Monday, December 15, 2014

It's been a while..

It's been a while since I've posted on my blog. So excuse me if my writing is a bit rusty.. I'm out of practice *cough*

Earlier in the year I posted about being MIA. Since then, I've thought about starting blogging again several times and even typed up some posts, but somehow I didn't feel they were good enough to post. Maybe this one isn't either, but I want to get back to blogging and I have to start somewhere :-)

In the last year, I lost 30 kg in weight, worked my arse off at work, our office was bought by another company so now we're in the middle of the take-over so to say and everything is unsure. But no worries, I've made new friends, too, so it's not all bad :-) To say that my life has changed a lot since last year would be an understatement!

Since I'm so behind on everything I've decided to prepare some posts and fully get back into blogging starting from January 2015, so I've still got a bit of time to get everything together. I'm not sure how often I'll be posting, or what I will be posting exactly, but it'll be booksy stuff for sure. Just give me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things :-)

So.. Hi. How have you been? 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: The Lonesome Young by Lucy Connors

The Lonesome Young by Lucy connors
Published: April 8th, 2014 (Razorbill)
Pages: 336
Source: for review
Series: Untitled Series, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

WHAT HAPPENS when the teenage heirs of two bitterly FEUDING FAMILIES can’t stay away from each other?

The Rhodales and the Whitfields have been sworn enemies for close on a hundred years, with a whole slew of adulterous affairs, financial backstabbing, and blackmailing that’s escalated the rivalry to its current state of tense ceasefire.


And now a meth lab explosion in rural Whitfield County is set to reignite the feud more viciously than ever before. Especially when the toxic fire that results throws together two unlikely spectators—proper good girl Victoria Whitfield, exiled from boarding school after her father’s real estate business melts down in disgrace, and town motorcycle rebel Mickey Rhodale, too late as always to thwart his older brothers’ dangerous drug deals.

Victoria and Mickey are about to find out the most passionate romances are the forbidden ones.

. . . ON A POWDER KEG FULL OF PENT-UP DESIRE, risk-taking daredevilry, and the desperate actions that erupt when a generation of teens inherits nothing but hate.

Warning: this book is so frustrating, I had to vent. This review is filled with spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, click away now. 

I had so many problems with this book, it's hard not to go off on a rampage. Whenever I finish a book, I take notes of the story and what I thought of it. The list of notes I have for this book is purely negative. I've never had a book that resulted in me being unable to think of positive things whatsoever. But somehow, The Lonesome Young was able to get under my skin. Here's why.

First of all, let's look at that synopsis. Isn't that the most terrible synopsis you have ever read in the history of the synopsis? Truth be told, it's a perfect reflection of the story inside the book.

Feuding families, enemies for almost a century. Thing is, there isn't much of a feud. At all. The Whitfields and Rhodales mostly ignore eachother, so they only know who belongs to the family. They do nothing but hiss at eachother when they can see eachother. Think of it as two cats on opposite sides of a window. All hissing but no action. The only interaction between these families is a bit of bickering when a methlab is blown up, and even that doesn't appear to be really serious. Honestly, I fail to see this family feud.

Enter the next cliché: the perfect blonde good girl of one family takes a look at the dark dangerous bad boy of the second family, and they feel an instant connection (I realise this is several clichés forged into one sentence). He was wearing a helmet, for fuck's sake, and you only saw him in passing. How the hell can you feel a connection? You can barely see his eyes! You saw someone on a motorcycle, you couldn't possibly have seen more than a tiny bit of his face and yet you already feel drawn to him? What is this nonsense?! To make matters worse, the bad boy immediately turns into an overprotective softy after seeing the blonde damsel in distress while he drove past. He feels a need to protect her, even though he has no idea who she is and has never ever spoken to her. Not. A. Single. Word. What's with this territorial urge?

When the characters finally start to interact after this life-changing event of looking eachother in the eye, they talk as if they are at least 30 instead of the 17ish they're supposed to be. I'm guessing the author usually writes adult romance, because there's no way other way she thinks this is how a teenager behaves. It's not realistic and it just adds to the ridiculousness of this story. To make matters worse, every single event in the book is triggered by a bad decision one of the protagonists makes. Most of those decisions are things to 'protect' the other from the so-called family feud, but only result in making matters worse. Mind you, because of these stupid things these people do, there actually seems to be a family feud starting. Let me once again point out that letting your characters make the most ridiculous choices is not the way to make your plot work. If your plot doesn't work, change it, instead of twisting it into something that is utterly unbelievable.

