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 Zoƫ 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