Top 10 of '12

Lots of people have been doing top 12 in '12 lists, and I did a top 11 in '11 last year. However, I think I'm ready to go back to top 10 lists. So here are my top 10 books of 2012!

#10 I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This book did a great job of keeping me on my toes and out of breath. Loved it!

#9 Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
GoodReads | Amazon*
I'm always so happy when I find a great historical fiction, and this was a GREAT historical fiction. I laughed, I cried, and then I cried more. So wonderful. And Ruta is awesome.

#8 Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst
GoodReads | Amazon*
I haven't had a chance to review this yet, but it was AWESOME. Sarah Beth Durst's particular brand of awesome. I love her ability to tell a story that makes me feel like I've been swallowed into a fairy tale.

#7 Reached, by Ally Condie
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This was my least favorite in the series, I think, but I still adored it. I love how Ally is able to create these authentic characters and make a story that makes me want to hear about every aspect of their lives. They're so great!

#6 For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
I'm a sucker for Jane Austen, and I'm a sucker for sci-fi. Put them together and what do you get? The brilliant Diana Peterfreund! I really want to see more of this world. I'm all for stand-alones, but I want more from this one!

#5 Fury of the Phoenix, by Cindy Pon
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
Speaking of amazingly developed characters, Cindy Pon wins the prize for BEST. VILLAIN. EVER. Honestly, I have never experienced such a highly developed character in my life. He was pure evil, and yet I could utterly sympathize with him. This is actually the sequel to Silver Phoenix but it's in this one that we really get to know the villain. This is one of those books that I wish I could erase my memory of it so I could read it again for the first time.

#4 The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
This book was like a dream. It's the kind of book that you have to let wash over you like a warm waterfall. It's a lovely feeling, but if you look straight into the stream it'll hurt. Ooh. I rather like that analogy.

#3 Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
I think I may have actually preferred Scarlet to Cinder, but I couldn't decide right now so I went with the first book in the series. Marissa has developed an enchanting world that I would love to explore, Lunars and all. And although many people were annoyed by the "predictability" of the first book, I thought everything fit perfectly together to make a great story. And just so you know, there's NO predictability in the sequel!

#2 Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
GoodReads | Amazon* | My Review
Oh it was SO HARD for me to decide between first and second place. Having this book in second place should be a testament to how great I think the first place book is because Shadow and Bone is brilliant. The magic system, the culture, and the characters. All of it came together to create a world so beautiful it nearly brought me to tears. The map of this world has been my computer's desktop background since it came out. I never want to forget it.

#1 Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor
GoodReads | Amazon*
So I was in love with the first book in this series, but now I feel like a fool. Even the first book can't hold a candle to this one. While the first book had magic and mystery and a wonderful plot, this book has power. That's the best way I can describe it. The plot had power, the characters had power, each emotion had power. It was just plum powerful. This is the kind of book that I abandoned homework, play, and food for. It's that good.

What about you? Were any of these on your best of 2012 list? Are there any you've never heard of? Are there any missing that you loved?

Happy new year!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Year in Review: 2012

This hasn't been my best year in blogging. I think I definitely slacked off a bit (senior year, ya know). Hopefully 2013 will be even better!

EDIT: This should have gone up at 11:59pm on 12/31/12. Dunno why it didn't.

Here is my year-end statistics post:

As of 11:59pm on 12/31/12

Followers: 1,714 (Up 331 from last year.)
Newsletter Subscribers Gained: 80
Twitter Followers: 1,219 (Up 438 from last year.)
2012 Blog Posts: 208 (total 892)
Books Read: 48 (Not quite as pathetic as 2009, but still pretty sad.)
Average Time Taken per book: 5 days
Pages Read: 27,927 (Approx. 377 pages per book)

Books Reviewed: 37 (List Below)
2012 Squeaky Books: 12 (Total 66)
2011 Semi-Squeaky Books: 8 (Total 39)

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Read-a-Thon Day #3

More pathetic read-a-thon stats. *sigh*

Reading Progress:

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 0
  • Total time read: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling: I'm thinking that I'll read tomorrow. My brain is tired from so much crafting.

Cyborg Arm Progress:

  • Completed Today: Cut out chest and back guards
  • To-Do Tomorrow: Mold inner arm, cut out pattern for shirt
  • Episodes of Doctor Who Watched: 0
  • Episodes of Fringe Watched: 0
  • Episodes of Downton Abbey Watched: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling: Worn down. I can't do much more until my new can of spray paint gets here, so I think it's time for a break.