Basically, this book is about a romance between two people who shouldn't be together because these families don't want them to be. This actually makes the families want to fight, resulting into an incident that happens at about 75% of the book. This is the first thing that actually happens to illustrate this 'feud'. At that point, I had already given up half a dozen times. I still don't know why I managed to read on, because the story was dragging and only had more unbelievable things in store. The characters kept repeating how they had an instant connection, how they should be together, but there was zero chemistry. If negative chemistry was a thing, they would have it. Ugh.

Leaves me to add that if you liked Beautiful Disaster, you'd probably like this one as well. There were so many similarities, it wouldn't have surprised me if this was written by the same author. The only difference was that I felt Jamie McGuire can actually write, but unfortunately I cannot say the same about this author. The story didn't make sense, it didn't read easily, the plot didn't work, the characters had no chemistry and the dialogue was awful. I can postively say that I have no good things to say about this book. I'd avoid it like the plague, if I were you. Just my 2 cents.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why I've been MIA lately

You may have noticed me being around less than usual. I've had so much going on in my life and I honestly didn't have the energy to be on Twitter or on the blog much so that's why I've been MIA. So what's going on?

Well, I used to work 40 hours a week and run the household which was hard enough for me as it was because it seriously cut into my reading time. I still have that going on, but for about a month now, I've been going to the gym three times a week and that has been killer for my free time. It was time for me to get fit and to stop being exhausted after walking two flights of stairs (honestly, it was ridiculous). I'd been walking every day for half an hour during my lunch break, but I still was so horribly out of shape.. So I took the step to get a gym membership. And I've been working out three times a week for at least an hour ever since.

I feel more energised, my clothes fit me better (well, they are getting too big) and I have more peace in my head. To top that off, I'm losing weight, so it really is a win-win-win-win situation. But I've been neglecting reading and the blog and for that I am sorry; I still enjoy reading and stuff but my progress is about 30 pages every day so I have yet to actually finish a book this month xD Oops?

Anyway, I really want to get a healthy body and mind before I dive back into blogging. Like I said, I'm still reading but I want to prioritise getting healthy right now -- so blog posts might be few and far between. But I'll be back, no worries :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On My Wishlist (68)

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: Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Expected publication date: July 8th, 2014

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Goodreads page

Obviously, this isn't a young adult novel. It is, however, a book by Rainbow Rowell, the evil genius behind Eleanor & Park which was so amazing I immediately wanted to read ALL of her books. She is able to capture the setting beautifully and I just.. ugh. There are no words for Rainbow's writing. Just know that I'll pick up anything she writes after that rollercoaster that was her debut novel.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: The Bone Season my Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Published: August 20th, 2013 (Bloomsbury)
Pages: 466
Source: bought
Series: The Bone Season, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

It has been a while since I read this book (it was our November Book Club pick) but I never found the words to write an actual review, which is why it took so long for me to type this one up. And to be honest, I'm still not sure if I can put into words what I thought of this one, so please excuse any incoherent sentences in this review. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm really not.

So. Let's talk a bit about my reading experience. When I picked it up, I was a bit daunted by its size, as it's a whopping 466 pages and the book is pretty huge. But I'm not shy of a challenge and I find that the biggest books often give me the most satisfaction when I finish reading them (I know I'm an oddball) so why not? To be fair, and also to warn everyone who is thinking of picking this book up, the first 100 or so pages are one massive case of infodump. I mean, REALLY. There's a map in front of the book, as well as a list of all known sorts of clairvoyants AND the back holds a glossary. That should tell you enough about the world the story is set in. But don't let it hold you back. Because once Shannon has introduced you properly to the world, Paige and the Rephaim, you'll slowly find yourself falling in love.

To be honest, the infodump is both the book's weakness as it is its strength. It takes you a while to figure everything out and to be able to place everything because the world is so complicated and thought out, but once you do, the book is fantastic. It's as actionpacked as it is intriguing, both the world of the clairvoyants as the world of the Rephaim. I found myself falling in love with the book from around the 120 page mark and I still found myself in that state, although maybe slightly more fangirlish, at the end of the book.

Paige is one feisty ass motherfucker. She feels real, and she's not perfect by any means. She has flaws, she makes mistakes, but she is real about it and she learns from them. She is kicking ass without being arrogant, if you know what I mean? I mean, she is still figuring stuff out after being thrown into the world of the Rephaim, but she's not afraid to give it her best shot. I admire that about her. She was a fantastic character to accompany on her journey and I loved experiencing everything with her.

And then there's Warden. Warden is in a league of his own, let's be real. From the moment he was introduced, I was curious about him. When I got to know him, I was fascinated. By the time I was halfway through The Bone Season I was shipping shit so hard it was hard to focus on all the other stuff going on. I mean, I turned into a complete fangirl. And I still am a groupie; I think I may be going through Warden withdrawal as we speak.

