Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On My Wishlist (28)

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: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers.

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Expected publication date: June 19th, 2012

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Goodreads page
The synopsis of this books intrigues me - because you're not entirely sure what it is exactly that you turn into. Is it a zombie virus? I have no idea! But it sounds so interesting, I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. It's an apocalyptic tale, which is something that I'm not really familiar with so I'm very excited for this book to come out :)!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (66)

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. Another lovely week for me this week! Here's this week's vlog :)

For review
Macho of Minnaar? by Liz Rettig (My Rocky Romance Diary)


You can see why I'm happy, right? :) I'm still doing great in my low buy, and with books like these coming in I'll keep on doing great! Very excited for Legend, but I won't be able to read it until I've read some review books *hurries* Thanks so much Bella

That's all for me this week! What did you get in your mailbox this week? Happy reading :) 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dear Mr Potter edited by Lily Zalon

Dear Mr Potter edited by Lily Zalon
Published: June 2011
Publisher: -
Pages: 223
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Other: NA
Buy the book: Harry Potter Alliance

“Dear Mr. Potter: Letters of Love, Loss, and Magic” features hundreds of letters and pictures from Harry Potter fans. Individually, these letters and pictures tell stories of how fans have been impacted and inspired by Harry Potter. Together they serve as proof of what all Potter fans know so well: the Harry Potter series changes lives.

Along with fans from around the world, “Dear Mr. Potter” also features letters from Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), New York Times-bestselling author John Green, Leaky Cauldron webmistress and author of New York Times-bestseller “Harry, A History” Melissa Anelli, Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance, Paul DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters, Andrew Sims and Eric Scull of MuggleNet, and Esther Earl’s mom, Lori.

This is not the kind of book I typically review on the blog, but it's too good not to. If you're a Harry Potter fan like me, and you like reading about how Harry Potter has changed the lives of fans all around the world, this is a must have.

All the content inside this book is created by fans. Letters, pictures, drawings.. It gives a magnificent look into the lives of fans who have enjoyed the stories by J.K. Rowling. Some of the stories are quite heartbreaking as well, when you read about people losing the person who introduced them to the series.

There's not much I can say about Dear Mr Potter, since it's a book you need to experience yourself. All the proceeds from the book go to the Harry Potter Alliance and will help them improve literacy around the globe.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, this is a musthave to keep together with your books of the series. I can thoroughly recommend it.

My overall rating:

It's impossible for me to give it any less starts. Harry Potter fans touched my heart!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Since reading her debut novel I'm Not Her, I've been a fan of Janet Gurtler. Her writing is beautiful and she always manages to pull me into her story like no other. Having read both of her books, I've run out of material, so I'm impatiently awaiting the release of Who I Kissed, which will be published later this year. And now there's a cover!


Pretty, eh? I love how the attention on this one both goes to her lips and the guy in the background (who is pretty hot, from what I can see..).

The blurb on Goodreads says:
Janet Gurtler's WHO I KISSED, in which a girl struggles with boy problems and serious regret after accidentally killing a boy she barely knows when she kisses him after consuming a peanut butter sandwich, not aware he has a deathly allergy to peanuts.

That sounds really good! I'm *so* looking forward to reading this one, it's very high on my wishlist. Excited!

What do you think of the cover? Have you read her other books?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ten Things About Me As A Reader (2)

In the next couple of weeks, I'll be doing a weekly post that is a little more personal than the ones I usually post on the blog. Every week, I'll be listing ten things about me as a reader, until I reach 100. It can be anything relating to reading or books, as long as it also has to do with me - otherwise it wouldn't be Ten Things About Me As A Reader, right? :) This is the second week, so here are Things 11 - 20!

11. About ninety-five percent of the books I read, are written in English. It was higher in 2011, but since I'm getting Dutch books for review, I've read some Dutch books, which I also enjoy a lot.
12. My Big Bookcase was a gift from my parents for my birthday. I had a couple of stacks of books on the floor behind my bed before that, and it looked rather messy.
13. I love looking at bookshelves. My own, in bookstores, other people, famous people.. I love looking at them.
14. Most of the books I read, are part of a series. This isn't intentional, there's just a lot of good books that turn out to be the first in a series..
15. My favorite book when I was younger, was Een mysterieuze gast by Marjo Roeven. It's a Dutch book without an English edition and I've read it a lot. I still have it, and plan to re-read it sometime in the future.

