Monday, April 29, 2013

Review of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title/Author: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin Teen, April 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher for review
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them — the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend — a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

I should listen to friends who tell me certain authors are awesome. I really should. I'm not really a fan of the fey, which is why I never read Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, but The Immortal Rules has convinced me that maybe I should give them a shot after all, because this book is AWESOME!

I've become somewhat wary of vampire novels, because really, there are some bad eggs out there. But I'm very happy to say I very much enjoyed this twist on the genre! Julie Kagawa brings us back to what I remember of vampires from when I was a kid: the good old going up in flames when touched by the sun, needing blood to survive, inhuman strength and speed, being feared. YES! But other than the mindless vampires I remember from those scary stories I read way back when, Julie Kagawa gives us something to relate to. And I liked it.

I cannot tell you enough how much I loved Allison! Seriously, she is just such a kickass character! She's kickass before she becomes a vampire, being a true survivor and a loyal friend. But after she literally kicks ass and gah, I just loved it! I love that for once it's the girl turning into a paranormal being and actually NOT losing her mind because of it! She's the same girl, with a slightly different diet and a couple of handicaps along with all the superstrength and all.

And seriously, can I just say that the rabids CREEPED ME OUT! I freaking hate zombies, they wig me out big time! It's why I won't touch zombie books in general, but because I loved The Immortal Rules so much, I'll forgive Julie Kagawa for giving me nightmares (I'm not even kidding, I woke up screaming one night after reading The Immortal Rules because I was convinced something was trying to eat me...).

I'm not entirely convinced by the romance though. I mean, Zeke is a nice guy, and I'm usually all for the nice guys, but he was just a little too saintly, you know? He had a little too much worship going on for his adoptive father, and I have very strong feelings of dislike towards Jeb! Seriously, that guy got on my nerves! I don't know, it leaned a little too much towards preachy than I'm comfortable with I guess.
I was really hoping to see some action between Allie and Kanin though, because SWOON! I need more Kanin! Kanin is awesome and mysterious and manly and just *sigh*! So yeah, I'm actually hoping for a love triangle to develop for once (I cannot believe I just said that...).

But mostly, the writing was simply amazing! The Immortal Rules is a big book and while because of being extremely busy it took me a good while to read it, the story never dragged. I was thoroughly entertained and wanted to just keep reading and kept shaking my fist at my busy schedule.
There's so much about this book to love, I don't even know where to start, except to say that I'm so happy I picked it up and I'm reading The Eternity Cure SOON!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Read-a-Thon End of the Event Meme

Awww, I'm so sad it's over!!! These 24 hours always just seem to fly by!

As is tradition, I'll finish this lovely event with the End of the Event meme:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I think it was actually around 11PM my time, and just before I went to sleep at 3AM

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I try to mix in some lighter or funny reads, cause I can more easily keep myself focused on those. But something intense like Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series is always a good idea as well :)

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope, I love it the way it is!

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
EVERYTHING! The hosts were doing an amazing job!

How many books did you read?
If I count both my half finished books, 3.

What were the names of the books you read?
-The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
-How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
-Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
-The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Which book did you enjoy most?
Without a doubt Shadow Kiss.

Which did you enjoy least?
I liked all my books :)

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
YES ABSOLUTELY! I will SO be there! And I'll be a reader again, I love it :)

The final tally:
Books finished: 3
Pages read: 1050
Distracted by: the boyfriend, lunch and as always Twitter ;)

Now excuse me while I go and try to de-zombify myself and look a little more presentable for when the boyfriend comes home later. And watch some Pretty Little Liars :)

Read-a-ThonUpdate (3)


Are you guys still with me?? I gave up around 3.30AM my local time and took a nap, which lasted about 4 hours and while I still feel somewhat like a zombie, I'm a bit less of a sleepy zombie :)

Books finished: still 2
Pages read: about 680
Distracted by: sleep, warm sleeping boyfriend, SLEEP

Now for the home stretch! WE CAN DO THIS! :D

Read-a-Thon Mid-Event Survey!

