Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Picture Perfect by Lanie Kincaid

Title/Author: Picture Perfect by Lanie Kincaid
Publisher/Date published: Griffyn Ink, February 1st 2010
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Rae Madison is the other woman.
She didn’t mean to be. She’s been waiting for her big break – a show for her art photography – and paying the bills doing surveillance for a PI. The only problem is the last cheating husband that came across her desk is her boyfriend. Not only does he have a wife and kids, she isn’t even his only girlfriend!
Colby Williams is the right man.
He’s been biding his time, straightening out his own mess of a life. He can handle waiting while Rae’s heart heals . . . he’s already waited this long. But just as things are finally coming together for them, everything goes wrong – and right.
Rae has finally landed her art gallery showing, and just like Colby always knew she would be, she’s suddenly very popular. Will her dream take her away from the love they have found?"

Okay, so I had some different expectations going into this book than what it turned out to be. I thought it'd be about Rae being hurt by her boyfriend and being distrustful towards men, as I imagine you'd be if it turned out your boyfriend was married and had other girlfriends beside you as the cherry on top. I imagined that she'd slowly open her eyes to what'd been in front of her all along: Colby.

And let's just start of by saying that I do not like that name. It sounds girly to me and from the description, Colby is anything but.

Anyway, it turns out my expectations were pretty much wrong. And this turned out to be one of those books in which I wanted to whack both main characters in the back of the head and tell them to 'stop being a whiny little boy' and 'COMMUNICATE!'. Seriously. COMMUNICATE for the love of chocolate!!

Deep breaths, I'm okay.

I thought it was SO stupid for Colby to be upset by Rae's taking care of him when he was sick and he could have DIED if she hadn't all because she saw him as being less than big man-much power (insert caveman-like grunt). I mean, seriously? Instead of ignoring her, a simple thank you would have sufficed.

BUT: they did have wonderful chemistry and I really liked the tension that was there. And this was a pretty fast read for me. I did think in the end there stumbling block got resolved a bit too easily, but well, I'm happy for them. It left me with warm fuzzies and that is what I want from this kind of story!

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List!

Look at me being all featured on The Broke and the Bookish!!

But just in case you missed it ;) I'll crosspost my list here.

1. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand: Well OBVIOUSLY this one would be on the list! I LOVED Unearthly and have pre-ordered this one, I'm avoiding reviews until I've read it myself, but TEAM TUCKER!

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: 2012 debut author, I have heard many, many good things about this book and have also pre-ordered this one :) And it especially makes me happy to hear one blogger describe it as a 'dystopian meets high fantasy' because I LOVE dystopians AND fantasy!

3. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: I am betting this one will be on a lot of lists doing new releases ;) I thought Delirium was amazing and that ending killed me! So yes, I am insanely jealous of those lucky bloggers who got an ARC! I am so reading this one the second it gets out!

4. Fever by Lauren DeStefano: another one probably featured on more lists than just mine ;) I absolutely loved Wither and this have another jealous moment, the same as for Pandemonium. If you haven't read Wither, you should! It's amazing!

5. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale: me and Jana are fans of Austenland, she reviewed it on this blog, so when I saw this one coming out I KNEW I had to read it! Fans of Jane Austen and P&P: Austenland was such a cute read and I'm betting this one will be as well!

6. Everneath by Brodi Ashton: another 2012 debut author! This book sounds insanely amazing and I can't wait to read it! Oh, and I have some serious cover love for this one!

7. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: this one sounds fabulous as well, with Scarlet (I'm thinking Will Scarlet in the original story) actually being a girl instead of a boy! I LOVE the tale of Robin Hood, so I think this will be just the book for me.

8. New Girl by Paige Harbison: a YA retelling of Rebecca, you better believe I'm gonna be reading this!!

9. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: I love witches! This book sounds like all kinds of awesome! It's described as A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare, and while I haven't read any of Ms. Clare's books (I know, I suck), I loved the Gemma Doyle books, so I think this will be good :)

10. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: you could read this book for the fabulous cover alone. Seriously, it's so pretty! Another 2012 debut author :)

10+1. Tempest by Julie Cross: Yes, I cheat, it's what I do ;) (but really, I will be reading a lot more than just 10 books, so I'm allowed) Time travel is hard to do well and I'm looking forward to see Ms. Cross' take on it! And can you say cover love? ;)