This might be my most epic-fail read-a-thon ever.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Read-a-Thon Day #2

Oh dear. I believe I'm going to fail at my own read-a-thon. I truly am obsessed with this cyborg arm I'm making, and I know I won't have time after the semester starts so I'm trying to get as much done as possible now. Eeps! So, here are my pathetic read-a-thon stats. Hopefully yours are better:

Reading Progress:

  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 0
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 0
  • Total time read: 0
  • How I'm currently feeling: Lame. I wish I could split my focus between reading and costume design, but I've got a one-track mind.

Cyborg Arm Progress:

  • Completed Today: plastic molding & sanding completed on finger joints, shoulder guard, and outer arm. Inner arm pattern completed and cut out.
  • To-Do Tomorrow: paint shoulder guards
  • Episodes of Doctor Who Watched: 2
  • Episodes of Fringe Watched: 3.5
  • Episodes of Downton Abbey Watched: 1
  • How I'm currently feeling: Frustrated, but persistent. The weather is so bad that I can't do any work on my cyborg arm outdoors. And much of it requires places with lots of ventilation (namely the heating of the plastic and the painting). That means that I'm going to end up working in my basement with all the windows open.

I can watch TV while I'm working on the arm, but it's too bad I can't read while I'm working on it. I'd be reading like crazy!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Read-a-Thon Starting Line!

It's time to start your eyeballs!

The read-a-thon technically starts now, but I'm going to go to sleep. I can't read if I'm tired. And it's a crazy blizzard here which always makes me sleepy.

For your first post, would you please share all the books you hope to read during the read-a-thon? Either leave a comment with the titles, or a link to your post.

Here are mine. I hope to read at least three from this list (excluding Witchlanders):
  • Witchlanders (Partially read already)
  • Seige and Storm
  • Shades of Earth
  • Asunder
  • Stormdancer
  • Shadowfell
  • Falling Kingdoms
  • Curse of the Wendigo
  • Frostfire
I hope I can get through three! But I'm also really consumed with my project to create a fake cyborg arm right now. So... I might get distracted.

Good luck! What are you reading?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Best of 2012 Contest!

2012 is almost over, so let's take a look forward so you can win some of the best books of 2012!

As y'all saw, I posted the Squeakers' Best of 2012 list on Monday. Well do you want to win some of those books? Do ya? Do ya?! Well, now you can!

This contest is going to focus on some of the 2013 releases I'm most excited about. As is tradition, it's a GUESS THE COVER contest! I tried to make them as hard as I could, so brace yourselves! Some of these I've talked about on Squeaky Books. Some I haven't. Some are easier then others. Some I'm hoping are so hard that NO ONE will guess them. Muahahaha! I'm so evil(even though I've never succeeded)

  • Below are cover snippets of 16 different YA 2013 releases
  • The more you guess correctly, the more entries you get!
  • Fill out the form to enter
  • You must name at least ONE cover correctly in order to be entered
  • Winner(s) will be randomly chosen
  • Winner(s) will get to choose their prize(s) from the Squeakers' Best of 2012 list
  • One winner will be selected randomly
  • The first person to get all 16 correct WITHIN 24 HOURS will also win
  • INTERNATIONAL (To anywhere TBD ships) 
  • You must be 13 years old or older
  • Ends 12-31-12 9:59pm MST
  • Winner announced 1-2-13
I no longer require people to be followers to enter my contests, but there is a question about how/if you follow. Don't stress about your answer. I'm just curious.

I think that covers(ha!) everything. Ready to see the covers? Remember, these are all 2013 releases:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

End of Year Read-a-Thon 2012!

I think the name of this read-a-thon says it all. Have you reached your goal? Yeah, me neither. *glares at all you goal-finishers* But the year isn't over yet! We may have procrastinated, but there's still hope!

Even if you have met your goal, I hope you'll join us for the oh-my-word-the-year-is-over-and-I-haven't-reached-my-goal read-a-thon!

The read-a-thon will go from 12:01am MST on December 27th and go until 11:59pm MST on December 29th.

