Sunday, March 31, 2013

Daisy Update (37) and Book Haul (12)

Hi guys!

It's been two weeks! And I've been both busy and not so busy :)

The first of these weeks was somewhat uneventful because well, I was working and it was just SO QUIET. I can't believe that after the crazy week I had before that one where I didn't know how I would get all the work done, there was just virtually nothing to do! It was so surreal! But also nice because I got all the piled up paperwork done and had time to have coffee and socialize with the nursing staff and our secretary and the other residents, which was nice.

Friday was the event of the week because the boyfriend graduated for the second time and I'm just so proud of him! My family and his came over to our place for dinner after and we'd made SO MUCH FOOD! I love cooking, but 15 people means A LOT of food! And also LOTS of dishes... But we had a wonderful time and that's what counts :)

Last Sunday I had one of our infamous 24-hour shifts and while the ER was pretty quiet, I had a lot of sick patients to take care of who'd been admitted in the days before, so it was still a pretty busy day. I'm still not really sure how one patient who I didn't think would make it, made a miraculous recovery. I mean, I'm happy she did, but I don't understand how it was possible. Oh well :)

Because of our new schedule, a Sunday shift now comes with a week off after, so this last week has been gloriously work-free! It was lovely to just spend time at home with the boyfriend, not having to get up at 6AM every day and just relax! I've been reading a lot, trying to catch up with my towering TBR pile (yeah, like that'll ever happen). I spend time with my friends and the boyfriend and I went to the spa on Thursday and dinner at an Armenian restaurant after, and the food was SO GOOD!
The only downside to this was that while we were eating someone decided to steal my bike. Which royally sucks, I only got it last year brand new and now it's gone... :( Sometimes people suck.

Friday I went over to my parents' for dinner and after that I got together with 3 friends from high school to book a girls weekend in Antwerp! We're going on April 12th and I'm really excited, it'll be so much fun!

Yesterday I mostly chilled at home and when the boyfriend came home we ate pizza and hung out together, we tried a new TV series Continuum and it's really good! In other TV news: tonight season 3 of Game of Thrones premiers!! EEE! :D

Book Haul

-Insatiable by Meg Cabot: I've been meaning to read more of Meg Cabot's books and this one was bargainpriced, so of course I had to order it!
-Slide by Jill Hathaway: I've been feeling really guilty about slacking on reading my review copy of it and bought the paperback to make up for it :)
-Pulse by Patrick Carman: this book was screaming at me to buy it because it just sounds like such a me-book! I'm hoping it'll be awesome!
-Shiver, Linger and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater: I already owned and read the first book in the series, but couldn't resist the sale on this pretty boxed set! I didn't love Shiver, but I do want to know why everybody was raving about the series so I'll read it eventually.
-Requiem by Lauren Oliver: EEE! It's HERE! I will binge-read Pandemonium and this one soon!
-Be My Prince by Julianne MacLean: I wanted to try a new historical romance author and this seemed a good book to start with :)
-Switched by Amanda Hocking: people seem to either LOVE it or hate it, which always makes me curious about a book!
-The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter: I'm both sad the series is ending and excited to see what will happen after that GINORMOUS cliffhanger at the end of Goddess Interrupted!
-The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik: Epic Fail was really cute and this looks like a cute contemporary read as well :)
-The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen: so I haven't read The False Prince yet, I obviously needed this book!
-Gilt by Katherine Longshore: LOVED THIS BOOK! Needed my own copy :)

Egalleys for Review
-The Deepest Night by Shana Abe: this series just sounds so exciting!
-The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross: I really, really like this series, these books are what make me give steampunk a second, third and fourth chance!
-Blood Between Queens by Barbara Kyle: I don't know why I hadn't heard of this series before, because it sounds like just the thing for my Tudor obsessed heart!
-Ten Reasons to Stay by Sabrina Jeffries: I've been hearing really good things about this author and this novella sounds like it has the potential to be really sweet!
-Lady Vivian Defies a Duke by Samantha Grace: I love those romances in which someone plays matchmaker and ends up falling for the person he's matching up with someone else :)
-One Night With a Rake by Mia Marlowe: a rake who falls in love. Yes I am a sap for these kinds of stories!
-The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry: sometimes I just need to get my creep on and this sounds like just the book for it!
-This is W.A.R. by Lisa & Laura Roecker: a girl is killed and four other girls our out for VENGEANCE, YES!