So, that's my list, there are a lot of 2012 debut authors on them and some sequels and such. Let me know if I missed any! And leave your link below so I can check yours out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mistress by Midnight by Nicola Cornick

Title/Author: Mistress by Midnight by Nicola Cornick
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin UK, August 19th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Merryn Fenner is on a mission to ruin the Duke of Farne. A beautiful bluestocking with a penchant for justice, Merryn has waited ten years to satisfy her revenge against sensual, mysterious Garrick Northesk. Her family name had been tarnished at his hands, her life destroyed. And now she intends to return the favor — by finding the true heir to the duke's title and disinheriting Garrick.
Yet when a disaster traps Merryn and Garrick together, white-hot desire stirs between the two sworn enemies. Her reputation utterly compromised, Merryn is forced to do the one thing she cannot bear: accept the scandalous marriage proposal of the man she has vowed to ruin."

I liked that in this romance novel there was actually a real reason for the two main characters to have problems. Because, really, if you believed a man killed your brother, you wouldn't be all over him either.

And Merryn isn't, she just can't seem to help herself, though if this were the real world I'd imagine it would give her many a worry-wrinkle ;) And I just loved Garrick. He was so noble and manly and just swoonworthy. I love when the men are swoonworthy.

I'd guessed what the secret Garrick was working so hard to protect was pretty early on, but it's a genuine secret and I loved him all the more for his being so loyal and trustworthy in this. But if I'd been Merryn, I would have made a MUCH bigger scene about it when I found out, I mean, hello! Not cool to hide that from her and her sisters! But I'd have forgiven him in the end, cause he's too handsome to stay mad at.

There was some wonderful tension between them, but I don't remember actually crying, but especially Merryn struggling with her feelings was wonderful and real and I really, really enjoyed this book!

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, November 27, 2011

IMM Vlog (4)

It's that time again: In My Mailbox! Hosted, as always, by the lovely Kristi from the Story Siren!

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (thank you to The Book Depository for sending me a hardcover even though I ordered a paperback! Definitely not complaining!)
Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine
Behaving Like Adults by Anne Maxted

The Demon King & The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
THANK YOU Harper Voyager!!
Radiant Desire by Inara Scott
HUGE thank you to the author for sending it to me!
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
THANK YOU RACHEL! Check out her blog!

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Spirit's Princess by Esther M. Friesner
Cross My Heart by Sasaha Gould
Rogue Pirate's Bride by Shana Galen
Tempest by Julie Cross
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
The Unbearable Book for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
At the Mercy of the Queen by Anne Clinard Barnhill
The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (you can see me do my happy dance for this one ;) )
Hades by George O'Connor
Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
Enchanted Again by Robin D. Owens
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

So, this is pretty much about a month worth of books I think, which makes it less bad (yes? no? maybe?)...
What did you get in your mailbox? Leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, November 25, 2011

H10N1 by M.R. Cornelius

Title/Author: H10N1 by M.R. Cornelius
Publisher/Date published: self-published, April 12th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the author for review

Goodreads summary: "A deadly influenza virus rages out of control. There is no easy-fix vaccine. No eleventh-hour containment. Only death.
With no workforce, power plants are unmanned so there’s no means of communication; police and fire departments have collapsed so no one is safe; looters are scavenging everything from big-screen TVs to canned peas.
When Dr. Taeya Sanchez finds herself unceremoniously dismissed from an emergency medical facility in New York, she decides to steal the hospital’s armored van for a midnight escape.
Unfortunately, Rick DeAngelo, a driver for the hospital, has already stocked the van for his own getaway.
Thrown into an unfriendly alliance, these two must pick their way across the dangerous wasteland of America in search of a safe haven. And as the miles roll by, they discover that the living should be feared much more than the festering corpses out there."

I LOVED the first chapter. It was shocking, in your face and I thought wow, I'm gonna love this book. And then I read the rest of it.

And I am sad to say I was disappointed. As a med student I'm fascinated by things dealing with virus outbreaks or super bacteria and all that stuff wiping out the human race. Because seriously, that is what scares me. That is exactly what I'm scared of happening in the future and it isn't an unrealistic fear unfortunately. But enough of that.

I wasn't really sure what the point of the plot was. I felt like there was stuff happening, but I didn't really know why. I also thought it would have been about the virus spreading and all that, but it was actually after the initial wave and about the survivors of that. I also didn't really feel the romance, I didn't get it and I didn't think it was realistic.

