Monday, December 30, 2013

Review of If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle

Title/Author: If Wishes Were Earls (Rhymes With Love #3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher/Date published: Avon, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Harriet Hathaway has loved only one man her entire life: the Earl of Roxley. But when he ignores her at a ball, she takes rather desperate steps to catch his eye and her plans find her ruined and without any hope of gaining Roxley’s heart. So it is much to her amazement when Roxley proposes marriage to save her from ruin. But Roxley’s proposal isn’t quite on the up and up and when she finds out she’s just another piece in one of his plots and japes, she vows revenge.

Roxley is desperate to pull his family from the brink of ruin, and the only way to gain a lost fortune is to prove to his aunts that’s he’s “reformed” his life and is determined to settle down. But the bride-to-be that he thought would be most amiable is doing everything to turn his life and his heart upside down. Harriet Hathaway had always seemed the most sensible girl he knew, but now this siren of a stranger he’s engaged to is leaving him feeling anything but sensible. Harriet is about to steal not only his heart, but quite possibly the keys to the Roxley fortune.

Ok, so the summary above isn't quite true to the story. Roxley does ruin Harriet, but he doesn't propose to save her from ruin and she doesn't vow revenge on him. So I was basically a bit confused at first, but then I just went with it and it was ok.

Harriet has a strong will of her own. And she's set her heart on Roxley, so she's doing everything in her power to make sure he marries her. She was actually a little scary in her determination. I mean, getting yourself ruined to trap a man isn't exactly endearing behaviour to me. That's a big no for me. But I did love that she knocks Roxley to the ground as a kid when he's being all high and mighty 'But I'm an earl', so I forgave her, but she isn't my favourite type of heroine.

Roxley is a bit of a mess. I mean, he loves Harriet and ruins her and then he doesn't go see her for 8 months. I was ready to cry DOUCHE when it turns out he has a bit of honour left in him somewhere. His excuse was that he's suddenly stopped being lucky at his gambling and other endeavours, but he didn't know that the morning after he ruined Harriet and in my opinion in those days he should have just married her straight after. It seemed pretty irresponsible of both of them.
But Roxley is being all tortured man-like and it was pretty funny! I also liked how much he cared about his aunts!

I think my lack of enthusiasm for the hero and heroine let me to not have all the feelings I like to have while reading a romance novel. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read, but from the summary I had just expected something a little different and a bit more filled with tension and for me it just wasn't there. Also, it was pretty obvious from the beginning where exactly those damn diamonds everyone has their panties in a bunch over had been hidden.

If Wishes Were Earls was a nice, relaxing read, but not my favourite in the genre.

My rating: 3 stars

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Title/Author: Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin MIRA, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever. Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.


Guys, I adore Maria V. Snyder's writing! I always know I'm going to enjoy her books when I start them! And I was very anxiously awaiting Taste of Darkness!
And while it wasn't my usual 5-star read that I've come to expect from Snyder, it was still a really good read!

Avry is a character that I can SO relate to! She's a Healer and practices usual medicine as well alongside her healing powers and I just think that she's awesome. Though I sometimes wanted to yell at her for being headstrong and reckless and all that, but it's not very interesting if a character is perfect. I like that Avry is a more mature character and has a mature relationship with Kerrick, though it got a little too lovey-dovey for me at times. I mean, there was hardly any tension there! They keep getting separated and angsting over if they'll see the other person again and I wanted to be like: THEN JUST STOP SPLITTING UP @#$%& because this didn't seem to be a very productive way to spend time.

This also means that a lot of the book is filled with searching for Kerrick/Avry, waiting for Kerrick/Avry and the pace was a little slower than I would have liked and would have expected. I mean, there was still a whole lot to be resolved and the pages were dwindling and I was REALLY worried about how Maria V. Snyder would tie everything up in the end. But she did manage it rather neatly and while the part with Tohon was pretty anticlimactic, the rest of it was well done and gave me closure for this series.

I loved seeing Avry make sense of the Plague and the Peace and Death Lilies and figuring out how it all worked and it was just genius! I've also grown really fond of the monkeys and Belen and Flea and would just like to gather them all for a big hug. Aside from the part where Flea was being an ass, but he's a growing boy, it's to be expected that they act a little annoying every now and then.
Also, I could have done without the Skeleton King, he was SO CREEPY! I'm thankful I haven't had any nightmares starring him yet..

Taste of Darkness was a fitting ending to this series that I enjoyed very much!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!

I'm spending the day with my family and tomorrow we'll be going over to the boyfriend's family :) (we have two days of Christmas here in Holland) I'm also bringing my dad's dogs home with me tonight, so fun times with the puppies ahead!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day (or days) and spending time with the people you love! I'm off to prepare for the epic food fest :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review of The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Title/Author: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to — only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future — until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are — and falling in love.

I so wanted to love this book. Because the cover looks so cute and the story sounded sweet and I had comitted to being on a tour for it. The last reason is quite possibly also the only reason I actually finished it instead of DNF-ing, which I frequently considered.

I could actually identify with Wren quite a bit because she's also tired of being called 'quiet'. Do people realise how annoying that is? Because it's seen as a bad thing generally and being told that you could 'show a little more of yourself' again and again is tiring. And quiet people don't always have quiet feelings, ok? But enough about my frustrations. I was secretly cheering that Wren was running into some of the same obstacles I was when I was in high school because of this being quiet thing. So we were off to a pretty good start, I liked her family and the catering hall, holla Arthurian themed things!

But then Grayson entered the scene and everything just sorta fell apart. I really, REALLY did not like Grayson with the poor little rich kid thing he had going on and just plain old being a douche. Also, the moment he lays eyes on Wren, he's convinced that they'll share something special. WTF??? I mean, seriously, that is just a big load of crap. And coming from the guy I just didn't believe all this lovey-dovey stuff. I mean, obviously guys have feelings, but this was just ridiculous.

And Wren, who I liked before, just forgave him for every crappy thing he pulled! Something is not working for me when I'm actually rooting for the two main characters to NOT end up with each other. I probably wouldn't have forgiven Grayson and especially not with the lame excuses he gives for his behaviour. I mean, come on, he just bullshits her and she's like ok, I love you. WTF??? But maybe I'm just not a very nice, forgiving kind of person.

