Friday, December 19, 2014

Review of Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Title/Author: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Publisher/Date published: Harper Teen, December 9th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused — along with her fellow teenage employees — of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers... even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

So I heard this was a little like The Breakfast Club before I started reading it and guys, it is and it is totally cute!

It's been a month since I read this and I'm still smiling when I think of Chloe's list-making tendencies, which are AWESOME and seriously, I had so much fun with their weird customer moments cause when I was in high school I worked at our local supermarket and some people have a weird combination of groceries. For real, I could tell you things I have seen that are just weird. Also, people are weird, which is awesome on its own.

I really liked Chloe and loved how she was crushing on Tyson and then I wanted to shake her cause she's not dealing with her diabetes and just I wanted to hug this girl, ok? She's adorable and I see things of myself in her and it was fun. I also liked the other employees, they were a nice set of people, and OMG the home-schooled boy whose name I can't remember was THE BEST. I think he has the biggest heart of the bunch.

I was a bit WTF at their manager making them stay after hours on Christmas Eve when he has zero evidence that one of them has stolen the money, I mean, I would have told our manager just what he could do with his accusations (or rather, I would stare at him menacingly until he got the message) and leave. Seriously, he can't just do that. But as there wouldn't be a story otherwise, I will let it slide just this once.

If you're in for a cute, quick, fun read, then Top Ten Clues You're Clueless is your book. Go forth and have fluffly moments.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review of Return of the Bad Girl by Codi Gary

Title/Author: Return of the Bad Girl (Rock Canyon Romance #4) by Codi Gary
Publisher/Date published: Avon Impulse, December 30th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Bad girls don't forgive.
Bad girls don't forget.
Bad girls don't fall in love.

Caroline Willis may be known for causing trouble, but she is NOT about to become homeless. So when she learns that her perfect apartment has been double-booked — to a dangerously hot bad boy — Caroline's bad-girl reputation comes out in full force. He may be sexy as sin, but she's not afraid of him... or his panty-melting smile.

Rock Canyon's got room for only one bad attitude — and Gabe Moriarty was here first. Still, starting over means playing it smart, so while sharing his new apartment is less than ideal, it's worth getting his dream business off the ground. Not to mention that it means shacking up with a sexy wild child. Caroline may be giving him the cold shoulder, but Gabe always was good at starting fires...

Caroline vows to keep things professional with Gabe, but as close quarters begin to ignite the sizzling chemistry between them, she's left wondering: Bad boy plus bad girl equals nothing but trouble... right?

I enjoyed Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars, the second book in this series and haven't read the other two yet, but I have to say that I wasn't much a fan of Return of the Bad Girl.

As I'm sitting typing this review, I'm not even all that sure why exactly I finished reading it, because I wasn't all that into the romance. Which is kinda the point of a romance novel, right? I think it might be due to the fact that Return of the Bad Girl has two adorable teeny tiny kittens in it and I'm a sucker for anything feline ever since we got a cat ourselves a couple of months ago. And as I was away from home all week, I craved a cat companion no matter if it was just a fictional one. Or two.

Caroline and Travis have both had a tough past and are both more than a little damaged by it. They both have scars and that feels right considering everything. The one thing that I can't figure out is why there's nothing about Travis' five years in prison in the book. I mean, it's mentioned, but that's it. Nothing about his experiences there, which felt off to me. I mean, that's a big part of your life and it's gonna shape you somehow.

I was wondering why their parents were so sucky, even if Caroline's father comes around after she confesses her big secret to him. She and her father should really learn to communicate better. And while I really liked the small town vibe in Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars, it really annoyed me in Return of the Bad Girl, because everyone was so judgmental and just plain mean. And how are there so many sleazeballs in such a tiny place?

But mostly the problem was that I wasn't feeling it. I wasn't feeling the romance and the drama and was a bit like yeah, maybe you shouldn't be together. Which is not what you want to be thinking when you should be rooting for a couple.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review of Wild by Sophie Jordan

Title/Author: Wild (The Ivy Chronicles #3) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon, November 18th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Months after her boyfriend dumped her, Georgia can still hear the insults he hurled at her. Boring. Predictable. Tame. Tired of feeling bad, she’s ready to change her image, and go a little wild. What better way to prove her ex wrong than a hot night of sexual adventure at the secret campus kink club?

In the shadowy den of the kink club, she unexpectedly runs into Logan Mulvaney, her friend’s little brother. A player extraordinaire too hot for his own good, he may be younger, but the guy is light years ahead when it comes to sexual experience. Now he’s telling her to go home — “good girls” don’t belong here!

Georgia is tired of having others define her. She’s going to teach Logan a lesson he won’t forget — one white hot, mind-wrecking kiss... that leads to another... and another... and... Realizing she’s way in over her head, Georgia runs.

Only Logan won’t let her go. Everywhere she goes he’s there, making her want every inch of him. Making her forget who she is. Who he is. And just how wrong they are for each other.

You guys, I rely on Sophie Jordan to bring me the swoons. And she did it again!

I absolutely loved the chemistry between Georgia and Logan and how the fact that he's a little younger and younger brother to one of her friends added a very believable embarassment and drama-inducing factor. I mean, it's not like it's wrong if the girl is older, but you don't see it often, but hey, you fall in love with a person, not their age, right? And also, Logan sounds totally hot and very mature (unlike most 18-year-old boys I know). I was definitely shippping it. Georgia becomes a more daring version of herself when she's around him and I think she turns his world upside down, so I felt like they were affecting each other equally. And I liked it.

Georgia is smart, careful, a little too oppressed by her mother and also a caring person who is afraid to give her heart away, but does it anyway. At one point I was so rooting for her to have it out with her mother and just find out WHY she was so hell bent on getting Georgia and Harris back together, because OMG, that guy is a douche and why would a mother want her daughter to be with a guy who CHEATED on her?? I don't get it. My mom would definitely NOT be encouraging it, especially not if I'd made it clear that I wasn't interested in him anymore. So what gives?

Logan is a beautiful boy. He sounds beyond delicious and just made me swoon with all his maleness and putting it all out there and then getting his heart stomped on and OMG how COULD SHE? I mean, I GET it, sort of, but UGH, poor Logan. I loved that even after all that's been going on in his life since he was a kid, he's still this warm, loving guy who's protective of his friends.

