Friday, January 30, 2015

Review of Ensnared by A.G. Howard

Title/Author: Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G. Howard
Publisher/Date published: Amulet Books, January 6th 2015
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles... and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world - a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?


It's probably no secret that I have a LOT of love for this series. I've discovered a new love for Wonderland and creepy crawlies (as long as they don't come near me) and suprised myself by falling for the 'bad' guy. And obviously I couldn't wait to start Ensnared, especially after the ending of Unhinged!

So over the course of this series, my heart has been broken a couple of times, and I felt torn, like Alyssa, between Morpheus and Jeb, but Morpheus just has been holding a special place in my heart, especially since Unhinged. And Ensnared only proved that I was right to prefer our favourite moth, because HELLO LOVELY! OMG, Ensnared just filled my heart with ALL the Morpheus feels and I just wanted things to work out for him and hug him and let him be wicked and himself and just ALL OF IT OK? I saw him be a better person at times because he loves Alyssa while at the same time staying his wonderful self. And I just love him so much.
The reason I'm leading with all of these boy-related feels is that I just can't keep them in and because I felt that the one issue I did have with this book is that I was just waiting for Alyssa to get over Jeb and be with Morpheus, because OMG, WHY NOT??? I mean, I felt like Jeb had given up on them and was holding her back and just. I was just over him. So Alyssa trying to win him back was just not what I wanted her to be doing. But I guess he does have his moments and all... I'm just not fully convinced by how this love triangle was handled.

I was really hoping we'd spend a lot of time in Wonderland, but AnyElsewhere is a pretty good second, cause it also has lots of weird and quirky creatures and a whole lot of magical things for me to love. I love how A.G. Howard always mixes in the creepy and the dark twisty things, it's awesome. And I love how Alyssa has learned to embrace that side of her, the Wonderland side of her. How she can be dark and vengeful and jsut amazingly powerful and a true queen. I loved seeing her accept and treasure these qualities.

Also, while I get how her dad is being protective and such, I still think he's also pretty annoying. I mean, UGH, I just didn't like him, he was also really trying to hold Alyssa back, even after he gets his memories back and it didn't feel just protective, but like one of those people who don't want their loved ones to rise above them. It never felt like he accepted her for who she is.

I loved how there were twists and turns and you never knew if you could fully trust anything you were seeing/reading and so, SO many of these twists revolved around Morpheus and I just cannot over how much love I have for him! He IS Wonderland and amazing! I totally loved how A.G. Howard handled the two sides of Alyssa and the effect of this on her heart and learning more about Red and just EVERYTHING.

To sum it up, I pretty much adore this whole series and REALLY want to go re-read it as a whole and it's also made me excited about reading Alice in Wonderland with my book club this month, which I was dreading a bit. It's dark and twisty and swoony and just a whole amount of amazing writing that I could get lost in for hours at a time! Also: MORPHEUS. Go read it if you haven't already!

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review of Searching For Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan

Title/Author: Searching For Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan
Publisher/Date published: Mariner Books, January 27th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: For a small-town girl with big-city dreams, there is no address more glamorous than New York’s Barbizon Hotel. Laura, a patrician beauty from Smith, arrives to work at Mademoiselle for the summer. Her hopelessly romantic roommate, Dolly, comes from a working-class upstate town to attend secretarial school. Vivian, a brash British bombshell with a disregard for the hotel’s rules, rounds out the trio of friends. Together, the girls embark on a journey of discovery that will take them from the penthouse apartments of Park Avenue to the Beat scene of Greenwich Village to Atlantic City’s Steel Pier — and into the arms of very different men who will alter their lives forever.

So this story is set in 1955, which is an important thing to remember and something that I didn't figure out till about 3/4 through the book. I'm not sure if that's my fault or if it was just the first time it was mentioned, but it's something to keep in mind while reading this book. And as I hadn't read anything set in New York in this time period before, it was very interesting!