I hope you're all having a wonderful week and don't forgot to enter my giveaway of a The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare RIGHT HERE

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Infernal Devices Giveaway!

This giveaway comes to you sponsored by the lovely people over at Appliances Online!

So everyone keeps screaming at me to read Cassandra Clare's books and I will! But in the mean time because I've heard so many awesome things about it, and particularly about Clockwork Princess over the last week, I wanted to give you all the chance to win this beautiful boxed set of all three books in the Infernal Devices series!

The goods:

The rules:
-Open to USA, Canada and UK residents, the books will be send straight from Amazon to the winner
-If under 13 you have to have approval from a parent/legal guardian
-Aside from clicking the free entry button, the other options for entering are well, optional
-The winner will be contacted by e-mail and announced on the blog
-The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me, if there's not response after 48 hours, I will pick another winner
-That's it! What are you waiting for?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review of The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen

Title/Author: The Mephisto Kiss (The Mephisto Covenant #2) by Trinity Faegen
Publisher/Date published: Egmont USA, September 25th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The eyes never lie. No one’s eyes are darker than Eryx. Not even the Devil’s.

When Jax and Sasha first see Jordan Ellis, they know she is no ordinary teenager. She’s the daughter of the President after all, but she’s also Anabo – a descendant of Eve.

What they don’t know is that Eryx plans to kidnap Jordan and force President Ellis to pledge his soul. If Eryx’s plot succeeds, the consequences would be catastrophic.

But the Mephisto brothers do know about Jordan’s secret identity. And for one of them, she could be the match that leads to their soul’s salvation.

Now it’s a desperate race against time to save Jordan and prevent Eryx’s haunting eyes from discovering her true identity.


You might remember how I was a bit on the fence about The Mephisto Covenant and had some issues with it. I'm glad to say The Mephisto Kiss worked better for me!

Jordan is a much stronger main character than Sasha was, she's used to living in the spotlight and has had to deal with loss before and is just in general for me someone I could relate more to. Unlike Sasha, she definitely has some backbone and I like that. I liked that she didn't just accept right from the bat that she 'belonged' with a guy she'd never met before and that she couldn't return to her old life and her old boyfriend. I mean, it's a huge adjustment and I cannot imagine anyone being ok with it right from the start.

I also appreciated that we got to know Eryx a little better. I like when the bad guy has a backstory and is more of a real character than just an excuse for the story to revolve around. I didn't really get why everyone at Jordan's high school was so charmed by Eryx, because he just seems really creepy to me, but it's all part of his special powers apparantly.

Jordan and Key have a complicated relationship and at times I wondered if they were ever going to make it work, but there was a much more gradual growth in their relationship than there was between Jax and Sasha and I liked it. I was also pretty surprised by something that happened towards the end and I'm still slightly unsure how they bended the rules and turned it back around because I was kinda sure they couldn't. Oh well, I'm all for a happy ending of course.

I still felt sometimes that we just get dumped in the middle of the story and like I missed the part where they explained some of the background, but I'm pretty sure I didn't skip any pages. And I couldn't help but feel annoyed at Sasha, especially when she was crying for no reason.

I think I know who the next brother to get his own book will be (I'm not a genius, it's pretty obvious) and if it plays out like I think it will, their story has the chance to be really heartbreaking.
I definitely think the series picked up from the first book and while there were some things that annoyed me, I did really enjoy reading it!

My rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review of Infatuate by Aimee Agresti

Title/Author: Infatuate (Gilded Wings #2) by Aimee Agresti
Publisher/Date published: Harcourt Children's Books, March 5th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Haven Terra is still recovering from an internship that brought her literally to the brink of hell when a trip to New Orleans leads to more trouble. Graduating early from high school leaves the spring semester free, so Haven and her friends Dante and Lance head to the Big Easy to volunteer with community service projects. But their true mission becomes clear when they run across an enclave of devils known as the Krewe. New Orleans is a free-for-all for these shape-shifting devils, who are more reckless and vicious than any Haven, Lance, and Dante have encountered. And they soon discover their French Quarter housemates are also angels-in-training, and together they must face off with the Krewe in their quest for wings. But Haven’s resolve is tested when Lucian, the repentant devil with whom she was infatuated, resurfaces and asks her for help escaping the underworld. Can he be trusted? Or will aiding him cost Haven her angel wings—and her life?


So you might remember how I had some issues with Illuminate, the first book in the Gilded Wings series. Some of those things worked better for me in Infatuate, but I also came across some new things that annoyed me a bit.

