Monday, October 31, 2011

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Title/Author: Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
Publisher/Date published: Harcourt Children's Books, September 19th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.
So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship — one that could perhaps become something more.
Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace — unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother..."

So as you guys may know: I'm all about the mythology being in YA books and going WOOHOO over it. So you bet I was excited when I saw this retelling of the myth about the Minotaur!

And it's GOOD! Really. It's VERY good!

In this version of the story, the minotaur isn't a monster, but a physically dysformed boy who will always have the mind of a 4-year-old. And I was sad for this poor boy, while I cannot say he has never hurt a fly, he can't help it and I felt for him.

And then there's Ariadne, She-Who-Will-Be-Goddess. She is so brave, even when she finds herself facing rituals her mother never explained to her and doing this wrong will destroy her future and everyone she loves. I loved one part of the story, where it's shown how there are always two sides to a story: it talks about how a woman killed her children. One says she's insane, another says she did it out of love, becaus she knew they would be killed in a less kind way otherwise.

I didn't much care for Theseus, but the main focus is on Ariadne, so it didn't bother me. I absolutely loved all the rituals and the mystery of it all. I kept turning the pages to find out what it was exactly that went down during the ritual to actually become the Goddess, I did kind of guess it, but still, there was such suspense!

I loved how it all ended and I'm kind of glad this book is a stand-alone, because while I love series, this story is good as it is, being one book.
Oh, and this book made me glad to live in the 21st century, childbirth on ancient Krete is harsh.

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, October 30, 2011

IMM Vlog (3)

IMM is hosted by the lovely Kristi from the Story Siren!

If I'm again not so coherent, I blaim it on the fact that I'm a bit tired after going to a concert last night (I feel like I'm turning into a little old lady here..).

The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin
Het Grote Boek van Madelief by Guus Kuijer (childhood favourite!)

Matched by Ally Condie
Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski
Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Shoes by Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke
My Ruthless Prince by Gaelen Foley
The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James
How The Marquess Was Won by Julie Ann Long
Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims
Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
Pride by Penny Jordan
The Traitor's Daughter by Paula Brandon
Mistress by Midnight by Nicola Cornick
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
God's Eye by A.J. Scudiere
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Death Watch by Ari Berk
Legacy by Molly Cochran

I know, I need to lay off the requesting on NetGalley for a while ;) This is about 2-3 weeks worth of books I think, which makes it less bad, yes?

Oh, and what I meant to say at the end of the video was 'Hope you had a great book week and happy reading', but somehow the sound and the image didn't match up and it's a bit wonky.

Anyway, what did you get in your mailbox? Leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell

Title/Author: The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, September 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "It’s never wise to blackmail a highwayman. Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he’s the catch of the season and the man her father chose for her. He’s also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she runs away and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn! The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery - until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose. Corinne believes it the perfect plan - until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life."

Okay, so based on the summary, I was thinking: ooh, dangerous man with a soft heart! And I like my dangerous men to have softs spots in their hearts, if they're just dangerous, it's no fun. But to my disappointment, the man was not so much dangerous as he was soft.

I'm wondering what went wrong in the combination of this book and me, and I think it's the fact that I didn't quite believe everything that went down. And most of all: I didn't believe the romance. I did not believe that one meeting, where they made a scene has him mooning after her. And I did not believe that just because she lived in his house for 3 days, she suddenly loves him, when pretty much all he's done is ignore her and spend as much time outside of his house as possible.

I was kind of expecting the big twist at the end and this made it pretty anticlimactic for me. And I never really warmed up to the two main characters, which is something that can make or break a book for me.

I did like the story in itself and that the Thorn was a sort of Robin Hood, he was in truth a good man, but not the dangerous man I was expecting based on the summary.

My rating: 2 stars

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Title/Author: The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War #3) by Philippa Gregory
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, October 18th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines."

I had completely forgotten how much I love Philippa Gregory's books! I've read The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool and I loved them, I don't know why I waited this long to read another of this author's books!

I'm such an anglophile and every time I pick up one of the books about a part of english history, I can't believe I didn't know more about that time period already. Seriously, I think we skipped the interesting parts of history in high school.

