Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Title/Author: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Publisher/Date published: Atheneum, August 30th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes — one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned —
Are about him."

YAY for Witchlanders! I LOVED Witchlanders! WOOHOO!

So, I got that out of my system, now on to the slightly more coherent part of this review ;)

I could tell you that it's been a LOOOONG time since I last had male main characters capture my heart like Ryder and Falpian did. I could tell you there's an AWESOME dog in it called Bodread the Slayer, who is more like a lapdog with very sharp teeth. I could tell you the intrigue and magic system are beyond brilliant.

But I could also tell you to just go and read the book.

Because, seriously, it was THAT amazing. I absolutely loved it, I cared deeply for all the characters and they've created a little place for themselves in my heart. Especially Bodread, I think he'd guard it quite nicely as well.
I want to be friends with these characters, hug them when they're sad, sing with them.

The only problem I have with this book is that the author told me she's not sure there'll be a sequel. I NEED a sequel! I'm not done having adventures with Falpian and Ryder and would love to see the Bitterlands for myself. This SHOULD be a series.

This book here is why I love fantasy. Go read it.

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Book on My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This could also have been called: Books on Daisy's Birthday Wishlist, since the beginning of fall and my birthday kinda coincide :) (seriously, it's true, Wikipedia says so!)

Since I spend a pretty sizeable amount of time lusting after up and coming releases, this should be a breeze! Well actually, it would be, if there weren't too many of them... These will all be released between September 23rd and December 23rd 2011 :)

Oh, and my list is featured over at The Broke and the Bookish this week!

1. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies: I've been pining for this book for ages and I have some serious cover love for this one. I'm a girl-in-gorgeous-dress-cover-slut, can't help it :)

2. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder: I have read and loved every single one of the author's books and am dying to read this one, I'm sure I'll love it as well. It's the first in her new series. I love her series.

3. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini: a little bit before the release of Brisingr it was announced that there would be a fourth book in this series and the wait for this one has nearly killed me, cause I NEED to know how it ends! I've been waiting for 3 freaking years already! (checked it: Brisingr came out in 2008)

4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: another gorgeous cover! And a girl with a fatal touch! COUNT ME IN! I've heard nothing but good things from those who were lucky enough to get and ARC of this book, so I'm kinda excited about it being released soonish!

5. Eve by Anna Carey: this sounds like another wonderful dystopian and I'm kinda still in love with the genre.

6. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: I'm kinda expecting this to turn up on a LOT of the lists, but I'm gonna add it anyway. I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet and I'll probably be the last one to do it if I start now, but I'm still excited for this one to come out. I've heard such amazing this about these 2 books that I can't help but jump on the wagon and get excited as well. I really should start reading Anna...

7. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen: another girl-in-a-dress on the cover and I'm loving it :) It sounds like it should be an amazing story and I hope it will be!

8. Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough: a MALE fairy godmother! Fairy godmotherness being genetic! WOOHOO! Seriously, this sounds like it's right up my alley! And I LOVE the cover!

9. Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs: I'm a greek mythology geek, it's true. I'm loving this trend in YA and this one has three teenage descendants of MEDUSA! How cool is that? I NEED this book!

10. Crave by Melissa Darnell: a girl half vampire, half powerful magic use, could be EPIC WIN! Excited to read this one soonish :)

So, that's my list, it was harder than I thought, so many books, only 10 spots on the list...
What let me know what's on your lists! Any should add to my already too-huge TBR list? (seriously, any bigger and it will start demanding the right to vote in the next elections as well..)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Title/Author: Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, September 1st 2004
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan."

So, confession time: Peter Pan was my first ever literary crush. Even though at the time I didn't even know what a crush was. I was 4. Or maybe 5? The point being: I LOVE Peter Pan. And this book had been on my to-read list for some time now, even though I hadn't yet managed to get my hands on a copy. So when it showed up on NetGalley, you better believe I clicked that button in under 1.5 seconds!

I love how this book gives us the story of Peter Pan before he was Peter Pan. Here, he's just Peter, the orphan boy who happened to cross paths with a chest full of starstuff and the Starcatchers trying to protect it. I'm not telling you what happens, but let me just say that it's SO GOOD! Just when I was thinking: but wait, this happened somewhere as well! And then BAM! it happened. And let me say that I LOVED the pictures in the book! I'm a sucker for a good picture in a children's book and these were wonderful. Even my Sony made them look good. Made me happy :)

This book is pretty big for a children's book, 478 pages in my eversion. But it flies by! Really, I blinked and then I'd read another 15 pages. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

I really liked Molly and LOVED Ammm the porpoise. 'Molly green teeth' cracked me up every time. Best. Greeting. EVER. My mom was looking at me funny when I snorted yet again.

