Monday, April 30, 2012

The Changelings Giveaway Winner!

I'm a little late with this, but I have a winner to announce for the giveaway I hosted for The Changelings by Elle Casey! Without further ado, the winner is..

Marleigh/The Lark's Song

Congratulations! I'm sending your email address on and you'll be receiving your ebook copy of The Changelings shortly. Happy reading! 

Again, thanks everyone for participating!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In Case You Missed It (1)

In In Case You Missed It I basically round up my week in terms of books, reviews and other bookish things. This will mainly focus on my own things, but I'll be likely to include links to fellow bloggers if I find something awesome :)

This week three reviews went live on the blog. First up was Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder, which I loved! One of the few books that got a five star rating from me this year, so that's telling you something! I also reviewed Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter, which is the first in an adult paranormal romance collaboration between several great authors. Lastly, yesterday my review of Life's A Witch by Brittany Geragotelis went up.

Only one other bookish post to go up this week (darn you Blogger for not publishing scheduled posts!), but it was a good one: in On My Wishlist this week I drool over For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund.

Since I was in a bit of a reading funk this week, I haven't been blogging much either - but everything seems to be getting better so hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things soon! In the meantime, why don't you check out my giveaway for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, the first book in the amazing Chaos Walking trilogy? You have until May 1st to get your entry in and believe me, you want to read this book!

That was it for what went on at the blog, but there was more awesome to enjoy in the bookblogosphere: what about this great post by Jamie from the The Perpetual Page-Turner on failing to finish series - or keep up with them? I feel exactly the same way! Or April's post on her favorite 10 minor characters from Harry Potter? Kelly from Stacked wrote a great post on Tips and Tricks on Blogging that I really enjoyed reading.

Before I leave you, I want to say how EXCITED I am that my preorders for The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan and Insurgent by Veronica Roth were released earlier this week.. Could you hear me squee?! Both are released on May 1st and they are my exceptions to the review-only rule I have in May! May is all about reading review books and writing reviews, because it's Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month! I'm very excited to be collaborating with Bella to host this event. Prepare for loads of posts in that theme! :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Life's A Witch by Brittany Geragotelis

Life's A Witch by Brittany Geragotelis
Published: November 30th, 2011
Pages: 348
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Series: no
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆½

Hadley Bishop is the descendant of the most powerful and famous witch of all time—and as the most popular girl at Astor High, it appears as if she's gotten all her best qualities. But when Hadley's mother is kidnapped and killed by the same evil coven that betrayed her great, great, great Grandmother during the Salem Witch Trials, Hadley swears to get rid of the witches once and for all. With the help of the other kids in her coven, the teens wage a war against Samuel Parris and his followers which results in a battle so epic—and dangerous—that the magical world will be changed forever.

I've tried my best not to make this a ranty review, but I'm so frustrated with this book that I couldn't help but write some of it down. I hope you won't mind.

The blurb for this one sounded great. Add that to 15 million readers on Wattpad and I was expecting to get a good story. Unfortunately, I was annoyed with the main character from the very first page. I have never, ever read about a main character as stuck up and full of herself as Hadley Bishop.

She is the most popular girl in school, as well as the prettiest and one of the smartest. Hadley reminds us of these facts every couple of pages, along with her obsession for 'fashion' at the most ridiculous moments. The only thing she worries about when she needs to get active in a fight for example, is how many inches her stiletto's should be and what kind of outfit should she wear? She only thinks of herself during the preparations for the upcoming war, not thinking of the dozens of teens she has to take care of. Everything is Me Myself and I and bothered the crap out of me.

But it didn't end with Hadley being so self centered that she thought the world revolved around her. There was a clear case of insta-love in this book. She loves him when she lays eyes on him, even though she knows there's a traitor around who is spying on her coven for the enemy (who, by the way, kidnapped the parents of ALL the kids currently under her 'supervision') and she doesn't even know this guy and it all made absolutely. no. sense. that she would run in to him at every place she goes and just be making a complete ass out of herself to impress him. Their 'relationship' develops very quickly and the big L-word is spoken pretty soon. They have nothing in common, don't know eachother and there is a big crisis going on with everyone's life threatened and all, and all she worries about is if he will think she is crazy.

The minor characters had potential, with a handful of them appearing to have their own small story, but nothing of that came across from the paper (or kindle, in my case). The characters fell flat and I couldn't seperate some of the girls because they all seemed the same because they had no personality. I felt no connection to them at all, which I was hoping for since I hated Hadley with a burning passion.

