Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title/Author: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, January 28 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle - a shifting maze of magical rooms - enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

There's a lot of hype about this book and while I did enjoy it, I'm not as over the moon about it as some people were. But I'll read anything that's marketed as Beauty and the Beast meets Graceling ;)

Let me start by saying that Nyx is my kind of heroine. Snarky, strong, not too nice to be realistic and someone who actually had the proper training to destroy an evil force. Nyx was awesome. She is conflicted by her feelings towards Ignifex and Shade and in that such a normal teenage girl and it made her even more endearing to me. She can be harsh with her family, but seriously, I wouldn't be nice either if I'd been the one who was being sacrificed because her father made a mistake. I loved that she was flawed, she felt so real!

And IGNIFEX! Man, do I love him! He's such a complex character and it was just amazing watching the interaction between him and Nyx and seeing his story and secrets be revealed! I totally loved the parts with him in it the best! I was just fascinated by his side that made bargains with people that would always end badly for the person involved and the side of him that was trying to protect Nyx. I want to say so many more things but I'm afraid I'll spoil stuff for people, so I won't. Let's just say that I loved him.

So you ask, what made me not as fangirly over this book as I could have been? I mean, the characters were solid. Well, the thing is that for a big part of the book I felt like not much of anything happened. Nyx kept exploring the castle and nothing really got discovered and I was kinda feeling like we were going around in circles without making progress. Also, while I totally loved the magic system, I would have loved for there to have been a little more of an explanation as to how it all worked, because I felt like I was missing parts and didn't fully understand what was going on.

Towards the end, the pace picked up and it was SO GOOD and I just didn't want to put it down and there was shock and horror and me screaming that THINGS HAD TO BE FIXED BECAUSE @#$%#!! So yes, I was completely invested by the end and this made up for the slight slowness that I felt through a large portion of the book. And the writing was beautiful, which goes a long way as well.
I do have to say that for me it didn't feel as much as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but more like a kickass fantasy novel that could easily do without the equation to both the fairytale and Graceling.

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daisy Update (53)

Hi guys!

I feel like I keep saying this, but: it's been a while! At least since my last update here. This has a couple of reasons, but mainly it has to do with that 2014 has been kicking my ass these past couple of weeks and last Friday we got some REALLY good news that I'm excited to share with you, but we'll get to that!

So Christmas was ok, as much as it's my favourite holiday, this year it was just a bit weird because of my parental situation. My mom was away on vacation, so we spent the first day of Christmas with my dad, my brother and his girlfriend were there as well, so it was nice. Just weird having it be five of us instead of six. And my dad asked me to do the grocery shopping because he didn't know what to get, and man, do people go crazy shopping for their Christmas food! I mean, it felt like a jungle in the supermarket! I got out as fast as I could. Which wasn't very fast at all. But we had a nice dinner and played games and it was fun.
Second day of Christmas we spent with the boyfriend's family and ate a LOT of food again. They were two pretty uneventful days and that's ok by me.

We took my dad's dogs home with us, as he was going on vacation as well the day after Christmas, so the days in between Christmas and New Year's Eve were spent walking the dogs and cuddling with them and cleaning up after them ;)
We also had a Christmas dinner the Saturday after Christmas with some of my friends, we do this every year and everyone makes a course, it's always fun and yummy and I love spending time with these girls and they're partners!

We had another book club dinner, which was fun! We went out for tapas, discussed Howl's Moving Castle and a lot of other things. And we had a Secret Santa gift exchange, which was lovely! Debby got me Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons, they both sound amazing, thanks again Debby! I love hanging out with my book club ladies! :)

On New Year's Eve (well the day of New Year's Eve) we heard that there would be people coming to check out the apartment 2 days later, so the boyfriend and I scrambled to get everything in order and cleaned and tucked away, which was pretty stressful and made me not so much in the mood to go out and celebrate that evening. So we did go over to one of my friend's and counted down with them and watched the fireworks from her rooftop terrace and after went over to one of my best friend's house to say happy new year, but after that I didn't feel like going into the city anymore, so the boyfriend and I just went home instead of partying all night long. I can't say I regret this decision.
Especially cause the day after was filled with more cleaning. And after we went over to the boyfriend's grandparents', which was nice.

