Sunday, April 20, 2014

Daisy Update (55)

Hi guys!!

Happy Easter! I hope it's filled with lots of fun and yummy chocolate and all those good things!
I've been recovering from a stupid stomach flu thing that started Sunday night and had me just feeling BLEGH all week, so there hasn't been much enjoying of food, but hopefully that will change over the weekend.

Aside from that I've been having a good time settling in to our new home. We've been living here for about 3 weeks now and it's been AWESOME! We've unpacked most of the stuff, only a couple of boxes remain and those are actually the hardest to unpack because I just don't feel like it anymore and it's stuff that if I haven't used it in a couple of weeks I'm kinda debating donating to second hand store.

I love our dishwasher and the bath and the dryer my mom got us and the new couch and the LIBRARY ROOM!! EEEE! Let me show you my beautiful room:

YES THAT IS A WALL OF BOOKS! Everyone who's seen it has been like WOW that is a lot of books and then back up, eyeing me like I'm crazy. But I don't care. I love my library and sometimes I just go into that room and stare at all my books. BLISS.

Everything is slowly coming together and it's awesome.

All of this moving going on has left me with not so much time to read, and I've been marathon-watching Hart of Dixie, so that took up a lot of time, but it helps me wind down and I just love it.

I hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review of A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

Title/Author: A World Without Princes (The School For Good and Evil #2) by Soman Chainani
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, April 15th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love — and this time, it comes from within.


Guys, I adored The School For Good and Evil, the first book in this series (why do I keep trying to write The School for FOOD and Evil?), it was so cute and boarding school awesomeness and just YES! So obviously I was excited to get to read the sequel!

So Agatha and Sophie are back in business! They start out at their village but obviously they get back to the School, HOORAY! Everything is in shambles because of Agatha's wish and it's now the School for Girls and Boys instead of Good and Evil, so Evers are thrown with Nevers, all the girls on one side and all the boys on the other, so EPIC battle of the sexes! It was kinda scary how every fairytale got turned upside down and all the princes were cut out of it or thrown to the wolves after they'd served their purpose, but also a whole lot of fun.

I actually liked Sophie better this time around than Agatha. I felt like Sophie was a truer friend, even though there were still moments when I wanted to shake her. But especially towards the end of the novel, there were those moments where I just wanted to hug Sophie and tell her everything would be ok and I'd totally be her friend cause she's awesome.
I still really like Agatha, but I felt that she was less in this friendship and I can get where she's coming from, but it wasn't always nice. Especially towards the end. I really didn't like her towards the end.

And while I really liked the whole spin on everything and the fairytales and just going on adventures with Sophie and Agatha again, this one worked a teensy bit less for me than The School for Good and Evil did. There was a little less excitement and I missed the classes, there was some of it, but I would have liked to have so much more of the actual school in there!

But it was still a really sweet story with some harshness thrown in that I had not seen coming and intrigue and just another wholehearted YES! And OMG THAT ENDING! Give me the next book NOW!

My rating: 4 stars

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review of The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Title/Author: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte Press, April 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time — a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

So I read 2 or 3 of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books and I loved them. So obviously I was excited when I heard about this new and completely different book by Ann Brashares! But I'm sad to say that it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

I'm always fascinated by time travel and creepy diseases wiping out most of the population, it's what I read about when I want to freak myself out, because I can imagine this happening in the future. And I thought the part about the mosquito-borne illness was really well done. It's awful and made me chase all the mosquitoes in my home and kill them.
I'm still a bit confused about how the whole time travel thing worked, it wasn't really explained.

At times I liked Prenna. And at other times I was just REALLY annoyed by her. REALLY annoyed. I mean, she catches on REALLY slowly and if her mom hadn't sat her down and gave her a decent talking to, I think she would have risked the fate of the whole planet for her crush. I felt that for someone who's seen the world basically end, she's way too naive. But then there are the moments when she takes charge and sort of threatens the powers that be and how she cared for her little brother when he got sick and those are the moments that I respected her. Those are the moments when she made a change.
But she had a serious case of too-stupid-to-live going on when she walks right into a trap from the powers that be eyes wide open and then Ethan gets her out way too easily. SO ANNOYING.