So like I said, the age difference and the fact that he's her friend's brother makes for some stomach-clenchingly good drama and I stayed up till 2 AM to finish it even though I had to get up at 6.30 the following morning. I could literally not sleep before I knew they'd be having a happily ever after and I was swooning all through the end and it was just awesome.
I'd definitely recommend trying Wild for yourself and finding out just why I love Sophie Jordan's writing so much!

My rating: 5 stars

Zoë stamp of approval:

Cuddling the bear like I'd cuddle Logan ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review of Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title/Author: Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Disney-Hyperion, November 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father — a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?


Guys, I absolutely loved The Naturals, the first book in this series and obviously I was excited to read Killer instinct. And I was right to expect awesomeness again!

I cannot help but love Cassie, she's smart, she's loyal to her friends and she just wants to help people. The crazy stuff that went down in The Naturals definitely has its effect on her, but she's not letting it get her down and I respect that. Though I couldn't help but feel there should have maybe been a little bit more about the effects of it and I felt like it wasn't really being handled by adults. They didn't really seem to be all that worried about it. But other than that I was so with her in her insecurities about the boys and her initial dislike of the newest adult addition to the team and basically I just love her for her mind. It's SO creepy what she can do, yet so incredibly awesome. I really don't wish that I could do that, but following her thought process is very cool.

And the plot Jennifer Lynn Barnes crafts is just genius! I mean, I saw one tiny detail of it coming, but mostly mind = blown. There's so much more to all of it than you think at first sight and I loved being thrown for a loop a couple of times. It kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what the heck was going on! I read this book while we were on holiday in Rome and I even found myself thinking about it while we were visiting all these beautiful sights in the city, so that's definitely saying something!

One thing I'm going to address as well: the love triangle. There is one. And I really didn't mind it. It's very well done and let's just say that I'm happy with Cassie's choice.
I loved reconnecting with the whole set of characters, minus one for obvious reasons, and learning more about them, I love the whole group, faults and all.

Don't let Jennifer Lynn Barnes' innocent looks fool you, she has a devious mind! I totally loved all the twists and turns and just how real it felt and how I believed in what was happening and was sucked into the story and FEELS and just a whole lot of yes! You should definitely read this series, it's smart and has some amazing well-rounded characters. And just do it, ok?

My rating: 5 stars

Zoë stamp of approval:

(Just look at that smile :) tiny cat is tiny)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review of An Heiress For All Seasons by Sophie Jordan

Title/Author: An Heiress For All Seasons (The Debutante Files #1.5) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon Impulse, November 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When a holiday blizzard brings together a pair of reluctant lovers, the result threatens their reputations... and may cost them their hearts.

Feisty and independent American heiress Violet Howard swears she'll never wed a crusty British aristocrat. Will, the Earl of Moreton, is determined to salvage his family's fortune without succumbing to a marriage of convenience.

But when a snowstorm leaves Violet and Will stranded and alone, their sudden chemistry will challenge good intentions. Seized by a desire that burns through the night, they'll toss reservations aside in favor of the heat found in each other's arms.

Will their passion survive the storm? Will they realize they've found a love to last them through all seasons?

You guys, Sophie Jordan is brilliant. She just knows how to bring the feelings and the chemistry and the awesome and just all I want from a historical romance novel! I always know I'll love it whenever I open up one of her books and An Heiress for All Seasons was no exception.

It's a novella, and while those are not my favourite as a concept, I did really love this one. It's short and sweet, yet a believable lovestory and these two just felt right together. I loved how there was real conflict and TENSION and OMG, that scene at the end! My heart!
I really liked both Violet and Will and how they're both working under misconceptions and just ALL OF IT.

You should really just pick up this novella and find out for yourself. Or basically any of Sophie Jordan's other historical romances, they're all amazing. Promise.

My rating: 5 stars

Friday, October 31, 2014

Review of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Title/Author: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray
Publisher/Date published: Harper Teen, November 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer — her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul — escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt — and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Ok, so I liked the concept of A Thousand Pieces of You, because hello fascination with parallel worlds, but I had a couple of issues with the way it was executed.

But first let's go with the stuff I liked: I really liked how every universe was different and how one of them was alike except for some crucial details. I loved seeing what new things they would stumble on next and especially the one where Marguerite was Russian royalty. That was awesome. Her older brother was one of my favourite characters, he's awesome, like a brother should be.
I also liked Marguerite's temper, she's quick to jump to conclusions and it was a rather interesting flaw, cause it sets things in motion. And I definitely liked the science of it all, I would KILL (not literally, obviously) for a Firebird of my own. I mean, come on, how cool would it be to travel to other dimensions and get answers to all my WHAT IFs. Seriously, get me one of those things.

So the overall concept was entertaining, but like I said, I do have some issues with it as well. I was REALLY annoyed at the love triangle. I mean, COME ON. One minute she's almost having sex with one of the guys and then she's realising she's actually in love with the other one? I mean, are you kidding me?? It's cruel to the guy and I did not like it at all. I get you can be confused, but seriously, that was a step too far for me. And also: if you tell one guy that 'every Marguerite' loves him, how can you justify not knowing how you feel about him in another dimension? At the moment it was really sweet, but after she has these doubts about her feelings for the other version of him I was like, ok, did you just say that to get him to sleep with you? Also, how do you go from having a non-physical relationship to having sex in basically 5 minutes after you've kissed for the first time? I'm not slut-shaming, it was just all up in my face all of a sudden and I was like WAIT, WHAT just happened???
I'm just not a fan of the romance, and it was a pretty big part of the story.

The other thing that doesn't add up in my mind is that when you use the Firebird, the body you have in your own dimension disappears. HOW? And where does it go?? The Firebird is only meant to take your spirit, so why does your body vanish? I get that it's handy, cause else you couldn't be gone for months and all, cause you know, a body doesn't survive well without someone to feed it and everything. But it makes no sense. I know it may be a minor detail, but it really bugged me.