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
YES! But to be fair, it's 1.20 AM here and I'm usually asleep around this time of night...

2) What have you finished reading?
I've finished The River of No Return and How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

3) What is your favorite read so far?
The last one (don't make me type that again), it was so cute! :)

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Definitely the amazingly awesome avocado dip I made, it is SO GOOD!

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I've mostly been on Twitter, I'm trying to keep distractions to a minimum and it's kinda hard. But if I'm not following your blog, leave me a link and I'll check it out!

My own format of updating:
Books finished: 2 (yay!)
Pages read: 460
Distracted by: Twitter as usual, not much else actually :)

On to reading Shadow Kiss! :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Read-a-Thon Update (2)

So how are you all doing? I had a socially induced break because of heading over to have dinner with the boyfriend's family but then they all decided to watch a soccer match and I got an hour of reading in. I've been back for about an hour now and I'm trying to do a little catching up. I do miss having a reading buddy though! I might have to borrow one of my parents' puppies for the October readathon!

Books finished: still 1
Pages read: 240
Distracted by: TWITTER, dinner, the boyfriend's family, TWITTER

Well, I'm off to read some more, hope you guys are all having fun!

Read-a-Thon Update (1)

Hi guys!

How are you all doing? I've just finished my first book, even though it's a little bit cheating, since I was over halfway through it already.
Now I have to leave for a bit to have dinner at the boyfriend's parents', but after I'll be back to go strong!

Books finished: 1
Pages read: 140
Distracted by: making and eating avocado dip, TWITTER!

Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon Introduction Post!

Twice a year I get to join people all over the world for this wonderful event and YAY IT'S FINALLY HERE AGAIN!!

Here's my introduction post:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'll be reading from my home in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is Daisy, during the day I'm a doctor, during my evenings off (yeah right...) I try to read ALL THE BOOKS. Chocolate and tea addict, still waiting on my Hogwarts acceptance letter, girly girl, big sappy romantic at heart.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I'm going to try and stay up for all of it, but if I need sleep, I'll just catch a couple of hours, cause I'll be working on Monday.

That's it for me, leave me your link and I'll be sure to check your post out.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Excited For the Read-a-Thon!

Seriously, I'm as excited as this hamster is about Dewey's Read-a-Thon tomorrow!! :D I've been looking forward to this awesome event for weeks!

I've already done some planning, I've collected snacks (among other I have chocolate, chips, avocoda dip) and I'm slowly figuring out what to read, though the list does need some final touches and I'll probably switch it up at the last minute tomorrow ;) I'm thinkin that the list should at least include Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead because I need me some more Rose and Dimitri!!

I've managed to mostly clear my schedule except for dinner with the boyfriends' parents which will probably take up a couple of hours...

Who's joining in as well??

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review of Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Title/Author: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, April 2nd 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies — the hawk and the serpent — lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

Guys, I love pretty much anything to do with mythology and the Furies fascinate me. So I was really excited to pick up Vengeance Bound, even though I'd heard a couple not so good things about it. And I was pretty disappointed...

I mean, it really is a fascinating concept that the Furies sort of get attached to a host and use said host to do their 'justice'. But this was exactly my problem, the '' around justice. The Furies in Vengeance Bound are not looking for justice, they're looking to kill as many men as possible, not even caring if someone is guilty or not. And that's what majorly put me off, but maybe more so that Cory actually goes along with this. I get that they don't leave her much of a choice, but it's scary how cold-blooded she is.

I couldn't connect to Cory. She's a little all over the place and she didn't seem to have much of a personality outside of being the Furies' instrument. But maybe it was just also because I just didn't like her. I felt no sympathy towards her whatsoever, so it was kinda hard to root for her in her struggles.

Several times I considered DNF-ing Vengeance Bound, but I kept going because I thought, but wait, this HAS TO GET GOOD, right?? But mostly it was just Cory bemoaning her fate and doing nothing to change it. And then there was this weird thing going on with Niko and one of Cory's new friends, who was seriously cuckoo-crazy. I mean, she pretty much had a sign over her head saying "HI, I'M INSANE, WHO ARE YOU?" and I didn't get how anyone can call themselves someone's friend if you don't try to get someone like this help. Really. LOTS of help.