I loved the dark and twisty plot and all the storylines. It takes a while to kick off, partly because of you being dunked into the world with a whole shitload of facts about the world, but when it does, you seriously cannot stop reading. The plot was well put together and set up REALLY well for the sequel (WHY DID IT HAVE TO END THERE, SAMANTHA?! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!) and I feel like I've already been waiting YEARS for The Mime Order to come out, even though it's only been a couple of months. If this was only the first book, I am excited to see what Shannon has in store for us in terms of the story arc over the next books. I bet it's gonna rock my socks off!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On My Wishlist (67)

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: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton.

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton
Expected publication date: May 6th, 2014

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have... is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

Goodreads page

CUTENESS OVERLOAD! I predict that I will succumb to fluffy overdose when I'm done reading this book and y'all know how much I love me some fluffy books! *nods* Yeah, I'm pretty excited to get started on this one. I don't mind that it sounds unbelievable.. I mean, I enjoyed The Prince and Me as well, so yeah. Guilty pleasure. Sue me. I'm hoping this one will bring lots of adorable and romance!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
Published: February 26th, 2013 (Harlequin Teen)
Pages: 303
Source: for review via NetGalley
Series: The Goddess Test, #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.

Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

If you have been following me for a while, you know I have this weird love-hate-relationship thing with The Goddess Test series. I started off incredibly excited with book one, only to be confronted with a whole different sort of Gods than I was expecting, and not in a good way, but I finished. The second book was harder to finish, but I was determined: it would get better. Wouldn't it? Well, by the end of book two I was sure it wouldn't, but I also had this weird determination to finish the series. And I did. I'm sort of proud of the fact that I ploughed on and finished the series, even though I didn't really like it. So why did I push on?

Greek mythology is something that has fascinated me ever since I learned of its existence. I love the stories and after falling in love with Rick Riordan's Greek mythology stories (Percy Jackson, y'all!) I was pretty much reading anything that had a reference to Greek myth. The Goddess Test sounded like it was a bit more romanticised, but I decided to give it a go. Fast forward three years later. The final book is out and while I still wanted to finish it, I was hesitant. The ending of book two was a real 'Oh man, really?' moment (picture this said by Honey Boo Boo) and I didn't really thing it would pick up. But how could I leave this series hanging after reading the previous two books AND the novella book? So I read it. And within the first few chapters, I wanted to throw up.

We are witnessing a childbirth, in all its gory glory and I seriously felt ill. While it isn't really that long or even that much in detail, I felt very uncomfortable and put off when I read that. I had to put the book down for a bit. And then I waited to long to pick it back up again, resulting in me being annoyed by just about everything in the book. The characters are soap opera actors still, but now there's this weird kind of solution thing going on in the background. To top that off, I was suddenly aware of Carter's use of the word 'though' in every other sentence. While she didn't exactly use it in every sentence, it was mentioned way too often, sometimes even several times on one page. And once I noticed that, I couldn't stop noticing it. It was driving me crazy. I've never heard a single person say 'though' that often in my life.

Having said that, I think this ending was the best outcome for the series and the characters in this series. There are some casualties, some battle scenes and Kate trying to outsmart the King of the Titans which was more amusing than it was thrilling or smart. What I liked was that the girls who were killed before Henry found Kate proved to be such feisty things that threw themselves into the situation headfirst, almost without questions. Even Persephone was bearable. Of course there also was the lame attempt at a love triangle, which fizzled out without hassle. For me, those scenes were uncomfortable to read as they were so forced and didn't feel natural at all.

The problems Kate encountered over the course of this book were either solved or discarded within a few chapters, which made them appear like minor bumps in the road, even though I think they were meant to show Kate's struggle to end this the right way. When a character is experiencing difficulties, I want to see them conquer those things, not give it a small push and make the difficulties fall over, if you know what I mean. Several solutions to Kate's other problems were so mindblowingly obvious they might have held banners and megaphones, but Kate was too stupid to figure them out. To top that off, even though she is now the Queen of the Underworld, she still hasn't developed a backbone. Really, girl?! Gah, so frustrating! She is very good at crying, complaining, stomping her foot, sighing and sobbing but she was unable to take matters in her own hands. I wish she would've grown into a stronger character by now, but alas, I was left disappointed.

The small plus that I want to point out that it still felt like watching Days Of Our Lives or something similar, the Gods actually behaved like Gods sometimes instead of hormonal teenagers. Those moments were scarce, but they were there, and that was a massive improvement from the earlier book.

