Friday, February 27, 2015

Review of When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Publisher/Date published:
How I got this book:
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again... until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

So I was ready to LOVE When Joss Met Matt, cause my friend Debby keeps raving about it. But I'm sad to say that I was not nearly as enthusiastic about it as she was (please don't kill me Debby)...

I love a good fluffly contemporary, and New Adult explores a period in someone's life that we don't really get to see much of: college. I LOVE stories set in college, cause it's all about discovering who you are on your own, without the constant presence of your parents and parties and dorms and just YES. But I felt that When Joss Met Matt wasn't so much a fluffy contemporary as it was a sequence of random hook-ups.

It might be due to the fact that I never really cared much for Joss. I did like Matt, but Joss was just a bit too crass and I didn't really get her reasoning behind a lot of things and there was just basically nothing I liked about her except that she liked animals. Or says she likes animals. Cause she was just not a good cat mom. I mean, seriously, she's constantly annoyed by her cat and shoving him out of the way and DUH, cats respond negatively to that. I might be a little oversensitive about this cause I have a cute kitty myself, but it really bothered me that she was constantly talking about *having* to pet her cat cause he wouldn't stop *bothering* her until she did and I was like, yeah, you just got home, of course the kitty wants some attention.

I did like Matt, he seemed like a decent human being and just such a guy, I could understand Joss falling for him in the end. But he was being a bit of a douche at the end, I know he was hurt, but still. I guess that I just didn't like that they kept going back for each other for SEVEN years to have sorbet sex, with the best reason for them not being together being that Joss thinks Matt is too nice? I mean, what? I'm not saying that just not having those kinds of feelings for someone isn't a legitimate reason to be together, but she obviously thinks he's attractive enough to have sex with him and he's one of her best friends. I could have gotten behind this if they'd just been friends without the physical contact, but this just felt off.

The back and forth between the present and their whole history of hook-ups also didn't really work for me, it just felt like one long line of bad relationships interspaced with sex with each other. I never got the fuzzies about them together, I didn't FEEL that they were falling for each other, or at least not from Joss' side of things, which was the POV. I also didn't like that aside from this, we never really got to see much of their lives. I mean, how are they doing in college and hanging out with friends aside from as props for their relationships. There was nothing about either of them just being a person and I would have liked that.

I'm very disappointed to say that I just wasn't into When Joss Met Matt, even though I wanted to love it REALLY badly, I just did not like this and didn't get my fluffy on as I wanted to.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review of Remember by Eileen Cook

Title/Author: Remember by Eileen Cook
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, February 24th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Harper is used to her family being hounded by protesters. Her father runs the company that trademarked the "Memtex" procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn't be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life...

I was really excited to start Remember, because the brain and memory are fascinating to me. I however did not really appreciate the execution of Remember.

The concept of softening your memories so you retain them but they don't hurt you anymore. It's both scary and something I can imagine in the treatment of PTSS patients. So I was a bit disappointed that while it's a factor in the story, there's not really an explanation for how they found this and how it all works and everything that I was wondering about. So that was a bit of a let down.

I didn't much care for Harper, she was an ok main character, but I was just not connecting with her. I never really got a good feel of her personality and she was both taking action and being a damsel in distress and I just wasn't really feeling it. And I get that she needed a reason to get the treatment, but I didn't like that she would rather not feel anything about the horse who'd her best friend for years than work through the grief. I appreciated that she was this devastated by the loss of an animal who'd been close to her since she'd been a child, but it felt a bit like a lack of character to go ahead with the procedure.

I also wasn't feeling the romance, I mean, I didn't get why they liked each other and there's some telling instead of showing me they developed a relationship, they'd apparantly met for coffee multiple times off-page. I mean, I get that they could be attracted to each other, but there was an I love you straight out of nowhere and I was like WTF??? I didn't get why they would risk all of what they did for each other.

I did like the whole intrigue with Harper's parents, that was interesting, but all of it feels a bit unresolved. I mean, Harper finds out what's been going on, but they don't really do anything about it except for that and her dad just seems awful and UGH! I felt that in the end the only thing that was resolved was Harper getting together with the new guy and everything else was still blah.

All in, I thought this was an interesting concept, but the execution failed to impress me.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mini-Reviews (4): Just Like the Movies, The Queen of the Tearling, Through to You

Title/Author: Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Publisher/Date published: Walker Books for Young Readers, July 22nd 2014
How I got this book: bought it

I really enjoyed Just Like the Movies! It was nice to see the developing friendship between Marijke and Lily, with some bumps in the road. I did very much like how they worked together and the shenanigans they get up to were fun and overall this was just a really cute read. Obviously some of their ideas were a bit misguided, but I can lovingly roll my eyes at that, and it's all in the name of love, right?
This was pretty much a perfect read for Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon, it was light and fluffy and just really cute!