There's this creepy corporate intrigue going on and I'm not really sure how I feel about it, but I'm interested enough to maybe pick up the next book and find out what the heck's going on.

My rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review of The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Title/Author: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (Rhymes With Love #4) by Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher/Date published: Avon, October 28th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: She has no desire for love...

As she arrives in Mayfair, Louisa Tempest is horrified when her incorrigible cat bolts from the carriage and dashes into a neighbor's house, where she comes face-to-face with the reclusive Viscount Wakefield. But even more dismaying than his foul temper is the disarray in which she finds his home. Convinced his demeanor would improve if his household were in order, Louisa resolves to put everything to rights.

...until she meets the viscount who lives down the lane.

Much to his chagrin, Wakefield finds it impossible to keep the meddling Louisa out of his home, invading his daily life with her "improvements," and his nights with the tempting desires she sparks inside him. Wounded in the war, he's scorned society ever since his return... until Louisa opens the door to his heart and convinces him to give love a second chance.

So guys, The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane was a very enjoyable read, I read most of it as part of Dewey's Read-a-thon (which in case you've never heard of it, is an AWESOME event that happens twice a year) and it fit really well as a starter for 24 hours of reading!

I liked Louisa, though I probably would have been REALLY annoyed as well if she just stepped into my life and started interfering with the way things were done in my home. I mean, sure, things could use a little improving for Wakefield, but Louisa really is very meddlesome. I don't blame him for banning her from his house.
But it did make for some fun reading. Cause obviously she's a little headstrong and doesn't stop when he tells her to, but just sort of sidesteps his objections. And her cat helps. He is awesome. As a proud cat owner myself, I totally laughed at the antics of the feline, it was one of my favourite things of the novel!

So Louisa and Wakefield have chemistry and obviously they're falling in love and it's really sweet, I also particularly liked Wakefield's sister, she has spunk! And is exactly as annoying as a younger sister should be (I know, I'm a younger sister myself). There are some side plots with their own romances as well, which was a fun addition. Wakefield has issues and Louisa has issues and it all just came together beautifully, though I am wondering how they're going to deal with the rest of the ton after the story ends.

To sum it up: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane was a lovely read, but I kind of missed the deep emotion that I usually feel while reading a historical romance. But it did have a cat (that didn't die or was in danger in any way during the novel), which gives you bonus points any day.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, October 19, 2014

End of the Event Meme

Awwww, it's over already! Sad... It's gonna be AGES before the next readathon! Oh well, I do REALLY feel like just vegging around on the couch all day and watch some tv.

End of Event Meme:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I went to sleep around 3 AM, which is hour 13 or 14 I think.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I suggest some light reading, and if you're looking for edge of your seat kind of book, go for All Our Yesterdays. It was SO good!

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?

How many books did you read?
I finished 3, DNF-ed 1 and started another.

What were the names of the books you read?
The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
The Hero's Guide to STorming the Castle by Cristopher Healy

Which book did you enjoy most?
All Our Yesterdays! But I'm really liking The Hero's Guide To Storming the Castle as well so far :)

Which did you enjoy least?
The one I DNF-ed, which I did not list.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
VERY LIKELY. I'm gonna try and clear my schedule for the day when it's announced when exactly it'll be.

Readathon Mid-Event Survey

So it's already 1AM here and I'm kinda feeling it, but the kitty is being cuddly and I think she's really enjoying having me stay up a little longer with her than usual :)

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore, it's really cute!

2. How many books have you read so far?
This is my second book.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I'm debating between All Our Yesterday after I finish this and The Hero's Guide To Storming the Castle.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
One of the boyfriend's friends had his birthday party, so that took about 4-4,5 hours, but oh well, I managed.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How not hungry I've been so far. I usually just keep snacking away, but I have all these snacks and I'm not really interested in them... More for the 'hangover' munchies tomorrow right? :)

Ok, back to reading!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is HERE AGAIN!! YAYYYYY!!!

I AM SO EXCITED!!! The Readathon is here again and it's AWESOME. And even though I'll have to go to a social event (one of the boyfriend's friends is having a birthday party, how inconsiderate right?), but I'm gonna try and pull through all night, so we'll see how that goes.

For the Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'm reading from the house we moved to a little over 6 months ago in Lent, Holland :)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I'm basically just looking forward to reading some of the books I bought myself instead of review books, though I am excited about reading those as well.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I have a ton of snacks, but I'm mostly looking forward to roasting marshmallows over a candle (I'm not sure if it's gonna work, but if it does, it's gonna be AWESOME).

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Hi! :) I'm Daisy, I've been blogging for 5 years and have participated in the Readathon a bunch of times already and I always love doing it. I'm a GP in training (which is what Zoë Hart does in Hart of Dixie, but without any training for the specialty), currently working in a nursing home. I'm currently a bit obsessed with Hart of Dixie, am watching the whole series for the second time and ZADE! It really needs to happen. Also: my reading companion is a 6 months old tiny black kitten who is gonna be my biggest distraction probably.

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 just gonna chill and read outside (cause I can, cause we have an outside now, which is exciting) and try to snack on some healthy things as well. I bought carrots and mango chunks and I'm gonna hydrate till I just can't hydrate no more.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Review of The Swap by Megan Shull

Title/Author: The Swap by Megan Shull
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen Books, August 26th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: “YOU BE ME... AND I'LL BE YOU.”

ELLIE spent the summer before seventh grade getting dropped by her best friend since forever. JACK spent it training in “The Cage” with his tough-as-nails brothers and hard-to-please dad. By the time middle school starts, they’re both ready for a change. And just as Jack’s thinking girls have it so easy, Ellie’s wishing she could be anyone but herself.

Then, BAM! They swap lives — and bodies!

Now Jack’s fending off mean girls at sleepover parties while Ellie’s reigning as the Prince of Thatcher Middle School. As their crazy weekend races on — and their feelings for each other grow — Ellie and Jack begin to realize that maybe the best way to learn how to be yourself is to spend a little time being someone else.

Guys, I'm a big fan of the fun that ensues when you have two people switch bodies, I LOVED Freaky Friday, I think I've watched that movie a thousand times (which is in part due to the hotness that is Chad Michael Murray, but that's beside the point). So a guy and a girl switching bodies sounded kinda perfect to me.