The story itself builds up to an 'epic battle' that was over in a couple of pages. All the exciting parts felt rushed and at all the points where it seemed to be getting interesting, there was an easy solution for the problem - Hadley would have a dream about the solution, she would find a book, she would just come up with the solution - which bothered me to no end.

I wouldn't recommend this book. I didn't enjoy reading it, and was annoyed from the moment Hadley was introduced (there's a prologue about her ancestors). I kept reading because I hoped it would get better, but it didn't. Reading on only resulted in me being very frustrated and wanting to throw my Kindle across the room, which I couldn't even do without potentionally destroying my ereader.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter
Published: August 23rd, 2011 (Harlequin)
Pages: 281
Age group: Adult
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Challenge: none
Other: Royal House of Shadows, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved..

I had very high hopes for this book. I love Showalters Lords of the Underworld series and was hoping this was just as good, but it wasn't. Even though it didn't live up to my expectations, this book was very enjoyable and I liked reading it.

My main issue with this book (the reason why I didn't like it so much), was that everything seemed to happen very easily. I like it when characters have to struggle a bit for what they want, but in this book, everything went pretty smoothly - except for one encounter with blood thirsty creatures. Everything pretty much worked out the way they wanted of the way they planned.

I liked Jane, but I had some problems to get to like Nicolai. I get it, he's this royal hottie who is used to getting what he wants, but it made him selfish and also made it harder for me as the reader to get to like him. In the end, he was still selfish, but he wasn't as bad as he was in the beginning.

This is the first book in a collaboration series of four books, and I'm curious to see what happens in book two, even though this book didn't blow my mind. It made an enjoyable read and it was just the easy read I was looking for at the moment I read it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On My Wishlist (38)

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: For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund.

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Expected publication date: June 12th, 2012

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Goodreads page

The cover combined with the synopsis speak for themselves, methinks. I've not read anything by Diana Peterfreund yet (I know! I know! I shall do that soon!) but this book.. This book you guys, I simply cannot imagine this being a book I won't like. Or love. It's just.. So pretty and it sounds spectacular! Is it June yet?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Published: December 20th, 2011 (Mira Ink)
Pages: 390
Source: for review from publisher
Challenge: none
Age group: YA/adult crossover
Series: Avry of Kazan #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Video review: YouTube
Rating: ★★★★★

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....

Can I just say 'WOW' and let that be my review? Touch of Power was incredibly addicting, amazingly written and overall just utterly captivating. I'm a fan!

After three years on the run, Avry finds herself in a cell, waiting for her execution for being who she is. She gets bailed out by a group of rogues, who need her to heal their leader. Once again she finds herself on the run, but this time she has company - and I couldn't help but fall in love with the group of guys who freed her.

My absolute favorite character was Belen. I loved him so much! He was fully developed, completely fleshed out and just lovely. All of the characters were very well developed and it was easy to distinguish who was talking - although the monkeys were a bit hard to seperate - and I loved that they were all so unique. Even the antagonist, who you need to hate, had his good side and could be charasmatic if he wanted to, which made me completely confused on whether I should like him or not. Eventually, I picked my side; but he was made human, instead of a completely crazy madman like a lot of antagonists seem to be these days.

Avry was a strong female heroine with a mind of her own, determined and not afraid to stand her ground. I loved that! She had her weak spots, which made her human and relatable, and she made for a great main character. I loved to see her bickering with Kerrick, shooting sarcastic remarks at him. She was the only one who didn't do what he ordered her to do, and this immediately made me like her.

To be honest, I have no idea how to express my love for this book. It was very well written, with great characters and I loved the twists. If it wasn't for the fact that I was utterly exhausted, I would have finished it in one sitting - it's that good. I can't recommend this enough. If you like stories with strong and well written characters, a lot of plot twists, an addicting storyline and/or magic, I'm asking you.. What are you waiting for?! Go grab a copy and discover the awesomeness yourself!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Published: May 3rd, 2011 (Del Ray)
Pages: 289
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Age group: adult
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Not having heard much about this book or its series, I wasn't expecting much when I picked it up. But Hounded proved to be a pageturner that was almost impossible to put down.

