Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan 
Published: October 12th, 2010
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 557
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: First book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a sequel series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The second book, The Son of Neptune, will be published on October 4th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.
If you thought Percy Jackson was epic, think again, because The Lost Hero is even more amazing!

In this thrilling first book of his new series about demigods, Riordan creates an awesome base for a thrilling story about characters we know, and characters we're getting to know better in this book. Meet the new demigods: Jason, Leo and Piper.

Out of the three new characters, Jason might be the leader, but the most interesting character to me, is Leo. I love his humor, his way of dealing with situations that cause him or people around him stress. I love that he's from one of the cabins that we don't know much about - or should I say he's a son of a god we haven't seen much of before? Either way, he is by far my favorite character and I hope we get to see a lot more of him in the other four books.

Instead of telling the entire story from one point of view like Percy was written, Riordan has written this book in triple narrative. Like in The Kane Chronicles, we switch from character to character when we get to a new chapter and I really like this way of story telling - especially since I think we will be getting to meet more halfbloods in the next book.

Oozing with adventure, humor and Greek mythology, The Lost Hero absolutely blew me away and I couldn't stop reading until I reached the very last page.

My overall rating:

Riordan is once again proving that he is one of the best writers out there - and I promise excited happy dancing when my preorder copy of The Son of Neptune arrives next week!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Published: March 26th, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 320
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011, 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: Janet's second book, If I Tell, will be published on October 1st, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Please note that nothing I say in this review can describe the intensity of the emotions I felt while reading this book.

Wow. Just.. Wow. Janet Gurtler's debut novel is one that both broke my heart and won it over at the same time.

We follow Tess in a difficult time when her popular sister is diagnosed with cancer and she suddenly finds herself getting a lot of attention from the popular crowd - something she has carefully avoided in her school career. She struggles to deal with her sister's disease and to top it all of, she can talk to nobody about it. It's breaking her and it was absolutely heart breaking to read this.

But the story is not only about the cancer that Kristina was diagnosed with. It's about dealing with a possibly deadly disease that affects an entire family, friends and even people at school who were never really close to Kristina. It's about realizing what's important. It's about standing up for yourself and for someone who can't do that for herself. Because sometimes people lose focus of what and who this is all about, and what's really important.

At a certain point in this book, I had to put it down because I was crying so much, I couldn't read one more word on the page because my sight was so blurry. I really cried, not just a few tears. The story grabbed my heart and squeezed and I can only say that it's because of Gurtler's magnificent story.

The story is brilliantly written, grabbing me within the first few pages and not even letting me go right away when I finished reading. The characters are written so well, so real, that I could completely feel with every single one of them - even Tess and Kristina's parents, who are in denial. It's an emotional rollercoaster and I could not stop reading.

My overall rating:

Gurtler's debut novel is raw, emotional, powerful and has immediately earned a spot among my favorite authors.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On My Wishlist (13)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: The Death Cure by James Dashner.

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Expected publication date: October 11th, 2011

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Goodreads page
This On My Wishlist post is really hard to write for me purely because I haven't actually finished reading The Scorch Trials yet which means I don't want to read the blurb of this book because I'm scared it will spoil things (so please excuse it if typos are in there - I copied it and pasted it and tried to ignore it after that). ANYHOO, I really liked The Maze Runner so I'm really looking forward to the final book in the series! Definitely a sequel that I'll be eagerly anticipating!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (48)

Another Sunday, another In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where we show what book(ish thing)s we got this week. I had a brilliant week!! Here's this week's vlog :)

Big thank you to Natalie Parker for hosting the contest in which I won After Obsession! I've had it on my list for quite some time and I'm excited to read it. Thanks! 

Also a big massive thank you to Elle for sending me A Need so Beautiful and Imaginary Girls! <3333 You're really spoiling me, lady! Thanks so much, I'm so looking forward to reading them! 

And of course the rest of my book week was awesome as well! The title I'm particularly looking forward to is Sweet Venom, because, well, Medusa's Triplets!! (Am I driving you crazy already?) I'm dying to read it and I'm sure I will put everything else aside in the next week to start reading it.. Hehe! 

That's all that I got in my mailbox this week! What did you get in yours? Happy reading :) 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa 
Published: August 1st, 2010
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 358
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge, YA Series Challenge
Other: Second book in the Iron Fey series. The fourth book, The Iron Knight, will be published on October 4th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Warning: this review may contain (slight) spoilers for those of you who haven't read the first book in the series yet. Reading is at your own risk.