And it was a whole lot of fun! I really liked both Ellie and Jack, they're good people and needed a little outside perspective on their problems. I totally LOVED Ellie's mom and Jack's brothers! Both of them have so much love in their families and I just want to hug Ellie's mom and Jack's brothers. They're awesome. That's what a family should be like.

I liked how protective Ellie and Jack got of each other when they were in the other's body and how they stand up for each other. It might have caused a bit of trouble, but things really could start to change after that. Ellie's mean girl situation is harsh, but unfortunately that is how girls are at that age sometimes, I've seen it go down in real life, and it's not pretty, but Megan Shull painted a realistic picture of how friendships can go south and how you can have some awesome people in your life without even realising it.

This was just a fluffy, adorable read and I really liked it. It's MG and just a cute read, if you like body-swapping type of stories like me, you'll really enjoy The Swap!

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review of Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Title/Author: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini
Publisher/Date published: Feiwel & Friends, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem — one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian... Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Guys, I'm always down for a parallel world kind of story and if it also includes magic, I'm double in.

And Trial by Fire did not disappoint me! Josephine Angelini has created a lush world for me to fall into and to figure out what the heck is actually going on! I liked that we begin in 'our' world, where Lily Proctor is pretty much severely incapacitated by her allergies, that are threathening to actually kill her. Medical side note: most people with allergies don't get this bad a reaction to them, but it's possible.
I really liked Lily, I was a bit hesitant at first if she had her priorities straight if she's willing to get an allergic reaction just so she can go to a party with the guy she likes, but after that I was fully supportive of her, cause she's strong and smart and just someone I can root for. She grows so much throughout Trial by Fire and it's awesome to see.

So I really liked the magic system and how Lily's allergies are connected to her magic and just the whole thing is one big YES in my book. The only thing I had a slight problem with is that it's a little too easy for Lily to control her magic and to do all these advanced things with it that most witches who have been training for YEARS haven't been able to do. She does one thing so effortlessly that it was a bit hard to believe no one else in the world but Lillian could do it as well, I mean, someone should have figured it out as well right? She pretty much did it on her own without instruction. But otherwise I was one pretty happy reader with the whole witchy goodness.

And then there's the romance. There's a tiny bit of a love triangle, but mostly there's not, because Tristan in Lily's world is a douche and I really wanted to smack him for being an awful person. But enough about him, let's talk about ROWAN. Because Rowan is my guy. He's a good guy who has a hard time trusting Lily after what Lillian did to him and I could get that. Even though it made him act not-so-nice because of it, I can understand where he's coming from and how difficult it must be to trust a girl who looks just like Lillian, the evil witch in his world. But know that the romance is awesome.

So basically once Lily gets to this new world, the plot takes off and I was happily turning the pages to know what would happen next and UGH! WHY do I have to wait this long for the sequel?? Trial by Fire is a very promising start to this series and I can't wait to see how it will all unfold!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review of Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Title/Author: Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1) by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher/Date published: Balzer & Bray, September 16th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the author as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common — at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought — and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in... and everyone has something to lose.

So I'm that girl that still watched Pretty Little Liars, even with all the drama spiralling out of control and everything cause that's my not so secret guilty pleasure. So obviously I was going to read this, cause it sounds a little like it, but in fact reminded me more of Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. And I really liked that as well, so all was well in the world.

I really liked reading about these four different personalities, though I think Olivia was a bit of a dudd, she was far less interesting than Bree, Kitty and Margot. I'm a bit partial to Bree actually, cause she's kickass and has the kind of romantic drama going on that makes me one happy reader. And obviously her best friend is AWESOME. I also liked how although they're working together, they don't necessarily get along all the time and the distinct personalities clash, with one of them typically being in the middle and trying to settle things.

I liked how Don't Get Mad was putting people who were bullying other back in their place, giving them a bit of their own medicine. It wasn't personal revenge, but more philantropic almost? But then people are turning up dead and Don't Get Mad is implicated and things just spiral out of control, with the killer trying to break up the group and everything, turning the girls against each other. It's the kind of intrigue that makes me go YES! and want to know what the heck is going on!

Get Even was a promising start to this series and I'm excited to see how it will all unfold in the next book!

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review of Stray by Elissa Sussman

Title/Author: Stray (Four Sisters #1) by Elissa Sussman
Publisher/Date published: Greenwillow, October 7th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: “I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her - magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

I am ever fascinated by fairytale retellings or twists on fairytales or fairytale like stories so OBVIOUSLY I was excited when I read the summary for Stray. It also reminded me a bit of The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey, which was AWESOME, so I was thinking good things going in.

And I definitely enjoyed Stray! The world that Elissa Sussman has created is so interesting! I'm still a bit reeling from all the things the people there conformed to, I mean, girls are trained just so they can go to a ball and catch a husband, and before a year has passed since they're coming out, cause else they're OLD and will be redirected. I mean, WTF? Obviously, I should have been a fairy godmother already, as I'm clearly not married yet. I have also never been to a real ball, but that's beside the point. But to each society its own rules, right?

So after raging at this and yelling at the women to start roaring because what the hell?? I got over it and started getting into the story. Cause it's actually pretty entertaining! Aislynn, while conforming a bit too much for my liking, at least in the beginning, was a very likable character. She's smart and she's got a sense of humour and she genuinely comes to care for her charge. I don't think I would have accepted being redirected as easily as she did, and with evil headmistresses being a nuisance and everything.

Towards the end things got REALLY interesting and I could fully support the romance that was blooming and just a whole lot of YES and now I'm really wishing I had the next book already, because I need to know what happens next!! There are so many questions I still have. What exactly is up with the evil queen? So I hope we'll get some answers in the next book, but Stray was a very promising start to this series!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review of The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Title/Author: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, September 16th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny — especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies — and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.


So I totally adored The Burning Sky, which made me go THIS BOOK. Which is very high praise. Imagine my excitement when The Perilous Sea popped up on Edelweiss, there was ALL THE EXCITEMENT.