Haven, Dante and Lance graduate early and go to New Orleans to do some volunteer work, which seriously had me giving them the slow clap, because there aren't that many people out there who'd choose to spend months doing this. But maybe this also comes from them being angels in training and all, having an innate inclination to do good.
So pretty much all hell starts to break loose in New Orleans. Or tries to break loose at least.

I really liked some of the new characters we're introduced to, most of all Max, who makes a really nice boyfriend for Dante (which had me cheering actually, cause they're really sweet together).
I did however not appreciate the leader/trainer who has his own methods for teaching them, bordering on psycho behaviour at times. It was seriously uncool. I got that he wanted them to excel and develop their powers and all, but really, it was kinda creepy and I didn't understand why the kids didn't just all band together to kick his ass in the beginning. After it's explained what it is exactly that he does, he gets a little more easygoing but I always remained wary of him.

I think that the thing that bothered me the most about a couple of the new characters is that everyone is either ALL good or ALL evil, there isn't much of a middle ground. Except with Lucian I guess. I did like that we got to see more of Lucian and I was actually really rooting for the guy. This may also be partly due to the fact that Lance was being a huge douche throughout most of the book. Seriously, I would have dumped his ass and not looked back, he was just so UGH! GUYS! I don't want to say to much for fear of spoilers, but that boy is officially not in my good book anymore.

I liked that we learned more about all their abilities and seeing them develop was fun. I did laugh at the whole powers-that-be transitioning from communicating through diaries to cellphones, but I just went with it. The stakes get higher and I liked that Haven became more her own person and connected more with Dante again because I had missed the best friend relationship in the first book. And I liked that unlike a lot of angel YA, this isn't preachy in the least.

The ending isn't so much a cliffhanger as that it just seems to stop in the middle of the action and it left me going: WHAT?! It was such an awkward moment to stop that I felt somewhat baffled and unsure how to go from there.

I did like Infatuate and I liked it a little more than I did Illuminate, but again I had issues with this book and it took me a long time to actually finish it. I am interested enough to continue with the series though and I'm secretly hoping Haven will end up with Lucian in the end!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review of Juliet by Anne Fortier

Title/Author: Juliet by Anne Fortier
Publisher/Date published: Harper, August 19th 2010
How I got this book: got it with a giftcard which I'd gotten for my birthday last year :) People give me books for my birthday! Yay!

Goodreads summary: "Of all the great love stories ever told, hers is perhaps the most famous. To me, she is the key to my family's fate. To you, she is Juliet.
When Julie Jacobs leaves for Italy per the instructions of her late aunt's will, she never imagines that she'll be thrust into a centuries-old feud, not to mention one of the most legendary romances of all time. However, as she uncovers the story of her ancestor, Giulietta, whose love for a man named Romeo proved ill-fated, Julie finds herself increasingly under threat, and can't help but feel that the past and present are very much connected."

Let me just start by saying how completely amazing this book was!! I so LOVED reading this book! I even wanted to slow down and just savor it instead of devouring it, but in the end the need to know what happened won out.

The writing was absolutely beautiful and I found myself getting lost in both present-day Sienna and the Sienna of the past. Seriously, old European cities are the best kind of setting for a book. Especially a city as romantic as Sienna. Or it sounded completely romantic in the book. I now feel a burning need to visit Italy (Sienna, Rome, Verona... ALL OF IT!).

I have to admit I've never read Romeo and Juliet or seen the play, but I know the gist of the story, which was enough. I had however heard rumours before that maybe Shakespeare didn't write all of his work himself and this novel presents an interesting idea: what if the tragic story was based on actual events? And what if the real Romeo and Guillietta lived in Sienna? And what if their descendants to this day aren't freed of the curse?

Gosh, it was just amazing! I loved Julie (or Guillietta), the main character, I felt I could really connect with her and to me that's SO important! I also really liked Alessandro, the mysterious guy with LOTS of secrets. So I guessed one big one pretty early on, there were still some others that I didn't expect.

I loved the romance and the whole plot with incredible twists! This book was such a treat! And it was a story within a story, don't you just love those? And I now have a new holiday destination for next year!