Another thing I had a problem with: the main character is an epidemiologist, which is basically someone who studies things like patterns and risk factors and such. There are those who work 'in the field' so to speak, but it's usually only about infection control then, not so much the other areas of medicine. And I believed an epidemiologist knows how to stitch someone up, I do, because it's basic medical training. But you CANNOT tell me they also know how to perform complicated surgeries after someone is shot and there was also an inconsistency where for her to be able to do something she did, she'd have to have opened the patient up in two places and there was only one operating wound.

Yes I am ranting, but this really bothers me because this is what I know. Because I see this kind of stuff every day and I don't get how people think that being a doctor means you can do ALL THE THINGS. You can't. That's why we have all those different kinds of doctors.

Ok, stopping the rant.

I did like the whole idea behind the book with the virus outbreak and everything and seriously you guys, I loved the first chapter. If the book had continued in that way, it would have been amazing. But after that things went downhill for me.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin

Title/Author: The Kingdom of Gods (The Inheritance Trilogy #3) by N.K. Jemisin
Publisher/Date published: Orbit, October 11th 2011
How I got this book: pre-ordered it!

Goodreads summary: "For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortalkind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri’s ruthless grip is slipping. Yet they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war.
Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as Arameri heir is to uphold the family’s interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for.
As long-suppressed rage and terrible new magics consume the world, the Maelstrom — which even gods fear — is summoned forth. Shahar and Sieh: mortal and god, lovers and enemies. Can they stand together against the chaos that threatens the Kingdom of the Gods?"

Warning: this will probably be more me gushing about this book and series than actual review.

Of course I had to have this book after loving the first two books in the trilogy!! I can't get over the fact that these books are so amazing, yet there is so little buzz about them... But I pre-ordered it, which means that I only had to wait a few days after the release date for it to get here, hooray!

If you haven't read the other books in the series yet: you should. They are AMAZING.

And this one is about Sieh, one of my favourite characters from the previous books. He is a trickster god and just plain awesome. In this book, Sieh goes through some major changes and I so felt for him throughout everything! I don't want to spoil anything, but seriously, he has a rough time in this book. I absolutely loved Deka and Shahar as well, though slightly less. They were all such well-developed characters and I really felt like I got to know them and that they were all real people (and a god) instead of fictional characters. I love it when that happens!

The ending had me on the edge of my seat, and this is a pretty big accomplishment, seeing as I'd read it during the read-a-thon and had probably only gotten about 3 hours of sleep.

The whole world-building in this series is so amazing and wonderful and I loved every minute of it! I don't think I'm doing Jemisin's writing justice with this review, but I just want to push this series at everyone who loves fantasy and tell them to read it right away. I'm kinda sad the trilogy has now come to a conclusion and can't wait to see what else Jemisin will have in store for us! She is definitely on my auto-buy list.

And look at that cover, isn't it PRETTY?

My rating: 5+ stars

Monday, November 21, 2011

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy

Title/Author: Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy
Publisher/Date published: Penguin Group USA, September 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Roman historian Procopius publicly praised Theodora of Constantinople for her piety-while secretly detailing her salacious stage act and maligning her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was this woman who rose from humble beginnings as a dancer to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church? Award-winning novelist Stella Duffy vividly recreates the life and times of a woman who left her mark on one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is a sexy, captivating novel that resurrects an extraordinary, little-known figure from the dusty pages of history."

I'm always excited to learn about an influential historical figure that I had not heard of before and seriously, this title draws attention. You can't argue with that.

So, obviously, I don't know all the Roman emperors. In fact, I'd never heard of Justinian before and thus had never wondered about his wife, Theodora. But seriously, she is one interesting character! Or at least in the way Stella Duffy portrayed her!

I never knew there was a rule in that time that actresses coudln't marry. And while I knew about the stereotype of actresses having loose morals, I never knew they were sort of required to be a courtesan as well as perform in theater! And I never realised there were that many eunuchs! Or maybe that's just that we came across them a lot in this one?

ANYWAY, I really enjoyed this look into the society of ancient Rome and while Theodora is certainly not a character without serious flaws, I liked her. She did unexpected things and sometimes I wondered about her decisions, but this didn't detract from her appeal to me. I felt that she knew her talents and flaws herself and also knew how to use and hide them to her best benefit! And seriously, if you can make a man who doesn't show interest in anything other than work fall for you and make him change the law just so he can marry you? You are kind of awesome.