So I've been pretty stressed out because over the past two weeks we've had people coming to take a look at the apartment 4 times and every time we need to tidy everything up and clean and it just doesn't feel like my house anymore when it's all decluttered. It feels sterile and less like a home and it's been hard on me. And in between we've been trying to rent a house and due to some administrative nonsense we were too late and I was just SO disappointed and frustrated by the whole process and that didn't help. And then I got sick with food poisoning and I've been a bit of an insomniac the past week and just UGH! This is why 2014 has been kicking my ass.

BUT! Here comes the part where I tell you my good news!

We got a call Friday morning saying that someone who'd already signed a contract saying they'd be renting one of the houses I wanted backed out and it was available again! So we have an apointment with the realtor tomorrow evening! I'm SO excited! Now I can start dreaming of our pretty new house that will have a dishwasher and floor heating and just ROOM! And a garden! And a bath! And I just want to start decorating! Also: once I have our new address I can start pre-ordering books again!

I just needed a bit of good news to get me out of this funk and I'm already sleeping better and just looking at the sunny side of things again and just excitement! :)

So how are you all doing? :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review of The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

Title/Author: The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley
Publisher/Date published: Tor Books, January 14th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When the emperor of Annur is murdered, his children must fight to uncover the conspiracy — and the ancient enemy — that effected his death.

Kaden, the heir apparent, was for eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, where he learned the inscrutable discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power which Kaden must master before it’s too late. When an imperial delegation arrives to usher him back to the capital for his coronation, he has learned just enough to realize that they are not what they seem — and enough, perhaps, to successfully fight back.

Meanwhile, in the capital, his sister Adare, master politician and Minister of Finance, struggles against the religious conspiracy that seems to be responsible for the emperor’s murder. Amid murky politics, she’s determined to have justice — but she may be condemning the wrong man.

Their brother Valyn is struggling to stay alive. He knew his training to join the Kettral — deadly warriors who fly massive birds into battle — would be arduous. But after a number of strange apparent accidents, and the last desperate warning of a dying guard, he’s convinced his father’s murderers are trying to kill him, and then his brother. He must escape north to warn Kaden — if he can first survive the brutal final test of the Kettral.

Guys, this book totally made my fantasy loving heart happy! I was a bit hesitant at first, because the summary made me think there would be a lot of stuff going on and I was kinda doubting whether I would be able to keep it all straight, but I shouldn't have worried, cause Brian Staveley did this beautifully and I wasn't confused for a moment!

We follow the emperor's three children: Kaden, Valyn and Adare and I LOVED the switching POV and while I have a slight preference for Valyn's chapters (mainly because he's awesome), I really enjoyed reading about Kaden and Adare as well, though I still feel like I know Adare less than I know the other two. I think the main thing I enjoyed is that all three of them are different but all so interesting! They have had vastly different lives and still they have something in common: they are all brave and willing to fight for what they believe in and I liked it. They're amazing in their own right and I think that they'll be invincible when they put their heads together.

But like I said, my favourite is Valyn. There's something about following a warrior's training, all harsh and brutal and deadly and just AMAZING! OMG, these are the stories I live for! I love seeing someone transform into a fearsome warrior and doing impossible things and just generally wowing me and seeing them work hard for it. I love it. And there's intrigue and excitement and a hint of romance and just YES PLEASE!

I'm fascinated by the world Brian Staveley has created and I just couldn't put this book down, telling myself again and again that I would read 'just one more' chapter before I would go to sleep and gloriously reading into the night way past my bedtime. I regret nothing. Except maybe that now I'll have to wait a whole freaking YEAR before the next book, The Providence of Fire, will be out and I just want to read it NOW!

Like I said: this book made my heart happy. If you like fantasy it will probably make yours happy as well.

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review of Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Title/Author: Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, January 22nd 2013
How I got this book: bought the beautiful finished hardcover!
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her... even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one... With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all


Oh man, how do I even BEGIN to review this book?? I mean, OMG, I just finished it like 15 minutes ago and my feelings are ALL OVER THE PLACE and I just have SO MANY OF THEM!!