I really wanted to like Vengeance Bound, but it was kind of a depressing book. I had no love for any of the characters and not even the Furies were interesting enough to keep me entertained.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Get On My Shelf!: March and April 2013

So in February I started what was supposed to be a monthly feature of which books I've (pre-)orderd that month because my paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket (a virtual hole, as I only get a digital paycheck, but still). I've been SO BUSY, so this time I'm showing you the books I bought in both March and April.

Reached by Ally Condie: After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris: Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

The White Glove War by Katie Crouch: Every society has its secrets.

The members of Savannah's Magnolia League have it all: money, beauty, power, and love. Some may call them lucky, but we know better. Spells, potions, and conjures are a girl's best friends, and thanks to the Buzzards -- a legendary hoodoo family -- the Magnolias never run out of friends.

Golden girl Hayes Anderson would never dream of leaving the League or Savannah, where there's no problem that can't be fixed with a cup of Swamp Brew tea -- served in a bone china cup, of course -- and no boy who can't be won over with a Conjure Up a New Love spell.

But when danger lurks and family secrets are unearthed, Hayes discovers that her life may not be charmed after all.

Belladonna by Fiona Paul: In Renaissance Italy, love, lust, intrigue and secret societies converge to stunning results!

In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancĂ©, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood: With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young: Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

Don't Want To Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell: Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope?

Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself.

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore: Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court--and to convince the whole court they're lovers--she accepts. Before long, Anne's popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice--but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart's desire and the chance to make history.

Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent: The Tower Syndicate will fall...

The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage–including a rare Skill–and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt.

If he can figure out how...

Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get....

And if they can survive

Neither is used to trusting. But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is....

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Once Upon A Tower by Eloisa James: Once upon a time…

A duke fell in love

Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

With a lady

Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyone, not even the notoriously elusive Duke of Kinross. When her father accepts his offer… she panics.

And when their marriage night isn’t all it could be, she pretends.

In a tower.

But Edie’s inability to hide her feelings makes pretending impossible, and when their marriage implodes, she retreats to a tower—locking Gowan out.

Now Gowan faces his greatest challenge. Neither commands nor reason work with his spirited young bride. How can he convince her to give him the keys to the tower…

When she already has the keys to his heart?

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson: More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings—merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing - kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics - and their world - forever.

Adorkable by Sarra Manning: Welcome to the dorkside. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Jeane Smith's a blogger, a dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand, and has half a million followers on Twitter. Michael Lee's a star of school, stage, and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie. They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can't they stop making out? This novel is about an unlikely relationship, but it's also about roller derby, dogs on skateboards, dogs on surfboards, dogs doing any form of extreme sport, old skool hip hop, riding your bike downhill really fast, riot grrrl, those boys you want to kiss but punch in the face at the same time, dyeing your hair ridiculous colors just because you can, stitch 'n' bitch, the songs that make you dance, the songs that make you cry, being a bad ass, cake, love, death, and everything in between.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole: She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

The Heiresses by Allison Rushby: When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.

How To Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan: He saved her life...

When Annalise Hadley is tossed over the side of her honeymoon barge, the newly-minted duchess knows she's been left for dead -- for her husband's only interest is in her vast dowry, not her muddied lineage. However, she didn't count on a savior. Especially not an honorable, sinfully intriguing earl who will tempt her to risk everything—again.

Now he will seduce her heart and soul

A man with his own demons, Owen Crawford, the reclusive Earl of McDowell, is enchanted by the mysterious, courageous woman he rescued. He will help her heal, teach her to protect herself, and then send her away—so that she’ll never see he’s far from the hero she believes him to be.

