Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review of Rake With a Frozen Heart by Marguerite Kaye

Title/Author: Rake With a Frozen Heart by Marguerite Kaye
Publisher/Date published:Harlequin Historical, May 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Waking up in a stranger's bed, Henrietta Markham encounters the most darkly sensual man she has ever met. The last thing she remembers is being attacked by a housebreaker — yet being rescued by the notorious Earl of Pentland feels much more dangerous!
Since the cataclysmic failure of his marriage, ice has flowed in Rafe St. Alban's veins. But meeting impetuous, all-too-distracting governess Henrietta heats his blood to the boiling point.
When she's accused of theft, Rafe finds himself offering to clear her name. Can Henrietta's innocence bring this hardened rake to his knees?"

This is kind of a hard book for me to review, cause I found myself rolling my eyes at a lot of things happening BUT at the same time it did bring tears to my eyes... GAH!

The thing is, a lot of what was going on in Rake With a Frozen Heart didn't seem to comply to the time period these characters were living in. I mean, as you may know, I've read a LOT of historical romance novels. And as such, I know a little about the rules that dictated the behaviour of basically everyone. So in my opinion a man and a woman who are not related sharing a room together for about a week is not appropriate for the time they were living in. Also, it annoyed me that Henrietta pretty much start off by calling Rafe by his first name, and he's an EARL. I mean, unless he grands you leave to do so, which he doesn't, as a lowly governess you don't do that automatically.

And I found myself wondering why Rafe doesn't seem to have servants. Most of the earls I've read about before didn't drive themselves from their estate to London.
Also, Rafe being an earl didn't seem to factor into anything except his having social influence and could scare someone into doing as he pleased when it was convenient. It's not once discussed that Rafe even considering marrying a governess would be looked down upon by society. And there's from the beginning zero distance between Rafe and Henrietta though I thought society would dictate their behaving otherwise, at least at first.

What I did like: this novel definitely brought the emotions! It was all 'He does not love me and I will not take anything less so I will be unhappy until he realises what a complete moron he's been!' AND I LOVE THAT! Seriously, things like that and the woman (or in rare cases the man) walking out on the hero (or heroine) brings tears to my eye almost guaranteed. And it did this time. It was wonderful, it was stomach-clenchingly good.

I really liked Rafe and for once there actually was a good reason for the 'rake' in question to have sworn off caring about women. I mean, can you say traumatic?? And I love any man that's good with babies ;)

I'm still kind of on the fence about Henrietta, cause while she's pretty smart and a governess, she also did some pretty well, airheaded things. She doesn't seem to think it's inappropriate to 'explore' a man's chest and abdomen while he's asleep when said man is not someone she's in a relationship with.
Also, she at one point thought the hero was 'endearing' when he was VERY drunk. And you guys, drunk people are not endearing. As Emily from Reading While Female said: 'Drunk people are only ok when they're your friends at a party with you, and you have also been drinking. Other than that? Bad.' And even friends can be annoying then.

Also, when she disappeared on the hero and was all like 'oh, it hadn't occurred to me you'd be worried when I LEFT WITHOUT A TRACE' *flutters eyelashes of wide innocent eyes* I completely sympathized with the hero and went GOD WOMAN! SERIOUSLY??
I did like that she stood by her principles, but most of the eyerolling I did at the story was because of her.

So there were things I loved and things I very much disliked but because it brought tears to my eyes I cannot bring myself to give it less than this rating.
My rating: 2,5 stars

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Title/Author: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, April 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed — as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows — with every fiber of her being — that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened — the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life — points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets — and keep from falling in love with him in the process."

You guys, as I'm writing this review I've only just finished Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris and it's left me feeling a little shell-shocked. And not because it ends on a cliffhanger, but because things that happened in the big finale were devastating and it totally tugged at my heartstrings. I need to read a happy book after this...

Ok, so let me talk more about Unraveling: I hadn't expected this to be so much science fiction as just maybe paranormal or something. But it definitely is and though it's not usually my thing (I'm more of a paranormal and fantasy kinda girl) I ended up really liking it.

Janelle is for lack of a better word badass. She is. After she's come back from the dead she realises what's important in her life and isn't afraid to make certain choices in order to 'better' her life. By badass I don't just mean she can kick butt, cause she can thanks to her dad, but she's also fiercely loyal and isn't afraid to get in touch with her emotions even if they're ugly or she'd rather not admit to them. And I loved her for that.
And I liked Ben. I wasn't head-over-heels in love with him like I would have wanted to, but he's a good guy.
The romance between them felt a bit weird at first, because you know, even though he's been staring at her for 7 years, she only just acknowledged he even existed and it's all happening a little too fast. The insta love was a bit strong, but the teenage hormones I could understand ;)

Also, I thought the FBI were giving Janelle a LOT of room to operate in when at least one of their agents knew she was keeping things from them and had even stolen files at one point. I mean, sure he'd been a friend of the family forever, but still, it just didn't seem fully plausible.