I was also kinda annoyed by Wren's claiming to love Grayson, but then kissing another guy and being confused by the sparks between her and that other guy. While the other was a douche as well, he was actually more interesting than Grayson and I could have gotten behind that ship. Maybe.

There was just a whole lot of insta-love and douche-baggery and too little growing of a spine for the female MC. And I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit throughout reading The Promise of Amazing. The whole thing just wasn't working for me.

My rating: 1 star

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Daisy Update (52)

Hi guys!

So the blog has been lacking updates somewhat... I've just been so busy! And I'm not even sure what I've been so busy with, but I'm so ready for a couple of days off!

My residency is one thing that's been keeping me busy, lots of 'homework' for the one day a week we have classes at the university and the other four days with seeing patients and trying to juggle a social life next to that. I'm really enjoying my residency, but man, I just need a few days of not having people complain about stuff and then I'll be good to go again! I had one evening shift, which was ok and last Friday I worked the night shift and it was both really weird and pretty fun, our last patient of the night was this really cute 2-week-old baby (who thankfully wasn't sick) and it left me with warm and fuzzies.

So yesterday I tried to catch up on sleep and failed and I couldn't manage to keep warm on my own because I was so tired. We did go see a concert, we'd seen the band play before, but this time they were doing an acoustic version of all their songs and it was AMAZING! They're really talented!

Over the past three week we celebrated Sinterklaas with the boyfriend's family, had a nice day with my mom and her new boyfriend, had the puppies staying with us (which definitely made me get off the couch a lot more), I went to an amusement park with my friends, went out for drinks with the other residents and decorated our Christmas tree:

A real tree doesn't fit in the apartment and I like this one, the boyfriend's dad made it for us :)

I have tomorrow off to compensate for the night shift and I'm probably gonna spend it picking out a new washing machine as the one we have is broken... Tried to turn on the stupid thing this morning and it wouldn't start and now it's taken the clothes I put in hostage... UGH! So either the boyfriend (who is as electronically challenged as I am) will fix it or we'll just order a new one, though it's highly inconventient with the holidays and the extra time it'll probably take before it'll get here...

Anyway: yay only one more day of work before Christmas is here and my mini-break starts! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review of Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: Kisses, She Wrote (The Prince Catchers #1.5) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon, December 3rd 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Christmas in town has never been so steamy...

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady's wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl's kisses. And not only her dreams — her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden's not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages... or in his arms?

Awww, guys, I like a good Christmas romance novel! :) And this novella by Katharine Ashe was a quick, sweet read!

I met Jacqueline in I Married the Duke, which didn't work so well for me, but I really liked the Princess of Sensaire and was curious about her lovestory. And Katharine Ashe didn't let me down this time, I definitely enjoyed Kisses, She Wrote a whole lot more than I did I Married the Duke!

Jacqueline is intelligent and only shows her wonderful personality to those she knows and loves. And she's got a major crush on Cam, who from the description sounds like a man I'd crush on big-time as well! He's honorable and smart and just all-man-goodness! And I love that he writes poetry!
They're both being pushed into marriages they don't want by their family and I just wanted to shake Jacqueline's mother and tell her to stop ruining her daughter's life! I also wanted to rap a ruler on Cam's knuckles for reading Jacqueline's diary, because that's just a big NO right there, but as it all worked out between them in the end, I was ok with it.

They really form a friendship which grows into something more and I loved seeing them together, sparring and enjoying each other's company and I just swooned ok??
So yes, I enjoyed Kisses, She Wrote very much!

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway! The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

On December 31st The Promise of Amazing is being released! Isn't the cover adorable? :) To follow the rest of the tour, go here for the tour schedule!

Goodreads summary: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future — until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are — and falling in love.

About the author: ROBIN CONSTANTINE

Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.

Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, will be released in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


Want to win a signed copy of The Promise of Amazing? Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of Pushed by Corrine Jackson

Title/Author: Pushed (Sense Thieves #2) by Corrine Jackson
Publisher/Date published: Kensington Teen, November 26th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: She didn’t know how far she’d go — until she was pushed.

Remy O’Malley was just learning to harness her uncanny healing power when she discovered the other,darker half of her bloodline. Now she lives trapped between two worlds, uneasy among her fellow Healers — and relentlessly hunted by the Protectors.

Forced to conceal her dual identity, and the presence of her Protector boyfriend Asher Blackwell, Remy encounters a shadow community of Healers who will put her loyalties to the test.

Pushed to the limit, with the lives of those she loves most on the line, Remy must decide whether to choose sides in a centuries-old war — or make the ultimate sacrifice and go to a place from which she may never return...


So you might remember how I wasn't a really big fan of the first book in the series, Touched. I was however interested in the whole Protector-Healer thing enough to pick up the second book in the series. And it worked a little better for me than the first one, which might have something to do with the fact that Asher was mostly absent. Cause I'm still not digging him.

Remy doesn't really seem to get a break, aside from a mom who didn't take very good care of her, she now has to deal with her grandfather, who gave me the creeps. Grandpa's should be only be allowed to be cuddly and protective. I didn't like him.
I did get a bit annoyed with Remy's woe is me attitude, because really, while I get that her life is anything but easy, she's a bit too willing to give up and sacrifice herself and UGH! I needed her to stop putting everyone else first and just realise that she's also worth something and not just as a healing prodigy. I so wanted her to stand up for herself.

Guys, I so want to talk about the ship I'm shipping, cause it's not Remy and Asher, cause I still don't like Asher, but I'm afraid I'll spoil things, so I'll just put it all here and you can light up to read:
**I'm SO shipping Remy and Gabe!! EEEEE! I mean, IT IS PERFECTION! Well, maybe not perfection in that she's 'in love' with his brother (I'm not convinced), but they have this whole love-hate thing and it is SO GOOD! I felt indifferent about Gabe in the first book, but here he's just wormed his way into my heart and it is AWESOME. Now if only Remy could get behind the ship, we'd be very happy together.**
I'm not really digging the love triangle though and I'm kinda scared that the author isn't shipping MY ship... But it was so perfect... *sigh*

I still really like Remy's dad, her stepmom and her stepsister, they are all kinds of awesome and light up the scenes they're in. They really care about Remy and show it in their actions and I liked it. They're also just good people. I also really liked one of the new characters we're introduced to: Erin, another Healer. She's a sweet girl and I liked seeing her and Remy become friends.

