Review 59. Julie Kagawa – Summer’s crossing.

Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)Title: Summer’s crossing.
Author: Julie Kagawa.
Pages: 72.
Published: June 1st 2011.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Sort: Part 3.5 from ‘The iron fey.’

A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts. Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

“Once upon a time, I had two close friends. Shocking, I know, given my natural charm, but there are those who just don’t appreciate my brilliance.”

That’s line describes Puck perfectly. He is humorous, a prankster and he always tries to annoy Ash. He is also very loyal and he manages to find a way out of every impossible situation. Ash made a deal with the exiled Queen Leanansidhe in order to help Meghan in part 3 – The iron Queen. She is ready to claim her price; Ash must bring her violin back. Queen Titiana has stolen the violin from her. Luckily for Ash, Puck is ready to help him out.

Together they find a way to slip into the castle. When they discover that the violin is actually a living young girl, they must change their plan. Are they able to bring the girl to Leanansidhe? They better be, because a broken promise isn’t something you want in the faery world.

Like I said. This story is told from Puck’s point of view and I adore him! There is something about his humor and easy manners. He made me laugh a couple of times and he felt very natural and real. Julie did a great job in writing from his POV. I believed every word of it and I can imagine that this is how he thinks; I loved to be inside his brain. Just a funny, little story between book three and four.

Review 58. Julie Kagawa – The Iron Queen.

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)
Title: The Iron Queen.
Author: Julie Kagawa.
Pages: 358.
Published: January 25th 2011.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen.
Sort: Part 3 from ‘The iron fey.’
My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

“Good idea,” Puck echoed from the back of the cave. “Why don’t you take first watch, prince? You could actually be doing something that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.”

This is my favorite book from ‘The Iron Fey’ so far. Ash and Meghan are banned from the faery world, but Meghan isn’t planning on staying away. After an attack from The Iron Fey in her mortal world, she decides to take things into her own hands. First, she must do a couple of things to get her father back from Leanansidhe. The exiled queen gives them a safe place to stay.
Meghan finds out that Puck knew about her father and she is really angry with him. She even sends him away, but soon it’s time to ask him for help. It appears that her magic is struggling: she has the Iron and Summer power and they won’t mix. Puck must help her to control it, otherwise she can’t use either of them.

One day, they get a offer from the Summer and Winter court. If she defeats the new and fake Iron King, their banishment is over. They can’t turn it down, but there comes the real problem. How the hell do they get to The Iron King and how can she defeat him? She can’t use her power and his realm is spreading fast: which means that he is gaining a lot of power. I liked that our heroin really suffered in the end. Not that I enjoy that, but it made it realistic. In real life, you have to fight for it, so I like that she had a tough battle.

First of all, I loved the romance in this book! Since their relationship is developing, it feels so.. real. I tend to like Puck more, but I get her feelings for Ash: he does sound handsome and he is incredibly sweet for her. I had to include this quote:

‘Ash brushed the hair from my neck and leaned close to my ear, his voice so soft not even Grimalkin could’ve heard it. “I love you,” he murmured, and my heart nearly burst out of my chest. “Whatever happens, we’re together now.”’

Normally, I don’t really like all the swoony quotes, but I found myself going all warm inside when I read this book. Of course there is Puck and our lovely sarcastic cat Grimalkin. Those two really make my day. I could be friends with them, without a doubt. They complete the story.

There is also enough action in this book. It’s not all butterflies and rainbows, because the world is changing – fast. The realm of the Iron Fey is spreading and a lot of land and faeries died in the war. It’s up to Meghan to safe the world she begins to love and it’s a dangerous mission. Enough fighting and scary creatures to make it a fast-paced story. I really liked this one.

Review 57. Julie Kagawa – The iron daughter.

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)
Title: The iron daughter.
: Julie Kagawa.
Pages: 359.
: August 1st 2010 (first published July 27th 2010)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Sort: Part two of “The iron fey”
Review first book:
The iron king.
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you haven’t read the first book, you might want to skip this.

“Do not blame me, Goodfellow,” Grimalkin blinked, managing to sound bored and indignant at the same time. “I was minding my own business long before you and the princess started humping like rabbits.”