I LOVED the science fiction part of all this and without wanting to give anything away: the explanation for everything was crazy good!
But even so, I wasn't going to give this book an above avarage rating, but then THE END HAPPENED! OMG, the last couple of chapters were like crack and I just kept reading and holding my breath and it was just amazing! And it was pulling on my heartstrings like crazy and because of that I need to get something out and it's a HUGE spoiler, so do not light up this next part if you don't want to know!

***SPOILER! Light up to read:***
OMG! Alex died! And Ben LEFT! And I LOVED Alex! His death hit me harder than anything happening in the novel so far, even worse than Ben leaving. Alex was such an amazing guy and I would have fallen in love with him instead of Ben. *sob*
***End of spoiler***

So this was an ok book with an amazing ending and whole lot of science fiction not just for the fans of said genre! And I've already checked Elizabeth Norris' blog: there will be a sequel! HOORAY! I was a little afraid when I didn't see any info about it on Goodreads, but now I'm cool :)

My rating: 4 stars

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Visual Stimulation

This meme was created for Between the Pages and inspired by all the other lovely blogs out there who do something similar. This is by no means an attack on the author.

We've all heard the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover', but really, let's be honest, it's the first thing we see and pretty important in marketing a book.
So in other words I will feature the good, the ones that make me go "AAAH, what is that thing burning a hole in my retina???" (aka, the bad) and the funny or ridiculous.

And I'd like to start this whole thing with one that had an unfortunate combination of cover and title:

I know, mind in the gutter and all that, but it made me snort when I first saw it. I don't really need to explain this, do I? (All right: I pictured the scene with the man saying the title)

What do you think? Anyone planning on reading this and if so, PLEASE let me know how it is aside from the in my opinion unfortunate cover?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review of Hades: Lord of The Dead by George O'Connor

Title/Author: Hades: Lord of the Dead (Olympians #4) by George O'Connor
Publisher/Date published: First Second, January 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

This time I'm not putting up a summary cause I assume you are all familiar with the Hades & Persephone myth (see me assuming things!).

When I requested this I hadn't realised this would be a graphic novel. And really, I pretty much never read graphic novels, but after this one, I'm beginning to think that maybe I should! Because they are a lot of fun!

And you know what they say 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and if you have a good artist involved in said pictures that's absolutely true! I loved that it wasn't hinted at that Demeter got angry: you SAW the rage in her eyes! It's always showing and not telling which makes me happy.

Also, I breezed right through this in about half an hour which makes it the perfect short read! I really liked that George O'Connor put his own little twist into the story, one I haven't seen before. I'm a big fan of Greek mythology and the information at the end of the novel adds that little extra something for me!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm graduating today!!

You guys, I'm graduating in a little over 3 hours from now!



This is also the moment I've been working my butt off for since September 2005 and I'm glad I'll be able to share it with my loved ones!
There's one person I really would have loved to be there as well, but she died 3,5 years ago: my grandmother. And just writing this almost makes me cry on my happy day. I know she would have been so proud of me and she's always been my only grandparent, I'm really going to miss her today.

It feels really weird that after all this work over the last 6,5 years, all that's left for me to do is straighten my apartment up a bit and then put on my pretty dress and smile for the camera! And after go out to dinner with my parents, brother, his girlfriend and my boyfriend to celebrate :)

So, because it's supposed to be my happy day, I'm going to leave you with two silly videos that always manage to put a smile on my face:

'His navigation skills are totally crap' :D


Seriously, I hope after watching that again I don't mess up and say 'llama' instead of I promise later on ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title/Author: Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin
Publisher/Date published: Greenwillow Books, April 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up... and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club — in the depths of her own despair — Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her."

I think this is the first steampunk novel I have ever loved. I have enjoyed The Girl in the Steel Corset very much, but I LOVED Masque of the Red Death! I knew it wasn't time to give up on the genre yet!

Masque of the Red Death is dark and wonderful and it sweeps you up and drops you down 320 pages later. It's incredible and I was definitely not amused when it was time to cook dinner and I had to put it aside for a while. I absolutely adored that nothing was black and white and if I'd been Araby I would have been floundering around figuring out who to trust and what to do.