Seriously, if you're into historical fiction with some romance on the side, this is the perfect read for you! I'm gonna go check if Fortier has some other books coming out (this was her debut) for me to gush over :)

My rating: 5+ stars

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review of A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Title/Author: A Breath of Eyre (Unbound #1) by Eve Marie Mont
Publisher/Date published: Kensington, March 27th 2012
How I got this book: bought it
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Emma Townsend has always believed in stories - the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates. Perhaps it's because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn't come close to filling the void left by her mother's death. And her only romantic prospect - apart from a crush on her English teacher - is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma's confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre...

Reading of Jane's isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane's body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she's never known - and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane's story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own...

I don't think it's a secret that I LOVE Jane Eyre. It has earned a special place on my shelf and I try to re-read it once a year. It's one of the only books I actually enjoyed reading for English class back in high school.
So of course I can't help but be drawn to a retelling, especially one with a pretty cover ;)

And guys, I totally loved it!

I really liked Emma, she's not the most social girl there is, but she does know how to be a good friend and I loved her bookishness. She has a complicated relationship with her father and stepmother and I thought she was sometimes a bit of a brat to her stepmother, but well, the stepmother wasn't always handling having a stepdaughter very well, so I could imagine them butting heads. I really connected to Emma through Eve Marie Mont's writing and that always makes a book more special to me.

Of course there are the boys, I adored Gray! I know he's a bit damaged and isn't the obvious good guy I normally fall for, but really, there's just something about this boy. I got why Emma tried to kiss him when she was 5 years old. So he does this one kinda crappy thing to Emma, but really, do you know any teenage boys who know how to handle their feelings or girls from the start?

I loved the time spent in the 'real world', but I also really loved when Emma got sucked into Jane Eyre's world! It was just so good and it made me want to grab Jane Eyre and just READ IT! I loved how we got to learn more about Mr. Rochester's first wive and that Emma questions Mr. Rochester's behaviour in this particular part of the story. I mean, sure, I support Jane in staying with him and do think they're right for each other, but locking your wive in the attic is not really gentlemanlike. And I love that becoming Jane Eyre for a while made Emma learn something about herself and her own mother.

So yeah, basically I just loved A Breath of Eyre and wished I could be transported to my favourite book for a while, because that would be EPIC! I was right there in the moment with Emma and didn't want to put the book down and I loved falling in love with Gray right along with her! I'm already looking forward to reading A Touch of Scarlet and A Phantom Enchantment!

My rating: 5 stars
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Boyfriend's Graduation Day!

Today the boyfriend is officially graduating for the second time and I know I tell him he can't look at my blog, but in case he decided I'm being silly:

I love you honey and I'm really proud of you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review of When the Duchess Said Yes by Isabella Bradford

Title/Author: When the Duchess Said Yes (Wylder Sisters #2) by Isabella Bradford
Publisher/Date published: Ballantine Books, September 25th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Notorious for her free-spirited antics, Lady Elizabeth Wylder revels in attention — but not the sort that leaves her humiliated when her future husband, the Duke of Hawkesworth, fails to appear for their much-anticipated first introduction.

So when a chance encounter leads to a sizzling kiss with a dangerously handsome stranger, she nearly succumbs. The shock of finally meeting her betrothed only to come face to face with her rakish would-be seducer inspires fury — and fans the flames of a fire that both Lizzie and the Duke acknowledge is a most agreeable way to start a marriage. In her husband’s arms, Lizzie knows she has found love. But is the passion that accompanies endless nights of erotic discovery enough to persuade a duke whose scandalous lineage and lifestyle prevent him from giving his heart completely?

So I read the first book in this series a while ago and while it was ok, I had a problem with the sexytimes not being sexy in When You Wish Upon A Duke. This time was different.

Elizabeth, or Lizzie, is a loving, somewhat free spirited girl. As in When You Wish Upon a Duke, she is a pretty young heroine as far as historical romances go, she's 18.
Hawk recently returned to England and doesn't really feel like marrying, other than that he wants to keep his estate and he will lose everything if he doesn't go through with the arranged marriage.
Of course it's love at first sight.

I had several issues with this novel. I did like that they had this instant attraction and thought it was pretty ironic that they're both mad at each other for kissing the other because they were engaged before realising it was TO EACH OTHER. I mean, yeah... it was kinda bad, but also funny.
I also liked that they had great chemistry and genuinely liked each other and while Lizzie experienced doubts because of her meddling family, I could see how that would happen because she's pretty young.