This book picks up where we left. Meghan went with Ash to the Winter court after saving her brother Ethan from the Iron Fey. She killed the king, but the treat isn’t over yet, it’s about to begin. When Meghan is summoned to the Winter queen, Mab, she finds out that the queen has her doubts about the Iron Fey. Mab is also pissed at her, because she tricked Ash into helping her. When Sage is killed and the scepter is stolen, Mab is furious: this is the work of the Summer court! A war is coming, while the Iron Fey stole the scepter. Nobody, expect Ash, believes Meghan and they must flee to return the scepter before the war starts.

Luckily for us, Puck is back! Grimalkin is there to help them, of course, and they get a strange new ally. It’s Ironhorse and he wants to help them, because his new King is a fraud. Ash decides it’s too dangerous for Meghan and he goes his own way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t turn out well: Ash falls into the hands of Virus, an Iron Fey. She can implant robots into the brains of her victims, so she can control them.

Can Meghan safe Ash before it is too late?

I must say that in the beginning, I was a bit annoyed by Meghan. Her feelings for Ash are pretty strong and his cold and distant behavior makes her sad. Sometimes, it was a bit too swoony. I was glad that it changes fast, because there are a lot of things going on. Puck returns to help them and a love triangle is forming. Most of the times, I hate it when this happens, but here, I understood where it comes from. Puck has been her friend for a long time and Ash has turned his back on her. It’s not strange that Meghan’s feelings are messed up.

Ironhorse was wonderful. It’s so cool that he is able to transform his body into a human shape. I could imagine his booming voice while reading his lines. The little, but important role from Leanansidhe was lovely. I think she will play another part in the next book. 
I also liked the use of humor in this book. I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times. The writing style was exactly like the first book, so I liked it of course! Ash is great. I love how he stood up for his feelings at the end of this book. How he made the tough decision, giving up everything he knows. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m going to read it right away.

Two swoony quotes.
He was real. He was here, not dying in a tree somewhere, left behind and forgotten. “I missed you,” I whispered against his neck.
He held me tighter. “I’ll always come back for you,” he murmured, sounding so unlike himself that I pulled back and looked at him. For a moment, his green eyes were intense, and I caught my breath at the emotion smoldering within.
“You’re kind of blind, you know?” Puck whispered, smiling to soften his words. “I wouldn’t defy Oberon for just anyone. But, for you…” He leaned forward, touching his forehead to mine. “I’d come back from the dead for you.”
So, yeah, I might have a little fling on Puck. Perhaps more than on Ash, because Puck seems like such a loyal and sweet boy. Normally, I’m not crazy about all these swoony scenes, but these are just too cute. Julie knows how to write them in a good way.

Goodbye for now!

Bonjour lovely followers, blogfriends and booklovers,

tonight, I'm heading toward France for three weeks! Unfortunately, I can't blog during these days, because there is no internet. I really hope that you won't forget me and my blog!

I have my notebook ready and I bring my laptop with me, so I'm going to write a huge amount of reviews.

Be prepared for my return.

Take care and I'm going to miss you!

PS: I have internet on my phone, so I'll keep my Goodreads up-to-date ^^

"Would you rather" tag.

Instead of a WoW pick, I decided to to this tag. I was tagged by the wonderful Viv (definitely take a look at her blog if you don't know her). There are some rules:

The Rules!
  • Intros!-Tell us about yourself and your blog.Answer the 6 questions in anyway you want.Tag 6 bloggers (or however many people you want to tag).Tell them they have been tagged and link back to your post.
  • Introduction.
    So, Mel is my short name. 21 years old. I have a boyfriend (almost 4 year together!) Crazy Disney fan. Absolutely in love with Harry Potter (Snape). I really like The Tudors and New Girl. I'm in love with fairytales and retellings. Those are my obsession. I like fantasy and all the creatures in it. I wish I could have an unicorn instead of a car. In real life, I'm very shy and insecure. Summer is my favorite season (ice cream <3). I'm a lab geek, now even more with my 'nerd' glasses. Besides reading, I like swimming, watching movies and drawing.

    So, that's just a short introduction; I could tell you so much more! 
    Questions Time!

Review 56. Julie Kagawa – The iron king.

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)Title: The iron king. 
: Julie Kagawa.
Pages: 363.
: February 1st 2010.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 0373210086 (ISBN13: 9780373210084)
Sort: Part one of “The iron fey” 
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

After my first meeting with Julie Kagawa’s work (The Immortal Rules) I couldn’t wait to read her other work too – and I am so glad! There is something captivating about this book. The writing style is pretty simple and easy. No difficult words or fancy lines, it’s all about the story and I loved it from the beginning.