My rating: 4 stars

Title/Author: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen
Publisher/Date published: Harper, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

The Queen of the Tearling is a book that has been getting mixed reviews, but I really liked it, though I can understand it not being for everybody. I really liked that Kelsea was raised far away from everything and actually has a reason to have all these skills that allow her to take care of herself, as opposed to the MC living a pampered life and still somehow being able to survive in the wild. I liked her and her determination to be a good queen.
I was a bit unsure of the exact setting at first, it feels medieval, but they also have J.K. Rowling's books on the shelves, so I'm guessing some distant future in which we've gone a bit back technology-wise? I don't know, but I liked it.

There's lots of intrigue and I still have a LOT of questions about how everything works with the magic system and who the Fetch is and how he's going to play his part in everything, cause he is one intriguing character! There's the possibility of a romance, but it's not there yet in the Queen of the Tearling and while I do enjoy a good romance, I actually liked that, because it could have easily been out of place.
I'm really excited to be reading the sequel soonish, cause I can't wait to find out what happens next with Kelsea and everyone!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Title/Author: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

I usually really like Lauren Barnholdt's novels, but this one just didn't work for me. I really did not like Penn, the boy I was supposed to swoon over, who is basically just arrogant and annoying and rude and also very insensitive. I was actually rooting for Harper to go and find some other boy to fall in love with, because the way Penn was treating her was just wrong and every girl deserves better than that. If he's so in to her, he should get his act together and actually show that he cares about her. And I get that he doesn't want to get his hopes up about seeing another doctor about his baseball injury, but SERIOUSLY dude, stop being an ungrateful ass, ok?
So Penn didn't work for me, but neither did Harper. I did think that she deserved better, but she wasn't a very interesting character either and to just forgive him every time he put on his jerkface just does not make me like her.

I'm sad to say that I really didn't like Through to You very much and would recommend Sometimes It Happens or Fake me a Match instead.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Hi guys!

I'm in the middle of nightshift weekend of DOOM, so I'm a bit of a zombie right now. I'm glad tonight will be my last nightshift for now and last night was really quiet, but that made the night last FOREVER, these 13 hour shifts are murder.

So I hope you're all having a better weekend than I am! Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for me that tonight will not be filled with drunken people getting hurt ;)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review of I Loved a Rogue by Katharine Ashe

Title/Author: I Loved a Rogue (The Prince Catchers #3) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon, February 24th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: In the third in Katharine Ashe's Prince Catchers series, the eldest of three very different sisters must fulfill a prophecy to discover their birthright. But if Eleanor is destined to marry a prince, why can't she resist the scoundrel who seduced her?

She can pour tea, manage a household, and sew a modest gown. In short, Eleanor Caulfield is the perfect vicar's daughter. Yet there was a time when she'd risked everything for a black-eyed gypsy who left her brokenhearted. Now he stands before her — dark, virile, and ready to escort her on a journey to find the truth about her heritage.

Leaving eleven years ago should have given Taliesin freedom. Instead he's returned to Eleanor, determined to have her all to himself, tempting her with kisses and promising her a passion she's so long denied herself. But if he was infatuated before, he's utterly unprepared for what will happen when Eleanor decides to abandon convention—and truly live.

So guys, I totally LOVE Katharine Ashe's writing! I've swooned at her books before, but I haven't been having the best luck with The Prince Catchers series, never getting that stomach-clenchingly goodness that I did have with Captured by a Rogue Lord and How To Be a Proper Lady. But I Loved a Rogue brought the amazing again for me!

I've been hoping we'd get to Eleanor and Taliesin's story, because those two just intrigued me from the start! There's something about a love that society will not approve of that manages to get my attention every time. And Eleanor and Taliesin both make for REALLY interesting characters!
Eleanor is struggling with the low expectations people have of her, of her health. Ok, she was really sick when she was 14. It's been 13 years, let it go people! Seriously, it's not like she's going to perish from normal activities. It was really annoying to me, I cannot imagine actually living through that and having people treat you like some fragile thing. Because she's not. I loved how Eleanor has this desire to be free and go on an adventure and wants at least a taste of life as it could be. She's strong and intelligent and daring and I liked her very much.

Taliesin is AMAZING, but he does need to learn how to communicate, OMG, he broods beautifully, but then he doesn't really talk about the important things and I just wanted to shake him! But he cares deeply for Eleanor and her family and would do anything for her, while also have a lot of self preservation in place and I could relate to why he acted the way he did.

Together these two just have this amazing chemistry and I totally loved it! They share a real history, hate-to-love on Eleanor's side and just constantly challenging each other to be better, study harder. I loved that this just started up again once they were reunited after 11 years and OMG I cannot imagine the heartbreak those two have been carrying with them for 11 years! I mean, seriously! It was beautifully done by Katharine Ashe and I just had tears in my eyes at their misunderstandings and then there were KISSES and just YES! So much YES!