Searching For Grace Kelly centers around a group of friends, at times they feel more like girls who casually know each other and sometimes share things, as they do live very separate lives while living in the same building. In the end I believe they were friends, but they just didn't always show it.
I liked Laura, I could understand wanting to break free from her mother's smothering parenting and the rules of society and just LIVE. A thing that bugged me was that even though she kept saying she wanted to be a writer, she never really did anything to try and actually BE one. I mean, throughout the novel she never once wrote a story, the only thing she wrote was in a diary and didn't even stick with that. But I liked that she was bookish and went to a lovely bookstore. I wish we had a bookstore like that one somewhere around here.

I also really liked Dolly, though I was confused by her love interest and in the end it makes sense, but OMG, at times I just wanted to shake Dolly because she was so down on herself and negative! She seemed like a lovely girl and she should have some faith in herself instead of constantly comparing herself to Laura and Vivian and thinking she came up short. I mean, I get it, we all do it, but it was hard to see her doing it.
Vivian never really grew on me, she was impulsive and made a LOT of bad choices and I'm not really sure about her family dynamic, but she worked with the other two girls.

There's a whole lot of drama going on in Searching For Grace Kelly, far more than I originally expected when picking it up. In the beginning I had some trouble getting into the story, but towards the end of the book I REALLY wanted to know what would happen and I'd actually forgotten about the foreshadowing at the very beginning of the book and so what happened at the end was a bit of a surprise for me. I think what gave this book a little extra was that I realised that my grandma was a young woman in this time period, starting a family and everything, and even though she wasn't an American, this made it a little more special to me.
But while it was interesting, I never really felt that connection to the story or the characters and I was very easily distracted while reading it. I did end up enjoying it and am glad I stuck with it.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mini-Reviews (1): Tempting Mr Weatherstone, The Kiss Before Midnight, Arcana

So ever since June of 2014 I've been failing at writing reviews for the books I read. I know. And because it's been AGES since I read these, I'm just gonna do mini-reviews of them, so as to clear my need-review shelf.

Title/Author: Tempting Mr Weatherstone (Wallflower Weddings #0.5) by Vivienne Lorret
Publisher/Date published: Avon, November 25th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: Penelope is in love with her neighbour Ethan, but he's set in his ways and she's looking for adventure.

So this was an ok read, it didn't have the sparks that I expect when I pick up one of Vivienne Lorret's books, but I liked how Penelope stood her ground and was determined to not just go along with everything. I wasn't really feeling Ethan all that much, he's just SO afraid to change anything that he almost lost out on love and it was just an immobilizing fear that I didn't really understand, which could also be partly because it's a novella and all the deeper workings might need more pages to explain? But they worked together in the end, so I'm good with this.

My rating: 3 stars

Title/Author: The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke
Publisher/Date published: Harper Impulse, November 13th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Plot in one sentence: Molly wants to repeat her kissing with her brother's best friend during the holidays, who hasn't called after they kissed the first time.

This was a pretty cute read, I like books set during the holidays and I really liked Molly's family! The thing that I was shaking my head at a bit was that everyone is an adult in this book and they kept making things unneccesarily hard for themselves. Also, I really didn't get why Jake kept doubting that Molly's family wanted him there, as they kept telling and showing him exactly that. But they were cute together and I always love holiday antics, but they lacked a teeny bit in the chemistry department and it didn't make me feel the feels.

My rating: 3 stars

Title/Author: Arcana by Jessica Leake
Publisher/Date published: Talos, November 11th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Plot in one sentence: A debutante with magical powers, hunted by a secret order after said powers.

I was expecting to love this book, go all out caps over it, because hello, historical fiction combined with paranormal and secret societies?? MY KIND OF BOOK. Only it never really happened and while it was ok, I never felt that spark between us to make me fall for this world. I mean, it was never exciting to me. Also, the main character Katherine had a few too-stupid-to-live moments and that always bothers me. It was a decent read though, but I'd just hoped for a bit more than that.

My rating: 3 stars

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review of A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

Title/Author: A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, January 27th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet — along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward — has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation — and her own intended role in it — forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.