I loved Jacquetta as a character! She was such a sweet young girl, who just wanted to be loved and was disappointed when she found out her first husband didn't marry her for love at all. I loved that she had visions and that they were both beautiful and tragic. And Richard! OMG, Richard! If there ever was a swoonworthy historical character, it's him! Wouldn't you want your man to say 'I always come home to you'?? I know I do! But then again, mine doesn't go off to fight wars, only soccer matches ;)

I never knew Henry VI was so messed up! And OMG, the foreshadowing for what is to become of Elizabeth Woodville, Jacquetta's daughter! Sure, I've heard of the princes in the Tower that nobody is really sure about what happened to them, but that she was their mother... I can't wait to read the previous two books in the series, I'm dying to find out EVERYTHING!

My rating: 5 stars

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Title/Author: The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
Publisher/Date published: Albert Whitman & Company, September 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lives below stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London. Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper. The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs Cotton by pretending the house is haunted.
So when a real ghost makes an appearance - that of her beloved mother - no one is more surprised than Abi. But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi’s already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof. With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it’s up to Abi to nurse him back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst. As the chilling truth dawns, Abi’s world is turned upside down."

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I appreciate it for what it is: a YA mystery/ghost story. On the other hand: it kind of fell a bit flat for me.

I wasn't feeling the whole mystery and I figured some major plot points out pretty early on. And towards the end, Abi had a completely too-stupid-to-live moment. And I'm glad it was only a moment, but seriously? Who would be stupid enough to go to sleep somewhere a killer can get to you? Seriously? How dumb can you be?

Anyway, there was the obvious villain Mrs. Cotton, the housekeeper, who is just plain evil. She drowns kittens. EVIL! I was horrified by what she was doing and other than spite, the reason behind this remained unclear for me. Which was another thing that bothered me.

However, I did enjoy this book and I didn't feel the need to put the book down and discontinue it, so there was some appeal. I liked Abi, she was a caring character and though maybe a bit naive, she was a pretty smart girl. I like smart girls.

I also liked the sort of epilogue, that chronicles the rest of Abi's life, because I always wonder what becomes of the characters I've just spend some hours with.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Read-a-Thon: End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Honestly, I think it was Hour 10, it was midnight here and everything was going quiet...
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Well, the Hunger Games are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat in my opinion :)
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope, I love it the way it is.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The updates on the site were meticulously on time and response to e-mails was very good and quick!
5. How many books did you read?
I have about half an hour left as I'm typing this, so I'm thinking it'll be 1,5
6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin and now reading Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Epic Fail feels like it's gonna be a cute read, but The Kingdom of Gods was EPIC amazing high fantasy, so I'm going with that :)
8. Which did you enjoy least?
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
If I can free up my day: ABSOLUTELY! And I'll probably participate as a reader again, I'm loving it :)

Thanks so much to all the lovely hosts, now excuse me while I go finish this thang! Still got my game-face on ;)

Read-a-Thon: Mid-event survey

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
I'm actually still reading my first book: The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin
2. How many books have you read so far?
This is my first... I'm feeling like and underachiever.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Finishing this one and then Epic Fail, cause I've heard very good things about it :)
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Not really.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
There was the cooking dinner thing and the mom driving me home thing. I just decided to go with it, because I can't alienate everyone ;)
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
That I'm pretty awake right now!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
My brain is shutting down, I do not have suggestions for anything.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
Try to sleep in some more before the start, since it starts at 2PM here.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
YES! But to be fair, it's 2:19 AM as I'm typing this, so I think I'm allowed. It's way past my bedtime ;)
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Honestly, I don't know. I'm just reading a book I love and tweeting in between finishing chapters and it works for me :)

12 hours done! I have started twitching and am laying of the tea for a while (still caffeine in there, though not as much as in coffee). I may also move to my bed in a little while, so I may go quiet on Twitter for a bit.
Hope all of you participating are enjoying the read-a-thon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Read-a-Thon hour 1: introduction meme

So we're off!

And because I love participating in these memes, here's the first one. Let me introduce myself for those who don't know me :)

1)Where are you reading from today?
2 places: my parents' house for the first few hours and after that my own home.
2)Three random facts about me…
-My favourite colors are blue, red and purple
-I love pumpkin soup
-One of my parents' dogs is the best footwarmer ever!
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
For now I've planned to read The Kingdom of Gods and Epic Fail, after that we'll see.
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
My goal is 3 books and as many hours of reading as I can possibly manage.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I'm a bad veteran (one time veteran, but still), I don't really have tips. Or maybe one: don't read in a room where the TV's on. My parents have their TV on and are watching crime shows, majorly distracting!

