Saturday, August 31, 2013 17:40

Review 191. Kiersten White – The chaos of the stars.

12578305Title: The chaos of the stars.
Author: Kiersten White.
Pages: 352.
Published: September 10th 2013 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.


Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up. Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal. Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.
Rating:

This book was fun. I’m actually surprised I liked it so much, since there isn’t much story when I think about it. The middle part is mostly about teenager hormones, but it was enjoyable. I think this book matched the mood I had: something easy, fluffy and funny. 
Friday, August 30, 2013 21:58

Book Superlatives.

bookish-superlatives

Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner released another survey where we answer questions with characters and book titles.

11:29

Review 190. Maria Snyder – Magic Study.

3244135Title: Magic Study.
Author: Maria Snyder.
Pages: 419.
Published: May 16th 2008.
Publisher: MIRA Books
Sort: Part two of ‘Poison study.’
Part one: Poison Study.

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician's Keep. But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Nor the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in battle of good against evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life...or be her downfall.
Rating:

The first thing I noticed was the fact that Magic study lacked of something. Something Poison study did manage to capture. Perhaps it’s the fact that Valek is hardly there or the bit-unrealistic situations our MC has to endure. Everything went a bit TOO good and our MC had quite some luck when her somewhat annoying temper came up. But, nonetheless a good book that makes me look forward to part three.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:04

Review 189. Michelle Diener – In defense of the queen.

18113283Title: In defense of the queen.
Author: Michelle Diener.
Pages: 355.
Published: August 1st 2013.
Sort: Part three of ‘Susanna Horenbout & John Parker’.
Part one: In a treacherous court.
Part two: Keeper of the King’s secret.
Source: Netgalley & Michelle Diener.

An artist never betrays her patron.. especially one of the world's most powerful kings. Susanna Horenbout has learned this lesson from the cradle. But when she receives a letter from her father telling her to do just that, she faces a dilemma. Betray Henry VIII, or carry out the request of her father’s employer, Margaret of Austria, and pass secret information to Henry’s queen, Katherine of Aragon. Caught between the machinations of her husband and her nephew, the Emperor Charles, Queen Katherine needs all the allies she can get. But what can Susanna really do to help her, and even if she does, will it be enough? Susanna and her betrothed, Parker - one of Henry's most trusted courtiers - balance on the knife’s edge of treason as they try to make sense of both international and domestic conspiracies. Sometimes, it's better the enemy you know.
Rating:

I’m a fan of Michelle Diener’s series and when she emailed me that I was pre-approved on Netgalley, I had to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. This is yet another well-researched book filled with action, some mystery and many spies. I love it when it’s clear that the author took time to research their facts. It gives this book a realistic feeling.
Monday, August 26, 2013 00:11

Review 188. Amy Plum - If I should die.

12700337Title: If I should die.
Author: Amy Plum.
Pages: 405.
Published: May 7th 2013 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Part 3 of ‘Revenants.’
Part one: Die for me.
Part two: Until I die.
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself. Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want. It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him. After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me.
Rating:

This book.. Where do I start? I really wish I could love this series as much as everybody else, but there is something I dislike. This story just doesn’t work for me, so I’m happy to finish it now. This book was definitely the worst one in the series, although it’s not a bad ending to a trilogy. It was satisfying, but the way to the end was boring and made up out of three parts:
Sunday, August 25, 2013 19:14

New Design.


Yesterday I discovered GIMP and I thought it would be fun to try to make my own header. It turned out pretty good for my first try, so I decided to change my design a bit.

I used a black/white rose from http://sweetclipart.com/ and I colored it in myself. I never thought it would be so difficult, haha. I used a rose because of Beauty and the beast :) The background was found on http://subtlepatterns.com/ I kept the rest of the design like Meg made it.

I also changed my ratings a bit. I took away the 1.5 and 2.5 ratings and I made one for the 5+ books. I made ratings for the 3.5 and 4.5 stars and I used another font. This is how they turned out:
Friday, August 23, 2013 23:41

My YA life in book titles.

Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner released another survey where we answer questions with book titles. It’s such an unique way to get to know each other. It took me two days to complete this survey, because I wanted to find the best titles. Some refer to books I don’t know and won’t ever read, but hey, this is it:
Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:00

Review 187. George R.R. Martin – A game of thrones.

985873Title: A game of thrones.
Author: George R.R Martin.
Pages: 811.
Published: May 28th 2002 (first published September 1996)
Publisher: Bantam Books.
Sort: Part one of ‘A song of ice and fire’
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Rating:

My first thoughts after finishing this book: I FINALLY did it.  I think I’ve read one of the most popular fantasy book and I’m happy that I read it. This book is huge, but it never felt like reading 811 pages. It was a quick and interesting read that makes me hungry for more.