There are plenty of people out there who enjoyed this book and the series, but it just wasn't for me. I feel like this wasn't the story for Carter to tell, for some reason. I disliked this series, but I do think she is capable of writing something better so I'll pick up Pawn in the future, hoping it will prove me right -- or wrong. But at least I'll have given it a shot (or two).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On My Wishlist (66)

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 Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Expected publication date: April 15th, 2014

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

Goodreads page

Wheeee the queen of long book titles has a new book coming out! *hops excitedly* I adored both The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This Is What Happy Looks Like and I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Whenever I need something fluffy, something to pick me up when I'm a bit down, this is my medicine. A real feel good book. LOVE. *content sigh* Yeah. I need this. Like, yesterday. Please?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 
Published: May 24th, 2012 (Headline)
Pages: 215
Source: bought
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn’t forgotten the book. Or if there hadn’t been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn’t fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn’t sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Oh my god you guys, this is one of the cutest books I have ever read! I actually read this book WAY before I read This is What Happy Looks Like, which I reviewed in January, but somehow I never wrote a review for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. What was I thinking?!

When Hadley asks Oliver to watch her suitcase while at the airport, the story takes off. They don't know eachother, but they somehow immediately click, even though Hadley appears a bit weary to trust the handsome stranger who is entirely too willing to help her.

While this books deals with the whole dreaded instalove thing, it really didn't bother me while reading it. I felt like they actually got to know eachother on their flight and even before that a bit. It doesn't appear like they dive in headfirst. I actually got the idea that both Hadley and Oliver are sure they'll never see eachother after their flight.. But for serious guys, Hadley and Oliver have amazing chemistry. They just click. Like, they are still getting to know eachother, but they already have these sort of inside jokes. In everything they say and do it's obvious that they have chemistry and I loved how that made its way off the pages. Stamp of approval!

The only thing I didn't really like were the 'flashbacks' to the past. I just wanted to get back to their present, because Oliver was there and I loved these character's interaction so much. I don't think I would ever get enough of that because it was seriously cute.

I debated with myself if I wanted to give it a 4.5 rating because it's so adorable and cute and fluffy, but I think this 4 stars is sufficient. Don't get me wrong, I adored this book. Seriously. If you only remotely like cute contemporaries, you need to check this one out. It may be only 215 pages, but it's 215 page of adorable. Trust me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On My Wishlist (65)

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: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Expected publication date: March 18th, 2014

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Goodreads page

This seriously sounds like a book that will break my heart, dance on it and put it back where it belongs. All in a good way, of course. With it being a debut for 2014, it gives me extra reason to want to read it -- but let's be honest: does it need anything more than that synopsis for you to pick it up? I know that for me, it doesn't. Only a few more weeks until this hits shelves! *stares at calendar* *sits on hands*

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Review: Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Published: December 1st, 2010 (Little Brown Books FYR)
Pages: 308
Source: bought
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

The first thing I wrote down when I finished reading was 'Fixing Delilah has the perfect combination of tragedy and that cute contemporary feel that I love', which is pretty much the summary of this review.

Delilah has a very rocky relationship with her mother. Her mother is always working, closes herself off from everyone and has alienated herself from Delilah, who has been trying to get closer to her mom for years. Her mom, however, won't talk about what happened to tear the family apart all those years ago. This is really frustrating for Delilah and you as a reader and really makes you want to find out what happened. When it's finally revealed, it all becomes clear why it hasn't been easy for Delilah's mother to open up.

The characters are incredibly realistically written, in a way that I can completely picture them in my mind. I loved that both the 'good' and the 'bad' characters felt equally believable and had their own traits to make them human. One of the minor characters I particularly liked was Patrick's dad, even though I don't exactly know why. The chemistry between Delilah and Patrick was amazing and I loved reading all of their scenes, even the ones where they argued. It was so obvious that they connected, it was awesome to read.

Sarah Ockler has the gift to write a story that will draw you in and make you unable to stop reading. After reading Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer I now know I will definitely want to read more of Ockler's work and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of her books.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On My Wishlist (64)

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: Golden by Jessi Kirby.

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Publication date: May 13th, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Goodreads page

So this is one of the books some of my friends have been raving about. Basically, I haven't heard one bad word about this book. Which has me nervous, because my expectations are pretty high for this one and the only experience I have with that is that the book turns out to be disappointing because I ended up hyping it. So. Having said that, I'm very curious and excited to read it, but I'll probably do it in secret so I won't be ambushed.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Random Book Off My Shelves (1)

As a book hoarder, I often buy books that end up neglected on my shelves. I know, I know. Often times I just forget I own that particular book, or am not aware that it's a particular genre so it doesn't get picked up. Anyhoo, lots of reasons. I found that when I see a book again, I usually want to read it relatively soon. So this new feature is a combination of me showing books on my shelves and me trying to get myself to actually read them again. Here goes!

