Monthly recap | December & 2013.

I always enjoy watching recaps from other bloggers, so that’s why I’ll be posting my own recaps. This wrap up is also my new ‘Showcase Sunday’ since I don’t have the time to do weekly hauls. Instead, I hope to capture it in vlogs every now and then.

Review 224. Kendare Blake - Anna dressed in blood.

9378297 Title: Anna dressed in blood.
Author: Kendare Blake.
Pages: 316.
Published: September 2011 by Tom Doherty
Sort: Part one of ‘Anna’

Cas Lowood, armed with his late father's athame knife, kills ghosts. In Thunder Bay, Anna, forever 16, drips blood on her white dress from throat slit in 1958, and rips apart anyone who enters her house - except Cas. He makes new friends - high school queen Carmel, jock Will, admiring nerd Thomas and Tom's voodoo grandpa Morfran - to fight this demon.

It took me some time to get in the story, but when we came to the part where Cas meets Anna, I was completely hooked. I never thought that a YA book could be scary and bloody like this, because I haven’t got much luck with YA horror books so far. But at the same time, I don’t think it was too scary. Someone who doesn’t like ghost books is definitely capable of reading and enjoying this.

Blogging resolutions 2014.

Merry Christmas! I hope you'll all get to spend time with your loved ones. Have a wonderful holiday! I will be celebrating three Christmas days, because yes, we totally invented a third day. The first day is with my boyfriends mother, brother and sister. Second day I will be home and he will visit his father. The third day is with my father, mother and sister. I look forward to it and the last day we will be exchanging gifts :D

Today I want to show you my blogging resolutions. I don't have many, but it might inspire you!

1. The first one is immediately the most important one. Keep having fun! That is what blogging is all about after all. I truly enjoy blogging and socializing on different platforms. I want to be able to keep that feeling. I want to keep it stress-free - just posting when I can and want.

2. I want to try to keep up with my discussion posts. The reactions are so much fun and I think it adds something unique and interesting to the blog. I might include some more personal stuff, because that is also something I enjoy reading.

3. I want to succeed in my new reading challenges. I finished ALL of them in 2013 and I want to do it again. Some things I want to complete are: reading 120 books (GR challenge) and finishing at least 12 series.

4. I want to do something more spectacular for my upcoming 2nd blogoversary. I still have no idea what I want to do, but I'm going to brainstorm about it.

5. I spend a lot of time on commenting on other blogs and I hope to keep it that way. I like to spread love and show others that I appreciate their effort. I'm not sure if school is going to allow it, but I will try!

And, that is it actually. Do you have any resolutions? Yes, which one?

Review 223. Michelle Hodkin - The unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Title: The unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Author: Michelle Hodkin.
Pages: 452.
Published: March 1st 2012 by Simon Pulse UK
Sort: Part one of ‘Mara Dyer’
Source: I won a copy from Judith @ Paperiot.

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

This book was my Epic Rec recommendation from Juhina @ Maji bookshelf. I’m so happy I finally took the time to read this book, because it was good! I’m not completely in love, but definitely interested enough for the next book.

Fairytale News | Growing up as 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.

I got awesome responds on my discussion post, where I talked about being embarrassed because of the books you read – and why you shouldn’t be! The comments made me think of a new topic and today I want to talk about support from your surroundings.

Review 222. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy.

345627 Title: Vampire Academy.
Author: Richelle Mead.
Pages: 332.
Published: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
Sort: Part one of ‘Vampire Academy.’

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger... Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

I finally started this series for two reasons. Judith recommended this series a couple of times and we might go and watch the movie with our bookclub. While this isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, I thought it was very enjoyable.

Life of a blogger: Career.

This is the wonderful meme over at Novel Heartbeat! I love reading about the careers of other bloggers, so today I want to show you mine.

Review 221. Cristin Terrill - All our yesterdays.

17451105Title: All our yesterdays.
Author: Cristin Terrill.
Pages: 362.
Published: August 1st 2013 by Bloomsbury Childrens
Sort: Part one of ‘All our yesterdays’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet. Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.
First I want to say: Don’t hit me Debby ;) I tried, but this book failed to impress me. I liked it, that’s for sure, but I wasn’t blown away. I honestly thought I’d like this book much more than I did.. I think it's because of my disconnection with the characters. If you are able to do that, I think you're up for a very good book!

Review 220. Michelle Diener – Mistress of the wind.

Title: Mistress of the wind.
Author: Michelle Diener.
Pages: 350.
Published: December 23rd 2013 by Michelle Diener.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: eARC from the author.

Bjorn needs to find a very special woman . . . 
The fate of his people, and his own life, depends on it. But when he does find her, she is nothing like he imagined, and may just harbor more secrets than he does himself.
  Astrid has never taken well to commands. No matter who issues them... She's clashed her whole life with her father, and now her lover, the mysterious man who comes to her bedroom in darkness and disappears to guard his mountain by day as a bear, is finding it out the hard way. And when he's taken by his enemies, no one is prepared for Astrid's response.  It is never wise to anger the mistress of the wind.

This story is a grown-up retelling from ‘East of the moon, west of the sun.’ Michelle contacted me to ask if I wanted to be a bèta-reader. I'm still honored she asked me and she even mentioned my name in the acknowledgement!  The basic of this story:

Monthly recap | November '13. Anniversary.

This is a new feature I like to introduce, based on many other recaps you can often find around the blogosphere. I always enjoy reading these, so I thought it was about time to do it myself :)

Review 219. Samantha Shannon – The bone season.

13636400Title: The bone season.
Author: Samantha Shannon.
Pages: 452.
Published: August 20th 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Sort: Part one of ‘The bone season’
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

I’m going to be honest and say that I had some difficulty understanding this complex and rich world-building. I still have the idea I didn’t get half of it and this made it hard to connect with the story in the beginning. I felt overwhelmed by all the terms and information, but luckily, the characters made up for it.

Fairytale News | Hard life of a reader (5)

'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 back with some more things that makes our life as readers a little more difficult. This is a OUAT edition.

You can’t read fast enough.

Book after book after book are published. Every year is filled with these amazing lists of books you want to read. Whether they are stand-alones, sequels or the start of a new series: you want them all. The only problem is, what about all the older books? The ones from last year or even 3 years ago? What about the books you’ve bought and piled up in your room? The problem with us is that we always want more. We’re actually just greedy people who buy more than they can chew (not that there is something wrong with that of course. It’s also a fact that you never have enough books.) If there was only a way to read faster, to get more hours in a day or to stop time while reading.

Review 218. Leila Sales - This song will save your life.

15777621Title: This song will save your life.
Author: Leila Sales.
Pages: 288.
Published:  September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Sort: Stand-alone.
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.”

I don’t read many contemporaries. There are several reasons for that, but after seeing many positive reviews I was too curious. This also happened with John Green – The fault in our stars and since that book was a huge success for me, I decided to give this one a shot. It’s fun to branch out every now and then and I am so happy I did it. This story touched me on an emotional and personal level. I must admit that it was a bit.. tough sometimes, but I love the message this book contains.

I’m sorry that there is such a personal touch in this review. I don’t want it to be all about ‘me’, but this had to be said.