This was a slow read for me and some parts were a bit boring, and then there were parts that were a bit too vague in my opinion, especially about the 'growth' Theodora had. But maybe that's just the medstudent in me talking ;)

My rating: 3 stars

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gone for the Weekend!

Hi all!

I just wanted to let you know I'll be leaving for a weekend away with my friends from high school in about an hour, which means you won't hear anything from me until Sunday or maybe even not until Monday, because there'll be lots of this:

Because seriously, what we do together is EAT LOTS OF FOOD.
And this:

And probably this as well:

And there will be virtually no:


I hope you all have a great weekend while I'm out with the girls!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Title/Author: A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark #1) by Jocelyn Davies
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites; like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine."

I have been pining for this book for a LONG time, seriously, I added it in June 2010 to my TBR list! And the cover is just gorgeous! So I was really excited to finally get to it! And this book didn't disappoint.

I have read several angel books in the last year and some of them I LOVED and then there were those who just weren't for me. I thought this book had a really intersting take on angel lore and I loved how non-preachy it was, which is one of my main problems with this subgenre.

I really liked Skye, she was just a regular girl (or at least she thought she was), with real friends and a caring parental figure, her mom's best friend who took her in after her parents died. Though she is frequently absent, and that is one of my bookish pet peeves, in this case there turned out to be a very good explanation for this, so props to the author for that!

So, at first everything was a bit confusing with Devin and Asher and their secretiveness, but that you didn't know if these boys meant well or not and what their real agenda was made it all the more a pageturner! I flew through this book, it was so good!

And the boys, let's talk about the boys. While I'm one of those who don't really like love triangles, in this one it worked, but I'm not gonna tell you why, because that would spoil things. BUT, let me just say that while each boy had his charms, I am partial to Devin. I think it's the calm and the troubledness he exudes. And yes, for those of you who read it: even after the ending. I know, I have a serious Devin crush.

But OMG, the ending! Can you say cliffhanger? Seriously! I need the next book right now! I'm also dying to know how this whole thing will play out besides the ending, because I think there's a lot we still don't know about Skye and what it is she can do and well, ALL OF IT!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, November 14, 2011

Remembrance by Michelle Madow

Title/Author: Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) by Michelle Madow
Publisher/Date published: Dreamscape Publishing, July 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the author for review

Goodreads summary: "New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England... but she doesn't know it yet.
Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind?
Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy."

Okay, so I struggled a bit with this book. I really liked the whole idea of reincarnation and their love transcending time, but there were some things that bothered me.

I know that Lizzie was supposed to be meant for Drew and not Jeremy, but for all that she's been with him for a couple of years, they don't seem to really suit each other and the way they interacted I couldn't even picture them as friends.

Then there was the thing with Lizzie and Drew, and I'm sorry to say I didn't really get why Lizzie was so attracted to him. I mean, I know that with the reincarnation their feelings are somehow kept intact, but he was NOT nice to her! Really! And his reasoning of dating her best friend? Not cool. Seriously. I thought they both made some bad decisions and I blame Drew for this more than Lizzie, since he seemed to know a whole lot more about their past lives! I thought Lizzie was really naive when she thought Chelsea wouldn't have a problem with her and Drew. I mean, really?

I did really like the similarity of their situation now and how it all happened in their past lives and I thought the whole thing of their love transcending time was fascinating, I just wished the book had been a bit longer, so the storyline and characters could have been a bit more developed.

By all the things mentioned above, I don't want to give you the wrong impression: I DID like this book, it was a very enjoyable read, just not without flaws. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and finding out how this story continues. Which should be fun, since it's from Chelsea's POV and is called Vengeance... Someone's angry!! Should be good :)
Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention: this story was inspired by the song Love Story by Taylor Swift! I really like that song and this is a sweet story that goes with it really well.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge!!

So, I had a blast this year participating in the Debut Author Challenge! So OF COURSE I'm gonna do it again this year! I've already spent some time lusting over the books and gorgeous covers :)

To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.

More information can be found here.

My tentative list:
Queen of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I am so running out to the store/pre-ordering this one!! Because seriously, I'm DYING to read it! I have loved this story since the author posted it on FictionPress a LONG time ago and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it's turned out!
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Tempest by Julie Cross
Ditched by Robin Mellom
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
Under the Never Sky by Veronice Rossi
Already pre-ordered it!
Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims
Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Fractured by Megan Miranda
Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

And pretty much everything else that catches my attention ;)
So now the plotting as to how I will get my hands on all these can begin! 2012 will be the year I graduate and thus start making money, which means I will not have to budgetize so much, hooray!