Ok, so that's it for now, back to the actual reading :)

Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon!

So, who's as excited as I am? It's almost here! I loved participating in the read-a-thon in April, so of course I signed up for this one as well :)
Have no idea what I'm talking about? Then you can go here and check it out, there's less than 1,5 hours less till the start if anyone wants to sign up last minute :)

I'm gonna try and stay awake for the whole thing, but I haven't been feeling well this last week and today isn't really any better, so I may need to catch some sleep at one point, so as not to make it worse.

In my reading pile:
-The Traitor's Daughter by Kathleen Kent (though I may give up on this one, since it's not really grabbing my attention)
-The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin (SO excited to get to this one!!)
-Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik (this seems like a fun, quick read)
-Whatever's next on my review list.

I'm hoping to make it through at least 3 books, but some time may go into cooking dinner and since my parents are driving me home (which takes them 1,5 hour) later, I can't shut them out througout the drive, cause then I'd be a bad daughter.

Good luck everybody and I'm updating every few hours probably and am also on Twitter (@DBetweenpages) if anyone wants to chat.

Friday, October 21, 2011

In The Arms of A Marquess by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: In the Arms of a Marquess (Rogues of the Sea #3) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, September 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "She had never forgotten him…
Miss Octavia Pierce is witty, well off, and shockingly unwed. Still, she is far too successful in society to remain on the shelf forever, and her family has hopes that Octavia will finally make the perfect match. What they do not know is that years earlier Octavia was scandalously tempted by the one man capable of sweeping her off her feet — the man now known as the Marquess of Doreé.
A third son, never meant to inherit, Lord Ben Doreé has abandoned his past and grown accustomed to his illustrious new position of wealth and power. But he has never forgotten Octavia, and now she desperately needs his help in a most dangerous, clandestine matter. Although she claims she has put the memories of the passion they shared behind her, Ben is determined to once again have her in his arms — and in his bed."

First off, let me tell you that this book is part of the Kiss and Teal initiative and I think that's wonderful! Raising awareness for ovarian cancer is important, I have seen the destructiveness of this particular kind of cancer and it's horrifying.

But on to the story, which is much more lighthearted, I assure you :)

I was reading this book on the Friday the whole drama with my friends went down and this was just what I needed. Some diversion, filled with emotion and romance and I really enjoyed it!

I read the second book in this series, Captured By a Rogue Lord, a while ago and I LOVED that one so much, I had high expectations for this book. Though it didn't completely live up to it, it was wonderful. The tension between these two was amazing and even though at the beginning at the book you don't know what exactly transpired between them in the past, you KNOW it's big and life-changing. And you feel the pain and heartbreak and everything. It was wonderful.

What made me like this less was that I had the nagging idea that these two were making things unnecessarily difficult for themselves. Especially towards the end, when I just wanted to scream COMMUNICATE &#@!#! Seriously.

But this was a lovely read and it managed to get me into the world of handsome men and beautiful dresses, which is just what I wanted :)

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New YA Imprint from Musa!

I'm always excited to hear a publisher is launching a YA imprint, so when I heard about this one, I wanted to share :)

The press release:

"Musa Publishing Launches Euterpe YA Imprint
An Imprint for YA Lovers in all Genres

Musa Publishing is thrilled to announce that its Young Adult Imprint, Euterpe, launches on Friday, October 21, 2011. With the growing demand for YA books, Musa is looking forward to offering diversity in genres for YA lovers from 13 to 113. From Sweet Romances and fantastical fantasies, to Sensational Sci-fi and a few more thrown in for flavor, Musa will offer something for everyone’s reading pleasure.

The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Arley Cole is the first book in the Euterpe imprint.

She believes she is only a blacksmith’s daughter, but he must discover the truth or risk losing his land — and his life.

Acwellen Lex'Magen rules as liege lord of a small country bounded by forbidding mountains and powerful neighbors. When the neighboring baron, allied with a powerful wizard, attempts to take over his land, first by political, then by covert means, Acwellen finds an ally of his own in Enith Roweson, an unassuming blacksmith who possesses powers he’s only known of in legends. As he attempts to unravel both the plots against him—including the nature of the monsters sent to assassinate him—and the mysterious powers Enith is only beginning to understand she has, he also finds himself falling in love with the blacksmith’s daughter.

