Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harknes

Title/Author: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness
Publisher/Date published: Viking USA, July 10th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens."


Guys, I really loved A Discovery of Witches, the first book in this trilogy. So immediately upon finishing it, I started Shadow of Night because I couldn't get enough of these characters and the world Deborah Harkness has created. While I didn't enjoy it as much as A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night was still a wonderful read!

We meet Matthew and Diana again when they're getting read to travel back in time to find Ashmole 782 and when I say I was beyond excited to hear they were travelling back to Elizabethan London is putting it mildly. I am SUCH an anglophile and Queen Elizabeth I is one of the most intriguing historical figures in my opinion. I loved meeting all these people I've already read a lot about in a paranormal setting!

Matthew and Diana's relationship goes through some bumps, I must say that I liked Matthew a little less in Shadow of Night. He sort of regresses to his medieval ways and it was somewhat off-putting. The trust they've built in the first book gets cracked and while I get the reasons for it, it was heartbreaking! But he redeems himself in the end, so I'm good.

It was really interesting to learn a LOT more about Diana's magic and her abilities. And I LOVED the firedrake, I wish I had one. I really liked seeing the character development in Diana, she's a smart, loving woman and I love the curious scholar in her!

Like A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night reminds me of taking a trip and enjoying the sights at your leisure. But, with this one, at some points the story dragged a bit. I can't pinpoint what's different from the first book, but there were moments when I was wishing they'd just get to the point already. But mostly I was just enjoying myself at the pace Deborah Harkness has set.

The end promises all kinds of excitement in the third book of the trilogy and I'm anxiously awaiting its name and release date! I can't wait to find out what happens next with Matthew and Diana and everyone else! Also, brownie points for Gallowglass, who is an amazing character who's wormed his way into my heart!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mini Readathon Wrap-Up Post!

So I loved participating in the Mini Readathon yesterday!!! Thanks so much to Sarah for hosting!

Here's my wrap-up post:

1. How many books and/or pages were you able to read?
Around 300 pages in total, and if blogs count, a LOT more (I needed to catch up on my Google Reader, which contained over 300 posts...)

2. About how many hours were you able to read for? (Were there many distractions, breaks, etc?)
I think about 5-6 hours. I got distracted a lot by Twitter. Also, I really wanted to spend some time with my boyfriend cause we hadn't seen eachother much over the weekend.

3. Do you have any likes/dislikes about the 12-hour readathon, compared to a 24-hour readathon?
It's so much easier! 12 hours I can do in a heartbeat! The only thing I liked less was that because of the time zone I'm in, I was on my own for the first couple of hours of my readathon. During the 24 hour readathon I love knowing that people all over the world are reading at the same time as I am, it helps me stay focused.
But this could have been easily resolved if I hadn't had to work today, cause then I'd just have stayed up and read with the rest during a different 12 hour period.

4. Favorite and least favorite books that you read today? Favorite / least favorite challenges? (Not that there were many, but if you want to comment about any of the ones from past mini-readathons feel free to do so).
I really liked both the books I was reading, so there's no real favourite. I really liked the mini-challenges! They didn't take up a lot of time so they're a nice small break from reading :)

5. Do you have any suggestions for things you’d like me to do differently for the next mini-readathon?
Not really, I'd participate again if you host one! :)

That's it! I just love readathons :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sarah Says Read Summer Mini Readathon: First Mini-Challenge

For the first mini-challenge, Sarah asked us to answer 5 questions:

1. Tell everyone three random things about yourself:
-I have more than one pair of fuzzy slippers, I have extra fuzzy ones for when it's REALLY cold and regular ones for all other times. I even wear them in the summer, my feet are always cold.
-I have a stuffed penguin I sometimes cuddle with if a book gets really scary/emotional and I need to hug something and the boyfriend isn't around.
-I would love to get a dog or a bunny, but it's not possible yet with the limited space we have at the appartment.

2. Is this your first readathon?
Nope, I've participated in Dewey's Read-a-Thon and the Bout of Books read-a-thon before. I love readathons!!

3. Do you have any specific goals for today? (# of books or pages to read?)
Not really, I really wanted to finish Shadow of Night and it would be nice to finish at least half of Pushing the Limits, but it's all very relaxed and if I don't make it, that's ok too.

4. Do you have any specific snacks, drinks, or books planned?
No :( I'm such a dope and forgot to plan ahead! I was at the spa all day with my mom yesterday and forgot to buy snacks and now I'm snackless... But as I'm not really tasting much of anything I'm eating due to a stuffed nose, it's less bad :)

5. What hours do you plan on reading during?
9AM to 9PM my time.

If you're participating, leave me a link to your answers!

Sarah Says Read Summer Mini Readathon!!

Hi all!!