Atticus appears to be an Irish dude who is around 21, owns a bookstore and is a bit of a stoner. But in reality, he's a 2100 years old Druid who draws power from the earth and is chased by an angry Celtic god. So much for normal. Atticus owns a bookstore and sells tea, all different ones have a punny name, and tries to blend in with the locals. That turns out to be difficult when you're chased by local police, fae, an angry god and some bloodthirsty giants.

The best thing about this book: the humor. Atticus has a wolfound named Oberon and he had the most amazing remarks. It was hilarious! The writing was quick, easy and witty and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while I was reading this book. Atticus was likeable, even though he has massive amounts of power and seems to intimidate even the oldest gods and witches, and it was nice to follow him around. The story itself wasn't too original, but it was a great read and I really liked how everything was put together. It was fast paced and I loved the distinct personalities of the characters, even the ones we only saw for a couple of lines.

It's adult material, mainly because of the gore and swearing, but there are some suggestive scenes in it as well. I really really really liked this one and hope it gets picked up by more people, because up until now, I haven't heard a thing about it in the blogosphere. It deserves more love!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Announcing: Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month!

I'm very excited to be announcing that Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month will be taking place during the entire month of May! The lovely Bella from Cheezyfeet Books and I will be co-hosting B&DERM (I like the sound of this abbrevation!) with plenty of epic stuff.

Zeh Plan
During the entire month of May, Bella and I will be focusing on lowering our TBR piles and we hope you will join us! We will be reading review books to lower ours, but we also have some bloggers over to talk about their read and review habits. In case you don't have a lot of time on your hands, but you really need to work on your reading pile, there'll be readathons and a reviewathon, so you'll be up-to-date in no time!

Zeh Details
From May 1st until May 31st, our blogs will focus on helping you (and us!) read away those review books. If you don't have review books, that's fine! It's not necessary to be a blogger whatsoever. We just focus on review copies because we have way too many that feel a bit neglected.

As an extra incentive, we've got some goodies to give away during the weeks (or should I say, several incentives)! There will be weekly check-ins where you can link up your written reviews and by doing so, you'll be entered in one of the giveaways we've got planned. But more about this and how to participate will follow on May 1st in the kick-off post.

Zeh Ultimate Goal
Hopefully, your reading pile will be a little smaller after this month! The next couple of months are full of awesome books that we really want to read asap.. So we'd better clean out some room for them!

Zeh Important Dates
A tentative schedule of posts will be posted on May 1st, but I wanted to let you know already that there's a readathon weekend from the 11th until the 13th! It's pretty long, so hopefully you'll be able to join in at some point. That would be awesome! To follow up on that, there will be a reviewathon during the weekend after that, from the 18th until the 20th.

Zeh Conclusion
A month of bookish goodness that will hopefully help you read some of those titles that have been left on your shelves for a while! Most of all, we hope you'll have fun! So tell me.. Are you planning to join in? :)

Grab a button!

Loving Books

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Hollow Earth by John and Carole E. Barrowman

Hollow Earth by John and Carole E. Borrowman
Published: February 2nd, 2012 (Buster Books)
Pages: 336
Source: for review
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: none
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Lots of twins have a special connection - being able to finish each other's sentences; sensing what the other is thinking; perhaps even knowing when the other is in trouble or in pain - but for 12-year-old twins, Matt and Emily Calder, the connection is beyond special. Together, the twins have extraordinary powers. They are able to bring art to life, or enter paintings at will. Their abilities are sought by villains trying to access the terrors of Hollow Earth - a place where all the demons, devils and creatures ever imagined lie trapped for eternity. The twins flee with their mother to the security of an island, off the west coast of Scotland, where their grandfather has certain protective powers of his own. But too much is at stake, and the twins aren't safe there either. The villains will stop at nothing to find Hollow Earth and harness the powers within..

With a premise that sounds as intriguing as this one, I thought I had a gem in my hands. Imagination coming to life? Yes please! I loved the sound of the synopsis and was very excited to start reading this book. Though I really liked the story and the plot in Hollow Earth, I was underwhelmed by the writing style, which resulted in a meager 3 star rating for a book that held so much potential.

Diving right into what I didn't like about the book: I felt the writing was choppy, not fluent at all and the switching alternatives (though this book isn't written in first person) was slightly confusing and to me, incredibly annoying. There were moments from the point of view of Matt and Em, our main characters, but also from Zach, Simon, Sandie, Genard, the council and even the villains got some showtime. I think that if the narration was different, it would've worked out much better for the story. The slight glimpses we got from the adults in the story felt like they didn't belong and I wouldn't have missed them if they were scratched alltogether.