And you guys, there's a love triangle and I didn't hate it! There, I said it. In my opinion it was really well done and I found myself rooting for one guy, then the other and back again... It was an emotional rollercoaster and even though it seems like she's making a choice at the end of Masque of the Red Death, I'm curious to see what will actually happen and who will hold her heart in the end.

I really loved Araby, she's a complicated girl and very flawed, as are all the other characters (LOVED that) and my heart broke for her grief over her brother's death and the vow she made him. I loved Will (though he may have broken my heart just a little) and Elliott and Araby's family and Will's little brother and sister (SO CUTE) and April, Araby's best friend! It always gives me a happy when I can love not only the main characters, but several of the others as well!

I must admit that I've never read any of Edgar Allen Poe's work, but I'm curious to check it out after reading this book! I love when a book makes me want to read other books and it's not just the sequel!

Also, the song 'We Are Young' by Fun ft. Janelle Monae reminds me of this novel SO MUCH it's scary. I love that song!

What do you think? Yes? No?

There's some crazy going around and evil leaders and lots and lots of people dying. The last couple of chapters had me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what would happen and how Bethany Griffin would tie this one up! I'm glad to say it didn't feel like a cliffhanger, but it did leave me wanting the next book ASAP. I loved that we already got some answers and I'm hoping the sequel will tell me everything else I want to know, cause this world is endlessly fascinating!

It was fabulous and dark and twisty and I just want more! What are you all waiting for? It's out tomorrow, go plan how to get your hands on it ASAP!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-Thon: End of the Thon

So final update, I've been doing pretty well this morning and manages to finish one book: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep. I really enjoyed it! But I'm a mythology geek, so it was pretty much a given :)

And now it's done, I'm going to continue reading today, as I didn't fully participate and well, I don't really have much else going on this Sunday. YAY READING!

To everyone who fully participated: you rock! I hope you get to rest somewhat today and I'm already looking forward to the next read-a-thon in October in which I hopefully will be able to join in more!


Dewey's Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge: Impromptu Dance Party

So, I've been doing pretty well since 6.30AM, I only took a break to drive my boyfriend to the train station and other than that I've been reading, though my parents are watching TV and it's really distracting...

Also, look at my reading buddy:

Cute right? :) And very warm and cuddly :D

So it's time for the mini challenge, I REALLY wanted to say I'd rock out to Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, but our lovely host April @ Good Books and Good Wine already picked her, so I'm gonna do something else:


How are you all holding up? Still going strong? What do you dance to when you (think) noone's watching? :)

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update

So I tried waking myself up at 5AM (don't ask, I can sometimes) and it sorta worked, only I fell asleep dreaming that I was reading instead of actually reading... But I succeeded at 6.30AM and have been reading since with only a little break to take a shower :)

I'm halfway through Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep and I'm liking it so far. I wanted to start Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, but for some reason I hadn't downloaded it to my eReader yet and well, I didn't feel like getting up and actually doing it.

Also, I kinda wanna just read this whole Sunday to make up for not participating yesterday, we'll see how it goes.

Go all of you still participating!!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon!

So I signed up for the read-a-thon and then real life got in the way. I've been spending a lot of time with my family today as my dad was celebrating his birthday and my parents took me shopping for a sparkly graduation gift :) So I've been having a really good day, but all in all have read only about 3 hours so far. Yeah, that's probably less than what I read on a regular Saturday... Fail.

It's 0.30AM where I live and I'm going to sleep in a little while and wake myself up early so I can participate for the last part of the thon.

Happy reading!! And go all who ARE actually pulling through and have been reading all this time!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review of The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Title/Author: The Way We Fall (Fallen World #1) by Megan Crewe
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, January 24th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "It starts with an itch you just can’t shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you’ll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you’re dead.
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island — no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn’t?"

The thing that's happening inside The Way We Fall, that right there is one of my biggest fears. Seriously, I know we don't have a cure for a lot of things that should scare me, but a virus or bacteria that we cannot conquer is what creeps the heck out of me. Mostly because I know it's a viable possibility.
So now that I've tried to put the fear in you by being a prophet of DOOM, let's talk about the book.

Because for a book dealing with a subject that's most likely to keep me up at night, The Way We Fall lacked any excitement whatsoever. I mean, I expected being on the edge of my seat and being horrified and just feeling all of those things and emerging breathlessness and not being able to sleep because this is my worst nightmare. Turns out reading about it can actually be rather boring.

Maybe it's the fact that it's written in journal format and it doesn't feel as if the stuff is happening right at that moment. I didn't feel a connection to Kaelyn or any of the other characters. And this meant that although there were lots of awful things happening to her and the people around her, I didn't really feel it. I never felt that I got to know her and maybe it's because she's more of an observer than someone who takes action, but we never really delve into her emotions and character. Which is weird, because she's the one narrating it.

