Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten:
What are your top ten favourite heroines?

1. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice: I've already ranted about why I love her in the top ten favourite characters post, but let me say again: she's amazing, she's smart and loving and she gets the good guy.

2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games: I have so much love for Katniss. She doesn't even realise how amazing she is. I especially love that's she's loyal and cares so much about her family. As for boy-related stuff: she's more than a bit clueless, but I think it's actually charming.

3. Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials: Lyra is cool, she won't take crap from anyone. And she has a daemon. And I want one.

4. Juniper from Juniper and Wise Child: I keep ranting about these books and this character because they are so lovely. Juniper is strong and sweet at the same time and she's just a role model.

5. Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet: a girl dressing up a boy because she wants to become a knight, that is my kind of girl! She totally shows that women can be very powerful. Besides, in the end she shows great taste in men.

6. Gemma Doyle from the Gemma Doyle series: I love how she struggles with wanting to fit in and be friends with the other girls and what she feels is right. She has amazing magical abilities and a charming disregard for the rules society makes.

7. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter: Hermione is just cool. She the cleverest little witch of her generation and she manages to put up with both Harry and Ron. And she always has a part in saving the day.

8. Cara from the Sword of Truth series: Cara is a kickass Mord-Sith who doesn't take crap from anyone and is amazingly loyal even when she doesn't have a binding reason (if you've read the books, you know what I mean) to anymore.

9. Katie Chandler from Enchanted Inc: I love these books! Katie is such a lovable heroine, she lives in a world filled with magic, but doesn't have any powers herself, which is what makes her very valuable to the magic community. She's kind, can be insecure and she's intelligent. And this one has great taste in men as well :)

10. Emma from Emma (this one was obvious): I don't know why I love Emma so much, other than the fact that she's nice, cares a lot about her father and she's intelligent. Jane Austen gave her a lovely voice.

I'll probably go read other people's lists and be like: AAAH! Why didn't I put her on the list as well??

Anyway, what are some of your favourite characters?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mockingjay - not a review

I finished this yesterday and although I'll probably have to reread it to catch everything that happened (I noticed when rereading that I missed a lot in Catching Fire), I loved it.
I'm not posting a review yet, so I won't accidentally give some of it away while a whole lot of people are still reading it.

All I have to say is: GO READ IT! NOW!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top ten:
Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read

In no particular order:

1. Romeo and Juliet: I can't believe I've never read this book! I know the story and think it's a great lovestory, but I've never actually read the play. Or seen the movie. I can't get into the one with Leonardo Dicaprio, it's weird with it not being set in the right time period.

2. The Hobbit: I've tried to read this one, but unlike Lord of the Rings, this didn't grip me. It stares me down everytime I go to my parents' house where it's patiently sitting on the shelf, waiting for me to finally muster up enough courage to try again.

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck: I've heard people rave about this one and it's on my to-read list, but I haven't gotten around to actually reading it.

4. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott also known as the sequel to Little Women. I didn't even know it existed up until 2 months ago when I bought it at a book sale.

5. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier: I love her books, but I've never read this one.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I was a bit suspicious of this one as EVERYONE is raving about it, but finally decided to add it to my to-read list. Now I'm just waiting for my mom to read it, so I can borrow hers.

7. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: so this one has been sitting on my shelves for noone knows how long. I really liked the movie (it's like art, such beautiful pictures), but haven't read the book yet.

8. The Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman: I can't get my hands on this one. It's so annoying and the only reason it isn't on my already read list.

9. The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson: my dad owns them and I really have no excuse for not having read these cause I have very easy access. They intimidate me.

10. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: I preordered it and my stupid bookstore decided they didn't need to order it themselves in time :S I should be reading this right now. I can't believe them! What makes it worse is other stores in the chain have it stocked (I can check on their site) but those are all really far away. I'm so frustrated right now!