But days and nights alone prove that some secrets are meant to be discovered...some desires are too powerful to resist…and some wounds can only be healed by love.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: 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.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

So that's my two months worth of book ordering :) Anything you've read? What are you thinking of adding to your shelves soonish?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review of Don't You Forgot About Me by Alexandra Potter

Title/Author: Don't You Forget About Me by Alexandra Potter
Publisher/Date published: Hodder & Stoughton, July 19th 2012
How I got this book: it was a Christmas gift from my brother :)
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After a bad break up, doesn't every girl want the same things?

* For her ex-boyfriend to stay single forever...
* Or maybe emigrate, to a remote, uninhabited island?
* Better still, that she'd never met him in the first place!

But what if one of those wishes came true?

Tess is heartbroken when Seb breaks up with her and can't help blaming herself. If only she'd done things differently. If only she could make right all her regrets... But she can't. It's over. She has to forget about him. Drunk and upset on New Year's Eve she wishes she'd never met him.

But when she wakes up to discover this dream has come true, she realises she has a chance. To do it all over again. And to get it right this time...

Guys, I remember when I used to read pretty much nothing but chicklit. And while I appreciate the range of genres I've gotten to know since then, I still love to revisit my old friends every now and then. And Alexandra Potter has never disappointed me before!

There's just something about Alexandra Potter's writing that makes me get sucked into the story. I think it's mostly that she writes about things I can wholeheartedly relate to and she just gets it right. I mean, haven't we all at one point thought 'what if I'd never met him?' or 'if I could do it all over, I'd do this, this and this differently'? I have. I've been extremely lucky, meeting the boyfriend when I was almost 18, but before him I did have some relationshiops and I'd always blame myself when things didn't work out. I love how Alexandra Potter captured all of those insecurities and the feeling of needing to be different for a guy to like you into this novel.

I really liked Tess. Even though I thought she should take her job a little more seriously, she is a nice person, she's just a little obsessed with Seb. Who was a bit of a douche if you ask me. I loved Tess' loyalty to her friend Fiona and thought it was pretty funny that she was trying to get Fiona to stop being a different person around one of her friends when she was making all these adjustment and feigning interest in stuff she hated to have a relationship with Seb.

And I really, REALLY liked Tess' grandfather. He was awesome, I would have loved having a grandfather like him. He's got the whole charming rebel thing going on in his home for the elderly, smoking and gambling. I loved that he was so proud of Tess and supported her in everything she did.

And then there's the other guy, who I won't name in fear of spoilers, but he's amazing and kind and just gets Tess and I was SO rooting for him! And wanting to shake Tess, screaming WHY WON'T YOU JUST SEE THIS GUY?? Admittedly, he was pretty impulsive and some of his side story wa kinda unbelievable, but the point is that he is awesome. And a good guy. I like good guys.

Alexandra Potter is one of my go-to authors when I'm looking for a cute chicklit and Don't You Forget About Me didn't disappoint me at all! It was sweet and funny and I loved exploring the question of 'what if you could do it all over again'.

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Daisy Update (39)

Hi guys!

So I've been running around for pretty much all of the last two weeks! Work wasn't even the biggest part of it, which felt a bit weird to be honest! I've been working on one of the nursing floors and I kinda love this part of my job the best, you really get to know the patients and I really enjoy the teamwork between us and the nursing staff. And I get to socialize a bit more because they've switched things up a while ago and now there are always 2 residents on one floor, which is nice :)
My two evening shifts were crazy busy, but well, I don't really expect anything else these days ;)

Anyway, between preparing for a presentation and dinner guests and just generally not being home all that much, I was exhausted by the time the weekend came around and then it was time to go to Antwerp with my friends! I'd been looking forward to it for months and it was so much fun!! I've known them since high school and we don't nearly spend enough time together, it was so good to just catch up with them on a deeper level than just the latest happenings. We talked about everything and anything and I just loved it.

Antwerp isn't a very beautiful city, it's pretty grey and not really clean, but the people are really friendly and I love their accent and it is a fun city to spend a weekend in. We went shopping and tried to do the cultural thing on Sunday, but the weather was so nice we ended up eating outside and just sitting there enjoying the weather.
I hardly slept at all that weekend and by the time we got home Sunday night I was SO TIRED!