Some batcrap crazy things go down in Pushed and at times I was just going WTF??? Seriously, how can so much bad stuff happen to one person? It was a little much for me. While this isn't my favourite series, I think I'm gonna stick with it and read the final book in the trilogy, if only to get closure on the love triangle and get answers to some other questions I'm still having.

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title/Author: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, December 10th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder — would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Guys, this book slayed me. In the best possible way. I just finished reading it and I'm still a bit bleary-eyed staring at the computer screen, trying to make sense of the fact that I finished it and it's over. My heart is in this book.

I almost passed up on this book because I'm not really a fan of stories set in space. I know. I KNOW. I'm so glad I listened to the gushing I heard about These Broken Stars and decided to read it anyway! And it was a good life choice! Also, it's not really set in space, only a little, so I was good on that part as well :)

Where do I even start... These two characters made the book. Lilac is amazing and brave and tough and not the spoiled society princess she appears to be and man, I just loved her! I love that she knows so much about mechanics though it's not a normal hobby for a girl from a rich family. I love that she's stubborn and doesn't complain and that she's smart!

But guys, nothing can beat Tarver. I ADORE HIM! I loved reading the chapters from his POV even more than I did the ones from Lilac's and I'm usually more drawn to the girl's voice, but this amazing man just stole my heart! He's strong and kind and capable and just my kind of good guy! I loved his voice! And I loved how much he cares about his family and that he writes poetry and just how he cares for Lilac and GAH, he's just amazing ok??

For pretty much the whole book it's just Lilac and Tarver and I didn't mind for one bit. I didn't need anyone else interfering with this perfect partnership and their dynamic and just EVERYTHING! I so wanted to shake them at first and sit them down so they'd TALK TO EACH OTHER! So they'd clear up the things they thought about each other that weren't true and would just see how perfect they were for each other and GAH JUST KISS ALREADY!!! OMG, all that tension was amazing, but at one point I just needed them to be together because my heart couldn't take it anymore!

And then there was this twist that was awful and made me cry and made me wonder how this could ever be fixed. And it made my happy feelings turn a whole lot darker. I really don't want to spoil anything, but wow, that was incredible and made me read the last part of the book in no time at all, because I had to KNOW!

You guys, These Broken Stars was a rollercoaster of feelings and I think I left a piece of my heart between its pages. Please just go read it when it comes out, because you don't want to miss this book!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Daisy Update (51)

Hi guys!

It's been a while! The last update was over 2 months ago... I haven't really been in my happy place this past couple of months and this is why there haven't been that many blog posts in general. I'm actually doing pretty well, but blogging is something that requires that part of my brain that hasn't really been working lately. But I'm hoping to fix this! Cause I love blogging :)

I'll highlight a couple of things that happened the last two months:

-I had a teeny tiny birthday celebration on September 23rd, went out to dinner with the boyfriend, one of my friends and her boyfriend and it was wonderful and relaxing and just all around what I needed that evening to be. The company of people who know me well and yummy food, I loved it!

-Later that week I went out to dinner with the boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend for my brother's birthday. We went to a sushi restaurant and man, do I love sushi! It was fun to spend time together just the four of us :)

-I worked my first weekend shift (which is SO MUCH better than the ones I had last year! This one only lasted from 8AM to 2PM, I was so surprised!), which was pretty quiet, but did have me stitching up a huge gash in someone's chin at 8.30AM. It was pretty cool :)

-Some of the other residents and I went out for a high beer. This basically means that we got 4 special kinds of beers and some snacks and just had a blast! It was nice to sit down together and get to know each other outside of the university! However, I'm not drinking beer again anytime soon...

-I went to see Beth Hart in Tilburg and it was AWESOME! I didn't know many of her songs before going to see her play, but she's incredible live! And I love her LA Song! She's also really funny :)

-We had our first and second book club meeting! In October we read More Than This and I still don't know what to say about that book, so my review is still non-existant. For November we read The Bone Season and JUST GO READ IT EVERYONE! The beginning is slow and there's a lot of info-dump, but after that it's simply amazing and THE ROMANCE! ALL THE SWOONS! There'll probably be a review for that sometime in the next couple of weeks.
I love meeting up with these girls and discussing the book (for about 10 minutes) and everything else! It's just nice to see everyone in person and really get to know the person behind the blog and Twitter handle.

-The boyfriend and I are looking at new places to live, a real house instead of an apartment and it's both exciting and terrifying! And kinda frustrating that the only houses for rent in Nijmegen are old and ugly... So we're looking at other options as well, though it'd be perfect if a pretty house somewhere around here became available for a reasonable price..

-I had a conference in Maastricht, which was all about emergency-care and was really interesting! After the conference, we had a dinner and party at a castle near the Belgian border and when we got there I just couldn't believe that all that was for us! I mean, a lot of the people there were residents like me and I've never been to anything this fancy before! Also, I don't think I've ever had wine that was that expensive before, it tasted so good! We went with almost our whole resident-group and it was so much fun!

-I went to see Catching Fire with the boyfriend and two of our friends and it was OMG SO GOOD! ALL THE FEELINGS! For more of my thoughts on this incredible move, go here.

I guess that were some of the highlights. In between these I've been working and studying and running around trying to keep everything running smoothly and at times remember to sit on the couch for a bit and just enjoy a quiet evening with the boyfriend.

Today is filled with sitting on the couch with my dad's dogs, reading, blogging and going for a long walk later on. I love quiet Sundays like this!

So how are you all doing? For those of you in the US: did you have a nice holiday weekend? Spend Thanksgiving with your family? And for my fellow Dutch bloggers: have you finished shoppping and writing your verses for Sinterklaas?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review of Touched by Corrine Jackson

Title/Author: Touched (Sense Thieves #1) by Corrine Jackson
Publisher/Date published: Kensington Teen, November 27th 2012
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Remy O’Malley heals people with touch — but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her — if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

You guys, I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was a quick read even with the limited amount of time I had, but on the other hand I was rolling my eyes a couple of times too many to consider it a good book.

