Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chaos Walking Week Roundup


In case you missed it - it was Chaos Walking Week on Loving Books this week! The week has been filled with all kinds of posts in the theme of Patrick Ness' amazing series. Just in case you missed it, or if you're looking for a particular post from this week, here's the round up!


Reviews
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Chaos Walking, #1
The Ask and the Answer - Chaos Walking, #2
Monsters of Men - Chaos Walking, #3
The New World - Chaos Walking, #0.5


Discussion post
The Knife of Never Letting Go


Movie
My picks for The Knife of Never Letting Go casting


Miscellaneous
Kick-off post - Link your reviews of TKoNLG!
You May Also Like.. - Book recommendations


Giveaway
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Open internationally


Make sure you enter the giveaway - it's open until April 30th and everyone can enter (as long as BookDepository ships to you)!


I hope you've enjoyed Chaos Walking Week! I had a lot of fun - big thanks especially to the other fans who reached out to talk about the book(s)!


You May Also Like..

For those of you who read and loved/enjoyed/adored/liked the Chaos Walking trilogy, who might be looking for books to read to fill the void after finishing the trilogy - I've created a post which *hopefully* includes some books you might enjoy. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!



A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Goodreads page



Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life...

Goodreads page



Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Goodreads page



After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.

But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?

Goodreads page


If anyone knows of books with a similar writing style to Ness', I'd love to hear your suggestions!


This post is part of

Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness


Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Published: September 28th, 2010 (Candlewick)
Pages: 603
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Chaos Walking, #3
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★★

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

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.

I apologize in advance for this slightly rambly, slightly messy and totally fangirly review. There was no other way I could have written this review - it's been over a week since I read it when I write this and my thoughts are still scattered all over the place.

In this third and final installment, we finally get to the climax of the Chaos Walking trilogy. It's messy, violent, treacherous and emotional, but it felt real and had my feelings completely confused. In addition to the points of view of Todd and Viola, we now get to see the side of the Spackle as they prepare for the ultimate battle. While it was a little long at points (which made me anxious and annoyed because I wanted to get on to more of the good stuff), it gave an extra dimension to the ever expanding war.

Ness' characters and their emotions are raw and real and that's no different in this book. His way with words is phenomenal, dragging the reader into the story while taking them on a rollercoaster ride of feelings that had me a complete mess when I finished it. THE ENDING, PEOPLE. The effing ending (only I don't really say 'effing') had my emoshuns all over the place and I was a mess and feelings and emoshuns were making their way out of my head thru my eyes and people were giving me funny looks and -

That ending-
That effing ending -
It was just perfect and painful and my emoshuns were a mess and that ending was just so perfect and there was no way it could have ended any more perfect than this and I was so happy with the ending but so sad for what happened and it was just such a mess and Todd and Viola were just so strong and I couldn't watch and I couldn't-
And tho I couldn't watch I couldn't stop reading and I cried and my heart ached and it was all just so perfect and then that effing ending-
I can't believe he wrote that and at the same time I do and I can't imagine a better ending for the series and the characters and it was such a good ending even though what happened wasn't good but it was the only right way to end the series and I'm still an emoshunal wreck and I can't believe it's over now and there will be no more Todd and Viola and all the other characters-

And it's over. There's a void in my heart, a blank where I'm supposed to be sucked into new stories, live with them, experience with them. But I can't imagine going through such a rollercoaster ride like this any time soon and I'm so effing happy that this series was recommended to me. I cannot recommend it enough. Ness wrote a masterpiece.


This post is part of


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go Casting Picks

As you may have heard, Lionsgate acquired the movie rights to the entire Chaos Walking series in 2011! I have no clue how they will be able to animate the Noise in the movie, but it's awesome nontheless.

In this post, I'm sharing my "picks" for the casting of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I usually don't envision the characters the same way the author does, even if there's enough discription of the looks of the character to envision him or her fully. I'm a bit of a weirdo and usually try to hear their voice instead of seeing what they look like, but this is how I would envision the characters.