Today is a wonderful sunshiney (so far, it's only 10.30AM) day and I seem to finally be conquering the annoying cold that has been with me this past week :)

Today is also the day of Sarah Says Read's Summer Mini Readathon!

Here's the plan according to Sarah:

-Read for any 12-hour block on Sunday, July 29th.
-Sarah’ll come up with some mini-challenges, and you can participate if you so choose.
-You may or may not win something via the mini-challenges.
-Tweet along with other mini-readathoners if you’d like via #ssrminiread
-Have fun and get some reading done.

So I'm going to do just that. I started at 9AM my time and will try to read as much as I can until 9PM. I've already finished one book: Shadow of Night, but it's slightly cheating since I only had about 90 pages left in it. But still: YAY!

If you're participating as well, or want to chat for any other reason whatsoever, find me on Twitter: @DBetweenpages

Friday, July 27, 2012

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway Winner!!

I'd been meaning to announce the winner on Wednesday, but Rafflecopter was down for maintenance, and then I kinda forgot yesterday...

Anyway, all excuses aside. The winner of my 2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway is:

ALEX @ A Girl, Books and Other Things!!!

Yay! It's kinda really appropriate cause she's been my blogging buddy for a long time now and her support has been really important to me!

Congrats on winning and e-mail me back with the books of your choice! :)

Oh, and can we all say: HALLELUJAH IT'S FRIDAY!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review of New Girl by Paige Harbison

Title/Author: New Girl by Paige Harbison
Publisher/Date published: HarlequinTEEN, January 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
They call me 'New Girl'...
Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed — because of her.
Becca Normandy — that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.
Except for Max Holloway — the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.
And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back."

So I absolutely LOVED Rebecca when I read it a year and a half ago. It was amazing and creepy and just wonderfully suspenseful and everything I could want from such a novel. So when I saw that there was a YA retelling of it, of course I clicked that request button!
And while with Rebecca I felt that I was right there with the main character, in New Girl that never really happened for me.

I liked the way Paige Harbison converted the marriage and living in Manderley to a boarding school and a really awkward teenage non-relationship (and let's face it, haven't you ever been in a relationship that wasn't classified as such? Or is that just me?). I also really liked the main character who, like the main character in Rebecca, remains nameless and is just referred to by everyone as 'new girl'. I especially liked that our main character developed a back bone throughout it all and defended herself against her roommate who's extremely nasty to her and all the others in the school who voiced the opinion that she could never live up to the legacy of Becca Normandy. I had infinitely more respect for her after she decided that she didn't have to be like Becca, she was a person worth knowing in her own right and shouldn't be compared to the girl that went missing.

But really, while I liked Maxwell in Rebecca, the Max Holloway in New Girl by no means lived up to him. Seriously, I would have dumped his ass and not accepted his apologies every freaking time. I really, really didn't like him for most of the novel, in the end he redeems himself somewhat, but he was seriously messed up.

The point of view switches between Becca and our nameless main character, which was pretty interesting, but the chapters narrated by Becca were really hard to read for me, cause well, Becca is a bitch. Seriously. I cannot for the live of me find one thing about her character that I liked. She was manipulative and just kind of crazy.

I did enjoy the story and I loved the character growth the main character went through. I also thought this modern adaptation was incredibly fitting and loved recognizing the elements from the original story as they appeared in New Girl. I didn't really care for New Girl's dream towards the end though, but that's something to just forget about quickly. This was an enjoyable read that has all kinds of human craziness in it!

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review of How To Dance With A Duke by Manda Collins

Title/Author: How To Dance With A Duke (Ugly Ducklings #1) by Manda Collins
Publisher/Date published: St. Martin's Paperbacks, January 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants...
Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club — and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily — even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened... or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined..."

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting about How To Dance With A Duke while I was reading it. There are two occasions in which this happens: either I'm REALLY enjoying it or I'm really not. Unfortunately, the second was true in this case.

I just have to say it: How To Dance With A Duke was slightly ridiculous. At one point I asked myself if it was ridiculous enough to be amusing, but that point passed fairly quickly. And then it was also just basically somewhat boring.

I mean, I like a good wallflower-turned-beauty story, but in this case I just didn't believe it. Also, the whole novel started of with a sort of game of conversation-avoidance tag between the two main characters and it left me going HUH??
Cecily and Lucas are supposed to be two rather smart characters. Then why in the world would they think it's a good idea to start having sex when someone's locked them in a room in a place they weren't allowed in the first place and just when they find the key?? I mean, I get that they needed a reason to be forced to marry each other (or rather, I don't, cause people get married without being forced to as far as I know), but this was just ridiculous. Besides, they'd only kissed once and that was it. It felt off.
I was also annoyed that on more than one occasion we had Cecily tell us that Lucas had whispered 'loving things' in her ear without actually knowing what he said. And for all her smarts she had some really ditzy and too-stupid-to-live moments.