One other thing that bothered me: they let a teenager into the files of all the patients. I mean, hello! Doctor-patient confidentiality and all that?? That rule was broken so many times in The Way We Fall and it got really annoying.

I did think the epidemic was really interesting and I can absolutely imagine everything turning out the way it did. Because really, people get scared. And when people are scared they do things you can't even imagine sitting on your couch wrapped in warm blanket (like I am).
This wasn't a bad book, it just didn't really work for me and I'd expected a little more excitement.

My rating: 2 stars

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daisy Update (8)

Very scary but real: I'm looking for a job. It involves writing application letters and a resumee and calling secretaries asking if they know if there's a job opening and all that. And it's making me feel all grown up! And when I manage to land myself a job I'll have to start worrying about paying rent, health insurance, car insurance (as I'll probably need to get a car) and all such fun stuff. I'm very excited and also starting to think of what to get my parents when I actually get my first paycheck :)

Also: I'm graduating on Tuesday!! Tuesday is the day I get to stand up with 11 other med school students and say 'I promise' after they read the oath of Hippocrates, after which I'll officially be a doctor. I've invited my family and friends and I'm so happy they're all going to be there as it's such a big moment for me!

Apart from looking for a job, I've also been doing other things, mainly reading and spending a bucketload of money on books and clothes. Yeah, that kinda happens when I have time to spare. I've ordered 14 books and pre-ordered another 18 and went to a bookstore to get paper for our printer and got 3 books that were on sale... I SERIOUSLY need to stop buying so many books. I've read 17 books so far and written a whopping 17 reviews which means NO PENDING REVIEWS! Except for all those review books I haven't read yet... But still, I've been doing great right? :)

I've also been spending time with my family and friends and finally had more time to spend with my boyfriend because now I don't fall asleep at 9.30PM and it's been amazing! I know I need to go back to the real world soon and I'm start working at my parttime job again next Thursday. Gotta have some way to support my crazy buying ;)

I was really looking forward to participating in Dewey's Read-a-Thon this Saturday and I thought there'd be no way it wouldn't be manageable. BUT. The world intervened. My dad's birthday is Friday and he decided to celebrate said happy event on Saturday. Also, my parents are buying me something shiny as a graduation gift (AKA jewelry!) and we're going shopping for it Saturday afternoon. This doesn't leave me much time to participate, but I'll try to start early and just read all of Sunday, so I feel like I'm still participating. But yeah, sad I can't pull an all nighter like I'd planned to, but I love spending time with my family and staring at sparkly things :)

And you guys, I've finally been reading 5 star books again!! :D This makes me infinitely happy!

Also, I love Titanic, but when I saw this Youtube video I snorted, it's slightly offensive, but VERY funny:

Speaking of movies, have you guys seen The Hunger Games??? Did you love it??? I DID! :D The only annoying thing was that when we went to the movies, all the obnoxious 13-year-olds in the neighbourhood were there (no offense to 13-year-olds, but these were annoying) and just kept on talking and laughing throughout the movie! Even when a certain someone died and it was a really emotional moment! Seriously! I was not amused.
I was pretty happy with how it turned out, I had some complaints, but all in all it was a great movie for me :)

Anyway, I think that's about it for me. Let me kwow what you've been up to and I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review of How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes

Title/Author: How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Avon Impulse, January 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Emily Rutherford is having a very bad day.
Of course, having the man you've loved forever announce his engagement to your (now very former) best friend will do that.
Emily is sure nothing good could possibly come out of this horrid situation. But she lets her sistersconvince her that a season in London will be just the thing.
Now Emily has a choice: sulk in a corner while her sisters enjoy the glitter of the ton... or become the belle of the ball, dazzling everyone on an earls arm. But as Francis helps Emily get back on her feet, she quickly realizes that a childhood crush is nothing compared to the power of true love."

I'm a bit on the fence about this story and that's what's going to be very coherent about it, but I'm going give it my best shot!

In this story we meet Emily, Francis and Adrian, who were best friends way back when until Francis changed and pulled back from everyone. Adrian and Emily then went on to be best friends and in Emily's case, to develop tender feeling for the other. Enter Kate, Emily's 'best friend', who she confides in about all this. Apparantly Kate and Adrian have some more contact and instead of asking Emily to marry him like everyone expected, Adrian asks Kate. LET THE DRAMA BEGIN!