Remy is a complicated character and that's fine by me. She's had a hard life and it's not really getting better any time soon. Her mom has let her down and her stepfather keeps hurting her and her mom and it really does seem like a hopeless situtaion. But adjusting to living with her father isn't all that easy either, cause they basically had no relationshiop before all this happened. And I could totally understand Remy lashing out at her dad, because sometimes that's just how it is. Even though you may know it's not entirely their fault. I liked seeing how they did grow closer and her father is acting like a real dad for her.
I thought that while Remy is so guarded because she's been hurt before, she falls in love with Asher awfully fast and it felt a little out of character to me.

Maybe the problem was that I didn't really like Asher. He obviously knows about Remy's situation and still he keeps on being an ass to her and it got on my nerves. He's so all over the place with his feelings and his behaviour and I was just confused. Also, I wasn't terribly impressed by his cavemen act about the subject of Remy saving him or healing him. I really don't want to say it, but I'm also crying insta-love here because holy batman, that went fast! It went from not liking each other to I love you in no time at all and I just didn't feel it.

I did really like Remy's halfsister, she's a really sweet and pretty brave girl and she was so welcoming to Remy even though I could have easily understood her not being so happy about a new sister coming to live with them! She's amazing and spunky and I like her.
I also really liked Remy's dad, cause he seems like a really great guy, who perhaps listened to Remy's mom a bit too much about whether or not he could see Remy. I like that he's protective and basically a good dad. Which is a good thing, cause there was some serious bad parenting on her mom's side.

I am really intrigued by the whole Protector-Healer relationship and what exactly thing that happened in this book will mean for the future, though I still don't fully understand everything. I'm really hoping this will be cleared up in the next book! I'm interested enough to continu on with the series, though I really hope that the second book will be less eyeroll-inducing.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review of Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Title/Author: Suddenly Royal (Suddenly #1) by Nichole Chase
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, November 26th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women — especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Guys, I have watched the Princess Diaries movie SO many times and I love the plot of someone discovering they're royalty (because I'm still hoping it'll happen to me one day ;) or maybe not as it seems to complicate things enormously...), so obviously I jumped on Suddenly Royal! And you know what, Suddenly Royal is basically the Princess Diaries, but with naughty bits.

I liked Samantha. She's a smart girl, she values her education and loves her best friend and stepfather. But the whole 'she doesn't know how beautiful she is' thing was getting old really fast. I mean, seriously? I'm getting a bit tired of this character trait. Why is the good girl always unaware of her looks and the bitch confident about the same thing? It's like you can't be a decent person if you know you're goodlooking. And it drives me crazy! Because I know people who are goodlooking and aware of it and are genuinely good people.


Alex is a good guy who didn't have the best taste in women in the past. I truly believed he cared about Samantha and he showed it and I liked him. He was a bit old-fashioned alpha male though with the whole overprotectiveness and everything. I was a bit put off by him at first because he basically wants to leap straight into bed with Samantha within an hour of meeting her and later on he's going on about how it wouldn't just be physical for him and all that stuff a girl probably wants to hear, but he was a bit of a creep at first. And he did really grow on me, but I wouldn't have gone for his 'You'll end up hating me or in my bed, and I know which I'd prefer' attitude. That's just... Just no.

So there was a whole lot of lust at first sight and Alex does a whole lot of chasing Samantha, and while liked both of them, I wasn't really into the whole story. The book had a definite Disney/Cinderella feel to it and it confused the crap out of me that we'd go from those moments to sex scenes and back again. I really thought we'd get a fade to black anytime soon but nope. Not that I mind those parts, but it was just such a contrast!
I really wanted to love this book and I'm not entirely sure why it didn't happen. Maybe it's that a lot of the secondary characters were a bit like cardboard puppets, just placed there to make Alex and Samantha look good. And I'm also still a bit confused why a crown prince would make the effort to travel to the US to search for long lost members of his country's royal families. I mean, if you're a crown prince you have people for that right?

Suddenly Royal was an entertaining book, but it never got beyond that for me. Some of the characters fell flat and I just couldn't really get into the story the way I wanted to.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review of Afterglow by Karsten Knight

Title/Author: Afterglow (Wildefire #3) by Karsten Knight
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Teenage volcano goddess Ashline Wilde discovers that her former love, Colt Halliday, has an evil plan to kill the Cloak, the benevolent beings that oversee the gods. And that’s not all — he also wants to merge Ash and her two sisters back into a single, too-powerful goddess, Pele. Ash must stop her trickster-god ex-boyfriend once and for all…and to do it, she’s going to have to feed a few flames.


Guys, I was really excited to read Afterglow, and while I may not have liked it as much as I did Embers and Echoes, it was a satisfying conclusion to the series!

We meet Ash again, trying to track down her sisters and Colt, whose crazy ass is trying to put Ash, Eve and Rose back together into one volatile goddess. Yeah. That didn't sound like such a great idea to me either. But Colt has his heart set on it and Ash is trying to stop him. Without hurting innocent people. No matter that if the three of them are made into Pele again, a lot more innocent people might die. I mean, I get it, but part of me was wishing she'd stop being so considerate of everyone and just stop the guy because he was getting on my nerves. A lot.

I felt that Colt got away with everything a little bit too easily. I mean, I get that his regenerative powers make it REALLY hard to kill or incapacitate him, BUT surely there might have been better choices than the ones Ash and her crew made along the way. I mean, it was a little bit too easy for him to get everything the way he wanted to without being stopped on the way there. And also, his annoying girlfriend Epona. SERIOUSLY, someone needed to take out that girl because she was CRAZY. And annoying. I can deal with a little crazy, but not if there's no reasoning with someone.

There's a whole lot going down in this final instalment in the series, some new characters and some old friends and well, I enjoyed the ride. There was an epic battle and obviously the stakes were high, the events living up to it could have been a little more exciting in my opinion. But I did really enjoy it! And I thought the way it wrapped up in the end was very cleverly done and made me smile!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review of Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

Title/Author: Embers and Echoes (Wildefire #2) by Karsten Knight
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: own it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.


Guys, I didn't really get on so well with Wildefire, the first book in this series. But I am SO glad that I decided to give it another chance, because Embers and Echoes worked so much better for me!