So: are you guys planning to participate? Excited about some of these debuts as well? Or ALL of them? Let me know!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Title/Author: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, August 2nd 2011
How I got this book: got it from my brother as a birthday present, yay!

Goodreads summary: "Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?
At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:
As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.
When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long."

I'd been hearing so many good things about this book before I started reading it, my hopes were pretty high. And sadly, they were probably so high the book didn't live up to it. By that I don't mean it was bad, just not as amazing as I had expected.

BUT: this was a really cute read. I mean, I love P&P, it's my all-time favourite novel and I really enjoyed this modern adaptation of it. I could just picture it happening like that in high school, all the misunderstandings!

Elise is a great character and I loved how witty she was! She really cares about her sisters and family, which was great. I really enjoyed the interaction between her and Derek, they were very good together!

There were some things I didn't really like: all the weird rules Elise's parents had! I mean, no mobile phones at home? Huh? I didn't really get that. I get you're not allowed to text at dinner or other set family time, but not at all? Weird! Also: where was Mary? There were only 4 sisters in this book instead of 5...

All in all, this was a cute, quick read and even if you don't know P&P, it will be an enjoyable read!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan

Title/Author: Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Publisher/Date published: HQN Books, September 20th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Her only hope for survival...
Handsome, wealthy and respected, Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in all of London — and he's known far and wide for his irreproachable character. But behind his virtuous reputation lies a passionate nature he keeps carefully in check... until he meets the beautiful Jessica Farleigh, the woman he's waited for all his life.
Is to ruin the man she loves...
But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark's enemies make her an offer she can't refuse: seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she's sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs…and the love she knows is impossible."

With this book, I had to adjust a bit to the setting, because usually the historical romances I read revolve around London's society and the balls and everything that goes along with them. But I ended up really enjoying this book.

Throughout the novel there are a lot of hints regarding Jessica's past and an 'illness' she went through not too long ago, but we're not given the answers until pretty much the end. And though I guessed what it had to do with, the revelation left me openmouthed with horror. It was so barbaric! Really, I wanted to shoot that guy! GAH!

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Mark and Jessica and thought it was really refreshing that for once the very male main character was a virgin and the heroine had all this experience, instead of the other way around, as it usually is. I did think Mark was very arrogant, but well, he had enough charm to pull it off.

And towards the ending this book brought tears to my eyes and I love it when that happens! I did think the ending was a bit drawn out, but it didn't matter much, because I really enjoyed it anyway!

I really liked that the two got to know eachother before jumping in bed together and proclaiming they're in love. I liked that it's not the only thing they did together, they spend time together and I loved reading about their moments together.

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

Title/Author: The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin Teen, September 27th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it — even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best — a Fame spell. Good idea, right?
Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.
Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play... and — ahem — maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him — cars! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed..."

Okay, so I'd heard some less than stellar things about this book before I started it. And it ended up surprising me, because I really liked it. Well, the first part that is. About 50 pages before the end I went WTF???

I mean, the story was funny and cute and I liked Edmund, even though he was basically just a horny teenage boy. And though Miranda doesn't always have her priorities straight, I liked her as a character as well. She's extremely passionate about acting and well, I like a character who works to achieve his or her dream.

So we were doing good, we had the main character making goo-goo eyes at the horny teenage boy, while conveniently not seeing the other, much nicer, non-medieval guy who was silently pining for her. And we had a cute story. And then things got messed up. There was Miranda's dad returning out of nowhere, just being accepted back, despite being gone for years and years without any contact except paychecks. There was a whole weird almost shooting incident and the entrance of William Shakespeare himself.

And this is where the story lost its cuteness and made me go WTF?? instead.

And I'm sad that happened! Because it had such potential! But I felt the story got resolved in a way too convenient way and it all felt a bit rushed. Seriously, I was really wondering during the last 15 pages how they were going to send Edmund and William back, because they obviously had to. And then all of a sudden it all was resolved and it left me feeling slightly cheated.

All in all, this book had a really cute and fun start and I just wished it could have held on to that. The starred rating is mostly based on the first part, if the last part had been as good, it would surely have gotten a higher rating.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

Title/Author: The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy #2)
Publisher/Date published: Orbit, November 3rd 2010
How I got this book: got it from my parents as a Christmas present, yay!
Why I read this book: I LOVED The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which is the first book in this series. Besides, look at the pretty cover!