Last Thursday I had my interview for the GP residency and guys, I don't know what to think! They'll let me know in 2 weeks and I really hope they'll accept me for the program cause I want this so much and it would be devastating if I didn't get it... But I'm sort scared that I messed it up, I just really don't know what they thought of me and it's nerve wrecking to have to wait this long!

And because I've been psyching myself out over this I've already ordered two pretty dresses, a cute shirt and books. And I've been eyeing the new Sony Reader, but that's also because last week the cover for my ereader really broke and because it's an older model, I can't get a new one for it and it's REALLY ANNOYING! Also, there's this awesome deal which expires tomorrow and I'm just gonna think it over till tonight I guess.
Is it weird that I don't hesitate to spend that amount of money on clothes, but do have to think about it for something I pretty much use daily? I also feel guilty towards my ereader, because while it freezes every once in a while, it still works. Any advice?

Yesterday was my dad's birthday and we spent the day at their place. His brothers and sister also came over and my aunt has little kids and I love seeing them! They've grown so much since last August and seriously, I love getting my old toys out of the attic and rediscovering them with my aunt's 4-year-old!

Today I'm going to try and catch up on all the posts in Bloglovin and if I have time left read some ;) I have a whole glorious week off from work and I intend to try and destress a bit and read and spend lots of time with the boyfriend :) Oh, and participate in Dewey's Read-a-Thon next Saturday!
I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review of Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Title/Author: Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, November 13th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Meant to be or not meant to be... that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the — gasp — wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts... from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Sometimes you just need something light and fun to read and Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill was exactly this for me!

Even though Julia is REALLY uptight, I could relate to wanting not wanting to break the rules and being scared of jeopardizing her future because of someone else's antics. I liked her, though there were times when she made me want to shake her a little because she was just so obviously not seeing something and sometimes also being really unfair to Jason.
I liked that Jason had hidden depths and that he sorta serenaded Julia during one of their trips and is a fan of the Beatles. I mean, I KNOW all their songs by heart cause my dad has all the CDs, so I was sorta raised on them. I liked that he brought a little fun into Julia's very serious life.

And while this was a really cute, running around London and confusion over what guy was the right one for Julia book, I did had some issues with the romance. I mean, Jason just blows hot and cold and seriously, I would have been SO MAD by something that was revealed towards the end! They were pretty sweet together, but just when I found myself swooning over Jason he'd do something to mess it up. It was like someone kept dumping a bucket of cold water on me after I'd just warmed up again.

I really liked Lauren Morrill's writing, she kept it light and fun and the story never lagged. I flew through this book in no time and it was exactly what I needed after reading some darker and issue heavy books!
Meant To Be is a fun, cute read and I loved rediscovering London along with Julia and seeing all my favourite places through her eyes!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why I've been/will be MIA

Hi guys!

I'm too exhausted from my wonderful weekend in Antwerp, Belgium, with 3 of my best friends to do a full Daisy Update, but that's why I haven't been around this weekend. And last week was so crazy busy I hardly had time to read/blog at all. I'm gonna make up for all this maybe this week, but more likely the week after as I have a whole glorious week off then and I'll be REALLY BUSY this week as well...

I only have one picture from this weekend on my phone, the others are on someone else's camera, but I wanted to share the awesomeness that was our first night's drink with you guys:

It sort of looks like you could perform a chemistry experiment in these beer glasses :)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Just Some Quick Thoughts on The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

So seriously you guys, after I was done squealing over getting my hands on the e-arc of The Bitter Kingdom, I just finished the book I was reading in no time and moved on to this one, because well, I LOVE this series and Rae Carson's writing and I couldn't wait till August to find out what happens to Elisa and Hector!!

Here are just some quick thoughts on the book, a full review will be posted closer to the release date:

-OMG, I just love Elisa! She's such an awesome character and I'm still wowed by how much she's grown over the course of this series!