So excuse me while I continue to now fangirl all over Boundless!!

Because THIS BOOK! THIS BOOK YOU GUYS! I already knew that I was very much in love with the series and Cynthia Hand's take on angel-lore and Clara and Tucker and even Christian a little, though not as much as Tucker. Did I mention Tucker? I must have, because OMG THAT BOY!
But we'll get to the boy later.

I know that I tend to fangirl over the boys in books, but really, I do very much love Clara and she is what makes this series have such special place in my heart. I love how she's grown and how she's trying so hard to protect everyone and make everyone happy even if it may not always be exactly what makes HER happy. I love how she's standing up to her friends when she feels it's necessary and Angela definitely needed it at one point. And I really enjoyed seeing her develop her powers further with the help of her dad, who is one totally cool angel and who better to be trained by for combat than Michael?

And guys, much as I'm not a fan of Christian, I did like him in Boundless. Though it's hard to root for him when my heart belongs to another boy. I felt like he was just trying SO hard and at one point I felt myself wanting to tell him all Mean Girl style: stop trying to make fetch happen. Or rather: stop trying to make this epic lovestory with Clara happen, ok?
*hides while Team Christian gets their pitchforks ready*
But I do seriously want good things for Christian. I do, he's a good guy and he is really good to Clara and he hasn't had it easy and some pretty heavy stuff happens to him in this book, so wanted to give him a good old hug.

But now let's talk about my boy: TUCKER. That boy. My heart. Just. I just can't. I'm not even sure how to be coherent when I talk about him. He's just such a good guy and it seems that along with pirates, I have a thing for cowboys as well. Or at least for this one cowboy. He is so honest and my heart just wishes he was real. I mean, all the best moments for me were the ones that he was in. It was heartbreaking and amazing and AAAAH JUST ALL THE FEELINGS!!! Tucker, you will always hold a place in my heart, truly. I think I'll make you my man of the month for the next Book Banging post.

I was so, so scared to pick up this book, because I'm terrified of reading the last book in a series and with the whole love triangle, SO MUCH WAS AT STAKE HERE. And also, you know, with the whole Black Wings being after Clara and her Nephilim friends, that too. But I am SO insanely happy that I picked it up, because for me it was the perfect ending to this series! There was a heartstopping moment near the end that had me CRYING SO HARD, man, Cynthia Hand certainly knows how to yank ALL my heartstrings, but now I'm ok again and smiling and hugging the book and just GAH SO MUCH LOVE!

So bottom line: please if you haven't read this series yet, PLEASE give it a try! I absolutely loved it and Cynthia Hand makes the angel lore work! And Boundless is a very satisfying ending to the series, though it's such a bittersweet thing to say goodbye to all these characters that have become my friends over the past 2,5 years!

Also: TUCKER!!

My rating: 5+ stars

Made me crave: seriously, just hand me some chocolate and nobody gets hurt

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review of Warrior by Ellen Oh

Title/Author: Warrior (The Dragon King Chronicles #2) by Ellen Oh
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, December 31st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: First an outcast, now a hero.

But her fight rages on.

Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom — and the crown prince — has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

But it wasn’t enough.

Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others...

Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?


Guys, I really enjoyed Prophecy, the first book in this series, so I was excited to continue the story!

In Warrior, Kira goes looking for the next treasure that she needs to fulfill the prophecy and somehow this quest was lacking urgency for me. I mean, it all goes pretty smoothly for Kira and her friends, aside from some vicious demon attacks. And I know that's a bit of a contradiction in itself, but the thing is that I never for one moment doubted that Kira was going to get the second treasure by the end of the book. Even when she has to do some pretty impossible sounding things, she pulls them off without so much as batting an eyelash it seemed and that kinda annoyed me. Maybe I'm a bit masochistic, but I like seeing the hero/heroine struggle. I like having them run into trouble and having to try again from a different angle. I like when it at least seems to take an effort to get where they should be and it just didn't feel like that for me with this book.