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

After loving The Iron King, I had extremly high expectations for The Iron Queen. While it was a really good book, it didn't quite live up to the high expectations that that first book set for its sequel.

We start off with Meghan fulfilling her part of the bargain she made with Ash in order to get to Machina. When she arrives at the Winter Court, the threat of the iron fey is undeniable, but because Meghan and Ash are the only ones who have seen them, nobody believes them. This sequel contains a lot of betrayal, quit wit and carefully constructed ways of not telling the truth without actually lying. It was intruiging to see how much further the faerie world expands outside of what we've already seen and Kagawa did not disappoint in her disctriptive world building - it was as breathtaking as ever.

The Iron Fey Series has certainly gained a fan in me. I loved not only the world building, but also the faeries themselves and the whole politics surrounding them - it never ceases to amaze me how much thought was put in their way of life. Kagawa's writing style is brilliant and her characters spring to life from the pages. I've grown particularly fond of Puck..

My overall rating:

And a promise to pick up The Iron Queen as soon as  I possibly can.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies 
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011, 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: First book in a planned trilogy
Buy the book: Bookdepository

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

I was eagerly anticipating the release of A Beautiful Dark and I was ridiculously excited when I got the chance to read it via Netgalley. Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to my expectations (which were, admittedly, very high).

Skye is a talented young girl, who is eager to learn and an unbeatable skier. When two new guys arrive in town and enroll in the same school as Skye, her world is rocked. Devin, calm and cool, and Asher, hot and enfuriating, are both trying to get her attention. But for what?

The reason that this book didn't live up to my expectations is the following. Even though we meet Skye, discover she has certain powers and see two supernatural guys battling for her attention, the plot isn't revealed until we're only 2 or 3 chapters from the end. Up until that point, the main focus is on Skye's feelings towards the two guys and even though I liked seeing her trying to decide between 'good' and 'bad', the entire plot wasn't apparent in the story, only a slight buildup. I have to admit, the book got pretty exciting in said last chapters, and the ending was something I really didn't see coming (well done!). But there's a catch; this book has a rather open ending and I was quite confused by that, until I read that this is the first book in a planned trilogy - which I wish I had known before reading.

Davies has delivered a well written story that surely will have readers hooked - but it wasn't the high I expected it to be. I will, however, be eagerly awaiting the sequel.

My overall rating:

Three plus for Jocelyn's debut A Beautiful Dark and me counting the days until book 2 will be available. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen 
Published: May 27th, 2002
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 345
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

This Lullaby was the second Sarah Dessen book that I've read and I liked it even more than the first one (Keeping the Moon). The story tells us about Remy, who has certain rules when it comes to dating - all to make sure she doesn't end up like her mom (who is now marrying to husband number 5). All works fine, until she meets Dexter in her new step father's store. Dexter is in her face and even though he's not Remy's type, she doesn't seem to be able to shake him off.

Dexter is the character that makes this whole story worth while. Yes, we follow Remy, but Dexter stole my heart. He's messy, stubborn, talkative and won't give up when he's set his mind to something. He's a sloppy guy who plays in a band - exactly what Remy has on her list as rules for guys NOT to date. But Dexter doesn't back off when she tries to fend him off, and I'm really glad he didn't.

Remy is stubborn in her own way and can't stand it when things don't go according to plan. I love how we see how she's struggling not to give in when Dexter makes it clear he really likes her. She tries to stick to what she knows but is finding it difficult when Dexter makes it clear that he's still interested. He sees what she's afraid to admit and I love that ("You bought me cutlery? You love me!") and it made me snigger while reading it.

I don't think This Lullaby is all that original in terms of the storyline, but both Dessen's writing style, the incorporation of music and the humor of Dexter and his bandmates made this a wonderful read for me.

My overall rating:

Five golden stars for Remy and Dexter because honestly, Dexter captured my heart!

Monday, September 19, 2011

On My Wishlist (12)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Expected publication date: October 4th, 2011

Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRís.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

Goodreads page

Technically this isn't on my wishlist anymore since I preordered my copy back in August, but man I am excited for this book! It looks so good and I've heard amazing things so I cannot wait to get my grabby little paws on my own copy. Fingers crossed my copy will be delivered soon after publication date! *sends Dutch postal service good vibes* Also, it's a 2011 YA debut so make sure to add this one to your to-read list!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (47)

Another Sunday, another In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over The Story Siren where we show what book(ish thing)s we got this week. I had another brilliant week, and it was another modest one! Well, I got a ton of samples.. But I didn't actually buy that many books!

