Announcement

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews is currently on hiatus. I hope to return to blogging sooner rather than later.

I will still be posting mini book reviews on Goodreads and talking books on Twitter so feel free to find me there.

Thank you and happy reading1


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Goals and Resolutions for 2015


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.




1. Read 150 books this year.

2. Read ten books from my TBR shelf.

3. Try five debut authors.

4. Get my Netgalley percentage to 60%.

5. Catch up on ten series that I am behind on.

6. Complete all the reading challenges I signed up for.

7. Re-read the Harry Potter series.

8. Write discussion posts on my blog.

9. Comment more on blogs that I read.

10. Move over to Wordpress.

Monday, December 29, 2014

REVIEW: "Say Yes to the Marquess" by Tessa Dare


Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
(Castles Ever After #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- Published on December 30, 2014
Ebook, 384 pages
Read in December 2014
Received from Edelweiss

SUMMARY
Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.



FIRST LINE
"Oh, Miss Whitmore.  Just look at this horrid place."

MY THOUGHTS
Tessa Dare continues to impress me with her historical romances.  They are so much fun without ever feeling cheesy or over-the-top.  Say Yes To The Marquess is an adorable love story that can be read a stand-alone since the only thing connecting it to Romancing the Duke is the fact that both heroines inherit a castle that changes their lives.

The heroine has been dubbed as Miss  Clio "Wait-More" due to the fact that her betrothed has spent the past eight years on the continent rather going through with the wedding.  Now that she has inherited Twill Castle, Clio is determined to build a life of her own and break the engagement.  Her fiance's brother, Rafe, is a former champion prizefighter who has abandoned his title and his family yet feels obligated to protect Clio until Piers returns.  Things gets more difficult when he learns about Clio's plans and he does everything he can to make her excited about getting married.

Tessa Dare excels at providing readers with likable and intelligent characters. Clio has become a joke among the ton due to her extended engagement and, while she feels humiliated by the whole situation, she doesn't let it show.  I always have a soft spot for the outcast heroine, but what I loved best about her was her unflinching desire to have an independent life.  For his part, Rafe Brandon stole a place in my heart.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about him when I found out he was a famous prizefighter, but he was just a big teddy bear!  He struggled in the more intellectual pursuits of the day and turned to fighting to find something he actually was good at.  The balance of the big bad fighter and the vulnerable hero was well-done and very sweet.

Clio and Rafe had obvious chemistry from the beginning and it was fabulous to see them discover the feelings that had been in hiding for so long.  I loved all the little moments where they were "working" on wedding details that allowed them to learn more about each other.  Forbidden romances always have that extra suspense and Say Yes To The Marquess was no exception.  As Piers's return came closer, I found myself wondering how in the world there would be a happily ever after, but Ms. Dare did not let me down.

I always finish a Tessa Dare book with a smile on my face and this one continued the tradition.  I just found it to be so light-hearted yet full of powerful emotions.  I also have to give a shout-out to Rafe's trainer, Bruiser, Clio's genius younger sister, and Ellingsworth the bulldog.  The Castles Ever After series is growing into another successful series for this author that is writing at the top of her game.

I received a free copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 STARS



STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

FAVORITE QUOTES

  • Rafe opened his mouth to question this plan.  Then he caught himself.  Instead, he took a seat in the benches and stared numbly forward, trying to understand how he, the infamous Devil's Own, had arrived at this moment in his life: sitting in a chapel, in a storybook castle near Charming-Something, Kent, possessing opinions on bunting. Good God.  Word of this could never escape these walls.
  • She took his hand and kissed it, "I love you.   And I understand if it's difficult for you to believe that fully today.  But it's just as well.  It's a short little phrase. I can repeat it as many times as it takes.  You can practice taking i the way you take jabs."  She raised her fists the way he'd taught her and boxed his shoulder.  "I love you.  I love you."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Romancing the Duke
2. Say Yes to the Marquess
3. When a Scot Ties the Knot (Coming 2015)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

UPCOMING RELEASES: January 2015

A list of new releases that grabbed my attention for next month.  These are organized by expected publication date.  As always, release dates are subject to change.