Having said that, Hollow Earth is plenty suspenseful, with a lot of twists and turns - including some flashbacks to the Middle Ages - that made it a really interesting story to read. While it didn't read fluent and thus quickly, I really enjoyed finding out what was going to happen next. The concept of imagination coming alive is fascinating and since the ending of this book was quite open, I think we may even see a sequel to Hollow Earth in the future. I certainly hope so: there are some unanswered questions and I think we have only seen a glimpse of the twins' abilities.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Pirating Books

Dear self-proclaimed-book-lover,

As a lover of all things books, you can probably relate to my love for authors and their brilliant work in the form of books, short stories and all sorts of related stuff. You know the excitement you get when you have a book in your hands that you've been waiting for ages for to come out and you understand that feeling when you finish a book and you're just about *dying* for the sequel to come out. When you read the great news of your favorite author, who has just sold a new book to be published, you are ecstatic. You can barely contain your excitement, so in the meantime, you decide to get a few free ebooks off a downloading site. Wait, what?

Yes, you are pirating books. That means that entire series you just ripped off that website, is illegal. "But people can lend out their books to other people, too, so why should I have to pay 10 euros to be able to read it if my friend has it for free on the internet?" You ask - I answer. Because that copy you may have on your shelves, is one you bought (or someone else bought it for you), it's one that's been paid for. If you lend out your book a lot of times, how many times does it change hands? Five times? Maybe ten? Let's assume your copy gets read by ten different people. Those people all read the same book, that's been paid for once. The same thing happens with books lend out from a library. Once bought, several times lend out. So what's the difference? The difference is that these books don't get copied by the dozen. What, dozens? No, hundreds, often thousands of books are illegally copied from that one document - a document that may not have been paid for, either.

In every event that you download a book from the internet that is put on there by anyone other than the author, the publisher or someone who had explicit permission to do so (like placing an excerpt), it's illegal. Even if it's your friend who puts it on there. Because your friend does not use the legal ways to lend you that book. You can lend friends your ebooks if it's been made accessible by the publisher - you just don't have the book on your ereader for the next two weeks or so. Just like with a real book.

I can't even express the anger that I feel right now. That it's available online for free, doesn't justify you downloading it. That it's not on a torrent site, does not make it legal.

If you're an avid reader and booklover like I am, you know that authors spend a long time writing their books. It takes them months, years, sometimes even decades to write their next novel. And because readers want to read their stories and pay to read their books, they are able to write for a living. They have turned their passion into their job. There's nothing more beautiful than that.

But because there are people who call themselves booklovers and put books up for download, those authors may not be able to keep on writing for a living. You need to understand, that every time one of their books sells, they get a tiny fraction paid (I'm not going to go in depth on the way that authors get paid - but it largely depends on book sales) and all those tiny fractions (hopefully) make a decent amount that allows the author to live off. If you get your books illegally off the internet, the author does not get that amount of money. The download does not count towards their sales. The download doesn't help the author in any way, because they don't make any money from it. This may lead to sequels not being published because of disappointing sales, or even authors who have to give up full-time writing because they can't pay the bills anymore.

It's wrong. It's like sneaking into the cinema to see The Hunger Games without paying. It's like grabbing that delicious chocolate tart off the counter without paying the baker. It's called stealing.

On the message board that this discussion ignited, I read that this so-called book lover has already downloaded The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. Which comes out on April 24st. That means that someone who had the opportunity to read an ARC or early copy of the book has taken this to a downloading website and put it online. To think that this person calls himself a booklover or may even be a book blogger, makes me sick.

A book costs what, $10 for a paperback and $13 for a hardcover and somewhere in between for the ebook? That's just as expensive as a ticket to go see a movie, but it lasts for longer. A book offers hours of entertainment, hours that you can spend in the carefully crafted world of the characters. And by spending that small amount of money, you help support the author whose book you just loved, so he or she can keep writing books for you to enjoy. You're taking away that opportunity from the author, and from fellow book lovers who may not be able to enjoy the author's book if people are taking an example from you and download everything without paying for it.