It is a struggle for them to get it together, but it totally worked for me and I was just basically hissing at everyone who interrupted me while reading I Loved a Rogue, because I really did not want to leave this story because they HAD TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT.
The only thing that made me roll my eyes towards the end is that basically the whole series would not have existed in this way if someone close to the sisters had just told them who their parents were because he knew all along *facepalm*. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? But I did love the scheming that had gone on behind the scenes to get Eleanor and Taliesin together, that was awesome.

The facepalming bit did not take away from my enjoyment of I Loved a Rogue in the least, it was just so, SO good and I'd recommend it to fans of historical romance or any kind of romance cause it's awesome!

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Title/Author: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1) by Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, February 24th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

A Wicked Thing was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2015 and I'm sad to say that for me it didn't live up to all these expectations.

I LOVE fairytales and fairytale retellings and actually seeing what Sleeping Beauty would do after being woken up by a prince who's supposed to be her 'true love', but in fact is a stranger and OMG how did I not think about this as a kid? I mean, it sounds romantic and all, but WTF, how is it true love if they haven't even spoken once?? So I was all excited to start it, cause this is right up my alley and the premise is awesome and I was waiting for it to be awesome, but instead it was kinda... boring.

It is entirely possible that I'm not voicing a popular opinion here, but I was slightly bored while reading this. I was intrigued enough to keep going, because I believed it would get better at some point and it wasn't BAD, but it just wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. There is something about Rhiannon Thomas' writing that made me stick with A Wicked Thing, but as I'm looking back at the plot and what exactly happened, I'm justnot that impressed. It was a whole lot of Aurora sitting around, feeling sorry for herself and not doing anything about it. I mean, up until the end, it seems like she's waiting for a knight in shining armor to come save her and that's not my kind of heroine. I get that it's a whole lot to adjust to, waking up 102 years later and your whole family being gone and the world being significantly different from what you remember, I get it. But I had a problem with the lack of personality Aurora was showing.

I didn't really care for any of the 3 (yes 3, I know) love interests either. Well, one of them is slightly interesting. The prince was a bit bland and the guy in the tavern seemed interesting, but that didn't last. I just felt that they and most of the other characters were two-dimensional and from a real fairytale I get that, but from this retelling that should go more in depth about everything, I had expected something better. I mean, someone died and I was like 'eh', while I should have been heartbroken.

But like I said, it wasn't all bad. I am interested in finding out where we go from here, as Aurora finally started showing some spirit at the end. The hint of magic we see in Aurora is intriguing as well and there are probably plots within plots that we haven't seen yet, so I may pick up the next book in this series, but I just didn't love this as I'd hoped I would.

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Problems

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by my other blog The Broke and the Bookish

"I got 99 problems, but a book ain't one", right? Well...

1. TBR guilt: I have a huge amount of TBR guilt. I mean, I LOVE going into the room that has been turned into my personal library, but then all these books are STARING at me, making me feel guilty that I haven't read them yet and it's ridiculous, because I bought these books myself (or other people bought them for me) and I shouldn't feel this bad about having them just sitting there on the shelf, but I do!

2. The wait between books in a series: OMG, the waiting on some books is KILLING ME! I mean, the third book in The Kingkiller Chronicles anyone? I know it will be a thing of beauty when it gets released and it will be totally worth the wait, but I just cannot help wishing sometimes books would just hurry up and get here.

3. Moving: I love all my books, but I physically own over 900 of them (OMG, I cannot believe I own this many books!), this number was significantly lower a year ago when we moved to our new home and it was a pain to pack and carry and then unpack them again. I cannot imagine ever moving them myself again, I think we'll need to hire people.

4. Being a book hoarder: this basically goes along with #1 and 3, but I just cannot help myself when I see a shiny new release and I just buy it and it makes me feel happy, so I'm by now means going to stop doing this, but it does leave me with a lot of unread books and whole series that I own and have not started the first book from yet... And I know this is such a first world problem.

5. So many books, so little time: I WANT to read all the books, but there are not enough hours in the day and sometimes people expect me to leave my house and do significantly less important things like work or socialize.

6. Book hangover: This is not a problem in itself, cause it means I LOVED LOVED LOVED the book I was reading, but having ALL THE FEELINGS over a book and then being forced to spend time with people who have not experienced the same heartbreak or whatever is SO HARD. And sometimes I just cannot form a coherent sentence and it just seems like the world should just stop what it's doing and revel in the glory of the book with me, but a lot of the people I hang out with aren't big readers and they just don't understand.

7. Scaring people in restaurants: I'm part of the best book club ever and we meet once a month in a restaurant to discuss the book we read and EVERYTHING else and basically scare the other customers with our fangirling.