-HECTOR! *swoon* *sigh* *generally all the things*

-The Inviernos are seriously creepy!

-Loved the council of the three queens!

I don't want to spoil anything but I do have to say that I am fully satisfied with this ending except for the fact that I'm infinitely sad the series has ended! (This is a plea to Rae Carson to write more books, pretty please?)

You can pre-order this book here and YES YOU WANT TO!

My rating: 5+ stars

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review of Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Title/Author: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen Books, March 19th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought a finished copy
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home... only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen -or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

OMG, this book was SO INTENSE! And I just loved it! It was so creepy! And I'm not really one for the creepy books usually!

It may be due to my profession, but I'm fascinated by mental health issues. It is simply amazing what a mind can do and this novel just goes to show how far self-protection mechanisms go.

So Pretty Girl-13 deels with a pretty heavy subject: child kidnapping and abuse and while this might not be suitable for every teen to read because of this, I did think that it dealt with all of this very well and doesn't get graphic. And it definitely feels like Liz Coley has done her research on the subject matter and I always appreciate that!

I really liked Angie, she's been through a LOT and even though she can't remember most of it at first, I thought she dealt with it pretty well. She's not supposed to be ok and she's not, but she doesn't give up. She's a survivor and is willing to really work on her problems. I like that, I can respect that.

And seriously, I was fascinated by the different alters and their stories. I loved that in between chapters from Angie's viewpoint we get fragments told by the 'gate keeper', who knows much, MUCH more and reveals snippets and I was just on the edge of my seat trying to figure it all out! There were times when I was getting this sense of doom and figuring out something based on the clues we were given and was like AAAH! THIS IS SO CREEPY! AND IT WAS AWESOME!

It's always mindboggling to me to imagine the extend of cruelty people are apparantly capable of and what a mind can do to cope with this and I was completely sucked in by Liz Coley's writing! I didn't want to put Pretty Girl-13 down and seriously, whatever Liz Coley writes next, I will READ IT! This is my kind of psychological thriller!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Infernal Devices Giveaway Winner!

The giveaway winner is:

Ellie Warren @ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

She was actually also the first person to enter! Congrats!

Daisy Update (38) and Book Haul (13)

Hi guys!

This week felt sorta chaotic, even though it was probably mostly so in my head ;)

Last Sunday my parents and brother came over for dinner and we just talked and played a game and it was really nice! We usually go over to my parents' for dinner, but this time they came to my place and I kinda liked playing hostess :)
Monday we had dinner with the boyfriend's family and after that I was pretty much in a food induced coma...

Tuesday it was time to go back to work and to also work the evening shift after my day shift and it was pretty ok. It was SO busy in the ER people had to wait for hours before they could be seen by a doctor, mostly because there was just nowhere to put them, so instead of me running around between four patients, I was constantly waiting for the ER staff to put a waiting patient in a room. It was kinda annoying cause I could have just treated all four patients in my shift and because there was no room I couldn't see all of them before my colleague working the night shift got there.

Wednesday I had an exam in preparation for the interview I have next week, applying to get a residency as a general practitioner to be. So yeah, I was pretty nervous. I think I did ok, but we don't get the results until our interview (at least, I hope we get the results then!)...

Thursday was the day I was stuck in traffic for almost three hours and GAH IT SUCKED SO MUCH! It normally takes me about 30 to 45 minutes to get home from work and it was just plain awful and the people on the news kept saying the traffic jam was clearing up rapidly. Yeah, that's why I had moved about 300 meters in half an hour...

Thursday and Friday it was just so busy at work that I was glad when it was time to head home for the weekend, because seriously, I was ready to throw my pagers at the wall at one point. The general theme seemed to be: when you're not sure who to forward the call to, call Daisy. Let's just say that I was not amused.

Yesterday we had two birthday parties, one was in the afternoon and the other at night, so we sorta did marathon-socializing and while it was fun, it was also really exhausting! I'm a bit of a hermit on the weekends, spending pretty much my whole Saturday around other people than my boyfriend or my family is rare for me as I just need a day to relax.