Also, I was a bit fed up with people doubting that Kira is the Dragon Musado because she's a girl and this monk keeps claiming it should be her cousin. Because, well, she hasn't quite proven that she is the real deal? I mean, open your eyes, and stop making me rage at the gender discrimination.

And the love triangle I predicted in my last review blossomed a bit, I'm not sure who I'm rooting for, as both guys have their appeal and both can be boring at times, so the verdict isn't fully formed yet on this one. I also thought it was pretty funny how Kira's brother keeps being overbearing and protective because she comes within 2 feet of a boy, but her going off on impossible missions is ok somehow. Yes, a brother's logic, it's a beautiful thing.

I'm still intrigued by the world that Ellen Oh has built and I like that it's different in setting from the more traditional fantasy books, and in the end the dragon did come around, which was kinda cool, only it bugged me how easily he was defeated at the time for all the big badassness he was supposed to be. Also, the halfbreed demons totally creeped me out! I mean, that was really disturbing! But in a good way.

The thing is, there were some things that annoyed me, but for a big part of the book, I was a bit bored. I didn't feel the excitement of the quest or the high stakes that were there but didn't feel like high stakes. But as it did end on a sort of cliffhanger, I'll probably be picking up the next book when it comes out cause I'd like to know how it ends.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review of The Scandal In Kissing an Heir by Sophie Barnes

Title/Author: The Scandal In Kissing an Heir (At the Kingsborough Ball #2) by Sophie Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Avon, January 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: He is the next Marquis of Wolvington...
She is a lady with nothing but beauty and wits...
Together they share a forbidden kiss.

Lady Rebecca is determined to find a husband on her own terms, rather than marry any of the aging suitors her greedy aunt and uncle foist upon her. Her chance comes at the Kingsborough Ball, where she meets several potential grooms... yet no one compares to the dangerously handsome Daniel Neville.

Daniel Neville, notorious rake and heir to the Marquis of Wolvington, is in need of a bride, but finding a lady who’s willing to accept his past, is an entirely different matter. When he spies a stunning woman across the ballroom, Daniel believes he’s found her... until scandal erupts around them. How can he convince Rebecca to take a chance on him... and on the love that could be theirs forever after?

I was so hoping to love this book, because I've been on a mediocre-book streak for a while now and I just wanted to swoon. And maybe I expected too much from this book, since I did enjoy it, but it didn't have that wow-factor that I was looking for.

Rebecca is a pretty interesting character, she's been pretending to be mad for 2 years in order to escape an arranged marriage by her aunt and uncle. I don't think I could do that, I mean, I think I'd go crazy for real if I had to keep that up. And I'm actually kinda disappointed we didn't actually get to see her pretend to be crazy, because that had the potential to be truly awesome. I get that she wasn't so ready to trust Daniel, but this constant thinking he wouldn't be faithful to her was a bit annoying to be honest. I mean, the guy was really making an effort and she's determined to think he'll go off with other women.

Daniel has a bit of a hero complex. I mean, he's gotten it into his head that he needs to save Rebecca from her aunt and uncle based on one meeting (and her being shot, but that's beside the point) and he's ready to marry her to do so. And I know that he was in need of a wife, but still, tying your life to someone you hardly know always seems a bit not so well thought out to me. But I did think he's a good guy and that he really wants to make something of his life with Rebecca, he just doesn't really know how to do it and messes up in the process a couple of times.

There was a dirty old man, some playing detective themselves, a whole lot of society snubbing and while it was entertaining, I wanted to really FEEL the romance and the drama and it just didn't quite do it for me. Sometimes I wanted to shake some sense into the characters. Sometimes I was just shaking my head. But it was enjoyable enough that I kept reading and I was interested to see how Daniel and Rebecca would get out of the mess they'd partly created themselves, so it was a decent read, but not exceptional.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review of Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed

Title/Author: Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton #2) by Leila Rasheed
Publisher/Date published: Disney-Hyperion, January 7th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: One house, two worlds... book two in our sumptuous and enticing YA series about the servants and gentry at Somerton Court.

A house divided...

