Friday, February 7, 2014

Best of the Bunch & Challenge Update - January 2014

I'm a little late with my January Best of the Bunch, but better late than never, right?

Best of the Bunch is a book blog hop hosted over at Always Lost in Stories on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read over this past month and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favorite book of that month.

January 2014

So, the new year has brought me lots of good books!

This month I reviewed the following:

  • Twisted by Holly Hook | Review | Rating: 3/5
  • The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead | Review | Rating 5/5
  • Buzz by Anders de la Motte | Review | Rating 3/5
  • Anomaly by Krista McGee | Review | Rating 4/5
  • Luminary by Krista McGee | Review | Rating 3.5/5
  • Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic | Review | Rating 4/5
  • Savor by Kate Evangelista | Review | Rating 3/5
  • The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro | Review | Rating 3.5/5
      • The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan | Review | Rating 5/5
      • Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston  | Review | Rating 4/5
      • UnSouled by Neal Shusterman | Review | Rating: 4/5
      • Echoes by Therin Knite | Review | Rating 4.5/5
        • You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle | Review | Rating 4/5
        • Insanity by Cameron Jace | Review | Rating 4/5
        • The Page Turners by Kevin T. Johns | Review | Rating: 3.5/5
          And my December 2013 Best of the Bunch winner is . . .

          The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

          This month's winner was really easy to pick.  The Boys of Summer won hands-down.  I think I just connected with this book in so many ways - it brought up all the best memories of young love!

          Summary: It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

          Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

          To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

          How did she let her friends talk her into working?

          After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

          All with the one boy she has never been able to forget. 

          It will be a summer she will always remember. 

          Now that you know what I read in January, here's how those books fit into the various challenges I've entered for 2014:

          Hosted by: The Mad Reviewer
          Goal: Mad Reviewer (104 books)
          Read So Far: 14

          Goal: 50 Books
          Read So Far: 11

          Hosted by: Ariel Avalon
          Read So Far: 3

          Goal: Gold (7-11 Series)
          Read So Far: 0 (I don't think I've finished any series yet!)

          Hosted by: Fiktshun and Phantasmic Reads
          Goal: Adept (40+ books)
          Read So Far: 9 (but I missed the link-up for January - I'm still counting these toward my goal, though!)

          Hosted by: Blog of Erised
          Goal: Leader (19+ books)
          Read So Far: 3

          Hosted by: Bookish
          Goal: Married With Children (50+ books)
          Read So Far: 4

          Hosted by: Falling for YA
          Goal: Bronze (10 books) - though I might try for Silver (25 books)
          Read So Far: 3