So this was my list of shame, what's on yours? Any thoughts on what should be the first to come off it and onto my 'yes, I've finally read it' list?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

You're The One That I Don't Want by Alexandra Potter

Title/Author: You're The One That I Don't Want by Alexandra Potter
Publisher/Publication Date: August 5th 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton
How I got it: I bought it.
Why I read it: I really liked Me and Mr. Darcy and Do You Come Here Often, so I thought this would be a fun read as well.

Lucy and Nate meet in Venice when she's 18 years old. Both following a coarse abroad, they wish the summer would never end because then Lucy will have to go back to England and Nate to the US. A man sitting on the streets tell them the way to guarantee they'll be together forever is to kiss underneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset when the bells are tolling. Caught up in the moment, they do exactly this and promise to stay in touch. Of course this isn't as easy as it sounds, with long distance phonecalls as the only contact. They break up and Lucy finds out through her sister who's living in New York that he's gotten married to another woman.

10 years later, Lucy still can't get Nate out of her head and her relationships since haven't been very succesful. When she moves to New York, the last thing she expected happens: she bumps into Nate again. They get together again, but find that both are different from the image the other had in his head of them. They break up, but fate throws them together again. And again. And AGAIN.

I really liked the concept of this book: what if you can't get away from someone who isn't the one after all? Lucy and Nate keep getting stuck together in the most unlikely ways, even though they'd rather not see each other again. They even manage to get stuck in the same hotel room with nothing else available. This of course causes trouble with Lucy's new love interest (who is a lovely guy by the way).

Lucy was a likeable main character. She sometimes makes really bad decisions, is clumsy and gets arrested for breaking into a park at night, trying to get rid of Nate by casting a spell and burying his boxershorts (yes, really). All at the advice of Robyn, her roommate, who's a bit different so to speak, but very lovely. I liked that Lucy also shows a more responsible side of herself when her sister needs her.

On the other hand, I really didn't like Nate. The way he's described at the beginning of the book as a fun guy Lucy fell head over heels in love with in Venice is completely different from the way he acts when they meet again. It's like there are two different Nates. He's very anal and doesn't really seem to care about what Lucy does and what her dreams are.
In comes Adam, the moviefan who's incredibly sweet and likes Lucy for herself. He was such a complete contrast to Nate and I really adored him.

Anyway, all in all this was an enjoyable read. Some things were really predictable and I saw the ending coming for miles, but it was a relaxing read, which was just what I needed while being anxious about my test last Friday. If you haven't read anything by her, I'd suggest starting with Me and Mr. Darcy, as I liked that one better (could also be because I'm obsessed with anything Jane Austen related, but still).
My rating: 3 stars.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. Hop on over and join in on the fun!

This week's question:
How many blogs do you follow?

There are 38 in my bloglist, 3 of those are about book-tours and one is the other blog I participate in: The Broke and the Bookish. I try to check what's going on at those I follow at least every other day and mostly manage to read and comment on posts that interest me. I've fallen behind a bit this week because of the test I had to take yesterday at the end of my ear-nose-throat internship (totally passed by the way :D), but I'm going to do some catching up today.

How many blogs do you (actively) follow?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Title/Author: Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Publisher/Publication date: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 6th 2010
How I got it: I requested it via NetGalley as an ARC and got it from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Why I read it: I love historical fiction and YA, so those two combined are sure to be a winner

They strip her naked, of everything-undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen-still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love.

Louisa isn't one to conform to society's idea of what a proper lady should be like. She doesn't like dressing up and calling on neighbours, instead she wants to be a doctor, like her father. This is in a time when being a doctor is still seen as a man's job and studying for women is unseemly in many people's opinion.
Louisa struggles to be taken seriously, both in the asylum when she claims she's not crazy and when she tells her family she wants to study medicine at the only school in London that accepts women.

I really liked Louisa, the first person narrative really draws you in. I felt really indignant when I read about the view people had on women wanting to study medicine (me doing the same right now). This is what's said in her file:
"Facts indicating insanity:
An interest in medical matters inappropriate for one of her age and sex.
Excessive book-reading and study leading to weakening of the mind."