What annoyed me a bit is that Emily, her sisters, Adrian's mother, his deaf great uncle and basically everyone in the neighbourhood thought Adrian would be proposing to Emily. And EVERYONE knew how Emily felt about him. Except apparantly for Adrian himself (the big oaf). I could seriously not believe how BLIND everyone was and that NO ONE AT ALL had even the slightest inkling his affections lay elsewhere. I mean, really?

I did like the fact that Francis wanted to step in and rekindle his friendship and maybe more with Emily and all in all Francis was a very acceptable hero. I liked Francis and I liked that he knew what he wanted and was just figuring out how exactly to go about acquiring it.

And Emily, while she was a nice enough person and interesting, she did some really dumb things. I mean, who has ever thought it was a good idea to go to some sleazeball cousin on your own when he's been trying to offer marriage to you knowing that's probably not all he wants right away? SERIOUSLY? I mean, you don't go with the creepy guy with the dirty matress in the back of his van either because he offers you cookies right?
Emily was supposed to be a smart girl and I just thought this rash decision to think the worst of Francis and go off like that to said sleazeball cousin didn't fit with her character.

I liked that they had history and I thought Francis and Emily fit very well together. I enjoyed their romance, but I think I could have done without the whole Charlotte-blackmailing-thing being half the story. It dragged a bit and didn't really work for me.

I did like How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back, I really liked the bond between the sisters and the connection between Francis and Emily, but I'd just been hoping for a little something more.

My rating: 3 stars

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review of Fracture by Megan Miranda

Title/Author: Fracture by Megan Miranda
Publisher/Date published: Walker Books for Young Readers, January 17th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature - or something much more frightening?"

Oh. My. God. I literally just finished this book about 2 minutes ago and I already know it's one that will stay with my for a LONG time.
This book is SO powerful in its message and tone and really, I am just a bit dazed right now.

People seem to either love or hate it and I can see why. Fracture by Megan Miranda is brutal and it's honest. It's not sugarcoating anything about what is happening in the story: a girl surviving something she shouldn't in all likelihood have survived. This is not something that will leave you being okay after, or at least not right away. And of course your parents aren't going to be okay, this is not something you come back from easily.

Delaney isn't necessarily a likeable person but she is very easy to relate to. She died and then she lived and then she discovers she can feel when people are about to die. Of course she's scared and lashing out! Sometimes the honesty in Megan Miranda's writing was almost painful, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

And can I just say that I really liked Decker? I mean, he does some seriously stupid stuff, but he's a good guy and he cares about Delaney. And he READ to her when she got headaches from reading. I really don't need another reason to like him.

The only thing is, I kept wondering thoughout the novel if Delaney's survival or her newfound abilities would be explained and I'm kinda bummed that they weren't. The scientist in me is dying to know!

Fracture was brutal and honest and totally compelling and it's a story that will not be easily forgotten. I can absolutely see why it's not for everyone, but I really enjoyed reading it. This was a very powerful debut and I'm looking forward to finding out what Megan Miranda will write next!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Graduation Happiness Giveaway winner!

Thanks so much to everyone for your well wishes and entering the giveaway! I loved hearing what you'd all get if you were celebrating something :)

If anyone's curious, I ended up buying:

And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Demon Trapper's Daugher by Jana Oliver
A Witch In Winter by Ruth Warburton
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win A Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake

I kinda went a little crazy ;)

But you're all waiting to hear the winner:

Kat Vela

Congrats!! I already e-mailed her and am waiting to hear back what book she picks out. If I don't hear back in 48 hours another winner will be named.

Thanks again for entering everyone!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review of A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Title/Author: A Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels #1) by Sarah MacLean
Publisher/Date published: Avon, March 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley and pre-ordered myself a shiny finished copy! :)

Goodreads summary: "What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance — including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.
A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness — a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart."

You guys, it feels like I've been waiting FOREVER for this book!! After reading and loving the book in the Love By Numbers trilogy I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. And while I think I love her other books more, this book didn't disappoint me in the least!

I LOVED that Penelope and Michael (Bourne) had history together! I mean, they grew up together, so of course they knew each other pretty well. Because of this it wasn't hard to believe at all that they fell for each other in the space of a week.

I really, really liked Penolope! Ever since Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart, I'd been wanting to find out more about this 'perfect Penelope' and if she would find her happily ever after in the end. Cause let's face it, being jilted by a duke who everyone thinks is passionless, who then proceeds to marry another woman within a week isn't the beginning of that usually. And it wasn't for Penelope, she had a hard time of it, but she came out a lot stronger because of it.

