Best Book Ever: Our Contributors!



So I meant to post this as a year-end wrap-up for Best Book Ever, before easing into a new year and new topics, but real life got the better of me.  So instead, we're going to ease into the new year with the post instead!

Over the past year at Short and Sweet Reviews, we have been privileged to open up our pages to contributions from some fantastic authors, who love talking about books just as much as we do! We wanted to take a moment to shine the spotlight on all of our contributors from 2012, in hopes that you will check out their books and show them some love.

Alison Cherry - Red (October 8, 2013; Delacorte)

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?
April Tucholke - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (August 20, 2013; Dial)

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.
Anna Banks - Of Poseidon (May 22, 2012; Dial)

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
Ashley Elston - The Rules for Disappearing (May 14, 2013; Disney Hyperion)

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.
E.C. Myers - Quantum Coin (October 23, 2012; Pyr)

Ephraim thought his universe-hopping days were over. He's done wishing for magic solutions to his problems; his quantum coin has been powerless for almost a year, and he's settled into a normal life with his girlfriend, Jena. But then an old friend crashes their senior prom: Jena's identical twin from a parallel world, Zoe.

Zoe's timing couldn't be worse. It turns out that Ephraim's problems have just begun, and they're much more complicated than his love life: The multiverse is at stake—and it might just be Ephraim's fault.

Ephraim, Jena, and Zoe embark on a mission across multiple worlds to learn what's going wrong and how to stop it. They will have to draw on every resource available and trust in alternate versions of themselves and their friends, before it's too late for all of them.

If Ephraim and his companions can put their many differences aside and learn to work together, they might have a chance to save the multiverse. But ultimately, the solution may depend on how much they're willing to sacrifice for the sake of humanity...and each other.
Elizabeth Fama - Monstrous Beauty (September 4, 2012; Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Elizabeth Norris - Unraveling (April 24, 2012; Balzer + Bray)

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed--as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows--with every fiber of her being--that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something--but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened--the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life--points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets--and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Elsie Chapman - Dualed (February 26, 2013; Random House Books for Young Readers)

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
Jodi Meadows - Incarnate (January 31, 2012; Katherine Tegen Books)

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
J.R. Johansson - Insomnia (June 8, 2013; Flux)

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?
Kristin Halbrook - Nobody But Us (January 29, 2013; HarperTeen)

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts. They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run. Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger.... When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough. Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.
Lydia Kang - Control (December 19, 2013; Dial Books for Young Readers)

After the violent death of her father, 17 year-old Zelia loses her younger sister, Dylia, during an abduction at a foster care agency. It turns out her sister Dylia isn’t just pretty and sweet – she’s illegal. In the year 2150, DNA must be pure by law, and anyone with enhanced genes face death. Zelia’s only allies are the freak-show inhabitants of her new, underground foster home. Along with the unexpected love of a very strange boy, she will need her flaws and their illicit traits to save the only family she has left.
Melissa Landers - Alienated (February 1, 2014; Disney Hyperion)

Broke-as-a-joke valedictorian Cara Sweeny just scored Uncle Sam’s newest scholarship, but there’s a major catch that’s got her pulse racing. To get the money, she has to spend her senior year hosting a foreign exchange student—seriously foreign—extraterrestrial, to be precise.

Cara’s knocked completely out of orbit when she meets eighteen-year-old Aelyx from planet L’eihr. He captivates her with stories from home and uses “Silent Speech” to fill her mind with emotions and sensations she never knew existed. Cara’s never felt such an easy connection, and despite her suspicions about Aelyx’s true purpose on Earth, their unlikely friendship deepens by the day.

But not everyone rolls out the welcome mat for Aelyx. Hundreds of Cara’s classmates join The Patriots of Earth—zealots hell-bent on severing human-alien relations—in staging protests for the newcomer’s expulsion. As the months pass, Patriots stoke public paranoia, landing Cara on the wrong end of a frenzied manhunt. Worse yet, Aelyx confesses the ominous truth behind the exchange program—and its deadly consequences for the human race—and Cara’s faced with two impossible tasks: protect the outworlder she’s grown to love but no longer trusts, and save her people from extinction.
Mindy McGinnis - Not a Drop to Drink (September 9, 2013; Katherine Tegen Books)

If she has water, she has life.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
Tiffany Schmidt - Send Me a Sign (October 2, 2012; Walker Childrens)

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.
We've also had a ton of fantastic bloggers and fans of books participate over the past year, so I wanted to take a minute to thank all of them!  Please check out their blogs and discover more favorite places to talk about books.
Alanna from The Flashlight Reader
Amanda from Hippies, Beauty, and Books Oh My!
Angel from Mermaid Vision Books
Anna from Literary Exploration
Ashley from FireStarBooks
Damaris from Good Choice Reading
Haley from Ya-Aholic
HD from Reading Writing Breathing
Ishita from The Reading Fish
Jessica from Simply Infatuated
Kat
Katie from Mundie Moms
Keren from Gothic Angel Book Reviews
Melissa from Have Imagination Will Write
Nicole from The Readers Antidote
Paige
Rebecca from A Word's Worth
Reg
Ren from Ren's Rambles
Savannah from Books With Bite
Yara from Once Upon a Twilight
Thanks to everyone who participated over the course of 2012!  We'll be back next week with new topics and more books for you to add to your to-read lists!

If you're interested in participating in Best Book Ever, let us know!  Just leave us a comment or send an email to oneminutebooks at gmail and we'll get you set up!

4 comments:

  1. What a sweet and generous wrap-up post! XO

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  2. Awww, thanks, lovelies! It's been so much fun participating in BBE! I can't wait to see the new categories!

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