I was annoyed though by Hawk. He was seriously an ass a lot of the time. It's not accepted in polite society for women to wear their hair down and he pretty much throws a hissy fit when Lizzie doesn't wear it down. He kidnaps her to be alone with her and compromises her in front of the staff. He then thinks it ok to leave Lizzie when he's gotten an heir from her and go back to his beloved villa. And he doesn't see ANYTHING wrong with this.

I mean, SERIOUSLY???

And then he discusses this with other people at a party and gets all annoyed when Lizzie doesn't understand and is hurt by it. I mean, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? And really, I thought together they were pretty good, but I just didn't get how he thought this would be ok. I was also annoyed by Lizzie's family, they're really not helping this young couple by constantly critisizing Hawk to Lizzie and generally being unfair.

But they did have their sweet times together and there was the wonderful heartbreak and I definitely felt that. I just would have liked to fall in love with Hawk as well and while I was annoyed by all the criticism of Lizzie's and Hawk's family, I kinda thought he was being a real douche at times as well.
I'm hoping the final book in this series will be better!

My rating: 2,5 stars

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy But Are Still Sad and Neglected

So it's been FOREVER since I participated in one of these! As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by my other blog: The Broke and the Bookish

This could have easily been the Top 300 books I had to buy but are still sad and neglected... I have a list of shame on Goodreads.

I cannot resist shiny new releases

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes: this sounds like such a ME-book and the cover is GORGEOUS!

The Diviners by Libba Bray: I LOVED the Gemma Doyle series and couldn't resist this new series by Libba Bray!

The New Books By Authors I Love

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin: I can't believe there isn't more buzz about this author, her Inheritance Trilogy is AMAZING! Of course I had to pick up this book! And the sequel.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: SO MUCH LOVE for Percy Jackson! Seriously, I cannot believe I haven't picked this up yet!

The I Know, I Can't Believe It Either

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: I know ok, I ADORED Anna and the French Kiss and Lola keeps staring me down accusingly, but sweetly.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: I KNOW! *hides* Don't yell at me! I even own Insurgent...

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult: this has been on my shelf for AGES. And I won't see the movie without reading the book, so...

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn: I LOVED A Night Like This and I own several of her earlier books and I STILL haven't read them! I suck...

The Next In The Series Excitement

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini: I think this was one of the first books I ever pre-ordered and I cannot believe I still haven't picked it up yet, I love this series!

Boundless by Cynthia Hand: I am both scared and REALLY excited to get to Boundless, but I want to read undisturbed and haven't find the right moment yet!

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me was one of my favourite reads of 2012 and I just can't justify not having read this yet other than that I will need to devour it in one go.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi: same goes for this one, LOVED Under the Never Sky, NEED to read this.

So I had a REALLY hard time narrowing it down! The list is endless and I fear it will only get longer over time... Any you share or that I need to read RIGHT NOW?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Daisy Update (36)

Hi guys!

So last week was BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! But it was the good kind of busy, so I didn't mind all that much :)

Monday I had the evening shift after my day shift and I don't know what it is lately, but the patients just don't stop coming to the hospital! There are so many, on average there are about 15 people who come to the ER just for pulmonary problems, which may not seem like a lot, but if you have to admit at least 2/3 of them usually, that's a lot of patients! And it's awful when the hospital is full and there is nowhere to put said patients. Lucky for me, everyone who came in Monday evening could go home with a prescription so I didn't have to call every hospital in the area to see if they could still admit patients...

Having an overflow of pulmonary patients also means we have a lot patients not admitted to our own nursing floor but to those of other specialties as a guest bed and this week it was my job to see all those patients. Which means if there are 8-9 of them they're all on a different floor and I needed to start up the computer again, find the nurse who cares for the patient NINE TIMES. This takes HOURS. I felt like I kept running around the hospital and didn't get anything done.

Other than that it was pretty ok to be working 5 days again. The good thing is that you stay in your rythm of getting up early and don't have to constantly check what exactly happened with your patients on the day you had off, so it takes a lot less energy to organize everything. The less good thing is I really miss having a day off to catch up on sleep, reading, eating, grocery shopping (of all things...)... Oh well, now we get a week off every 8 weeks or so, which is nice as well.

Tuesday we had one of the boyfriend's friends come over for dinner and it was really nice! We don't see much of him cause he's busy breaking through with his band (which is seriously awesome, we went to see them a couple of weeks ago and they're REALLY GOOD!) and it was nice to just hang out and talk about everything.