Check out this book and other YA books at
Follow the Euterpe Blog at
And Like us on Facebook!/pages/Euterpe-YA-Books/154593351291764"

I'm hoping to see lots of great YA books published by them! I think the Blacksmith's Daughter sounds really good :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title/Author: Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, October 4th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated... even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.
Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it..."

This was such a relaxing read! THIS is what I want to be reading on a sunny afternoon! And I did because the weather decided to be nice one last time before going into full fall-nasty-mode :)

Do you remember heartbreak at sixteen? I do! I remember the all-consuming feeling of it and how you think you'll never find someone as amazing as that first love again. And how you don't want to let go of your sadness because then what? I could so easily relate to Chelsea and connect with her, it was amazing!

And the boy who she's all heartbroken over? What a douchebag! Seriously! That guy is just asking for a bitch-slap if anyone wants my opinion.

But enter love-interest Dan, who just lights up the scenes he's in with his amazing boyness. He is such a good guy and I love the moments between him and Chelsea. I loved him. I wish I could have had a Dan when I was 16. And I love that he wasn't pretty. While I appreciate the hotness that are boys in YA, sometimes they're a bit too pretty and Dan had the right amount of handsomeness, but not overly pretty. Am I still making sense?

The only thing I really had an issue with: Chelsea's relationship with her father. I mean, I know parents can be annoying, but this seemed a bit off and didn't really contribute to the storyline in my opinion.

But this was the perfect way to end the summery period at the start of fall and I really enjoyed this book!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Top Ten Books I Bought Because of Their Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the other blog I participate in: The Broke and the Bookish. Head on over and join in on the fun!

This week's Top Ten:
Top Ten Books I Bought Because of their Covers!

I think we ALL know the saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover', but well, EVERYONE does. And it's no wonder, since it's the first thing you see, so if the cover is horrendous or boring, it probably won't draw your attention enough to pick it up. Besides, it doesn't look as good on your shelf ;)

These are all books I own as physical copies, most of them haven't been read yet... But the cover was too pretty to resist :) (let's pretend it's the cover and not my out-of-control book-buying habit)

1. Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat: both the cover and the title are pleasing. I LOVE the idea of the proper Victoria hunting demons in her spare time and I really enjoyed this book!

2. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin: this cover left me staring: THE PRETTY!! WANT! Without even knowing what it was about. And then I fell in love with the story as well, WIN! The other two books in the series have very pretty covers as well :)

3. The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees: I don't know exactly why, but I really like this cover.

4. Matched by Ally Condie: the cover is so pretty and shiny and the green just works!

5. Entangled by Cat Clarke: the red hair! I do hope the girl in the book turns out to have red hair as well, else I'll be annoyed.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth: I don't know exactly what that is floating above the city, but it's PRETTY! (looks like fire, am I wrong?)

7. The Glass Demon by Helen Grant: SO PRETTY! And glittery! In real life even prettier than the picture.

8. Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman: I'm loving it, the pretty red shoe on the marble, WIN!

9. Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn: I really like the contrast between the red and white dress the girls have on and well, it says Rome right there on the cover. LOVE books about ancient Rome.

10. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren: it's pretty dark, but I like it. Makes me want to grab it and read and get lost in the story!

So, what about you? Oh, and except for the first two, I haven't read any of these, so which one should be bumped up on the list?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dael and the Painted People by Allan Richard Shickman

Title/Author: Dael and the Painted People (Zan-Gah #3) by Allan Richard Shickman
Publisher/Date published: Earthshaker Books, August 30th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher

Goodreads summary: "When Dael, guilty and tormented, came to live with the tribe of the painted people, he longed for peace and restoration; but without knowing it, he made a powerful enemy. Luckily, Dael had friends - including a troop of crows - and his own mystical powers. The disturbed and violent hero learns from the Children of the Earth, and from his submissive wife, a new way of life that is peaceful and generous."

I liked this book better than I did the second one in the series, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country. In that one, Dael annoyed me and was being all creepy and violent. In this one, he is still a bit creepy, but he's a more developed character and is learning to deal with his rage and with what happened to him in the past.

