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Beauty Roses
So, I’m a few days away from sending my editor Novella #3 (THE ASSASSIN AND THE CAPITAL), and in the meantime, I'm gearing up to write TOG Book 2, and outlining Novella #4. Yet, somehow, despite all that, I’ve been reading up a storm lately. And reading REALLY. GOOD. BOOKS.

I think it’s been a while since I did any book recommendations, and if you guys are ever looking for books to read, there’s a whole bunch of links in the sidebar of this blog. To be honest, for a while, I felt like I was in a bit of a reading slump—but then January hit and I seriously just read one awesome book after another that it’s NO WONDER I’m so tired every morning…I’ve been staying up way, way past my bedtime to read all of these!

Last week, I feel in LOVE with the TORN series by Erica O’Rourke. Like, head-over-heels, so-much-awesome-I-might-die kinda love. I cannot begin to tell you how much I adored TORN and its sequel, TANGLED. Like, I get kinda emotional talking about it because I love these books THAT much.

On the surface, TORN might look like your usual YA paranormal romance. But it is so, so much more. (Yes, there is a love triangle--and it is executed WONDERFULLY). Seriously, this book FLOORED me. It was different and fresh and swept me up for an amazing ride.

What I didn’t realize going into the book was that Erica took the whole “Chosen/Special Girl” scenario and turned it on its head. Hell, Erica dumped that cliché in the river. TORN is basically the story of what happens AFTER the “Chosen One” fails—what if the beautiful/perfect “special” girl didn’t succeed? What if she died and didn’t fulfill her purpose? What would happen to the people left in her wake?

It’s part romance, part grief narrative, part story of the vital importance and beauty of female friendships. And okay, the US cover is great, but LOOK at the German cover! Holy crap, right?

And Colin. If you read this book, you’ll understand. Colin might be my favorite YA (Paranormal) love interest of ALL TIME. *sigh* Seriously, do yourself a favor and read TORN. Clear your schedule, curl up on the couch, and read it.


Another paranormal read that I adored was THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams. It’s adult fantasy (nothing too graphic though), and…God, I am ACHING for the second book. I haven’t read much adult urban fantasy, but this has got me totally hooked. I cried, I laughed, I swooned. The heroine is fierce, the love interests smoldering (and complex! Which is even more important!), the world wonderfully imagined. I spread this book out over a weekend because I wanted to make my reading experience as long as possible. I seriously didn’t want it to end. It’s a fast, delightful, beautiful read, and I am now a HUGE fan of Sandy Williams!


Speaking of adult urban fantasy…Well, I don’t normally read much romance-heavy UF, but I saw a recommendation for DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison on Dark Faerie Tales, and wound up buying the book a few minutes later. And....Oh. My. God. THIS BOOK. THIS SERIES. I gobbled down DRAGON BOUND, then bought the next book (STORM’S HEART), gobbled THAT down, and then bought the third book (SERPENT’S KISS), and gobbled THAT down, too. All in the span of, like, five days.

I now have March 6th circled on my calendar because THAT is the day that Book #4 (ORACLE’S MOON) comes out. The heroines are fun, the heroes are pretty steamy (to say the least), and the world…Oh, I want to live in that world, for some reason. Warning: there IS a good amount of veryyyy intense romantic/sensual-y stuff in the book. Confession: I’m so used to reading YA romance that I nearly fainted during the first romantic scene. And then quickly got over my shock. ;)


And then…UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi. Oh, what an awesome, refreshing YA dystopian. The world is masterfully built, the characters are wonderful and compelling (PERRY. OH, GOD, PERRY.), and there's a perfect blend of action and romance and some hands-down creeptastic stuff (just wait until you read about the cannibals. I still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about them). I am so, so impressed by this book, and I really cannot wait until the sequel releases, because I NEED to know what happens. It’s just…epic and kickass and poignant. Really stellar.


And, since I’ve totally run out of space, I just want to give shout-outs to some awesome new releases: INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows (definitely grab a copy!!!), IN TOO DEEP by Amanda Grace (also known as Mandy Hubbard!!!), and EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (realllly loved this book, too!!).

Anyone have any must-read book recommendations??

Hope you guys are well!!!

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
erin_bowman
Feb. 13th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
You should know that I *finally* bought a copy of TORN after all your gushing. I will read very soon so that we can swoon over Colin together. He sounds marvelous ;)
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
YAYYYY!!!! You MUST let me know what you think about it!!! I still can't stop thinking about the books (...and Colin. Oh, god, I love him).
erin_bowman
Feb. 13th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
And I'm sort of surprised I forgot to gush about Perry with you in my comment. Maybe I already did enough gushing on my own blog? Who knows. Either way, loved that book too! (And I agree. I was in a bit of a reading slump, but then January hit, and holy heck! I am loving it :) )
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, we need to make I <3 Perry t-shirts. I will wear mine every day.
DBetweenpages
Feb. 13th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
YES! PERRY! I love that boy so much! And Roar :) I read Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder recently and it was AMAZING! I think it was one of your recs that made me read Poison Study and I've been in love with her writing ever since :) Oh, and in case you feel in the mood for some MG, Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is so extremely cute, it will leave you smiling all day!
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
YES!!! Perry! Roar!!!! Aghhhh. Yum.

I actually haven't read POISON STUDY, so maybe you're mixing me up with someone else? (Though I bought it a while ago, and maybe mentioned that I'd bought it...? I have the WORST memory, lol).

I've been dying to check out TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE...it sounds absolutely delightful!