This is a self-motivated read-a-thon. What does that mean? Well, in a nutshell it means I won't be giving away any books or prizes. You're participating just for the love of reading. This way there's no pressure to skip out on holiday festivities in order to participate.

There will be only 4 updates (instead of one every 2 hours. Geez. What was I thinking?). At the start of the read-a-thon, 24 hours, 48 hours, and the end of the read-a-thon. And I'll provide a Mr. Linky here for you to link up.

No mini challenges. I want you to focus on reading.

Well? Is anyone out there interested in participating? Or will I be read-a-thon-ing by myself? Sign up using the Mr. Linky if you're going to join in the fun. If you don't have a blog, feel free to sign up and just link back to my blog. :) Below Mr. Linky is where you can grab the read-a-thon button. If you do post it on your website, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can come look!

<a href=""><img src="" height="320" width="162" ></a>

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Squeakers' Picks of 2012

Here are the top YA 2012 releases as chosen by Squeaky Books readers!
Psst. This post looks better on the actual blog, rather than a feed reader. Just sayin'.

Tada! It's that time of year again! Although I didn't have as many people vote this year, there were 130 books nominated. That's crazy! There are some pretty clear standouts for the first few choices, but some of the books were separated by only one vote! If you'd like to see last year's list, CLICK HERE. And here's the list for 2010. And now on to this year's list! As always, I will include a link to this (just 'cause it's funny).

Also I'll mention that these books will feature prominently in an upcoming contest (if you've been following the blog since last year you might know what that contest is). I'd advise you start brushing up on your 2013 releases...

And now the list!

#12 (With 5 votes each) 
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen (Amazon | Goodreads)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (Amazon | Goodreads | My Review)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (Amazon | Goodreads)
Unspoken by Sara Rees Brennan (Amazon | Goodreads)

#11 (With 6 votes each)
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (Amazon | Goodreads)
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Amazon | Goodreads | My Review)
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (Amazon | Goodreads | My Review)
Reached by Ally Condie (Amazon | Goodreads | My Review)

#10 (With 8 votes)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas ( Goodreads | Amazon )
My Thoughts: I was super psyched for this book. Especially because of the PHENOMENAL UK cover. But it's gotten too many mixed reviews for me to try it anytime soon. There are just too many books that I want to read to risk it right now. Though I hope to read it eventually.

#9 (With 9 votes)
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor ( Goodreads | Amazon )
My Thoughts: Yes. Yes. A million times yes. This book is in the running for my favorite of the year. It's just... gah. Amazing. Review up soon!

#8 (With 10 votes)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein ( Goodreads | Amazon )
My Thoughts: I was not interested at all in this book, but so many people say that they love it that I might have to rethink that.

#7 (With 14 votes)
Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
My Thoughts: So... I really didn't like this book. But I'm glad other people have. All books deserve to be loved. Right?

#6 (With 15 votes)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossie ( Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
My Thoughts: Yay! So glad people remembered that this came out this year. I really liked this book and I can't wait for the sequel.

#5 (With 16 votes)
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore ( Goodreads | Amazon )
My Thoughts: I bought Fire THE DAY it came out. Have I read it yet? No. Dunno why my passion for this series died, but it did. Is it worth getting back into the series for this book? 

#4 (With 23 votes)
The Fault in our Stars by John Green ( Goodreads | Amazon )
My Thoughts: I'm not a contemporary fan, nor am I historically a John Green fan. But even I understand that this book has a powerful effect on people, and for that I respect it a lot. 

#3 (With 26 votes)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth ( Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
My Thoughts: No surprise to see this here.Can V-Roth do no wrong? (P.S. She TOTALLY looks like Mary Crawley.)

#2 (With 29 votes)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer ( Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
My Thoughts: YAY! I really liked this book. It's so cute! The only thing more cute and fun than this book is Marissa herself. And peeps, I'm reading Scarlet right now and liking it EVEN MORE!

#1 (With 34 votes)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ( Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
My Thoughts: This book... if you've been following my blog since June you know how much I love this book. I embroidered a shirt for hours for this book. I'm SOOOOO happy it won first place. It totally deserves it. If you haven't read it yet, DOOOO IT!!

Well? What do we think? Is it close to what you have on your personal top books of 2012 list? I'll be posting my top 12 in '12 list at the very end of the year. Quite a few of my top 12 books appear on this list, which makes me happy. It's good to know that y'all like what I like. Even though... I guess I could have guessed that.