Meghan lives a normal life with her mother, stepfather and little brother Ethan. Her father disappeared when she was only six years old. Her best friend is Robbie and she has a crush on the popular high school boy. Like I said, a normal life, but that is about to change. A lot.

Ethan sees strange things and Meghan starts to notice weird things too. When her brother disappears, Meghan doesn’t hesitate. Together with Robbie, who is actually Puck in the faery world – Meghan is going after her brother. Before she can accomplish that, she finds out that she is the daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer court. Their enemies, the Winter court, arrived and that’s how she meets Ash, the youngest prince. Puck and Ash hate each other and they are sworn enemies. Still: Ash will help to find her brother and in return, he can take her to the Winter court.

”Oh, we’re playing nice now?” Puck remained seated, looking anything but compliant. “Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?”

Together with Puck, Ash and Grimalkin (a wonderful cat), Meghan hunts for her brother. He is in the hands of a new kind of faeries: the Iron fey and that’s pretty odd, since faeries can’t stand iron. On their way, Puck is heavily wounded and they must leave him with the Dryads. Will Puck survive? And can they rescue her brother?

Easy written, fast-paced story with nice characters. There is a slight hint of instant love, but that really didn’t matter! Who could resist Ash? In the beginning, he is cold and mysterious, but I love how we get to know him better. Puck is hilarious, I like his sense of humor. Grimalkin is fantastic, just like the cat from Alice in Wonderland. And last, Meghan. The fact that she accepts everything so fast and that she doesn’t hesitate to safe her brother, great! She is scared, but she can still make great decisions. She really began to felt like a friend.

Winter’s passage.
This is part 1.5. Published June 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen (first published May 20th 2010). ISBN: 1426858329 (ISBN13: 9781426858321)
Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)
Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.
Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

Just a short story that tells us more about their way to the Winter Court. After saving Ethan, Meghan must obey the pact she made with Ash. She must go with him to the Winter Court to meet his mother, Queen Mab. She has no idea what Mab really wants from her. It was a nice addition to the story.

Showcase Sunday. Amazing edition.

I'm so glad with this edition, because I got some amazing books!

First, from Netgalley and the publishers.
The first time, I was declined, but I decided to give it a second try and finally I am accepted to read this book! I can't wait.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) Sarah J. Maas - Throne of Glass.
Expected publication: August 2nd 2012 by Bloomsbury.
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose RhymesAnd this one, it sounds amazing! I'm not a fan of anthologies, but I couldn't resist it.

Two and twenty dark tales - Different authors.
Expected publication: October 16th 2012 by Month9Books 
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

I discovered Edelweiss and I decided to give it a try. After being declined a lot (saying that there are no copies left from the books I requested) I got a couple of great books!

The SpindlersFirst, Lauren Oliver - The spindlers. Don't you just love the cover? And I loved Liesl & Po, so I have high expectations!
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers-evil, spiderlike beings-came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.

Emma Cornwall - Incarnation.
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Gallery Books
IncarnationLucy Weston tracks down the novelist Bram Stoker in her search to reveal the dark force who made her a vampire--and regain her humanity in the process.In the steampunk world of Victorian London, Lucy Weston, a character in "Dracula," seeks out Bram Stoker to discover why he deliberately lied about her in his popular novel. With Stoker's reluctant help, she tracks the creature who transformed her from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme. Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy battles her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she makes a choice that illuminates for her--and for us--the true nature of what it means to be human.
The Peculiar
I was fascinated by the cover and the blurb. Stefan Bachmann - The peculiar.
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Greenwillow Books.

Bartholomew Kettle won't live long. Changelings never do. The child of a human mother and a faery father, Bartholomew is a secret, despised by both his races. If the English don't hang him for witchcraft, the faerys will do something worse. So his mother keeps him locked away, hidden from the world in the faery slums of Bath.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)Won in a giveaway and I received my copy a couple of days ago.

Leigh Bardugo - Shadow and bone.
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Verboden magie
Since I am a huge fan of Juliet Marilier, I couldn't resist this one in the bookstore. It's called 'Verboden Magie' and - this is really weird for me - it's Shadowfell for you guys. So.. How is it possible that I can buy this book, while Shadowfell is released in September 11th 2012?

Its name is spoken only in whispers, if the people of Alban dare to speak it at all: Shadowfell. The training ground for rebels seeking to free their land from the grip of the tyrannical king is so shrouded in mystery that most believe it to be a myth.