London is a whirl of balls and teas, alliances and rivalries. Rose has never felt more out of place. With the Season in full swing, she can't help but still feel a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then Rose meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard the rumors about Ross's sordid past just like everyone else has. Yet he alone treats her as a friend. Rose knows better than to give her heart to an aristocrat with such a reputation, but it may be too late.

Ada should be happy. She is engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? Even if she hated Lord Fintan, she would have no choice but to go through with the marriage. Every day a new credit collector knocks on the door of their London flat, demanding payment for her cousin William's expenditures. Her father's heir seems determined to bring her family to ruin, and only a brilliant marriage can save Somerton Court and the Averleys' reputation.

Meanwhile, at Somerton, Sebastian is out of his mind with worry for his former valet Oliver, who refuses to plead innocent to the murder charges against him - for a death caused by Sebastian himself. Sebastian will do whatever he can to help the boy he loves, but his indiscretion is dangerous fodder for a reporter with sharp eyes and dishonorable intentions.

The colorful cast of the At Somerton series returns in this enthralling sequel about class and fortune, trust and betrayal, love and revenge.


YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! I totally love this series!! It's historical romance in YA form and I LOOOOOOOVE IT! It's the thing I've been wanting for ages and which never seemed to fully happen and I'm JUST SO HAPPY!

I was sick when I was reading this and it was so good that it managed to distract me from feeling wretched. That is how good this book is.

There's a whole bunch of characters to keep track off and at times I was just trying to keep up with the constantly changing POV, but after a while I settled into it and I was ok. I think the only thing that I can say that isn't praise for Diamonds and Deceit is that I would have liked it even better if it had focused on maybe 2 or 3 of the characters instead of ALL of them in turns. Though it did offer some perspective that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten. So I think I'm actually ok with it after all.

Same as with Cinders and Sapphires, Rose, Ada and Sebastian are the characters I liked best. They are just so full of passion and spunk, though Ada lost some of it due to her situation in Diamonds and Deceit. But by the end she picked it up again and I was cheering her on towards the end! I even started liking Charlotte, because while she may not be expressing her feelings in the best way and is being kind of mean, towards the end she redeems herself and I love seeing a bit of growth in a character.

And man, while I wasn't a big fan of Laurence Fintan in Cinders and Sapphires, Diamonds and Deceit made me REALLY annoyed with him. I mean, seriously?? SERIOUSLY? That guys just does something that makes me want to bitchslap him and made all my douche alarms go off. Just. UGH.
On the other hand, there was this other guy that I could totally swoon over, so my little romantic heart was happy.

Leila Rasheed definitely does dramatic the way I like it and there's a whole lot of stuff going down and OMG THOSE ENDINGS! That's right, multiple endings for multiple storylines and some of them made me want to scream and some made me smile and pretty much all of them make me wish for the next book in the series! And also: really worried because it is 1913 and WW I is on its way and EEEP!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review of Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Title/Author: Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
Publisher/Date published: Amulet Books, January 7th 2014
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland — where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


So do you guys remember how much I LOVED Splinterd?? Cause I have so much love for that book, it's not even funny. And I was beyond exstatic to hear that it would be a TRILOGY instead of a standalone and I would be getting the answers to the questions I still had at the end of Splintered. So obviously I was doing happy dances when my pre-order came early!

And you guys, A.G. Howard did not disappoint with Unhinged! It was wonderful and mad and twisty and I just wanted to ignore EVERYTHING and read this whole book in one sitting. Alas, there were some things that demanded my attention, but this meant I could live in the amazing world A.G. Howard has created for several days, so it was all good in the end.

Alyssa is still her quirky, off-beat self, and I loved seeing the struggle between her human-side and her netherling-side and the pull she feels towards both Jeb and Morpheus. Well, she's not really fighting the pull to Jeb and while I did really love him in Splintered, I think my heart belongs to Morpheus in the end. There's just something about that boy that makes me smile and want to hug him and wants to shove Alyssa towards him so they can be happy in Wonderland together! For all of his trying to hide it, he's actually doing everything he can to help Alyssa and I love him for it.