8. Judging people because they read Fifty Shades of Grey: I cannot help it ok? I'm a big believer of 'it doesn't matter what you read, as long as you're reading', but this goes for any book EXCEPT Fifty Shades of Grey. I even told one of my friends last Friday that I was judging her a bit for having read it (maybe this is a bit too much honesty?).

9. When the covers in a series don't match: Seriously, I HATE it when my covers don't match! I mean, it's one thing if I was zoning off in my happy book buying bliss and didn't realise I accidentally bought the wrong one, but I get so angry over publishers switching cover designs halfway through a series, because UGH! I have been shelving over money to buy the pretty covers and now you're telling me the last book will have a different cover?? And obviously I could just buy the first 2 with the new cover, but I don't really want two sets of everything. Though I do do this with books I absolutely loved.

10. Angst over books you lend to people: I worry about my books when someone borrows them. I even worry about them when the boyfriend is the one reading them, because a lot of people just aren't careful with them and just please don't damage my pretty books! This doesn't happen when I lend books to my book club friends, cause I know they treat books with the same respect I do. This also goes the other way, if I borrow a book from someone I keep angsting over accidentally spilling something on it, even though this NEVER happens.

So those are some of my bookish problems, any we have in common?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review of Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Title/Author: Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie
Publisher/Date published: Del Rey, February 17th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.

Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.

Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.

She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.

Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.

Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.

And weapons are made for one purpose.

Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?


I totally LOVED Half a King, the first book in this series, so I did many happy dances when I was approved for Half the World, and it absoluted lived up to the high expectations I had!

It was amazing to dive back into the world of the Shattered Sea, Joe Abercrombie just has this way of describing things and people that gets excited about it and the story and just a whole lot of YES! I have some serious love for Yarvi, the main character in Half a King, and even compared him to Tyrion, who is one of my favourite characters ever, so that's some high praise for you right there. I was a bit sad that Yarvi isn't the main character anymore, but I was very pleased with his two replacements as storytellers. Both Thorn and Brand are interesting and amazing and managed to get me to root for them as well.

Thorn is very strong, physically and mentally. She's smart and determined and she might be rash at times, but I kinda loved that about her. Sometimes she jumps into situations without really thinking them through and it makes for entertaining reading. I loved how there's some real character growth with her, she learns that there can be more than one side to everything and she learns to make friends and I loved seeing her go through all of it. And how she grows to appreciate the love her mother tries to give her, they're both so different and really do not see eye to eye on a LOT of things that are important to them.
Brand is basically just a really good guy and he actually reminded me a bit of Neville Longbottom, he doesn't always make the easy choices, but he does try to do what's right. And I totally loved the awkward, slow-burn romance that developed between him and Thorn, it was just adorable. There's some hate-to-love going on and it made me smile.

The story moves along and I was excited to see more of the other countries in Yarvi's quest for allies against the High King. There's so much intrigue and plotting and ministers basically seem to have more power than the actual leaders of the countries and it's AWESOME! The only thing that would have made all this better is if we could have been seeing this from Yarvi's POV, because he's just this master plotter and I love diving into clever people's heads.
The stakes are very high and OMG, there was just all this excitement and two VERY edge-of-my-seat fighting scenes featuring Thorn being a badass and I was really not sure about the outcome, because I can easily imagine Joe Abercrombie killing off a main character, so nobody feels like they're safe.

I loved reconnecting with old friends from Half a King and getting to know a whole new set of new characters for me to love, flaw and all. A special shout out goes to Skifr, because she was crazy and awesome! I'm thinking Joe Abercrombie has some excitement in store for us in the final book in this series, I can't wait to get my hands on it!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Off to celebrate carnaval!

I'm just popping in to say hi and have a great weekend! In Holland we have this thing called carnaval, it's basically people wearing costumes and really bad music and parades and everything and it's just a whole lot of fun, so that's what I'm doing this weekend :) I got an owl onesie, and it's SO comfy!

But I'm off, this is me today:

Hope you're all having a great weekend as well!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mini-Reviews (3): Snow Like Ashes, A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin, I Adored a Lord

So ever since June of 2014 I've been failing at writing reviews for the books I read. I know. And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf.

Title/Author: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, October 14th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: The Kingdom of Winter's magic has been stolen and Meira and a smal group of remaining Winterians are trying to get it and the kingdom back.

This is one of those times that I kick myself for not reviewing a book right after I finish reading it, because I loved Snow Like Ashes, but as it's been 4 months, I can't seem to find the right words to convey to you just how much. It could also be the effect of having just worked out for the second time this week after ages of vegging on the couch.

Anyway: I did really enjoy Snow Like Ashes, I felt it was a very strong start to this series and I'm hoping to see even more action in the sequel! I liked Meira, our main character. She struggles with the boundaries the leader of her group places on her, because she's just so ready to fight for her kingdom. She's fierce and determined and I liked it.
I also really liked the worldbuilding with the different traits for different kingdoms and OMG, the bad guys from Spring were scary! I mean, seriously, they totally gave me the creeps.