And I did very much enjoy The Perilous Sea, this is very much my kind of fantasy world and the characters are still awesome. Though it was a bit harder for me to get into The Perilous Sea than it was with The Burning Sky. I was slightly confused by the beginning with all the travelling that I'm still not sure entirely how that happened, can someone who's read it please tell me if it's just me? But then Iolanthe and Titus make it back to school and all is well. Except it's not and MAYHEM and DANGER and OMG WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING??

Basically, what I'm saying is that it took me awhile to emerse myself in Sherry Thomas' storytelling again, but once I did, it was awesome. Though I'm slightly sad that we didn't get to see more of the Crucible world, that is seriously fascinating. And Iolanthe and Titus had DRAMA and I was like JUST COMMUNICATE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? GO BACK TO THE KISSING!! Because obviously these two are made for each other and should really just listen to my advice, ok?

Towards the end, things got REALLY exciting and OMG I CANNOT WAIT for the next book in the series! There was this AMAZING twist and it broke my heart and OMG, I just need to know what happens next NOW!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review of The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

Title/Author: The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
Publisher/Date published: Orchard Books, September 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power.

The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive.

Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

I REALLY wanted to love The Witch of Salt and Storm. I really did. There'd been a lot of hype from BEA-goers and I was all excited and then it just didn't happen for me.

The Witch of Salt and Storm is a pretty dark tale. And I really don't have a problem with that, but it all had a very grey feeling to me, I'm not sure how I can best explain it, but it was just kind of monotonous and unexciting and slightly smudged. A non-sparkly grey. (Side note: I have a big grey couch, so I don't have anything against the color in general, but for a mood it doesn't work for me).

I never really grew to care much for Avery or any of the other characters, I didn't get why she would fall in love with Tane and he with her, for me there wasn't any real chemistry, just the lack of other options for both of them. Avery's relationship with her mother was just plain weird and her grandmother wasn't quite all there either. A lot of the relationship problems that I saw with all of them was a lack of communication and just UGH FRUSTRATION.

The powers of the Roe witch are pretty impressive and what makes them into a Roe witch was interesting, but mostly the story just fell a bit flat for me. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't gripping me and it took me forever to read it because I didn't feel that urge to read on while I wasn't reading it.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title/Author: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: bought it because how could I not??
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


Ok, so this will basically be a lot of gushing, I'm giving you fair warning here.

THIS BOOK YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! It's been a looooong time since I was this excited about a book and EVERYTHING about this book was exciting and ROWAN and just THIS BOOK!

I cannot. My words fail me. I am just hugging this book and petting it and I just want to stare at the ceiling and imagine myself in this world and revel in all the feels that it brought me and just OMG I just cannot do anything productive today basically.
I was waiting for people I was meeting to have lunch when I finished this book, hoping they were late (lucky for me they were) so I could finish the last pages and after finishing I just looked up and realised no one else was experiencing all these feelings and I literally did not know how to go on having light conversation with the girls I was meeting because I just had SO MANY FEELINGS and nobody would understand.
I'm having the worst book hangover in ages and it is GLORIOUS.

But let's talk about the book a bit. It is no secret that I absolutely love this series and Celaena and Chaol and Dorian and just this world and everything that Sarah J. Maas has created, it is amazing. And it has been SO difficult having to wait for Heir of Fire to be released and seeing all those people who were lucky enough to get an ARC and had already experienced Heir of Fire and all it has to offer in terms of awesomeness. But it was worth the wait.

So obviously Celaena is a mess after what happened in Crown of Midnight, and I liked that. I like that she isn't magically ok with things that are horrifying and traumatic and as devastating as a friend being murdered. Nehemia was so important to her and it would have made no sense whatsoever if her death or the events that followed didn't have a major impact on her. But it was heartbreaking to see what it did to her. But I seriously adored Celaena in how she handled it, even if it wasn't always pretty, I felt her pain and she really did grow as a person throughout Heir of Fire and she just has a special place in my heart for het badassness and her vulnerability and just everything. And I loved learning more about her past!

In Heir of Fire Sarah J. Maas explores Celaena's magic and her fae ancestry, which we got a hint of at the end of Crown of Midnight. And I loved that it doesn't come easy to Celaena. She has to really work for it and it costs her and it leads her to a character that I want to talk about very badly.

Rowan. Just. I cannot. You may have seen people on Twitter going all caps because of this man and all I can say is that I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE BECAUSE HE DESERVES IT. I really don't want to give anything away, but I've been eagerly anticipating his arrival on the scene ever since I knew Celaena was going to Wendlyn, in the version of this story on Fictionpress he was called Raonn I think? And I adored him there as well.
Rowan is just everything I could want him to be and FEELINGS and just ALL THE FEELINGS because I really don't have words to express what he does to my heart.

But mostly I just want to hug Heir of Fire some more and rejoice in this glorious book hangover and if you haven't started this series yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? Go forth and fall in love with this world and the characters that Sarah J. Maas has created, like I have.

My rating: 5+ stars

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review of The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title/Author: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

***WARNING: There is some ranting ahead of you, be warned***

OMG, I just cannot with this book. At first we were doing ok, I wasn't loving it, but it was interesting and it was a pretty quick read, but, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, but then we got to the romance and everything went WTF from there on.

So the whole issue with royalty being unable to have children and using surrogates with an auction system is fascinating and I'm dying to know why exactly it is that royal women can't have children, is it inbreeding or some kind of mutation and why does it affect all royal women? I cannot help myself, I am fascinated by this kind of stuff.

And Violet is ok, but she didn't seem really special to me, aside from her unusually amazing abilities with the Auguries. And that she had violet eyes, but well, that's not all that special in fictional worlds. She didn't really have any trait aside from her being awesome at playing the cello to define her to me. But I felt like I could have gotten to like her more if it hadn't been for the bullshit romance.

I mean, COME ON, isn't it time we stopped seeing this kind of insta-love? Seriously, they met for 3 minutes and already they're like 'It's like I didn't know myself until this moment' and they go from basically mostly communicating through stares to kissing and to love and I'm like WTF?? And then there's mention of them spending an hour a day together for a month but we don't get to SEE this moments. How am I supposed to believe in this love that has them risking EVERYTHING when I don't actually SEE them spend time together and get WHY the hell they would risk so much for a person they basically just met? I mean, WTF?? I like it when I'm shown things, not just told that's how it is without any evidence to back this up.