One of the problems I had with Wildefire is that Ashline was a bit too passive for me, she was so strong and so incredibly weak at the same time and it annoyed the crap out of me. In Embers and Echoes, she's the kickass girl I wanted her to be. She's taking charge and getting things done and I LIKE IT! I mean, she's a volcano goddess! What could possibly stop her? Well, there are some things, but not a lot of things. And I liked that she's owning up to her powers and using them. And I loved that she's not about to take crap from Colt. Even if he is a handsome bugger, he's also a really shitty person who needs his ass kicked.

I loved that in Embers and Echoes we get some more answers about what exactly is going on. All the things I wanted to know and was confused by in the first book are cleared up and I very much enjoyed seeing more of Ash's past lives! I also really liked the new characters we got to meet and Wesley Towers must be one of my favourites. He is awesome. And a good guy I can root for, you know how much I like my good guys!

This story is still harsh and people (and gods) get hurt and die and while this threw me off a bit in the first book, in Embers and Echoes it was mixed with some warm moments. Moments of friendship and hope for the future and even love and I thought the balance here was so much better than in Wildefire! These are by no means shiny, happy people, but there was a little bit of good mixed in with all the killing and maiming. And Rose, Ash and Eve's sister, is one terrifying 6-year-old. I mean, really, that was just wrong. And I get that she's an impressionable little girl who's seen WAY too much, but if it had been me, I wouldn't try to comfort her, I'd run like hell if she ever looked at me.

What I've been trying to say: Embers and Echoes was SO much better than Wildefire! Ash really grew as a person and was much more likeable in general. I got a lot of questions answered and there are still enough left that I'm itching to read the final book in the series!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review of The F- It List by Julie Halpern

Title/Author: The F- It List by Julie Halpern
Publisher/Date published: Feiwel & Friends, November 12th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again - Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.

Guys, I struggled with this book. I don't really read a lot of books that deal with tough subjects such as this one, because in my line of work I deal with disease and awful things happening to people and sometimes I just want to relax and not think about all the horrible things happening in the world when I get home. But The F- It List sounded like it could be more my kind of book because it's about a friendship and I like books about friendships. But like I said: I struggled with this book.

I think a huge part of the problem for me comes from the fact that I just did not like Alex. I really disliked Alex to be honest. She's harsh and in your face and just not a nice person. And I didn't really think that Becca was necessarily a nice person either. So it was kinda hard for me to really get into the story, because let's face it, I can sympathize a whole lot more with characters if I like them, I can't help it. I just never felt connected to Alex and half the time I didn't understand what the hell she was doing.
I know that she's been through a lot with her father dying and her best friend having cancer, but from what I've gathered she wasn't all that different personality-wise before that happened and I was kinda glad that someone actually called her out on it at one point, because she needed an attitude-adjustment.

Also, I was confused by the friendship between Becca and Alex. I get that not every friendship is the same and that not everyone is always hugging each other and everything. Not everyone is shiny and happy. But I genuinely was confused by the stuff they'd pulled on each other in the past. I mean, seriously, I don't think my best friend in high school would have slept with my boyfriend. EVER. No matter the circumstances.

I'd expected it to be more about actually doing the things on Becca's list, but it The F- It list was mostly about Becca being sick, Alex dealing with it and with her budding romance. And you know, usually I'm all for the romance, but here it was just a distraction for me. I mean, I liked Leo, he was probably one of the only decent persons in the novel, but it just felt a bit off for me.

I did like Alex's brothers, and Leo. They were the bright spots in the novel for me and I like how they didn't take crap from Alex and would call her out on her behaviour.

But yeah, overall I was kinda disappointed in this book, as I had just expected it to be more than it was. But my struggles were also for a huge part due to my major disconnect and also dislike of the main character and that falls at least party into the 'it's not you, it's me' category, so it may not be the same for others.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title/Author: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Disney-Hyperion, November 5th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides — especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! I totally loved it!! I read it all in one day, which is even more impressive if you consider the fact that a huge part of said day was spent working! But I couldn't put it down until I finished it, it was THAT good!

I love Cassie! She's been through a lot and she's got her walls way up, but you know what, I get it. I can even imagine what it would be like to go into your mother's dressing room and find gallons of blood, but not your mother. It makes me want to hug my mom and be thankful that I've never had to face something like that. Cassie is smart and she's tough and I would have loved for her to realise that she deserves the love her enormous family wants to show her! Also: Cassie is so smart and so good at this profiling thing that it's creepy. But in a good way. I wish a had a teensy bit of her people reading skills.

And I LOVED the whole teenage crew! They're all sorts of brilliant and them teaming up was AMAZING to watch! I love their different personalities and pretty much every one of them is a bit messed up. And they all made for such interesting characters! Everyone had their own story and I may not know all of them, but I'm DYING to know! I really hope Jennifer Lynn Barnes will tell us more about them in the next book!

And of course I have a soft spot for the boys. Because: boys. I cannot help but root for one of them more, but I'll let you guess once you've read it which one is my favourite. To be fair, there is a love triangle going on, but it's not really 'love' when they're just getting to know each other and Cassie is confused about her attraction to both as well. And isn't calling any of it love. So I was surprisingly ok with it.

Towards the end I was suspicious of EVERYTHING and at one point I wanted to yell NOOOOOO!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? DON'T YOU SEE THIS IS HOW PEOPLE GET KILLED IN MOVIES?? So yeah, I kinda figured it out before Cassie did, but it was ok, cause it wasn't glaringly obvious from the start. Also: major creep factor! I mean seriously, it was SO messed up!

As I said at the beginning: I could not put this book down, I kept thinking about it until I managed to finish it and it was GLORIOUS! While it's about serial killers, the book didn't get dark and I just totally love Jennifer Lynn Barnes' writing! The pace was just right and kept me on the edge of my seat and GAH, can I just have the next book now please?? Cause I can only find that this is the start of a new series, but nothing about the second book! But PLEASE JUST GIVE IT TO ME!

My rating: 5 stars

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review of Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Title/Author: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Publisher/Date published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books, November 5th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 11, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who "could go to the good or the bad." And indeed, although William Bellman's life at first seems blessed — he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business — one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife's fresh grave — and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William — a mysterious business called "Bellman & Black"...

Guys, I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale. LOVED. It was amazing and the storytelling was so, SO good and I just want to have all booklovers read it. So imagine my excitement when I heard about this newest book. It sounded amazing and creepy and just epic. And I had pretty high expectations.