So I was a bit hesitant about starting A Cold Legacy, cause I didn't really enjoy Her Dark Curiosity all that much, but I'm happy to say that this was definitely a WHOLE lot better! I mean, seriously, while I didn't feel the urge to keep on reading with Her Dark Curiosity, A Cold Legacy definitely brought that 'don't-put-me-down' feeling that I love while reading!

So Her Dark Curiosity ended with the gang running away from London so as not to get caught because they'd murdered 3 influential men, and Edward had poisoned himself because he wanted to kill the Beast and took a whole load of cyanide, which has no antidote, so it should have killed him in seconds, right? RIGHT? But as there are a whole lot of medical miracles in this series, it doesn't and everyone arrives at Elizabeth's mansion in the middle of nowhere. And there they meet a whole new set of interesting characters and remember this is based on Frankenstein, so there's something brought back from the dead walking around and OMG IT IS SO CREEPY!! Seriously, I don't want to give away just who/what is the undead object, but I WAS FREAKING OUT BECAUSE HOLY WOW I CANNOT HANDLE THE CREEPINESS OF IT! There was this sense of dread and doom and just inevitable disaster and I LOVED it!

And seriously, I LOVE that Juliet is a scientist and with Elizabeth we have another no-nonsense female scientist and just YES! One thing that bugged me was that there were some inconsistencies with what I know about science, mainly that dead people don't bleed. Seriously, they just don't. Because if blood isn't being pumped around anymore, it stops flowing and when blood stops flowing, it clots. So if you've been dead for a while, you really just don't bleed anymore and it bugged me that they did in this book. Also, there's no point in giving a dead person an injection with medicine, cause again with the no blood flowing, it's not going anywhere and thus not doing anything. But that's just the medical professional in me talking and I felt that this was a mistake that could have easily been caught and edited out.

But aside from this detail, I was REALLY enjoying A Cold Legacy! I loved how there kept being twists and turns and things got even more complicated and Juliet really needed to look into her soul to decide what direction she was going to go with all of it and there was such character growth and she was just a lot easier to relate to than in Her Dark Curiosity. She was treading a fine line between scientist and mad scientist and it was an egde of your seat experience to watch.

So I obviously don't want to spoil anything about the end, but I'm happy with it. It gave me closure and it fit the series as a whole and I just couldn't put it down till it was finished, it was SO good!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review of The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title/Author: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Publisher/Date published: Little Brown/Poppy, January 1st 2010
How I got this book: bought it cause people *stares* kept book pushing it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

So I'm way, WAY late to the party, but at least I joined in, right? Right. So now you can all stop staring me down until I read this, because I did it ok and you were ALL RIGHT so I'll totally let you do an I-told-you-so dance. Go ahead.

Ok, now stop.

Let me just say that I have absolutely no idea why I waited this long to read The DUFF. I mean, love-to-hate romances are MY THING, as are fake relationships and marriages of convenience and pirates and... Wait, I was talking about The DUFF. Let's get back to it.

So The DUFF brought ALL THE FEELINGS!! It was such an emotional rollercoaster and afterwards I was like WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE NOW??? So while that might be a little overdramatic (I know), I was really at a loss of what to do with the rest of my day. I mean, all these intense emotions had nowhere to go except for this review, so excuse me while I flail all over it.

At first I was like OMG Wesley is such a douche!! But then things and Wesley got better and I saw him putting up this douchebag front and being a totally swoonworthy boy and just FEELINGS! SO MANY FEELINGS! I mean, I experienced this hate-to-love thing right along with Bianca and that's what I want from a good romance-y book.

But The DUFF is SO much more than romance. It's Bianca, who is beautifully flawed and has a less than ideal family situation and I just wanted to hug her and tell her that she didn't have to be this strong all the time and that it was ok to trust in someone else. I could totally identify with her looking for ANY way to let off some steam and while it may not have been the best idea ever to go around jumping in bed with a boy who's rumored to have extracurricular activities like this with LOTS of girls, it wasn't the most self-destructive thing she could have done. And I get it. It's a very good way to distract yourself from the problems in your life.