The one thing that has bothered me in this series as a whole: there is virtually no dialogue. Everything is related, but there's no dialogue. And there's a whole lot of telling instead of showing going on.

But anyway, I really enjoyed the different cultures Shickman presents in his novels. In every one we meet a new tribe/group of people and they all have their own quirks, it's really nice! The painted people were so interesting! And I loved how Sparrow came into her own finally.

I wasn't completely sold on Dael's miracles and powers. To me, his episodes of 'fainting' sounded more like epilepsy, with the flashes he sometimes saw before they happened and such. But well, the miracles show the power of mind over matter!

All in all, this was an enjoyable, quick read with a lot of cultural diversity!

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, October 16, 2011

IMM Vlog (2)

In My Mailbox is brought to the blogosphere by the lovely Kristi at the Story Siren. It gives us all the opportunity to show what has landed in our mailbox over the weeks, be it bought, borrowed or gifted :)

And I have been winning stuff!!

And I hope I was slightly more coherent this time, though my excitement about the EPIC book win probably didn't help ;)

Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
Many thanks to Rachel from Fiktshun's Ramblings for these book: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Boxed set of A Song of Ice and Fire 1-4
Signed hardcover of A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
Seriously you guys, these books have been sitting on the couch next to me for the last couple of weeks, I can't believe I won them! And I can't believe I said the Song of Ice and Fire TRILOGY, cause obviously, I know there's more than 3 books in the series...
Huge thank you to the wonderful people over at the Book Depository!

Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
Touch by Jus Accardo
Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Henry VIII: Wolfman by A.E. Moorat
The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Picture Perfect by Lanie Kincaid

So, that's my epic two weeks worth of books! What did you get in your mailbox? Leave your link in the comments and I'll be sure to come over and check it out after I get back from the birthday party I'm at this afternoon :)

Happy reading!

Friday, October 14, 2011

TGIF at GReads! (2)

TGIF is such a fun feature! I don't participate all that often, but I love reading people's responses :)

This Friday's Question:

Show & Tell: Where do you grab a book and get lost in it? Show us your favorite spot you like to read at.

Even though anytime it's remotely warm outside, I grab my chair and sit on my tiny balcony or sit in my parents' back yard, this has got to be my favourite reading spot:

When I got it (for free, yay for being in college and getting free stuff!), this couch was so horrendously ugly, I had to get that green throw for it. It's collapsed on the side I sit in, but it's so comfy, I don't want to get another one. I got new pillow cases just yesterday, aren't they pretty? :)

I read, watch TV, blog, study, eat in that spot. In other words: I LIVE there. So, if you ever come across me on the interwebs, chances are that's where I am, beneath my pretty new blanket (it's really soft too!), which was a birthday gift. My friends know me well :)

So, I'd LOVE to see where you guys read! Leave me your link in the comments and I'll be sure to come over and check it out!

The Legacy by Katherine Webb

Title/Author: The Legacy by Katherine Webb
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, September 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.
But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal... and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind."

I have to be honest, it took me a lot of pages to get into this book. I told myself I'd read at least 75 and if I didn't like it then, I'd pull a DNF. When I got to 75, I didn't necessarily like it, but I felt I didn't want to put it down to never be picked up again. So I decided to keep on reading and slowly, but steadily, the sotry grew on me and I ended up enjoying it.

The main reason I had troubles with this one is that I couldn't relate to the main characters. More specifically: I couldn't relate to Erica, who is the main character in the present day setting. I could more easily like Caroline somehow. I don't know if the switching POV was partly to blame for this, but somehow I never fully connected to either of them.

And seriously, mental illness seems to run in the family! That's all I'm gonna say on that account.

The romance left me going WTF?! Seriously, I'd be so ANGRY! Especially at what he did near the end. Gah! And Erica's like, oh, that's cool. No it's not cool!
And seriously, they were all pretty ready to do what was convenient instead of doing what is right. If you have read this, you know I'm talking about what happened to Henry. Seriously!

BUT: I did like the story and the whole intrigue of it was more complicated than I had thought at first. Though I did figure most of it out before it got revealed. I definitely had some major issues with the story, mostly that I felt disconnected, but there was just something about it that kept me reading..

