those and I can't wait to see what incredible books that the rest of the year is going to bring. Thank y'all!Grace