Leo Howard as Todd 

Chloe Moretz as Viola


(a younger Jennifer Lawrence would have been my second choice, but she's too old for the part)


Ciarán Hinds as Mayor Prentiss


Michael Shannon as Aaron


Jack Quaid as Davy Prentiss (though ±5 years too old)


Manchee
(I have no clue what breed this is)


This is based on appearance alone, since I have no clue what the actors are like on screen - I have to admit that I've never even seen most of them acting so don't judge me on that please xD. 

Who would you pick to cast for book 1? 



This post is part of

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CLOSED] The Knife of Never Letting Go GIVEAWAY!

What would a theme week be without some stuff to give away? Exactly! So to spread the love, I'm giving away a US paperback copy of The Knife of Never Letting Go to one lucky winner. Eep!


Zeh prize:


Chaos Walking; The Knife of Never Letting Go

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.


But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

479 pages or awesomeness! Ohhhh yeah!

Just fill in the form to be entered. Following is not required, but much appreciated! :) I would love it if you could spread the word, even if you're not entering. This book, and the series, do not get as much love as they deserve! You can use the twitter button in this post.


Rules
- Open internationally
- One winner will receive a copy of The Knife of Never Letting Go
- Following is not required, but it is greatly appreciated (and gains you an extra entry)
- Fill in the form to be entered
- I am not responsible for items lost in the mail
- Duplicate entries will be deleted
- Winner will be drawn at random
- This giveaway is open until April 30th, 2012







This giveaway is now closed. Winner TBA



This post is part of

Review: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness


The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness 
Published: August 10th, 2010 (Candlewick)
Pages: 519
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Chaos Walking, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

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

Reaching the end of their flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?

Where The Knife of Never Letting Go sucked me into the story, The Ask and the Answer made me almost desperate to just find out what was going to happen. The combination of the writing style, the progression of the plot and the alternating point of view had me on the edge of my seat. This is what I would call an example of an ultimate pageturner!

Where do I even start? I loved this book. I loved how the beginning immediately set a fast pace for the entire story. The writing style is just as different and distinct as it is in the first book, although I felt like it had evolved a bit - from thoughts pouring out of Todd's head onto the pages, I felt like his thoughts weren't as scattered as they were in The Knife of Never Letting Go, which had me reading even quicker.

Another thing I absolutely adored: the insight we get in the characters. We do not only see how Todd and Viola develop during the story, but we see what happens to everyone around them. The characters are fully developed, each with their own traits and everyone has a reason why they became this way. There's a bit of the mystery around them left, even though part of it is revealed, there's enough to keep you guessing and understand the characters at the same time. Everyone has inhuman choices to make in order to survive, and while the story of course focuses on Todd and Viola, the characters around them are not forgotten.

I also want to applaud Ness' ability to make me feel sorry for Davy Prentiss. For me, he was my second most hated character from the first installment (guess who was number one), but in this book, I began to see his point of view, to understand why he did what he did. It didn't make it right, but it made me sympathetic towards him as a character - something I thought was impossible.

I can go on and on about what I love about this book, but I'll just sum it up in one paragraph for you: In this excellent sequel to an already amazing first book, Ness takes his Chaos Walking trilogy to the next level. Filled with twists and turns, The Ask and the Answer does not suffer from sequel let-down, providing us with a thrilling follow-up that shows us the rest of Todd and Viola's story. A high-intensity, action packed, fast paced and heart wrenching book that I would recommend to anyone (but make sure to read book 1 first, because the sequel picks up immediately after it ends).


This post is part of



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[SPOILERS] The Knife of Never Letting Go discussion

Welcome to the discussion post of Chaos Walking Week! In this post, I'll be asking some questions about the book and hopefully we'll be able to discuss the answers in the comments.

Please do not continue reading this post if you have not read The Knife of Never Letting Go, since this post (and the comments) will contain spoilers. 



The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 
Chaos Walking, #1

Synopsis:
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I've never hosted such a discussion post before, even though I've been dying to do one for ages, so bear with me! I've made little 'sections' with a couple of questions, hopefully it makes sense..


Writing
- Ness has written the book from Todd's point of view who has a never stopping flow of Noise pooring out. The story resembles that: we experience the streaming of Todd's Noise during a great part of the book. Did this make the story or its characters more significant?
- Have you had the same experience in terms of information coming at you in a never ending motion (with social media like Twitter, etc.)?
- Does the change of font add anything to the story?


