Top 10 Tuesday (29) Tags.

Today, it's our last Queen's day! (Netherlands) Her son takes the throne and they decided to change it to King's day. It's always a lot of fun. Everyone is dressed in orange and there are fairs everywhere. I always love to visit them together with my boyfriend and we end up with piles of good, cheap stuff. Yeey, this is a day I always look forward to.

                                         This meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Tags That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book.

1. Fairytale (retellings). I don't think that this is surprising ;)
2. Dystopian.
Everything that has to do with the destruction of earth and the society we know sounds interesting to me.
3. Scientific/Medical.
 I love experiments, because it is something that fits my interest. I'm doing a medical study for a reason.
. Fantasy/Magic. You got to love a good fantasy story.
Tudors, especially Anne Boleyn; Historical fiction. There is just something about this period that fascinates me.
Asylum/Boarding schools. Great settings.
Vampires/Zombies/witches: paranormal. I still like them.
Juliet Marillier. If someone compare a book with this author, it's an instant read for me. I adore her work.

Leave a link to your instant-buy-words.

Review 153. Jessica Day George – Sun & Moon, Ice & Snow.

Sun and Moon, Ice and SnowTitle: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.
Author: Jessica Day George.
Pages: 336.
Published: January 8th 2008.
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Other books:
-Princess 1: Princess of the midnight ball.
-Princess 2: Princess of Glass.
Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a gruelling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

Finally! I’m starting to find the good retellings again. I loved her other series, so I was excited to give this one a try. I’ve never read anything about this fairytale before and I liked it. I'm definitely going to hunt down some more retellings and I hope to read the original story soon.

Review 152. Emily McKay – The farm.

The Farm (The Farm, #1)Title: The Farm.
Author: Emily McKay.
Pages: 420.
Published: December 4th 2012.
Publisher: Berkley Trade.
Sort: Part 1 of ‘The Farm
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the unread monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other… And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible. Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help… Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

This book surprised me. There are still original vampire stories! I liked this approach of the zombie-like bloodsuckers. The characters were a bit questionable, but the dark world-building made up for it.

WoW 37. Vitro and Witchfall.

 Hosted by: Breaking the spine.

Jessica Khoury - Vitro.
January 14th 2014 by Razorbill.
On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings--the Vitros--have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw. Sophie Crue is determined to visit Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. She enlists hunky charter pilot Jim Julien to take her there. But once on the island, Sophie and Jim encounter more than they bargained for, including a charming, brilliant Vitro named Nicholas and an innocent, newly awoken one named Lux. In a race for their lives, Sophie and Jim are about to discover what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.
I'm so so so so so excited for this book! It sounds like my cup of tea :D It's going to be a long wait.

                                                   July 4th 2013 by Corgi Childrens
London, 1554. At the court of Mary Tudor, life is safe for no one. The jealous, embittered queen sees enemies all around her, and the infamous Spanish Inquisition holds the court in its merciless grip. But Meg Lytton has more reason to be afraid than most - for Meg is a witch, and exposure would mean certain death. Even more perilous, Meg is secretly betrothed to the young priest Alejandro de Castillo; a relationship which they must hide at all costs. In the service of the queen's sister, Princess Elizabeth, Meg tries to use her powers to foretell her mistress's future. But when a spell goes terribly wrong, and Meg begins to have horrifying dreams, she fears she has released a dark spirit into the world, intent on harming her and those around her.

Review 151. Kate Danley – The woodcutter.

The WoodcutterTitle: The woodcutter.
Author: Kate Danley.
Pages: 334.
Published: October 14th 2010 (first published January 1st 2010)
Publisher: Createspace.
Sort: Stand alone.
Cinderella is dead and one of Odin's hellhounds has gone rogue. The Woodcutter, protector of peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of Faerie, is charged with finding the beast and returning him to the Wild Hunt. Unfortunately, it seems the forces of evil have other plans. It is a race against time as the Woodcutter travels east of the sun and west of the moon, up beanstalks and down to the bowels of the earth to unravel a mystery that can only be described as Grimm

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I thought it sounded interesting and I quite liked the cover, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m so happy I did, because it was a wonderful story. I fell in love with the fairytale world Danley created and all her magnificent characters. Be prepared to enter the Twelve Kingdoms filled with a mixture of different fairytales! The story, characters and world-building is so layered and it’s hard to explain the story without giving spoilers. This is the best I can do:

Showcase Sunday 28. All kinds of books.