I think I'm gonna go watch the Disney movie now :) I have it on DVD, hurray!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pictures from my Paris Trip!

Okay, so you guys were all so nice and wished me a nice trip and asked for pictures :) So, over a month after we got back, I'm finally typing up this post. Hope you enjoy :)

So, that's me standing in front of a house overgrown with plants. Cool right? We actually discovered this while we were searching for a place to eat somehwere in the neighbourhood of the Eiffel Tower. I'd live in that house.

Me and the boyfriend in front of the Eiffel Tower. The weather was so nice our first night, we just sat on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower and lounged. And there was an incredibly nice Australian lady who offered to take our picture when she saw us trying to take one ourselves. So, thanks again! When it gets dark all these light come on and it's very pretty (seriously, that thing isn't normally, it's just a big lunk of metal sitting there).

That pretty building in the back is the Sacre Coeur, which is a beautiful church. Our hotel was actually near it, closer to Gare du Nord. We went in there to hide from the rain and they were right in the middle of mass. It was a pretty average Tuesday and there were a LOT of people inside in the middle of the day, and something I've never seen before: about 20 nuns attending. I'm not religious, but I thought it was really beautiful.

The Jardins du Luxembourg. There were chairs all over the gardens and we sat here for a while and rested after walking across half of Paris :)

Even on a random Tuesday, the Champs Elysees is terribly crowded.

If you look close you can see it's a picture of the incredibly LONG line for the Louvre! And this isn't even all. Seriously, we stood in line for almost an hour and a half. But it was totally worth it! If you ever go to Paris, visit the Louvre. It's amazing, even if it was just the building itself, I'd recommend going there. But the art is wonderful as well! We could tell in advance without a map if we were getting close to something famous, because there would be way more people around. There was even a LINE to see the Mona Lisa.

And the sun decided to grace us with her presence when we got out of the Louvre :)

So, that was my trip. We visited a lot more things, but sadly, we also forgot to take pictures of a lot of it while we were oogling the scenery.
Another part of Paris totally worth visiting: Montmartre, it's right next to the Sacre Coeur and on the Pace du Tertre are lots of artists sketching/painting/making art otherwise. It was wonderful. And they have all these little shops that sell crêpes, so yummy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Title/Author: Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1) by Melanie Card
Publisher/Date published: Entangled Publishing, August 2nd 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job — bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon — the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying — so bringing people back from the dead it is.
But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.
However, nothing is as it seems — including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive..."

So how much do we love Melanie Card for making Ward be a twenty-year-old? If you're like me: VERY MUCH! There aren't enough books with twenty-somethings in it. The only thing that bugs me: it's immediately classified as Adult. But I think it would fit the New Adult (which should be way bigger than it is) better :) So that's where I'm putting it.

I really, really enjoyed this book! Right from the start where it challenges the gender stereotypes and flips them upside down. I mean, the female character is a very dangerous assasin, the male character is a wannabe-doctor and seems to have the damsel in distress down more than Celia does. LOVED IT!

Besides, Ward is just really likeable. I get how Celia would become attached to him. He's sweet. He's just a good guy and I think sometimes we're a bit short on good guys. So I liked him. And I LOVED his last name: de'Ath. SO COOL! And I loved that he performed surgery, the almost-doctor in me rejoiced. Though I would never ever even think of doing something like that on my own! Seriously!

This was a nice, relaxing, fluffy read. And I'm curious to find out more about Celia's murder and Ward's abilities and such, so I'm gonna make sure and add the sequel to my to-read list.

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Title/Author: The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose #3) by Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, August 2nd 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "London, 1914. World War I is looming on the horizon, women are fighting for the right to vote, and global explorers are pushing the limits of endurance at the Poles and in the deserts. Into this volatile time, Jennifer Donnelly places her vivid and memorable characters:
- Willa Alden, a passionate mountain climber who lost her leg while climbing Kilimanjaro with Seamus Finnegan, and who will never forgive him for saving her life.
- Seamus Finnegan, a polar explorer who tries to forget Willa as he marries a beautiful young woman back home in England.
- Max von Brandt, a handsome sophisticate who courts high society women, but who has a secret agenda as a German spy;
- and many others."