Check back soon for the giveaway!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Megan Whalen Turner in Utah!!

Remember that today is the last day to vote for your favorite YA books of 2012! Please vote!

And in very important news, 

She's coming to LTUE this February. Click here to check it out!

That is all.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Holiday Reading! Read-a-thon?

Wahoo! If you're reading this, finals week is finally over! Even though my finals week wasn't very hard, it still felt like FINALS WEEK and so I had this strange guilt about reading. But that's gone now, and it's time to read!!!

I am WOEFULLY behind on my reading goal, but I hope to read at least TEN BOOKS before I go back to school on January 7th. The the top ten books I'm hoping to get to can be seen in this list, but what I want to know from YOU is...

Who wants to read-a-thon?!

In order to meet my goal I would LOVE to have another read-a-thon (last year's read-a-thon button is pictured). If you would be interested in participating, please let me know which of the following dates are better for you:

December 21-23
December 27-29

Or if there are enough people who want to do both, we can do both! Let me know in the comments!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

TWO DAYS LEFT! Please Nominate favorite YA books of 2012!

There are only two days left to vote for your favorite YA books of 2012, and I have less than HALF the usual votes! PLEASE VOTE!! And please share this link on twitter, facebook, or wherever. I know the chances of any of you doing that are very slim, but I thought I'd try!

Remember, voters get entered to win an AWESOME prize pack of books!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012


I'll try to make this a short-ish story:

I've always loved the idea of cosplay. I was an actress all through high school and the idea of dressing up and pretending to be a well-loved character is great. I was always too self-conscious to do it until I made these new friends who also think that it's cool. Hence, I now do cosplay (I'm working on one right now and it's epic).

HOWEVER, I have always looked down on fan-fiction. To me it was the "lesser art" meant to be sneered at. Creepy, anti-social nerd-geeks in their basements wrote fan-fiction. (How many of you have I offended yet?) BUT, these same friends are writers of fan fiction. And... after a little bit of persuasion I tried my hand at it.

It's. So. Fun.

Do I still think of it as a "lesser art"? Heck yes. The majority of the people who write fan-fiction have very little talent. But there are gems hidden within the dreck. But the real magic in fan-fiction is how easy it is. I recently posted on twitter: "[my] fan-fiction is now over 3000 words. Why am I so much more motivated to write this than my current WIP?"

Two which a very wise person (who will remain unnamed since I didn't get his/her permission) responded: "Because there is no pressure and you love the characters, of course."

And that got me thinking. Fan fiction is the perfect stepstool to original story writing. The world and characters are already there, and so it's just an exercise in creating true characters, interesting plots, and engaging dialogue. There's no pressure to come up with something totally new and original.

Of course, this is still coming on the heels of this post over at WORD for Teens, which I totally agree with. I do not believe that fan fiction should be published. I just don't. But, at least for me, it has been very eye opening.

I have often convinced myself that I'm just not cut out to be a writer because I don't have the passion for it. But this has showed me that I DO. I'm writing a prequel right now, and with some idea of where the story should end up, I get SO EXCITED to write new things! In the past three days I have written FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED WORDS. In THREE DAYS.

(For your comparison, my original WIP (which I started in January 2012) is currently 9,400 words long and I haven't written anything since July.)

Needless to say I'm now conflicted. I used to think fan-fiction was a dark pit where characters went to die. But now... I kinda like it. Writing it, at least. I'm still warming up to reading it.

So how do you feel about fan-fiction? 
Do you read/write it? Do you ignore it? Are you passionately against it ? I want to know!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Book Advice Needed 2012!

All right, if you've been following this blog for a while then you know about my grandparents tradition. Every Christmas they take all of their grandkids out to eat, and then to the bookstore to choose books for their Christmas presents. I am incapable of choosing right away, so my grandma gives me time to make a list and then go home and think about it.

That's where you come in.

