TTT 43. Favorite books of 2015.

Hosted by: The broke and the bookish.

This time we get to pick our 10 favorite books of 2015 so far. I have read a total of 62 books so far and here are the ones that blew me away:

1. Sarah J. Maas – A court of thorns and roses.
2. Sharon Biggs Waller – A mad wicked folly.
3. R.C Lewis – Stitching Snow.
4. Victoria Schwab – A darker shade of magic.
5. Kasie West – The fill-in boyfriend.
6. Naomi Novik – Uprooted.
7. Rae Carson – Walk on earth a stranger.
8. Mindy McGinnis – A madness so discreet.
9. Jodi Meadows – The orphan queen.
10. Samantha Shannon – The mime order.

Cinderella book tag.

cinderellabooktagI was tagged by Rosie from Rosie Reads and this is perfect for my blog! Created by Tiffany from About to read.

Cinderella is not my favorite fairytale, but I always admire the message in this story. Some people think she is weak and spineless, but I think she has bravery in her own way. You have to be strong to hold on to kindness if people always try to put you down. And I don’t think it’s hard to understand why she suffered through her treatment; she just wanted to be loved.

Enough rambling, on to the tag!
A book with characters you hate.
This question can go both ways: I hate the main characters and the book or I just hate some characters. I could think of Harry Potter and then point out Umbridge, but in this case I go with Katherine Ewell – Dear Killer. I hated her clients (‘please kill off my husband, I love him, but I need the money’) and the unrealistic Killer who tries to act like she is a freaking Angel. 

Review 232. Kasie West – The fill-in boyfriend.

18660447Title: The fill-in boyfriend.
Author: Kasie West.
Pages: 352.
Published: May 5th 2015 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source:  I received an ARC from the publisher. Thanks HC International!
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley. The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Yes. That is correct. I gave this book, a contemporary, 5 glowing flowers. If you are a frequent visitor you might be aware that I don’t read many fluffy contemporaries. I never thought I would ever find one I enjoyed so much that I would give it 5 flowers, but leave it up to Kasie West to change that. I first devoured her Pivot Point series and then I really enjoyed On the fence. With this book as prove, I can easily say she is now on my auto-buy list.

Review 231. R.C Lewis – Stitching snow.

20706656Title: Stitching Snow.
Author: R.C Lewis.
Pages: 328.
Published: October 14th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion.
Sort: Stand-alone.
add to goodreads
Princess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all. Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines. When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

I think all the comparisons to The Lunar Chronicles are doing this clever story an injustice. Fairytale retellings and books are bound to have similarities. Sure, the sci-fi setting and certain elements could be connected with Marissa Meyer’s series, but Stitching Snow is a story on it’s own and it’s a damn good one.

TTT 42. Summer TBR list.

The last time I did a Top Ten Tuesday was March 10th, so I figured it was time to join again. I always like to make TBR lists (and I always suck at completing them) and I really want to succeed this time. I decided to pick books with certain themes, so here is what I came up with:

The everyone loves them so I MUST read them as soon as possible books.
I love The Raven Boy cycle by Maggie Stiefvater and I’ve heard good things about The scorpio races. I bought this book not too long ago and I can’t wait to pick up this pretty edition. Elizabeth Wein – Code name verity sounds like such an interesting story and I am ready for all the feelings. You can’t go around the blogosphere without stumbling on Renée Ahdieh – The wrath and the dawn. It is a retelling of A thousand and one night, so this sounds right up my alley.

The I can finally finish this series conclusion.
Susan Ee surprised me with her bloody series, featuring Angelfall and World After. I have heard mixed things about ir, but I can’t wait to see more of Penryn in End of days. Victoria Schwab can’t do anything wrong. I was blown away by A darker shade of magic, I liked Vicious and I fell in love with The archived. It’s about time I start The unbound (I just found out this is not the last book, but she will self-publish a third book at some point. Thanks to Debby for making me aware of that). A.C Gaughen hooked me with Scarlet and destroyed me with Lady Thief. My body is ready for Lion heart.

The gimme all the fantasy books.
My friend Christina has been raving about this book, so I knew I had to buy it. The glass sentence has an interesting promise and I can’t wait to dive into this world. The storyspinner talks about magical abilities, a quest and a princess. You don’t have to say any more words to make me excited.

The you can’t have enough fairytales in your life tales.
The glass casket is supposed to be a loose retelling of Snow white and I’m all in for darker fairytales. Valiant uses a less-popular fairytale and I wish we got more of those too. This one features gender bending and I can’t get enough of that!

What are you planning to read this summer?

Unpopular opinion book tag.