There's a love triangle, but it didn't really bother me, as one part of the love triangle didn't really feel like he was competing and yeah, I like Theron better. I could see the twist coming, but I didn't mind and I could see how Meira didn't see it.
There are a lot of complicated relationships and high stakes and I'm still trying to figure out the magic system, but Ice Like Fire, the second book in this series is definitely one of my most wanted books for this year!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Title/Author: A Good Debutante's Guide To Ruin (The Debutante File #1) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 29th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought my own copy
Plot in one sentence:: A duke gets his step-sister that he hasn't seen for 10 years dumped on him and things the best way to get rid of her is to marry her off, obviously sparks fly between them.

So Sophie Jordan is one of my favourite historical romance authors. I LOVE her books and always know that she'll bring the tension and the sexy. I enjoyed A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin a bit less than her other books, but that still amounts to a whole lot of liking it!

I liked Rosalie, obviously she is a bit naive, but I mean, in that time period I think they kept the girls naive on purpose. I liked that she's not just taking everything Declan tries to arrange and goes along with it, she's all about discovering for herself what she wants out of love. Going to Sodom, a private club where people go to live out sexual fantasies might not really be the best place to find it, but in the name of educating oneself it's not the worst choice she could have made. And of course the gentleman that gets picked by the hostess of said private club to share her first kiss is Declan.
And I have to say that I also really liked Declan, he's got a sense of responsibility and is just fully male and I can't help myself over that. The fact that they're stepbrother and -sister never bothered me, because they're not actually related by blood and haven't grown up together, so it's not like they're truly siblings.

I do very much dislike Rosalie's mother, she's hateful and selfish and just plain nasty. I really think people like that should be forbidden from ever having children. Seriously.
But overall, I did very much enjoy A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin, but it wasn't edge of my seat reading like I normally get from Sophie Jordan.

My rating: 4,5 stars

Title/Author: I Adored a Lord (The Prince Catchers #2) by Katharine Ashe
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 29th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: Lots of scheming in order to get a prince's hand in marriage, only what if you fall for his half-brother instead?

A lot of times I don't really care for the plot that revolves around figuring out who murdered someone, I do like playing Clue, but I like my romance a little less tempered by large amounts of blood and corpses. But Katharine Ashe really managed to fit both in and make me enjoy it! I really enjoy her writing style and have only once not enjoyed one of her novels, which as it happens was the first book in this series, so I was really happy that I Adored a Lord worked for me!

Ravenna and Vitor (what even are those names) are both very likable main characters, they work together, they have great chemistry and I just lol-ed at the way they met in the barn for the first time. I loved that Ravenna has such a love of animals and her relationship with her employers was heart-warming.
Basically, this was just cute, fun and full of that tension I love, so I'd recommend picking it up if you like the genre!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review of The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Title/Author: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Publisher/Date published: Harper Teen, February 10th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

Guys, I don't read a lot of books primarily dealing with death, suicide or illness. I get a lot of that in the field I work in and when I read, I mostly just want to get lost in a world that is nothing like the things I see every day. But because Cynthia Hand is amazing and I absolutely loved her Unearthly series, I was intrigued and picked up The Last Time We Say Goodbye. And I remembered why I love Cynthia Hand's writing so much!

Yes, The Last Time We Say Goodbye deals with the aftermath of a suicide. Lex's brother Ty killed himself and we see her dealing and everyone around her dealing (or not dealing) with it. Suicide is a hard subject to write about in my opinion and I just want to give kudos to Cynthia Hand for letting me truly feel everything without it being only dark and angsty. Am I making sense? Obviously this is not a book full of bright and shiny things, and there's so much sadness, but it's not depressing. And in the end there's also a sense of hope for the future. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to write this book when you've actually lost a brother because he committed suicide and while this isn't autobiographical, I'm guessing it wasn't easy to relive that period in her life.

The way every person deals with Ty's suicide is different, but it felt so real to me. So Lex can't cry anymore, there's something blocking her and she has these moments when she feels a big gaping hole in her chest and I could imagine it being like this. But there's also guilt and blaming of other people and also anger towards Ty. And while anger towards a person who is deceased isn't the way society likes us to deal with things, it's just as valid an emotion as all the others. I mean, I get it, I get Lex at one point telling him he's selfish for killing himself.

I think Cynthia Hand showed the full extent of what a family member committing suicide does to you, it's not just family life, but relationships with friends and just the way people see you that changes cause Lex is suddenly 'the girl who's brother killed himself'. I would have loved for her to be able to rely on her parents while she was grieving, but her dad was barely there before it happened and she's actually more of a grown up at the moment than her mom, so there's not a lot of help from that department. I'm actually still really worried about Lex's mom and how she'll cope in the future.