So great to hear from you, Daisy!!!! <3
DBetweenpages
Feb. 16th, 2012 06:51 am (UTC)
Lol, my memory's not all it's supposed to be either when it comes to stuff like this ;) It's about 3-4 years ago that I read it, could have easily been someone else. But it was really good, so if you have it, you should definitely read it!
need_tea
Feb. 13th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
*squeals* Under the Never Sky! That German cover is holy crap good. Damn, son. I wanna read Incarnate, Dragon Bound, and The Shadow Reader but no time and no money. DAMN YOU, VALENTINE'S!

Btw, Texas Gothic was fabulous. XD.

Didja ever read StarCrossed and Liar's Game by Elizabeth C. Bunce? So good! It's got thieves, and magic, and all sorts of yummy stuff.
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! SO glad you enjoyed TEXAS GOTHIC. One of the most under-appreciated books of 2011, I think. I frakking LOVED that book.

And no! I never read STARCROSSED...I've heard such great things about it, though. If you liked it, then I'm totally gonna have to move it up on my TBR list!! :D :D
BrigidKemmerer
Feb. 13th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
OMG, your line about fainting from a sex scene after so much YA is totally my life right now. I started reading a steamy adult PNR the other night, and when they started getting naked, I was like, "WHOA. Wait a min...oh. You're adults. Okay."
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
LOL!!! It took me a bit to get adjusted to how...graphic some of the romance scenes are. And the language. But now that I'm totally used to it, I'm HOOKED.

Also, this is why you should totally get Jack & Sarah's story published. It still remains one of my all-time favorite adult UF novels. <3 <3
krlarson
Feb. 13th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
I'm seeing so many book recommendations all over the place. My list of books to read is getting out of control :) Not that I'm complaining. I've been reading a ton, but none of the books (with the exception of DIVERGENT and your novella) have really stuck with me. Hopefully I read some soon that blow me away ;)
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I was in a bit of reading slump for a while, where I read book after book that I didn't connect with, and I was getting REALLY frustrated. Thankfully, I got super-lucky and found some amazing books that totally renewed my love of reading. (I was seriously worried, lol)
camisado007
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
You *must* read Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. Granted it will put more of a dent in your sleep schedule but they are amazing!!!

Actually here is the link for amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Bites-Kate-Daniels-Book/dp/0441014895

Go read it! :)
sjmaas
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, adding it to my TBR pile RIGHT NOW!!!! (lol, just what I need: more books to keep me up into the wee hours of the night!)

Thanks for the rec!!! :D
(Anonymous)
Feb. 14th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Dangit Sarah, I already have a TBR pile that's huge lol. Torn sounds awesome, I was always fond of the idea of "what if the chosen one, failed? who has to pick up the pieces?"


Under the Never Sky sounds cool, you say it has excellent world building, is this a future dystopia with *gasp*, A FUTURE SOCIETY THAT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE?. *clutches hand to chest in surprise, gets vapors*.

marumae
Feb. 14th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
What the, that was me dude, XD.
sjmaas
Feb. 14th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
Hehehe, no worries! :)
sjmaas
Feb. 14th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I heard really good things about TORN, and it STILL exceeded my expectations. Really, you should pick it up. It's wonderful. :)
YahongChi
Feb. 14th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Am reading Under the Never Sky right now (like, almost literally -- just put it down to take a breather and surf the web) and excited for the "epic and kickass and poignant. Really stellar" to culminate in the finale. Because I can sense something grand coming. :D As for Torn -- I picked up Unearthly with its love triangle based on your recommendation, but I'm not sure if I can handle this one, mainly because I think my PNR and love triangle quotas are both full-up, hehe.

So, for some contemporary -- Nina LaCour's The Disenchantments comes out this Wednesday and oh lord, it's so lovely. And Megan Crewe's The Way We Fall -- wow. Best letter/journal style book I've ever read, and usually I hate that stuff. I was reading it all the way through the NHL 2012 All-Star Game, and I'm the biggest fan of hockey ever! :P So basically that's the highest praise I can give it. :)
sjmaas
Feb. 14th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Ooh, you gotta let me know what you think of UTNS when you finish it!!!! I'm so curious to hear your reaction!!!

As for UNEARTHLY vs. TORN...The love triangles are really different. While I adore UNEARTHLY, I think TORN is just...spectacular. Maybe try reading a sample before deciding...?

And ooh, I don't read much/any contemporary, but I will definitely check those out!!!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 14th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
The Way we Fall by Megan Crewe.... just wow. Island, girl, girl's crush on BFF (a guy), a mysterious virus, and its all written in letters and journals.

Also BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood. Dude...move it up on ur TBread pile....THERE's a love interest who loves to read!! He even mentions having a literary/fictional crush. :-D Also....there is magic cuz its about witches. Oh and a pretty cover

I liked TORN and looooved Sandy williams book. need book 2 now!
sjmaas
Feb. 14th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
Ooho, that's vote #2 for THE WAY WE FALL! Totally gonna see if I can grab a copy at some point this week...

And I went to buy BORN WICKED this weekend but it was SOLD OUT at my local B&N! It looks so fabulous.
JoSVolpe
Feb. 20th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
<3
These reviews rock!

All 4 books are *awesome*! Thanks, Sarah :-)

-JoSV
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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I'm Sarah J. Maas, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). The Assassin's Blade, a bind-up of all five TOG novellas is now available!

I'm represented by the awesome and lovely Tamar Rydzinski of The Laura Dail Literary Agency. Starting in Spring 2015 - my New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well! Hooray!










For more information about me and my books, please visit my (very rarely updated) website: http://sarahjmaas.com/

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