Ok, so I read The Tea Rose, which is the first book in the series about 8 to 9 years ago I think. Let's just say it's been awhile and that it was in the era before I discovered Goodreads. And my mind is a little fuzzy on what I thought of it exactly, except that I liked it, enjoyed reading it.

I didn't really remember much about the storyline, except that it had Jack the Ripper in it, and that was about it. So I had a bit trouble starting off, cause though the book explains all the relationships and summarizes what happened in the past, it would have been handier if I actually remembered it all. Don't let it deter you from reading this if you haven't read the other two. Everything is understandable, but there are a LOT of people in these books and I needed to get into it a bit further and then felt very comfortable there.

Because that is what this is: a very comfortable read. For most of the book anyway. That doesn't mean nothing shocking happens, cause shocking things do happen, but well, this book felt like having tea with my mother. Relaxing, fun. This book has the time to be leisure, it's pretty big. But I like my books kinda big.

Some things that bothered me: Seamus being called Seamie. He's a big, strong man. Let's just call him Seamus and not baby him. And I hope they caught this in the finished copy: somewhere along they talk about Willa's 'ankles', plural. And she lost one of her legs, so she only has the one. I know, details, but it bugged me.
And well, let's just say that some deaths were a bit too convenient for my taste.

BUT: very enjoyable story, you may want to take your time to read this, because it's big and there are many characters for you to enjoy. I did. Go read it, or the other two books in the series (I actually have #2 sitting on my shelf...).

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Title/Author: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, August 2nd 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger — a boy who seems to fade like smoke — appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know — about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy."

OMG! OMG! OMG! Seriously, I LOVED this book! And I'm so glad I did, because I've been pining for it for a year! Seriously, it was amazing.

And let me tell you why: this book read like a fairytale. Everything flowed and was beautifully worded and gosh, I just fell in love with the writing. I wanted to slow down reading because I was so loving the words. This almost never happens to me, usually when I'm this excited about a book I'm reading so fast because I want to know what happens next. And I did want to know what happened next with this one, but I also wanted to just savor the words.

And then there's the part of me who will always be a little girl loving fairytales, lying awake at night hoping the scary part won't come to life and wishing for the fairytale prince to save her if it does. And I got to indulge in that part of myself and it was wonderful.

I loved Lexi, she's a wonderful caring girl who feels a huge amount of responsibility and appears to be one of the only sensible persons in the town of Near. Gosh, the reactions to a stranger in Near were just medieval (I get that was sort of the point, but still). I loved her little sister as well, she was so CUTE!
And Cole, how could you not love Cole, all tortured amazing boy-ness of him! I just wanted to give him a hug.

I even liked The Near Witch, who was sort of the villain, but with a very good reason. Very nasty good reason. Very evil thing that happened to her. I loved how I could understand her being angry and wanting revenge.
The only persons I didn't like: the men. Seriously, all of them were just cavemen and hello, sexual harassment on one of the boys' part! Seriously! Not cool.

Anyway, the point is: I LOVED this book, it was amazing. You should read it. You should follow Victoria Schwab on her blog, cause she's totally nice and funny and there's a video there of her dressing up as a cupcake :) But most of all: YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!

My rating: 5+ stars

Friday, August 19, 2011

Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Title/Author: Always A Witch (Witch #2) by Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher/Date published: Clarion Books, August 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The adventures of Tam and Gabriel continue with more time travel, Talents, spy work, and of course, the evil Knights.
Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision — one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice."

I very recently read Once A Witch, the first book in this series and really enjoyed it! Tamsin is a breath of fresh air and I really connected to her. She struggles with not fitting in her family, being the only one who doesn't have a Talent. Or doesn't seem to have one as we discover in the book. But let's not get spoilery.

I was so glad I had Always A Witch waiting on me when I finished Once A Witch, cause I was really looking forward to finding out how Tamsin would fix everything and save her family. A lot of things are cleared up in this book, including why Tamsin's grandmother never told her she did have a Talent and it's a really good explanation! I was really glad of this, because it irks me when things get kept from the main character that are really important for no good reason. But here: VERY good reason.

