In My Mailbox--Birthday Edition

For my birthday last week, my mom and I hiked to Revete Lake, a hidden lake in northern Idaho that is only accessible on foot. It was very beautiful and ferny. 
And, for my birthday, I received many wonderful books. Would you look at that pile? It's a veritable embarrassment of riches. Thanks family! 

Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede 
I loved the mash-up of fantasy and western genres in The Thirteenth Child, the first book in the Frontier Magic series. I expect to love this one, too! 
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Crazy I haven't read this. I love fairy tale retellings. I love Jackson Pearce. Nuf said. 

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
I'm about half-way through this. I'm liking it, though I really wish the protagonist had a little more gusto. Twice she's been told by a man to stay inside where it's safe, and she goes along with it (which means the reader misses a dragon slaying and a confrontation with a magical wolf--talk about disappointing!). Hopefully the conclusion will make up for it.

Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge
I blogged about my anticipation for this title when I first heard Fly By Night would have a sequel. Frances Hardinge is an incredible word-smith and world-builder, and I expect really great things from Fly Trap.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
I recently read my first Laini Taylor book and adored it. Can't wait to read this one. 

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
This book has been on my wishlist ever since Elizabeth C. Bunce (author of A Curse Dark as Gold, one of my favorite fairy tale retellings) recommended it on her blog. Plain Kate looks wonderful!

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
I'm a huge fan of Melina Marchetta. I think it's awesome that she's transitioned so gracefully (from what I've heard) from contemporary to fantasy. Can't wait to see how her amazing writing translates to a fantasy world.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
That I haven't read this is practically sacrilege. I'm going to fix that stat!

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
I am an unabashed fan of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, so when I heard about this adult sequel that takes place ten years later, I knew I had to read it.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
I read this immediately after receiving it. I have to admit, it didn't jazz me as much as I expected to be jazzed. The characters were difficult to care about, I felt pummeled by the satire, and in the end I didn't think it presented a very effective message.

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My brother got this one for me. I probably never would've bought this, but now that I have it, I can't wait to dive in. I love some epic fantasy. 

Hyperion by Dan Simmons
This is another brother-find. It looks like really compelling sci-fi, and he highly recommends it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This ARC comes courtesy of Jamie at bookmarked blog. It's the newest, highly-anticipated release from Laini Taylor. So stoked to read this. I have a feeling this one is a new favorite. 

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Another one I won from Jamie at bookmarked. Jamie was kind enough to take this to BEA so Hannah could sign it for me. Talk about going above and beyond! Thanks Jamie!