Today I'm planning to just blog a bit, read and prepare for a presentation I have to give on Wednesday.
I hope you'll all have a wonderful week!

Book Haul

Egalleys for Review:

First off I need to tell you about the book that made me want to drop everything and which I have already read:

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: I love, love, LOVE this series and The Bitter Kingdom was a perfect ending, but now I'm sad I won't be going on adventures with Elisa anymore... But you should all read it!!

-Hopeless by Colleen Hoover: this sounds REALLY intense and slightly creepy!
-It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long: I love the Pennyroyal Green series and Julie Anne Long's writing in general, these books make me happy!
-An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands: there is just something about lairds.
-No Angel by Helen Keeble: this will be either REALLY good or really bad, I'm counting on the first.
-Find Me by Romily Bernard: I will be so creeped out by this book and it will be awesome!
-The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: ALL THE EXCITEMENT! This sounds like such a me-book!
-Twinmaker by Sean Williams: because who hasn't dreamed of an easy way to improve your appearance? I'm curious to see the nasty effects this has!
-The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White: I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about her books and this one has EGYPTIAN GODS in them! Be still my mythology-loving heart!
-Blackout by Robison Wells: a mysterious virus infecting teens with impossible powers, YES I'm all over this!
-Don't Look Now by Michelle Gagnon: described as the teen version of The Girl of the Dragon Tattoo, it sounds really good!
-False Sight by Dan Krokos: I LOVED False Memory and can't wait to continue this series!
-The Taming of Ryder Cavanagh by Stephanie Laurens: I want so bad to LOVE one of her books again, I do always enjoy them though :)
-Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare: a Spindle Cove novella, I've fallen in love with Tessa Dare's writing.
-Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill: it's about Mary Shelley and sounds just fascinating!
-Prophecy Girl by Cecily White: this sounds like a fun paranormal romance series!

-Crossed by Ally Condie: I haven't read Matched yet, but I will soon! And then this one!
-The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I gave into peer pressure and bought it, even though this book scares me ;)
-Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: I still need to start this series but it bugged me that I didn't have the final book.
-A Beginner's Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch: I've been eyeing this author's books for a while and figured this would be as good a book to start with as any :)
-Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson: a retelling of Bluebeard, the fairytale that gave me nightmares, I really want to love this, I've heard mixed things about it though..
-Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs: I really enjoyed Sweet Venom and am looking forward to continuing this series!

-Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston: I won this in a giveaway by my lovely blogging buddy Karin from My Life..., thank you so much! I'm really excited to read this!

Also, my giveaway for The Infernal Devices ended and I'll announce the winner later today!

Leave me a link in the comments and I'll be sure to check your haul out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Review of Poison by Bridget Zinn

Title/Author: Poison by Bridget Zinn
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, March 12th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction — which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart... misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Clearly I hadn't read the summary of this book well enough, because before starting it, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why their was a cute little pink pig on the cover. And now I do and she actually turned out to be one of my favourite characters!!

But really, let's start at the beginning.

In Poison we meet Kyra, we isn't your every day heroine, she's a potion-prodigy and is on the run from pretty much the whole kingdom because she tried to kill princess, who also happens to be her best friend. And then she missed. And I loved discovering bit by bit what exactly prompted Kyra to try and poison the princess. Mostly because there are also memories mixed in of their friendship and these girls are the real deal.
I loved slowly getting to know Kyra and I truly love this girl for her independance, her loyalty and her braveness. She may not have the best social skills, but she is a true friend when it comes down to it and I respect that.

Aside from loving the main character, there were also several other for me to love, mainly Fred and his giant hound and Rosie, the cute little pig. Fred is awesome. He is a bit of much needed sunshine in Kyra's life and I love how he just decided he would be her friend. He is just such a good guy and you know how I swoon for the good guys! And any guy who's an animal lover is extra swoonworthy in my book! And I kinda loved that he named Rosie.