Goodreads summary: "The gods have broken free after centuries of slavery, and the world holds its breath, fearing their vengeance. The saga of mortals and immortals continues in THE BROKEN KINGDOMS. In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the gods themselves?"

I first fell in love with this series when I saw the cover of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, it's absolutely beautiful and I so hoped the writing was as good as the cover promised. And it was! I devoured that one and then had to wait 6 agonizing months for the sequel to come out. And was rewarded for my patience with both another pretty cover and an amazing story.

Set 10 years after the happenings in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, we see the story through Oree's eyes, or more acurately: through her eyes, ears, smell and touch. Oree is blind, with the strange ability to see magic. This means she can see the godlings (children of the gods) and any other magic, which leaves a kind of residu sometimes. And as Shadow is a city godlings frequent, she still gets to see a huge amount of the place she lives in. It was so interesting to experience the world through someone who can't see and who doesn't take it for granted the times she can. I also thought it was a nice touch Oree's eyes make people uncomfortable, as in they're repelled by them. It's a change from the different but beautiful eyes. And being able to see magic is just really cool.

Oree interacts with the godlings frequently and one, Madding, used to be her lover. Their interaction is heartbreaking, they didn't break it off because they stopped loving each other, but because he is immortal and fears the pain of loosing her when she dies.

Recently there has been an addition to her house: a strange man who glows magic every morning, who she found in the trash one day. He doesn't talk and since Oree wants to address him somehow, she names him Shiny. The godlings don't like Shiny, but none will tell Oree why. Slowly she figures it out and though I remembered what happened in the first book, I was still slow to grasp the concept. If information about who this man really is gets out, the whole world as Oree knows it would stand on his head.

There's also the problem of people murdering godlings, who aren't supposed to be able to die at the hands of mortals. So who's behind this? And what does he want? Oree's thrown right into the middle of it all and doesn't know how she'll make it out of this alive.

This book was so incredibly amazing! Oree is such a real character, her reactions to things are relateable, though I wouldn't necessarily make the same choices she did, I completely supported her througout the book. She's a strong woman and doesn't like to rely on other people for things. She's learned to cope with being blind and I really enjoyed her story.
I think I developed a little crush on Madding, he is a beautiful person and cares about Oree very much. Godlings have a complex nature and I though Madding and the other were very interesting. Shiny (OMG, how much do I love the author/Oree for coming up with this one! Too funny!) is mysterious and at first, I did not like him very much, but he shows real growth and he has earned a special spot in my heart all for himself. We'd already met him in the first book and I loved how Jemisin explored his character in this one.

The storytelling is beautiful, I could picture everything the author mentions and I loved how I just wanted to keep on reading and at the same time not wanting the book to end. Jemisin has created a wonderful world with perhaps a more mythical than fantasy feeling to it and I absolutely loved it. Now I'll have to wait another agonizing 6 months for the next one! (Wrote this review in February, totally already read the third book and it was AWESOME! Review to come!)

My rating: 5+ stars

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Title/Author: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 20th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.
Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants — what she must do — is to bring Danny back.
But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.
Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her — and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.
But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought — even if it means breaking her heart all over again."

Ok, so I had some doubts about this book, but I'd heard really good things about it, so I requested it, because you know, I have skipped on books many times, only to hear EVERYONE raving about it and then loving it myself and regretting not getting to it sooner. But this time, I should have trusted my instincts.

I'm not big on zombies. I'm totally fine with undead beings: vampires, revenants, ghosts. But zombies... They don't do it for me (mostly because they're creepy and want to eat my brains). And Danny was pretty much like a zombie to me. So we were not off to a good start.

But in the beginning I thought, well, seems like Wren (which is an AWESOME name) has gotten herself into a sticky situation (always wanted to say that), let's see how she'll manage to get out of it. Wren seemed cool at first, she had been dealing with the consequences on her own and because of this she had pretty much lost her friends and you know, her LIFE.

Enter Gabriel, who for some reason I can't figure out, is attracted to Wren. And seriously, there was too much insta-love for me here. I do not understand WHY he would like her.