Characters and relationships
- What do you think is Viola's reason not to talk to Todd in the beginning?
- Does Todd love Viola? If so, in what way?
- Is Todd's relationship with Manchee developing during the story? If so, does it develop in the same way as Todd's character?
- Are Manchee's thoughts portrayed in a realistic way? And for other animals?
- What do you think becoming a man makes it so significant to Todd?


Plot/events
- Why do you think Mayor Prentiss did what he did to the women of Prentisstown? Was it fear of the unknown, or something else entirely?
- How significant was Aaron's role to the story? Was he a minor or major influence to the plot?
- Did the setting of the book enhance the story?
- What did the killing of the Spackle mean to Todd's character? And the storyline?
- How important was it that Viola was the one to finally kill Aaron?



I'll leave my thoughts in the comments, so this post won't be really long. Please leave your answers in the comments, for some, or all questions, and if you have questions for other readers, please ask them! I'm so very excited to finally be able to discuss the book - hopefully we'll be able to swap thoughts :)



This post is part of


Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: The New World by Patrick Ness


The New World by Patrick Ness
Published: August 24th, 2009
Pages: 24
Source: free
Challenge: none
Series: Chaos Walking, #0.5
Buy the book: Free on Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆


In this dramatic prequel to the award-winning Chaos Walking Trilogy, author Patrick Ness gives us the story of Viola's journey to the New World.


In this short story, written entirely from Viola's point of view, we experience her trip to the New World. The preperation to arrive and the actual arrival and how Viola felt about all this. I read this prequel when I already finished the entire trilogy, and I have to say that I've gotten even more respect for Viola than I already had after reading the books. I knew she was strong female character, one of the strongest I've come across in YA - but this confirms it yet again.

We come full circle, experiencing Viola's arrival at the New World, filling in the pieces we missed when we met her in The Knife of Never Letting Go. A great addition to the series for fans of Chaos Walking and a nice way to introduce new readers to this awesome series.


This post is part of

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chaos Walking Week Kickoff!



Welcome to Chaos Walking Week!

During this week, I'm dedicating the blog to the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, an awesome young adult Sci-Fi series that is one of my absolute favorites. You can expect a new post every day during this week - all of it focusing on one or more of the books in this series.

There are three full length books in this series, as well as a short prequel: The Knife of Never Letting Go (#1), The Ask and the Answer (#2), Monsters of Men (#3) and the prequel The New World (#0.5).


In case you're not familiar (yet) with the series, here's the synopsis for the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go:


Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?


In case that doesn't intrigue you, or if you want to know my thoughts, feel free to check out my review: clickie!

And because I might be a little biased, I've added a linkie thing to this post, so you can add your own reviews of The Knife of Never Letting Go. These can be written reviews, video reviews, picture reviews.. Whatever you like! The only thing I ask is that it's a spoiler free review, so new readers won't be spoiled in case they decide to pick up the book to read. That's all!


Leaves me to say I hope you have fun during this week! I'm very excited to host Chaos Walking Week, to spread the love and just talk to other fans of the series. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments for what you'd like to see during this week! I already have the entire week covered with posts, but I'm always up for more awesome, especially if it's for a series I love - which definitely applies to this one.







Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: The Changelings by Elle Casey & Giveaway!


The Changelings by Elle Casey
Published: February 5th, 2012
Pages: 275
Source: for review - blog tour
Challenge: none
Series: War of the Fae, #1
Buy the book: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆


Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?

The Changelings was fast paced, with a main character who is sure to crack you up and keep it real at the same time, and plenty of twists and turns along the way of her story.

I have to be honest - I had my doubts about Jayne, the main character. To say she's potty-mouthed would be an understatement in my eyes, and I have to admit that she got on my nerves at the beginning of the book. But she grew on me, and I really liked how she developed into a feisty character instead of an annoying one. Her interaction with Tony, her best friend, is great and I really liked reading their conversations. I didn't really feel any connection between Jayne and the other characters, but I'm sure that's just because Jayne has a big mouth because of the wall she built up around her - something I think will crumble bit by bit with the new friends she's made.