16. According to Goodreads, I own 400 physical books.
17. Getting back into reading also sparked a forgotten hobby to life: writing.
18. While I love hardcovers, I prefer to read paperbacks, because they're cheaper and nicer to hold while reading.
19. I have never dog-eared a book in my life. I always use bookmarks, or if I don't have one handy, I use a scrap of paper, a receipt, a postcard, flat magnet or even a candy wrapper.
20. While I love my copy of Harry Potter Page to Screen, it bugs me that I'm not able to fit it anywhere on a shelf. Because of its size, it stays on my bed and has to be put on the floor every night.


These little facts make me think about myself and my reading habits quite a lot! It's fun to write a post like this one.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll have another ten things :) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
Published: October 1st, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 256
Source: ARC from Netgalley/bought
Challenge: none
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

Janet Gurtler proves with this book that she is an amazing author with an incredible talent to make you involved in her beautifully written story. If I Tell had me pulled in from the first page, and I couldn't stop reading until I flipped the last one.

Where do I even start to describe how much I loved this book?

When Jasmine finds out that her mother's boyfriend cheated on her mom with Jasmine's best friend, she decides to tell her mother what she saw. But when her mom tells her something she was absolutely not expecting, she panics. She can't tell her now, but she also can't face what's happening right in front of her.

Jasmine was a great character. She was loyal, but honest and sometimes even bluntly so. She was flawed, biased and angry, but she was also vulnerable, friendly and loving. She felt so incredibly real that I had no issues whatsoever to feel with her while I experienced her journey. Sure, she made mistakes, but I could see where she was coming from most of the time. She had a difficult upbringing because she was biracial in a place where there were only white people. I loved this part of her, because it made her stand out from other heroines.

I absolutely loved this book, not only because of the plot and the characters, who were completely fleshed out and real, even the snobby side characters, but also because Gurtler's writing has an addicting quality that made me unable to flip the pages quick enough. I was on the verge of tears most of the time while I was reading the book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jasmine's story.

If you're looking for a great realistic and often brutally honest contemporary story, this is a book for you.

My overall rating:

Five big fat stars for the second book of one of my new favorite authors.

Monday, January 23, 2012

On My Wishlist (27)

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 Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Expected publication date: April 24th, 2012

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

Goodreads page

Just when you think you can't read any original vampire stories anymore, because just about everything has been written, Julie Kagawa combines vampires with a dystopian future. Holy smoke, how can that NOT be awesome?! Kagawa is a brilliant story teller, as we all know if you have read The Iron Fey series, and I simply cannot wait for this book to come out. Is it April yet??

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (65)

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 an awesome week this week! So excited for everything that I got. Here's this week's vlog :)

For review on Kindle

Physical copy



A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford bookmarks (signed), Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey bookmarkes (signed) - Thanks so much Leah!
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe bookmark, notebook, pen, magnet and hand sanitizer - Thanks so much Megan! 

Thanks SO MUCH to Leah Clifford and Megan Crewe!! I'm so excited for the books and swag that I won! THANK YOU! 

This was a great week for books! I'm so excited for all the books that I got. This is going to be a very good week for reading!

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
Published: May 27th, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 237
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Other: First book in the Poison Diaries series. The second book, Nightshade, was published in 2011 and the third installment will be published in 2012.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.

When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.

When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness...

Very dark and deliciously twisted, The Poison Diaries took me on a poisonous trip that I couldn't resist.

Let me start out by saying that I didn't know what to expect of this book. It looked dark, but I hadn't heard a single thing about it until I got a pitch for the second book in the series. I decided to pick it up, and I'm so glad I did. It proved to be much darker and more complex than I could have expected.

Jessamine lives quite isolated from people. She lives with her father in a cottage outside the village, and when one day a man brings a boy to their home, everything gets turned upside down. Weed, as the boy is called, turns out to have some talents of his own that might interest Jessamine's father, who has a garden with dangerous plants. Jessamine's father takes his interests so far that he deliberately makes his daughter ill, forcing Weed to fight for a cure.