I really loved Gabriel in Once A Witch and though he's not in the story as much as I would have liked, I loved him in the scenes he was in. He's a wonderful character, slightly overconfident, but it's endearing.

And as the summary says: Tamsin has a terrible choice to make and seriously, it's awful. I don't know if I could have done what Tamsin did, but for her it was totally in character and I loved her for it.

I hope there will be another book with Tamsin and Gabriel, but I fear that it's only a two-book series. It was wonderful and this was a great conclusion to the story started in book one, if you like witches, I'd highly recommended these books!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tunes on Thursday (6)

So every once in a while I do one of these and today is such a day. YAY! Snippets of this song keep going around in my head and I wake up fairly frequently thinking of this song. Especially the chorus.

And this part:

"And you're sugar and spice and everything nice
You got Monroe hips, poison lips and eyes
And you're sugar and spice and everything nice
You got open wounds in a young boy's pride"


Now, go on, listen to the song and tell me what you think :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Love The Earl by Caroline Linden

Title/Author: I Love The Earl by Caroline Linden
Publisher/Date published: Avon Impulse, August 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "A single lady in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a suitor...
Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it’s unlikely any man will court her now that she’s older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town.
No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets him right: no fortune hunter will win her heart or her hand. Far from put off, Rhys is intrigued. Interested. Entranced. And soon the only thing he needs more than Margaret’s fortune... is her love."

This is the second novella I've read in the last two weeks and I must say: still not a fan of the concept. I mean, if the whole thing is only 100 pages long, there's not much room for character development and I feel the characters are less fleshed out in general.

However, I did enjoy this novella. It was short, but sweet, even though I didn't really connect to the characters. I felt Margaret's brother was a cardboard, he served his purpose and that was really all there was to it.

I did like Margaret and Rhys, but I feel that if this had been a regular novel, I would have liked it a lot better, because now everything happened so fast, it was a bit unbelievable at times. Rhys was a really good hero though and I would have liked to spend more time with him.

But: I liked it, though I don't think I'll be reading many novella's in the future, it's just not really my thing.

My rating: 3 stars

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Title/Author: Fury (The Fury Series #1) by Elizabeth Miles
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, August 30th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better - the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel... something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls — three beautiful, mysterious girls — are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen."

OMG, SO CREEPY! Seriously, that's the gut-reaction I have after finishing this book. It was so, so creepy!

I almost did a did-not-finish on this one, but I'm really glad I made myself read on! The beginning was extremely slow and a bit bland for me and I told myself I'd force myself to read on to a number of pages and just before those ran out it got really good. Really, really good! The second half of the book was so much better for me than the first!

The first half was filled with not-so-smart-or-loyal girl (Em) thinking it was ok to hook up with her best friend's boyfriend. I mean, seriously? In what world does that ever end well? So that was a bit annoying. And there was Chase, who in the summary it says has done a bad thing and proceeds to be a pretty boring character until he makes 'friends' with Em.

Then the second half of the book was filled with very creepy revenge by the Furies! They've taken the form of 3 beautiful girls and they team up to exact revenge on Chase and Em for what they've done. And they leave a note for Em: 'Sometimes sorry isn't enough'. SO CREEPY! I couldn't stop reading the last 100 pages, it was so good and I needed to know how it ended! And then there's foreshadowing to the next book (I hope) on the final page, I cannot wait to find out what happens! Gosh, the Furies are very cruel. Really. I didn't really like Chase, but I was still sad about what happened to him. And I hope things work out for Em as well.

I do have to say that the only character I actually really liked was JD, he's awesome. I wish JD was my boy-next-door.

My rating: 3 stars (a solid 1 for the first half and 5 for the second half, makes it 3 total)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Notorious by Nicola Cornick

Title/Author: Notorious by Nicola Cornick
Publisher/Date published: July 26th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "When the ton's most notorious heartbreaker...
Dangerously seductive and sinfully beautiful, Susanna Burney is society's most sought after matchbreaker. Paid by wealthy parents to part unsuitable couples, she's never yet failed to accomplish her mission of diverting a groom-to-be. Until her final assignment brings her face-to-face with the man who'd once taught her an intimate lesson in heartache...
Meets London's most disreputable rake...
James Devlin has everything he's always wanted: a title, a rich fiancée and a place in society. But the woman who's just met his eyes across a crowded ballroom threatens it all. Not because she'd once claimed his heart, or that every sinuous swirl of her ball gown takes his breath away. But because the secrets she carries could cost him everything. To put the past to rest once and for all, Dev just might have to play Susanna at her own wicked game...
Let the seduction begin!"