The story itself was full of twists and turns, some more unexpected than others, but I found myself intrigued by the way the plot was going and how everything started to come together near the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book! There were some imperfections in the writing, but it didn't bother me so much to put it down. I read it very quickly and was fully entertained - and quite curious about where the story would be going. And after that ending, I really need to get book 2.. Because it surely made me want more!



This post is part of:

Previous stop: YA Bookmark | Next stop: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile



Giveaway!
I'm allowed to give an ebook copy of The Changelings! All you have to do is fill out the form below to be entered. That's all! The giveaway is open until April 15th, 2012.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter


The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter
Published: August 18th, 2009 (MIRA)
Pages: 416
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Lords of the Underworld #4
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Bound by the demon of doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern - until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she'd fall for a kind human who wouldn't rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora's box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love...

While I enjoyed the series before reading about Sabin, this is the book that made me fall for the series.

Sabin is the keeper of Doubt, and his demon sends out doubtful thoughts to everyone around him, causing people to even doubt if they should be alive. When he meets Gwen, his demon is both tempted and scared, and this makes for a great story in The Darkest Whisper.

First up: I *loved* the introduction of the Harpies! One of the things I enjoy most about this series, is that it's not only about the warriors and the ladies, but also the base of Greek mythology on which the stories are based (if you've been following me for a while, you know that I'm a massive Greek myth fan). I really liked the Harpies, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing more of them - I'm sure I will, in one of the next books.

Up until now, Sabin is the most interesting warrior for me. I really liked reading their story to the backdrop of the always ready to attack enemy, and I *loved* the twist with Galen.

I've already mentioned The Lords of the Underworld series in my favorite series of 2011 video, but I'm sure it'll be in my 2012 video as well. It's a great series if you're looking for some paranormal romance with some Greek myth influences!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ten Things About Me As A Reader (7)

For the past couple of weeks, I've been 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? :) We're getting towards the end, closer to 100 every time! Here are things 61 - 70.


61. So far, I've read 29 complete books on my Kindle since I got it (at least, this is what my read-collection tells me).
62. Most of the books I read on my Kindle (I'd say 98%) are books I got for review. I usually think that Kindle copies are too expensive, so I don't really buy any.
63. If I own one of the books in a series in hardback, I refuse to buy any of the sequels in paperback, even if they are three times less expensive.
64. I tend to neglect contemporary books. I know this, so I'll be working on reading some more!
65. If I'm in a reading funk, I usually pick up an adult paranormal romance book to get me out.




66. I love it when I recommend people books and they end up loving them. Success!
67. While I'm tempted to read what I know I like (either a genre I love, or an author who is one of my favorites), I'm trying to read outside my comfort zones more since I started blogging. First step: reading classics.
68. After reading a couple of books on my Kindle, I need to read a couple of physical books to switch things up.
69. While I love reading reviews, I don't usually consult them before I buy a book. I usually take the opinions of my bookish friends into consideration instead.
70. A long series with the same word in the titles confuse me (like 'dead' in the titles of the Sookie Stackhouse books). I can't for the life of me remember which book has which title, even though I've read the first 10 books.


------------------


That's it for this week's Ten Things! I'm starting to notice some things about me as a reader that I wouldn't have if I didn't do these posts. I think that's pretty awesome :)


There won't be a Ten Things next week since I'll be hosting Chaos Walking Week (which I'm very excited about, by the way!) but there will be one in the week after that. They are a bit sporadic now, but I'll keep going until I get to 100, I promise!



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

At this very moment..

.. I'm either preparing for surgery at the hospital, or already being wheeled down to the operating room. Those of you who follow me on twitter, probably already know that since I've been tweeting about it a lot (nerves, I guess), but for the people who are not following me on twitter - this post is for you.

On the day that The Hunger Games plays in cinemas in The Netherlands for the first time (eep!), I'm admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery (eek!). They are taking out my gallbladder, which will happen through laparoscopy, so I should be home the same day or maybe the day after that. If they can't do the surgery that way, I'll need conventional surgery, which means I'll have to stay at the hospital for a bit longer. I'm counting on the surgery to go according to plan, but you never know!