So no, this is not one of my comfortable, fluffy reads, it's hard and sad and also really beautiful because Cynthia Hand knows how to write about this subject and make me feel all of it witout it getting that depressing feeling that I dread when picking up this type of book. There's just a beautiful sadness and an ending that left me feeling hopeful for Lex and I'd love to check back in in a couple of years and find out how she's doing. The Last Time We Say Goodbye also makes me want to hug my brother extra hard.

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review of One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

Title/Author: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
Publisher/Date published: Spencer Hill Press, February 10th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.

Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.

But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends - the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

So I was totally ready for some a fun contemporary with fluffy romance and that's EXACTLY what I got!

As a kid, I used to be a bit of a tomboy, my best friend was a boy and I didn't get why other girls weren't interested in climbing trees. So I could identify with Toni, even if I turned into a girly girl somewhere during high school. I think One of the Guys was awfully cute, but it also had themes that are so important: friendship, dealing with the loss of a parent and changing relationships. I could so feel for Toni because she sees her friendship with the boys changing and she's desperately trying to recapture the feeling of the summer when they first became friends. She's just trying to keep this friendship that's helped her through grieving for her father the same and I absolutely understood her fear of seeing it slip through her fingers even with all of her efforts. And I think that it's only after you can see that childhood friendhips need to either grow (and change) with you, or they usually die a silent death. So yeah, this is pretty much a subject close to my heart.

I loved seeing Toni make a new female friend at Winston Academy and the birth of their business and the handling of it was pretty fun. I'm not sure about how feasible it is that so many girls were in need of a fake date at this one school, but hey, it makes for an entertaining story. I also liked seeing how Toni gets more in touch with her girly side while still firmly being herself. I loved that she's this brave, loyal girl who truly cares for her mom and her friends and just tries to hold them close.

I also really liked the boys, Loch is just plain awesome and I'd want him for my friend (or more) as well. He's just a caring, reliable, good guy who has swoony moments. VERY swoony moments. Cowboy is this shy, intelligent guy who could also probably win my heart with his boyishness. I have to admit that I wasn't really a fan of Ollie. He's a bit mean at times and he's blaming Toni for something that wasn't entirely her fault and I just felt that he was throwing their friendship away over pretty much nothing. But he sorta redeems himself in the end.

So this is the background to which my cute romance is set and it was AWESOME. OMG, I shipped it so hard! I just wanted to pinch them and scream OMG YOU GUYS ARE SO CUTE, BUT KISS ALREADY!!! They were both so insecure about taking action and that last scene hit me right in the feels and I totally had tears in my eyes and I don't know, this best friend turns love interest thing just works for me! Or maybe this particular ship just worked for me, cause they were just perfect! I love that they had a real basis for their romance as they've been friends for years and they really KNOW each other. There's no insta-love, but lots of awkwardness and glances and cluelessness and I JUST SHIP IT OK?

So bottom line: I totally loved One of the Guys, it was SO cute and it deals with important friendship themes. You definitely add it to your TBR list if it isn't on there already! I stayed up till 2AM to finish this, it was THAT good.

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daisy Update (57)

Hi guys!

I hope you're all having a nice and relaxing weekend filled with things you love!

So I surived my work-week from hell, I worked 6 days that week, including 3 night shifts and it added up to about 67 hours of work, which is a LOT, but in the end wasn't so bad. The people I shared my night shifts with are great and when we weren't treating a lot of (very) drunk people, we watched movies together, which is how I've seen most of The Godfather for the first time in my life and the first half of Goodfellas. I should mention that everyone else working the night shift was male and so I've been watching manly movies.

The ER continues to give me lots of crazy, but it's also REALLY interesting and I kinda love that it can be hectic and one evening I put 16 stitches in one guys head and then someone else came in with a crazy big headwound and I put 19 stitches in his head and just holy wow. It was pretty awesome. I also see a lot of really awful things, last Friday something particularly devastating happened and I had a hard time sleeping after that and I could feel the afereffects of it yesterday, so I just snuggled on the couch with the kitty and a blanket.

Yesterday the boyfriend and I went to visit two of our friends who had a baby last week and OMG, he was SO, SO cute! I love babies and he's extra adorable because he's the combination of two of our close friends and they made this beautiful baby boy and I'm just so happy for them! And also, they told us he basically doesn't open his eyes for visitors, but for us he did ;) I got to cuddle with him for a while and yeah, babies just make me happy. Funny thing is that we thought from the hints his parents had given us that he was going to be a girl, so my mom knitted a doll for him with a pink outfit. He's still getting that obviously.

I love cooking and trying new recipees and I've been watching a LOT of 24 Kitchen when I'm home, it's just relaxing to have it on in the background, but it seriously messes with my ability to focus on reading. BUT it has given me lots of inspiration and two weeks ago we made tapas for friends who came over for dinner and have already tried one or two recipees from the various chefs that are on. I'm trying two more this week, I hope they taste as good as they looked on tv!