Rosie is the little pig and I loved that without being able to speak, Bridget Zinn managed to really make her her own character and she was just so infinitely cute! I really want one of my own now! Well, until I remember a pig one of my friends in high school had who wasn't so cute...

The writing was wonderful and whimsical and just such a breath of fresh air! Every now and then I love to loose myself in a world where not everyone is getting killed or robbed or physically assaulted or anything and just have a fun time exploring a beautiful world. And Bridget Zinn did that for me and I loved every minute of it! And I loved that there was no cruelty to animals and I could just focus on the cuteness of them. I can easily see this being turned into a movie, and if so, I WILL WATCH IT!

Reading Poison felt like sitting down with one of my favourite fairytales and getting lost in the magic of it. It had all the things I want from a light fantasy: a strong heroine who has actual skills and is someone I could root for, cute animals to brighten the day (because really, what is better than a magical pig??), a good guy to roadtrip with, a little bit of sweet romance and a high stake puzzle to figure out.
I think it's a real loss for the literary world that Bridget Zinn passed away at such a young age because with Poison as her debut novel, I can only imagine what else she would have brought to the genre and I'm sure I would have devoured those books as well.

My rating: 5+ stars

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Tour! Review and Giveaway of The Breeders by Katie French

Title/Author: The Breeders by Katie French
Publisher/Date published: August 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it as part of the book tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring
Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches– moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders’ long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they’re hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender– a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley’s affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico– escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder’s hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she’ll share unless she can find a way out.

There's just something about dystopian novels that draw me in and scare the crap out of me, especially when I can imagine the things that happen actually happening to us in the future!

Riley is one of the only free girls left in the world and one of the few girls in child-bearing years overall. You can't fully realize what this means to her and her family until you discover that girls are actually sold to breeding facilities and how scarce resources have become. It's pretty much a fight to stay alive most of the time and I really liked that we got to see the full impact this reality has on Riley and her family. Riley isn't the happy girl she should have been if times were different, she's had to learn how to adapt and how to take care of herself and the rest of the family.

I liked that instead of the usual lack of parental guidance, Riley actually still has her mother and a stepfather. She may not always get along with her stepfather, but they do look after each other. And then there's the adorable younger brother Ethan, who though he may only be 8 years old, has seen way too much evil by the end of the novel. And while he does lose some of his innocence, he's still the sweet kid we meet at the beginning and a really brave little boy and my heart just went out to him.
I couldn't imagine life without my family and I liked that Riley feels the same way and they always come first to her.

The concept of the government having facilities in which they force fertile women to have child after child is monstruous! Especially when they're starting with 15-16 year-old girls, I mean, no offeense, but they're not done being children/teens themselves, I know I wasn't! It's just not right when you're reduced to nothing but a walking birthing machine just because you were born with the right parts for it.

And as scary and wrong as this is, I can imagine how it came to be. We don't really get a lot of information about how they started this and I'm kinda counting on there being more on this in the sequel that's mentioned in the author's note at the end, because I can see how it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. And how it got out of hand and turned into something ugly.
I also hope we'll get to learn more about the virus that caused the whole shortage of girls and the existence of benders (a girlish-looking boy), because I can't help but be fascinated by stuff like this.

The Breeders is a pretty hars, dark book, which is to be expected given the subject matter. But it was so dark all the time that I sometimes found myself needing a break and doing something else because it could get depressing to be honest! The only bright spot in it all is the romance between Riley and Clay and well, that was also the only part of the novel I found a bit hard to believe.
They don't really become friends so much as that Clay can't seem to take a hint when Riley tries to get rid of him and because he thinks she's a bender, he rejects her when she tries to kiss him at one point. But then after he discovers she's a girl he's suddenly all into her?? I mean, they were sweet together, I just didn't fully believe this instant transition.

Other than that The Breeders was an enjoyable read with high stakes and a really scary possibility for the future and I'm interested to see what the sequel will bring for Riley, Clay and her family.

My rating: 4 stars

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