Image from doctor cat and pusheen


I've written this post so you guys know what's going on and if I'm not around for a couple of days, this is why :) I've scheduled a lot of posts, so the blog will run without me feeding it. It's just that I probably won't be around to answer your comments and emails and interact on twitter. It'll have to wait for a bit while I recover, but I'm sure you guys understand this :)

I'll keep you posted on twitter as soon as I'm able to! I'll probably be on painkillers, so don't mind the weird tweets too much..


Hopefully I'll be back soon!


On My Wishlist (35)

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: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear.



Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
Expected publication date: August 8th, 2012

Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.



Goodreads page

I can't even remember where I heard about this book for the first time, so I have no idea how long it's been since I first laid my eyes on this book, but I know it's long ago and it's TOO LONG a wait! Gah, I feel like I've been waiting forever, and I'm so excited for this book you wouldn't even believe it.. Suzanne is a lovely person on twitter and after reading the synopsis I'm positive I'll love the book, too! #excitement

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway


Slide by Jill Hathaway
Published: March 27th, 2012 (Balzer+Bray)
Pages: 256
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Series: Slide #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★★


Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

I had the pleasure of reading this book in the summer of 2011 and I loved it!

Vee has a strange ability: she is able to slide into the minds of others at the moment she touches an object on which a person has left an emotional imprint. She slides into the minds of others at the strangest times, especially if she's caught unaware. She will then experience exactly the same as the person who is experiencing it in the first place. When she realizes her sister's friend was murdered, she tries to use her ability to find out who did it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was a great mystery, and I found myself flipping the pages incredibly quick. I was shocked at the ending, not because of who did it, but because of what happened after that (so sad!).

The story was well put together and the puzzle pieces were slowly coming together during the story. I really liked the way Hathaway built up the tension and used several smaller story lines to weave her story together. I quite liked Rollins, although I would have loved to see that Vee had some faith in him and would tell him about her secret. He was a great guy if you ask me, and I would love to see more of him in the next book.

If you are looking for a great YA mystery, packed with suspense, romance and a murder investigation, look no further, because Slide is the book for you!

Five big fat stars for Slide and me dying of the wait for Impostor, for which I have been waiting since August..


Monday, March 19, 2012

Updated bookshelf tour

It's been a little while since I've done one, so I recorded an updated bookshelf tour last month! I didn't have the time to edit it until now - but it's live and everything now! I only show the books in the front of my shelves, for the books that are behind the first row of books, I'd recommend checking out my previous bookshelf tour.

Without any further ado, here's the video!


If you have any questions, recommendations or suggestions, just leave them in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed the bookshelf tour :)!



Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (73)

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 actually bought some books, so here's this week's vlog! :)



Bought


So happy when my order came in earlier this week! I allowed myself to order some books since I wanted to celebrate having a job (YAY!) and also because I felt sorry for myself for having to have surgery (less yay). I'll be taking Stray with me to the hospital, so hopefully I'll be able to read some while I'm there. Either way, I'm very excited to read all the books I got!


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


Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Roth
Published: January 3rd, 2012 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 384
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2012
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆ ½


Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

There has been a lot of praise for Under the Never Sky in the blogosphere, and if you ask me: all of that and more is deserved!

Aria is cast away from her home, and left out in the Death Shop; people inside Reverie believe that being left outside the city means certain death. Aria does too - until she meets Perry. Perry is an outsider, a Savager, someone to be feared. They strike a deal and together they set off on their mission.

The worldbuilding was excellent. The discriptions were vivid and everything was so believable I could envision every single location they were. It was fantastic! Another thing I thought was fantastic: the characters. They were all very well developed, coming alive on the pages. I loved it! I loved Aria, Perry, Roar (!), Marron and even Cinder. It doesn't happen often that I really like both the characters and the world, but Rossi made it possible and I couldn't flip the pages quick enough, desperate to find out what would happen next.

I absolutely loved this book. It was very well written and the story was exciting. It'll be pure torture to wait for the sequel, which will be coming out in 2013.. So it's 4.5 BIG fat stars for Aria and Perry and OMG me dying for the second installment!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Facelifting a partly published series


Dear publishers,

As an avid reader, I often pick up new series. They might not be newly released - with some it might be years since the first book was published - but most of the time, they are books in a series that is not fully published yet. There might be one, three, ten books coming out in the future, and as a collector, I always like a complete set of books with matching covers.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a facelifting trend in YA lately. Some of my favorite not-fully-published series have gotten a makeover, and while I totally understand that sometimes you just need a new haircut, haircolor or a new wardrobe, I wish you would consider that there are readers around who bought the books when they first came out. They buy the book(s) with the original cover(s), and most of them prefer to have a matching set. There are always readers who don't mind a change in the look of the next books, but I'm not one of them.