On kindle:


Physical books:

Whew! That's a lot of linkies! Anyhoo, REALLY happy again with what I got. I'm trying to limit my book buying so I decided to get a ton of samples before I decide to buy them. Because even though I've become a little more selective on what books I want to buy, I still spend a little too much money :P. I'm really thrilled with the physical books I got and I cnanot wait to read them. The cover of The Predicteds is stunning!

That's all that I got in my mailbox this week, what did you get in yours? Happy reading :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Updated bookshelf tour - September 2011

Maybe you've noticed that I like to look at my bookshelves. Or maybe you've seen me talking about bookshelf tours on Twitter. Or maybe this is just all news to you - but I like looking at bookshelves. A lot. Too much, even. But it doesn't bother me - I can literally spend hours just looking at the spines of my pretty books. Since it's been a couple of months (April, to be exact), I decided it was time for an updated bookshelf tour! I've acquired a new little cabinet that holds more books, and in this updated tour it's going to make its big debut! Hehe.

Anyhoo, here are the two videos that I recorded in which I show you my bookshelves :)

I hope you enjoyed! In case you don't like watching videos (or you just don't have the time for that right now), I also took pictures of the two little cabinets. I couldn't take a picture of my Big Closet because it's behind my bed and I couldn't think of a position humanly possible in which I could take a picture of the whole thing. So, euhm, sorry about that.

So this is the one that's directly besides my bed (did I mention I sorta turned my room into a library?) and I sometimes call it my go-to-shelves. Just because it's easiest to reach and it holds some of my absolute favorites, like Before I Fall, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Hunger Games. The setup of these little shelves change all the time - behind the books on the first shelf is actually another row of books that I've read and wasn't particularly fond of (a couple) or ones that I'm not likely to re-read in the near future (the Sookie Stackhouse books). 

And this is my new baby! Yes, I am aware that it's another small little thing and some people will think 'why did you get that tiny thing?' but since my room is in the attick, I have limited room to work with so this was the best option - believe me, I want real shelves as well. Anyhoo, this one contains overflow of the other little thing. There's not much structure in it really, except that I keep 'light spined books' on the bottom left. Those are my Sarah Dessen books (minus Lock and Key, which is still in the first picture) and the Uglies series, as well as two contemporary reads. The paperback dystopians go on the bottom shelf and that's about all the structure in this thing. It works for me. I know exactly where every book in my room is, without having to check all the shelves even though I don't sort alphabetically by author.

I don't seperate my read books from my unread books, except maybe for the books that go behind the row of books in Little Thing number 1. But that's all. I love the way it's organised. I can just get what I want in one quick motion. I love that my room basically only has a bed, a dresser and books books books in it. What I love the most is that from whatever position in my bed I look out, I can see books. It's the most amazing thing ever.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my bookshelves! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Firebrand by Gillian Philip

Firebrand by Gillian Philip
Published: August 13th, 2010
Publisher: Strident Publishing Ltd
Pages: 384
Source: For review
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: First book in the Rebel Angels series. The second book, Bloodstone, was published on August 16th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

It’s the last decade of the sixteenth century: a time of religious wars in the full-mortal world. But the Sidhe are at peace, hidden behind the Veil that protects their world - until their queen, Kate NicNicven, determines to destroy it.

Seth MacGregor is the half-feral son of a Sidhe nobleman. When his father is assassinated, and Seth is exiled with his brother Conal to the full-mortal world, they vow not only to survive, but to return to reclaim their fortress and save the Veil.
But even the Veil’s power can’t protect the brothers when the brutal witch-hunts begin…

This was not the book for me.

In this book, fantasy and history are combined on both sides of the Veil. In the Sithe world, everything is normal - if you can call hearing eachothers thoughts normal - while in the full-mortal world, the witch hunts have begun.

I had difficulty getting into the story. The book alters between flashbacks and the story itself - which is told by Seth after the story finishes, if that makes sense. It didn't make sense to me, to be honest. Whenever a new chapter started, the story would have skipped a little piece in the story and I was struggling to find out where we were now and what had happened in the time between the last chapter and the beginning of the new chapter. I do not like to be puzzled about that when it's not intentional. It took so much pleasure out of reading for me, because the storyline itself is original and pretty good.