Yesterday we FINALLY had our way overdue Christmas Dinner with some of my friends. It's become a tradition to have dinner at our place with each of the four couples making one course. We'd been trying to plan it for months and finally succeeded. I just love spending time with them, they're all doctors as well and 2 of them work at the same hospital I do, but it's nice to see them outside of work and just eat lots of good food and catch up! We always dress up because it's Christmas dinner and it's a nice change from my usual comfy pants and hoodie I wear on the weekend :) I love having a reason to wear my pretty clothes!

Yesterday the boyfriend and I also did ALL THE CLEANING and because one of my friends was staying over, I couldn't just shove everything in the spare room because she had to sleep there. So this meant I had to actually give everything a more permanent place and it took a LOT of time. But now the house is all clean and tidy which is a good thing :)

Today I'm just going to hang out on the couch and drink tea and read and blog a bit, yay! Oh, and eat leftover New York Cheesecake, YUM!

Oh, and some exciting news: I got a letter saying I'm getting an interview for the residency I applied for a couple of weeks ago, I'm SO EXCITED! And I'm also really nervous! EEE!

Hope you all have a nice Sunday and a great week!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Review of Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Title/Author: Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Aimee Agresti
Publisher/Date published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 6th 2012
How I got this book: bought it

Goodreads summary: Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city — Chicago — and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. I did like it, but I just had some issues with it.

Haven is a smart girl and I LOVED that. She's that girl who does her best in class because she knows what she wants: to be a doctor. So of course I could relate to that! I liked that she had a really great relationship with her adoptive mother and that her friendship with Dante. Of couse she's slightly dazzled by all the glitter of the Lexington and it's staff, but seriously, who wouldn't be?

I liked the part where she gets clues from a book where the writing appears at night when she's alone, it was kinda neat. I just would have liked for Haven to be a bit more curious as to WHO or what was telling her these things and why. She just seems to accept everything and it made me a little iffy. I mean, I would have been totally freaked out and she mostly just takes everything in stride. It's not every day you find out your new boss and your crush are taking souls, are evil and that you're supposed to stop them. I mean, seriously?
Also, I didn't really get why she stayed on at the hotel after some bad things happened. I mean, sure it's all noble to want to take them down and everything, but do you need to sleep under the same roof as these demons for that?? Especially after they found a secret passage in, I could have seen them doing a surprise attack.

I kinda loved Dante, though he's the stereotypical gay best friend you came across in YA a lot. He was fun, but I thought it was a little weird that he wasn't only an excellent cook, but a great stylist AND gave a mean haircut. That's a LOT of accomplishments for being a 16-year-old guy and it made me roll my eyes somewhat.

I did really like the parts we get to see about Haven's powers developing and I thought the thing with the pictures (yes, I'm being cryptic, but it's a spoiler otherwise) was really cool! I also really liked the friendship that develops between Haven and Lance.

As for the romance, I could see how Haven could be dazzled by Lucian, he just didn't do all that much for me, even though he is charming and handsome and everything.
I did totally roll my eyes at the whole confession towards the end that it was actually Lance who'd kissed Haven pretty early on in the story because the lights went out and he decided to 'take a chance'. I mean, seriously? And what did he hope to gain by that when Haven didn't know it was him? SERIOUSLY? I like them as a couple, but that was just slightly ridiculous.

So as you can see, Illuminate left me with mixed feelings. I did like the story in general, but it was a pretty big book and it seemed to take me forever to read it. I did like the characters, but some stuff made me roll my eyes. I am really curious to see what'll happen next though, so I'm going to start Infatuate soon!

My rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review of Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Title/Author: Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins Children's UK, February 28th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Look at that cover! How could I not be all over this??
Guys, I was expecting a fun, cute read and that's exactly what Holly Smale gave me with Geek Girl!

I just wanted to hug Harriet, she's a sweet girl, if really naive and not fully connected to the world. She did come across a bit younger than her age in the way she acts, but not every 15-year-old is equally mature. I loved that she didn't let everything that happened with a new modeling career change her. She's caught up in the fashion, but she's still her own person and I like that. I love that she learns what it means to be a true friend and how you can unintenionally hurt someone.

A lot of the other characters are REALLY quirky and while I had a good laugh over it, I did think that her dad was kinda weird and irresponsible at times and he was actually the only one who annoyed me because of his antics. Harriet's stalker Toby was adorable in his cluelessness and I absolutely LOVED the agent who spotted Harriet, who is so out there and has all these crazy pet names for Harriet, is was FANTASTIC! Seriously.
And though we don't really get to see a lot of him, I really liked Nick as well.