I really enjoyed this book! Some of the frustrations I've had with the last couple of historical romances I've read didn't enter this one, so I'm good.

Devlin and Susanna have a history together and if it becomes more widely known, it could ruin both of their plans. Enter angst and tension. Enter more angst on Susanna's side because she knows they have history Devlin isn't aware of. Mystery, check! Tension, check! Lustable male, check! Strong female, check! Hearbreak, check! Believable love, CHECK!

My eyes tearing up... fail. Sadly, I didn't cry, but I did have stomach-clenching moments, so it's all good. But I so wanted to cry! This one did come the closest I've been to crying in a pretty long time, so I'm happy.

I really enjoyed this book, but the main characters were probably the only ones I actually liked. The man Susanna is sent to seduce was annoying and stupid and Devlin's sister made me cringe a bit as well. And I didn't like that she was pushed into a loveless marriage, somehow I feel that's not supposed to happen in a romance novel.

But this was really good, I was a bit disappointed we didn't get to meet the twins Susanna looks after, but well, you can't have it all. And I did like that Susanna didn't just change her mind about everything she believed in and wanted because of Devlin. She wanted love, not a sense of duty and I support her in staying true to that.

My rating: 4,5 stars (crying gets you five)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title/Author: Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, July 26th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school — being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger — Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood... and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time... And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm."

This was far darker than I would have expected. I mean, really, there's absolutely no warm and fuzzy in there. And I know the gods and goddesses of old weren't exactly known for their cuddly features, but still, these are reincarnated in teenagers, I expected something else.

Right at the beginning I felt like I'd somehow skipped the first 50 pages or something. We're thrown right into the action and because I didn't care about the characters yet, I didn't really care what happened either. And for me this didn't really get better throughout the book.

Ashline is really strong and really weak at the same time. I wanted to kick her and tell her to man up a lot of times while reading this book. She seemed a bit shallow to me, her choice in guys seemed to be determined by how good they looked and not what their personality was like. I couldn't connect with her for some reason.

The antagonist, Eve (Ashline's sister), is just plain EVIL! I mean, wow! And seemingly with no reason, I always appreciate it when the bad guy has a motive and I felt this was lacking here.

Some of the scenes towards the ending were very shocking and I hadn't expected what happened to Rolfe. I liked Rolfe. And well, yeah, I kind of did expect the whole cliffhanger thing, because there'd been hints throughout the book to it. Especially when something that should have been there was obviously missing (I'm not making sense if you haven't read the book, I know, but I don't want to be spoilery).

I did like the whole concept of gods being reincarnated as teenagers and the creepy beings that sort of try to keep them in check, or maybe try to destroy them, who knows. It's all really mysterious at this point. I'm not sure if I will continue on with the next book, but maybe I'll give it a try since I have so many unanswered questions!

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Taming of the Rake by Kasey Michaels

Title/Author: The Taming of the Rake by Kasey Michaels
Publisher/Date published: HQN Books, July 26th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn has it all... except revenge on the enemy he can't forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills–Beckman — the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.
Desperate to escape her family's control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she's only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he'll choose love over vengeance?"

I don't think the summary really does justice to the content of the book. And neither does the title. You see, the opportunity for revenge doesn't fall in Beau's lap, Chelsea puts herself in it, begging him to marry her so as to escape the man her brother wants her to marry and give Beau his revenge in return. And Beau doesn't really take her into a world of intrigue and danger, what really happens is that they elope, trying to get married before Chelsea's brother catches up with them. Oh, and Beau isn't really a rake actually. I haven't heard mention of another woman than Chelsea's sister 8 years ago...

But, regardless of the wrongness of the title and summary, this book was enjoyable. Chelsea is a smart woman who knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to employ sometimes less than respectable means to get it. And more power to her for it! Beau was a likeable character as well, though I didn't think he was as swoonworthy as some of his colleagues I've met in other books. I did love Puck, Beau's brother, he was such a right youngest brother, creating mischief and generally being in the way!

These characters were pretty well developed and I liked that there wasn't insta-love but something that grew, sure it only took a couple of days, but still. There was growth.

