Friday, November 29, 2013 06:00

Epic Recs: December.

Maybe you've noticed that I'm slowly starting to come back and that's all because of my awesome grandfater & grandmother. They both have their own computer, so I can borrow their laptop as long as I need (yes, they are pretty modern!) I think I lost all the files I haven't stored on my back-up, like my list of unfinished series and my spreadsheet of ARC'S.. But I keep telling myself there are worse things in the world, I just hope I get my own laptop back soon!

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You might be familiar with this concept. It was created by Amber & Judith to push each other to read certain books. They’ve opened it up for other bloggers as well and I got a tweet from Juhina who is the blogger of Maji Bookshelf if I was interested to join her! December is going our first month and we’ll see how it goes from there on. I'm so excited :D




My recommendation for her:
Juliet Marillier – Daughter of the forest.
Like you might now, she is one of my favorite adult authors. This book is based on a fairy tale and it has Celtic influences. I can’t wait for her to meet Marillier!

My recommendation from Juhina:
Michelle Hodkin – The unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
I’ve won this book on Judith’s blog and I can’t wait to finally read it! This is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

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What do you think about the books we picked?
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 00:34

Laptop broke down.

Hey guys!

Just wanted to let you know that my laptop died today.. Which means that I lost almost everything that has to do with my blog (and more..). I'm not sure I'll be able to comment a lot until it's fixed, so I'm sorry and I will try to catch up as soon as I can! I'm still here ;)

In the mean time, I will leave you sexy Hook.


Sunday, November 24, 2013 20:10

Review 217. Suzanne Weyn – The diamond secret.

5928862Title: The diamond secret.
Author: Suzanne Weyn.
Pages: 240.
Published: June 2nd 2009 by Simon Pulse.
Sort: Part of the ‘Once upon a time’ series.
Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember. Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter, love...and betrayal.

Rating:

Most of the things I know about Anastasia comes from the lovely movie (which is not made by Disney, but by Fox animation studios. I hear that mistake often) and this book is pretty similar, but misses the magic. Where I absolutely love the movie even if it's not 100% accurate, this book had too many flaws to really enjoy.

First of, I couldn't connect with the characters. The two guys (already forgot their names, I'm sorry) are looking for a replacement of Anastasia because her grandmother offers a huge amount of money. There are rumours that she survived the murder on the Royal Family. One of the guys worked in the palace at that time and he saw how Anastasia was killed in front of his eyes. He is very sceptical about the rumours, but they come across a tavern girl called Nadya. Her looks are remarkable and her amnesia about most of her past is very convenient. The only thing she knows is that she was taken from a mental institution. On their way, they change her appearance and help her adapt to her possible new future. Nadya doesn't know that the two guys are in for the money and she falls in love with one (bet you didn't see that coming?)

I just didn't feel it. Everyone is so distant and I didn't really care for Nadya. She is naive and she believes the guys without thinking about it. The reunion with her possible grandmother didn't touch me and meh. Didn't work for me.

The second thing is the fact that everything comes together SO easily. They HAPPEN to stumble across her. And no, like I said, the movie has something magical and here it's just bland. BUT, with this book, I finished the complete Once upon a time series which consists of 19 books! You can find all my reviews over here: Once upon a time series label.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 21:27

Review 216. Aimee Carter – Pawn.

10838787Title: Pawn.
Author: Aimee Carter.
Pages: 346.
Expected publication: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Tee
Sort: Part one of ‘The Blackcoat rebellion’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.
Rating:

Pretty cover? Check. Interesting blurb? Check. Unfortunately the story couldn’t live up to my expectations and that was disappointing. I do recommend that you look on Goodreads, because most of the reviews are positive. This could be a case of ‘it’s me, not you.’ There are some great aspects, but it didn't WOW me enough.
Monday, November 18, 2013 23:04

Cast a Harry Potter spell (part 2)

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You can find Part 1 and the introduction over here: Cast a HP spell part 1, cast a spell.  Jasmine from Flip that page made this awesome survey where we can cast Harry Potter spells on books. She made a list with spells and now I get to pick books that fit with the spell.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 17:29

Review 215. Eliza Crewe – Cracked.

17345314Title: Cracked.
Author: Eliza Crewe.
Pages: 327.
Published: November 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry 
Sort: Part one of ‘Soul eater’
Source: I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up. They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is. Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her. The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.
Rating

Is this book the best book I’ve ever read? No, it isn’t, but it’s clever and funny enough to make it highly entertaining. There is an anti-heroin, a sarcastic girl, a cute boy and one who looks very arrogant at the outside, but it actually sweet on the inside. This combined with action and demons makes this book an enjoyable ride!
Thursday, November 14, 2013 19:13

Review 214. Robin LaFevers - Dark Triumph.

9943270Title: Dark Triumph.
Author: Robin LaFevers.
Pages: 385.
Published:  April 2nd 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Sort: Part 2 of ‘His fair assassin’
Part one: Grave Mercy.
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
Rating

This book gave me a huge case of fangirling, because damn, this book is perfection. I was blown away by Grave Mercy, so it seemed impossible to top that – not. LaFevers created another brilliant story which comes together with Ismae and Duval *swoon* I can only imagine how good part three is going to be. I recently found out that this book is partly based on Beauty and the beast, so perhaps it's not a coincidence I love it so much.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013 12:48

Fairytale News | Why I love reading.