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder was actually a book I was ridiculously excited about all the way back in 2011. I even started reading it, but DNF'ed it at about a third of the way in. It wasn't that I disliked the book, I just didn't feel like reading it anymore and thought I'd pick it up later. Fast forward to 2014 and it's still neglected on my shelf, though I must add she's in the company of her sequel. And seeing this book makes me wonder.. Was I wrong in putting it down? Should I give it another chance? I think I'd like to.

Have you read Inside Out? What did you think? Should I pick it up again?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Published: January 1st, 2012 (Fiction Studio)
Pages: 328
Source: for review
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. Fortunately, she's about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus-the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike, who's suddenly everywhere, until she's stuck in church with him one day. Then something happens-Apron's broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she's been adrift. Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, and Apron's world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad's secret, stormy seas return. Apron starts to see things the adults around her fail to-like what love really means, and who is paying too much for it. Apron has come unmoored, but now she'll need to take the helm if she's to get herself and those she loves to safe harbor.

Don't let yourself be fooled by the fluffy looking cover: this book takes place in the eighties and deals with immigration problems, selfharming, unwanted pregnancy, homosexuality and AIDS. Hidden behind the cutesy cover is a story that deals with some serious issues and does it well.

Our main character, Apron, is a teenage girl who is wise beyond her years, especially when you consider the setting of this book. She's a lovely character, open and honest, caring and with her heart in the right place. When she realises how the people around her react to Mike and Chad's relationship, she is baffled. How can they be disgusted by their relationship, especially when it's made entirely out of love? She's not afraid to speak her mind and I thought that was admirable.

I quite enjoyed reading this book. It managed to surprise me with some touching scenes and I particularly enjoyed the balance of deep and thoughtful things combined with the humour at the right moments. It wasn't a heavy read, but it deals with some heavy subjects. I applaud the author for being able to do that.

Even though I enjoyed it, I wasn't exactly wow'ed, hence the 3 star rating. I will say that I do want to check out more of Hummer's work, seeing that this book pleasantly surprised me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Running Girl by Simon Mason

Running Girl by Simon Mason
Published: January 2nd, 2014 (David Fickling Books)
Pages: 448
Source: for review
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Meet Garvie Smith. Highest IQ ever recorded at Marsh Academy. Lowest ever grades. What's the point, anyway? Life sucks. Nothing ever happens.

Until Chloe Dow's body is pulled from a pond.

DI Singh is already on the case. Ambitious, uptight, methodical - he's determined to solve the mystery and get promoted. He doesn't need any 'assistance' from notorious slacker, Smith.

Or does he?

First of all, let me point out that I don't think this is a bad book. At least, I don't think so. Not really. It just really didn't work for me. I managed to finish it, but I didn't enjoy reading the book.

Okay, so what was my problem with this book? To be honest, I had several. The first is that everything is so completely unbelievable. The most popular girl in school disappears and the investigators have no idea who is behind Chloe's disappearance, yet Garvie is able to find clues in everything. I understand that Garvie has an IQ of about a billion and he's supposed to be smarted than me, I failed to believe about 3/4 of the theories he came up with. It didn't make sense that experienced adults fail to recover a single clue and a teenager pops up who finds so many clues he can write a book with them. Perhaps if the investigators wouldn't have been so useless, it would have been more realistic, but in this form, it really didn't work.

Another thing that bothered me was the flatness of the characters. They didn't come alive, didn't have their own distinct personalities or traits, and I think that's part of the reason I really didn't connect to this story. For me, the characters need to carry the story. In this case, they didn't. Sure, you could see the difference in thinking when we switch from Garvie to Singh, but that is mainly because Singh's thoughts keep drifting off to him being the youngest DI, so it's not like there's a different voice there, not really.

I love books with either great chemistry between the characters, funny dialogue or books that make me feel things, but this book didn't have any of these things. I finished it because I wanted to know who did it, but when I found out it wasn't a surprise at all. The way to get there was ridiculous and involved a break-in to investigate evidence at the scene and caused a massive eyerolling marathon. Nope. Not buying it.

If you like mysteries with a super smart character and don't mind if the story is completely unbelievable, you might want to pick Running Girl up. If you don't, I think it's best to stay away.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On My Wishlist (63)

Back from hiatus! 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: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer.