And I'm disappointed.

I can't help it, I was expecting some of the same magic of The Thirteenth Tale and I never got it. The storytelling felt a bit flat to me and I'm still not entirely sure what the whole point was. If there even was a point. And why after over 300 pages I'm not sure of this. I'm all kinds of confused about the plot and I don't like being confused.

I never really connected to William Bellman, he's probably a good guy, but I never felt like I really knew him or could understand his actions. The character I probably liked best was Dora, his daughter, and we never really get to see much of her either. I really disliked William in the later chapters and was disappointed that he wasn't spending more time with his only surviving child and I didn't understand it.

I liked the parts about William working at the mill and learning everything there was to learn about it and then eventually taking over. That was great storytelling and lovely, but after that, it just went downhill for me. Especially after William makes his deal with Black. It was dark and not really creepy, but a bit boring at times.

It took me forever to read this book and maybe I went into this with too high expectations and this was doomed to fall flat for me, but I just can't help but feel let down. Where is the wonderful storytelling I remember from The Thirteenth Tale? I mean, there were parts that I liked, but mostly I just struggled with this book and I can't say that the ending made me rethink it all. I so wanted to love this book, but I didn't and that makes me sad.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review of The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale

Title/Author: The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers #1) by Maya Rodale
Publisher/Date published: Avon, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement — to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It's unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London's Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity — among other things — of London's most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma's wanton side and prove there's nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers… being perfectly scandalous together.

You guys, I love a good wallflower story. I can't help it. I feel like a wallflower myself sometimes and I can just identify with the feeling of being looked over for more shiny people. And a rake discovering a wallflower might just be the woman for him is one of my favourite storylines!

Ok, so after I got over my incredulity at Blake just going along with the fake betrothal (because seriously, I found it kinda hard to believe), things really picked up! I like Emma's friends, though we didn't get to see a lot of them, they felt like true friends to me and every girl should have at least one.

And I really liked Emma! I like that while she recognizes that Blake is very handsome, she doesn't immediately fall at his feet and that she can match him in wits. Their banter was so entertaining! And I loved Emma's interaction with Blake's aunt, who was just amazing all around! Her relationship with Benedict (the guy who's been courting her for 3 seasons) confused me, she constantly says they're in love and she wants to marry him, but I just couldn't see it. Also, I didn't like Benedict, who in my opinion was a spineless idiot. That could have something to do with it.

I LOVED Blake! He knows he's a handsome bugger and isn't used to being refused anything, and it was so much fun to see him try to deal with Emma's resistance! I love that he falls for Emma first and isn't afraid to admit it, putting his heart on the line. Near the end there was some unnecessary conflict from his side, but it all worked out nicely in the end. I love that he wasn't afraid to make himself look ridiculous by playing the flute even though he'd never done it before, because his aunt asked. And the grand gestures! I'm a sucker for grand gestures, so he definitely gets bonus points for that!

Mostly, these two just worked together and their were sparks and heartbreak and just ALL THE FEELINGS!! I loved that they got to know each other through their scheming and then they discovered there was something real there and it was just *SIGH* SO GOOD! I'll definitely be picking up the next book in the series!

My rating: 5 stars

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review of Notable by Marni Bates

Title/Author: Notable (Smith High #3) by Marni Bates
Publisher/Date published: K-Teen, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: I take no prisoners...

I'm Chelsea Halloway and I will happily destroy your social life if you mess with me. Just ask anyone. There is no situation I can't handle. Divorcing parents? No problem. An ex-boyfriend who wants to date Smith High School's biggest geek instead of me? Just a matter of time before I can make him see reason. At least, until my parents decide to ship me off on a study abroad trip to Cambodia...

Now instead of being admired as the queen of the Notables, I'm stuck with a bunch of college students who don't take me seriously, and a professor who accidentally landed himself on the wrong side of a drug lord. And it's up to me to get us all out of the country alive - even the annoying jerk with the green eyes who won't stop calling me "princess."

Oh yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

So I really liked Invisible, the second book in this series and was really excited to see what Chelsea's side of the story would be! And while I liked Notable, I wasn't as invested as I was with Invisible.

Chelsea is the Queen Bee of Smith High and now she's being shipped off to Cambodia of all places. I'm still not entirely sure how her parents figured this would be a good idea... I mean, it's not as if she ever expressed any interest in something like this. And Cambodia doesn't seem like the safest of places to ship your teen who easily gets into trouble to. There's a serious case of bad parenting going on here and I didn't like it.

I like Chelsea. She's no-nonsense, smart and doesn't take crap from anyone. And I hated that her parents made her feel unsure about herself and mostly that her mother made her believe that she wasn't intelligent. Because you know what, she may not be a rocket scientist, but Chelsea is smart. And nobody, especially not one of your parents, should ever make you feel otherwise. So boo Chelsea's mom!

I liked that Chelsea slowly learns to work with the group and realises not everything that annoyed her at first was so bad in the end. I like that she really grew throughout the novel and used her strengths to the advantage of the group.
That being said, I thought the events with the drugs and the dealings with the druglord were unlikely. I mean, seriously, I was kind of rolling my eyes at how they got into the whole mess. And I didn't really see why they wouldn't call for help instead of trying to make it all better themselves. So yeah, ridiculous events, but satisfying character growth for the main character.

I thought the love interest was such a pompous ass at first, but later he grew on me. And I was rooting for them to get together! It was nice to see Chelsea's relationship with Logan from Chelsea's POV and see what happened and not just what the rumor mill had been circulating about them. And I liked that we got to see a little of Jane again, cause I love Jane!

All in all, this was a cute, quick read, but with slightly ridiculous events. It made for light reading and I enjoyed it, but I liked Invisible a lot better!

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Tour! Review of Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow

Title/Author: Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
Publisher/Date published: Arthur A. Levine Books, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: In the world of Sorrow’s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders.

Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She’s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow’s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she’s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants.

This book took my breath away. Seriously. And I don't say this lightly, so pay close attention!