Yes, this is directed at you, the person who just downloaded an entire series illegally off the internet. Again, the fact that it's available on the internet does not mean it's legal to download. It still means you're stealing: whether you do so by taking a one dollar bill from someone without asking or by robbing a bank doesn't matter.

In my eyes, you're not a book lover. You're just a thief.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On My Wishlist (37)

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: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Publication date: April 3rd, 2012

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Goodreads page

So... I've been living under a bit of a rock and only discovered this one recently and was immediately intrigued! I haven't read much YA fantasy so far and I think this book will make the perfect way to change that. It sounds brilliant and I've heard nothing but good things so I'd better get on with picking this one up!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

Stray by Rachel Vincent
Published: May 27th, 2007 (MIRA)
Pages: 613
Age group: Adult
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Shifters, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

There are only eight breeding female werecats left... And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back - for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them.

After enjoying Blood Bound and My Soul to Take a whole lot, I decided to try Vincent's Shifters series. I really liked reading it, and I was entertained throughout the entire 600+ pages, I couldn't help but place a couple of side notes with reasons why I didn't *love* this book as much as I loved, say, Blood Bound.

While I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn't help but feel that something was missing - or rather, something was mentioned too often: the men around Faythe often threaten her, try to control her, and though I don't think Faythe is a weak female character by any means, this resulted in some pretty annoying scenes. Faythe would risk everyone around her just to be 'free', which got on my nerves. I get it - people are trying to decide your life for you and you don't want that, but that's not a reason to almost get your entire Pride killed.

There was a lot of attention for two particular men in Faythe's life and I really hope that this won't expand in the next couple of books (*mumbles something about love triangles*). Having said that, I really liked to read about a different kind of shifter for a change. I liked the storyline, and of course I liked the writing style!

I've already ordered the second book in this series and I'm quite curious to see what kind of problem Faythe will try to enlarge in the sequel.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (76)

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 very exciting week in terms of book! Loads of awesome, so of course I'm very happy with what I got! Here's this week's vlog :)

For review
The Eternity Code and The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer (NG)
Shift by Kim Curran (NG)
The Golden Flute by Catherine Lanigan (NG)

Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly (Dutch edition)

Tempest by Julie Cross
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
Rogue by Rachel Vincent
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

The reading pile is getting better and better but hey, all the books I got this week are awesome so I'm very excited! (and trying to ignore the pile that is threatening to topple over)

That's it for me this week, what did you get in your mailbox? Happy reading :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price 
Published: March 13th, 2012 (Delacorte)
Pages: 368
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: Starters, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined.

With a unique concept, Price knows how to draw a reader in and keep them there. With an intriguing plot and interesting characters, this debut will suck you in from beginning until the very end.

I loved the premise for this book, and I really like how that was used throughout the story. It sounds horrible, and most of all unbelievable, to be able to rent your body to an elderly person whose mind will occupy your head while you're unconsious - but somehow it was believable and I found myself flipping the pages faster to find out what would happen next.

Callie was an interesting character - she was a little stubborn and naive, but she redeemed herself once she found out what was going on and started making decisions to solve the problem or at least trying to do so. She was easy to follow around - as the reader, you are just as confused about what's happening as Callie is and I liked that. I would have liked to see a little more of Michael, but with that ending and the turn of events during the story, I'm sure we'll hear more about him in the second book.

There were some parts in the story where the writing was a little weaker, which made my attention waver a little, but overall I liked the way the story was told. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way and most of all, I was entertained the entire time and I pretty much cannot wait to see what will happen in the sequel, Enders.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Amber & Daph's YA Survey

Hi everyone! So the lovely Amber came up with this idea and asked if I wanted to collaborate and of course I said yes! In case you don't know Amber, you should head over to her blog or Youtube channel because she's all kinds of awesome and hilarious. Just sayin'.

Anyway, we were wondering what you guys thought of the current trends in YA. With all the banning and challenging of books lately, and certain elements of story making it into just about every new book, we are very curious to see what you guys do and don't like to see in YA. Think sex, violence and insta-love, for instance. There's been lots of talk about it for a long time now, and so the idea was born: Amber & Daph's YA Survey.

We'd like to invite you guys to fill in the YA Survey we created if you can spare a few minutes! It's not that long, unless, well, you end up ranting about a certain subject.. It would be really helpful if you'd fill it in for us. We'll share the 'results' in a post later this month, and then we can all have a discussion about it and stuff.