I mean: WHAT??? So you see, every one of you reading this is probably mad, I mean excessive book-reading would do the trick for most of us. And I'm a total goner, cause I qualify for both. How can reading weaken your mind??

The author shows you Louisa's childhood through flashbacks, which slowly explain everything that's happening. I guessed pretty early on what had happened between Louisa and her cousin, but I was actually surprised to find out who had her committed to Wildthorn and how deep the betrayal really went. You think you know someone and sometimes you just don't know what they are really capable of.

I liked how their was real character development, Louisa grows due to her time in the asylum and her mother also becomes a whole lot stronger. I did see the lovestory part of it coming for ages, but it was really sweet and I liked the ending.

I would recommend this book to anyone who, like me, has a love for historical fiction and YA.
My rating: 4 stars

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Which Austen Heroine Are You?

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

I came across this one on the internet and had fun filling out the quiz. If you're interested, check it out here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. Hop on over and join in on the fun!

This week's question:
How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?

Shelf??? Do you mean that thing I call my bookcase, which isn't really visible underneath that pile of unread books anymore?
I always say I have a shelving problem. My boyfriend disagrees, he says I have a book buying problem. Same difference really.
I haven't counted in a while, but I'm sure it's over 50 (it was 50 a year and a half ago and I'm scared to count again). I've been trying to cut down by avoiding the book store, but after a month and a half I got really bad detox effects, so that didn't work out so well.
This is by the way only my stack of physical books, I also have many, many, many unread ebooks and the number of books on my to-read list is 402 (gotta love Goodreads, adds at least 20 books a month to this list).

So tell me, do you have a shelving problem or are you more of a less is more kind of person (I don't get this when it comes to books, but I know people who do)?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman

Title/Author: The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
Publisher/Year published: the Penguin Group 2010
How I got it: I bought it after a month and a half of not buying books (my shelves are overflowing with unread books)
Why I read it: It sounded interesting, I had my eye on this book for some time and now it was finally available in paperback, which is a lot nicer on my bank account.

"Listen. The Sanctuary of the Redeemers on Shotover Scarp is named after a damned lie for there is no redemption that goes on there and less sanctuary."

This is how the book starts. Gripped me right away.

The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a vast and desolate place - a place without joy or hope. Most of its occupants were taken there as boys and for years have endured the brutal regime of the Lord Redeemers whose cruelty and violence have one singular purpose - to serve in the name of the One True Faith.
In the midst of all this there's a boy, of 14 or 15 years old, noone knows exactly, they call him Thomas Cale, but that may or may not be the name his parents gave him. He's beaten down daily and has sort of become immune to the cruelty he meets. Until one day he sees something so unspeakable and takes action against it. After this, the Redeemers will be after his blood and he has to escape the sanctuary, something that no boy has done and lived to tell it.
His only hope is reaching Memphis, a city he's told is sinful, but also has walls that can possibly keep the Redeemers out.
Redeemer Bosco, who has always shown a special interest in Cale, is determined to get him back, whatever the cost.

At the end of the book I was glad to find (on the last page) that this book will have a sequel. This is something that's good to remember while reading it, cause I was trying to figure out how Hoffman would wrap everything up when he only had 100-50-30-3..?? pages left. Which was kinda confusing.

Thomas Cale doesn't have an easy life and at first I really had to get used to the believes of the Redeemers and the logical way their actions followed out of this. And Cale's own actions from the way they 'raised' him.
At first you only glimpse what's seen on the outside, a secretive, strange, violent boy. After a while you get to know him as a boy that hides his character behind this mask and can actually have his gentle moments. I had to remind myself several times this was a 14 year old boy, cause the way he acts is years beyond his age.

At the end I got a glimpse of why Cale was so special to Redeemer Bosco and I'm curious to find out exactly what this is and see how Hoffman continues this story.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book. I liked it, but I'm still sort of confused by it. I did however enjoy how Cale's character developed as he encountered things he never knew before, like love and adoration.

For now this will get 3.5 stars, I think I need the next book (which will be out January 2011) to form a more solid opinion.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Release date: March 1st 2011

From Goodreads: "There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man."