The story is told from both Jessamine's and Weed's point of view, who takes over writing in the diary when Jessamine falls ill. I liked how the story turned around when she was unable to write anymore and we get to see how Weed experiences everything without her company. At first I thought he was a bit of a weird character, but he grew on me and I admired his loyalty and determination to find a cure.

While I wasn't expecting to like it so much, I really did enjoy reading their story. The ending left me with quite a few questions, so I hope they will be answered in the second book. I wonder what kind of explanation Jessamine will get, so I'll just have to keep reading..

My overall rating:

A four minus for Jessamine and Weed - and I'll be back for Nightshade..

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ten Things About Me As A Reader (1)

In the next couple of weeks, I'll be doing a weekly post that is a little more personal than the ones I usually post on the blog. Every week, I'll be listing ten things about me as a reader, until I reach 100. It can be anything relating to reading or books, as long as it also has to do with me - otherwise it wouldn't be Ten Things About Me As A Reader, right? :) Since this is the first week, here are the first ten things!

1. I read every single day. Sometimes I don't feel like reading, but I'll try and read a couple of pages even if I don't feel like reading.
2. I held out on reading the Harry Potter series for seven years (which is ironic). I first saw Harry Potter when my best friend at the time was reading Goblet of Fire and told me it was really good and I should read it. I didn't, because I thought it looked stupid (gasp). Years went by when I stole my mom's copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2007 and was hooked.
3. I judge books by their covers, unless someone recommended it to me. If I don't like the cover, I'm unlikely to pick up the book.
4. When we were little, my sister (3 years younger) and I would fight over which book my dad should read before bed. Most of the times, I lost.
5. When I had to start reading books for school, I stopped reading for pleasure. I hated reading, and didn't do it for fun.

6. I have a bazillion bookmarks, and I rotate them so I have a different one every time.
7. I love the smell of books. I love to pick a random one off my shelves, open it and stick my nose in it just to smell it.
8. I was firmly anti ebook until about a year ago. I have no idea what brought on the change.
9. Up until now, I have only read one 'classic' - Animal Farm. I read it for my English oral exam and I absolutely hated the book with a passion.
10. My favorite places to read are in my bed, or when it's warm enough, outside in the garden.


That's it for this week. Next week I'll have another ten things about me. Let me know if you like these kind of posts :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Published: January 17th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Challenge: none
Other: Second book in the Unearthly series. The third book will be published in 2013.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Note: this is not the first book in the series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

After the wonderful surprise that Unearthly gave me in Hand's debut, Hallowed takes the series to the next level. It's very different from the first book in the series, but it was SO good.

Where Unearthly mainly focused on Clara's visions of the forest fire and Christian, this book centers around Clara getting more involved in the angel world and the new vision that she's been having. I'm having a difficult time to put my thoughts into words without spoiling the story, since everything mostly surrounds one event, so this review will be short.

What I will say is that Hand proves that she can write an emotional story. I was completely sucked into the book, and got quite emotional at times. There's one particular scene that made me cry because it was so beautifully written, but there were several scenes that were simply making me experience it as if I was actually there.

While I was firmly on Tucker's side in the first book, things have shifted now that I've read Hallowed. Christian was so much more likable in this book than Tucker was, even though Tucker is going through some crazy stuff with his supernatural girlfriend and it's totally understandable that he's struggling to cope.

Since this book was so different from its prequel, I can't say if it's better. I can say that it was awesome and if you haven't read the first book in the series yet, I suggest you go do that this year. You won't regret it.

My overall rating:

Four and a half stars for Hallowed and me going crazy while waiting for the final installment! Need it now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On My Wishlist (26)

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: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler.

Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler
Expected publication date: March 20th, 2012

Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.

In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.

But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?

Goodreads page
I really really *really* liked Rage, the second book in the series, and I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Loss for about a year now, ever since I finished reading the eGalley I had of Rage. Kessler has a way with words that make them reach you and I'm really curious how she fleshes out the character who's supposed to stand in for Pestilence. I'm very excited for Loss to finally come out and to finally be able to read it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Firelight winners!

The giveaway closed yesterday, so it was time for me to announce the winners of the Firelight. Ziel van Vuur ARC giveaway!

Since I didn't have a top hat to get the entries from, I used Random.org and the winners are..