I've always, always loved fairytales. I used to make my mom read them to me as a kid and after I learned to read myself, I devoured the whole book. And I still love them. So when I tell you that Sorrow's Know reminded me of a fairytale, I'm giving it one of my highest forms of praise. It actually reminded me of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, and I LOVED that book! There's a similar quality to it that I can't quite put my finger on.

The ease with which the story flows was AMAZING! I just wanted to live in the moment and slow down and really appreciate the storytelling, but at the same time I wanted to find out WHAT HAPPENED NEXT! I loved that the power of stories is explored and appreciated!

And there are some amazing characters for me to love! Otter, our main character, is a girl that I just want to hug tight and make everything alright for. She has two amazing friends: Cricket, who is a storyteller and if he hadn't been amazing in other ways, I'd have loved him just for that; and Kestrel, who is strong and loyal and a true friend. I would have wanted these three to be my friends, as young as they are, they are good people.

But this isn't a Disney-like fairytale. It's dark and hard things happen and the White Hands are SO CREEPY! White Hands sort of reminded me of zombies, and I HATE zombies, but the White Hands didn't freak me out as much. Mostly because they don't eat brains, which is a bonus point for any creature. And because this is more like the original Grimm's fairytales, people do actually die. And I teared up! It was unexpected and I was so hoping everything would be alright and then it wasn't! And I'm still mourning...

There's a little bit of romance mixed into the story, towards the end. And while I'm a big fan of all the kissing usually, I didn't miss it here. The romance that was in it fit into the storyline and I was happy with it and with the love interest!
I could easily imagine myself going on more adventures with Otter, because there are exciting sounding places in her world that we haven't seen, but I saw that Erin Bow mentioned on Twitter that she thinks of Sorrow's Knot as a standalone. And that works too, the story is wrapped up. But I can't help wishing for more ;)

Stories like this are my kind of stories. Dark, fairytale-like and utterly entrancing! If you're looking for a perfect Halloween read, this is it! And even if you're not, just go and read it anyway!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: chicken madras (my comfort food)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review of Keeping Her by Cora Carmack

Title/Author: Keeping Her (Losing It 1.5#) by Cora Carmack
Publisher/Date published: William Morrow, August 13th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather... ahem... complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

So I really liked Losing It, which started this whole series. I thought the romance between Bliss and Garrick was sweet and quirky and it was just a really fun read. Of course I was interested in seeing what happened for them after the events of Losing It!

In Keeping Her we meet both of them again, they've been together for a year now and got engaged and are now travelling to London to meet up with Garrick's parents. And Bliss is basically a basket case because of it. She's nervous and awkward and just generally not really presentable at the end. And really, I mean, how did either of them think it would be a good idea to arrive at Garrick's parents' after they'd had a drink? Or rather, LOTS of drinks? I mean, that drunk doesn't make for the best first impression.

But I really disliked Garrick's parents. I mean, his father is basically a pompous ass and his mother is trying to make Bliss feel inferior. And these are people who are supposed to love Garrick and want what's best for him and that usually means that they'd try and make a fiancée feel welcome. Yeah, not gonna happen here. His mother even invited ex-girlfriends. So. Not. Cool.

While I liked reconnecting with these two, I didn't really thought this novella added much to the general storyline. I mean, it's cute to see them be all lovey-dovey, but that spark that was there in Losing It was just a little lost here. I did like seeing Garrick's home turf so to speak and it was a really quick read, but I would have liked a little more. It ended rather abruptly after some big drama got resolved and I was just a bit like: that's it?

My rating: 2,5 stars

Made me crave: over too quickly to make me crave much of anything

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mini-Review of Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title/Author: Fire With Fire (Burn For Burn #2) by Jenny Hand and Siobhan Vivian
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, August 13th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary... she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her — it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...

Sorry about the mini-review eons later than it should have been up, but I read Fire With Fire while I was on vacation, then when I got back this happened and it left me unable to write anything, let alone form a coherent opinion.

Basically my reaction to Fire With Fire:

-I loved seeing more of all three of the girls and watch their friendship develop further.

-I was SO confused by all the Mary chapters! But don't worry, it'll make sense in the end.

-I wasn't a big fan of the romantic developments in Lillia's life.

-There was this dark, creepy feeling to the whole of the book and I'm STILL shocked by things that were revealed at the end and seriously, now I just want to go read it again WITH that knowledge because holy batman, that is CRAZY!

-Fire With Fire suffered a bit from second-book-syndrome, but the ending totally made up for it and I can't wait for the final book!!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review of When the Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title/Author: When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress In London #1) by Laura Lee Guhrke
Publisher/Date published: Avon, October 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: What happens when a carefree, disreputable, stone-broke bachelor is forced to find a wife in a hurry? He hires a matchmaker, of course. What happens when the matchmaker doesn’t want to help him? Well, that’s when the fun begins...

Nicholas Stirling, Marquess of Trubridge, loves his life just as it is: dissolute, scandalous, and deuced good fun. His father, the Duke of Landsdowne is not amused, and when he cuts off Nicholas’ trust fund, the fun-loving marquess is forced to find an alternate source of income — in other words, he has to marry an heiress.

Every new-money American heiress knows Lady Belinda Featherstone is the key to social acceptance. Once a new-money nobody herself, Belinda discovered first-hand how heartbreaking the game of love and matrimony could be after a reprobate British earl married her for her money. Now a respectable widow, Belinda has become England’s most successful matchmaker, guiding young American heiresses through the hazards of the London season and helping them to find husbands worthy of them. To her mind, the Marquess of Trubridge is nothing but a fortune-hunting scoundrel and she has no intention of allowing him to charm his way into any American girl’s heart, including her own.

Guys, I really enjoyed Laura Lee Guhrke's Trouble at the Wedding, so I was excited to start When the Marquess Met His Match! And I was right to be excited! I do so love me some good historical romance :)

I like that both of the characters here are more mature. There's not a doe-eyed 18 or 20 year old making the 30-something rake fall to his knees and reform his ways. While I do enjoy that sort of plot, I also sometimes roll my eyes at it and it's nice to have the two people in the relationship be more equal. They've both experienced love, or what they thought was love, before. Both have dealt with hard things and it has shaped them. And I like it!

I love that Belinda is so protective of the girls she's trying to match up for marriage! One of them in particular, but she really does want what's best for them and I like a girl who cares about what she does! Her first husband was a douche and it's made her wary of fortune hunters and rakes and I totally get it. And I like that she doesn't fall for the first pretty face that comes along, but wants to really respect a man!