We're going over to the boyfriend's grandparents in a couple of hours for his grandmother's birthday, we're going to a Chinese restaurant with the whole family this evening, so I'm already looking forward to yummy food tonight!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Review of All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Title/Author: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter
Publisher/Date published: Orchard Books, February 5th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Ok, so confession time: I've never read one of Ally Carter's before this one. I know. So many people keep raving about her Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series and they do sound really good, I've just never gotten around to actually picking one up. Which is why I was excited when I got approved for All Fall Down, because a mystery with political intrigue is just my kind of thing!

And I did like All Fall Down, Ally Carter's writing style is very engaging and it made me want good things for Grace and just find out what exactly had happened and what the heck was going on with the Scarred Man. I mean, one girl investigating her mother's death is fascinating, especially when it comes with a side of embassy politics and running through tunnels and quirky new friends!

I liked Grace, and I also liked that the way Ally Carter has written this story, you can't really tell if Grace is right or if she's actually imagining things, like everyone keeps telling her. There was constantly this doubt at the back of my mind, wondering if she really was chasing a ghost based on nothing. It kept things interesting. Grace was definitely not ok with her mom dying and there were so many secrets surrounding her death and I had really not expected the twist at the end of All Fall Down. I really hadn't. It was kinda out of the blue and I'm not even sure what just happened and honestly, the ending felt a bit rushed, but maybe that was how it was supposed to feel? To build up anticipation for the next book? I'm not sure.

I LOVED Noah. Noah is awesome. He just comes into Grace's room and announces they're best friends and then he behaves like a best friend and is just extremely lovable. He is just adorable. I'd love to see more of him and get to know more about him in the next book! I also really liked Rosie, who is a little girl ninja and up for the challenge of finding out what the Scarred Man is up to.
And I see some much approved of romantic potential with Alexei, who is pretty swoony and the brother's best friend angle always works for me.
Two people who were very present in All Fall Down without actually making an appearance were Grace's father and her brother Jamie. I'm really hoping we'll actually get to see them in the next book, because Jamie sounds awesome and I need some family members for Grace.

All Fall Down was an interesting start to this series and I did like it, it just wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be. I didn't fully connect to the story and I'm still looking for answers, but maybe that's just the way it is with series sometimes. I'm probably picking up the next book in the series, because I want to know WHY and HOW and WHO and just all of it.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review of Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Title/Author: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
Publisher/Date published: Henry Holt and Co, February 3rd 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents — people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast... unless
she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

I just love discovering a new-to-me author who manages to suck me into a story! This is one of my favourite things about reading! And Cat Hellisen managed to do just that.
One thing that diminished the experience of reading Beastkeeper for me has nothing to do with Cat Hellisen's writing, but with me working 36 hours in 3 days and not having any time or the ability to focus on a book. So I read some of it in bits and pieces and I didn't get as lost in it as I would have wanted, but that's all me, cause once I settled down with it for a longer period of time, I did connect with the story.

I picked this up because it sounded like a really cute MG, but with a little dark undertone. And guys, it's exactly that! It reminds me of the original Grimm fairytales, as in it's not all sparkly and bubbly and actually a little gritty and not the kind of happily ever after you'd expect. And I really liked that! Sarah has a LOT to deal with in Beastkeeper and she's just a girl! She just lost both of her parents and got dumped with her grandmother and OMG, I really don't think I would have handled everything as she did. That's one strong girl with a big heart!

I totally loved the concept of Beauty and the Beast but with a little added something AND with the girl as a beast! It's all so intricate and pretty harsh in the end and I just felt for Sarah as she was trying to figure it out and save everyone, including herself. And I really liked Alan, the boy in the forest who is more than he seems. I liked seeing him and Sarah form a friendship.
Towards the end I was like, surely my e-ARC is missing some pages cause how are they going to figure things out with so few time left?? There were shocking twists and turns and the ending was satisfying, but it did feel a bit rushed. I could have done with a bit more of an explanation and I just want to know what happens with Sarah after The End!

My rating: 4 stars

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mini-Reviews (2) The Book of Ivy, The Halcyon Bird, Even In Paradise

So ever since June of 2014 I've been failing at writing reviews for the books I read. I know. And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf.

Title/Author: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel
Publisher/Date published: Entangled: Teen, November 11th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Plot in one sentence: Girl being manipulated by her father to kill the boy she's forced to marry who is the son of the winning family governing the nation, but wait, maybe he's not that bad.

Ok, so this one was just a bit bland to me, a lot of it felt like a whole lot of other dystopians and it didn't stand out to me enough to be special. I mean, I liked the developing relationship between Ivy and Bishop, but Bishop was a little bit too perfect for me and while thing started to get interesting towards the end, I wasn't really invested in this story. Also, I REALLY hated Ivy's father and sister, keeping things from her and just generally being manipulative bastards. And OMG Ivy, please grow a spine in the rest of the series, because holy wow, you could see it wasn't the right thing to do and still you went along with it? UGH.