Seth is a likeable character, and I liked him for most part of the story. He was strong and stubborn and didn't know when to shut up, which I found entertaining. However, when Seth and his brother Conan come back from the full-mortal world, he changes into a completely different person. I know, he's a teenager, but at moments he appeared to be high on hormones.

Philip does write a great message in the story: in the Sithe world, men and women are equal and Seth is shocked when he sees that the opposite is true in the full-mortal world. In his eyes, women are fighters just as much as men are, and what use is it when you just sit at home?

Overall, I'd say this is an action packed story with strong characters. The writing in this book was what broke me up while reading. It's a fantasy book, and I wanted to be entertained and not constantly trying to find out what was going on and what happened before that. I really hope other people may enjoy this more than I did, because like I said, it just wasn't for me.

My overall rating:

Three stars for Seth and his Sithe clann - and a bone for the wolf puppies to play with

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBAW: Community part 1 & 2

In case you haven't heard; it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week this week! There are awards to be given away, new blogs to discover and book bloggers to be appreciated. I'm a bit behind on the daily topics, but there are new topics to talk about every day. Today: Community (I decided to combine two days because I wanted to spotlight some of my favorite bloggers).

When I started this blog, I never had the intention to become a book blogger. I started it to be a page where people could read along with what I was reading, because I needed to express my feelings about the books I read. Nobody around here is really interested in books and thus I had nobody to talk with about books. This changed when I came across a video on Youtube when I was bored one lazy Sunday afternoon. A sweet, bright, happy and overall enthousiastic blond girl told me about the books she got in her mailbox that week. I watched her video, then the one before that, before that and before I knew it, I had watched almost every video she ever put up on Youtube. I discovered a link to her blog in the description bar and decided to check it out. I arrived on a blog that centered YA - a genre I didn't really know excisted - and I instantly fell in love all over again (after doing that for the first time when I watched her videos). Her name? Kristi from The Story Siren.

Before that, I read a couple of adult fiction titles every once in a while, but never got really sucked into reading until I read Harry Potter, and yes, Twilight. After that I read The Vampire Diaries and everything just began from there. I never knew there was a world of books out there that I could enjoy as thoroughly as I do with young adult fiction.

Thanks to the widget underneath each IMM post Kristi posted, I discovered more and more blogs and I got a Twitter account to interact with all these lovely people. So many people that shared a love in reading! In YA! I couldn't believe my eyes. I've been through a rough period in my life since the end of 2009 basically, and was at home, depressed and jobless, when I started my blog to take my mind off things. It did that - and more. I had something I really liked again, something that I could spend hours on end doing and then talking about doing it. I loved reading because it helped me escape reality and I loved talking about it because it put things in perspective for me. I kept on doing that, and here I am. Still reading, still blogging. And happy again.

I got so much more than I expected when I really started blogging. It opened up a world of books and entertainment for me, a way of escape, but most of all I made friends. Friends who make my life a little better every day I talk to them - even though we can only talk through tweets or blog comments or emails. You guys are such an inspiration to me in more ways than I could ever tell you about.

And because of that, I really want to thank a couple of bloggers in particular, some of whom may not even know I excist. That's okay. As long as you know you are an inspiration to me and you changed my life for the better :).

First of all, I want to thank Elle from The Book Memoirs for being such an amazing person and inspiring me to look beyond the obvious - not only in books. I don't think I can fully explain what I mean by that - but just believe me when I say that you are an amazing friend. You're there when I need someone to talk to besides books and you are there to cheer me up whenever I'm feeling a little less cheery. I've added tons of books to my to-read list because of you and you make me expand my horizon in every way possible. Thank you.

Stacey from The Pretty Books - you introduced me to Tumblr (thanks for all those lost hours ;)) and basically fueled my love for dystopian novels - a genre that we both love. We seem to have a similar taste in some genres and I am always looking out for new reviews to be posted. You are a lovely person and I really enjoy our conversations about books and all of the things beyond. Thank you.

I'd also like to thank CicelyBellaTamara and Momo for being the bright, happy and lovely people that you are. Your enthousiasm is contagious and I always feel happy (and often giggly) when we've talked on Twitter.

Another someone who really makes my day every time I talk to her is Carrie Harris. You are such an amazing person and hilariously funny (REALLY) and I'm so glad that I met you.