Yet again, some books I found for bargain prices. They were 1.25 euro a piece, so I couldn't resist them. My series are finally completed with the first book, so I can start them. Perhaps you can remember this showcase: books for free? I own two very cheap series now (despite the fact that House of Night seems endless) I've heard great things about Vampire Academy and mixed things about House of Night, so I'm curious. I can always give them back to the charity where I got them :)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Marked (House of Night, #1)Chosen (House of Night, #3)
Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy 1: Vampire Academy.
P.C Cast & Kristin Cast - House of Night 1: Marked.
P.C Cast & Kristin Cast - House of Night 3: Chosen.

Netgalley was also kind to me. Two books were already available to read (Scrap and Blood between queens. I hope I can read it as a stand-alone, because Goodreads says it's part 5..) I liked Between two thorns and I'm in love with the covers from the series, so I decided to give the second book Any Ohter name a shot.

ScrapBlood Between Queens (Thornleigh, #5)Any Other Name (The Split Worlds #2)

and I got an ARC from Teresa Ort's 'The year of the great seventh'
The Year of the Great Seventh

That's it for this week! Leave a link to your haul :)

Review 150. J.M Barrie – Peter Pan.

Peter PanTitle: Peter Pan.
Author: J.M Barrie.
Pages: 185.
Published: January 1st 1995.
Publisher: Penguin Books.
Sort: Stand alone.
The boy who refuses to grow up teaches Wendy and her younger brothers how to fly. Then it's off to magical Neverland for adventures with mermaids, Indians, and wicked Captain Hook and his pirate crew.

It was Friday night. Mr and Mrs Darling were dining out. Nana had been tied up in the backyard. The poor dog was barking, for she could smell danger. And she was right - this was the night that Peter Pan would take the Darling children on the most breath-taking adventure of their lives, to a place called Neverland, a strange country where the lost boys live and never grow up, a land with mermaids, fairies and pirates - and of course the terrible, evil, Captain Hook.
3 stars
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never read Peter Pan before. I like the Disney movie version and I absolutely love the retelling from Jodi Lynn Anderson called Tiger Lily. So it was about time to read this one! This is one of the classics I had on my list for this year.

I think everybody knows the story of the famous Peter Pan. I always liked the part where he loses his shadow – and how he is trying to stick it back to his body. This is his first meeting with Wendy. He takes the Darling children to his country Neverland, where he lives with his lost boys. Peter Pan is doomed to live forever (he doesn’t agree with me, though. Peter doesn’t want to grow up) Wendy soon becomes their mother and the three children are slowly starting to forget about their own parents. They have a lot of adventures, of course with Captain Hook. He hates Peter after the boy took his hand and he is always on the run for the ticking crocodile.

I actually didn’t like Peter. He was a strange character. Always boosting about things that never happened or he completely forgets about his new adventures. He can be very unkind. The ending surprised me and I feel sad for him; I don’t think he has any idea what he is actually missing.. Wendy was nice (although I hated her in Tiger Lily) and I like how she is acting as a mother. The lost boys were fun and I love Hook. It’s funny how jealous Tinkerbell is and she has a quite nasty temper. I completely forgot about her mean nature, because she has such a sweet spirit in her own Disney movies.

This book was definitely one I had to read, but I don’t think I’m going to re-read it. It was just okay and interesting for one time.


Thank you all for the "Happy Birthdays" I finally got into the mood when I arrived with my sister at Bagel & Beans. We got the "Sweet special" and it was delicious! From the right bottom all the way against the clock: Blueberry muffin, date cake, some cream cheese, brownie, strawberry jam, cheesecake, bagel with cinnamon & raisins, carrot cake and some candy hearts sprinkled over the dish :D I got freshly squeezed strawberry juice as well, yum! We couldn't eat everything, so I took the muffin and a piece of the date cake with me for my boyfriend. Haha. 

I was happy that I got some presents after all. My sister bought a necklace and bracelet today. I got to pick them, so I went for the chuncky chain bracelet with two colors and a necklace with a side way cross (couldn't find a picture).

From my mother in law I received Tess Gerritsen - Last to die (you see the Dutch cover, because I have all her books in this edition)

And I got an awesome English flag case from my sister in law. I've been looking for a case for a while now, so perfect timing (and a little help from my boyfriend who knows my taste :D)
And as a surprise, my father gave me a small Disney purse for my collection. Sweet <3
That's it. I hope to show you a lot of books somewhere around May 4th ;)

WoW 36. Fairytales and Parasites.