There are so many secrets, secrets being kept by Alyssa's mother, by Morpheus, by Alyssa herself... It's an intricate web that obviously would come crashing down at some point and I loved seeing it unwind. There were some shocking revelations and I was SO feeling for Alyssa! It's all such a beautiful mess!
Also, I totally love all the Wonderland madness! It's dramatic and at times sort of straight forward and logical and at other times utter madness and it just makes my heart happy. I love the jewels and the wings and the talking insects and just YES!

I liked that we got to see so much more of Alyssa's homelife and while her dad annoyed me at times, he's actually a really good father and truly cares for Alyssa and her mother. And it was good to see Alyssa be so protective of her 'real world' friends and family and how scared she was as Wonderland came dripping into it.

What I'm trying to say: I freaking loved Unhinged and OMG THAT ENDING! AAAAH! I CANNOT DEAL WITH THIS WAITING FOR THE THIRD BOOK! So if you haven't started this series yet: you should. Please. Because it is that amazing.

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Haul (15)

Hi guys! I hope you're all having a relaxing Sunday! Mine will be filled with asignements and making a presentation for Wednesday... *sigh* But the sun is shining, I have pizza for dinner and avocado dip to go with my chips and a reward plan that involves a book and some me-time, so life is pretty decent at the moment :)

Book Haul

Please keep in mind that this is 1,5 months worth of books for me. So my haul is a teensy bit epic :)

-A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: Even after the mindfuck that was More Than This and not being really sure how I feel about that book, even 2 months later, I'm willing to give Patrick Ness another try.
-City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare: so I keep hearing both really good and really bad things about this series, but I'm still determined to give it a try and I needed something to add to my order to get free shipping ;)
-Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes: I haven't started the first book in this series yet, but it sounds like something I will LOVE so I pre-ordered the sequel.
-Altered by Jennifer Rush: I hear REALLY good things about this book!
-Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger: this will either be a complete hit or a complete miss. I'm hoping for the first.
-No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean: Ah, Sarah MacLean, your historical romances never fail to make me swoon and have all the feelings and I have no doubt that No Duke Goes Unpunished will be just as amazing as the other books I've read by you! There really is no good excuse as to why I haven't read this yet except that I've been crazy busy and stressed!
-Pawn by Aimée Carter: I wanted a shiny finished copy because it sounds REALLY good!
-The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott: basically I bought this because I'd been eyeing it for a while and Daph said it was good :)
-Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby: this sounds really cute and the title even made my boyfriend smile, so obviously I need to read this!
-This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: I have endless love for this book and needed to own a copy becaus I need this book to physically be in my life.
-The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: AAAH! THEY ARE SO PRETTY!! I already owned a set of this series, but EVERYONE has already borrowed them and not all the borrowers are as gentle with my books as I would like them to be... Nobody but me is touching these beauties!
-Vicious by V.E. Schwab: I adored The Near Witch and am excited to see what happens when Victoria Schwab switches genres!
-The Rogue's Princess by Eve Edwards: I read the first two books in this series and they were really cute YA historical romance, so I figured I'd complete my collection.
-Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence: I've been eyeing this for 2 years and it was a total steal on Amazon, so...
-Unhinged by A.G. Howard: OMG, YOU GUYS! My pre-order came in early!!! EEEEE! I finished it this morning and have so many feelings!
-Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: this was a really cute story! I think I would have loved it even more if I'd read it as a kid, but still really entertaining!
-Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker: I LOVED Unbreak My Heart and am dying to read this!

-Het Menselijk Lichaam by Paolo Giordano: wow, I just noticed that this doesn't even have an English translation yet! I was really impressed with The Solitude of Prime Numbers, so of course I wanted his newest release as well! Got this as a Sinterklaas gift from the boyfriend's mother :)

We had a Book Club Secret Santa and I got these two from Debby, THANK YOU! :D
-Cinder by Marissa Meyer: If I read this everyone can stop screaming at me? All my book club girls love this series, so I'm gonna give it a try and you can all say I told you so if I end up loving it :)
-The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: which Debby got me because I am 'into epic lovestories' AND SHE'S TOTALLY RIGHT SO YAYYY!! :D

I bought this with a gift card I got for Sinterklaas :)
-Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella: I LOVE Sophie Kinsella's standalones and I hope this will me no exception!