Another thing that made me snort with its ridiculousness (this has Cecily looking at Lucas' 'male member'):
"To Cecily's mind it was rather a shame that he was forced to hide such an impressive specimen with clothing. Though she could understand that perhaps it might get in the way during day-to-day activities."
And then a few lines later:
"Your... er... appendage is very elegant, Your Grace."

REALLY?? I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY? I cannot even comment on this beyond that.

Even though I didn't like Cecily at all, I did like Lucas. Sure, he didn't come across as intelligent as he supposedly was, but he seemed like a decent guy and he obviously was more in touch with his feelings than Cecily was. I liked that he put his foot down when she was trying to push him away and was all angry male. One thing that did annoy me about him is that he had this war injury and walked with a limp. This in NO WAY impaired him during all his activities except for dancing.... Yes, consistency and all that.
The backstory and the mystery were okay, I figured out whodunnit pretty early on. The whole climax felt a bit, well, anti-climactic to me. The bad guy is just a crazy man who is supposedly very dangerous but is on the other hand incredibly easy to get away from, even if Cecily probably isn't strength personified.

All in all, I was just not very impressed and it did get some smiles from me, but unfortunately I don't think these moments were meant to be laughed at.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daisy Update (16)

Hi all!

So, this week seemed even more hectic than last week somehow. Monday started off pretty well and even though we had 3 patients coming to the ward to be admitted before surgery, I was doing ok and not so behind as I was last week. Right up until the moment when the son of one of the patients started yelling at me for something that wasn't my fault. Yeah, that was fun. I REALLY wanted to tell him where he could stick his aggression and plain rudeness, but I managed not to.
It seemed to be a week filled with all sorts of very high maintenance family members of patients on the ward. I don't mind so much, except when they're constantly harassing the nurses, which is just not okay.

Anyway, I really needed a lot of hugs when I got home Monday night, but the rest of the week was infinitely better. Tuesday we had my boyfriend's friends over for a barbecue and it was fun! After they went on to the festivities surrounding the 4 day walking event in the city that was this week and I crashed like the little old lady I am.

Wednesday I just relaxed and read, I finished A Discovery of Witches, and made guacamole from scratch. Which, as it turns out, isn't really all that hard, but it was rather delicious if I may say so myself :)

Thursday and Friday were a lot quieter work-wise and I even managed to get all of my paperwork done, so YAY!

Friday night I went out with some of my friends and it was a lot of fun! At one point I almost fell asleep standing up (it wasn't even past midnight), so I decided it was probably time to go home. Yesterday I went to visit my parents and it was just relaxing. Both their dogs like to pretend they don't get spoiled rotten when I'm not around and are in dire need of some cuddles, so I obliged. One of them had to have knee surgery last week and was walking around with a 'cone of shame' (Up! anyone? LOVE that movie!) and feeling all kinds of sorry for himself.

Today will be filled with relaxing and catching up on Google Reader and not cooking cause it's Sunday and I don't feel like it. Maybe I can convince the boyfriend to get fries... (yum!)

In bookish news: I know it's gone a bit quiet on the blog, but it's because I'm so busy. Once I get in a more steady rythm with work and everything else, it'll get better. I hope.
I did get 5 books in thye mail I'd pre-ordered, which I'm really excited about :) I need to make time to read the books I buy for myself and not just the books I receive for review... I currently own 223 books I haven't read yet, which is kinda crazy.
But, in more positive news, I have managed to stick to my ban, though it probably won't last past Wednesday, cause then I get paid for the very first time and I'll HAVE to celebrate! I'm already plotting going shopping and buying this pretty dress:

I just love the color...
And a celebration isn't complete without ordering some more books even though I really shouldn't.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great Sunday and a wonderful week!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Title/Author: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
Publisher/Date published: Penguin, February 8th 2012
How I got this book: bought it for myself while shopping for Sinterklaas gifts last year :)

Goodreads summary: "A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell."


I can't believe I'd forgotten how much I love witches! I have ever since I was a kid and never stopped wishing I could be one myself! Also, YAY ADULT PARANORMAL ROMANCE!!

I was a bit hesitant going into this one, I'd heard really good things about it, but the sheer size of this book was somewhat scary. That's 722 pages I was committing to and with my limited time to spend on reading these days, it just has to be worth it. I needed about 30 pages to get into this story, but after that it all went smoothly and I found myself thinking about all these characters and the things that were happening even when I wasn't reading it. And yes, that is a VERY good sign!

I really liked Diana and Matthew. I loved how their relationship develops and the sweet moments between them mixed in with the clashing of their personalities and creature-specific traits. It wouldn't have been believable if a vampire who has lived for many, MANY lifetimes and a modern witch would have just matched without any challenge whatsoever. I love that not everything runs smoothly! I love that both were flawed and felt real. Even though it did sorta creep me out for a minute when I discovered how old Matthew really is... But I got over that pretty quickly.