So Nicholas at first appears to be all that Belinda doesn't want. But he's a good guy at heart, he just has to find a way to prove it to her and to himself. I was so rooting for him! He definitely grows as a person throughout the book and I just have a soft spot for good guys! Especially if they're learning how to be their own person and just *SWOON*! I love that he has his nervous-quirks and isn't afraid to own up to them to Belinda!

And there are just sparks! And funny moments! And OMG NOOOOO! moments and there were tears! And then there was the happily ever after that brought a smile to my face and led the way to sweet dreams. So yes, good historical romance right here!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review of Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Title/Author: Across A Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2) by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 15th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction — the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars — is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo... is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.


Guys, I ADORED For Darkness Shows the Stars, I think it'll be one of my favourite reads of 2013. So of course I was excited to read this companion novel!! And seriously, I'm now convinced I'm going to need to read Diana Peterfreund's full backlist! Because her writing just makes my heart happy!

And you know what? It was SO interesting to learn more about the science part of the Reduction! The people on Albion and Galatea are eons ahead of the Luddites and Posts as far as technology and science goes and it made the geeky part of me do little happy dances! While I didn't get all the answers I wanted, I'm still pretty satisfied with the things Diana Peterfreund did tell us. One thing I'm really curious about is how exactly the society formed, because they branched off from the Luddites and Posts and that was never fully clarified.

I really liked Persis, she's willing to sacrifice her own reputation for what she believes in and I like that! She doesn't make things easy for herself and even when she knows she's in danger herself, she puts her friends' safety first. I've always been told that it takes a really intelligent person to believably act stupid (you know, like Rowan Atkinson is really smart, but he plays Mr. Bean, who is really not smart) and in this book it's definitely true! And really, being an infamous spy at 16 is just impressive.

I could relate to Justen. I mean, we share the medic-thing and I can remember times where I've forgotten to eat because I was just so busy at work! I get it. While I wanted to shout at him to @#$& OPEN HIS EYES and see Persis for who she really is, it wasn't really his fault. I mean, she had everyone fooled, how does a guy who knows her for only 2 weeks figure it out if other people can't? And I respect that he's devoted to his work and figuring out a cure for Darkening, which is seriously horrible and reminds me to pray that they'll find a cure for dementia in the real world.
I did at times think he was a bit of a snob for thinking Persis was beneath him because he thought she wasn't as smart as he was.

There was a lot going on and at times I could only stare in horror at the cruelty of the Revolution, it kinda reminded me of the French Revolution in a way. It made me wonder how people justify those acts and I was glad this was actually adressed in the novel, because the logic is just faulty! And really, to take someone's mind, I just, I can't even... There are no words to describe how wrong this feels for me.

And through everything, I was just rooting for Persis and Justen to get together. They had moments in which I was just swooning and waiting for Justen to see what was really going on so they could be happy together! And seriously, one of the only things I want to complain about is: at the end, not only Persis wanted a real kiss, I wanted it as well! And the book ended before I got it!
I did love the guest appearance of the crew from For Darkness Shows the Stars!

I can in all honesty say that Diana Peterfreund has made me fall in love with these characters and their world and her storytelling in general! This is me begging for a third book, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, which will hopefully include a cure for Darkening! I have never read The Scarlet Pimpernel before, but I now feel like I should!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: chicken tikka massala with mango

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review of For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title/Author: For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, June 12th 2012
How I got this book: bought a shiny copy :)
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth - an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret - one that could change their society... or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Guys, people kept telling me that I needed to read this because I would love it and guess what? THEY WERE SO RIGHT!!! I can't believe I waited this long to actually read it!

It is no secret that I'm a fan of Jane Austen and a retelling of Persuasion should have triggered the MUST. READ. NOW. respons, but somehow I skipped over it the first time around. I mean, I love Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth's story and OMG, THE LETTER! SO much love! So to see this be based on that made my little heart happy even before starting it.

And guys, it was SO GOOD!

I feel like gushing all over the place and smacking myself for never before reading anything by Diana Peterfreund, because holy batman, I'm a fan now! Better late than never, right? I totally love the world she has created in For Darkness Shows the Stars and the amazing background that hosts this lovestory that is so dear to my heart! I mean, it's so intricate! And the only thing that I was kinda bothered by is that we don't really learn much about what exactly happened and HOW and WHY and all of those science-things I want to know about it, but in a letter at the end of the book, Diana Peterfreund explains why this is and I can accept that. As long as I get my answers in Across a Star-Swept Sea!

I loved Elliot! Life hasn't been easy for her, especially since her mother died and Kai left and she's had to do a lot of things alone and grow up and take care of other people. And I respect her for picking up the pieces and doing the best she could for the people on the estate. She didn't take the easy way out and it made me want to strangle Kai at first, because GAH! Why can't he see why she didn't go with him?? I mean, hello, responsibility and all that?

I really, really very strongly dislike Elliot's father! I mean, what a douche! That is one bad parent. It sounds like he's always been a failure and has been relying on first his wife and then his daughter to do his work for him and he's not grateful. At all. He's trying to hurt Elliot in every way he can and I still can't figure out why. I mean, WHY would you try to deliberately ruin everything for your daughter? I just don't understand this kind of behaviour.

Kai and I didn't get off to a good start. I mean, the whole wanting to strangle him thing and all. BUT he does redeem himself and OMG THE LETTER! TEARS! And Kai and Elliot definitely had sparks flying! And I totally loved that Diana Peterfreund put in the letters that went back and forth between Kai and Elliot when they were children growing up on the estate. It really shows how strong their base is. They've known each other for a LONG time and have been through so much together and though there have been misunderstanding and falling out and everything, I was so rooting for them to work it out, because they make sense together! I love when a couple makes sense!

I actually resented having to leave the house on Saturday night because I was so absorbed in this story and wanted to finish it, but *sigh* social obligations and all that. But seriously, I just want to hug this book and all the characters in it because they've totally stolen my heart and I will now put Diana Peterfreund on my auto-buy list because I am mesmerized by the beauty that is her storytelling!

My rating: 5+ stars

Made me crave: vanilla yoghurt