I did have issues with the secondary characters, namely Chelsea's brother and sister. They seemed stupid and petty and just cruel for no good reason. And that was really annoying! I know there had to be a villain, but still, I like well-developed villains.
I also missed the tension, there was some, but it could have been taken a lot further and made me cry and now it just didn't. I did like the banter between Chelsea and Beau and thought they were kind of perfect for each other, but there could have been just a bit more stumbling blocks on the road for me.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read, but not amazing.
My rating: 3,5 stars

Monday, August 8, 2011

I have a Twitter account!

So, I finally decided to just give in and create a Twitter account. I'm still a little scared, last time I did this I deleted it after 5 minutes, because all the tweets were overwhelming. But I felt like I was missing out on some awesomeness from fellow bloggers and authors who you can now legally stalk ;) So, from now on if you're interested, you can see what I'm thinking in 140 characters.

I feel like I've finally joined the 21st century ;) A bit hesistant maybe, but I joined.

Oh, one thing I forgot to add the first time I hit publish: my username is @DBetweenpages. Just in case anyone's interested.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cat's Tale by Bettie Sharpe

Title/Author: Cat's Tale: A Fairytale Retold by Bettie Sharpe
Publisher/Date published: Carina Press, June 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Once upon a time there was a scheming, lying tart who cared for nothing but her own pleasures and her shoe collection.
Once the peerlessly beautiful Lady Catriona, consort to the king, Cat's fortunes fall far when her aged husband dies. The king's wizard turns her into a cat and tries to drown her in the mill pond. Fortunately Cat is a clever survivor and enlists the help of Julian, the miller's youngest son, in her plan for revenge.
She originally sees Julian as a mere pawn for her plans to break her curse, but as they work together Cat comes to know and care for him. Even if the curse can be broken, can a good-hearted man love a woman who has been as vain and selfish as Cat?"

I almost never read novellas, because well, I like my books to be longer. I invest in getting to know these characters and connecting with them and I like staying with them for a while. This was a really quick read, I think it took me about 3 hours.

For a fairytale, this contained a lot of sex and lusty men and women. And I hadn't exactly expected this, so I neede a little mental adjustment, but after that it was alright, though I'd have liked it if the sex was a little less graphic.

Apart from this, the story was pretty nice. I liked that Cat knew exactly who she was and what she wanted and made no excuses for her behaviour. I really liked Julian and the way he cared for Cat when she was a cat. He's a loyal friend and wanted to do the honorable thing. I also liked Cat's stepdaughter, the princess, she was snarky!

This was an entertaining read without much depth to it, Cat as a cat was really amusing and I enjoyed the interaction between her and Julian.

My rating: 3 stars

Friday, August 5, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Title/Author: Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Publisher/Date published: Gallery Books, July 19th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions - it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter... so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?
Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter... except this story could come true."

Okay, so from the cover and from this summary I was expecting a sweet read. So there would be family drama, I can handle that. What I could not handle was the abusive relationship Hunter and Erin had going on. Yes I said it: abusive!

After the first two stories we get to read by them, I thought they'd work it out. Instead, they write stories for their class aimed at hurting the other person. How is this romantic??? And how is it ok for Hunter to be hurtful to Erin? Even if he's hot and smart, that doesn't make the other stuff go away.

And there's the whole Hunter plotting with Erin's grandmother, who we never actually meet. I mean, she's the villain of the book and we never meet her face-to-face?? Erin's grandmother seems cold and not grandmotherly at all. I would have like them to talk things through and find out what her grandmother's reasons were for cutting Erin off, but the story never got to that point.

Erin and Hunter are NOT good for eachother. They hurt eachother and are just generally worse version of themselves when they're around eachother. And then suddenly they're in love? I mean, Hunter is only nice for two seconds when they're alone and Erin makes a lot of bad decisions as well. I didn't feel the romance. I saw two people with unresolved issues that in the end were still unresolved and I felt slightly cheated by the ending.

I didn't really care for the secondary characters either, one guy was a romance-discriminating, annoying jerk, but conveniently a match for one of Erin's roommates.

All in all, I'm not impressed. I think the only reason I finished it was that I couldn't help but think: 'But it should be getting good soon'. Only it didn't really, it got worse. I did like that it was about college-aged kids and how they're dealing with classes and being away from home for the first time.

My rating: 1 star

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Title/Author: Lost Voices (Lost Voices #1) by Sarah Porter
Publisher/Date published: Harcourt Books, July 4th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "What happens to the girls nobody sees — the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in — all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?"