I love the creature-lore with the three different species: vampires, witches and daemons. I love that we're not dealing with stereotypical vampires and I giggled at some of the mentions of famous historical figures actually being creatures!
I also loved that Deborah Harkness has a magic system in which there's a difference between magic and witchcraft! The way she explains it feels right to me somehow!

Though A Discovery of Witches takes its time to get to the excitement, I was never once bored. I didn't feel like the pace was too slow, it felt like a leisurely stroll through a beautiful world I could I could take my time to get to know. I love that I feel like I really know the characters now, it's one of the things I enjoy most about reading longer books and series.
And there were a lot of characters for me to cry for, be happy for, laugh with and just basically root for.

I can't believe it took me this long to read A Discovery of Witches and I'm so glad I have the sequel Shadow of Night on my eReader that I actually started reading right after finishing this one! Recommended for all you fans of witches and paranormal romance!

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review of Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title/Author: Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, January 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned - to her old life, her family, her friends - before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back - this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's..."

Oh. My. Gosh. WOW!

Really, that is my first reaction upon finishing this book. And I cannot think of a better way for a book to leave me feeling. I mean, I fell in love with the cover before I even knew what the book would be about (LOOK AT THE PRETTY!!) and when I came to understand that it was a YA mythology I went all crazy-eyed and just felt the urge to HAVE IT. So to say that I was beyond exstatic when I received the e-ARC is putting it mildly.

And this book did not disappoint in the least. I'd heard people rave about it before I had the chance to read it myself and you know what? THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

Everneath by Brodi Ashton was SO amazing! I fell in love with the beautiful writing at the first page. Seriously, evidence is my tweeting of 'I'm only 12 pages in, but I already know I'm going to love it'. And it was so, SO good! It made my little bookloving heart very happy.

I really liked Nikki. I know she made a really stupid decision when she joined Cole in the Everneath, but really, I could get where she was coming from. I mean, she was really insecure about her relationship with Jack. And while from the first moment I read about it, I couldn't believe sweet, awesome Jack would ever do something like that, I can see how she would. And I liked that she wanted to make it right with her loved ones when she Returned and wasn't all accusatory towards them and only blamed herself. And maybe Cole. But that's totally justified.

And let's just say it: Jack is amazing. Seriously, that boy! He made me swoon and smile and cry... And I loved him. He was everything a boyfriend should be and I loved the moments he and Nikki were together. I loved how they awkwardly sat next to each other for hours and hours in class and didn't speak. I loved how he tried to get her to talk to him again and their history together.

Then there's Cole, the 'villain' in this story. I know he's the bad guy, but I really liked him as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% Team Jack, but there's something about Cole that's got me not hating him even though he does some really bad things.

I loved it all: the story, the characters, the minor as well as the main characters, the writing, the romance, THE BOY, the mythology... I wish I had more words to do justice to the amazingness that is this book. I would have read this all in one go if my boyfriend hadn't insisted I needed sleep (which let's face it, he was right about).

It will be a long wait for the second book...

My rating: 5+ stars

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Daisy Update (15)

Hi guys!!

It's been a busy week! Or rather, it felt like a busy week even if it was mostly just Monday that was crazy...

Monday's I'm on my own on the ward I work at, making sure 19 patients are still alive at the end of the day. This particular Monday had me running around and generally feeling that I was behind on everything all day long and it didn't stop until I went home. And even then it didn't really stop. Monday is always a busy day because you have to get everything done that piled up over the weekend and there's less time to do it in than other days because we have this meeting at the end of the day that takes over 2 hours...
So I went home at 7.45PM and just crashed on the couch after.

But rest of the week was a lot better, the other resident on the ward was there and between the two of us we got everything done in time in a more relaxed manner. I'm starting to realise I'm a real doctor now and it's wonderful!

Wednesday's my day off and I spent all day catching up on blogging, getting my Google Reader under controll and finishing Throne of Glass. It was wonderful! And guys, if you're interested, I wrote a gushing, fangirling review for Throne of Glass. It's everything I wanted from it and going off-schedule to read it was like a present to myself :)

Wednesday night the boyfriend and I went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and seriously, they give you SO MUCH food! We tried to eat everything, but just couldn't and the waitress sorta scolded us a little for not eating enough... The boyfriend and I had a good laugh about that! :)

Friday night I went all little old lady and went to bed at 9.30PM because I had been fighting sleep since 8.30PM and well, there was noone at home to stay up for. It felt weird, but Saturday morning I was well rested again, so it was worth it! Yesterday was filled with relaxing up until the moment we went to one of the boyfriend's friends' housewarming and after that we continued on to the festival surrounding the 4 day walking event that starts on Tuesday. All these people are invading the city I live in and cleaning out the supermarket... It's a wonderful event, but it means that the city will be packed with people, blocking the roads and such.