1/6
Burned (Fever, #7)Dead of Winter (Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole (YA-PNR)

1/12
Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5) by Heidi Belleau (M/M-C)

1/13
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall (YA-D)
True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston #2) by Rose Lerner (HR)

1/19
Ghostly Liaison (Ghostly Encounters #1) by Stacy McKitrick (PNR)

1/20
Burned (Fever #7) by Karen Marie Moning (UF)
Revealing Ruby (Bound & Determined #1.5) by Lavinia Kent (HR)

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)1/27
Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost (UF)
Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer (YA-SF)
Catch a Falling Heiress (An American Heiress in London #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke (HR)
I Was Here by Gayle Forman (YA-C)
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith #4) by Julia Quinn (HR)
Flirting with Disaster (Jackson: Girls Night Out #2) by Victoria Dahl (CR)
If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men #4) by Sabrina Jeffries (HR)
Never Surrender to a Scoundrel (One Scandalous Season #3) by Lily Dalton (HR)
Her Highland Fling by Jennifer McQuiston (HR)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 AUDIOBOOK READING CHALLENGE: Sign-up Post


Check out the sign-up post here.

I participated in this challenge last year and loved it!  I am a huge fan of audiobooks and this one allowed me to share my reads with others.

CHALLENGE DETAILS
  • Runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2015 than you did in 2014.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc. – I’ve created a Goodreads Group for the challenge, feel free to join.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button (on the sidebar) and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
LEVELS
  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5 
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
  • Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+
****************************

I read 24 audiobooks last year so this time I am going to go for the BINGE LISTENER (20-30 audiobooks) level.  Here are a few of the books I want to listen to for the 2015 challenge:
  1. Creation in Death by JD Robb
  2. Strangers in Death by JD Robb
  3. Salvation in Death by JD Robb
  4. Promises in Death by JD Robb
  5. Kindred in Death by JD Robb
  6. Fantasy in Death by JD Robb
  7. Indulgence in Death by JD Robb
  8. Treachery in Death by JD Robb
  9. New York to Dallas by JD Robb
  10. Celebrity in Death by JD Robb
  11. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
  12. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  13. Changeless by Gail Carriger
  14. Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
  15. The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
  16. Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
  17. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
  18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  19. The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire by Molly Harper
  20. Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee

STACKING THE SHELVES (62)

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A great feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get to feature the new books they received over the past week.

 
~BOUGHT~
Karma Girl (Bigtime, #1)
Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep (paranormal romance)

Viscount Vagabond (Regency Noblemen, #1)
Viscount Vagabond by Loretta Chase (historical romance)

Lighting the Flames
Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell (contemporary romance)

~BORROWED FROM THE LIBRARY~
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (YA steampunk)

~RECEIVED FOR REVIEW~
Flirting with Disaster (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #2)
Flirting With Disaster by Victoria Dahl (contemporary romance)

The Trouble with Love  (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #4)
The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne (contemporary romance)

~CHRISTMAS HAUL~
I don't usually ask for books for Christmas or birthdays, but I was surprised by this present from my brother.




***********
WEEKLY RECAP

I READ... 
Revenant by Larissa Ione (paranormal romance)
The Proposal by Mary Balogh (historical romance)
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (YA fantasy)
Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh [part of Night Shift anthology] (paranormal romance)
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews [part of Night Shift anthology] (urban fantasy)


I POSTED...

Friday, December 26, 2014

REVIEW: "Lone Wolf" by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt


Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4)
Lone Wolf by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt
(Bluewater Bay #4)
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality) 
Male/Male Romance -- Contemporary

Riptide Publishing -- Published on December 20, 2014
Ebook, 360 pages
Read in December 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Small Town Setting

SUMMARY
Hunter Easton is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Wolf’s Landing series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads The World Tree, a fanfic novel by his online friend “Lone Wolf.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.

Kevin Hussain is thrilled when “Wolf Hunter” wants to meet up after reading The World Tree. When Wolf Hunter turns out to be Hunter Easton himself, Kevin is starstruck. When Hunter tells him he wants to add The World Tree to Wolf’s Landing, Kevin is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big time—into real life, Kevin is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is . . . it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Kevin is left wondering if Hunter really loves him, or just loves his book.



FIRST LINE
"Hunter Easton decided there was definitely something to be said about casually dating a man who love showers, not to mention shower sex."

MY THOUGHTS
The Bluewater Bay series is connected by the Wolf's Landing TV show that is being filmed in the small town in Washington.  So far the books have focused on the actors from the show, but in Lone Wolf the focus shifts to Hunter Easton, the author of the bestselling series that inspired the show.  found this book to be my favorite so far with an interesting couple and some fun tidbits about writing/publishing.

Hunter is having issues figuring out what happens to his popular characters in the next Wolf's Landing book.  Basically, he has written himself into a corner and is flailing to get out of it.  He also has others depending on him completing the story like his agent, publishing company, and fans.  Then he reads a novel-length fanfiction (The World Tree) written by an online friend and realizes he needs this person's help.  For his part, Kevyan "Kevin" Hussain is a huge Wolf's Landing fanboy who is thrown for a loop when his favorite author asks for his help in writing the next book.  And, of course, things get complicated when Kevin and Hunter begin to fall for one another.