And finally, Kristi for sparking my love for reading, blogging and picking up the pieces. When I watched your videos and read your blog that day, something changed in me and I actually started doing things again. Before that, I just wanted to lay in bed and sleep. You changed my perspective on things and most of all, you changed my perspective on life; I had something worth doing again. You introduced me to this amazing community and I cannot express how grateful I am for that. Thank you.

Everyone I talk to on twitter, via my blog or Youtube or whatever place it may be, thank you for changing my life. If it wasn't for that lazy afternoon when I was watching videos, I may not even have been here. That sounds dramatic, but you know it's true. I would never have known all the lovely people I know now, I wouldn't have read the crazy amount of books I have and I still would have thought that authors were unapproachable rockstars (they still are my rockstars, by the way). And most of all, I would probably still be depressed.

Thank you for being awesome and deciding to spread your love for books online. Because thanks to that, you spread a little of that love to me.

On My Wishlist (11)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan.

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
Expected publication date: September 13th, 2011

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

Goodreads page
I haven't heard much about this book but personally I am really looking forward to reading it! I've been wanting to read more of David Levithans books (as I have only read collaboration novels by him) and this one sounds like a really interesting story!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 459
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, Debut Author Challenge 2011, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: First book in the Dustland series. There will be three books in total.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road made for a marvelous read that I couldn't put down.

Let me start off by saying that this is not a dystopian novel. It is post apocalyptic, yes, but there's no sign of a dystopian society in this book whatsoever. There are references to Wreckers, who I assume are we, as Blood Red Road takes place in the future, but other than that, I'd say the story has more of a hystorical feel to it - no technology, just dry wasteland and people living in poverty, scattered around the country.

We basically follow Saba on her trip to rescue her twin brother, who is abducted at the beginning of the story. On her way she comes across obstacles (the fighting cage!) but she is one kick ass heroine and she knows how to survive. She has her little sister in tow, even though she didn't want that and actually hates her. However, Emmi proves that she doesn't have to be a pain when she's tagging along.

A character that I particularly liked is Jack. Cocky, handsome, confident and strong, that's Jack. He's not afraid to tell Saba what the deal is, even though Saba has a mind of her own. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in the sequel, which I will definitely be picking up.

My overall rating: 

Four and a half stars for Saba, Nero, Emmi and Jack.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (46)

Another Sunday, another In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where we show what book(ish thing)s we got this week. A small week for me this week, but I'm happy nontheless! Here's this weeks vlog;

Signed Slide bookmark 

Small but good! Bright Young Things is free for Kindle right now (linkie!) so if you'd like to read that I'd get it if I were you! I'm trying to slow down my book buying and I haven't really bought a lot of books in the last couple of weeks. I placed quite a few preorders so that will be coming in in the next couple of months :) 

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Happy reading!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle 
Published: September 6th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 432
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011, 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

In her debut novel, Jennifer Castle covers tough subjects: despression, death and dealing with the loss of relatives. Laurel is trying to deal with the fact that her family died in a car crash but is struggeling to pick up the pieces. She could have been in that car, going off to eat dessert with her family after dinner with the Kaufmans, but she decides to go home to study instead.

I'm going to be honest with you and say that I have no idea how to rate this book. The subject of depression is familiar to me and close to my heart. I've went through a really dark period of my life not so long ago and I was hoping that this book would show how difficult it is to battle depression. However, I found it hard to feel with Laurel. Laurel was numb, most of the time. And I get that - it's the shock that the life as you know it is over, and that you have to pick up the pieces and make the most of it. But after the numbness, Laurel got angry. At least, that was what it said in words, but I didn't feel it. The words didn't come across. In her angry moments towards David, she wasn't half as angry as she should have been. I felt like Castle may have hold back in terms of letting out the emotions that come along with dealing with her loss, and that's a shame.

Another thing that bothered me was that there wasn't really a climax that was worked up to during the entire story. Sure, it has a plot and I really appreciate the message that Castle wants to tell us, but there wasn't much more. I was hoping there would be some kind of event that Laurel (or David for that matter) was working towards. But there wasn't and that made it feel like a bit of an anticlimax. The story continued at a rather flat line and didn't have many ups or downs.

BUT don't let my review scare you. I've heard from others that they really like the book and personally, I really liked Castle's writing style. I read this 400+ page book within 24 hours so her writing definitely kept me reading. I would have loved to see more extreme emotions, as I like to call it, like extreme sadness, extreme anger or maybe extreme joy by acting like you're doing fine (but obviously, you aren't).