Review 55. Jackson Pearce – Sisters red.

Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)Title: Sisters red.
: Jackson Pearce.
Pages: 324.
: June 7th 2010.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Sort: Part one of “Fairytale retellings.
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Scarlet and Rosie March live with their grandmother in the forest. Their whole world is about to change when they get a visit from an unknown man. He attacks them: it’s a wolf and he kills their grandmother. Scarlet is able to defend her and Rosie, but is left with a lot of scars and she is blind at one eye.

But something tells me the hospital staff wouldn’t be too cool with a scarred-up girl with an eye patch coming in and hacking up one of their patients.”

After the prologue, the story is told from two POV’s. We get to take a look through Scarlet’s eye and Rosie’s eyes and that was a nice addition to the story. You really get to know both girls and you can understand their feelings much better this way. On one side, Scarlet is obsessed with the hunt. She believes it’s their job. On the other side, Rosie is torn between her sister and her life. She owes her life to Scarlet and therefore, she will hunt, but it doesn’t satisfy her enough. It’s Scarlet’s passion to hunt, but Rosie wants more. And she soon gets the chance.

They travel to another city, because they heard about the rumors of a ‘Potential.’ They want to capture the boy and safe his life. Between hunting, Silas gives Rosie a little present: he pays for three little courses she can follo and they start to feel more than friendship.

Can they find the Potential before it is too late? Can Rosie combine a real life with hunting or will that separate her from her Scarlet? And what will happen with her feelings for Silas? If you want to find out, you better start reading this wonderful story!

Scarlet is a kick ass girl. Her body is proof enough, because it’s filled with scars. After the death of her grandmother, she totally lives for the hunt. It’s her passion; her calling. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet, she is ready to kill every wolf who crosses her path. That also made me sad, because there is so much more to live for. Like Rosie, who longs for something more. She is sweet and brave. Scarlet worries a lot about Rosie hunting alone, but believe me, she can handle a lot! Silas was great. He is very loyal to his friends, because he would sacrifice his life in order to safe them. He is also incredibly sweet towards Rosie.

I could see the plot coming, but I still liked the twist. There were some surprising things though, so not everything was predictable. I loved the fact that this retelling was so different from the real story, while it still manages to capture the essence.

I can't wait to read another book from this author!

Review 54. Susanne Winnacker – The weepers/The other life.

The Other Life (The Other Life, #1)Title: The weepers/The other life.
Author: Susanne Winnacker.
Pages: 315.
Published: May 15th 2012 / February 1st 2012.
Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish / Usborne.
Sort: Part one of 'The other life.'
Source: Netgalley & the publisher.
3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world. Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers. When Sherry's dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers. But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

1,139 days under the ground in their bunker. They just ate their last food. Their grandfather is in the fridge, because he died a couple of days ago. They haven’t showered for months and father and mother always fight. These are the conditions Sherry lives in together with her family.

“1,139 days since I’d seen daylight.
Only 2 minutes since we’d run out of food.”

That’s when her father decides it’s enough. They are locked, because of the rabies. It should not take so long, the government promised to deal with the problem within a couple of weeks. They also promised to tell them when it was safe. There is still no news, so her father wants to go and find food. Sherry wants to join him.

The world outside is not a pretty picture. The city looks horrible and there is not a soul on the street. Almost every bunker they find is empty. What happened while they were in their bunker? It seemed like there were bombs, but why would the government do such a thing? No time to wonder for answers. They must find food and they come across a store. That’s when the story really begin.

I really like the story and the way it went towards the end. Perhaps it’s just me, but I never saw that coming! I was stunned by the climax of this story and that made this book very powerful.

Things I liked.
-The fact that the story reveals itself piece by piece. The story builds up towards the end and you don’t get disappointed when you finally find out what’s going on. The climax was amazing.
-Sherry, I really liked this girl. She is determined to find and safe her father. She doesn't develops a lot in the story, but she was a nice character.
-The writing style was easy, flowing and fast-paced. I liked the constant tension of the rabies. Especially the part when they breach into their Safe Haven.
-The Rabies or, as they call them, The weepers. The fact that they are intelligent is so scary! They aren’t just craving for flesh, they still use their mind.