I wasn't really convinced by the romance either. Though they do share some sweet moments in the beginning and I could see how they could be friends and maybe have that develop into something more. They jumped to the something more awfully fast and there was a love bomb I wasn't prepared for and just UGH. Also, I didn't really like Ethan. I felt like he was pressuring Prenna to have sex and that's just not ok. And while he did so jokingly, it's still not ok.

I felt like the powers that be were making things difficult just because they could. Also, there's one pivotal moment that Prenna and Ethan are trying to prevent from happening and they have to save someone, only they don't actually KNOW who they're supposed to save and one person knew and told them they had to save SOMEONE but now WHO that someone was. WTF?? I mean, seriously, the fate of a lot people is riding on this and you're deciding to keep this a secret? WTF??

So I did like the whole background for the story and them finding out what actually caused the disease in the first place, but I had a lot of problems with other things in the book and it wasn't what I had hoped when I started it.

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review of The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Title/Author: The Ring and the Crown (The Ring and the Crown #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher/Date published: Disney-Hyperion, April 1st 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of - the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

It's not an April Fools joke, I'm really back at blogging! I think.

So I read The Ring and the Crown last week and while I was a bit hesitant to start it at first, because I'd heard less than favourable things about Melissa de la Cruz's other books, the summary sounded to good to be resisted and I'm happy to say that I did very much enjoy The Ring and the Crown!

There are a couple of different storylines overlapping each other and while I had to get used to the different POVs at first, once I got to know each of the characters, I started enjoying it. It added a bit more perspective to the story than if had just been focused on Marie or Aelwyn.
So let's talk about the characters: I actually really liked most of the ones who had their own POV, except for Isabelle, who I thought needed to grow a spine and a brain. My favourites are probably Ronan and Wolf, because LOVE! And sadness. But I don't want to spoil anything so that's all I'm going to say.

While I liked the multiple POV and how it added to the storyline, it made some of the characters a bit better fleshed out than others. I would have loved seeing more of Aelwyn's magic and while her father and the Queen are a presence in the background, we don't really get to see much of them either and they're so intriguing characters! Especially with the big reveal at the end.

Towards the end there was shock and intrigue and I had a few swoons along the way. It was easy to get lost in this alternate history England that Melissa de la Cruz has created and I loved the fantasy elements. But then the ending came and I was abruptly yanked out of my daze because WHAT WAS THAT?? I felt like the ending brought us back to pretty much where the book began with a few adjustments! AND I DON'T LIKE IT. And there was this whole big reveal about a LOT of things that had gone on for a LOOOOONG time and BOOM everyone just accepts this? I mean WTF??? I was just staring at the screen of my ereader and going WAIT WHAT??? But HOW. And WHY. And JUST NO. UGH.

So while I REALLY enjoyed most of the book, I was very disappointed by that less than stellar ending. I am really curious to see what will happen next, so I'll probably be picking up the next one in the series, even though the ending left a bad tast in my mouth.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Daisy Update (54)

I feel like I start with this every time lately, but it's been A WHILE. Seriously, it's been two months. I feel like I haven't sat down to blog in ages, and it's mostly due to this happening:

We got the key to our new home!!! I'm SO happy!! I can't take time off from work because of some silly rule, but the boyfriend has been painting and we had friends and family helping yesterday, so we've already painted all the walls and started on the floor downstairs and I'm SO EXCITED! We're planning on moving all our stuff there next weekend and the boyfriend and I spent today looking at couches and tables and all lovely new things and just YAYYYY! :D We'll have so much more space than we do now, even though I'll probably miss the apartment once we move out, because you know, I've lived here for 8 years and it'll be emotional saying goodbye.

So I've been busy planning and working and more planning and also fun things like a weekend away with friends last week and bookclub and many good things. But I've also been a bit exhausted and haven't really had much energy to spare to go into blogging.

I've also become addicted to Hart of Dixie, which you probably know, but for those of you who don't, it's about a GP in a small town and I just love it. And while I'm a GP in training, TV also sensationalizes everything. And also: it's not really deemed appropriate to wear short shorts or skirts while you're working as a doctor around here. But I do love it! It allows me to zone out and not stress over all the things I need to be doing for work/study/things around the house, other people's drama and all that :) It has drastically lessened the time I have to read though...