I've narrowed it down to five books, which is not as many as I usually get. So if you have any suggestions for more, please share! I also want your opinions on these five. Most of these I'd never even heard of before today (which is so exciting!), which means I'll need all the help I can get. If you've read any/all PLEASE take a minute to comment with your thoughts. In general I'm looking for four things:

Is this book good?
Does it have a lot of harsh profanity?
Would you be interested in a review from me about it?
Are there any that you think I should add to my list?
(I didn't find as many as I wanted this year)

By profanity I mean does it have more than 2 f-words. I'm fine with pretty much anything else. So here are the books:

Stefan Petrucha
(Goodreads | Amazon)

The Bridge
Jane Higgins
(Goodreads | Amazon)
My Thoughts: I do love serial killer books. However, the description says it has "whip-smart" dialogue, which usually means annoying and petulant in my experience.
My Thoughts: The most interesting thing about this book [for me at least] is the idea of the "hostiles." I'm imagining something like I Am Legend or something. But it's published by a relatively small publisher. And I'm always wary of those.

The Last Dragonslayer
Jasper Fforde
(Goodreads | Amazon)

Warm Bodies
Isaac Marian
(Goodreads | Amazon)
My Thoughts: Magic is fading away because of technology? COOL! Or really cheesy.
My Thoughts: The movie trailer for this looks SO FUNNY. And I've wanted to read the book for a while anyway. What do you think? Winner?

Jay Kristoff
(Goodreads | Amazon)

Your recommendation goes here!

I didn't find as many books as I like to. And I'm not uber-excited about most of these. If you have suggestions, please feel free to suggest them!
I generally prefer books that I haven't heard of before for this list. Not sequels, etc.
My Thoughts: Some of my blogger friends have RAVED about this book, but I haven't gotten it yet. Anyone else want to rave (either positive or negative)?

THANK YOU! I'll let y'all know which ones I choose! And if you're curious, here's the list from 2010 and here's 2011.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


You may have noticed my absence (or more likely, you didn't). Somehow I managed to only have ONE final this semester, but that means that all my other classes have huge projects due the last week of class (this week).

Instead of limping along this week I'm just going to declare a week on hiatus for Squeaky Books. While I'm gone PLEASE vote for your favorite YA books of 2012!

I'll be back on Monday (12/10) with fun stuff!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Mini-Reviews (4)

Here's a few books that I read a few weeks ago and I don't remember a whole lot of details. Hence, mini-reviews! These are a great way to smoosh down that "waiting to be reviewed" list, too! The rating for each book is in (parenthesis) next to the title and author name.

Crewel, Gennifer Albin (2.5)
(Goodreads | Amazon)

I think that the premise for this book is AMAZING. However, the author thinks I'm a little smarter than I really am. Never was the system of magic explained, or what kind of world they lived in that let this work, etc. etc. The world-building just wasn't there. I had no sense for scope or culture or... anything. Sure, these things were MENTIONED, but never explained. It was like the author thought that I already knew everything there was to know. Sometimes I wondered if this was actually a sequel that I had accidentally picked up.

The ending of the book was REALLY cool, and I'm interested to see where the story goes. But I wouldn't say that I'm "eager" to get my hands on the next book because I'm still really, really confused.

Monstrous Beauty, Elizabeth Fama (4)
(Goodreads | Amazon)

Woah. This book was kind of amazing. Beth has an unnatural ability to weave together horror, history, and fantasy. I loved every minute of this book! The main character got on my nerves, but she's supposed to so it didn't take away from the story.Only took it down 1-star because of a few uses of very harsh (and unnecessary) profanity. But if that kind of stuff doesn't bother you, 5-stars.

Sweet Shadows, Tera Lynn Childs (3.5)
(Goodreads | Amazon)

I didn't love this book as much as I did the first. It didn't offer me enough new stuff. I felt like the plot of this book was REALLY interesting, but moving in slow motion. Not a lot happened for a 300 page book. But I totally understand what the purpose of this book is: it "humanized" the "bad guys" and let us see into their world. Although I wasn't super impressed with this book by itself, I think it's done a great job setting us up for a great climax in book 3!

For Darkness Shows the Stars, Diana Peterfreund (5)
(Goodreads | Amazon)

Um... what can I say about this book? Its awesomeness surpasses all words. Seriously. I love how Diana managed to use Persuasion as inspiration, but I didn't feel like I already knew what was going to happen. My ONLY complaint is that I wish I could have seen more of the world. I wanted to spend a day in the lives of the reduced. I wanted to experience the plague! I wanted to see what caused humanity to wipe itself out. Or in other words: I want a prequel! I really really want one. Or more than one. If you like Jane Austen storylines, and you like sci-fi and steampunk, you will be head over heels for this book.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
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