Some recent examples that affect my collection are the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver, the Curse Workers series by Holly Black and the Dustland series by Moira Young. From all three, I have (at least) the first book in the original cover, and because of the makeover of the entire series, my sets won't match. When I read about another series getting a makeover, I often feel like publishers aren't thinking of the fans who bought and read the book when it first came out. I know this is not the case, but it bothers me - when I buy books that are part of a series, I always make sure that I have the covers in the same style (for example, that I order the US covers or the UK covers instead of randomly picking an edition) and my OCD does not like it when I have books in different shapes, sizes, and styles.

To be quite honest, I hate cover changes when not all the books are published yet. The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld was revamped, too, but at least that happened after all the books were published. In that case I don't mind so much: readers who have been following the series since the beginning (or have only picked it up before the last book was published) have enough time to buy matching copies and new fans will have the completely new covers. In theory, this means that everyone can have a matching set of books.

But when new covers are released just before the last book comes out, or months after the first book was released, readers won't have the choice to go with the new look of the series. And that bothers me. I wish I had the chance to decide if I wanted my set to match with the original covers, or purchase a completely new set. And often, I don't have that chance. I can totally understand that publishers give a series a new look to boost the chances of someone picking up the book. I get it. But it bothers me, and I wish I had the chance to choose.

There are only three options for me: settle for a set that won't match and drive my OCD crazy, selling my old copies and buying a completely new set of books, or, which is most likely, give up on the series altogether. This is punishing the author and I really don't want to do that, because the author has nothing to do with the decision to re-do the cover. But sadly, this is what happens. As I now own a Kindle, I might pick up a digital copy in the future instead of buying a physical copy, but that's not the solution to my problem - it's just avoiding the issue and hoping it goes away.

My hope is that you'll consider the earliest fans of the series. That you'll realize that there are people who are not happy with the changes you made in the look of the books. That you'll realize that you might win some new readers, but you might be losing some of the older ones. Like me.


Yours sincerely,

Daphne


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward


Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Published: September 5th, 2006 (Signet)
Pages: 434
Age group: adult
Source: bought
Challenge: none
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist's thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her.

While there is a warning at the top, this review doesn't hold any spoilers. I put it there so you are aware it's not the first book in the series.

From the first book on, I've been curious about Zsadist, even though Dark Lover was about a completely different warrior. Zsadist was obviously part of the Brotherhood, but he was some sort of outcast and I found myself curious about his story. And Ward delivered, without question. Zsadist has a tormented past and mentally, he is still not healed. I really liked how we get to see what happened to him, and how he is doing now, after he's been set free.

While the ending was a bit too sappy for my liking, there was a scene that I thought was wonderful - the scene with the writing. It doesn't spoil you this way, but when you read it, you'll know what I mean. I thought that was a great scene and I really enjoyed reading it, even though it may have been a little on the sappy side as well.

Zsadist has brought me the best story so far in this series, and I really enjoyed reading his story. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I can't wait to get my hands on the fourth book to see who we'll meet up close this time.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On My Wishlist (34)

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: Frostfire by Zoë Marriott.



Frostfire by Zoë Marriott
Expected publication date: July 5th, 2012

Synopsis
Frost is cursed - possessed by a wolf demon that brings death everywhere she goes. Desperate to find a cure, she flees her home, only to be captured by the Ruan Hill Guard. Trapped until she can prove she is not an enemy, Frost grows increasingly close to the Guard’s charismatic leader Luca and his second in command, the tortured Arian. Torn between two very different men, Frost fears that she may not be able to protect either of them ... from herself.