Reading this book felt like a YA version of America's Next Top Model (only set in England and all) and I am addicted to that show, so of course I enjoyed this book! I love to read about the crazy of the fashion industry and this book made me laugh out loud several times! It was a lovely debut and I just saw there'll be a sequel, YAY!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daisy Update (35) and Book Haul (11)

Hi guys!

The last two weeks have been sorta busy at work, I had my last Wednesday off, as of March 1st we're getting back to working 5 days a week instead of fulltime in 4 days, which was kinda nice... I'm gonna miss my day off! So to make it an epic last day off, I made Mississippi Mud Pie and it was SO GOOD! SO much chocolate-y goodness! I'm gonna have to make it again soon...

So last week I had a 24-hour shift on Saturday, which was crazy busy and had me just conk out when I got home on Sunday. I slept for 5 hours straight and then got up to go have dinner at my parents', which was nice. Monday through Friday I worked the night shift and while I didn't have it as bad as some of my colleagues had it the last couple of weeks, I'm still really glad the week is over and I can go back to working days.

Night shifts are always full of weird stuff you don't come across during the day. Patients crash, I get requests for consults that are just slightly off, like with one where I told the resident calling me that she should call the ICU because based on what she told me and the blood results that particular patient should be intubated. I get phonecalls asking me things that make me wonder why anyone would call me in the middle of the night for it. It's both fun and slightly annoying.

It did leave me with more time at home and I actually went shopping on Thursday and got pretty new pasta plates (I got a giftcard for the store for my graduation about a year ago, I'm so bad at remembering to take giftcards with me when I go shopping!), new fuzzy slippers, 2 cardigans, hair stuff and new shoes! YAY NEW SHOES! They were 70% off, I'd actually tried them on before, but they were a bit too expensive, but obviously they needed to come home with me now :)

Yesterday the boyfriend and I went out to dinner to one of our favourite Mexican restaurants, I LOVE their food! After we just hung out at home and watched The Big Bang Theory and Once Upon A Time. It was really nice to just spend some time together :)

This week is full of BUSY, but not all bad busy other than that the boyfriend and I probably won't see each other much...
I hope you all have a great week!

Book Haul

Egalleys for review

-Of Triton by Anna Banks: I really enjoyed Of Poseidon, so I'm excited to read this sequel!
-Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: ALL THE EXCITEMENT! Shadow and Bone was one of my favourite reads of 2012 and I can't wait to see what happens next!!
-Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare: I love Tessa Dare's historical romance :)
-The Secret Life of Lady Julia by Lecia Cornwall
-The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen: I'm the master of 'what if', so this book exploring the what if Anne Boleyn had a son sounds fascinating!
-Thinking of You by Jill Mansell: LOVE JILL MANSELL! She's on my auto-buy list, her books are so much fun!
-The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa: I've heard amazing things about The Immortal Rules, I'm excited to start this series!
-Lover Be Mine by Nicole Jordan: feuding families YES!
-Seducing the Princess by Mary Hart Perry: I really enjoyed The Wild Princess and this novel about another of Queen Victoria's daughters sounds wonderful!
-The Marquess Who Loved Me by Sara Ramsey

-Mind Games by Kiersten White: the cover is gorgeous and the story sounds so exciting!
-Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler: I've been wanting to read this since I first heard about it over a year ago :)
-Belles by Jen Calonita: it sounds like a lot of fun and I've heard really good things about it!
-Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: LOVED Finnikin of the Rock!
-Sever by Lauren DeStefano: I haven't gotten around to reading Fever yet, but now I will just binge-read them soon :)
-White Cat by Holly Black: loved this book, wanted to own a copy :)
-Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins: I just love this series! I'm really excited to read this soon!
-The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir: Hi, my name is Daisy and I'm obsessed with anything Tudor-related. And it's SIGNED! :D
-Dualed by Elsie Chapman: I've been hearing mixed things about Dualed, I'm hoping I'll love it, cause the general plot has so much potential!
-Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley: it sounds SO CREEPY!
-Jane by April Lindner: I love Jane Eyre and am always down for a modern-day retelling!
-The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
-The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
-The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima: the Seven Realms series ranks among my favourite fantasy series ever, so I figured I should start her other series, I'm counting on it to be EPIC as well!