Things I disliked.
-The little lines saying how many days she didn’t see this or didn’t ate that. In the beginning, I felt like it was effective to show how many days she was locked under the ground. After that, it became a bit annoying.
-The love interest. I couldn’t understand Sherry’s feelings toward the guy. He never showed the same interest in her. Better yet, he was rude sometimes. And suddenly, they had some kind of relationship.

I think that this book is highly recommendable. I enjoyed myself during the reading and some parts were really tense and scary. Yes, this story is not perfect. There are a couple of flaws, but it was good enough to help me forget those little mistakes. And that is what reading is all about, isn't it :); simply enjoying a story.

WoW 16. Lilith Saintcrow - Nameless.

Hosted by Breaking the spine.

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1)
Title: Nameless.
: Lilith Saintcrow/Lili St. Crow.
Pages: 304.
Expected publication: April 2013.
Publisher: Razorbill.
: Part one of 'Tales of beauty & Madness.'

A dark and eerie retelling of Snow White.

Sixteen-year-old Camille doesn’t remember her life before she was adopted by the powerful Vultusino family—the missing childhood years that left her scarred and silent. Now she lives a life
of luxury, protected by the supernatural Mafia Vultusinos, specially Nico, her adopted brother.

But Cami knows that she is not really Family. She is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until a mysterious boy approaches her and reveals scars of his own that Cami begins
to uncover the secrets of her past.. to find out where she comes from and what danger she now finds herself in.
You guys know me by now. Fairytales and retellings are always a 'go' for me, so when I read the first line I was sold. I haven't read any books from this author, but this sounds like the perfect meeting with her work. And I really like the cover. Look how dark and mysterious!

What's your pick this week?

Review 53. Zoë Marriott – The swan kingdom.

The Swan KingdomTitle: The swan kingdom.
Author: Zoë Marriott.
Pages: 272.
Published: March 25th 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press..
Sort: Stand alone.
Shadows fall across the beautiful, lush kingdom after the queen is attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger, a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land. But Alexandra has more gifts than she realizes as she confronts magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces, and is unflinchingly brave as she struggles to reclaim what is rightfully hers. Fantasy lovers will be held in thrall by this tale full of visual detail, peppered with a formidable destructive force and sweetened with familial and romantic love.
Rating: Favorite.
Alexandra lives pretty happy with her three brothers, mother and father. She always feels like her father doesn't really love her (and I hate to admit that I think that's the case.. but I though he wasn't a nice character anyway). Her mother gives her therefore more than enough love and she teaches her daughter a lot about the land and plants. Her mother is magical and it seems that Alexandra is too.

One day, her mother dies. Alexandra is full of grief and even her father seems sad. He decides to hunt for the beast that killed her mother, but everyday he returns empty handed. Until he comes home with a woman. She's beautiful and she enchants everybody, expect Alexandra and her three brothers. They see the evil inside this woman and Alexandra suspects that this woman is the beast.

In their hope to reveal the truth, she and her brother try to find something special; Alexandra tells them that the woman must have some kind of talisman to keep up her appearance, because it's tough to use so much power all the time. When they find it, her brothers are transformed into swans and Alexandra is send away to her aunt.

Besides the fact that she lost her brothers, it’s actually quite nice there. She meets a boy (he is so cute!) but when she is asked to return, Alexandra must escape to save her life. It’s up to her to break the curse that is laid upon her brothers. Can she rescues them?

-Alexandra is a strong character. She is loving and has a big heart. She will do anything to save her brothers, even when it means that she’ll suffer.
-Her love interest is well-written and I think they are super cute together!
-It’s about the swan princess. What else can I say?
-The writing style is easy and fast-paced.

I’d recommend this book to fairytale lovers and even to people who don’t like them. It's such a great book.

Other books.
If you like this one, you will enjoy Juliet Marillier – The daughter of the forest. It tells the same story, but it has more Celtic elements in it. That book is really phenomenal.

Award 4: The versatile blogger!

I got this lovely award from Mrs. Mommy Booknerd's book reviews blog! There are a couple of rules:

  1. Create a post for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. Add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger(s) who gave you the award and put a link back to their blogs.
  4. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers the Versatile Blogger Award and inform each nominated blogger by posting a comment on each blog.
  5. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  6. In the same post, include this set of rules.