This is probably the main issue: I did not like Wren. She treats a lot of people badly. REALLY badly! Her mom, her friends, her sister, Gabriel and yes, her dead boyfriend too. She's shutting them out and I can get she has to keep the undeadness of Danny a secret, but still. You can still be a decent person. But she's not. She doesn't appreciate help when it's offered, especially by Gabriel. And she has issues with her mom that I did not get at all and she's generally not a good person. There, I said it.

Also, she's constantly crying about the situation with Danny WITHOUT actually DOING something about it! I mean, really, it's been like that for 3 MONTHS. Not days, months. And she knew it wasn't right pretty much from the start. What is wrong with her that she didn't do something about it sooner! This annoyed me.

So yeah, this book wasn't for me. I finished it because it was a pretty quick read and I was thinking it would get better. I think this is a stand-alone, but there's a lot of issues left unresolved. There's a whole lot going on between Wren and her mother I couldn't really make sense of, also stuff about her father, but this never gets explained further. To me, this was the most interesting part of the novel, so I'm sad that it wasn't explored further.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Title/Author: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 20th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king — a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do."

I've been PINING for this book for a year before reading this. And guess what: TOTALLY AMAZING! Seriously, I LOVED this book. I would have read it in one sitting if something trivial like sleep and my internship hadn't gotten in the way.

So now that I've gotten my gushing out the way, let me tell you all the ways this book blew my mind.

First, OMG the whole godstone lore! It was so amazing! I'm not a religious person, but I was intrigued by this whole thing. Especially when this system of a chosen one getting a godstone is being turned on its head! I'm so excited to see where the author will take this in the next book!

And Elisa, seriously, if you like strong female characters in your fantasy, this is the girl for you! She has a real backbone, isn't afraid to laugh at herself and is just a NICE person. It was refreshing that she starts out being very much overweight and actually has a personality instead of just being pretty. She shows such character growth throughout the book, it was wonderful.

And then there was THE BOY. Oh Humberto, how you made my romantic little heart flutter with your amazing boyness you!
So, seriously, who else was gaping openmouthed when he died??? OMG! I cannot believe that happened! I wanted to go back and unread that so Humberto would still be alive! I am so incredibly sad it happened and I'm not sure it was necessary. Humberto...

And the storyline, it was amazing. And I had kind of guessed something that would be important at the end of the book, but I had NO IDEA it would turn out like this. This whole world blew my mind and I'm dying to find out what will happen to Elisa in the next book. Which needs to be here now instead of October 2012! How will I survive in the meantime?? Seriously?

Oh, and can I just say that while I'm not loving this cover so much, after reading the book it makes perfect sense. I'll give you a hint: that blue thing is the godstone. I realised this about halfway through. Yes, I am a genius...

If you couldn't tell already, I loved this book so much I'm not really coherent about it. Which means you should all go read it. If you like fantasy and good books in general, you will enjoy this.
My rating: 5+ stars

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Thank You to books

I saw this contest around the interwebs and to enter you had to make a post about the one book you are most thankful for. And of course I want to win the awesome prize package, but I also really love this question.
Because, what book ARE you most thankful for?

Is it a book that helped you get through some rough times? Is it the book that got you into reading in the first place or got you back into reading after a break? Is it the book you find yourself pushing on other people because they HAVE to read it already? Is it the book that when you read it makes you feel like you slip into a warm nest or like hanging out with your best friend?

The book I'm most thankful for is the Harry Potter books. I know I cheat by naming the series, but it's true.

I have grown up with these books. I was 12 when I started reading them and looking back, I think I didn't read as much back then as I used to. I had started high school a year before and reading was just 'not cool'. And you know what? These books grabbed me and brought me back to reading. I know Christmas that year was filled with reading the first book and then begging my parents to get me the next one immediately.
These books made me connect with readers all over the world who also loved the books, it's the first I ever realised that reading did not have to be a solitary activity! There was this whole fanbase and through this I discovered and Fictionpress and just spend whole days reading stories on both sites. I know I haven't read many actual books in high school, but I have read A LOT of unpublished stories in those years.

So thank you J.K. Rowling for introducing me to this wonderful world and resparking my passion for reading and my love for the fantasy genre!

I really thought I was gonna say Pride and Prejudice, but while this is my all-time favourite book, it didn't have the same impact on me as this series did. I was already firmly back in reading, though it did make me appreciate the romance genre more and started my interest in reading the classics (which I have been slacking on).

Anyway, that's me. So tell me, what book are you most thankful for? And don't forget to enter for a chance to win this amazing prize package!