And it takes a strong woman to love Michael Bourne. Really, that man is an expert at pushing people away and even though he has his better qualities, I don't know if I could have done what Penny did and wait until he came to his senses. I loved that she didn't just wait around, but actually confronted him about his actions. And of course love conquers all, as it should in a historical romance novel!

Sarah MacLean definitely knows how to tell a lovestory and she had me smiling broadly within 12 pages of starting the book! I love how she mixes romance with humour and the sexytimes are REALLY good. But most of all: she makes me feel ALL THE THINGS! Happy, sad, anxious, everything. I finished this book within 24 hours of starting this and would have done so sooner if it hadn't been for the fact that sometimes I should also pay a little attention to my boyfriend ;)

I am pre-ordering the next book in the series: One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, which is about Penelope's sister Pippa and from the little preview I got of it at the end of A Rogue By Any Other Name it's gonna be another amazing read! Reading this one actually has me itching to re-read the Love By Numbers series and if you haven't, it's obviously very much recommended!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review of Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

Title/Author: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher/Date published: Walker Books For Young Readers, January 17th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife... Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric - who may or may not betray them."

I haven't had the best experiences with books about the fae in the past. I'm probably one of the only ones who didn't enjoy Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (yes, I know). But when I saw the summary of this book, I thought it sounded incredibly interesting and definitely like something I would enjoy, so I decided to read it and just see what would happen.

And I did like the story itself! The concept was really interesting and the whole intrigue and all the politics are amazing. BUT. (Sadly, there's a 'but')

While I did like the storyline as in the overall concept of Stolen Away, the execution didn't really work for me. It felt rushed and even though it switched POV between the two main characters Jo and Eloise, I never felt like we got to know them beyond some basic character traits. Also: there's some serious insta-love going on and that's just not my thing.

I LOVED the idea of paranormal creatures appearing a certain way because humans thought they should look like that and it actually altering their appearance. SO GOOD! I also really liked the whole complicated mess that is Eldric surrounding the capture of Eloise. And I liked Lucas, but he's the good guys, so that's basically a given ;)

There were however a lot of things that felt to me like they were only half explained in the rush to get to the end and I would have liked a little more backstory. Stolen Away was an ok read for me, but I think that it could have been so much more!

My rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review of Tempest by Julie Cross

Title/Author: Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross
Publisher/Date published: St. Martin's Griffin, January 17th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is... until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit... or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly... and possibly the entire world."

I really, really like the idea of time-traveling. It makes for some amazing storylines and if done right it can be absolutely wonderful. And though I wasn't as in love with Tempest as I would have liked to be, this was an extremely well-done tale of time-traveling!!

The scientist in me gleefully cackled at the actual well, science, that was involved in all of it! Jackson is smart and he works together with another even smarter guy to try and figure out how it's all happening and I loved that! The science did slow the storyline down somewhat, but I didn't really care about that, cause it was just so awesome! I love understanding how things work! I also really liked that Jackson didn't always have complete control over his time-travels, no instant-skills and all that. Also, there are consequences if you push yourself too far and I liked that as well.

The thing that did bother me about all of it was that when Jackson time-traveled back to 2007 and couldn't find his way back to 2009, he seemed more concerned about his love-life in 2007 then the actual getting his life back and learning more about why the hell he and his girlfriend Holly were attacked in the first place. And stopping it from happening again. But Jackson gets his priorities straight after a while and when that happened the story REALLY picked up for me! I LOVED the last third of the book! I mean, I really enjoyed the first part too, but after that I just couldn't stop reading until the end!

There were some major things being revealed and there are still some things that have left me going: WAIT! There HAS to be more!! I'm really curious about Jackson's sister and the little girl that appears towards the end (weren't the scenes with both these girls amazing?? I LOVED them!). So yes, I am most definitely picking up the next book cause I'm dying to find out where Julie Cross will take us next with her storytelling! Also, the end was kinda heartbreaking, but I've never respected Jackson more, I don't know if I could have done the same thing. The wait for the second book will feel like an eternity I fear... (I wish I had time-traveling skills and could just jump to the time when it was already out, read it, and come back, that would be awesome).

My rating: 4,5 stars

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards

Title/Author: The Queen's Lady (The Lacey Chronicles #2) by Eve Edwards
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, April 10th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "1584 – Surrey, England When Lady Jane Rievaulx begins service to the Queen at Richmond Palace, she is thrilled at the court’s newest arrival... Master James Lacey. Despite her previous courtship with his older brother, James is the man she truly loves. And for his part, he cannot deny his fascination with her. However, James is setting sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins. But when Lady Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own family, there is only one man to save her. Will Master James return to his lady ­- before it’s too late?"

