On that note, here are a just a few books I've read in the past year that are great reads!
The Selection and The Siren by Kiera Cass
Amazon's description of The Selection says:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
It is the first book of the series with the next book "The Elite" coming out in April 2013.
The Siren is like nothing I've ever read before, very unique story, here is Amazon's description:
"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time. . ."The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.
Anything by Mary Kay Andrews
I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Kay Andrews when she came to Greenville for an author's workshop and she is just as wonderful a speaker and teacher as she is a writer. All of her stories take place in the South and she truly captures the spirit of the southern way. I highly reccomend anything she has written but my favorites are "Deep Dish" and "Spring Fever".
Plot summary for "Deep Dish":
After years of hard work, Gina Foxton, chef extraordinaire and former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion, is hosting her own show, Fresh Start, on Georgia public television. She's also dating the producer. But when Fresh Start goes bad—and her boyfriend is caught in flagrante delicto with the boss's wife—Gina decides it's time to pursue bigger dreams. Namely a gig on national television.
Gina knows she's destined to be the Cooking Channel's next superstar. But the execs also have their eyes on Tate Moody, Mr. "Kill It and Grill It" himself, host of the hunting, fishing, and cooking show Vittles. The ultimate man's man, Tate is a tasty side of beef with a large, swooning female fan base. Gina's loyal devotees consist of her free-spirited college-dropout sister and her mother . . . who calls every single day.
When the smoke clears there can be only one TV chef standing, and Gina and Tate are ready for the cook-off of their lives.
Plot Summary for "Spring Fever" (which by the way was based on Salisbury, North Carolina where Cheerwine was made!)
Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.
I also recommend the Luxe Series by Anna Godberson (set back in early 1900 NYC) and just about anything by Lauren Weisberger.