 Hosted by: Breaking the spine.

I've been so busy! I had a birthday party and on top of that, I'm busy with a presentation and I have an exam coming up on Friday. BUT, it's also my birthday today! I'm starting to feel old, haha. I can't believe how time flies, because I still feel like I'm 16 years.. Wake up Mel, 22 already. I used to love birthdays, but I don't have that feeling anymore.

I don't think I'll be getting any presents today; I'm going to celebrate it together with my sister in a party for family (May 4th) and a separate one for friends :) Luckily for me, my sister and me are both free from school today. We are going to have a High Tea together, I can't wait! I hope I get a little bit of happy-birthday-feeling.

I'm going to share some interesting book titles I've found a while ago.

Review 149. Patrick W. Carr – A cast of stones.

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)Title: A cast of Stones.
Author: Patrick W. Carr.
Pages: 432.
Published: February 1st 2013.
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Sort: Part 1 of ‘The staff and the sword.’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travellers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

I haven’t read a fantasy book in a while and A cast of stones definitely reminded me of my love for adult fantasy.  I was surprised when I saw that it’s a Christian fiction book, according to Goodreads. There is a special system when it comes to the Church, but the influence of Christendom never bothered me. The book did started a bit slow, but the pleasant writing-style was good enough to grab my attention.

Feature & Follow (21)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: We are about to see a lot of posts & tweets about reader conventions, RT, BEA, ALA and many more are starting soon. Which one would you love to attend? Where and why?

I wish I could go to BEA, but that is not something I can do any time soon. I live in The Netherlands and I am a poor student, unfortunately. I would love to attend so I can meet other bloggers! And wouldn't it be great to see all those authors? The fact that you can get (signed) copies from new books is awesome too, I'm not going to lie about that. I definitely wish we had conventions like that over here :) 

If you follow, let me know in the comments. Please: only follow if you are truly interested in my blog :)

Review 148. Maureen McGowan – Cinderella.

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales, #1)Title: Cinderella: Ninja warrior.
Author: Maureen McGowan.
Pages: 309.
Published: April 1st 2011.
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘Twisted tales’
In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read
2 stars
You can see that I have some bad luck with fairytales lately, but this one was definitely not THAT bad. The low rating is based on the fact that there were too many unbelievable lucky situations and I didn’t connect with the characters.

Cinderella lives with the witch and her two daughters, Agatha & Gwendolyn, after the death of her father. She has one friend: a cat called Max. She is trapped in her house, forced to do all the chores without any appreciation for her hard work. Cinderella did inherited some magic from her deceased mother and she is practicing it every day – together with her Ninja skills. I wished these skills were better explored, but they didn’t add anything to the story in my opinion.

One day, Ty (a royal messenger) invites them all for the special ball. The prince is going to pick one lucky girl to marry him. It is from the beginning very clear who Ty is and I didn’t get the chemistry between Ty and Cinderella. Most scenes were actually cringe worthy and the dialogues were hilarious. Ty is instantly flirting with Cinderella and he practically falls in love with her from the moment he sees her. Yeah, very believable. If it only was that easy huh ;)

It is very easy to predict how this story is going to end, so I will skip that. One thing I liked about this book was the fact you got to pick your own path. There are 8 routes you can take and it was fun to decided Cinderella’s choices. I appreciated the original approach and the way the author created different storylines.

While my rating of 2.5 looks bad, it wasn’t such a horrible book. It’s based on several little things I disliked and it wouldn’t be honest to other books to give it more flowers.

Reverse Author Interviews.

Reverse Author Interviews
Hosted by: Book munchies.

Text from their blog: Here at Book Munchies, we enjoy reading other author interviews and see them often featured on quite a number of book blogs. But a thought came to us, those authors never get to ask us anything; we’re always the ones doing the asking. But what if there was something they wanted to know about us? So, Book Munchies has been working to gather questions from a variety of authors about a good mix of topics.

When I got an email from Book Munchies about this event, I knew I had to participate. I haven’t seen anything like this before and it sounded like so much fun. Today, I am going to answer Marissa Meyer’s questions. It’s so awesome, because I love Cinder & Scarlet.

Review 147. Melissa Marr – Faery Tales & Nightmares.