(that's all the same link but I'm just being obnoxious so you won't be able to miss it #honest) 

If you have any thoughts before or after filling in the survey and you can't wait for the next post, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments! I love a good discussion.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Published: April 19th, 2011 (HarlequinTeen)
Pages: 293
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: The Goddess Test, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

The Goddess Test can definitely be considered as a guilty pleasure read for me. While some of the development during the story can only be called eyeroll-worthy, the writing was pleasant and smooth and it made for a good read that I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

Loosely based on Greek mythology, Carter has woven a story of a young girl who gets herself sucked into the world of the Greek gods. Originally, I thought this was a re-telling of the Hades and Persephone myth, which it's not. It's more of a continuation of Hades' story, where the story of the gods has been tweaked to a level where not even their names seem to be the same.

Something I like so much about stories based on Greek myths, is the distinct personalities and traits the gods have. Those were nonexistent in this book and I really missed that. Zeus, the king of the gods, is portrayed as some sort of spokesperson for the gods, who, to my surprise, asks for the other gods to vote on subject matters. Another eyeroll moment was the whole twist with Kate's mom. Are you for real?

Having said that, I really liked the way Carter has written this story. The writing was pleasant to read and easy to follow, flowing nicely and making me want to read more even though I thought some moments were ridiculous. I've enjoyed myself while reading this book and I'll be looking forward to read Goddess Interrupted, book two in the series.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planned Books for April 2012

I really liked doing this post for the past couple of months, so I've decided to make it a regular thing. I love lists! I've made a new one for the month of April, with new books I'd like to read even though I wasn't able to read all the books on my previous lists. It's a short list because of an upcoming theme month (announcement soon!) so I have some freedom in picking what I want to read. Yay! Here's this month's vlog :)

Planned books
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Daughter of the Flames by Zoë Marriott
A Million Suns by Beth Revis

I've already read some other books (that weren't on this list) and I feel like I'm cheating, but I gave myself some freedom this month and I'm not quite used to that haha. It's a short list of planned books so I can read some books I've bought myself instead of reading a lot of review titles. I really really want to read the two physical copies I showed in the video, so hopefully I can make that happen! 

Do you have certain books you'd like to read in the next couple of weeks? Which ones?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3rd, 2012 (MacMillan)
Pages: 390
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: Lunar Chronicles, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl...

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This book was so much better than I could have ever expected! A sci-fi dystopian retelling of Cinderella? Heck yes!

I heard a lot of good things about the book, and even though it sounded good, I'm not really that big of a fan of sci-fi, so I thought I would enjoy it and that would be that. But on top of enjoying it, I really really really liked it! It was awesome and I want MOAR!

Cinder is a cyborg, a second class citizen, and she has to obey her stepmother as she is her legal guardian. I loved how Cinder tried to work around that, how she tried to live her own life, despite the fact that her mom restricted her in every way possible. I loved how Peony, one of Cinder's stepsisters, was nice to Cinder even though her mother would probably have brainwashed her from the beginning. I loved how she came in contact with Prince Kai, how they built up a relationship and I loved how everything in the story came together in the end.

The worldbuilding was fantastic. I loved it. I felt like I was able to view Cinder at her booth at the market, working on an android or some sort of other item, and I loved how I felt like I was there when she was in the exam rooms, being tested on. I loved all the twists and turns and OMG that ending. WHY?!

In case you haven't noticed, I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone. Add it to your Debut Author Challenge lists! So Cinder gets 4.5 stars - Now, who can I bribe to get me Scarlet?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Index of dystopian and (post-)apocalyptic titles

In this list you can find all the dystopian and (post-)apocalyptic titles that are or will be reviewed on the blog. There is some crossover with Sci-Fi, so there are some titles included that wouldn't typically be branded as being dystopian or (post-)apocalyptic.

You can find this index by clicking on the button in the sidebar.


Books are listed in alphabetical order. Where possible, review links have been added.