I absolutely LOVE the TV show and after watching the three seasons in a very short time, I couldn’t ignore the books any longer. Credits to the TV show so far, they follow the storyline perfectly and I even liked the change they made. They adjusted the ages, because a fourteen year old girl having sex with an adult on TV would be weird. I think I even prefer the older characters and I keep these actors in mind when I read the books.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:00

Review 186. Jane Nickerson – Strands of bronze and gold.

13721341Title: Strands of bronze and gold.
Author: Jane Nickerson.
Pages: 352.
Published: March 12th 2013.
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Sort: Part one of ‘Strands of bronze and gold.’
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.
        Rating

Despite the fact that I sort of liked this book, I was also disappointed. I expected more and it was less creepy than I anticipated. Knowing the real story, I was hoping to get more excitement. There are hardly any retellings about this tale (I’ve only seen it mentioned in one book before) so I was hoping to get a really good book. Instead, I got a story that wasn't memorable.
Sunday, August 18, 2013 10:00

Fairytale news | The hard life of a reader (2)


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.
Friday, August 16, 2013 10:00

Review 185. Juliet Marillier – Heart’s blood.

Title: Heart’s blood.6278019
Author: Juliet Marillier.
Pages: 405.
Published: October 2nd 2009
Publisher: Tor.
Sort: Part one of ‘Whistling Tor.’
THIS IS A REREAD.
Whistling Tor is a place of secrets and mystery. Surrounded by a wooded hill, and unknown presences, the crumbling fortress is owned by a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the district in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan's family and his people; those woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom. For young scribe Caitrin it is a safe haven. This place where nobody else is prepared to go seems exactly what she needs, for Caitrin is fleeing her own demons. As Caitrin comes to know Anluan and his home in more depth she realizes that it is only through her love and determination that the curse can be broken and Anluan and his people set free.
Rating:

This book is a loose retelling of Beauty and the beast and she manages to capture the sphere perfectly. As you might now, Beauty and the beast is my favorite fairytale and she does it justice. The characters are flawed, but have great characteristic features and you have to root for them. I liked the plot, the pacing and the world-building. This book is a re-read for me, but it’s just as good as the first time. It deserves it’s 5+ rating without any doubt and I highly recommend this book (or any of her other work) I’m so happy that I finally can review this book, so more people might pick up this wonderful piece of work!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:42

Review 184. Laura Andersen – The Boleyn king.

16071746Title: The Boleyn king.
Author: Laura Andersen.
Pages: 358.
Published: May 14th 2013.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sort: Part one of ‘The Boleyn trilogy’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted? Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counsellor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William's mother, Anne Boleyn. Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king's desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England's fortunes forever.
Rating:

This is what I call: a solid book. Interesting topic, an okay writing-style and okay characters. I liked it, but it’s nothing too special. Everything is a bit too ‘okay’, but I give the author credits for the original twist. I’ve never read a book like this about The Tudors.
Monday, August 12, 2013 18:47

A to Z survey.

Everybody seems to do this survey and I really like to read everyone's replies. That’s why I’m also going to answer these great questions made by Jamie from The Perpetual page turner. This picture is also made by her:
AtoZsurvey-1017x1024

Sunday, August 11, 2013 16:12

Review 183. Jennifer Armentrout – Obsidian.

12578077Title: Obsidian.
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Pages: 361.
Published: May 8th 2012 (first published November 23rd 2011)
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Sort: Part one of ‘Lux’

Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor  with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.
Rating:

I’m going to be honest and tell you right away that I’ve been ignoring this book because I hate the cover. There, I said it. I actually hate the covers from the entirely series. The only reason I decided to read this book after all is because of the Paranormal challenge. I hardly read any alien books (this is actually my fist one ever, as far as I know) and this book got some good ratings. I wasn’t too disappointed, but I don’t get all the fuss either. It’s just.. a better written version of Twilight. Nothing too spectacular or new, but definitely entertaining.
Friday, August 09, 2013 13:47

Feature and follow 23.

I haven't done a FF post in a while and this seems the best opportunity for you guys to subscribe through RSS (which directs to Feedly) or Bloglovin'. If you want to keep following my blog, I would love it if you subscribe on those two platforms.

Hosted by: Allison can read.
Q: Back to school. Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.
66907981324089513641105

Like some of you might know, I’m studying Medical & Biological laboratory research and this year I’ll specialize myself in Microbiology. So of course I’d pick some books about epidemics that happen by micro-organism. Perhaps not something you would expect when you take an English lit semester, but hey, I'm the teacher here. It's fun to spice things up instead of going for the classics.