My rating: 2,5 stars

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road From The West by Rosanne E. Lortz

Title/Author: Road From The West (Chronicles of Tancred #1) by Rosanne E. Lortz
Publisher/Date published: Madison Street Publishing, September 2nd 2011
How I got this book: received it from the author as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Summary: "A tale of Courage, Conquest, Intrigue, and Honor.
You know the Knights Templar, you know Richard the Lionheart — now learn the story that started it all in the adventures of the First Crusade.
Haunted by guilt from the past and nightmares of the future, a young Norman named Tancred takes the cross and vows to be the first to free Jerusalem from the infidels. As he journeys to the Holy Land, he braves vast deserts, mortal famine, and the ever - present ambushes of the enemy Turks — but the greatest danger of all is deciding which of the Crusader lords to trust. A mysterious seer prophesies that Tancred will find great love and great sorrow on his journey, but the latter seems intent on claiming him before he can find the first. Intrigues and passions grow as every battle brings the Crusaders one step closer to Jerusalem. Not all are destined to survive the road from the West."

I really love historical fiction and getting to know more about the periods that flashed by in my high school history classes, but we never really delved into. I sometimes wonder that we skipped over the interesting things like crusades and ancient Greece and Rome and discussed the first and second World War until I snoozed through it all...

Anyway, I have never read a book about the crusades before, sure it was mentioned, but not in detail. So I was really excited to be reading this book and discover more. And it succeeded on the acount of teaching me more about this time period.

As for the story part of it: I felt there was something missing for me. I think it might have been that I didn't really connect with Tancred and didn't really care what happened to him. Like when his brother died. Seriously, his brother was the perfect example of too-stupid-to-live and he actually died because of it (appropriate right?). Also, something that happens towards the end, where he chooses meeting a pretty girl over fighting in a battle that was HUGE and what he was actually there for... This didn't seem realistic to me and I didn't really like the whole romance.

Maybe it's also the fact that I'm not religious. At all. I don't kwow, there were just several things that bothered me.

BUT: that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book. Cause I did. I enjoyed reading about the intrigue among the different captains leading the crusade. I really liked the woman who is in love with Tancred, though he doesn't know it. And you know, it made me curious to find out more about the crusades.

My rating: 3 stars

Road From the West Book Tour links:

Tour Schedule
Rosanne E. Lortz's Website

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the other blog I participate in: The Broke and the Bookish. We LOVE lists, head on over and join in on the fun! :)

This week is all about books you wish you could read again for the first time. You know, when you had that bright-eyed amazement that just doesn't happen when you re-read something (unless you have a really bad memory ;) but let's assume you don't).

1. ALL the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling: I think this will be on pretty much all the lists. These books were so wonderful and I remember just being sucked in and loving them and loving reading again. It was amazing and I wish I could go back and discover this world and the characters in it all over again.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I remember I couldn't rip myself away from the story and felt disoriented when someone mentioned trivial things like eating, getting out of bed and bathroom breaks...

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I LOVED this book. There was such a sense of doom and the ending left me going OMG! And crying. And when you know what's coming, well, I don't think my reaction will be as strong the second time around.

4. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: so much love for this book! All twisty-turny, I would love to experience it for the first time again. I love the feeling of falling in love with a book.

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan: I think I'll love these books just as much if I reread them, but there's just something about discovering world that is so amazing...

6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: the first book I read and loved in 2010, guys you should all read it! This is another world-discovering thing.

7. Graceling by Kristing Cashore: I actually gave this one to a friend for her birthday a while ago and I'm hoping she'll love it as much as I did.

8. Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong: these books were among my absolute favourites as a kid and I would give anything to go back and read them for the first time and discover that yes, women can be tough and feminine and WITCHES!! So much love for these books.

9. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman: I don't think it'll be the same reading them while I know how it all ends...

10. Die For Me by Amy Plum: I'll love it the same the second time around, but you know, there's something about that first read...

My favourite book of all time, Pride and Prejudice, isn't on this list. I love it more every time I read it, so I don't want to go back to the first time (mainly because I was 13 and didn't really get all the layers and all the humor), I want to keep rereading it!

So, that's my list. What's on yours?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Elizabeth, The Enchantress by Lavinia Kent

Title/Author: Elizabeth, The Enchantress (The Real Duchesses of London #4) by Lavinia Kent
Publisher/Date published: Avon Impulse, September 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Regency England just got real(ity)
Episode 4: How to Succeed in Marriage without Really Trying
Elizabeth, the Countess of Westhampton, has found her husband. Unfortunately, she’d have preferred it if he’d stayed lost! How is she supposed to react when the man who married her and then abandoned her without a wedding night suddenly reappears? Obviously, she’ll have to plan her revenge very carefully..."

