Smugglivus Smugglivus Guest Blogger

Smugglivus 2011 Guest Blogger: Chachic of Chachic’s Book Nook

Welcome to Smugglivus 2011! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2011, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2012.

Who: Chachic of Chachic’s Book Nook . Based in the Philippines, Chachic is a cool blogger who reviews mostly YA and Fantasy.

Please give it up for Chachic!

Maligayang Pasko! Merry Christmas, everyone. It’s only a few days before Christmas and I’m so excited to be back on the Smuggliest event of the year – the 2011 Smugglivus! I was thrilled when I got the email from Ana and Thea inviting me to share my favorites for this year. It’s such an honor because Ana and Thea are two of my blogging idols. I think they’re awesome and I love the recommendations that I get from their blog. I also love Smugglivus because I get so many recommendations from authors and bloggers. I think it’s always fun to know other people’s best reads for the year. I started thinking about what to include in my list as soon as I saw the invite. It’s so hard to narrow down my choices but here they are, in no particular order:

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

I’ve been waiting for The Piper’s Son to be released in the U.S. since last year (it was released in Australia years ago) and I can definitely say that it lived up to my expectations. There’s a lot of heartbreak in this novel but oh, so much love as well. Melina Marchetta has a way of making her characters come alive that makes you want to be included in their world. I loved this one just as much as my first Marchetta experience, which is Jellicoe Road.

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

I fell in love with this lovely contemporary YA debut novel about grief and loss because I could really relate to Harper. And Hannah Harrington sure knows how to write a swoon-worthy male character – Jake Tolan has been added to my list of fictional crushes. Can’t wait to see what she writes next!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Ahh this book! It’s such an emotional read. I wanted to go inside the book and hug Connor, the poor boy dealing with his mother’s cancer. A Monster Calls is heart-wrenching and achingly beautiful and I was happy to discover that I wasn’t immune to Patrick Ness’ powerful writing.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Lips Touch by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor is one of my favorite discoveries this year. I picked up Lips Touch and loved the lyrical writing in it – it’s modern day fantasy but reads like a fairy tale. I felt the same way when Daughter of Smoke and Bone came out – I was swept away by the beautiful words – and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel next year.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This novel is all about people who are brave (or foolish) enough to participate in a race riding killer horses that try to eat them. How can you not be the least bit curious about that? I loved both Puck and Sean’s voices and how the story is about the island and the horses but also still about them. And the romance? The best kind of slow burn, filled with intense glances and lines that will make you sigh with their perfection.

Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews

I will read everything that power couple Ilona and Gordon will write. They had a couple of releases this year: Magic Slays, Fate’s Edge and Silver Shark. I enjoyed reading all of them but was surprised by how much I loved Silver Shark, considering that I’m not a big sci-fi fan. I read it in one sitting and immediately wanted MORE.

Unsticky by Sarra Manning

I wouldn’t have picked this up if book pusher Angie didn’t give it such a glowing review. Grace and Vaughn are flawed characters but their issues make them more believable. Unsticky is actually the book that made me want to read contemporary romance that has more depth that the usual fare.

Those are some of my favorites this year, I tried to narrow it down to just five titles but I couldn’t do it. I think that’s a good thing because it means I had a pretty good reading year, right? ? I’ll probably post a more comprehensive list on my blog before the year is out. As of now, these are the titles that I won’t hesitate to recommend to readers who share my taste in books. I promise, there’s a whole lot of goodness waiting for you readers inside these novels. Moving on to some of my anticipated 2012 titles:

About That Night by Julie James

I’ve read and loved Julie James’ entire backlist. She’s one of my favorite chick lit authors and I keep recommending her books to my girlfriends. Looking forward to reading her latest, I have a feeling I’ll be in for a treat.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Both Graceling and Fire are in my list of all-time favorite epic fantasy novels so of course, I’m going to buy a copy of Bitterblue as soon as it comes out. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I finished reading Graceling! I can’t wait to see Bitterblue all grown up and I’m REALLY curious about Katsa and Po as well.

Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend by Sarra Manning

Yay, another adult title from the queen of chick lit with depth. I think Sarra Manning has been pretty lucky with the covers of her adult books, they’re all so pretty, including this one. Love the title too!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I keep recommending Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunters books to fans of Megan Whalen Turner but I don’t think I’ve been that successful. I dubbed one of her characters, Telemakos, as Gen-in-Africa because he reminds me of my favorite thief. Elizabeth Wein is an amazing under-the-radar author and I’m ecstatic that she has a new novel coming out next year even if it’s not a Lion Hunters book.

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

A YA debut novel about a Marine’s return home from Afghanistan. I read the excerpt posted on Trish’s website and it looks promising. I’m also following Trish on Twitter and she’s so nice and friendly – I keep telling her I can’t wait to read her book.

It doesn’t have a cover yet but I’m looking forward to Andrea’s book, Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. I think the fourth (and last) Edge book will also come out next year so I’m definitely excited for that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll release another romantic sci-fi novella.