Writing about depression is a difficult subject and I haven't seen it done that often in YA, so I am really glad to see that Castle touches such a delicate subject. The message is clear: "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light."

My overall rating:

Three stars for The Beginning of After. There where was nothing, there is now an After.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

[On My Radar] September releases

The title of this new series says it all: books that will come out in the next month will get some special attention. This list is not a complete list of everything that's coming out this month; I have a personal list with titles that are coming out that I'm excited for. Having said that, I think I'm pretty inclusive, but I don't have everything (The Vampire Bookclub and The Story Siren have great posts on everything that's coming out in a particular month or week).

The upcoming months are full of amazing books that will be published and in this series of posts I will showcase the books that I'm most looking forward to!

September 1st
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Reel Life Starring Us by Lisa Greenwald (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
The Predicteds by Christine Seifert (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart (Goodreads)
Dear Bully by Various Authors (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Enthralled by Various Authors  (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 5th
The Shattering Karen Healey (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Shut Out by Cody Keplinger  (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 6th
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
All Things I've Done Gabrielle Zevin (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 13th
After Obsession by Carrie Jones (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
Undead by Isabella Kruger (Goodreads)

September 18th
Wormwood by Isabella Kruger (Goodreads)

September 20th
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 27th
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (Goodreads | Bookdepository)
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 28th
Tankborn by Karen Sandler (Goodreads | Bookdepository)

September 29th
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Goodreads | Bookdepository)


And in case you were wondering if I preordered any of these.. Here's my little list:
- The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
- Enthralled by Various Authors
- Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

September is going to be an amazing month! Are any of these books on your radar as well? Maybe even already preordered? Or maybe other titles? Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Published: September 1st, 1999
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 228
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

My first Sarah Dessen book! And it did not disappoint. We follow Colie on her trip to her aunt while her mother tours the entire world with her diet program. Colie lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and everything gets better and better from then on.

Keeping the Moon is a story of self discovery and a coming of age of sorts, because Colie is rediscovering herself. She lost a lot of weight, yet she never got used to getting attention or having friends or anything of that.

I loved how Colie, besides discovering herself, also started looking at the world and the people around her in a different way. I loved Norman and I loved how he got more and more involved in the story as I flipped the pages.

Yes, this is a story we've seen before in one way or another, but that didn't make me enjoy it any less. Dessen's writing was pleasant to read and I kept flipping the pages. It made me hungry for more Sarah Dessen - so more Sarah Dessen it is *scoops up second helping*.

My overall rating:

Four stars for Colie, Norman and Aunt Mira - who were probably the beginning of my Sarah Dessen frenzy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

On My Wishlist (10)

In On My Wishlist I spotlight books that I'm really looking forward to. I know there's a meme Waiting on Wednesday and there even are others, but I'm going to rebel and do it how I want it (hehe). I'll feature the synopsis as posted on Goodreads and put a linkie to the Goodreads page of the book. This week: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle.

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Expected publication date: September 6th, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Goodreads page

This sounds like such an emotional story. It sounds phenomenal. And I'm not kidding, I'm seriously ridiculously excited for this book. I think I might need to stock up on tissues, because it sounds like a tearjerker.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (45)

Another Sunday, another In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where we show what book(ish thing)s we got this week. I had another fabulous week this week! Let's get right to this week's vlog:

(download the first 78 pages here:
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler (ARC via Netgalley)

Swag/other goodies
Personal birthday card from Zoë Marriot! Plus a Shadows on the Moon Magnet and signed book plates :)

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to Elle and Zoë for getting me these awesome birthday presents! *mwuah!* Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. *hugs tightly*

An absolutely amazing week for me in terms of books! I think I might have to stock up some more tissues for my 'sad books' but I'm really really looking forward to reading those books. I'm just in the mood for something.. Well, that will make me cry. (if you have any more suggestions, please leave them in the comments!)

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Happy reading! :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa 
Published: February 1st, 2010
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 363
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge, 350 Page Books Challenge, YA Series Challenge
Other: First book in the Iron Fey series. The fourth book, The Iron Knight, will come out on October 4th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

People told me I had to read it. Some people even yelled at me for not having read even the first book in the Iron Fey series. And when I read it, I knew why. It's that good. Impossible to put down once you're fully absorbed into the Nevernever and utterly captivating until the very last page.