In The Wise Man's Fear Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

The sequel to The Name of the Wind, which was amazing! I'm so not patiently waiting for this one.
What book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Ten Most Dislikable Characters

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks Top Ten:
What are your top ten most dislikable characters?

1. Frank McCourt from Angela's Ashes: I think this is the only book I've ever truly hated, mainly because I thought the main character was just a whiney and overall annoying boy. I just wanted to shout WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? at him throughout the whole book.

2. Quentin Coldwater from the Magicians: he has really has no redeeming qualities. He's arrogant, lazy, ungrateful, whining.. And he's drunk of his ass most of the book, which isn't very charming either.

3. Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights: she's just weird and annoying. I couldn't get the way she treated Heathcliff. I know it's a classic, but I didn't really like any of the characters.

4. Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter: EVIL! She's just plain EVIL! (yes in all caps) And for no reason whatsoever. HATE HATE HATE her!

5. William Hamleigh from Pillars of the Earth: again EVIL! The only drive he has is to destroy all the characters I love (Aliena, Prior Philip, Jack Jackson) and I will never forgive him for killing one of the characters I really loved as well (can't tell, major spoiler).

6. Anna Karenina: she just reminds me of a person suffering from borderline personality disorder and I just can't agree with the choices she made. She's a horrible mother and is never satisfied with anything. I couldn't bring myself to like her.

7. The guy who killed uncle Tom from Uncle Tom's Cabin: I really can't remember his name, but what he did traumatised me when I was 9 or 10 years old. I think up until this moment only evil or really ancient people died in the books I read (all from natural causes I think), never the good, lovable ones.

8. M. Danglars from the Count of Monte Cristo: he wanted to destroy Edmond Dantes (who I love) because he was jealous of his position on a ship. Seriously?? That's not something to destroy a person over! You try to do better yourself. Shame on you Danglars!

9. Mercy Williams from The Heretic's Daughter: first Sarah's family takes her in and then she goes around spreading bad stories about them and accusing her mother of witchcraft. That's just evil and ungrateful.

10. The Grey Knight from Juniper: I was terribly afraid of him when I was younger. I mean, he could turn into a big vicious black dog, he stank of rotten eggs and he chased after children and tried to kill them. He's horrible!

It was kind of hard coming up with 10 I really dislike cause even the villains most of the time are interesting characters. But I made it :)
Tell me about your most disliked/hated characters.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Colman by Monica Furlong

Title/Author: Colman by Monica Furlong
Published: 2004 Lemniscaat Uitgeverij
How I got it: I got it at the bookstore while I was looking for the first two parts of this series, I didn't know there even was a third book at the time!
Why I read it: I loved both Juniper and Wise Child, so of course I had to read the final part to get closure.

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of reading Juniper or Wise Child, I'll sum up the story:
Juniper is the daughter of King Mark and has been pampered, but for the finishing of her education she's sent to Euny, a wise woman living in a small hut in the Other Land. Euny is in fact a doran, a wise woman who has some controll over magic, but only when it's in harmony with the natural flow of things (as in no cursing or harming of other people, except when in grave danger yourself). Juniper is trained in her ways and even has to fight off her aunt Meroot and her husband, the Grey Knight, when they try to take over the kingdom of Juniper's father.
Later on, when Juniper is all grown up, she's settled in a village and helps the people out when their sick or injured. When Leana's (Wise Child) mother Maeve dissappears, Juniper takes her into her house and teaches her the same way (but more gentle) Euny taught her. When Maeve returns, who turns out to be a black witch, Leana's loyalties are tested severely.

Now for Colman: Juniper is on trial for causing the plague in the town she and Leana live in and they are forced to flee to Juniper's homeland. When they get there, they find out Juniper's evil aunt has taken over the kingdom and imprisoned Juniper's little brother, 17-years old and the heir to the throne, his once he turns 18. Leana and Colman (Leana's cousin and close friend) infiltrate the castle where the prince is kept and try to find a way to defeat Meroot and the Grey Knight and restore prince Bragwynn to the throne.