The first one is Justin Cronin – The passage. The world is transformed into a dark place when a project to develop a immunity-boosting-drugs fails. It’s based on a virus carried by a species of bats in South America, but it turned the human test persons into vampires – and when they break free, they create a complete army. This book is huge, dark and well-written. The world-building is stunning and there is more than enough to talk about in class.

The second one is a bit lighter. Dan Wells – Partials talks about a virus in the air called RM. It’s a weaponized virus crated by the Partials and only a small fraction of humans is immune. Which means that almost every baby dies right after birth. The humans are on the brink of extinction and it’s up to the young Kira to find a cure. The biological aspect was interesting.

The third one and probably my favorite from the three is the upcoming book from Mira Grant – Parasite. This book has the best researched subject I’ve read so far and I love the fact that it’s about a different micro-organism. In this book, every human has a genetically engineered tapeworm in their intestines. This worm is modified to help our immune system to protect us from illness, but this are starting to spin out of control when Symbogen (the created) withholds information about the strange sleepwalking symptom.

These three books are great examples of why humans should stay away from modifying the nature and I think they would make interesting topics to talk about. And how about you, would you follow this semester?
  Yasmine
Thursday, August 08, 2013 13:02

Review 182. Cassandra Rose Clarke – The pirate’s wish.

15714476Title: The pirate’s wish.
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Pages: 330.
Published: June 18th 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Sort: Part two of ‘The assassin’s curse.’
Part one: The assassin’s curse.

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword and their wits. But Naji has unseen enemies, and Ananna must face the wrath of the Pirate Confederation. Together, they must travel afar, defeat their foes and break the mother of all curses. With all this going on, falling in love would be such a bad idea.
Rating:

I was warned by some bloggers that they were disappointed by this book, so that might be the reason I was surprised. I thought it was a solid conclusion and  liked that this is story is split into two books. Sometimes it’s fun to have something else than a trilogy. There are no spoilers for the first book.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 14:48

Review 181. Marie Lu – Prodigy.

13414446Title: Prodigy.
Author: Marie Lu.
Pages: 371.
Published: January 29th 2013 Putnam Juvenile
Sort: Part two of ‘Legend’
Review part 1: Legend.

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
Rating:

I enjoyed this book, but it’s a bad sign that I seem to forget about many details already.. That doesn’t happen a lot to me and I have to say, this book didn’t impress me so much as Legend. I loved the world-building though. It was interesting to finally find out how this all started and in this aspect, it outshines Legend. The character development and the overall plot were less engaging for me, but it’s not a bad sequel at all.

The biggest problem I had was one of my favorite aspects in the first book. I wasn’t such a fan of June and Day now. They both lost some of their charm from the beginning. I missed the chemistry between them and I didn’t like their interactions. I was happy that June stayed true to herself, but Day’s easy mistrust was annoying.

The pacing is okay, but the middle part was a bit boring. Nothing seems to happen and I expected more excitement. The fact that June is about to help in a plot to murder the new Elector promises me much action, but it was hardly there. It’s more about June’s doubt and Day’s struggle to believe in her. It was also more about the lies from the rebels. This book was more about the psychological aspect instead of fighting and that wasn’t what I expected.

I liked the ending though. This book could easily be the ending of this series. I always like it when books in a series almost work as stand-alones. Despite my disappointing, I'm looking forward to Champion.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 14:45

Fairytale news | The Hard life of a reader.

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

There are moments in my life where I’m just disappointed by humankind. Okay, this might be a bit exaggerated, but people say and do stuff that makes me sad. I’ve always been a passionate reader and it always hurts me when people talk bad about readers. These are some of the things I hear/see often. I decided to give it a shot with GIFS, because I love reading those type of posts.

Friday, August 02, 2013 23:04

Review 180. Adam Gidwitz – In a glass Grimmly.

13588400Title: In a glass Grimmly.
Author: Adam Gidwitz.
Pages: 336.
Published: September 27th 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Sort: Stand alone, but part in the ‘A tale dark and Grimm’ series.
Part: A tale dark and Grimm.

Take caution ahead--
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.
Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.
Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn't cutting it anymore.

                                                                             Rating

I really liked A tale dark and Grimm (although the rating is a bit too high now, but I don’t like to edit old ratings. I’d probably give it a 3.5 stars too) and I was looking forward to this book. I was not disappointed! Gidwitz has a great way in creating a story made out of several fairytales. Everything blends together and forms this fun and creative book. I also like the wisdom when the MC’s start to realize something important about themselves. It’s good when a book has an underlying moral.

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