On bookish news: a lot of the books I ordered came in the mail and I'm excited every time I come home and see a package waiting for me! I feel like between the new job and making time to spend with my boyfriend after work, I hardly read at all these past two weeks! I've started A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and I'm really enjoying it so far!! Am hoping to finish a good chunk of it today :)

Tonight we're going over to my brother's for dinner, he's housesitting for someone and the house sounds really fancy! I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks now, so I'm excited to go over there with my boyfriend. My parents are coming as well, so it will be a little family get together, yay! :)

Hope you all have an amazing Sunday and a great week!

Also: if you missed it, I'm hosting a little giveaway for my blogoversary, open internationally!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title/Author: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, August 2nd 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men — thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined."

I couldn't decide which of the covers I like better, so I decided to post them both :) Also, I'm plotting ordering the UK version even though I've already pre-ordered the US version months ago... Yes, this definitely falls under First World Problems...

But onto the book itself.

You guys: THRONE OF GLASS!! THRONE OF FREAKING GLASS! How could I not drop everything I was doing and read it the moment I got the e-mail saying I was approved for the egalley??? SERIOUSLY! I've haven't been waiting months, but YEARS for this book and let me tell you that it is every bit as amazing as I'd hoped it would be!

All those years ago I read this story on FictionPress, back when it was still called Queen of Glass (and I'm still sorta getting used to the new name, but it totally fits, so YAY) and this is the polished, shiny version of the story I fell in love with back then.

I don't know if any of you remember, but Celaena appaered on my Top Ten Favourite Characters list back in 2010. I love her and the fact that she and all these characters have stayed with me for so long makes me want to give this book to everyone and force them to read it! I love that she's not a damsel in distress and how she hasn't let her spirit be broken by all that's happened to her in the past. She's snarky and arrogant and flawed and smart and basically awesome and such a fully formed character that I wouldn't be surprised if she walked into the room right now, wanting access to the pretty books on my shelves.

There are so many other characters for me to love as well, among my favourites the Crown Prince Dorian, Captain Chaol Westfall, Nehemia and Fleetfoot. I love being creeped out by the King of Adarlan and several others I shall not name in light of spoilers and such.

I love the worldbuilding and Sarah J. Maas's storytelling. The story never once dragged and after reading the 416 pages it encompasses, I was left wishing for more! There's not cliffhanger, but I just can't get enough of this world. I know that when my pre-ordered copy arrives I'll dive in again, it's that good.

I don't really know if I'm even remotely coherent, but Throne of Glass just has me fangirling and gushing and I can't control myself! I LOVE loving a book this much! It's everything I wanted from it and I cannot wait for the sequel to get in my hands so I can devour it as well!
HIGHLY recommended for all you fantasy fans out there!

My rating: 5+ stars

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title/Author: Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
Publisher/Date published: Random House BFYR, July 10th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered — in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life."

You guys, I have a thing for dragons. Ever since I can remember I've loved stories that involve dragons, because they are just magnificent and powerful and there's just something about them that makes it easy for me to relate to them. It may also have something to do with Sean Connery's voice as the dragon in the movie Dragonheart ;)

So I was really eager to dive into Seraphina's world, where they actually walk among humans in a human shape, I mean HOW EXCITING! And risking sounding negative from the start of this review: it didn't exactly live up to my expectations.

I did really like the whole concept behind Seraphina and the dragonlore Rachel Hartman has created. Seraphina herself was a likeable enough main character, though not spectacular and I liked several of the other characters as well, I LOVED Seraphina's uncle. There was also some lovely tension between Seraphina and her love interest, who shall remain unnamed.

So, why do I say it wasn't what I'd hoped it would be?

Well, it was mostly that for me the plot dragged. I'm usually all about the long, epic fantasy novels, but I struggled through the 480 pages this one is stretched out across. For me personally, I could have done with something a little shorter and more action-packed.

I think this was for the most part due to Seraphina's lively inner world. She has to tend to her mental garden with different visions demanding her attention and I'm sorry to say that I got easily bored at the scenes in which this is described. Sometimes her inner life was so vivid that to me it wasn't always clear if something had actually happened or it had just been in her head.

I never connected to Seraphina, though I do admire her bravery and thought she was a solid main character, I just didn't feel invested in her story. I did love that music was such a big part of her.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this novel. On one hand it was a struggle for me to read it, but I was interested enough to keep reading and in the end it was worth it, because when we neared the finale the pace went up and I started enjoying the writing very much.

Also, while it is the first book in the series, the story arc was tied up nicely and there's by no means a cliffhanger ending, which I appreciate. I'm not anxious to find out what will happen for Seraphina and everyone else, but I do plan on reading the sequel when it's released!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review of Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Title/Author: Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, July 10th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father — and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.
In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire — if usually absent — father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating... and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.
But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.
So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?
The choice isn't as simple as you think."