Eibert Draisma

Congratulations! Emails have been sent to the address you specified, please reply to the email to claim your prize!

Thanks everyone for entering and reading my blog! There will be more giveaways soon, so if you didn't win this time, stay tuned :) 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (64)

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 but awesome mailbox for me this week, so I'm very pleased with what I got *beams*. Here's this week's vlog :)

For review


Physical copy

Linkie to book on Amazon: Slumber (not free anymore but still cheap!)

VERY excited for the review books I got this week, and hope I can get to them soon! Of course I'm also very excited for the other books I got, but you know what I mean.. :)

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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published: October 18th, 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 288
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Even though this book didn't hit all the buttons for me, it managed to tell a story about a girl who committed suicide a couple of weeks before brilliantly.

When Clay finds the tapes Hannah recorded, he doesn't know what to expect. He was part of the reason she killed herself? He listens to the tapes and listens through all the messages she leaves for the other people who have to listen to the tapes. Hannah explains what drove her to the decision of ending her life, and Jay Asher manages to do this in a way that takes you on the trip with Clay. There's a map on the inside of the dust jacket of the hardcover, and it's like you're there with him while he tries to figure everything out.

While Thirteen Reasons Why is a great book, with an excellent story and good writing, I missed some connection to the story that would have made it a fantastic book for me. I teared up a couple of times, but I missed that extra push that would have made my tears fall.

I loved the idea for this book and I really like how Asher has written it into a compelling story. He managed to tell the story without it becoming cheesy or cliché, something I really appreciate. It is a great story and I'm sure a lot of people will like it even more than I did, but I don't think it lived up to the hype surrounding it. However, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary that deals with teenage problems, suicide or depression.

My overall rating:

While it wasn't as amazing as I thought it would be, Thirteen Reasons Why is definitely worth a read if you ask me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Published: May 15th, 2005
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 311
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Other: First book in the Underland Chronicles. There are five books in this series.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.

Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland's uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever.

After finishing Collins' phenomenal series The Hunger Games, I was hungry for more. I hadn't heard anything about her debut or the following books in the series, but it sounded good so I decided to give it a try. And I'm ever so glad I did, because Gregor proves to be just as exciting as The Hunger Games.

In this first book of the series, we meet Gregor, an 11-year old guy with a two-year-old sister called Boots. When Boots goes through a grate in their laundry room, Gregor follows her and soon they find themselves in the Underland, a world without a sun where enormous animals live besides the humans. The animals have distinct personalities, from the giant cockroaches to the loyal bats who carry 'their' humans.

While this is a middlegrade series, it reads very quickly and it's just as exciting as Collins' young adult series. The writing is to the point and makes it easy to imagine everything that's happening, even the talking insects, rats and bats. I loved how fast paced it was, how much adventure there was and how likeable the characters are. Gregor is a great main character and you cannot possibly read the story without liking Boots. She's small and still a toddler, but she's a feisty one at that!

If you're looking for a fast paced, adventerous and exciting middle grade fantasy, this is the book for you!

My overall rating:

Four and a half stars for Gregor and Boots - until next time!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sophomore Reading Challenge 2012

Everyone knows about the Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. But I feel like not everyone knows about the Sophomore Reading Challenge, hosted by Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit, where the goal is to read at least ten sophomore books - books that are the second ya or middle grade title of an author. I'm glad I found the challenge, because it looks awesome!

And of course, I've decided to participate! There have been so many awesome debuts in 2011 and most of the debut authors from last year have books coming out in 2012 and I'm dying to read them!

I've challenged myself to read at least ten of those sophomore books. I'll possibly be upping that throughout the year, but I wanted to start with a doable amount of books since I've already challenged myself to read at least 20 debuts this year.

Anyhoo, here's a list of sophomores I hope to be able to read in 2012 (linkie will take you to Goodreads):
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford
- A Million Suns by Beth Revis
- The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
- Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
- The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge
- Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
- The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
- Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
- Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

I might shake it up a bit while I read, but these are currently pretty high on my need-to-read-list so I really hope I'll be able to read them in the coming months!

Are you participating in the Sophomore Reading Challenge? If so, which books do you plan to read?