I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but saw this tag floating around the community and I like the questions. If you haven’t done this tag, consider yourself tagged right now. The tag was created on Youtube, but I couldn't find the source.

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn't like.
imageFinnikin of the rock by Melina Marchetta. I was bored to death. Everyone is raving about the characters, but if she would have killed every single character I would have been fine with it. The writing-style was also nothing special to me. I thought the world-building was okay, so that counts for something I guess?

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
imageI think R.C Lewis - Stitching Snow. It’s a good thing I didn’t give up on this book, because of my love for fairytales. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Many people compare it with Cinder and say it's a copy, but I never got that idea. The only thing they have in common is the genre (sci-fi retelling) Saying it's not unique should not be a reason to dislike a book, because good luck with finding something unique (especially with retellings)

Review 230. Danielle L. Jensen – Hidden Huntress.

21851568Title: Hidden Huntress.
Author: Danielle L. Jensen.
Pages: 427.
Published: June 2nd 2015 by Angry Robot.
Sort: The Malediction trilogy #2.
Part 1. Stolen Songbird.
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation. Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high. To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted.

I had high expectations for Hidden Huntress after falling in love with Stolen Songbird and Danielle did a great job. This book doesn’t suffer from the dreaded second-book-syndrome. I didn’t love it as much as Stolen Songbird, but it was an engaging story . There are mild spoilers for Stolen Songbird.

Review 229. Rosamund Hodge – Crimson bound.

Title: Crimson bound.
Author: Rosamund Hodge.
Pages: 448.
Published: May 5th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Sort: Stand-alone!
Other work by the author: Cruel Beauty.

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Cruel beauty is without a doubt one of my favorite retellings of all time. It was a highlight last year and I definitely set the bar high for this book. Unfortunately, those high expectations weren’t met. It is still a great book, don’t get me wrong, but it just didn’t hit all the marks for me like Cruel beauty.

June retelling link-up | Favorite villains.

It is June! How are you doing? At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Also, don't forget to tweet with #FairytaleRC, so everyone can see your updates.

We are half way, can you believe it? So, to celebrate the fact that we are already six months into 2015, I wanted to do a challenge. If you are behind on your goal, this might be the time to read some extra fairytales. I want to remind you though, that there is no 'failing' in this challenge. You must have fun, so don't stress out if you are behind. I wanted to do a themed challenge. Let me introduce you to my 6 favorite Disney/fairytale villains.

1. Maleficent from Sleeping beauty. What I mainly like about her is that she stood up for herself. If someone didn’t invite me I would feel sad about it, but she’s all like ‘BITCHES, you think you can shut me out? Here, I curse your child.’

2. Jafar from Aladdin. This guy has a funny sense of humor and he is sarcastic. He will destroy anyone he sees as a threat. You have to admit, that’s determination and he would be great in Slytherin. Also, deleted scenes from the original movie show that she’s not entirely evil. He grew up in poverty and was bullied by the populace of Agrabah.

”Light isn't always good neither shadows are always evil. Light often plays with human eyes and pranks shadows.”

3. The snow queen. In the original fairytale she’s actually not portrayed as evil, which is why Disney turned her into a good character in the form of Elsa. In the legend that inspired Hans Christian Anderson she was some kind of Hades. She was saving lives en she helped the souls to pass to the other side. She changed when people she helped murdered her mortal lover and kidnapped her son.

4. Captain Hook. I would also be very annoyed by an arrogant flying boy. Imagine you are stuck with that for your whole life, I’d probably try to kill him too. He also has a past of being bullied, which could explain his dislike for Peter and his lost boys.

5. Bluebeard. He manages to keep a room filled with bodies without having it smell. You got to admire that. Also, he rocks a blue beard. It's a shame there is no answer to the question how it all started. His first wife couldn't have found the room, so what started his sick hobby?

6. Queen of Hearts. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you sometimes could fix things by screaming ‘OFF WITH THEIR HEADS’ ? She also got people to paint roses red, you got to admire her power.

Your side-challenge for this month is to read a fairytale retelling with one of these villains in it! It is up to you how ambitious you want to be. I'm going to aim for 3. To help you out, here are some ideas:

1. Elizabeth Blackwell – While beauty slept.
2. Cameron Dokey – The storyteller’s daughter. or Renee Ahdieh – The wrath and the dawn.
3. Anna Ursu – Breadcrumbs.
4. Heidi Schulz – Hook’s revenge.
5.  Jane Nickerson – Strands of bronze and gold.
6. Coleen Oakes – The crown. or A.G Howard – Splintered.

Tell me, what are your favorite villains? You can do this in the comments or by writing your own post.