Leave me a link and I'll be sure to check out your haul!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

Title/Author: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels #2) by Sarah MacLean
Publisher/Date published: Avon, January 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought myself a shiny finished copy

Goodreads summary: Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion — the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting... and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts — and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

It is no secret that I adore Sarah MacLean's books, they are on my auto-buy list, so I was more than excited to pick this one up! And guys, even with these high expectations I was anything but disappointed!

I LOVED Pippa. People think her odd, but she's just really smart and honest and straight forward and I loved that. I loved her scientific way of looking at things and if she'd been living in our times she'd probably have been a professor. And she named her dog Trotula, poor little dog.

And Cross made me swoon, as good heroes should. He's a powerful man brought to his knees by our odd little heroine and I loved how smart he was and that he just got her! He's very protective and has his secrets and while keeping up a front of being tough is actually a kind man who cares deeply about his family, even though he doesn't get much of a chance to show it.

Pippa and Cross together were just SWOON! Seriously, their interaction was always amusing and interesting and just filled with so much TENSION! The tensions was so stomach-clenchingly good! And they didn't even touch until about 2/3 into the book, GAH! They were such a good match intelectually as well and I loved that!

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is a book that had me ignoring everything around me while I just read, staying up till 2AM to finish it even while I had a pounding headache I didn't even really notice until I'd closed it, this book was THAT good.
I can't wait till No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is released and we can read Temple's story!

My rating: 5+ stars

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review of Losing It by Cora Carmack

Title/Author: Losing It by Cora Carmack
Publisher/Date published: William Morrow, February 26th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

So there's this whole upheaval in the bookish community about the term new adult and the fiction that falls into this category. And Losing It fits nicely into this category and I must say that I like it! I like reading about 20-something college students.

Losing It is a brain candy read, it's really funny and easy to read and it took me virtually no time at all to get through it. The summary reminded me strongly of the first episode of Grey's Anatomy (you know, with Meredith waking up next to Derek and leaving him there and then running into him in the hospital?) and I LOVE Grey's Anatomy, so I figured this would be my kind of story. And while it wasn't the most original, it was fun and sweet! And I loved that the about the author piece at the end says 'Awkward people need love, too', LOVE IT! And so true :)

Bliss is awkward and nice and just a good girl all around and I liked that while she gives into peer pressure at first and gets into stuff she's not ready for, in the end she follows her heart and decides what's best for her. I respect that. She doesn't really have a clue when it comes to guys, but it was sort of endearing and not roll-my-eyes clueless.
And I pretty much loved Garrett, seriously, how can you not adore a guy with a British accent? He was so sweet and just swoonworthy!

And yeah, of course it's totally horrifying that he turns out to be their new teacher, but they made it work. Towards the end it got a little sappy for me, but I can overlook that. I liked that Bliss had real friends who cared about her and that she felt like a genuine college students, sometimes overdoing it with the alcohol and all.

With all the awkwardness Bliss lands herself into, Losing It was a funny, quick read and I'm looking forward to seeing what Cora Carmack has in store for Cade in Faking It!

My rating: 4 stars

Monday, March 4, 2013

Get On My Shelf!: February 2013

So every month after I get my paycheck I feel the urge to (pre)order books, and I thought I'd share with you guys what has me shoveling over the money and which pretties will be mine soon :)

The Originals by Cat Patrick: 17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers: 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. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella 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. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. 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?

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier: Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

The Hero's Guide To Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy: Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don't you? They're the Princes Charming who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses - Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose - to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms.

But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening - even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins: Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Goddess by Josephine Angelini: After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller: On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Icons by Margaret Stohl: Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan: It was bizarre and inexplicable, and after it happened, Ingrid Waverly was forced to leave her life in London behind. She had to trade a world full of fancy dresses and society events for exile in gothic Paris with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby.

In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and disturbingly, the house rented by Ingrid's twin brother, Grayson, isn't a house at all. It's an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And to top it all off, Grayson is missing.

Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson's whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some deep and dark secrets of his own.

There's one secret about the city that even Luc can't keep hidden, though: there's a murderer on the loose. And every day that Grayson is missing means there's less chance he's still alive.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn't dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows that he's in grave danger, and that it's up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.

And yet the path to him is more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

No cover yet:
The Regency Witches by Alyxandra Harvey: In 1804, three cousins with an unknown family lineage of witchcraft awake to their magical powers; beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, they must navigate the new underworld now open to them, learn to control their new talents, and unravel the secret of one cousin’s mother’s illness, all the while evading fortune seekers, marriage proposals, and a dangerous killer murdering young debutantes.