Monday, January 9, 2012

On My Wishlist (25)

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: A Million Suns by Beth Revis.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Expected publication date: January 10th, 2012

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

Goodreads page

Across the Universe was brilliant and I loved it even though I wasn't sure about a book written about people on a spaceship. And how Beth Revis proved me wrong! It was exciting, intriguing and even romantic at times. I loved the suspense and the end of the book left me hungry for more, so I'm anxiously awaiting book two, which comes out tomorrow (!!!!) so I must get my hands on a copy ASAP! It's going to be brilliant - I just know it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (63)

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. No physical copies for me this week, but I did get swag and books on my Kindle! Here's this week's vlog :)


Thanks to Beth Revis, Ashley and Kirsten Hubbard
Godspeed card, The Pledge sticker and bookmark, The Lipstick Laws bookmark, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer bookmark, signed sticker and bookmark of A Touch Mortal, signed bookmark and extra bookmarks of Wanderlove

Linkies to books on Amazon (all still free as of 06/01/2012):

Whew! That's a lot of linkies.. Anyhoo, I got a lot of books from Amazon that are still free! I have no idea if I'll like them, but you can't go wrong with free books, right? Moon Dance is the only one that's an adult title, the rest are young adult books. I'm very much looking forward to reading them!

I also got a pretty nice amount of swag in and I'm really happy with that! Thanks guys! <3

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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Venturing on dangerous ground..

But it's been only six days into 2012 and we've had six days of drama and overall nastiness. This is not what the blogosphere is about, and I need to get this off my chest.

First up, disclaimer: I am not attacking or pointing fingers at anyone. I'm not linking to anything or anyone and this is just my opinion on how stuff is going down. I tried to keep out of it, but it's really bothering me how this is developing in some sort of war between bloggers and authors. It's damaging the relationship between authors and bloggers, and it's bothering me.

It's been a recurring issue with bloggers who choose to post negative reviews about books, whether they are harsh or polite. Bloggers explain why they didn't like the book, or why they had issues with the book, and authors are hurt by it and publicly take it out on the blogger who wrote the review.

It doesn't stop there. There have been leaked bashing e-mails, nasty remarks that were aimed at the blogger instead of their review, Amazon and Goodreads review debacles and problems on twitter. Everyone is getting pulled into it and it's not working any favors for anyone.

I completely understand that a negative review can shake an author. I completely understand that it can hurt, will make you angry, possibly make you cry. A book feels like a part of you when you've written it and put so much of yourself in it. But it is not you, even though you shine through it. You are not your book. Book bloggers are here because they love reading and books, and they post review to share their opinion on the books they read. Sometimes that's not a positive opinion, but everyone is entitled to voice whatever they think. Book bloggers will be honest in what they think of the books they read. Which means that they can say stuff about a book that you as an author will not like to hear. It's unavoidable, there will be less than awesome reviews, I can guarantuee that.

But here's the thing. When you are upset by a review, vent to your partner, friends, pets or your car. Never take it out on the blogger or your (potential) readers and certainly don't do it in public. Don't do anything. Don't go complaining in public. Carry it with class, and you'll gain readers. Get on your high horse and take it out on the reviewer or make it personal by attacking the person behind the review, and you'll lose (potential) readers. It's unprofessional to terrorize a blogger or reviewer who has posted a negative review on your book. Would you have done the same if it was the NY Times? You'll only shoot yourself in the foot, and the only one having to deal with that is you.

Don't get me wrong - this is absolutely not a lecture towards anyone. It's me telling everyone to handle it with dignity. Things have escalated and are getting completely out of hand. Bloggers blog because they love books and reading, and most really enjoy being able to interact with the people writing the stories. But when sharing your opinion is getting you the trash that some bloggers are getting these days, it's going too far.

Bloggers are not here to dicourage readers to pick up your book. They are not here to tell people they shouldn't buy your book. I don't know any blogger who would do such a thing. They are here to share their thoughts and say what they think of a book in the form of honest reviews. Bloggers, myself included, write reviews for readers, not for authors. A negative review doesn't mean lost sales or a loss of possible readers. It means it wasn't for this particular reader. I think we should respect that.

Not every book is for everyone, but every book is for someone. It's impossible to make everyone love the same thing, but it is possible to share your thoughts without slamming the people behind it. Let's not make it personal. Let's keep things pleasant. Because authors write the stories we bloggers want to read, and bloggers talk about your books. Let's keep it that way.