Goodreads page

This is the companion novel to Daughter of the Flames and I'm so very excited for this one! The cover is gorgeous and Zoë is an amazing person (if you don't follow her on twitter yet, go do so now!) and I'm so looking forward to reading ALL of her work. I haven't read all of her books yet, but I'm working on that and I'm so friggin excited for Frostfire! It looks and sounds awesome and yes I want it!! Can't wait. July, Y U so far away?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver 
Published: February 28th, 2012 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 375
Source: ARC, won
Challenge: none
Series: Delirium, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Pandemonium is the thrilling sequel to Delirium, one of my most anticipated titles for 2012. While it was a great book with a great story line, for me personally, it didn't live up to the awesomeness that was Delirium.

The first book set a really high standard and after that ending I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. Where Delirium explored the setting and the characters, Pandemonium focuses on Lena and her survival in the Wilds and her involvement with the Invalids she meets there (this is not a spoiler imo, the blurb reveals just as much). I didn't like Raven, who is a pretty important character in this book, and I couldn't relate to her in any way. She appeared inhuman, being as harsh as she was, and I didn't like that she wasn't made more believable. I quite liked the other new characters, who include Tack, Julian and Sarah.

The story is less dystopian than its predecessor, focusing more on Lena's survival instead of on the dystopian society that's in place. Lena really grows up in this book, learning how to survive and how to resist the 'cure' and make a statement against the people who believe in it. I really liked her development and her way of adapting to her new life.

Don't let my slightly critical review put you off reading this book - it's a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I'm just being a bit critical, since I loved the first book in the series so much and this book isn't as good, in my opinion. Having said that, Pandemonium is a fast paced, twisty tale of survival, full of suspence and betrayal, love and desperation, hope and a strong female character who will ensure you will want to read Requiem right after you flip the last page.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (72)

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. My bookish week was AWESOME! I got some books for review and I actually bought some books. Here's this week's vlog :)



For review

Bought


I can't contain my excitement for this week's stuff. I'm so happy with what I got - the books for review were also books I've wanted to read for a long time and now I finally get to do just that! :D 


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


Saturday, March 10, 2012

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood

I have two copies of Nightshade by Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries, #2) for two lucky winners! HarperCollins kindly gave me two copies to give to two lucky readers (thanks so much!), so if you're feeling lucky.. Continue reading this post!


In case you missed my review of Nightshade, click here to read it! If you haven't read The Poison Diaries yet, the first book in the series, I recommend checking out that review to prevent from reading minor spoilers for the sequel.


The Poison Diaries is a twisty dark tale of historical fiction about a girl who lives with her father. Her father has a garden full of plants and keeps a diary on their powers - both healing and poisonous.  The story is told from Jessamine's point of view, who is our main character. During the story we also get a glimpse of what is going on in Weed's mind - a strange boy with some dubious talents.



Giveaway

Like I said before, I have two (2) copies to give away to two lucky winners. All you need to do is read the rules and fill in the form below. Tadaa! Easy!


Rules
- Open internationally
- Two winners will each receive one copy of Nightshade by Maryrose Wood
- Following is not required, but it is greatly appreciated (and gains you an extra entry)
- Fill in the form to be entered
- I am not responsible for items lost in the mail
- Duplicate entries will be deleted
- Winner will be drawn at random
- This giveaway is open until April 1st, 2012







This giveaway is now closed. Winners TBA



That's it! Winners will be announced on the blog and they will receive an email to notify them of their winning. When a winner doesn't reply to the email within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher


Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Published: March 3rd, 2007 (Dial)
Pages: 442
Source: gift
Challenge: none
Series: Incarceron #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆


Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside - she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. Because Incarceron is alive.

This review is a hard one for me to write. I started reading this book in October of 2011, but put it down after reading 200 pages because I couldn't really be bothered with what happened. I hoped it was the fact that I wasn't in the mood for a book like this, so I put it down and picked it back up in 2012. It definitely got better at that point - it seems like I put it down at the end of the not so eventful part -, but it still didn't blow me away.

Incarceron is told from two perspectives: Finn, who is inside the prison, and does not know about an outside, although there have been rumors. When he gets his hands on a mysterious key, he is able to get in contact with Claudia, who provides us with the second perspective. She lives outside the prison, in the 'real world', where people live 'in era', which means they live in a 17/18th century kind of style without technology, although it does exists and people use it in secret.