Reading the first two books in the series was such a magical experience for me as a child, I read them over and over again. So many times my mom still recognizes the names from seeing them around (and I read a LOT of books back then). I was really excited when I discovered there was a third book, since my library didn't have that one and back then I didn't know how to look for things like that and had just accepted that the story would be unfinished. Imagine my delight at finding a way to have closure!

This book is told in Colman's point of view and he just doesn't have the same charm Juniper and Leana did. He's a likeable boy and good friend to Leana, but it's not the same. I loved the magical feeling and learning experience in the previous two and felt it was missing in this one. The climax also wasn't the sort of epic battle I expected. Still, I liked this book, it meant revisiting old friends for me and gave me closure for the story and I'm glad I read it.

The book is categorized as suitable for 12 years and older. I read the first two while I was about 8 or 9 and that's really not too young for this series. I'd recommend the whole of the series, but especially the first two to all girls this age, because it shows strong and gentle female characters, especially Juniper is a role model in my opinion.

My rating: 3 stars (for this one, the first two both get 5+ stars)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Sizzlin' Summer Book Giveaway

Chelle from The Prairie Library is giving away some hot books! Open internationally, check it out here.

The books are:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
This is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. Hop on over and join in on the fun!

This week's question:
Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

I almost always listen to music while reading, but I also almost always have the radio on or listen to music on my computer. If the book is good, I won't remember what I've listened to, but some of my favourite cd's to turn on while reading are:
- Sara Bareilles - Little Voice (love her and have seen her perform, which was amazing!)
- Anything by Kane (a dutch band I love)
- Lifehouse - No Name Face
- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Fruit (have seen them perform too, so much fun)

And lately I've been playing Push Me To The Ground by Shane Shu, Pack Up by Eliza Doolittle and Half Of My Heart by John Mayer and Taylor Swift over and over agagin.

What do you listen to while reading? Or does it distract you too much? I can tune most anything out while reading.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collings
Publication Date: August 24th 2010

From Goodreads:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

I can't say this enough: I'm so excited about this book coming out (and this is probably the easiest pick, but no matter, I'll try to pick something a little less conspicuous next week) and have already preordered it!

What books are you waiting (impatiently) on?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top Ten Favourite Characters

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten:
What are your top ten Favourite Book Characters?
Mine is actually featured on the Broke and the Bookish this week.

This is so incredibly hard!! I feel like picking between children/pets as to which one is favourite.
Which is why I'm gonna cheat a bit :)

1. Peter Pan: I think Peter Pan was one of the first book crushes I ever had, which is why he should come first on this list. I've always wanted to be able to fly and have been fascinated with Never Never land for as long as I can remember. Peter is such an awesome character who I think represents the child in all of us.

2. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice: I have so much love for Elizabeth because she's a smart female character. She grows up in an almost all-woman household and stands out from the rest of her sisters not because of her overwhelming beauty (though she is pretty) but because of her character. She's a good daughter, sister and friend to those around her. Plus, though she may be stubborn, she's also able to adjust her view when presented with convincing evidence.
As for Mr. Darcy (told you I was gonna cheat): he's just noble, not to mention tall, dark and handsome. I still get goosebumps everytime I read this passage:

"You must know... surely, you must know it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

Every girl has to admit they'd want a man saying this to her.
Ok, I will stop ranting about Pride and Prejudice now :)

3. Sirius Black and Dumbledore from Harry Potter: Sirius is the mysterious bad boy, he's wrongly accused of killing Harry's parents and has suffered extensively for this. Meanwhile, he shows such a great love for Harry and loyalty to his friends that I can't help but love him for this. Besides, I like how he's brave (sometimes foolishly so) and doesn't hesitate to step in when his loved ones are threathened. He stands for what he believes in. And I can't help but picturing as tall, dark and handsome pre-Azkaban. Also: his Animagus is a big shaggy black dog, what's not to love?
Dumbledore: he's your favourite grandpa and Santa combined and I love him very much.