And also, on a similar subject: why does Ash not have any personality whatsoever? He's in the book from about the halfway point and I have no idea how to describe him other than he's a companion and he does insta-love.


So I'm intrigued by this world, but then the romance took over and there's just a lot of frustration and OBVIOUSLY there's a resistance (because what good dystopian novel doesn't have a resistance?) and it has the lamest reason ever for wanting to 'rescue' Violet. I really don't want to spoil anything, but SERIOUSLY? It all felt very random to me.

Ok, so rant over. If you hadn't noticed this from the general tone of the review, I'll sum up to say that this book did not work for me from the moment the romance entered, before we were doing ok, but UGH, just no.

My rating: 1,5 star

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review of It's In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

Title/Author: It's In His Kiss (Lucky Harbor #10) by Jill Shalvis
Publisher/Date published: Grand Central Publishing, August 26nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?

So I was really craving something cute and fluffy after the abomination that was our book club read for this month. And I figured from what I'd heard about Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series that it would be just the thing.

And I have to say that this first encounter with Jill Shalvis' storytelling did not disappoint! It was fun and there was tension and a good storyline for the romance to fall back on and though there was a lot more drama than I had expected, it was ok. I was really curious about Becca's past and just what had happened to make her up and leave everything behind. I liked her quirks and her spunk and how she didn't just agree with Sam when he made this annoying rule about not being with her cause she's working for him and not automatically confirming to his alpha-male-ness.

Even though this alpha-male-ness is totally hot. Seriously. He's a surfer. And sexy. And he removes spiders for Becca, which means he's the best kind of guy. That's just an automatic win in my book. He has this really big heart and I like that in a man.

Together they had chemistry and I just wanted to shake Sam every time he fell back on the 'you're working for me so we can't be together' thing because UGH just own up to your feelings already and just GO FOR IT. But it was a really fun read and I'm thinking I'll be trying for of Jill Shalvis' books in the future!

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review of The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson

Title/Author: The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois #1) by Joanna Hickson
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, August 19th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turbulence and chaos of life at court.

Mette and the child forge a bond, one that transcends Mette’s lowly position.
But as Catherine approaches womanhood, her unique position seals her fate as a pawn between two powerful dynasties. Her brother, The Dauphin and the dark and sinister, Duke of Burgundy will both use Catherine to further the cause of France.

Catherine is powerless to stop them, but with the French defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, the tables turn and suddenly her currency has never been higher. But can Mette protect Catherine from forces at court who seek to harm her or will her loyalty to Catherine place her in even greater danger?

So you guys probably know that I enjoy reading about historical figures, they come more to life than from the stuff you read in history books and I have a bit of a Tudor obsession, so reading about the mother of the first Tudor king is just the thing for me!

And I enjoyed The Agincourt Bride, just not as much as I would have hoped to. It was ok, but it wasn't exciting, I wasn't scared for Catherine or for Mette, even when something really terrible happened to Mette. I was disgusted, but I never doubted that either of them would be ok and not only in the sense that they wouldn't die, but also mentally ok.

I did like Mette, she's thrust into the royal household just hours after she's lost her own child and manages to get through this without basically any support, I know that it probably happened more often back then, but it still feels barbaric to just expect a woman to get over it immediately and get to work. But Mette is a smart, sensible and strong person and somehow she manages. Probably also because she has baby Catherine to care for.

Catherine is sweet and loyal and has a quick mind, all things I appreciate. Sometimes I wondered if she was a bit too good to be true, but those moments passed. It's such a contradiction how she has power as a princess and at the same time really doesn't have much say in what happens in her life. I liked seeing the interactions between her and King Henry towards the end of the book, they had really sweet moments.

I think most of the excitement is probably still coming in the sequel, The Tudor Bride. There are some awful and wonderful things that history tells me are still in store for Catherine and I wonder how Mette will play her part in them.
The Agincourt Bride was an ok read but not one of my favourites so far, maybe The Tudor Bride will be.

My rating: 3 stars

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review of Black Ice by Susan Krinard

Title/Author: Black Ice (Midgard #2) by Susan Krinard
Publisher/Date published: Tor Books, August 12th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors.

Or so she thought.

The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources — but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her — it’s up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.


So I love mythology and I enjoyed Mist, the first book in the series. So I had my heart set on more Norse mythology goodness!

And while I did get some of that, I felt like Black Ice suffered from second book syndrome. It just feels like it's a build-up to major events happening in book 3 and while there are several battles taking place, it never really felt like the stakes were high. I didn't feel like either of the main characters was actually threathened by the events and it wasn't exciting as it should have been.

We do meet a set of new characters, which I liked, well most of them. There are is a monster that I could have done without knowing, cause he's nasty! But I liked getting to know more of the Valkyries. I did guess pretty early on that there would be a twist about one of the new characters and what it would be, but it's pretty well done.

I felt like Black Ice didn't give me all that many answers to questions I had and I get that it can't give me all the answers as it's not the last book in the series, but I would have liked just a little more knowledge about where this is headed. And OMG I just wanted to shake Mist and Dainn and their non-relationship that's the big elephant in the room and tell them to just KISS ALREADY and stop worrying about the beast or what the beast will do or just STOP IT WITH THE BEAST OK. There was so much talk and thinking about the beast. It was kinda getting on my nerves.

I do still very much like the richness of the Norse mythology and Mist and Dainn are kinda awesome, but I just wished Black Ice would have been a little more exciting than it was.

My rating: 2 stars

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daisy Update (55) Featuring a teeny tiny kitten!

Hi guys!

So it's been about 5 months since my last update... I've been sucking at blogging lately, but as I had exciting news to share, I'm back with this update.

Last Wednesday we adopted a teeny tiny kitten from the animal shelter and since then she's been busy exploring the living room, sleeping on my lap, playing with a feather on a string and a fake mouse, sleeping on the couch, testing the limits of where we allow her to climb on (which does not include the lamp or the table) and sleeping on chairs. Basically she's been one cute little creature and I love her! We named her Zoë :)
I love having a pet in our home again, it's just more of a home with one in it. The boyfriend was a bit hesitant about getting a pet, but Zoë is so adorable, you just can't help but love her.

