Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:14

Review 306. Laini Taylor - Daughter of smoke and bone series.

Information:

10305156TitleDaughter of smoke and bone.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 418.
Published: September 27th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton.
RATING4.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that colour. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

13389182TitleDays of blood and starlight.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 513.
Published: November 8th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
RATING: 5.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two. Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.


18001518TitleDreams of Gods and Monsters.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 613.
Published: April 17th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton
RATING: 4.5.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? 

This is the second time I'm reviewing a series in one post. I'm still not sure what is the best way to review sequels in a series, so could you let me know if you like this format? The review is spoiler-free for all the books.

Sunday, December 14, 2014 13:20

5th Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition

This event is hosted by Jamie from The perpetual page-turner. The images are also from her post.

reading-stats-2014


Number Of Books You Read: 152. I beat my first and second reading goal. 
I hope I can read 8 more books before the end of the year.

Number of Re-Reads: 11.

Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy. 


I have a spreadsheet with more reading stats, this will be posted in my December recap.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 09:16

Fairytale News 44. How blogging changed my life.

Book blogging has been a big part of my life for the past 2.5 years and it has effected and changed me in positive ways. Today I want to share you how blogging changed my life.

The first thing that would never have happened without my blog is the start of my book club. Once every month I meet up with Debby, Daisy and Daph. We’ve been doing this for a year now and I’m so happy with them in my life. I now have real life people I can fangirl/rant with! This showed me that I AM capable of meeting new people without making an embarrassment out of myself. I don’t think I would have been brave enough a few years ago, but blogging has pushed me to do new things. It has made me step out of my comfort zone. I also made other blogging friends and I never imagined that I would feel so connected with people all over the world. It’s a wonderful feeling. And to come back on my confession about my fear of Twitter, I feel I’m getting better at it. I keep challenging myself with things I’m scared of and it feels good.

I’m also better with rejections now. The first time writing a publisher for a review request was scary and it was hard to be rejected. 'Why is my blog not good enough?' It made me insecure, but now I continue and I can shake it off easily. It shows me that it’s not terrifying to approach other people; you just have to do it and it taught me more about networking. Plus, authors are only human and they are lovely to talk to.

Blogging allowed me to explore reading in another way. I now know what is important for me and what I dislike in books. I'm more critical and now I can see books through the eyes of someone else and that's sometimes helpful when you're not sure how you feel about a story. I feel more confident about giving my opinions about books. I can finally point out all the things I like and dislike instead of saying ‘I just love it!’ It’s easier to write down my thoughts and feelings, even if they are negative.

I’ve learned to let go of the idea I have to give everything a chance. Like I told in my DNF post, I used to finish every book, but with blogging I realize I don’t have the time for it. I’m also better at picking books. Before my blogging life I used to go to the store and I would buy whatever caught my eyes. Now, with Goodreads and all my blogging friends, I’m more aware of books. I know what will be published, I know what is currently a hype and I base the books I buy on reasons; and this prevents me (most of the times) from buying books I end up disliking. This made me broaden my horizons even more and I discovered new favorites books I might have ignored before.

I’ve also fallen in love with stats. I always liked making lists, but together with Goodreads and Excel I can keep up with everything. Books I want to buy, series I need to finish, details about all the books I’ve finished that year etc. The things you can add are endless. Based on these stats I can see I read more than ever. Challenges, read-a-thons; blogging makes me read more books and it even helps me to achieve one of my dream goals: 150 books in a year.

My English has improved and I learn new things every day. I loved English the moment they started to teach it to me and I was always pretty good at it, but my vocabulary has grown and writing in English is much easier now. It can be difficult at times (like I said in this post, I’m afraid to make mistakes and it’s scary to realize people might judge you for it), but I’m proud that I can speak at least 2 languages. I even started my own Youtube channel and while I'm still uncomfortable in front of the camera, I can see my progress and that's fun.

Now tell me, how did blogging change you?
Monday, December 08, 2014 14:15

Review 305. A.G Howard – Unhinged.

19430954Title: Unhinged.
Author: A.G Howard.
Pages: 387.
Published: December 17th 2013 by Scholastic Australia.
Sort: Splintered #2.
Review #1. Splintered.
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of. That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs. As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind. If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
Rating:

It has been a while since I read Splintered, so I was sometimes confused when they referred to certain occurrences. That didn’t bother me too much though, but it might have played a role in my feelings about the story.  I was a little underwhelmed by this book. It felt a bit flat and slow-paced to me.

I fell in love with the dark twist on Wonderland that was created in Splintered. I liked all the problems Alyssa had to solve and how she was guided by Morpheus. In this book Alyssa is back in her real world, where she is trying to return to her normal life. It’s difficult when Morpheus keeps popping up, asking her to return to Wonderland to reclaim her throne before it is too late.

Saturday, December 06, 2014 15:20

(Fairytale) Retelling reading challenge 2015.

The Daily Prophecy

Yes, this is happening! I contacted Debz Bookshelf (who hosted this challenge for three years) if it was okay to take it over. I’ve never hosted a reading challenge before, so it’s all new for me and I will try to make it as fun as possible! Here are the details:
  • The challenge runs from January 1st – December 31st 2015.

  • The goal is to read fairytale retellings, but if you want you can also pick other retellings. It’s up to you what you count as a fairytale. Here are a couple of books you can pick from: my bookshelf with fairytale retellings and Fairytale lists on Listopia. You can read Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult books for this challenge. Obviously, the book doesn't have to be published in 2015 and re-reads count.

  • There are 6 different levels you can aim for:
    -Prince Charming: 1 – 4 books.
    -Magic mirror: 5 - 9 books.
    -Big bad wolf: 10 – 15 books.
    -The wise princess: 16 – 20 books.
    -Wicked fairy Godmother: 21 – 25 books.
    -Bluebeard: you are killing it! 26+ books.

  • Every beginning of the month I will make a link-up post where you put all your reviews in and they will have fun/informative introductions.

  • It’s not a promise, but there might be challenges.

  • Most important thing: HAVE FUN and spread the word :) Let's tweet with: #fairytaleRC

Friday, December 05, 2014 16:05

MIM #4. Upcoming movies 2015.

Welcome to my new feature, where I will be combining books and movies! I bet you can guess how I came up in the name, but in case you aren’t; Alice in Wonderland. You can find my inspirations in this post Fairytale news: other content.

This hardly needs an introduction, but if you are new and you are not aware of this fact: I’m a huge fan of fairytales, Disney and animation movies. So hereby I spotlight all the upcoming movies from 2015 I can’t wait for.

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