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publication date: March 26th, 2013

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. After all, real life will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. But when an unexpected event proves they're missing out on the full high-school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. The trio makes a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge and totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed; it could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that might mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for...

Goodreads page

No, I have not read this yet. Yes, the covers looks absolutely adorable. And yeah, this sounds like my kinda book. One of them feel good ones that will manage to cheer me up from whatever funk I'm going through at that moment. So why haven't I read it yet? Well, I only discovered this book's existence when Debby fangirled about it on Twitter. And since I don't exactly have the biggest book buying budget as of now.. It has sadly been on my wishlist ever since. But I will buy it. Soon, my precious. Soon. *wrings hands*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On My Wishlist (62)

Back from hiatus! 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: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens.

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Expected publication date: February 25th, 2014

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

Goodreads page

This sounds like a contemporary along the lines of the books of Kody Keplinger, A.S. King and Courtney Summers' contemporary books. One that deals with issues and not afraid to show it off. No sugar coating. I love that. Ever since I first came across this one, I've wanted to read it and I'm very much looking forward to the moment I finally have this in my hands so I can start flipping the pages. Definitely one of my most anticipated debuts for 2014!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On My Wishlist (61)

Back from hiatus! 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: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff.

Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
Publication date: September 17th, 2013

The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.

Goodreads page

I deliberately chose this cover instead of the cover that will match my copy of Stormdancer because Yukiko looks mighty fierce on this one. The other one is, quite frankly, a bit meh. Anyhoo, I'm quite excited to get my hands on this one and find out what happens next. I'm a bit nervous that I'll have the same difficulties with reading the book as I did at the beginning of Stormdancer but still. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Published: October 29th, 2013 (Touchstone)
Pages: 369
Source: bought
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

I don't read a lot of blogs, but Hyperbole and a Half is one of the precious few I check regularly. So when I heard this book was coming out.. Of course I had to have it. Allie has this amazing talent of being able to tell real, often deep and emotionally complex, stories with the help of the Paint-like program she uses to draw her illustrations. She always manages to be spot-on in her tales; whether it's funny or sad, somehow it always resonates with me.

It's hard to pick a favourite from the old favourites and new stories in this book, but there's one set of stories that really hit me while I was reading them: Adventures in Depression and Depression Part 2. She is able to put into words and images something I have been unable to describe for years now, that dark place called depression. It's such a difficult thing to explain and every time I attempt telling people about it, it somehow fails. I can't find the words to adequately describe that. Now I know I can just shove this in their face and say "READ THIS -- THIS IS ME" and it will be spot-on. Reading it in this book again once again confirmed how familiar this all is and how much I identify with it.

The book features both new and old stories, some better than others, but always with the same heart. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading Allie's diary because some of the pieces are so personal.

Long story short: Thoroughly enjoyable and often spot-on and hilarious, this is the book you grab off your shelf for a pick me up.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On My Wishlist (60)

Back from hiatus! 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: Split Second by Kasie West.

Split Second by Kasie West
Expected publication date: February 11th, 2014

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too... but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories... once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot... and a future that could change everything.

Goodreads page

SPLIT SECOND! SPLIT FREAKING SECOND! *muppet arms* Guys, I feel like I've been waiting FOREVER for this book to be published. People with ARCs gave me serious book envy.. And now it's almost here! IT'S ALMOST HERE I CAN'T EVEN!!! Now that I'm typing this I'm wondering if I did end up preordering it.. Did I? I'm pretty sure I did. Better make sure, though, so I can spend my time posting by the intercom in the hope my mailman brings me my copy.

(If you haven't read Pivot Point yet, I recommend you do. It's full of alternate reality stuff and swoony boys. Trust me on this.)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Published: April 2nd, 2013 (Headline)
Pages: 416
Source: gift from Daisy
Series: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★★☆

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

I must admit that when I started reading this, I was a bit nervous. I hadn't seen many good reviews beforehand, instead seeing a lot of low ratings and less than favourable reviews. Eek. But every time I went into a Dutch bookstore, I somehow ended up with the Dutch edition of this book in my hands. It starts off with a random email conversation about someone asking someone else to walk their pet pig, except they send it to the wrong person. Everything takes from there, because even though it was sent to the wrong person, they strike up conversation. It just looked so adorable! So when Daisy gave me this book for our book club's Secret Santa, I couldn't wait to dig in. I started and finished it in the first week I had it, which is a rarity for me. Especially when you consider that I was already in the middle of four books.. I regret nothing.