The only one who doesn't much like it is our neighbours' cat, who used to just walk in and out and sit in my lap sometimes, she's not allowed in the house anymore at the moment and does not appreciate this. It's kinda hard to take a good picture of Zoë cause she's so dark, I need to get a camera with flash or something.

As for other things that have happened since I last did an update: we went to Marocco for 2 weeks, which was awesome, we had the four day walking event in Nijmegen that happens yearly and is always a lot of fun, and just so many things happen in 5 months! We had 4 book club meetings and went to see The Fault In Our Stars, which broke my heart. It was worse than the book somehow!

In 3 weeks I'll be saying goodbye to the practice I'm working at now, my first year is almost over, it's hard to believe the year has gone by so fast! Which is a little sad and exciting as well.

Now I'm gonna go back to cuddling Zoë :) Hope you're all having a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review of The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lacky and James Mallory

Title/Author: The House of the Four Winds (One Dozen Daughters #1) by Mercedes Lacky and James Mallory
Publisher/Date published: Tor Books, August 5th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.

In theory The House of the Four Winds should have been my next favourite novel. Cause it has lots of things I love: fantasy, woman pretending to be a man, pirates. So I went in expecting to love it, but it didn't do much for me unfortunately.

I really don't understand, cause I really liked Mercedes Lackey's writing in The Fairy Godmother, but I just never felt like I was really invested in the story. I never really felt that the stakes were high and things were dangerous and the story just sorta mellowed on towards the end and then that was it and I was like where's my excitement? I wasn't really feeling the romance either and had expected a little more outrage or just SOMETHING at the revelation that Clarence was in fact a Clarice. I mean, that should be kinda shocking right? I would be shocked to find out one of my friends was actually a woman instead of a guy.

Also, I was kinda angry at the whole crew for not rebelling against their captain sooner, cause one awful thing that happened could have easily been prevented and it wasn't and then they were oh NOW let's rebel and just WTF guys? Also, in the end they got rid of that annoying woman who was trying to get them killed too easily.

But the main problem was that I just wasn't sucked into the story and was kinda bored actually. Which is a shame, cause it had serious potential to be awesome.

My rating: 2 stars

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review of The Summer of Jake by Rachel Bailey

Title/Author: The Summer of Jake by Rachel Bailey
Publisher/Date published: Entangled Publishing, Embrace, August 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan...

Life is just dandy for aspiring fashion designer Annalise Farley. She has a great job (or she will once her designs are discovered), parents who only slightly disapprove, a cat that thinks she’s a dog, and a best friend... even if she hasn’t seen her in a while. But then Jake Maxwell saunters back into her life. Jake, the love god. Jake, her best friend’s older brother. Jake, who broke her heart at sixteen without realizing it, then left to become a pro surfer. Now he’s back, having taken the surfing and business worlds by storm, and he’s ready for a new challenge — catching the eye of another girl. And he wants Annalise’s help. Helping Jake land his next girlfriend is too fraught with emotional danger for her liking, but then Jake offers to put her designs in his shops. Is that the sound of her life cracking at the seams? It’s hard to tell with Jake smiling at her like she’s the only thing that makes him happy...

I LOVE the best friend's older brother plot. Seriously. As a teenager I used to wish one of my friends had an older brother that I could fall in love with, but sadly, that never happened. So I live vicariously through stories like this.

I really liked Annalise! She has spunk and is a little quirky, with her car she named Mindy and her cat who thinks she's a dog and I liked it cause I could identify with her quirks. Plus, she's a badass fashion designer and I respect creative people. Also, she knows what she wants and knows what she DOESN'T want and I respected that she didn't want to be just another fling for Jake.

And Jake. Jake is kinda awesome and I probably would have fallen for him as well if he'd been one of my friends' older brother or basically just walking by. He's a bit clueless when it comes to women and his own heart and has ISSUES because of his dad and I just wanted to shake him at one point because he was acting like an idiot and just UGH! But it made for some beautiful tension and it made the happy ending all the sweeter, so it all worked out in the end.

So Annalise and Jake definitely had chemistry and I loved seeing them grow closer and felt like they truly had a solid basis for their relationship. And they were surrounded by a lovely family, Jake's sister and mother are wonderful and loving and just my kind of people.
The one thing that I was a teensy bit iffy about is that Jake goes to Annalise to get fashion advise because he's trying to get together with a woman, but he doesn't seem all that interested in her at all, so it felt a bit off that he would go to such lengths to get her and never feel like he's all that into her. But other than that I was happy with this fluffy romance!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review of Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret

Title/Author: Finding Miss McFarland (Wallflower Weddings #3) by Vivienne Lorret
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 5th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband — preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of convenience — one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses — is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money... or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life — in a most memorable way — Griffin Croft hasn't been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin's noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney's wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death... a life without love.

So I needed a bit of fluff after reading a book that had gruesome murders in them (The Diviners, it was AWESOME, but creepy) and decided that Finding Miss McFarland would be just the thing for it. And I was right. I like being right.

I really liked Delaney, she's smart and though she may overreact a bit when it comes to social humiliation (ok, so I would be mortified to if that had happened to me), I liked how she handled that and what lengths she went through to try and avoid Griffin. And succeeding for a year before they ran into each other again. There's some mastermind plotting going on and I liked it. I also really liked it when her methods started to fail, because we wouldn't have a story if they didn't. I liked how she is into fashion and is also the kind of woman who sticks up for the less fortunate.

And Griffin... Griffin is my kind of guy. He's intrigued by Delaney and is all honorable and such a good guy that it made me smile. A lot. I loved seeing him with his mother and sisters, he's the perfect older brother and I liked that about him. And also, I liked that he kinda messes things up a bit towards the end, because I love it when the hero has to chase the heroine and get her to be with him. There were totally tears in my eyes.