Read dystopian and (post-)apocalyptic books
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Ask and the Answer, The by Patrick Ness

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Compound, The by S.A. Bodeen

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Eve by Anna Carey

Feedback by Robison Wells

Handmaid's Tale, The by Margaret Atwood
Hunger Games, The by Suzanne Collins

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Knife of Never Letting Go, The by Patrick Ness

Matched by Ally Condie
Maze Runner, The by James Dashner
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

New World, The by Patrick Ness

Once by Anna Carey

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Partials by Dan Wells

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Starters by Lissa Price

This Is How It Feels by Candida Harper
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Variant by Robison Wells

XVI by Julia Karr

Your Heart Like Quicksilver by Theo Lawrence

Titles on my shelves / upcoming reviews
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Blackout by Sam Mills
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Crossed by Ally Condie
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Declaration, The by Gemma Malley
Eleventh Plague, The by Jeff Hirsch
Forest of Hands and Teeth, The by Carrie Ryan
Giver, The by Lois Lowry
Gone by Michael Grant
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Legend by Marie Lu
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Other Side of the Island, The by Allegra Goodman
Pledge, The by Kimberly Derting
Predicteds, The by Christine Seifert
Roar, The by Emma Clayton
Scorch Trials, The by James Dashner
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Truth by Julia Karr
Way We Fall, The by Megan Crewe
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Feel free to recommend titles that are not mentioned in this post!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (75)

Another Sunday, another In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where we share what book(ish thing)s we got this week. I had a lovely week this week! I got a couple of awesome titles for review and I got some shirts in.. The Ultimate Lounge Wear! LOL! Here's this week's vlog :)

For review
Secret Book by Secret Author


District Four Tribute shirt
Official District Ten Uniform

So very excited with the books and shirts I got this week! I'm sorry I'm taunting you with all this secret book kinda stuff, but they specifically asked me not to mention the name and the book and I just couldn't film this video without talking about it because it's so.bloody.good. and I *need* to talk about it! As soon as I get the okay to tell you guys more, I'll be doing that *nods*. 

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

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Published: September 5th, 2006 (Berkley Sensation)
Pages: 334
Age group: Adult
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series:  Psy-Changeling, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" - the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was... Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion - and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities - or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...

When I was looking for a different kind of paranormal romance, this one was recommended to me. I picked up a copy and even though it took me several months to pick it up off the shelf, I'm so glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I really liked the idea behind this story. Psy are supposed to be devoid of feelings and all Psy are linked to the PsyNet, a mental network that links all Psy. I found this to be fascinating and loved the scenes in which Sascha was exploring the PsyNet. Sascha has to work with Lucas, a changeling who is almost bubbling over with emotions, something Sascha isn't used to. When the two come together to work on a mutual project, the story takes off and I loved every single minute of it.

The combination of a (for me) new kind of paranormal with completely fleshed out characters, great chemistry between the two leads and the vivid description of both of their situations - with Sascha, the complicated hierarchy of the Psy, with Lucas, the Pack - made this a great read for me. I'm excited for the second installment!

In short: four stars for the first book in the Psy-Changeling series and I'm looking forward to its sequel!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nightshade Giveaway - Winners!

The Nightshade giveaway ended on April 1st, so I have some winners to announce! I used to pick two winners and the lucky winners are...


Iris on Books

Congratulations! I'll be sending you an email later today to ask you for your shipping information. Please reply to this email within 48 hours, or I'll pick another winner! 

Thanks everyone for entering, it means a lot <3! If you didn't win this time, check out this or this giveaway or keep an eye on the blog - there are more giveaways coming up :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On My Wishlist (36)

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: Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight.

Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight
Expected publication date: August 28th, 2012

Ashline Wilde is about to discover that when you’re the reincarnation of a Polynesian volcano goddess, “new beginnings” are just a myth.

Leaving the fiery ruins of her sophomore year behind her, Ash travels to the sizzling beaches of Miami, hot on the trail of the little sister she’s only seen in visions. But her happy family reunion isn’t all palm trees and paradise. A cult of evil gods-on-earth, known as the Four Seasons, has kidnapped her sister to use in its terrifying new religion. Soon, the streets of Miami erupt in chaos and violence…and Ash gets caught right in the tropical crossfire.

Ash isn’t without help, however. Unexpected romance arrives in the form of Wes, an Aztec god of night with his own vendetta against the Four Seasons. As memories of Ash’s previous life begin to flicker into her dreams, the boundaries between ally and enemy, life and death, and love and hate all bleed together. And when a mysterious trickster from her past reappears to derail her new quest, Ash must choose between the echoes of a once-forgotten yesterday and the embers of an uncertain future.

Because when old flames return from the dead, even a volcano goddess can get burned.