When I first read the summary I thought this would be just my kind of book, even though I was a bit wary of it turning silly in a slapstick kind of way and that's not really my thing. But while the mechanics/physics/quantum thingamajies behind the parallel universe travelling was a bit silly, the rest of the story never was!

I could SO relate to Annie in her wondering what it would have been like if a billionaire would have been her dad! I mean, aren't we all at one point thinking the grass is greener on the other side? I love my life, but of course I've thought about what it would have been like if I'd been prettier/richer/just different. I loved seeing Annie struggle with the pink bubble popping out of existence and realizing that what she had might not have been so bad and just maturing and facing her problems head on.

I loved the whole high school drama with mean girls galore and guys being stereotypical jerks and WAY hormonal. I loved that Annie rebelled against the social order and started doing her own thing and discovers a great 'invisible' guy. I mean, there's the whole BOOM, INSTA-LOVE! going on, but I probably would have fallen for him as well if I'd been Annie. He's just one of those good guys, you know. And I kinda have a thing for good guys :)

Ayla's family life is beyond horrifying and Annie trying to navigate it and deal with all the crap Ayla's pulled before was hard. Ayla's dad is a first class *BEEP* and I wish nasty things to happen to him! Gah, that guy got on my nerves! It's not even funny!

You guys, this book was just so cute!! It was fun and put me in a happy place and was perfect for getting my mind off stressing out about my first day at the new job! There's actual character growth mixed in with the fun and without giving anything away: the ending was PERFECT!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Daisy Update (14)

Hi guys!!

It's been almost two weeks since my last Update and a lot has happened since then! Or it feels like a lot has happened, even though it's mostly just me starting my new job.

That's right, I started my new job this week and it's been wonderful!! I'm still getting used to getting up early and everything and I just crashed Friday night, but I'm loving it! I love that I finally get to work as a doctor and feel useful again and just have more responsibility and that I now don't have to follow other people around so I can get my paperwork signed.
All the people working at the department I work at are really nice! I did an internship there last year for three months and I'm amazed by how many people still recognize me, as an intern it sometimes feels like you're forgotten the moment you step out the door, glad to say at least at this department that's not the case at all! I feel right at home, and it's great!
Basically: YAY WORK!! :)

So, that's mostly what I've been doing, Monday had me sitting through a whole day of people explaining the computer system, which was a necessary evil. On Tuesday I started at the deparment itself and Wednesday is my day off, which was nice. It also felt like I was ditching, cause I'm not used to having a day off while working in the hospital.

The only thing that wasn't so great was having to get my car fixed. Yeah, I know, that car I bought a month ago. A week ago the engine overheated and I called the dealer we bought it from about it, so he said I could drop it off there and he'd take a look at it. Turns out the ventilator for the engine didn't work and he had to replace some things that I don't pretend to understand anything about. He was so nice about it and genuinely felt bad it had happened so quickly after I bought it, I'm glad I went back there and not to some other garage!

The boyfriend was away with his soccer friends for the weekend, so I went to visit my parents and have been relaxing in their backyard, it was nice :) Yesterday night I went out with a couple of my friends and we partied till 4AM, so I'm a bit tired today, but it's worth it :)

I've been so busy with everything surrounding work and my car that I completely spaced on my blogoversary on the 5th! My little blog turned 2 on Thursday and I just forgot *hides in shame*.
So, in honor of this milestone for me, I'm doing a little giveaway, head over to this post to enter for 15 euros worth in books open to anywhere the Book Depository ships!

In bookish news: I got approved for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas on Friday and after finishing the book I was reading then I immediately started it, and YOU GUYS, IT'S AMAZING!!! I'm so in love with it, it's not even funny. I went off schedule to read it and that was the best decision ever! I loved it when it was on FictionPress all those years ago and this is the polished, even more amazing version of that, so I'm having all kinds of happies reading it! It feels like sitting down with all friends I haven't seen in years :)

So I hope you all have a great week, enter my giveaway and I'm off to continue reading Throne of Glass and get in my happy zone!

2 Year Blogoversary + Giveaway!!

You guys, I'm ashamed to say I completely forgot about my 2 Year Blogoversary this Thursday!! All I can say is that life got in the way...

I cannot believe I've already been doing this for two years and how much it has become a part of my everyday life! I love having a place to talk about books and I'm so grateful for all the amazing people I've met because of it! To me, that's the best part of blogging!

So, in honor of the birthday of my little blog, I'm giving away up to 15 euros in books!