I mentioned Griffin's sisters already, they and Delaney's sister are AWESOME. Seriously, if I had a sister, I would want her to be like them, because they're supportive, funny and just lovely girls.
One thing that threw me off a bit was how fast they went from running into each other a couple of times to I love you, I felt like they barely knew each other, but while that detracted a bit from the story, I did really enjoy the book as a whole and I think Griffin and Delaney are good together.

My rating: 4 stars

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blog Tour! Review and Giveaway of Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Title/Author: Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, August 5th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
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Let me confess something first: I love a good hate turns into love story. So obviously I was excited to start Magnolia, cause it promises just that. And guys, while it wasn't hate-hate, Kristi cook did not in the least disappoint me with Magnolia!

I really liked Jemma, she's smart, she has a passion for filming, is a crack shot and just a good friend. I loved the relationship she had with her sister! They're true sisters and get annoyed with each other, but there's real love there as well and I just love a good sibling relationship. Jemma knows right from wrong and I appreciated her not going along with DUI even if it was the boy she was sort of dating. Also: I really liked Jemma's best friends, they're supportive and just girls you can trust.

So then there's Ryder. Ryder is my kind of guy. Seriously. He's just a good guy, and you know how much of a sucker I am for the good guys. I love how he has a hidden passion and how he's just there for Jemma when she needs him. And also I liked that he was scared of the storm because no one can be perfect and it was adorable. Ryder has a bit of a hero complex, but not in an annoying kind of way, in the here let me solve this for you kind of way and it made me smile.

And together these two are just SPARKS! And FEELINGS! They have issues and don't always see eye-to-eye and there's tension and other people getting in the way and I was like JUST ADMIT YOUR FEELINGS DAMMIT. Cause I had them. Feels. And the time Jemma and Ryder spent together in her house during the storm was just perfect. Awkward and exciting and just a whole lot of chemistry. And then the storm passed and it felt so realistic how things progressed from there.

So there's that small town feeling that I love and a couple I could root for and lovely friends of said couple and dances and a storm and just a whole lot of things that make me happy. Though there's a dramatic event in the book, it's still a pretty light and fluffy read, perfect for a summer day!

My rating: 4,5 stars

As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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By courtesy of the lovely miss Kristi Cook herself!

PRIZE: Win (1) $25 gift card to an online bookstore of choice (Amazon or BN) plus an entire paperback set of the Winterhaven series (Haven, Mirage, and Eternal) [INT]

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Review of The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Title/Author: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness
Publisher/Date published: Viking, July 15th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches — with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.


So I was one of those people who was not so patiently waiting for The Book of Life. I very much enjoyed the first two books in the series and was like OMG FINALLY I WILL KNOW THE SECRETS IN THE BOOK OF LIFE. I'm not very good with not knowing things.

I have to confess that I had forgotten probably a lot of details from Shadow of Night, because sometimes I felt myself wondering about things that were going that I felt that I should know. Mostly because these are big ass books. And because it has been two years. And also because sometimes I just forget things. But that didn't make me enjoy the writing any less, and I have to say that I could just slide back into this world even if I didn't have all the information I should have. Deborah Harkness just knows how to weave a story, like Diana knows how to weave a spell, and I was (to stay on topic) enchanted. It's a dreamworld and I wish I could live among these people and call them family. Even if I'm still not fully sold on Matthew and his overprotectiveness, but that's the 21st century independent woman in me speaking.

I loved seeing Diana grow throughout The Book of Life and this series as a whole. She learns a lot about herself and her powers and is truly a good person, and courageous and just plain awesome with magic. I loved seeing her go all mama bear, just as I did in Shadow of Night when she became a mom to Annie and Jack. And let me just say that her and Matthew's children are VERY interesting. VERY interesting. I wish I could study them.

But while I really like Diana, I think the characters who have stolen my heart must be Gallowglass, Jack and even Ysabeau with her fierceness. I just want to hug them and they bring comic relief and just a whole lot of love for these wonderful people. And I also found a character to truly despise: Benjamin. When you meet him, you'll understand what I'm talking about. He is awful.

I loved seeing it all come together, though at times I was kinda wondering if maybe Diana wasn't a bit too good to be true, BUT I could put that aside and just enjoy the book, so it was all good. And I do very much like the answers I got, I just wish there would have been even more and maybe there's room for a sequel? Pretty please? There are still some things left to discover in this world I think.

The Book of Life was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy and I'm still very glad I picked up that copy of A Discovery of Witches at the book store and these characters and this story came into my life.

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Title/Author: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Publisher/Date published: Henry Holt & Company, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight — but she doesn’t — and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom — to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive — and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets — even as she finds herself falling in love.

So you guys, I just finished it and I LOVED IT! Seriously, I kept thinking about this story even when I wasn't reading and found myself debating whether I should just cancel some social events so I could keep reading it.

I really enjoyed Mary E. Pearson's writing style, she kept me engaged and made me want to know more. The storytelling easily sucked me into this tale of a princess who just wants someone to love her for who she is and isn't scared to work for what she wants, throw in two boys, one of them being the prince and one an assassins sent to kill her and you have one very happy Daisy. There's a lot of things I still want to know about the Remnants and what exactly of all these stories is real and what's not, but I'm counting on there being more of that in the next book.

I loved Lia. I love how she's determined to make a living for herself and how she manages to outwit the trackers sent after her. I love how she's doesn't hesitate to get her hands dirty and how protective she is of Pauline, her friend. She's also fierce and isn't sitting around waiting to be rescued, but tries do rescue herself. And she's also intelligent and compassionate, so yeah, basically, my kind of girl. I'd want her as a friend if I lived in that world.

And then there's the boys. I'm firmly rooting for one of them because he is awesome and I cannot tell you anything else about it, because it will surely spoil the book for you a bit, but let's just say that I adore him and he is amazing. And also: YES SWOONY TIMES! I loved how their relationship grew and it's just a whole lot of yes.

So this is my kind of book, The Kiss of Deception made my fantasy loving heart very happy! This book came into my life when I needed a distraction from some personal stuff going on and it provided just the thing: a story I could get lost in and a heroine to root and cheer for. Add a swoony boy and you've just made me one very happy girl and I cannot wait for the sequel! There are still more secrets left to discover and more adventures to be had with these characters!

My rating: 5 stars