It'll probably be a while before everything calms down and I apologize in advance for lack of posts and lack of commenting on other people's posts, because I haven't checked my Bloglovin reader in weeks... Sorry! I'll get back to being a good blogging friend once we're settled in, promise!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book spotlight: My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Billet-Doux Books, March 10 2014

Goodreads summary: Book #1 in a new series of historical romances... with a twist.

The Bluestocking
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they've been at each other's throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

So I've talked about how much I love Katharine Ashe's historical romance before and today I'm happy to tell you she's releasing a new book: My Lady, My Lord. It sounds really good and I can't wait to read it!
Until March 31st it's only $2,99 for Kindle, Kobo and Nook.

And if I haven't convinced you to give it a try yet, you can read the excerpt below:

“Pelley is in there.”
Corinna halted her flight and looked over her shoulder. Ian stood in partial shadow, his long legs and handsome face slanted with torchlight.
“He is?” she said.
He folded his arms over his chest. “I thought that might stop you.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“I never lie.”
She bit her lower lip. “I didn’t consider the possibility of his presence here.”
He frowned, his gaze slipping along her bodice to her hips. “Apparently.”
“Don’t look at me with such disapproval,” she snapped. “Your doxies wear much less than this.” How on earth had she gotten herself into this? What had she been thinking? He was right: this was not she. She was trying to be something she wasn’t and making a fool of herself. And now Lord Pelley would see her in this scandalous gown, and any last hope she might still have of convincing him she was the serious woman to whom he should sell his publishing company would be lost.
“I don’t disapprove,” Ian said. “Quite the contrary. I’m merely curious as to your motive.”
The words that were so easy to practice alone in her dressing chamber now clogged her throat. His eyes sharpened. For a moment that seemed like forever, neither of them spoke. He strode forward and grasped her arm. Raindrops pattered on the shoulders of his dark coat and her lashes.
“I’m taking you home.”
She resisted. “What if I don’t want you to?”
“Oh,” he said in a low rumble. “You want me to.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway of Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Title/Author: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, March 18th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads | Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Goodreads summary: What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying — only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs — however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Side Effects May Vary was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2014. To me, the concept of a girl going through her bucket list and living like she is going to die soon and then NOT dying and having to deal with the consequences is fascinating. As a doctor, I have seen that sometimes it's just as hard for people to live as it is to die, especially when you've been expecting the opposite.

So obviously I wasn't expecting Side Effects May Vary to be rainbows and butterflies, and it wasn't. Julie Murphy's debut novel is brutal and honest and raw. And I liked it. There's nothing shiny about being diagnosed with leukemia and having to go through chemotherapy and it wasn't sugarcoated in this book and I appreciate that. The reality is harsh and awful and I felt that while reading Side Effects May Vary.

Alice wasn't necessarily a likeable character, but I didn't mind so much. She felt like a real girl with real fears and feelings and just a big mess. She's vindictive and then she has this moment in which she does something truly selfless for the little girl living next door. She has issues and she knows it.
Harvey is a good guy. He truly is. He's just also a bit spineless when it comes to Alice and her crap. And while it didn't make me awwww, I did believe their lovestory. There were moments when I believed in them and it made me understand why Harvey kept going back when she called him.

Julie Murphy takes us back and forth between Then and Now, switching from the moment Alice was diagnosed to the present after she's gone into remission. And slowly the whole story unravelled. I liked that both the Then and the Now were linear, and I wasn't thrown around all over the timeline, cause that makes me loose my bearings easily. I'm not sure it was really necessary to tell the story this way, I think it could have been linear all the way, but this worked as well.

Side Effects May Vary will have me thinking about it for a while I think, but from the subject matter, I think it could have packed a greater punch. I wasn't emotionally involved and I think that's what made me like it, but not love it. Julie Murphy told me a believable story about a girl with leukemia and the impact it has on someone and their loved ones without sugarcoating it and I really appreciate that.

My rating: 3,5 stars


Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel.

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