I think it was lucky for me that I read a review about this book before I started it. I somehow skimmed over the part in the summary where it mentions that it's really dark. Really, REALLY dark. And that's something that's good to know going in, because I'd expected something different altogether otherwise.

I liked Luce, though I did think her extreme loyalty to Catarina right from the start was odd. I mean, I can understand loyalty after you've been friends for a while, but right from the moment you meet? That was a bit unbelievable for me. I liked that Luce still had a conscience, something most of the other girls seemed to have lost at the same time they traded their legs for fins. I get that awful, unspeakable things have happened to these girls, but that doesn't make it less wrong to sink ships and kill people. Just for the fun of it.

It was a bit off-putting. I had a hard time connecting to other characters because they delighted so much in killing people. Innocent people who just happened to sail their boats at the wrong place and time. Catarina annoyed me a bit, she and Luce were supposedly really close, but she doesn't want to tell Luce about her past and then turns around and discusses it with a newcomer. I thought she was two-faced and just not the kind of person I'd put my trust in.

I had expected a bit more from the underwater-world, but it seemed a bit bland and grey. I did however like the whole idea of girls becoming mermaids for the reasons in this book and the mermaid-lore described in the book, including the singing and especially all their songs being different. I'm curious to see what will happen in the next book and if a certain boy will make another appearance, cause that could really add some extra intrigue!

I enjoyed the book, but going in you need to know that it's really dark. The ending left me feeling a bit confused, it somehow didn't feel like the end of a book. But I did like Luce and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next!
My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Ten Trends I'd Like To See More/Less Of

So, it's been a while since I last participated in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the other blog I participate on: The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, I just haven't had the time or couldn't think of 10 for the list.

But I'm back with a topic that I'm loving: Top Ten Trends I'd Like To See More/Less Of.

Let the games begin :)

Trends I'd Like To See More Of:

1. Mermaids: I LOVE mermaids. Don't you love mermaids? They are awesome and underwater worlds are among the most beautiful and mindblowing I've ever come across. Plus I wanted to be Ariel when I was little. Enough said.

2. Fairytale retellings: LOVE them! Fairytales were my first love story-wise and well, there's just no going back after that. Fairytale retellings can be so strong, especially when they take a tale and make it into something new. I just love it.

3. Greek Mythology: I'm a Greek Mythology geek and I'm not afraid to admit it. I love the mythology thing happening in YA lately and hope to see more of it!

4. Ass-kicking female main characters: seriously, I think girls these days can fend for themselves and it should be reflected in the books we read. I'm tired of girls waiting around to be saved and I'm glad to see there are some strong women running around these days.

5. Series: this is something I'd like to see more AND less of... I love series because I like to get a little reward for investing in these characters and staying with them for more than one book is something I enjoy. BUT (yes, huge but), there are so many series seemingly just being written to follow the trend of being a series that there's hardly a book out there that's NOT part of a series. SO, I'll rephrase: I love to see more great series who actually have a business being a series because the story needs it, not because it's good for marketing.

6. Witches: I'm loving witches. I've been in love with witches and wizards ever since Harry Potter stole my heart. And it just so happens that The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab is released today! YAY! I haven't read it yet, but I'm going to very, VERY soon.

Trends I'd Like To See Less Of:

1. Love Triangles: it's a somewhat chewed out topic in the blogosphere, but I'm a bit tired of love triangles. Or more like lust triangles, seeing as you're not really in love if the next hot guy to come along makes you have doubts about being with your 'soulmate'.

2. Soulmates at 16: seriously. SERIOUSLY! Just, no.

3. Defanging paranormal beings: vampires/werewolves/demons/you name it, all these kickass creatures are being romaticized and just getting their 'grrr' ripped out. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for there being more to them than just bloodlust, but they have to remain a little dangerous and there has to be a little doubt that they're 'good'. They don't need to be lapdogs, let them run a little wild.

4. Absent parents in YA: I mean, I get it's more convenient, but really? It's just not realistic. My parents weren't home all the time, but they still knew what was going on in my life. And believe me, they'd KNOW if I was sneaking out at all times, battling demons and such. Parents always KNOW. It's spooky how they seem to have this special radar for stuff you're trying to hide from them.

So I did a combination, cause I love gushing and ranting :)

What do you guys think? Leave me a link to your list!