My Top Ten Reads of 2010!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
While people all over the world bring in the New Year, book bloggers are trembling over their computers as they step up to one of the most dreaded tasks out there...picking their favorite books of the year.  Why is this so horrible you ask?  Because we are sharing our top ten favorite reads!  Limiting a book reviewer to only ten choices in like making a telemarketer speak without a tongue!  It's impossible!  So, with that thought in mind, I now bring you my favorite top ten reads of the year and ask that you be lenient with my tactics to possibly sneak a few extra mentions in there too!  Let's get started, counting backwards from 10 and moving up to my number one favorite read of the year!
10.
The Pirate Ruse by Marcia Lynn McClure An instant before the sea swallowed her, Cristabel Albay gasped her last breath. She was certain it would truly be her last breath… Yet, mere moments later, her head broke the surface of the sea and she exhaled the breath she had been holding—the one that had not been her last—gasping for another.
“Do you swim, woman?” the pirate Navarrone growled.
“Y-yes,” Cristabel stammered. Her thoughts were muddled—for panic was her only ally. Yet, she was cognizant enough to know that her life was still in danger—not from pirates perhaps—but from the sea.
“Then swim!” the pirate growled. “If you want to live to see another sunrise, then swim for The Merry Wench.”
(I loved all the romance and hot kisses in this historical romance novels.  I'm fairly new to Marcia McClure, but I think the 6 or 7 I've read so far are great!  I will definitely be reading more!)


9.
Halo (Halo #1) by Alexandra Adornetto

Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.
The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?
(This book opened to a lot of mixed reviews, but I loved angelic Bethany in of her naivety. She was simple, sweet, and straight forward, and I loved her realtionship with her human love Will too!)

8.

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
(This book made me really appreciate my life and the freedom I have to make my own choices.  The character of Cassia was endearing and I really felt for her plight.  I loved the relationship developement in this book and I can't wait to read the next one!)


7.

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.
Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.
In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.
(Now I have to say I love both of the books in this series, so I want to put the sequel, Spells, in this spot as a tie too.  This book was a fun faerytale, with a little different take on the fairy realm and I enjoyed it a lot.  I LOVED the love triangle too, and I have to say I'm having a hard time deciding which team I'm on! Can't wait for book three of this one!)




6.

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
(I liked the whole dragon aspect of this story.  It was something a little bit different and it spurred my imagination.  Jacinda and Will had good chemistry together and the dragon world and its mysteries were fascinating.  Looking forward to the next one!)
5.

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
(This is another "2 fer" because I loved the sequel to this book too, Crescendo.  I have one thing to say about this series. Patch, Patch, Patch, Patch, Patch, Patch, Patch!!! He is totally droolworthy!)
4.

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
(So I have to say the cover was what originally attracted me to this one, but the story was AMAZING.  I like the different style of this werewolf tale, moving away from the classic werewolf story.  I was a great tale and the love triangle made my heart race.  This is another one that I can't decide which boy is my favorite!)

3.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.
She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?
(While all of the Vampire Acadamy books are good, I have to say this one blew all of the other books away!! I LOVED this book!! And dear, handsome, tortured, Dimitri made my breath catch for nearly every second of this book! YUM!!)
2.

As readers of series starter City of Bones already know, teenager Clary Fray is a Shadowhunter, a demon slayer who has the gift of spotting Downworlder werewolves, vampires, and faeries. She is also an adolescent in an abnormally dysfunctional family: Her mom is in a magically induced coma and her father is probably insane and undoubtedly evil. All of which places Clary in situations that would challenge even the most talented average American girl.
(Okay...if I were to rate this series together as a whole, it would be in the number one spot because it is GOOD!  The world that Ms. Clare has created is so in depth and amazing that it blows the mind.  And the characters were wonderful, with good stories and dynamics.  I chose this book out of the three because I particulary liked the tension between the two main characters of Clary and Jace.  It was wonderful, making this series one of my favorites of all time!)
And my # 1 choice of 2010
is....

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences ...

How can something so wrong feel so right?
What I Thought:
I don't even know where to begin with this book.  First off I will say that this is not a book I would have normally chosen to read based purely on subject matter.  I had seen a lot of high reviews for it though, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give this story a shot.

I am now sitting here in shock, feeling completely HAUNTED as the tears roll down my face and my heart is doing little flip flops inside of my chest.  This story is completely breathtaking and moving in a way I never thought possible.  I have never felt such angst and turmoil written into a story like this before. 

Lochan and Maya are both beautiful written characters, each struggling through their own flaws that are mixed with the harsh reality that has become their life.  These siblings become best friends in a world where no one can possibly relate to, or understand, what they are going through, but one day that friendship turns into something else, a physical desire and a love that transcends the bounds of propriety in their brother/sister relationship.

My emotions were churning as I watched these two struggle to rein in their desires they had for one another, while they continued to muddle forward through their own pitiful existence, trying to hold their family together, only to watch them finally succumb to their attraction and watch the path that led them down.  The love between the two characters was so powerful that you wanted to cheer for them while shouting at them, "NO!  DON'T DO IT!"  It was hard to see two people who were so perfect for one another, and so in love, and know that there was no way for this to end well.

I went into this story thinking (hoping) that perhaps it would turn out that the siblings were somehow not related.  Let me assure you that this is not the case, and this truly is a story of an incestuous relationship between a biological brother and sister, where despite fighting the attraction, boundaries are crossed.

I don't want to give anything away, so I will just say that after sitting up all night to read this book straight through, I'm still riding this emotional roller coaster.  I don't think I will be getting off of it anytime soon since this book has my heart capture in a vise grip.  Instead of recommending this book, I will tell you who I don't recommend to.  I don't recommend this book to the faint of heart, or to those who have closed minds, because this book WILL test your values and your belief system, as well as making you take a hard look at the way you judge other people.  I will say this though ... this is truly one of the most gripping, emotional books I have ever read.
(Note: This book does have foul language, alcohol/drug references, and sexual situations.)

Thanks for coming by my blog and I hope you all have a great new year!  You can read all of my actual reviews for these books by clicking on the Delusional Book Reviews tab in the navigation bar at the top of the page.  And don't forget to click on the Of Witches and Warlocks book series tab to see all of our great NEW Year's things going on there as well!
May all your dreams come true this year! HAPPY NEW YEAR!