So, I really enjoyed The Other Countess, the first book in the Lacey Chronicles and the main characters in The Queen's Lady, Jane, made her debut in that one already. And I really liked Jane, so I was happy to see she was getting her own story!

Jane is seen by everyone as being cold and haughty when in fact she's not at all. It's just the fact that she's a woman and the loyalties of even her own maids lie with her father and even more with her brother. So it would be pretty hard for her to trust anybody. Jane doesn't come from a loving family and is mostly used by both her father and brother as a means to further themselves in society. Because that's what girls are for right? (stupid men)

In the previous novel I really, really liked James. He was fun and friendly and charming and just someone to fall in love with. In The Queen's Lady he turns a lot darker and harsher and I'm not sure I appreciate this change. I get that he's had some life-altering experiences fighting in the war, but well, let's say I could have done without him having undergone them. I did love the family dynamics between James and his brothers and even the half-brother they never knew they had up until this novel.

Like Ellie in The Other Countess, Jane needs a lot of rescueing. And you know, I like my heroines to at least give the rescueing a good try themselves and in this both novels have let me down. And I thought the 'bad guys' who were threathening her were able to go really far without anyone even trying to do anything about it. Not even Jane's brother and father tried to protect her, something I definitely don't understand. I mean, she was valuable to them as in that they wanted her to marry someone of their choosing again, so why not protect her?

I did think this was a sweet, fast read and I'm definitely picking up the last novel in the trilogy The Rogue's Princess cause its main characters is Christopher, the half-brother and I find him endlessly fascinating!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Discussion: Books You Shy Away From

I'm gonna be completely honest with you guys and admit that there are certain types of books that I will probably never pick up. And it's not because I dislike the genre, but it usually has more to do with the topic these books discuss.
You see, in my line of work (for those who don't know it, I'm about to be a doctor) there's a lot of good things happening. I mean, babies get born, people are cured or we're able to help them in some way that makes their life better.
The other side is much less pleasant and a day at the hospital can consist of me telling a patient that he or she has cancer and there's nothing we can do about it. Or actually helping someone be as comfortable as possible in their last few hours/days.

I wouldn't trade what I do for anything in the world, but I have noticed that since starting my internships, I have started to avoid certain topics. When I'm at home, reading, I just want to relax and get lost in the story and not be confronted with how harsh reality can be sometimes. And maybe this will change in the future, but right now I need magic, romance and nothing that comes too close to that reality that I see in the hospital every day.

So while I know that there are some amazingly beautiful books out there dealing with cancer, death, suicide, war, drug abuse, eating disorders, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, I will probably not read them anytime soon. These are the topics I shy away from. For example, I know that everyone and their great aunt is raving about John Green's The Fault in Our Stars but after I read the summary I couldn't bring myself to jump on the bandwagon.
I used to love books dealing with these types of stuff and I used to read SO many of them. But right now, everything in me flinches away from it.

Also, I cannot bring myself to read anything that has to do with World War II. I am not even entirely sure why, but it might have to do with the fact that my grandmother lived through this war and it just hits a little too close to home. Because Germany is right next door (seriously, I live about 20 minutes from the border) and it all happened here as well.

I also know that it's crazy that I don't read contemporary or historical novels dealing with war, because hello, in those fantasy novels I love so much they're at war a LOT. I know this, but when it's swords their fighting with it doesn't seem so real. This is also why historical fiction dealing with war where they still fought on horseback with swords works.

So what about you? Are there topics you can't bring yourself to read about? Books you would recommend that would convince me I need to abandon this fear?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review of The Duke Is Mine by Eloisa James

Title/Author: The Duke Is Mine (Fairy Tales #3) by Eloisa James
Publisher/Date published: Avon Books, January 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of "The Princess and the Pea.
For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick - hardly a Prince Charming - feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way... every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.
Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him - a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything - Olivia's engagement, her sister's friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them - and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.

You know how sometimes a book starts of so extremely well and then it goes a bit downhill after the halfway point? Yeah, that kinda happened with The Duke Is Mine.

I had never read anything by Eloisa James before and seriously, her writing is really good, at least for the first half of the book. After that the story turned slightly ridiculous. You see, there was all this wonderful tension going on with Olivia wanting to be loyal to both her sister and her fiancé, who doesn't have all his chickens lined up so to speak. But there's Tarquin who makes her heart go BOOM very loudly and who seems to return the feeling. So YES clandestine meetings and tension and stolen kisses and all those FEELINGS! And I was loving it.

And then they did the dance with no pants for the first time and I was... disappointed. I mean, I get that it's realistic for a woman to feel pain when it's her first time, but this was slightly ridiculous. Also: it was not sexy. And it's a problem when the sexytimes aren't sexy. Cause that kinda defeats the point, no?