-15 euros in books sent via the Book Depository (it can be one book or a combination, as long as it doesn't exceed a total of 15 euros, pre-orders are fine if you like!)
-Open internationally, everywhere the Book Depository ships to (check out the list here)
-Required: be a blog follower
-If under 13 you have to have approval from a parent/legal guardian
-Open from July 8th to July 22th 2012
-The winner will be contacted through e-mail as well as announced on the blog
-The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me with the book(s) of their choice, if there's no response after 48 hours I will pick another winner
-That's it, go enter! What are you waiting for?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review of Once by Anna Carey

Title/Author: Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, July 3rd 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "When you're being hunted, who can you trust?
For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.
But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.
Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together - but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves... or risk losing Caleb forever."


Once was one of my most anticipated sequels in 2012, because the ending of Eve nearly killed me and while I didn't like it as much as I liked Eve, I still really enjoyed it!

We pick up a little after where we left Eve in the first book, she's just gotten settled in at Califia, but she can't forget about Caleb. I was actually kind of surprised it had taken her that long to start considering leaving Califia to go to him. If my boyfriend had been out there on his own, hurt, possibly dying, I don't think I would have lasted a day there.

I was glad to see Eve grow up somewhat throughout this novel, she's definitely not the naive girl that we met in the first book anymore and she's learned to fend for herself a little, even if she still feels a bit like a damsel in distress to me. It kind of bugged me that most of the 'heroics' she undertakes are guided by other people and not so much by her own taking care of business.

And you guys, Caleb!! I adored the boy in Eve and I my heart started fluttering again when he stepped into the story! I was kinda sad we don't get a lot of time with him, but those moments he's there are magical.

Most of Once, while entertaining, felt like a bit of a filler towards Rise, in which I imagine the epic showdown will happen. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book that I was fully engrossed and on the edge of my seat with a sense of foreboding that was justified. I did really like the plot twists that were thrown in, especially one pretty early on that I will not spoil here, but SO GOOD!

So while Once for me suffered a bit from second-book-syndrome, Anna Carey has a way of storytelling that made me still want to keep reading and just like she did with Eve, the ending of Once nearly killed me and I just need Rise RIGHT NOW!

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review of How To Be A Proper Lady by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: How To Be A Proper Lady (Falcon Club #2) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, June 26th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "The Rules of Being a Proper Lady:
1) Never take steps greater than six inches apart.
2) Never look boldly at a gentleman.
3) And never, ever, kiss a man who is not your fiancé.

But beautiful, bold Viola Carlyle doesn't care about the rules. And she desperately wants to kiss the notoriously tempting Captain Jin Seton, the man who brought her kicking and fighting back to English society. Kidnapped as a child, now she longs to return to that life of freedom where she was able to live — and love — as she wished.
Having hunted Viola for two years, Jin Seton has finally found his good luck — for, by finding Viola, his oldest, deepest debt will at last be paid. And although he has vowed not to let her win his heart, this very improper lady might finally be the one who tames him."

Do any of you remember how much I loved Captured By A Rogue Lord?? Cause I totally did! It made me fall in love with Katharine Ashe's writing! So when I saw How To Be A Proper Lady would be about the long lost sister of the heroine in Captured By A Rogue Lord, I went LET ME HAVE IT!!!

And I'm happy to report to you all that it definitely did not disappoint. AT ALL.

As in Captured By A Rogue Lord, the characters in How To Be A Proper Lady were wonderful! They're all very well developed and it's just the sort of cast of characters that make me an extremely happy reader! There were those I could love, those I could be annoyed with and some that just made me roll me eyes in a GOOD way! Like I would at a friend who's being silly.

I really liked Viola, she's a strong woman and not just in the sense that I think she could hold her own in a fight. She's a good person and I loved seeing her struggle to figure out where she belonged and with who.
And guys, Jin... He's just such a perfect hero. He's flawed and a little broken inside and HOT! And he's honorable and extremely loyal to his friends. Also, he's just the right amount of dangerous. But mostly, he just made me swoon and fall in love with him, which is what I want when I read a romance novel!

But mostly, THE TENSION! OMG, it was SO GOOD! I think the first time I had tears in my eyes was before I was even halfway through the book and it didn't stop after that! There were so many stomach-clenchingly good moments that I found myself going over all those wonderful moments a second and sometimes a third time to absorb it all and feel ALL the feelings again!

There were MISUNDERSTANDINGS that actually worked and show how easy it can be to get these things wrong but luckily for them, in romance novels there are pretty much always second chances. Or third. So they can figure it out and make me cry in the process.

Which leads to me putting Katharine Ashe firmly on the 'must-read-ALL-her-books' list because after adoring 2 of her novels she deserves a place there. Her writing is very engaging and I fell in love with the characters and she had me feel ALL THE THINGS and I love it when a book makes me cry! STRONGLY recommended for anyone who likes historical romance!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review of Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Title/Author: Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
Publisher/Date published: Egmont USA, June 12th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...
Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?
Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.
Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough..."