My goals in 2012

As you may have noticed, I've already done a post on what I want to do with the blog in 2012 (post can be found here), but I haven't shared what I want to do in 2012 when it comes to reading and other personal stuff. So here goes!

Books & Reading
- Read 50,000 pages in a year. In 2011 I managed to read 45,000 so I was pretty close, but I failed to reach 50k pages. Somehow this goal made it into my head and I'm determined to make it this year!

- Read at least 125 books. Last year I set my goal to 100 books when I filled in the Goodreads reading challenge, but I managed to read far more than that. I've been home all year, but it wasn't like I was reading every hour of the day, so I think I will be able to make this goal even if I have to work.

- Read a minimum of five 'classics'. I've talked about my lack of classic reading a couple of times before, and I really want to change that by actually reading them. I have a couple in my possession right now, so it should be doable! I plan to read Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-five, The Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables.

- Read at least 20 YA debuts. I managed that in 2011, so I don't see why I won't be able to read as many in this year.

- Keep the book buying to a minimum. I've been on lowbuy for a couple months now, and I've been doing great with only 4 books bought in 2 months or so. It's really hard for me to not buy every book I want to read, because I go all grabby hands when I see titles I want to have, but it's doable. I have a list of books with their releasedates so I can keep up with their publication dates. Somehow this makes it easier for me to not buy all the books I see online.

- Actually read the books that I buy. I have a massive amount of books in my possession that I needed but are still on my shelves unread. It's time to fix that!

- Get a job and keep it. I've been unemployed for way too long now, and I've been applying for jobs for months and months without luck. I need to get a job in 2012, both to be able to pay the bills and for my well-being. Not having a job and staying at home is driving me nuts, even though I like having plenty of time to be able to read. It's just not ideal, and I want to change it.

- Eat less chocolate and candy. I am quite addicted to sugar and even though it's delicious, it's um, not really that good for me. It's unhealthy and it makes me quite hyperactive as well. Yes, I have a problem.

- Keep in touch with my friends more. I'm a lazy blogger, but I'm also a very lazy friend. I've lost a lot of friends when I got ill, so I should cherish the ones that stuck with me even more. I don't do that enough, so it's time to change.

- Finish the stories I'm working on. I'm currently working on three different stories, my NaNo novel the biggest one. I hope I'm able to finish at least one of them in 2012, so I can start rewriting and editing after that.


That's pretty much it for my 'personal' goals! Almost all of them will influence the blog in some way, but they're still goals I set for myself instead of the blog. 

Do you have resolutions for 2012? If you do, I'd love to hear them in the comments :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Fated by Sarah Alderson

Fated by Sarah Alderson
Published: January 5th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 320
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Other: There are two more books in the series, but they are yet to be sold.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?

When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.

But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.

Fated proved to be a real pageturner that I couldn't put down when I started reading it. It was fast paced and exciting, realistic and romantic. I loved it.

Evie is a hardworking girl, taking on as much work as she possibly can in order to leave her small town as soon as possible. Everything changes when she finds out she is the last in a long line of demon slayers, and those demons (unhumans).. want her dead. When the Brotherhood, a league of unhumans, send Lucas to spy on her and the Hunters, they expect him to find out about secrets of the Hunters. Instead, they discover a link they didn't expect, which endangers them both.

This book had the delicious addicting quality I love so much. It was a pageturner and I couldn't flip the pages quick enough, just to find out what would happen. I loved the alternating point of view that allowed me to see what happened with both Evie and Lucas. They are both great characters, Evie as the first insecure, but later determined Hunter, and Lucas as the gorgeous unhuman who finds more and more that things doesn't have to be how they are. I loved that we got to see their relationship develop, even though the novel doesn't cover a whole lot of time.

Fated is beautifully written in a way that can only capture your attention. I haven't read Hunting Lila yet, but after reading this fantastic book, I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

As it stands now, Fated is a standalone novel. There are two more books in the series, but they haven't been sold yet. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed that they will be sold, because I would like another helping of Evie and Lucas!