My rating: 2 stars

Title/Author: The Halcyon Bird (The Demon Catchers of Milan #2) by Kat Beyer
Publisher/Date published: EgmontUSA, November 11th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: Sequel to the Demon Catchers of Milan in which Mia and her family battle more demons, namely the one that possessed her.


I liked diving back into this world that has a lot of Italian culture and family and demon catching badasses in it, and I really did love Mia's family because they're awesome. I had just expected a little more of this sequel, cause I remember really enjoying the first book. I was a bit frustrated with Mia's crush on her cousin and was relieved when a new love interest appeared on the horizon, even though she was majorly clueless about this, which was a bit annoying at times. But they were cute together.
Mia's demon majorly creeped me out, but with all the family's badassery, I was wondering why they still hadn't found a way to beat this demon for good. Or at least for the next fifty years or so. I mean, he's been killing other people in the family and just been a general nuisance, so why not destroy/banish/whatever him for good?
Anyway, I did really like this, but it didn't have that spark that the first book had.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Title/Author: Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, October 14th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: Rich family has secrets and MC Charlie gets into a relationship with both siblings from said family.

I really, REALLY liked Even In Paradise. It made me pause and think about friendship and life and lot's of other things. But mostly friendship and how it is so true that sometimes when you are friends with someone, it's sort of like falling in love and then you also fall in love with their family and that is exactly what happens to Charlie, and I could SO relate.
I mean, the Buchanans are beautiful people, they're sparkly and shiny and have all the things that Charlie doesn't have and I can understand her being drawn to them. To Julia and to Sebastian, who might be a bit of a douche at times, but who really grew on me. And how can you not love their younger sister Oops? She was awesome.

From the start you know this isn't going to end well and there's this sense of foreboding overshadowing the whole novel. And I LOVED that! I was wondering how everything was going to go down and the twists and turns were amazing! Chelsey Philpot really knows how to write beautiful words that suck you in. This is a story that will stay with me for a while.

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Review of Soulprint by Megan Miranda

Title/Author: Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, February 1st 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Alina Chase has spent her entire life in confinement. With the science of soul-printing now a reality, she is 'protected' for her own safety - and the safety of others - because her soul has done terrible things... or so she's told. When Alina finally breaks out of prison, helped by a group of people with unclear motives, she begins to uncover clues left by her past life that only she can decipher. And she may not be as innocent as she once believed. Can Alina change her future, or is she fated to repeat her past and face the consequences?

There is just something about Megan Miranda's writing that resonates with me. It's always a bit dark and gritty and she doesn't shy away from hard subjects and it really just works for me. I'm right there in the moment with the characters and just feel part of the story. And I love it!

And Soulprint was not an exception to this! I really got sucked into this world with all of its scariness that is souls transferring to another person upon death and science having found a way to actually identify your soul and thus being able to know who you were in your past lives. And to me that's REALLY scary. I mean, wow, something like that HAS to have major consequences, like Megan Miranda shows us in Soulprint, you could be judged for the actions of your soul's past lives. So much for innocent until proven guilty, right?

I really liked Alina. She's smart and brave and flawed and beautiful because of her flaws and it was easy to relate to her in her insecurities and her tentative forming of a friendship with the people who break her out of the island she's been kept in since childhood. I could understand how she was trying so hard to not be anything like June, her soul's previous identity. I mean, people are judging her for June's actions, so why would you want to give them another reason to think you're like her? I also loved how in the end she embraced her identity and learned to work with it and accept June.

The two teens who broke Alina out, Casey and Cameron were SO my kind of people! They're kind and smart and know some slightly less than legal tricks and I loved the relationship between this brother and sister! They're really willing to do everything for each other and are a true family. Casey's computer hacking skills are pretty badass, but I'm particularly drawn to Cameron and his awesomeness. I loved the easy chemistry between him and Alina and how he just seems to get her and doesn't judge her and just FEELINGS OK?

This whole thing with June and what she's done and just all of it is a WHOLE LOT more complicated than it seems at first and OMG the intrigue! I totally loved it! Every time you think you know what went down, there's just this little thing niggling at the back of your mind that it doesn't quite add up and then there's a big reveal and I was like MIND IS BLOWN. It was amazing. And I loved how Alina doesn't go for the easy choices and the ending left me with a smile on my face, so yeah. I pretty much just loved this!

If you haven't read Megan Miranda's books yet, I'm saying you should get a start on checking them out! Fracture and Vengeance are a lot darker than Soulprint is, so this might be a little more accessible, but they're all amazing, so just go forth and read any of them!

My rating: 5 stars