I loved Bianca's friends, they were true friends and I just wished that Bianca had seen how much they loved her and genuinely wanted to know what was going on with her. And I could so relate to Bianca's feeling of being the DUFF, I mean, most people have probably felt like that at some point in their life, right? But really, I've felt like the ugly duckling in a group of friends and it's not a nice feeling. It makes you insecure and question things you'd never question otherwise and OMG it's just not ok. I loved that in the end, Bianca and her friends talked about it and just epic friendship moment, ok?

There was just so much to love about The DUFF, I mean, THE LETTER! OMG, I died. Seriously. I just had all the feeling and not just boy-induced feelings, but friendship feelings and I JUST LOVED IT OK?
So now the movie needs to get released here in Holland, cause MY BODY IS READY!
Also, excuse me while I go plot which Kody Keplinger book I'm going to buy and read next.

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review of Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Title/Author: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, January 28th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island — and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy — though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer — Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.


So, I remember really liking The Madman's Daughter, it was creepy and unique and I loved how there was something off with all the characters. So I was expecting a similar experience with Her Dark Curiosity. I'm sad to say that I didn't really get that.

So Juliet is back in London and obviously both boys turn up at some point, because hello love triangle, you are back too. I felt that Juliet was a little too woe-is-me in Her Dark Curiosity and not really the strong girl I'd gotten to know in A Madman's Daughter. And she really wasn't appreciating the things she had in her life that were really good. I mean, the professor who took her in seemed wonderful and I know she's not like other girls and she doesn't really fit in with society, but just, I don't know, I was just unhappy with her attitude.

The creep-factor was definitely back, as Edward is back as well and his dual personality, the Beast and the boy, is WAY eerie. Also, the whole setting is gloomy, and it's probably also due to my need for fluff and fun reads lately, but it was kinda depressing. I had to push myself to read on and it's really not bad writing, but it just didn't get me excited like The Madman's Daughter did. It could also be that I wasn't a fan of Juliet's choices regarding her love life. I mean, I was going NO WTF ARE YOU DOING??? at one point, which is never a good thing.

But that I even cared enough to yell at her in my head, does mean that I cared. I did care. I do. These characters have wormed their way into my heart and the ending left me like WHOA. Towards the end, I started recognizing Juliet as the girl I'd met in The Madman's Daughter and that's when things picked up and got REALLY CREEPY and also HORRIBLE, but it was way more interesting.

I guess I'm just a little bit disappointed that I didn't like it more, but the ending saved it in a very disturbing way. It was sort of a weird point to end a book though. But I'll pick up A Cold Legacy soon, cause I do need closure.

My rating: 3 stars

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review of Twisted Fate by Norah Olson

Title/Author: Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen, January 20th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When Allyson meets Graham Copeland, the new boy next door, she instantly feels like he’s a kindred spirit — shy and awkward like her, someone who has trouble making friends. It’s impossible to resist having a crush on him.

As usual, her sister, Sydney, sees things differently. In Sydney's mind, Graham's odd personality and secretive past scream psychopath, not sweetheart. Her gut is telling her to stay away from him, and to protect a love-struck Allyson from her own naïveté. But despite her instincts, Sydney is surprised to realize that a part of her is drawn to Graham, too.

And the more Sydney gets to know him, the more she realizes just how right — and wrong — she is about everything.

I was kinda expecting to either have my mind blown or to really dislike this book, but to me, it was neither.

Sydney and Allyson both have a distinct voice, they were similar in some ways, but mostly, they were two very different characters and it was interesting to get to know them. Though I think I might have a slight preference for Sydney, cause she seemed to have a little more common sense and while I kinda like that Allyson wanted to believe the best about people, when it's slamming you in the face that they're not good people some kind of alarm should go off. And Allyson's alarm was malfunctioning or she was ignoring it or whatever but I just wanted to shake her and go like OMG JUST SEE WHAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU!! She had a bit of too stupid to live going on and I very much dislike that quality in a character.