My overall rating:

Five big, fat stars for Fated and Sarah Alderson. This is a must-read and I already think this will be one of my favorites of 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

[Get Read-y] Wrap up

With the start of 2012, Get Read-y for 2012 came to an end. It's been an absolute blast to host this event and I hope you've enjoyed participating in it! I hope your reading piles are a little lower, so you are fully prepared for the awesome of the new year. This wrap up posts consists of a couple parts: wrap up of Get Read-y with feedback form, list of books I read and of course the giveaway. 


Since this was my first time hosting such an event, I would love to get some feedback on how you've experienced it. The form is completely anonymus, so you can say whatever you want. I'd love to get some constructive critisism so I can work on that and make Get Read-y even more awesome this year! Click here to be taken to the form - I would be very grateful if you could take the time to fill it in. If you did not participate for whatever reason, you can still fill in the form - it would help me immensely if you do. It will only take you a minute or two!

Personal wrap up
For me, Get Read-y was a massive success and I hope it has been for you, too. I've read a total of 11 books, 8 of them being review books. I'm going to continue reading merely review books in January to lower that pile even more, but for December, 8 review books is great! Here's a list of the review books I read:

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (bought - sequel for review)
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler (NG, bought)
Partials by Dan Wells (proof)

I'm hoping to lower my pile - or as it is, cross books off my review titles list - in January, with first up Firelight. Ziel van Vuur by Sophie Jordan, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I waited to read those until January, because they are 2012 debuts. Sneaky, eh? 

As promised, there's a giveaway for a January release. The only requirement is that the book is available from Bookdepository, since I will be using BD to send out the prize. Just fill in this form to be entered. It's open until January 20th, and I will draw a winner in the weekend. I've decided to leave it for a relatively long time so everyone who participated in Get Read-y has the time to get back to this post :). Remember: participation in Get Read-y is required and any entries from people who haven't participated in the event will be deleted. The winner will be drawn at random and will be notified by e-mail. 


And that's it! It's official - Get Read-y is over. At least, it is for now. I'm hoping to bring it back for December of this year, so if you haven't already filled it in, I would be forever grateful if you fill in this survey

Thank you to everyone who participated - you've made it an amazing experience! I hope to see you again in December of this year, for the second edition of Get Read-y :) Please leave your experiences in the comments - or share your wrap up posts!

Happy reading!

Loving Books in 2012

While 2011 was an AMAZING year, 2012 is hopefully going to be even better! Most things on Loving Books will stay the same, but there will be some changes that I'd like to share.

2012 Resolutions
I've shared my resolutions last year, and I think I pretty much failed every single one of those. It's time to change that!

First up, I want to interact more with my readers and other bloggers. I've been slacking in terms of commenting on blogs and sometimes even on my own blog.. Yeah, it's that bad. I'm lazy! I've installed reply buttons to the comments a few weeks ago, so it's easier to reply to individual comments on posts and interact with you guys. Unfortunately, Blogger won't allow threaded comments, so we'll have to make do with this :)

Emails take a long time for me to answer. I'm always behind on them, but I'm hoping to catch up in January. If there's something you want to know, and you want an answer quickly, I'd recommend contacting me on Twitter or Formspring. Both are on all day so you'll most likely to get a reply soon on one of those.

In terms of books, I hope to read just as much as I read in 2011. That's a lot of books, but I'm pretty sure I can do it if I set my mind to it. Also, I'd like to get more on top of my reviews, which means that reviews go up sooner instead of later (I have a list of around 25 titles waiting to be reviewed. I've read them, but I haven't written my thoughts down yet). This will be the hardest thing for me to do, since I tend to schedule stuff before not writing any reviews for a couple of weeks.

Last but certainly not least, I want to keep up the posting schedule I've set up in November/December. This means that new posts will go up at least four times a week and that new videos will go up 1 - 2 times a week. Hopefully I can keep up with this when I get a job (*fingers crossed*)! I've got my planner all color coded, so I'm all set!

Blog changes
Like I mentioned above, I've installed reply buttons to the comment section, making it easier to interact with eachother. It's one of the small, but hopefully great changes I'm making on the blog to make Loving Books a better blog. Something I'm hoping to do in the new year, is hosting discussions. I haven't done any in 2011, mostly because I didn't think I would be able to write up a good enough piece to get a discussion started, but I'm pretty sure I'm ready for it now :) It's also something that will get the interaction going!