After that they go on this mad dash across the Channel to save Olivia's ex-fiancé and she shows herself to have a LOT of too-stupid-to-live qualities which made me want to say something I NEVER say: CONTROL YOUR FEMALE. Someone needed to make her see sense because she was not only jeopardizing her own safety but also that of several others. And everyone just accepts that fact.

As for Tarquin, I would have growled at anyone who dared contest that the duke was not mine if I'd been Olivia. Because that man is swoonworthy! I really, really liked him and his kindness and protectiveness and all of his manness! And I enjoyed the chemistry between him and Olivia very much.

So the first part of the book would have easily gotten 4-5 stars but the second half kinda killed the moment.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Ten Books To Read In One Day

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics, check them out here!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is all about books to read in one day. So it's basically a list of books that had me so on the edge of my seat reading them that I shushed everyone who dared interrupt me :)
Also, my list is totally featured on The Broke and the Bookish today, so it is in fact a duplicate of that list ;)

1. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Seriously you guys, if you haven't read this book and are a fan of good dystopian YA GO OUT AND GET YOUR HANDS ON IT NOW! It was SO good and I just wanted to keep reading from the moment I started it.

2. Witchlanders by Lena Coakley: I'm still not entirely sure how this book hasn't been getting more buzz cause it's so incredibly awesome! The writing is beautiful and I absolutely didn't want to put it down. I'm still wishing there will be a sequel.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: towards the end there is too much tension to find out if there will be a happily ever after to put it down for the night! I had so much adrenaline going on I couldn't sleep after even though it left me with a big smile on my face!

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: reading this was such a rush and I couldn't bring myself to stop until I reached the end. I was an emotional wreck after finishing it.

5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: because the ENDING! The storytelling is wonderful and it completely sucked me in, but after the ending you will wish you had already had the forsight to order Pandemonium as well so you can read it straight after! Although I'm told Pandemonium also ends on a cliffhanger...

6. Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake by Sarah MacLean: the romance in this one is AMAZING! Really, this whole series is wonderful. There's all this tension and conflict and heartbreak and a swoonworthy man... If you like historical romance, definitely read this one. I couldn't put it down to save my life.

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: because it's a classic that's actually exciting and will have you wanting to know what exactly is going on at Manderley and what the deal is with Rebecca.

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore: do I even need to explain why? It's EPIC fantasy and it needs to be read all at once to get the full experience!

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I started this book and 'woke up' 374 pages later to discover several hours and meals had passed. You will thank yourself for picking a time when you can read it all at once when you start it cause doing other stuff will just feel irrelevant.

10. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard: because it's just absolutely cute and a great way to spend a sunny/rainy/neutral weather afternoon. It is that good.

So what are books you read in one day? Or books you think should be read in one day? I personally feel that most books are best experienced when you read all of it in a short amount of time and I seem to enjoy them more when I do read them in one day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review of The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Title/Author: The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna #1) by Robin Bridges
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, January 10th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.
An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources... including two young men — George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.
The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose — and to whom will she give her heart?"

You guys know how I love mythology and I must admit that before reading The Gathering Storm, I'd never read anything about Russian mythology. And it's full of awesome!! I mean, really, I'm not really a big fan of vampires as a mythological creature, but they have these AND a bogatyr!! They have the tsar able to change into a bogatyr to defend his country, how cool is that?

And apart from that, I did really enjoy most of the story. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the names and pet names and so on, but after a while I got the hang of it and it became easy to understand who everyone was talking to/about. And if I didn't know I assumed the characters weren't all that important anyway.

I liked Katiya, she has big plans to study at the university to become a doctor in a period of time when society only expects her to marry and produce heirs. I really respected her drive and the effort she put into learning all she could about medicine within the limits of society's approval.

There was one thing I had a big issue with: Katiya learns she has this ability and then she just refuses to be taught how to control it. She's given a book with information and she doesn't seem the least bit curious to actually read it and find some answers. I wanted to scream at her to not be so stupid, especially when she used her power without meaning to. And let's just say that unconsiously bringing someone back to life has some major consequences. So yeah, that part didn't work for me.
Also, she was constantly ignoring advice from people older and wiser than she herself was and of course bad stuff happened because of that.

I did like the interaction between Katiya and George Alexandrovich and I really enjoyed Katiya's bond with her family. The romance was a bit meh for me, but the court intrigue is fascinating and I loved the Russian mythology and hope it gets expanded more upon in the next book in the series!

My rating: 3 stars