I didn't really like Graham, there was something off about him from the start. I did appreciate that we got a lot of different POVs and this way we also got a glimpse into his head and that was interesting. And a bit like watching a train wreck happen. Or maybe a whole lot like that. There were POVs from pretty much everyone who makes an appearance in the novel and seeing things from different sides was enlightening and it made me clue into the big twist pretty early on. But that was ok, because it added an extra something to the rest of the interactions between the characters.

But aside from that it was an interesting concept, it wasn't all that exciting. Or creepy. I had thought it might be creepy. I was also kinda wondering HOW exactly that twist that I was talking about came to be and WHY, but I never really got any answers and now I'm just left like this and it feels unfinished. I mean, I was sticking around for the unraveling of the big twist and then it never came and I feel a bit cheated out of that.
Also, this book suffers from absent-parent syndrome. Seriously, where are Mr and Mrs Tate? It's mentioned in the book that they are away a lot, but they should be home SOMETIME right? How do they fit into all this?

I think I'd just expected a bit more. It wasn't all that bad, but it wasn't all that good either, so basically I just had a 'meh' feeling throughout most of the book and I kept hoping the end would make it awesome, only it didn't. If you want to read a good YA novel with psychological elements, I'd suggest reading We Were Liars or Pretty Girl-13 instead.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Daisy Update (56)

Wow, last time I did one of these was August 10... That's just a looooong time ago.


So I've been back to blogging these past two weeks and it's been GREAT! I love how I now have a blogging calendar and I'm actually scheduling posts in advance and not just typing everything up at the last minute. It feels really good!
I have been having some bad luck with books, I've DNF-ed 4 books in January so far and just UGH! But on the other hand, I did really enjoy most of the books that I did finish, so there's that. And I've been doing pretty well with my e-ARCs so far, sometimes I move towards that request button and then actually don't click it. Self-control, I has a little bit of it.

In other news, I'm now working in an ER and there's a LOT Of crazy going on there! I mean, it's not really like the action you see on TV shows, but it is a whole lot crazier than working in a general practice, and I'm actually really enjoying it! It's very interesting and we have a couple of interns, I love having interns, they always ask critical questions and just keep you on your toes and it's nice that I can also teach them something. That I feel confident enough that I can actually teach them something, it's a good feeling guys.
All these weird shifts in the ER leave me with a lot of free time at the moment (though there's a hellish week coming up, which will leave me like a zombie quite possibly) and I'm just enjoying spending time at home with the kitty and the boyfriend and all my pretty books! I'm pretty much in a happy place right now.

Last Monday, the boyfriend and I had dinner with the GP who I was training with last year and it was wonderful. I hadn't seen her since September and it felt really weird cause we'd worked closely together for a year and then that part of my residency ended and you just don't see each other anymore and it was lovely to catch up and see her home. And the food was really good! :)

I've been watching a LOT of TV lately, I'm very much addicted to 24 Kitchen, it's just so relaxing to see people cook and I've already tried one recipee from a show and it was SO GOOD! OMG, I'm totally making that again soon! It was a dip for chicken and nacho chips and whatever else you can think of to dip in it, with creme fraiche, spinach, sambal and cheese and just YUM!
I've also started watching Jane, the Virgin and I'm really enjoying it! It's just funny and quirky and at times a little ridiculous and just no-brain-necessary fun. Also, it sorta reminds me of Ugly Betty with all the drama and I have so much love for that show! I should start re-watching it...
And OMG, a friend of mine said Emily Owens MD was WAY better than Hart of Dixie, so I started watching that and then I found out it was cancelled after 13 episodes and I was like WTF??? That show was AWESOME (though not better than Hart of Dixie, TBH, WAAAAADDDDDEEEE) and Micah was SO cute and what the heck was going on with the ending of that last episode?? That was seriously not ok and now I will never know if Emily and Micah would have ended up together and I just have a sad over that series being cancelled, cause I loved it...