Goodreads page

After being pleasantly surprised by Wildefire, I'm anxiously awaiting the release for the sequel. Knight sure as hell knows how to write a cliffhanger and I went o.O while I read it. And then it ended!!! That's just cruel, Karsten, you cruel man. Gah! And then I had to wait well over a year for the sequel!! But August is near, and I'm starting my count down.. Almost there!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: My Scorching Summer Diary by Liz Rettig

My Scorching Summer Diary by Liz Rettig
Published: April 5th, 2012 (Corgi Children's)
Pages: 304
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Series: There are several other books starring Kelly Ann. The books can be read as standalones.
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ½

Seventeen-year-old Kelly Ann leaves behind her boyfriend, family and friends in Glasgow to live and work in a London hotel for the summer. But losing her luggage and fending off tube gropers on her first day isn't a good start. Almost being arrested for stealing men's underwear on her second isn't any better. However she does manages to make friends, even though, to impress her new pals, she pretends to be older and more sophisticated than she is, with a doctor boyfriend. London life is fun, even though she has to work in a steaming hot kitchen all day. But her made-up life starts to get very complicated, and she has rely on old friends to save the day.

This is a hard review to write for me. While I really enjoyed the writing style, I absolutely hated the main character, Kelly Ann.

Kelly Ann is going to London to work at a hotel for six weeks during the summer. The moment she leaves markes the start of six weeks of disaster, lies and awkward situations that follow up on the first two. She quickly makes friends, which makes everything a little better, but she still manages to mess just about everything up.

Let me start off by saying that Kelly Ann literally lies about everything. From why she steals the underwear of a hotel guest, to why she's late, how old she is, what her boyfriend does.. She was only honest with the hot American guy she couldn't have because she has a boyfriend. I was so annoyed by her need to lie about everything that I had a hard time trying to enjoy the book, and in the end, I didn't really like it. The writing style is hilarious and I loved it, but the characters ruined it for me.

Chris, Kelly Ann's boyfriend, isn't much better. He lets his girlfriend lie and walk all over him and then still welcomes her back with open arms. I was so annoyed that he knew she lied, and not just one small lie, but completely invented a new life, and he still welcomed her back. Why doesn't the guy have a backbone?!

There are several more diaries by Kelly Ann, but all the books can be read seperately. I've only read this one, and I could understand everything just fine. If you don't mind a main character lying all the time and love awkward situations, this might be the book for you, but personally, I wouldn't recommend it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

March wrap up

It's already time to wrap up March and get ready for April! Spring is supposedly on its way, but we've left the good weather behind and are heading towards snow, hail, and cold! Boo! Reading will have to be done underneath a blanket again. But I will read - even though I can't sit in the garden while doing so! [/minirant] I managed to finish 10 books this month and I'm quite pleased with that!

Stats for March: 10 books - 3,587 pages - average 359 pages per book

The total stats as of now: 34 books, equals 12,408 pages and an average of 365 pages per book. This means that I'm a little behind to read 50,000 pages this year.. With my current reading pace, I'll be able to read 49,600 pages in 2012 - so I'd better step it up a bit so I can make it! Here's this month's wrap up video :)

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Starters by Lissa Price
The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter
The Changelings by Elle Casey
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Stray by Rachel Vincent
The New World by Patrick Ness
Hollow Earth by John and Carole E. Barrowman
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Madhattan Mystery by John J. Bonk (currently reading)

Out of the books I've read in March, 6 of them were review copies (and the book I'm currently reading is for review, too). I'm very proud. I've been mostly reading review copies for a couple of months now and the pile is finally getting smaller and the list of galleys from NetGalley is getting shorter - yay for finally being able to do that! 

This month's favorite is without a doubt Monsters of Men, the final installment in the Chaos Walking series. This book you guys, THIS BOOK! I also really enjoyed Starters by Lissa Price, which is an excellent debut if you ask me.

Which books have you read this month? Which of those was your favorite? :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In My Mailbox (74)

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 didn't do an IMM last week because I just got out of the hospital, so I've got two weeks worth of books to talk to you guys about! I'm recovering quite nicely from my surgery, so everything should be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Anyhoo, here's this week's vlog :)

For review



I'm so forking excited for the books I got in these past two weeks! I'm currently reading Madhattan Mystery and I'm really enjoying it so far. 

That's everything I got in my mailbox this week, what did you guys get? Happy reading! 

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