Hunter and Kevin's story was a lot of fun to read.  Both guys were such nerds and devoted to the world of Wolf's Landing.  I thought their interactions were adorable especially in their early meetings.  I also liked seeing Hunter get out of his habit of holing up in his house to help ease Kevin into the publishing world.  For his part, Kevin acted how I would think a fanboy would if he got a chance to work with an author he admired so much.  There were moments that he got a bit whiny for my taste, but I did understand where he was coming from.

I enjoyed Hunter and Kevin so much that I thought the ending of Lone Wolf was pretty abrupt.  Things were moving along and they were dealing with issues and then it just stopped.  I wanted more of this couple and am hoping that we get to see more of them in the rest of the series.

I love it when Voinov and Witt write together.  They just have a smooth, easy-to-read style that is also rich in emotions.  I thought it was interesting to read something so light-hearted from this writing duo, but I definitely enjoyed it.  While I don't want them to completely ignore their darker muses, I wouldn't say no to more "romantic comedies" like this one.

I received a free copy of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Starstruck
2. There's Something About Ari
3. Hell on Wheels
4. Lone Wolf
5. Burnt Toast B&B (Coming 2015)

TOP 10 OF 2014: Day 5 -- Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2015


Hosted by Rachel at Reading YA Rocks, Jaime at Two Chicks on Books, Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader.  

The event runs for five consecutive days, the last week full of the year – Monday, December 22nd to Friday, December 26th. Five days in which we share some of our favorite lists and we invite ALL of YOU to join in on the fun and share your lists with everyone too!

Each day of the event just visit one of the hosting blogs and share your list in the Linky below each day’s post. Just make sure to match up the correct post and Linky list to get credit.


~BOOKS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2015~

I already did a version of this list for Top Ten Tuesday at the beginning of December.  So I am going to be focusing on books that I couldn't fit on that list.

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
1.  The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
I fell in love with the first book (The Winner's Curse) and have to know what happens to Kestral and Arin next.

Saint Anything
2. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
My favorite YA author of all time!

Catch a Falling Heiress (An American Heiress in London, #3)
3. Catch a Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke
I love LLG's unique settings and always am excited to read about American heiresses in London.

Hades (Demonica, #11.5; Lords of Deliverance 6.5)
4. Hades by Larissa Ione
Definitely pumped to see one of the lords of the underworld get his story.

Brown-Eyed Girl (Travises, #4)
5. Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas
I prefer Kleypas's historical romances, but I do love her Travis family contemporary series.

Vision in Silver (The Others, #3)
6. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
I still need to read book 2 (Murder of Crows), but I love this series.

Highland Guard (Murray Family, #20)
7. Highland Guard by Hannah Howell
#20 in the Murray Family series that is one of my guilty pleasures.

Wrong About the Guy
8. Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik
I enjoy this author's retellings and I am excited to see her take on Emma.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I still have to read the Throne of Glass series, but it is so popular that I know I will want to try her newest series.

[NO COVER YET]
10. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
The webmistresses of one of my favorite sites (Go Fug Yourself) and an adult romance inspired by the true story of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

TOP 10 OF 2014: Day 4 -- Book Boyfriends of 2014


Hosted by Rachel at Reading YA Rocks, Jaime at Two Chicks on Books, Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader.  

The event runs for five consecutive days, the last week full of the year – Monday, December 22nd to Friday, December 26th. Five days in which we share some of our favorite lists and we invite ALL of YOU to join in on the fun and share your lists with everyone too!

Each day of the event just visit one of the hosting blogs and share your list in the Linky below each day’s post. Just make sure to match up the correct post and Linky list to get credit.