'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.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always find it hard to explain why I love to read. I truly believe I was born a reader and books complete my life. I’ve always been passionate about books and when I think about reading, my heart makes a happy jump and I get this warm, happy feeling. I’m proud to be a bookworm, so I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I’ve tried to come up with some reasons that makes reading important to me. The best way to show what I’m trying to say is using pictures that illustrate it. You can find all these pictures on my Pinterest board: “Reading is a way of life.”

1. I get to explore all these amazing worlds. It’s traveling without moving.What’s better than being able to site in a chair with your head in another world?

2. I make new friends with characters I can connect with, I can swoon over boys without troubles from the boyfriend (haha) and they are always there.
The best part? They will never judge you and they take you on their adventures.

3. Escaping reality. I love my life, but it’s sometimes wonderful to leave it behind to enjoy the comfort of another world.When I feel stressed, I love to forget that for a moment by diving into someone else’s life.

4. For a moment, I get to be someone else. I can be heroic and brave. I can be a total kick-ass.
Who doesn’t want to slay a dragon or be an assassin sometimes? We can be anything and anyone for a moment!

5. Not to forget that it’s scientific proven that reading has shown good effects on the brains and overall health!Just read this article and see for yourself: Benefits of reading. And that's only the beginning.

6. There is so much wisdom in books.
Reading showed me so many things I can use in real life. Some books are really a part of my life now, because they've showed & learned me valuable things.


7. I make friends all over the world. 
This shy girl who is afraid of meeting new people, got to meet some Dutch booklovers – and we are now a book club!  I never imagined this would happen and I'm so happy about it!

So to make a long story short, reading is the best. How about you?
Sunday, November 10, 2013 13:30

Review 213. Anne Ursu – Breadcrumbs.

10637959Title: Breadcrumbs.
Author: Anne Ursu.
Pages: 312.
Published: September 27th 2011 by Walden Pond Press 
Sort: Stand-alone.
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it - Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else. And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.
Rating

“She felt like she was from a different planet than her schoolmates and maybe it was true.”

This book is a creation of all the awesome things in the writing-world. There are great characters, different fairytales, illustrations and a wonderful, almost poetic writing-style. This book blew me away and it’s definitely a hidden gem. One I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to other people. 
Thursday, November 07, 2013 19:41

Review 212. Stacey Jay – Of beast and beauty.

16113606Title: Of beast and beauty.
Author: Stacey Jay.
Pages: 391.
Published:  July 23rd 2013 by Delacorte Press.
Sort: Stand-alone.

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret... In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds. Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe. As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love. 
Rating: 

“Beauty is wherever you find it and Beast is there when you need to defend it.”

This book wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but I must say that my expectations were ridiculously high. Being a fairytale lover and fan of Beauty and the beast, that was inevitable. There were many things I enjoyed and in the end, I do recommend this book, but I was a bit let down by the characters.
Monday, November 04, 2013 09:59

Fairytale News | Embarrassing books?


'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.

This discussion posts is based on a Feature & Follow topic I saw a while ago. It was about books we feel embarrassed about, because we loved them. This made me wonder: why would you feel ashamed? The same for reading: it seems to be a trend that youths feel embarrassed because they read. It makes me sad and I, being a reader all my life, don’t understand it.

For this I can link back to some of the posts I’ve made for my ‘Hard life of a reader’ series. People can be so judgmental when it comes to readers, but do you hear us ever say: “why do you watch television? Why do you listen to music? Why do you play games?” It’s almost the same as asking someone why he breaths or blinks with his eyes: it’s just something we do. Something we need to do, because reading is a way of life.

I never thought reading was something I’d have to defend to other people, like it’s some weird mental disease. I READ BECAUSE I LOVE IT. I’m not some kind of freak, I’m not lonely or in desperate need of company. And yes, I do other things too, but at the end of my day I love to return to my books. In fact, reading has opened this amazing world where I’ve learned people that are now an important part of my life. I’m able to connect with all these bookworms all over the world, how does that makes us any different or strange? What is embarrassing about that? (Although I must admit that I've been self conscious about being a reader when I was younger. I was already getting bullied, so this was not something I screamed from the roof tops. Now, I couldn't care less.)

So, back to the real topic: You should NEVER feel embarrassed for the books you read and love. Whether you are a fan of comics, YA, NA, adult books or even books for children of 1 year-old. There shouldn't be a label what you can and can't read. If you do something you love, you should feel happy. You should be able to talk about it and be proud of the things you like. Don’t change yourself just because people love to judge you: they will do it anyway. Keep your head up and let them talk. Don’t let anyone EVER make you feel ashamed for reading those books.

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How about you? Are you ever embarrassed for the books you read or the fact that you are a reader?
Saturday, November 02, 2013 11:42

Review 211. Patrick Ness – More than this.

17262303Title: More than this.
Author: Patrick Ness.
Pages: 480.
Published: September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press 
Sort: Stand-alone.
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A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this.
Rating:
????

This book is a huge mindfuck. I seriously had no idea what was going on and I still have a feeling I don’t get the ending. lt’s probably at bit too spiritual to me and it just didn’t make any sense. Which is a shame, because I enjoyed the writing-styles and the characters. Up to 71% I was thinking around a 4 star rating, but with that strange and unfinished ending, I’m not sure anymore. It’s more around 2-3 and I’ve a feeling this book could have been more than this. This is also a very difficult review to write, but I’ll do my best.
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