Still no title or cover for the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I’ve heard that it will be released next year so that’s another title that’s on my radar. I’ve finished reading Laini Taylor’s backlist and I need to read more of her writing.

That’s it from me, sorry if it’s a lengthy post. Once again, thank you Ana and Thea, for letting me take part in the Smugglivus festivities! Happy Holidays and Happy Smugglivus to all.

Yay, Chachic!


  • Maureen E
    December 23, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Yay Chachic! 😀

    And I’m SO with you on CNV–can’t wait!

  • 2011 Smugglivus Guest Post « Chachic's Book Nook
    December 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

    […] up! My 2011 Smugglivus guest post is now up over at The Book Smugglers. I know I’ve been posting some of my favorite 2011 reads the past few days through the Faves […]

  • Holly
    December 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I still need to read Silver Shark. I better get on that. 🙂 Also, really, I am going to read something by Elizabeth Wein someday. Maybe the first will be CNV.

    Angie and I were talking about NEfaEB the other day and crossing our fingers that it will be available on BD, we’re both so excited about it. Fun Smugglivus post! I’m really looking forward to all the new books of the coming year.

  • Holly
    December 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    And hopefully we can all get SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL when it becomes available on Netgalley. 😀

  • Brandy
    December 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Great pics Chachic. I didn’t know about the new Wein novel-it looks interesting. Of course, I am one of the people who, despite the recs, haven’t read her other books.

  • Kristen
    December 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Yay! I am so glad you discovered Laini Taylor this year and read and enjoyed her backlist as well. 🙂

    Can’t wait for Bitterblue or the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone either!

  • capillya
    December 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    YAY CHACHIC! So glad to see her here, as well as all of her favorite reads!

  • Tina
    December 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I promise to read Saving June soon. 😀 And also try a Julie James novel sometime soon, too! I’m also so excited for Bitterblue. 🙂 Can’t wait to get into Kristin Cashore’s world again. Yay Chachic!

  • Angie
    December 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I haven’t forgotten your Wein plugs!

    That last picture is priceless, Chachic. Love it!

  • Chachic
    December 24, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Maureen, glad I’m not the only one looking forward to Elizabeth Wein’s latest!

    Holly, I bet you can read Silver Shark even if you’re in a slump-ish mood because it’s light and romantic. I really hope you get to read Elizabeth Wein’s books soon, would love to know what you think of them. LOL I have a feeling Sarra Manning’s next book will be available in the UK site of Book Depository, I’m planning to pre-order it when it goes up. And yes to Something Like Normal! I can’t wait to read it.

    Brandy, bump up Wein in your TBR pile because MWT herself recommended those books in Sounis! I really want you to meet Gen-in-Africa.

    Kristen, I remember you were one of the bloggers who encouraged me to read Laini Taylor. Thank you for the recommendations! I ended up loving her YA titles and really enjoying the MG ones.

    Capillya, aww thanks for dropping by to comment here even though you probably know most of my favorites already. 😛

    Tina, you know I’ve been recommending Julie James since I first found out about her 😛 Yes to Saving June as well! I hope you love it just as much as I did.

    Angie, I’m relieved you haven’t forgotten Elizabeth Wein! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll be blown away by her books because I have a feeling you can convince so many other readers to pick them up if that happens. Glad you like the image. :mrgreen:

  • Doret
    December 24, 2011 at 8:20 am

    OMG I didn’t realize Cashore had a new novel coming out in 2012. I can’t wait to read Bitterblue

  • Estara
    December 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Yay, Chachic, I love the last picture, too ^^. Bitterblue and Code Name Verity (which I have already read and can advise everyone planning on doing so to bring lots of tissues) have been on my own radar before, but I really need to start picking up Laini Taylor – and possibly Unsticky, too.

    And of course any new Ilona Andrews ^^

  • Chachic
    December 25, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Doret, Bitterblue is FINALLY coming out next year! I can’t wait to get more Kristin Cashore goodness. And I’m really curious about Bitterblue as well as the rest of the gang (Po! Katsa!)

    Estara, glad you like it! It’s one of my lomo beach shots. Would love for you to read Laini Taylor and Sarra Manning. 🙂 And I’ll keep what you said in mind when the time comes for me to read Code Name Verity. Looks like I have to steel myself for it.

  • janicu
    December 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I feel bad that I have been so busy with vacation I have been behind on my blogs and missed this awesome post!

    So I have Elizabeth Wein’s first Lion Hunters book at home and I REALLY have to pick it up sometime. I will, I promise. I agree with most of your picks this year, and the books I haven’t read here, I think I must. In particular, I really really want to read SAVING JUNE one day.

  • Chachic
    January 2, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Janice, don’t feel bad! December is always busy for a lot of people. What’s important is that you enjoyed your vacation. 🙂

    I hope you get to read Elizabeth Wein’s books soon, her books deserve to get more attention. I have a feeling you’ll like Saving June, I know you enjoy reading a good romance and that novel has several swoon-worthy scenes.

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