So. This book. It's fluffy. It's all kinds of cute and adorable and the story isn't original or groundbreaking but Graham and Ellie are just so ADORABLE together that nothing else matters. If you're looking for a contemporary with a lot of depth, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a cute book, something that will make you smile, and most of all something fluffy, this is the book for you. It's a must read. It made me smile and go "AWWWW!" several times and overall I pretty much adored this book.

Yes, this is a gushfest. Deal with it. I'm not sorry.

I loved the idea of two people striking up a conversation when one accidentally emails the other. It leads to fun conversations even though they don't even know eachothers names. And that's fine. You are thrown right into the story and the romance, but it doesn't feel like instalove at all, even though you didn't see the months of conversation they had before this actually takes place. You get the feeling they've known eachother for a very long time and I loved that. They had a connection and built from there.

The story arc isn't revolutionary but I loved seeing the dual narrative and seeing their relationship blossom even though they have some eh, bumps in the road along the way. Their chemistry was awesome and I adored their conversations.

Jennifer E. Smith is quickly becoming one of my favourite contemporary authors. I'm glad I decided not to listen to all the negative things that went around for this book, otherwise I would never have read this story that's bound to cheer you up and put a smile on your face as you read it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Published: September 1st, 2012 (TOR UK)
Pages: 451
Age group: adult with crossover appeal
Source: bought
Series: The Lotus War, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

To fall with the door in the house like we would say in The Netherlands (it's a proverb): with its elaborate world building, Stormdancer has a very, very slow start. It takes a good 100 pages for the story to finally start getting interesting. Most people, including me in normal cases, would have given up at that point. However, because Debby convinced me it was worth it to continue reading (she was the one who eh, made me aware of the book's existence in the first place), I kept going. And while Stormdancer was definitely worth my time, I can understand anyone who'd decide to DNF this book before the 25% mark. I'm glad I was stubborn enough to plough through and discover the wonder that is Buruu.

The story takes place in a sort of alternate universe of Japan, stuffed with both fantasy and steampunk elements. My OCD brain is going nuts trying to fit this book into a box when it comes to genre, but it's not possible.. The storytelling feels most similar to that of fantasy novels I've read, but I have to say that Jay Kristoff really took this to another level.

I want to point out that this is by no means a young adult novel. Sure, it features a teenage heroine, but the storyline is clearly aimed at an adult audience. It does definitely have crossover appeal though, so don't let that scare you away.

For me, the biggest drawback of this book is also one of its biggest appeals: the world building. It's rich and cinematic and lush and also a lot to take in all at once. When you start reading the book, it's a terrible amount of information to take in which makes it a sad case of infodump. It immediately puts you into this fantastic world, but it's hard to try and take in all at once. It's overwhelming and that makes the story hard to read. While the story unfolds, you're still thinking about a description of what the scenery looks like where this event takes place, and I don't think that's what you're supposed to do.. BUT when you get through that, you practically dive into the story and you are very well rewarded as this story is absolutely glorious.

The second biggest appeal comes from Buruu. This character is so wonderfully written. He comes alive on the pages and the interaction between him and Yukiko is off the charts. I absolutely loved reading all these parts. And the fighting scenes. And the conspiracy theories. And..

I have to say that I'm very curious about what's going to happen in Kinslayer. I hope the sequel will be just as rewarding as a reading experience as this one was for me. The whole lotus business that Kristoff created rules the character's lives and it really added to the story, giving it another dimension. With the series being called The Lotus War, I'm assuming this will only become more important as the series progresses and create even more exciting events. Personally, I cannot wait.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On My Wishlist (59)

Back from hiatus! 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: Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Publication date: January 16th, 2014

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

Goodreads page

Can we just take a moment and let that synopsis sink in? *waits* Yes, that's what I thought. This sounds beyond amazing. It sounds like an actionpacked Sci-Fi that I need in my life. I was under the impression that it wasn't being published for a few weeks, so I only just realised it's already published so.. Excuse me while I wander off to order my copy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2013 End of Year Book Survey

Since 2013 really is over, I decided to go ahead an fill in the End of Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Pageturner. I'm kind of OCD about best of posts and the like and don't want to fill those in in December, because who knows if I read that One Special Book on December 31st and am unable to put it on the list? Zeh horror!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

I did a post on my best books of 2013, which included Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (best contemporary), Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (best fantasy), All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (best sci-fi), A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (best adult fiction) and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill(best fluffy read). Also an honourable mention for More Than This by Patrick Ness, for being the best WTF-ery book of 2013. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han, the final book in the Summer Series. I loved the first two books, but this one sucked donkeyballs. The book lacked the magic of its prequels, and to top it all off, all three main characters seemed to have had personality transplants (and not in a good way). Needless to say, the Summer Series is not among my favourite series anymore. 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill really blew me away. It was fan-frigging-tastic and made me go all fangirly. Love. 