One of the guys in the same residency program as I am got married 2 months ago and yesterday night they threw a party to celebrate, so the boyfriend and I went and it was so much fun! We just had drinks and talked with my friends from residency and dancing, and the boyfriend basically doesn't dance normally, so I take advantage of it on the rare occasions that I CAN get him to dance with me :) So today we're both a little tired and lazy and aside from tidying up a bit because the lady who cleans our house is coming tomorrow (OMG someone else cleans my house, it is AWESOME), it's going to be a quiet day. We'll go over to the boyfriend's parents for dinner in a little while, so that means zero effort towards cooking today, yay ;)

I hope you're all having a great weekend as well!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review of The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville

Title/Author: The Duke of Dark Desires (The Wild Quartet #4) by Miranda Neville
Publisher/Date published: Avon, December 30th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours...
Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified — to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation... without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation...
Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn't seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke's relatives is responsible for the death of her family — and take her revenge. She certainly can't afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she's faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she's sworn to kill?

I actually have absolutely no idea why I finished this book. I didn't enjoy it and I just kept struggling on and it took me FOREVER to read it (8 days, it's only 384 pages, I mean, I was busy, but are you freaking kidding me self?). I'm just going to make a list of the things I didn't like, because I don't know how else to be coherent about it at this point.

-Julian and Jane had zero chemistry. I mean, it just seemed like he wanted to seduce her because she was beautiful and she was there and that's it. And basically I didn't understand this couple. I didn't feel it, I was just not into it.

-Except for the moments with one of Julian's sisters, I didn't really like Jane. She was supposed to be this strong person, her hardships having made her strong and I just couldn't see it. She was looking for revenge and I didn't feel that she was looking for the truth of what happened, but just wanted someone to pay with his life. I mean, what happened was horrible, but how about a little investigation into the matter instead of just plotting to kill a man? Also, she has a bit of a too stupid to live moment towards the end, which was highly annoying.

-I really very much disliked Julian's mother. She was one of the worst mom's in fictional history without actually physically abusing her children. Instead, she just abandons them once she's found a new husband. And nobody does anything about this. WTF?

-Julian kinda grew on me in the end, but then Jane doesn't seem to appreciate it and I was like: OMG YOU CAN DO BETTER OK?

-Basically, I was expecting a little more happiness inducing romance and I didn't get it.

I'm sad to say this book wasn't a me-book and I didn't like it. I think I was too brain-dead from the course I was following at the time to make the decision to DNF it, but looking back, I don't really know why I stuck with it.
If you're interested in trying the historical romance genre, I'd recommend anything by Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan or Julia Quinn, you can't go wrong with books by these ladies.

My rating: 1 star

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review of The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Title/Author: The Art of Wishing (The Art of Wishing #1) by Lindsay Ribar
Publisher/Date published: Dial Books for Young Readers, March 21st 2013
How I got this book: got it from my lovely friend Debby as a Secret Santa gift!
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie - he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

Guys, Debby really nailed it with this present for me! Thanks again! I totally adored the cuteness in The Art of Wishing and I just want to hug this book and go awwww cause it was just so sweet and fluffy and JUST A WHOLE LOT OF YES OK?

This is the fourth book I've read in 2015 and 2 of those books I've DNF-ed, so this year is not off to a good start. And then Debby reminded me last week of The Art of Wishing at our book club dinner and I was like YES this needs reading. And it was just what I needed to fall back in love with reading again!

I completely loved Lindsay Ribar's writing style! It's just so engaging and I felt like I was right there in the story along with Margo and Oliver and I just didn't want to stop reading! I LOVE that feeling that you just need to keep going and this was one of those books that just has me smiling while reading it. It was that adorable and funny and just a total feel-good book, even though there is a murderer after Oliver. Which is a pretty dark part, but well, it didn't lessen the adorableness for me.

I really liked Margo, she's talented and smart and the way she struggled with not letting herself be petty in her disappointment over not getting the role she wanted in the musical felt real. Especially with how things develop from there and the performance of the person who actually gets the leading role. She wants to be ok with things and handle them right, but it's not something that comes natural to her and I can empathize with this. I felt for her in her parental situation and I'm not sure how I would have handled it in her stead, I hope there's more about her dealing with this in the sequel.
Also, I kinda loved that Margo's 18 instead of 15 or 16, like most YA heroines and it's actually ok to joke about sex and it seems right for her to start making choices regardless if her parents approve of it or not. I mean, when I was 18 I moved out of my parents' home because I went off to university.