Faery Tales & NightmaresTitle: Faery Tales & Nightmares.
Author: Melissa Marr.
Pages: 418.
Published: February 21st 2012  by HarperCollins.
Sort: Stand alone, anthology.
Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly. From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear. Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it. Table of Contents: "Where Nightmares Walk" "Winter's Kiss" "Transition" "Love Struck" "Old Habits" "Stopping Time" "The Art of Waiting" "Flesh for Comfort" "The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King" "Cotton Candy Skies" "Unexpected Family" "Merely Mortal"

Like you might now, I’m not such a fan of anthologies. I prefer long stories where I can bond with characters, so this book surprised me! Marissa did a great job in spinning stories with a fairytale feeling.
Where nightmares walk was strange. It’s only 2 pages long and there is hardly anything to say about it. My expectations dropped down, but I’m happy to say that Winter’s kiss made me excited again. It’s a fairytale about a girl whose breathe freezes everything around her. She can’t find her place in this world, until she is visited by an ice bear. This meeting is about to change her life. This was one of my favorite stories. 

Transition is a vampire story and it was a bit strange. It gave me a “meh” feeling. Love struck was great on the other hand. It’s about a Selkie boy called Murrin who is trying to win the love of his true match Alana.
Old habits, Cotton Candy Skies, Stopping time and Unexpected family were hard to follow. These stories belong to the Wicked Lovely series and I couldn’t understand it. I will return to this anthology after reading the series. The art of waiting was interesting, you have to see it for yourself. Flesh for comfort was bizarre, in a good way! It gave me the creeps. The sleeping girl and the Summer king was my other favorite story. It’s about a girl who gets to choose; living forever with the Summer King or ruling the Winter. Fairytale feeling! Merely Mortal was sweet, about the love between the Winter queen and a fairy who became mortal after saving her life.

This book was definitely enjoyable and I think I’m going to take a look at her series. Her writing-style was pleasant enough.
Pooh 2

Showcase Sunday 27. Winning.

Again, no Netgalley requests! I did buy one new bargain book: I've heard great things about this book, so I was happy when I found it in my second hand bookshop!

Before I Fall
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

And I forgot that I go an e-copy from Michelle Diener's book a while ago: Daughter of the sky.

Daughter of the SkyThe Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don't accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he's gambling with isn't his own.. The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand's most important spy.

Edit: Forgot that I won these two copies:
Pretty Girl ThirteenShards and Ashes

That's it for this week :D Leave a link to your haul!

Review 146. John Green – The fault in our stars.

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The fault in our stars.
Author: John Green.
Pages: 368.
Published: January 10th 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
Sort: Stand-alone.

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I knew what I was going to read, but I never ever thought it would touch me so much as it did. This book gave me all these different feelings. I laughed because of Augustus’ and Hazel’s funny humor  I felt hopeful because of their strength and I ugly cried because everything is so unfair. I’m still not over the beauty of this book. The powerful characters, the dazzling writing-style and the storyline did something to me. Something I can’t express in words and I know that I can’t do any justice to this book. But I will try.

WoW 35. Project Cain and Mortal fire.

Hosted by: Breaking the spine.

Project Cain
Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’. There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time. When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?

Mortal Fire
Sixteen-year-old Canny Mochrie's vacation takes a turn when she stumbles upon a mysterious and enchanting valley, occupied almost entirely by children who can perform a special type of magic that tells things how to be stronger and better than they already are. As Canny studies the magic more carefully, she realizes that she not only understands it--she can perform the magic, too, so well that it feels like it has always been a part of her. With the help of an alluring seventeen-year-old boy who is held hostage by a spell that is now more powerful than the people who first placed it, Canny figures out the secrets of this valley and of her own past.

Review 145. Melanie Dickerson – The fairest beauty.

The Fairest BeautyTitle: The fairest beauty.
Author: Melanie Dickerson.
Pages: 323.
Published: January 8th 2013.
Publisher: Zondervan.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
A daring rescue.
A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe? Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

This book was good. It was fun, original and sweet, but I still had some things I would have loved to see different. The beginning of this book was incredibly strong. I was hooked to the characters and their storylines, but the story started to drag a little towards the ending. Their endless “No, I’m not falling in love” started to annoy me. Also, be aware of the fact that the religion aspect is very important in this book. Sophie is a strong believer and there is a lot of talk about forgiving your enemy. Sometimes, it was a bit too much for me.