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Probably Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. My love for this book knows no boundaries. 

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. I've read Shadow and Bone last year and it was amazing, so I went right ahead and ordered Siege and Storm even though I wasn't supposed to buy any books. I regret nothing. 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I've read so many books from new to me authors! Leigh Bardugo, Rainbow Rowell, Samantha Shannon, Emily Murdoch, Kasie West, Cristin Terrill, George R.R. Martin.. 

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Not necessarily out of my comfort zone, just something I didn't read often: fantasy. Like high fantasy, and not the urban fantasy I'm used to. There were so many books I loved this year that fit into that category. My favourite is probably Shadow and Bone or Graceling

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Definitely All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. Though I also read Shadow and Bone in one sitting, so I'd say that's a close second. 

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Um.. I don't really reread books all that often anymore. There are just so many new to me books out there that look awesome so I really want to read those first.. But if I had to pick one, I'd say probably Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. I listened to that one on audio and it was adorable. I'm planning to pick up a physical copy as well, that's how much I liked it. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

This is a really hard one. I'm thinking either Warden from The Bone Season, The Darkling from Shadow and Bone or Park from Eleanor & Park

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. These answers are starting to sound repetitive, I apologise. No actually, I do not. I regret nothing. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Eleanor & Park

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Either Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin or Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I spot a trend.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

"Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something
complete, and completely alive.
As soon as he touched her, he wondered how he’d gone this long without doing it. He rubbed his thumb through her palm and up her fingers, and was aware of her every breath."
~Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

 16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Neverfall by Brodi Ashton (96 pages) or if novellas don't count: Cracked Up to Be  by Courtney Summers (214 pages)
Longest: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (807 pages)

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I don't think I had that moment? xD Maybe the entire We'll Always Have Summer book, since that book had me so frustrated, I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Eleanor and Park in (surprise!) Eleanor & Park. Julia and Jason in Meant to Be. Page and Warden from The Bone Season. Em and Finn in All Our Yesterdays.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott and A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Um how about almost all the books I read? *snort* I am in the company of some of the best bookpushers of the blogosphere so almost all of my favourites were 'receommended' by bookish friends. My favourites of those are All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Pivot Point by Kasie West and A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger. 

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Either contemporary or fantasy (though I think the latter wins). 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

SO MANY! Warden, the Darkling, Finn, Trevor.. 

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Why are these questions so impossible to answer with just one book? I'm going to go with Pivot Point by Kasie West. Or The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Or Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. Or maybe All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PICK JUST ONE?!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and also More Than This by Patrick Ness. 

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, though I must admit that I listened to those in 2013 and didn't actually read them, but whatevs.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger. BAWLING.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

The Night Itself by Zoë Marriott -- I think it's a book that deserves more attention :)

Looking ahead..

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Um, I don't think I have any. Only thing I can think of is finishing Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, but chances are that I've already finished this by the time this post goes live. There are some books on my shelves that seem to be high priority, if I go by my friends' suggestions, so I'll probably be reading  The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, Insurgent by Veronica Roth(though I'm nervous about that one) and Requiem by Lauren Oliver. Oh, and I really really want (need!) to read House of Hades by Rick Riordan and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. And Blackout by Robison Wells. And Vortex by S.J. Kincaid. And... (turns out I have plenty. Heh)

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

The last installment of the Heroes of Olympus series, even though I haven't even read House of Hades yet. Also Split Second by Kasie West, All Our Yesterdays #2 by Cristin Terrill, Evertrue by Brodi Ashton, The Bone Season #2 by Samantha Shannon, Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill, all of Morgan Matson's new books, White Space by Ilsa J. Bick, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Oblivion by Kelly Creagh and Shattered by Teri Terry. I'm pretty sure I forgot some.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, Faking Normali by Courtney C. Stevens, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda.

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Slated by Teri Terry, Everneath by Brodi Ashton and Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Make this blog more of a personal outlet. This doesn't mean that I'm starting Dear Diary posts, it just means I don't want my posts to be, well, generic. My posts feel a bit void of emotion, or me, or something. I just want to make them stand out a bit more and do some other stuff besides reviews and some meme-like posts. It's something I struggle with, so it'll be a learning curve :) All these CAPSLOCK tweets and comments are part of that. I used to be afraid to be outspoken, whether my thoughts were positive or negative, but I've decided not to worry about that anymore. This means rants and FLAILING and gushing and incoherent posts. Sorrynotsorry.


Whew! That was quite the list! Thanks to everyone who recommended me any of the books on this list, you were successful in your bookpushing practices ;)

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