You may have heard me mention before that while I like the novellas I've read lately, I always have this feeling that if it was a full-length novel, it would be better. Well, maybe I was just not reading the right novella! This one didn't feel like it lacked depth at all!

There were some real problems between Elizabeth and William and I loved that! I mean, CONFLICT! YAY! I teared up a couple of times and it was wonderful!

The thing is with novellas, you HAVE to get sucked into the story right away, else it will be over before you know it, leaving you disconnected. I immediately felt pulled into this one and I loved that.

I do think I could have benefitted from reading the previous novellas in the series in regards to the relationship of the duchesses, but well, I managed.

I loved this one and I think I should be reading more of Lavinia Kent's books :)

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some Personal Stuff

I was going to record an IMM today, but all the drama going on with my friends has got me feeling pretty low and I'm not up to being happy and excited about books.
I don't normally talk a lot about personal stuff on the blog, but I felt the need to share this.

For the last two weeks there has been some drama going on in the group of friends I have had since high school. Even though we graduated over 6 years ago, we try to keep in touch and do stuff together, which isn't easy as everyone went off to college and we're spread out across the country.
There was a disagreement and it sort of escalated last Friday and it made one of my friends decide to not be a part of our group anymore. And it hurts. Because we had fun just two weeks ago at my birthday party and well, I think the group will be really falling apart after this. I don't think we'll ever really go back to the way things were before all this happened.

It feels like the end of an era. I know we've been growing apart for some time now and something like this happening was probably inevitable, but it still really sucks, you know? These are the friends I saw every day in high school and we've been through so much together. Some I've even known since kindergarten.

Sorry to bother you guys with my drama, but I needed to get it out. I think I'm just gonna hide beneath my blanket all day and read and watch some TV. Hopefully next week will be better, because I do have some great books to show you all.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fake Me A Match by Lauren Barnholdt

Title/Author: Fake Me A Match by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher/Date published: Aladdin, October 4th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Avery LaDuke is in the market for a new best friend. Her former BFF, Sophie Burns, dumped her to hang out with the popular crowd at school. But the good news Avery's getting a new sister who's bound to be her new BFF too! Blake is her age and she's from New York. How cool is that? But things don't go quite as smoothly as Avery hoped. And what's with Blake becoming BFFs with Sophie? Huh?? That wasn’t supposed to happen!
When Avery gets put in charge of the eighth grade charity project, an on-line matchmaking service, she thinks she can use this project to get Blake back on her side. She decides to fix the matches so that Blake gets matched with Sam, the most popular boy in school, but when the matches come out something has gone seriously wrong! Not only is Avery matched with Sam, but the class advisor knows that someone tampered with the program. On top of that, Avery discovers that she actually kind of, sort of, likes Sam... and he likes her back. Torn between the guy she likes and her sister/best friend, Avery is left wondering: is there any possible way she can keep them both?"

I SO loved Avery! Avery is such a wonderful girl! She's nice and selfless and she so wants to be liked! She truly believes that because Blake is going to be her stepsister, they will be insta-best friends and I was so rooting for her that everything was gonna work out! She manages to land herself in some funny situations and well, this girl is just awesome.

Avery was so scared of loosing Blake as a friend that she denies herself the opportunity to be with the boy she likes. I don't think my 13-year-old self would have done that.

One other thing I loved about this book: Avery and Blake were both (mostly) ok with the fact their parents were getting married. There was no evil step-whatever going on. Things that went wrong weren't caused by spite, HOORAY for this!

Sam was adorable, really. He sounds like a boy 13-year-old me would have fallen head over heels for and I loved the boyness of him. He turns out to be such a sweetie!

Anyway, this was such a CUTE read! I really enjoyed the other novel I read by Lauren Barnholdt: Sometimes It Happens, and this one convinced me it's not a one-hit-wonder. I think I've found me a new author for my favourites list :)

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Title/Author: Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful #1) by Yvonne Woon
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion Books, September 21st 2010
How I got this book: own it

Goodreads summary: "On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life."