7 Random pieces of information.
1. I love high heels.
2. I'm addicted to Goodreads.
3. I recently got my 'P' for my study. That means that I got at least 60 points, so now I will get a certificate (when I tried to translate it on google, I found "A first-year award") I'm looking forward to it; it will be a big happening. Not many people in my study get it in their first year, so I'm very proud!
4. I'm reading Julie Kagawa - The iron king right now and I'm loving it!
5. I bought my new glasses today. I bought one of those 'Nerd glasses', so I'm a real lab geek now! Perhaps I'm going to show him once he is done. I think it really fits me :)
6. Chicken tonight, wraps, rice and noodles are some of my favorite things to eat.
7. I don't eat sauerkraut and onions & I don't drink milk. Disgusting!

I'm not going to nominated so many other blogs, because every blog is 'award free'.. But I will pass it on to Viv:

Feature & Follow (8)

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

Here was a picture with "Reading is dreaming with your eyes open."

My love for books of course! I don't have anything spectacular to tell you. I love reading. I even read when I couldn't read, making up my own stories while holding a book. I drove my little sister nuts when we were younger, because I always woke her up when she had the nerve to fall asleep during the reading. Luckily for her, I don't do that anymore.

In primary school, I loved going to the library! They even made an exception for me: I could bring more books, because I read too fast. In secondary school, I believe I was the only one in my class who read books. I never understood how people could live without books. And how busy I am now with studying, I still find time to read.

Reading is my passion. Writing is something I always liked to do. Talking about books is a wonderful thing to do. So I thought, why not combine it all and make a blog? This way, I can talk to people who loves to read too!

That is why I like this meme so much. You get to know other people better, you can discover new blogs and make new friends. My never ending list becomes happier ever day with all the books I keep adding. My wallet is less happy with you, though, haha. The blog world is a wonderful experience for me.

Tell me, why did you start to blog?

Review 52. Janet Lee Carey - Dragonswood.

DragonswoodTitle: Dragonswood.
: Janet Lee Carey.
Pages: 407.
: January 5th 2012.
Publisher: Dial.
Sort: Stand alone, but Dragon's keep is in the same world.
Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens. Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn't expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. Tess soon learns about her true father, making her the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy.

Looking for something sweet with a strong heroin? This is the book you want to read. I must admit that I fell in love with the cover, but the inside is just as pretty!

“Even if he was a thief, he was my thief. I could not push him away anymore.”

This story is all about Tess, a daughter from a blacksmith and a woman with no backbone. Her father is abusive, but Tess still remains strong, determined and intelligent. She is drawn to the woods, although it's forbidden to enter. That's the reason she is accused of witch craft and she is tortured. She told the witch hunter that her best friends Meg and Poppy went with her into the woods. The three girls must flee and they live in the forest. Not the safest place, with all the dragons and faeries in it. Still, Tess isn't afraid and she is always trying to make the best of it. She feels really guilty for betraying her friends and she wants to do anything in the world to make it right.

Tess is a wonderful girl. Very loyal to her friends. Even when she is desperately looking for affection, she never backs away from her own opinion. When she finds out about a secret her mother kept from her, her whole world changes. She finally understand her desire to be in the Dragonwoods.
Garth was also a nice character, even when I couldn't read his mind. He felt distant in the beginning, but that's what makes him so interesting. He is mysterious and I liked how I got to know him better. He grew on me.

Poppy was a bit 'dumb'. She was very sweet and described as incredibly handsome, but she wasn't bright. I loved the fact that she followed her heart, though.

This story has every element you could ask for. I love the feeling this book gave me. There are dragons and fairies. There is magic and romance. The story tackles a difficult subject (abusive father), but manages to show us that you have to fight. Never let anyone bring you down. The words are flowing and it's such a smooth and easy writing. I certainly can't wait to read other books from this author.

Definitely read this one if you like fairytales! This book has the same feeling to it.

Top 10 Tuesday (14). Freebie.

This week is a freebie! I decided to show my top 10 books I want to read during my vacation.