4. Juniper from Juniper by Monica Furlong: I've loved this book for ever and I really appreciate the female characters all being strong and actually having more power than men. Juniper combines a caring side with enormous strength and she's a sort of role model in that aspect.

5. Kvothe from The Name of the Wind: Kvothe is a character who definitely has some faults, but he learns to overcome them beautifully. I love the voice Patrick Rothfuss has given him and am very anxious to continue his story in the sequel.

6. Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind: Rhett is mischievous and doesn't let Scarlett get away with any deceptions and untruths she'd like to hide from the world. He sees right through and still loves her for who she is, he accepts her flaws and all. He also shows a very caring and gentle side of himself, which I find very attractive.

7. Arya and Ned Stark from A Game of Thrones: Arya is Ned's daughter and is a genuine tomboy. She doesn't want to dress up and play nice, which sort of reminds me of myself, except for the fact she goes running around with a sword, which I never did. She knows to 'stick 'em with the pointy side'.
Ned Stark: or Lord Eddard as he's officially called. He's such a noble man, he believes in honour and truth above everything else and gets himself in trouble because of this, but still he will not back down. I love how he's a great lord and warrior while being a great family man at the same time.

8. Jo March from Little Women: I see parts of myself in Jo (namely the writing part), which is probably why I can relate to her so much. Jo is a lovely girl who cares so much about her family and who is able against odds (like her first manuscript being burned) to write and publish a novel.

9. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games: Katniss is a very strong character, she keeps her family alive during hard times and she fights to the death if that's what it takes to keep herself alive. She's brave and resourceful and shows a soft side in regards to her sister and the girl Rue she meets during the Hunger Games. There's also a stubborn and sometimes unforgiving quality to her I can appreciate.

10. Celaena Sardothien from Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: this one requires some explaining, since the book isn't published yet, but will be late 2011. I used to read a lot of stories on Fictionpress.com and this was one of them (it's not on the site anymore because of pending publication). Queen of Glass is a Cinderella retelling with a twist: Celaena isn't a damsell in distress but a very succesful assasin. She's fiercely protective, very strong and fights against all odds. She does everything with a passion and I really love her for this. When this one hits the shelves, I'll be the first in line to get a copy.

This was such a trip down memory lane!
I'm gonna cheat some more and have as honourable mentions: Lyra Belacqua, Mr. Knightley, Gandalf, Aragorn, Jack Jackson, Robin Hood and Gemma Doyle.

What are some of your favourite characters?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

Title/Author: Take A Chance On Me by Jill Mansell
Published: in 2010 by Headline Review
How I got it: I bought it, couldn't resist.
Why I read it: I needed some good romance and Jill Mansell always gives me that.

20-something year old Cleo Quinn hasn't been having the best of luck with men, but now she thinks she's finally found a keeper. Then Johnny LaVenture returns to town, once a childhood adversary and now a succesfull sculptor and all around goodlooking guy. And he hasn't forgotten the past either.
Abbie, Cleo's older sister by 15 years, is married to Tom, who she loves dearly, the only shadow cast by their inability to have children. They've always been very happy together, but when a secret from the past quite literally enters their lives and home the marriage is on rocky grounds.
Things don't always go the way you planned them and when Cleo's boyfriend turns out not to be who she thought he was, Johnny bets her she can't last 6 months without a new guy. Of course, she's determined to prove him wrong.

First of, I have to tell you I've read and loved almost all of Mansell's books. And I have to say it goes for this one as well. I was in a bit of a reading slump after reading and not liking the book before and this was just what I needed to get me out of it. I've spent all Saturday just reading this book.
Yes, I know that there aren't that many unexpected turns in this book and I could already predict from the start who Cleo would end up with. But that doesn't take away from the funny, witty and romantic tale Mansell spins. She's a very engaging writer and I never get bored with reading her books. Her characters are lovable and I feel myself rooting for everything to work out, even though I know it will, in the end.

I'd recommend this one to all of you who enjoy romance, this is a good book to take with you on vacation, to read on the beach with the sun shining down on you. It's a light, enjoyable read and I give it 4 stars.