Okay, so you guys know how I complain about insta-love, right? This is probably one of the only books that has a GOOD and acceptable explanation for it. I'm not going to delve into the details, cause it's major spoilery, but seriously. And I kind of guessed it, but still.

I really liked Renée. She lost her parents and obviously she's mourning them, but she doesn't go around whining about it, she just grieves. One thing I didn't like was that she had a falling out with her best friend from back home. I get that their lives are going separate ways, but well, it almost felt like their friendship wasn't all that good to begin with.

And yeah, I could see the plot twist coming from a mile away. I mean, a blind monkey could have seen it coming. But I did like it and it leaves me wondering what will happen next. Because YES, this is another series, and I'm not sure if it's just two books or if there'll be more. But I think this story isn't finished yet and I'm dying to know how it ends. I didn't fall in love with Dante, but who knows, maybe in the sequel?

SPOILER ALERT!! Light up to read!
So seriously, what annoyed me: HOW did Renée NOT figure out sooner Dante was dead?? Seriously?!

I thought the whole lore behind this was really interesting. And creepy. You know what creeps me out in horror movies? When it's the kid that's evil and is doing the EVIL!
The classes Renée takes are interesting as well, I'd LOVE those classes!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shickman

Title/Author: Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country (Zan-Gah #2) by Allan Richard Shickman
Publisher/Date published: Earthshaker Books, September 26th 2009
How I got this book: received it from the publisher

Goodreads summary: "The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land."

Ok, so I enjoyed the first book in this series and while I didn't LOVE it, it was enjoyable and I liked it.
And I was wondering what new adventures Zan and his brother would go on in the next book.

Well, let's say that while I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one, I did still like it. One problem I had was that I could not sympathize with Dael. I get that he has suffered a great loss and has been emotionally scarred due to what happened to him in the first book. BUT. He is kind of evil. And totally out of control. He is scary!

I did like the romance thing between Zan-Gah and she-who-shall-not-be-named. He is such a boy and doesn't really seem to understand her or why he's hurting her. So typical ;)

If any of you have read it: I thought the time it took for the whole tribe to travel to the beautiful country was off, since Dael and Zan traveled there in the book and it seemed to only take days, not months. But I could be wrong.

There were scenes who were really brutal! Except for the violent parts, I would classify this as Middle Grade, but the violence is very graphic! I don't remember if there were things like this in the books I read way back when, but I think this could probably have given me nightmares.

Anyway, I did like this book and I really liked Zan-Gah. While he is sort of naive when it comes to his brother and his love-interest, he is a GOOD guy. And I like good guys.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, October 2, 2011

IMM VLOG!! (1)

As always a big thank you to the wonderful Kristi from the Story Siren for hosting!

My first ever vlog, which is somewhat (or actually majorly) scary. I SWEAR I'm more articulate usually, but this was so exciting I forgot how to.
And I'm sorry to the people whose names I pronounced and massacred. Names and I don't go so well together apparantly.
Oh, and tell me, does my accent suck really bad?

Die for Me by Amy Plum, THANK YOU AMY!!
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young, THANK YOU LENA @ Addicted 2 Novels

Physical review copy:
Road from the West by Rosanne E. Lortz, thank you Rosanne for sending it to me!

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne du Maurier
Sepulchre (which is apparantly unpronouncable by little me..) by Kate Mosse
Van Rijn by Sarah Emily Miano
Being Elizabeth by Barbara Taylor Bradford

To Pleasure a Duke by Sarah Bennett
Ditched by Robin Mellom
The Gray Wolfe Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon
All About Seduction by Katy Madison
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
Centauriad by K.K. Ross
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
Ladies in Waiting by Laura L. Sullivan
Croak by Gina Damico
Jane Austen Made Me Do It by various authors
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Shattered Dreams by Ellie James
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Crave by Melissa Darnell
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Desired by Nicola Cornick
A Midsummer Night's Sin by Kasey Michaels
Elizabeth, The Enchantress by Lavinia Kent
The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards
A Scottish Love by Karen Ranney
Prized by Caragh O'Brien
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

So, that's my epic list, two months worth of books! Next week I'll show you guys some more wins made of awesome and BIRTHDAY BOOKS!

What should be my next read? Let me know and leave a link to your IMM in the comments so I can be sure to check it out!