While the book is labeled as a dystopian, I don't think it's that easy to put this book in that box. Because of the lack of technology in most of the novel, when it is used, it feels a bit like a steampunkish kind of genre. However, when that's not the case, you would also be able to label it as a form of fantasy, which is the case with the outside scenes. It's such a mesh of genres that it wouldn't be fitting to label this book solely a dystopian, even though technically, I guess that's what seems to come closest.

The characters fell rather flat for me. I liked Finn, I guess, and in some parts I liked Claudia, too. But it was hard for me to connect with their stories, because it felt like it was so far away. I didn't feel like I was experiencing their stories, I felt like I was watching it from afar and that was part of why it was hard to get into the story. The only person I felt held promise, was Jared, a Sapient who was Claudia's mentor. At some points there was great chemistry between him and Claudia and I feel like he could have been involved more in the story. Concerning the antagonists, both the Evil Queen Who Made Her Son Disappear, and the Warden of Incarceron (Claudia's father), I had no idea what their intentions were and why they were bad/evil/a pain. It was never explained why the Queen was the way she was, and I felt like I needed the explanation for it to work for the story.

Having said that, Incarceron was probably one of the most imaginitive books I've read in a while. The combination of all different aspects made for a possibly great book, but unfortunately, it wasn't that great for me personally. The pacing was great, I liked the combination of all the different elements and some of the characters showed a lot of potential at times, even though I felt like that wasn't fully explored during the story. My favorite parts were inside Incarceron, because I felt more disconnected from Claudia's outside world. All in all, I think people who love both dystopian and fantasy, not necessarily together, will enjoy this book a whole lot.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood


Nightshade by Maryrose Wood
Published: October 25th, 2011 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 288
Source: for review
Challenge: none
Series: The Poison Diaries, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure.

After being pleasantly surprised by The Poison Diaries, I was curious to see where the sequel would take me - and it didn't disappoint! Going down a dark and twisty path, Nightshade explores a dark side of YA that had me absolutely enthralled.

While I wouldn't usually pick up books in the historical fiction segment, this was an exciting new road for me to take. Some scenes were so vividly described that I felt like I was there, for example the scene at the river. What I liked most about this book was the fact that just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. Wood writes in a way that spares nothing from the characters in her story, taking them in places they wouldn't go when they weren't driven by desperation. I love that.

The writing in Nightshade is much easier to read than the writing in the first installment. I read the book in a couple of hours, flipping the pages to find out where it was going to take me. And it took me down an even darker path than the first book, luring me in. I wish there was some more Weed in this book, but hopefully that problem will be solved in the final installment - for which I'm impatiently the release.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On My Wishlist (33)

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: Once by Anna Carey.



Once by Anna Carey
Expected publication date: July 3rd, 2012

Synopsis
Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love?

Goodreads page

After reading Eve with that ending, I've been impatiently awaiting the release for the second book in the series. The synopsis reveals that we will find out why the king wants her and that was one of the biggest questions I had while I was reading Eve. I'm very excited to find out! I really liked reading Eve, but I'm hoping that Once will be even more awesome and will pick up a faster pace. Either way, I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Published: November 15th, 2011 (HarperCollins)
Pages: 338
Source: bought
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011
Series: Shatter Me #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆


Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

As THE title of 2011, my expectations for this one were sky high. While Shatter Me didn't exactly meet my expectations, it made a thrilling and exciting debut novel that I enjoyed a lot.

Mafi's writing is beautiful and she manages to create a terrifying, yet believable dystopian society with her beautiful prose. Juliette has been locked away for 264 days, but despite her isolation, she is remarkably clear minded. I love how the writing pulled me into Juliette's experience in the entire novel.

While I thought the blurb 'The Hunger Games meets X-men' was a bit overdone beforehand, that's exactly fitting for the book. The combination of dystopian and paranormal powers, together with Mafi's lyrical prose, makes for an incredible journey while you're sucked into Juliette's story. I found myself wanting more, reading more, flipping another page when I should have done other things.

Overall, I'd say that this is a great book. The only reason that it didn't get the full five stars from me is that it didn't meet my expectations, but admittedly, those were ridiculously high. I'm axiously anticipating book 2 because I want more, more more..

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