So I loved the first book in this series, Hourglass (if you want to know how much read my review on The Broke and the Bookish), and fell completely in love with Kaleb, so when I learned he was narrating Timepiece, I just knew that I would love it as well.

And I did!

In Timepiece we learn more about the abilities the whole gang has, as well as those of some new characters we meet. It gets a bit more scary in this one, as the powers that be start causing trouble for the characters I've come to love. They have to locate Jack, OR ELSE.... There are also some really interesting and creepy developments as a result of Jack's and Emerson and Michael's messing with the timelines. It was exciting and terrifying and made me want to keep reading until I found out EVERYTHING about it!

And you guys, I adore Kaleb! The voice Myra McEntire gave him kept me riveted to the page and had me laughing out loud and crying and just feeling everything right along with him. I love how he actually has an apron that says 'Kiss the cook' like Emerson suggested in Hourglass and that he bakes when he's depressed. And that he thinks stuff like 'Welcome to hell, now with hotter fire'. On the outside he's this big, strong guy with the amazing personality and a sensitive side on the inside. I'm going to keep with my first commentary on him: *sigh*. Besides the obvious hotness factor, I kind of just want to give him a hug!

I loved seeing all my favourite characters from Hourglass through his eyes and the chemistry he had with Lily was just SO GOOD! My romantic little heart was happy, about them as well as about Kaleb getting over Emerson.
The evil got amped up a little more and I found out some things that were pretty shocking about the 'bad guys'.

As for question I always ask myself when reading a series: did it suffer from second-book-syndrome? To this I have to say a resounding NO! Of course there's the build-up for Infinityglass and there are a lot of things we learn in Timepiece, but there was enough going on that it never once felt like a filler book to get to the epic finale that I'm sure will go down in Infinityglass.

So to sum it up: yes excitement, fabulous writing, feelings, and YES KALEB!!! *sigh*
Can't wait for Infinityglass! Myra McEntire has me hooked with this series and I think I'll pick up whatever she writes after she finishes this series as well!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review of Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Title/Author: Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers #2) by Loretta Chase
Publisher/Date published: Avon, June 26th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "From the Journals of Sophia Noirot: A dress is a weapon. It must dazzle his eye, raise his temperature... and empty his purse.
A blue-eyed innocent on the outside and a shark on the inside, dressmaker Sophy Noirot could sell sand to Bedouins. Selling Maison Noirot's beautiful designs to aristocratic ladies is a little harder, especially since a recent family scandal has made an enemy of one of society's fashion leaders. Turning scandal to the shop's advantage requires every iota of Sophy's skills, leaving her little patience for a big, reckless rake like the Earl of Longmore. The gorgeous lummox can't keep more than one idea in his head at a time, and his idea is taking off all of Sophy's clothes.
But when Longmore's sister, Noirot's wealthiest, favorite customer, runs away, Sophy can't let him bumble after her on his own. In hot pursuit with the one man who tempts her beyond reason, she finds desire has never slipped on so smoothly..."

So I really enjoyed Silk Is For Seduction, the first novel in this series. I swooned at the romance and it was basically just what I want from a historical romance.
While I did enjoy Scandal Wears Satin, it didn't bring me the same emotions Silk Is For Seductions did.

I really liked Sophy, she's an independent woman who knows what she wants and I love that she writes for a gossip column along with everything she does to keep Maison Noirot in business. She's smart and I loved she scheme she came up with to get Lady Clara out of trouble. It was priceless!

I liked Longmore, at times I loved him. But the main problem I had with him was that he wasn't very bright. He actually thinks and says that he'd rather not do too much thinking. I don't think he was actually as stupid as he was made out to be, cause he could spar with Sophy quite adequately, it just annoyed me that it was constantly mentioned that he wasn't very smart. I like my men smart. Longmore is more of a physical person, though I did like that he was in touch with his feelings, even though he didn't always like it and that he was kind to women, especially to his sister.

I did like the chemistry Sophy and Longmore had, their banter was really entertaining, especially his answers to her aggravation. For example:
'Why has no woman stabbed you before, I wonder?' she said.
'I have quick reflexes,' he said.

There were a lot of other moments like these, and for me, it's what made the novel. Also, I love that Longmore refers to babies as 'little squirmy pink things that howl'. There were definitely some laugh out loud funny moments and I love to have that along with my romance!

BUT. I never fully connected to the story and I wasn't on the edge of my seat, biting my nails wondering how they would work it out and it didn't manage to bring tears to my eyes. I did however love the gorgeous dresses that are a character on it's own.

So, while I enjoyed Silk Is For Seduction more, this was definitely an enjoyable read. It has humour mixed in with the romance, and I just love when you can have both in a novel. I'm definitely curious what Loretta Chase has in store for the remaining single Noirot sister Leonie!

My rating: 3,5 stars