Enchanted1. Veronica Roth - Divergent. I won this book a while ago and I'm so glad that I finally have the chance to read it. After reading all those raving reviews, I can't wait to dive into it.
2. Marissa Meyer - Cinder. Bought this week (as you could see in my Showcase Sunday). Fairytale retelling, that's all I have to say.
3. Philippa Gregory - Changeling. Also a book I won in a giveaway. I love her other works, so I'm looking forward to see if she can write a good YA.
4. Lauren Oliver - Delirium. The positive reviews make me so anxious to read this book. It sounds really good.
5. Alethea Kontis - Enchanted. Fairytale retellings. The frog prince. What else do I need to say?
Everneath (Everneath, #1)6. Brodi Ashton - Everneath. First, the cover is gorgeous. Second, I like mythology. So I had to put this one in the list.
7. Jennifer E. Smith - The statistical probability of love at first sights. Huge title, but I think I quite like it. I've been hearing so many things about this one, I can no longer ignore it. During the vacation I tend to like a romantic, fluffy read.
8. Kathleen Peacock - Hemlock. One word: werewolves.
9. Lauren DeStefano - Fever. Although Wither is not the best book I've ever read, I quite liked it and I can't wait to find out what happens next.
10. Julie Kagawa - The iron fey. After reading her phenomenal 'The immortal rules' I can't wait to read another book from her.

There are much more books I want to read - of course, but I thought it might be fun to show you the highlights on my list. Some other books on the list are 'Sweet evil, Of Poseidon, Grave Mercy, Anna and the french kiss, Incarnate, The catastrophic history of you and me, Wanderdust, A temptation of Angels, The hedgewitch queen, Article 5, The fault in our stars, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making, Born wicked, The alchemy of forever & The vicious deep.'

Oh, how I love vacations. Spending all my free time on reading books, that's one of the best things in the world.

So, what did you pick? And if you read any of these books, let me know what you thought about them!

Review 51. Tracy Lynn – Snow.

Snow: A Retelling of Title: Snow: A retelling of “Snow white and the seven dwarfs.”
Author: Tracy Lynn.
Pages: 272.
Published:  October 24th 2006. (first published February 1st 2003)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sort: Stand alone, but part of the' ‘Once upon a time.’
In a tiny Welsh estate, a duke and duchess lived happily, lacking only a child—or, more importantly, a son and heir to the estate. Childbirth ultimately proved fatal for the young duchess. After she died, the duke was dismayed to discover that he was not only a widower, but also father to a tiny baby girl. He vowed to begin afresh with a new wife, abandoning his daughter in search of elusive contentment. Independent—virtually ignored—and finding only little animals and a lonely servant boy as her companions, Jessica is pale, lonely and headstrong…and quick to learn that she has an enemy in her stepmother. "Snow," as she comes to be known, flees the estate to London and finds herself embraced by a band of urban outcasts. But her stepmother isn't finished with her, and if Jessica doesn't take control of her destiny, the wicked witch will certainly harness her youth—and threaten her very life…

This story is a modern/different version of Snow White and I absolutely loved it. I think the characters in this book are really sweet. The fact that the seven dwarfs are totally different than in the real story is nicely done. And I also liked that she didn't end with just a prince, but with the one she truly loves. It's not like the instant love we see in Disney, but a 'we're friends and I start to like you more and more,' relationship.
Snow loses her mother when she was young and her father never looked at her again. She reminded him too much of her mother and he blames her for it. So, she grew up as a strange duchess; instead of leaning how to behave like a real woman, she spends all her time in the kitchen. Instead of making nice clothes, she climbs in trees with the boys. That's something I like about her so much, she's so alive and she doesn't worry about what people think.

But then, there comes an end to her free life. Her father remarries, for he wants a boy to take over the property when he dies. The woman is not capable of getting a child, so she starts to find other ways to 'make' one. In the real meaning of making; she wants Snow's heart for it. Snow flees and she comes in the big city. She is lost and she wants to sleep, but that place is already taken by Cat.

That's how Snow comes to a group of thieves 'The lost ones'. They must steal, because nobody would hire people who look like animals. Snow manages to get herself a place as some sort of housemaid. She’s actually pretty happy. She slowly wins their trust and soon, they all become friends. There is even a hint of love, but her happiness is about to change. When she get’s a message of her stepmother, Snow decides to forgive her, but things go terrible wrong. She get’s in some kind of coma and it lasts for almost three years. In the mean time, her friends are searching for a cure and when they find it, Snow has no memory at all.

Are her friends capable of getting her memory back? Is this the moment where true love can break any spell?

I like the original seven dwarfs. Not only that, they were all fantastic personalities.
-The writing style. It’s very easy and fast, but still manages to capture that real fairytale feeling.
-Snow is a nice character! In the Disney story, Snow White is one of my least favorite princesses, but I actually started to like her in this book. She has more spunk, even when she is a bit naive when it comes to her stepmother.

Definitely go and get your own copy of this book, especially if you are a huge fan of fairytales and retellings like me. I promise you that you are going to like it! :)