To be honest, I was always a bit weary of pixies and faeries. It never really struck me as something I would like to read. But thankfully, there's Julie Kagawa to prove me wrong. The world she has created is rich and lively in detail and I could fully imagine the Nevernever when we followed Meghan into a world that she never held possible.

The world and description of the faeries was incredibly detailed and I could actually imagine myself walking in her world (although I would probably be eaten before I'd make it to the pond, to be honest). And if I am fair, I have to admit that my review does not do The Iron King justice whatsoever. It's one of those books that you just have to read for yourself in order to see what all the fuss is about, because you can't possibly capture this in a review of a couple hundred words.

The creativity in this story is obvious at every page you turn. I loved the idea of technology influencing the magical lands of the faeries and thereby threatening their excistence. It's such a current theme: children are playing video games instead of play outside or read and besides that, we're always looking for better technology. The way this was woven into the story.. I can only take my imaginary hat off.

And of course, there was the whole Team Ash and Team Puck thing. To be honest, I wasn't swept of my feet by either of them, although I can see the appeal; Puck, who is familiar, with his goofy grin and his loyalty towards Meghan, and Ash, who is breathtakingly gorgeous, yet cool and most of all, forbidden. I think I will just sit back and enjoy the rest of Meghan's story, while the guys battle it out - it seems like they want to do that, anyway.

My overall rating:

Five golden stars for Meghan, Ash, Puck and of course, Ethan - and I am ready to be swept off my feet by The Iron Daughter.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton
Pulished: July 7th, 2011
Publisher: Orchard
Pages: 240
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.

They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?

Jessie and her best friend Emma have arrived in New York to stay with Jessie's mom. Jessie just got out of a relationship and hopes to find something (someone!) new in The Big Apple.

Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend. Everything's messed up for him, but he can't seem to get her out of his mind. To top that off, his father wants that he will be trained to do the same thing as he's done all those years - insurance - and that's one thing Finn doesn't know how to deal with.

This was a very cute summer read and an ultimate feel good book. The storyline wasn't that original, nor was the accidental bumping into eachother thing, but it made an entertaining read that made me rapidly flip the pages. Jessie was a nice and sympathetic character and it was nice to have her as the main character. Finn made a nice character as well - he was sweet and shy. But that is also one of my complaints about them; I missed some edge.

Nontheless, it made for a great read and I really enjoyed myself while flipping the pages. If you're looking for a light read and don't mind some clichés, this is the book you'll want to read.

My overall rating:

A four minus for Jessie and Finn because they keept me entertained with their cute story

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August wrap up

And that's the end of August! August wasn't that great in terms of weather, so I mostly read inside.. Hopefully it'll be 'really' cold soon so I can grab a steamy mug of tea while reading!

I managed to read a fair amount of books this month; 13! This makes my total of this year 96 books read. According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge widget, I'm 30 books ahead of schedule and that's so cool! Also: I only have to read 4 more books to reach my goal of 100 books in 2011! That's INSANE! I didn't actually think I'd read this much in a year, but I even read more.. :D Some stats: I have read 96 books this year, which equals 32,748 pages read so far in 2011. That pagecount is rapidly going up! I'm thinking of making my goal reading 50,000 pages this year.. Not sure if I can read 15,000 more pages before 2012, though!

Here's this month's wrap up video :)

Read in August
1. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
2. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
3. Firebrand by Gillian Philip
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
5. Slide by Jill Hathaway
6. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
7. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
8. He's After Me by Chris Higgins
9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
10. The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
11. The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
12. Eve by Anna Carey
13. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Started but not yet finished
XVI by Julia Karr

I'm hoping to finish XVI later today (31st - but I'll add it to my September finished books). So far I'm not really into it - so I don't think I will get into it anymore because I have only 50 pages left or so. (Edited to add: I finished it and it got better towards the end - so I will be eagerly awaiting Truth!)

This month I read a couple of books that either weren't for me or where just disappointing. Partly that is because my expectations were so high, and partly because it was just lacking in the story in my opinion. My favorites of this month were This Lullaby, Slide and The Maze Runner. I really liked those and cannot wait for either the sequel (last two) or more of her books (This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen). Overall, I'd say I had a good month! Maybe not all awesome reads, but Firebrand for example was outside my comfort zone (aka outside the genres that I read most often) so I'm glad I experienced that :) 

Anyhow, that's it for my wrap up this month! What did you read this month? What book was your favorite? Did you have any disappointing titles? If you have recommendations, please let me know in the comments! :)
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