I'm also thinking of changing some of the content. More discussion, reader tips, maybe even some posts about me or how I blog? I'm not sure, but I want to spice it up a bit. I want to make Loving Books a more involved blog.

Most of the other changes are behind the scenes, so maybe you won't even notice them :)

Loving Books is currently an affiliate with BookDepository. There's a link included with every review that goes up on the blog, and if you click that link and buy something, I get a little commission. The money that I get from these clicks and purchases goes to hosting giveaways and paying for shipping, so the money comes directly back to you! It gives me the opportunity to give a little extra to my readers. Because even though I really want to, I can't afford to do many giveaways right now. This is the perfect solution! So please don't hesitate to click the button :)

Last year, I hosted two awesome themes; Daph's Birthday Bash Extravaganza, filled with guestposts and interviews from some of my favorite authors, and Get Read-y for 2012, an event meant to lower your TBR pile for the new year. Both were incredible, and I hope to host those again this year! Besides that, I hope to launch a couple new events during the year as well. The first of those will go up in February and will spotlight one of my favorite series :)


Of course that's not all that's coming up in 2012, but it's the most important stuff that I wanted to let you know. Loving Books will still be a blog that's focused on books and reading and everything that comes along with that. I've refound my love for blogging and I'm thrilled to be blogging for the second year in 2012! 

I'm going in full force and I'm very much looking forward to a new year full of new books! *dives in*

I hope you all have a great 2012, full of health, happiness, love and books :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On My Wishlist (24)

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: Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
Expected publication date: May 28th, 2012

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Goodreads page

I cannot express how excited I am for this book. Divergent was a rollercoaster, exciting, thrilling, and overall an EPIC story. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait for Insurgent to come out so we find out how the story continues. And since I can't put into words how excited I am, here's an impression: AAAAAAAAAHWJEHERHHERGHRGEHRGEJHJKLE WANT.

Monday, January 2, 2012

December wrap up

December has come to an end, and with that, so has 2011! I can't believe how fast the year went by and that I've spent that entire year blogging. It's been an amazing experience and thanks to you guys, I found so many awesome titles to read! I managed to read twelve books in December, which is good for me, especially considering most of these were review titles (thanks to Get Read-y for 2012).

Adding everything up, these are my total stats for 2011 (eep!):  I have read 130 books in 2011, which equals 45,092 pages read in 2011. The pagecount wasn't going up as fast as I needed it to go up to reach 50,000 pages read by the end of the year, so I settled for 45,000 and barely managed to read that. But hey, compared to last year, I did great - since I only managed to read a little over 5,400 pages.

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

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins
Partials by Dan Wells
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Adorkable by Sarra Manning
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
Slated by Teri Terry
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Fated by Sarah Alderson
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe

Started but not yet finished
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My Scorching Summer Diary by Liz Rettig

Books I should really finish
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (started before November)

After a real reading low in November, I managed to come back into reading and read a decent amount of books. Nine of them are review titles, so I managed to cross off a good number off my review list (yay!). Out of the books I've read, I loved Adorkable, Fated, If I Tell and The Underland Chronicles the most. But to be honest, I liked every single one of them, even though some were better than others in my opinion.

And with that, I come to the end of this post! 2011 has been an amazing year and I've had the pleasure of reading a lot of amazing titles. I'm very much looking forward to 2012 to see if it will be just as awesome - or maybe even more so.

Let me know what books you've read in December in the comments please! I'd love to hear which ones were your favorites this month :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

In My Mailbox (62)

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. Happy New Year everyone!! It's the first Sunday of 2012 and we're starting off with a short IMM vlog :)


Fracture by Megan Miranda + swag - Thanks Cicely!! 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD (YESSSS) 

Linkie to free book:
Hollowland: Amazon
Meant to be is not free anymore, but it's still cheap at $0.99: Amazon

Thanks so much to Cicely for having the Fracture giveaway I'm so excited to read it!! I got declined multiple times on NetGalley and now I have my own copy yaaaay! *happy dances* Excited for the free books as well, especially since I looked up Hollowland on Goodreads after I got it and saw that it has a really good rating :)

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

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope 2012 will be full of happiness, health, love, books and other amazing things. I hope it will bring you joy and good times.

*raises glass*

To 2012!
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