Egalleys for review:
-(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn: This book sounds absolutely creepy and amazing!
-The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones: this sounds so good and if it's as charming as Howl's Moving Castle was I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this very much!
-The Last Best Kiss by Claira LaZebnik: I really enjoyed her first two books and I'm forever in for a retelling of Persuasion!
-Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff: this has the potential to be AMAZING so obviously I want to read it!
-After the End by Amy Plum: I loved Die For Me and am embarassed to say I haven't read the rest of the series, but I adored Amy Plum's writing and this new series sounds really exciting!
-Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley: I can't imagine my mom talking about embarassing childhood moments on a blog. And I want to! Imagine it. Not live it.
-The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings: OMG SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!
-Wicked Games by Sean Olin: I'm always intrigued by a tale of revenge.
-Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike: an ORACLE! I AM SO IN!
-The Eighth Day by Dianna K. Salerni: doesn't everybody wish for an eighth day to the week? ;)
-The Falconer by Elizabeth May: paranormal historical fiction YES! This combines two of my favourite genres :D
-Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell: I read the Vespertine AGES ago and really liked it! It feels as if I've been waiting on this book forever, as I added it to my TBR shelf 2,5 years ago!
-We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: OMG, SO EXCITED!!! I've heard people RAVING about this and did several happy dances when I got the approval e-mail! :D
-The Here and Now by Ann Brashares: so I adore her for her Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books and this sounds AMAZING as well! And I'm seriously in love with that cover, it is so pretty!
-Broken Fences, Hearts, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn: this sounds like a super cute summer romance and I love those :)
-Royally Lost by Angie Stanton: so princes are running around in the wild and I want to read about them!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Review of Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Title/Author: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1) by Ruth Warburton
Publisher/Date published: Hodder Children's Books, January 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Look at that cover. Isn't it gorgeous?? I was expecting some epic witchy goodness from this book and I'm sad to say that the book itself didn't quite live up to that pretty cover.

I came SO close to DNF-ing this. I really can't deal with animals dying or animal cruelty in books/movies/real life and this book had some brutal stuff in it. It put me off my chocolate, which pretty much NOTHING can do. But seriously, if I could unread some of the parts in this book, I would, cause I think those images in my head scarred me for life. And I hate it when this kind of stuff is used to get my feelings going, cause it will, but in a really bad way.

So the concept of the Malleus Maleficorum is pretty interesting, other than that we basically get no details on it whatsoever and the only thing that's clear is that they're a bunch of guys who REALLY don't like witches and want all of them dead. I could get why Luke would join, because his parents were killed by a witch, but why would you join something you yourself don't really know much about? But it did make for some high stakes with the whole thing that he had to kill the witch he pointed in the book in a month or he'd be killed himself.

I couldn't really bring myself to care for either Luke or Rosa, they were both a little dull. Luke is confused and doesn't know whether to kiss or kill Rosa, but then he goes and tries to kill her anyway and STUPID BOY HURTS AN ANIMAL! UGH! That lost him all sympathy I could have mustered for him.
Rosa just wasn't a consistent character. She's supposed to be a really powerful witch, but she doesn't have much of a spine and doesn't stand up for herself or use her magic when she's being beaten. I mean, seriously? She also mirrored my reaction when she sees someone beating a puppy to death and then she goes around and thinks he may not be so bad, WTF?? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?? There's a special place in hell for people who do stuff like that! And then she goes off on a hunt, I mean, HELLO, foxes are animals too you know? I was just not digging it and it didn't make any sense.

Also, I couldn't get behind the romance. I mean, there was just an "I love you" out of the blue and I was just staring at it to see if it would go away because it felt so wrong! There was no real build up or anything and BOOM there it was. And I didn't believe it.

For all that it is about witches and people wanting to kill witches, there wasn't all that much magic in Witch Finder. I would have loved for there to be a bit more, because the parts that I did see seemed pretty interesting.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that Witch Finder had some really awful parts and other parts that were just meh. I'd been so looking forward to reading this book and was pretty disappointed.

My rating: 1,5 stars