~BOOK BOYFRIENDS OF 2014~

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)
1. Rafe Brandon -- Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare
A former championship prizefighter and disgraced son of a marquess who is willing do anything to make sure his brother's fiancee goes through with the wedding.
Rafe opened his mouth to question this plan.  Then he caught himself.  Instead he took a seat in the benches and stared numbly forward, trying to understand how he, the infamous Devil's Own, had arrived at this moment in his life: sitting in a chapel, in a storybook castle near Charming-Something, Kent, possessing opinions on bunting.  Good God.  Word of this could never escape these walls.
The Hook Up (Game On, #1)
2. Drew Baylor -- The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
A star quarterback who shows there is much more to him than the standard athlete stereotype.
Tonight was obviously an ill-advised hook up for her. And I’m so screwed up because it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7)
3. Bones -- Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
He's been one of my favorites for years and this was the conclusion to the Night Huntress series.  I'm not sure you can ever replace a sexy vampire bounty hunter like him.
"I love you, Kitten." How puny those words seemed compared to the feelings strafing mine, but his voice vibrated as he said them. Then he crouched beside me, "I would never hurt you that way save for one reason: to keep you safe. I can live with your anger, your retribution...bloody hell, despise me if you must, but don't expect me to behave as though you aren't the most important thing in my life. You are, and I will let no one, yourself included, bring you to harm."
Evernight (Darkest London, #5)
4. William Thorne -- Evernight by Kristen Callihan
A tortured demon who is determined to take revenge on metal elemental, Holly Evernight, but ends up falling for her instead.
"When I am nothing but shadow, you are the light that guides me back."
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
5. Arin -- The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
A slave bought at an auction by a general's daughter who seems to be hiding something from his past and his present.
He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?""Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else."He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small."
Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, #13)
6. Vasic -- Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
A powerful Psy assassin who was tortured for years as a child and finally is able to show the heart that has been hidden for so long.
He has a heart so huge, it’s kept pumping, kept going long past endurance—even though life has bruised it to a pulp.
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
7. Carswell Thorne -- Cress by Marissa Meyer
I've been intrigued by the outspoken captain since he first appeared in Scarlet. I really loved his sense of humor and decent of a guy he was under all the swagger.
"Captain,” she murmured. “I think I’m in love with you.”An eyebrow shot up. She counted six beats of his heart before, suddenly, he laughed.“Don’t tell me it took you two whole days to realize that. I must be losing my touch."
Blonde Date (The Ivy Years, #2.5)
8. Andy Baschnagel -- Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen
A shy college basketball player who ends up on a date with the one girl he has been eyeing and is determined to make it a night to remember.
"That's not the point.  I want the whole package.  We're supposed to have that tricky night's sleep where I'm trying not to give you a black eye when I roll over.  And I believe I'm entitled to some awkward conversation in the morning."

Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss, #1.5)
10. David Rivera -- Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh 
A drummer who is known in the media as the Gentleman of Rock and falls for his band's publicist.
"In this memo, I David Rivera, explain why you, Thea Arsana, should seriously consider entering into a relationship with me."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

TOP 10 OF 2014: Day 3 -- Favorite Heroines of 2014


Hosted by Rachel at Reading YA Rocks, Jaime at Two Chicks on Books, Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader.  

The event runs for five consecutive days, the last week full of the year – Monday, December 22nd to Friday, December 26th. Five days in which we share some of our favorite lists and we invite ALL of YOU to join in on the fun and share your lists with everyone too!

Each day of the event just visit one of the hosting blogs and share your list in the Linky below each day’s post. Just make sure to match up the correct post and Linky list to get credit.

~READER/BLOGGER CHOICE: 
FAVORITE HEROINES OF 2014~

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
1. Nevada Baylor -- Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews
The head of Baylor Investigations after her father's death, Nevada is smart, strong-willed, and willing to do anything to help her family even if it means partnering with one of the most powerful mages in the city.

Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7)
2. Cat Crawfield-Russell -- Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
I have been a fan of the Red Reaper for years and I will definitely miss reading about her adventures.  She has grown a lot since she first popped on to the scene as a scared half-vampire.

Evernight (Darkest London, #5)
3. Holly Evernight -- Evernight by Kristen Callihan
The titular character of one of my favorite books this year.  I admired her for her intelligence, her unique view of the world, and her protectiveness.

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)
4. Isolde Goodnight -- Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
I loved Izzy's realistic nature though she still allowed herself to dream of love and happiness despite her lack of marriage prospects.  Her confidence really made her shine in this book.

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London, #2)
5. Edie, Duchess of Margrave -- How To Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke
She's gone through a lot and even proposed marriage to a duke.  After sending her husband off to Africa, she learned the finer points of estate management and is willing to do anything to stay in England.

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #4)
6. Lady Georgiana Pearson -- Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
A young woman who finds herself in a difficult position, but, rather than moping around, she figures out a way to survive.  I don't want to say much more in order to avoid spoilers, but her story was wonderful.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
7. Kestral -- The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
I loved her intellectual approach to battle and the fact that her genuine nature shone through even when dealing with slaves.

Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14)
8. Lanthe -- Dark Skye by Kresley Cole
What makes this gold-obsessed sorceress stand out is her desire to live life to the fullest, no matter what others though.  I also liked reading about her devotion to her sister and lust for adventure.

Chained by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire, #2)
9. Aylin -- Chained By Night by Larissa Ione
This supposedly cursed vampire first appears to be as weak as her leg injury, but she quickly shows that her physical weakness hides a spine of steel and a strong determination to make something of herself.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
10. Cress -- Cress by Marissa Meyer
I would love to be friends with someone like Cress.  She is a little odd (as one would expect from someone who lived alone for so long), but just a genuinely nice person.