And Oliver. Sweet, lovely Oliver who I just want to hug and watch smile for real and he was just the most adorable boy I've come across in a while ok? I loved how he's genuinely happy when he grants someone a wish and they're happy with the result of it. He's such a giving person and I loved how he loved his waffles and how he and Margo are together. And I totally laughed at how Margo sort of headdesks when she finds out Oliver's age and says she's like 'all those other girls in movies/books'. It was awesome.

Also, genies are just so interesting! I'd tried reading a book about genies/djinni before and every time I'm just disappointed, but this was awesome and I'm wondering what else Lindsay Ribar has in store for us in the next book! Because after that ending I'm not sure where we go from here, but as the next book is already in my possession, I won't have to wait long to find out!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Failed To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at my other blog The Broke and the Bookish

So, like I mentioned in my TTT list at the Broke and the Bookish, this list was way too easy to make. So here's the continuation of that list :)

The (Cute) Contemporaries

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris: IT HAS A PRETEND RELATIONSHIP IN IT!!! HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET??

My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten: this sounds ADORABLE, but I still need to get my hands on a copy.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: so basically everybody seems to love this and I still haven't read it or any other book by Morgan Matson... Daisy fail...

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: this sounds like so much fun! It would be totally mortifying if all my past or actual crushes got letters telling them about my feelings..

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: this seems to be a hit with everyone and I just haven't gotten around to acquiring a copy. But this will change soon-ish!

The Historical Awesomeness

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore: this sounds like such a me-read and REALLY need to read it!

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller: my friend Debby keeps RAVING about this book and it sounds really good, so I'll be reading this soon.

The Paranormal Side of Things

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White: this hasn't gotten a lot of buzz, but it sounds like something I could love and Kiersten White is awesome.

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel: it's a Peter Pan retelling! I need this story in my life!

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I totally loved the first two books in her Hex Hall series (haven't read the third one yet), so I'm excited about this as it combines Belles and magic!

Let me know if you've read any of these and which I should bump up to the top of my TBR list!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Title/Author: The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2) by Graeme Simsion
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, December 30th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they're about to face a new challenge because - surprise! - Rosie is pregnant.
Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he's left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.


I absolutely LOVED The Rosie Project, it's one of the best books I've read in 2014 and one of the most amazing feel-good books that I've read ever. So obviously, I was excited about the sequel, cause while the end of The Rosie Project was perfect, I can't help but want to dive right back in with Don and Rosie! And while I liked it, it wasn't as good as The Rosie Project, but I still really enjoyed this.

So let's talk about the things I liked:
-Don managing to get himself into trouble yet again and getting arrested because of his lack of understanding of the subtleties of communication and people thinking he was a creepy guy staring at kids, while he was just trying to study how parents interact with their children.
-I liked how Don makes new friends in New York and one of those is a rockstar and it's just amazing to see the impact he has on their lives just by being himself.
-Don is still a true friend and is there for both Gene (who is an asshole and unworthy of Don's friendship in my opinion) and Gene's son and is honestly just trying to help their family even though they may not want him to.
-Just Graeme Simsion's writing in general, cause it's intelligent and funny and filled with so much humanity!

But then there were some parts I REALLY didn't like:
-Rosie. I just didn't like her in this book, she was hurtful and irrational and just seemed to give up on Don and their relationship and they were having a baby and I just wanted to shake her and go WTF?? I mean, she KNOWS Don, how can she not give him some time and room to adjust to the idea of becoming a father and just help him along with it instead? I really did not have much sympathy for her.
-Also, she just decided they were going to have a baby? Why is this not addressed in the book? She just stops taking birth control without really talking things through with Don? That's a huge relationship no-no.
-Also the lady from the tuna incident? She was WAY out of line. I really did not like her. Which was probably the point, so yeah, well done.

I felt like Don did all the growing in this relationship and Rosie just stayed the way she was and did her thing and expected him to make all the changes. And then towards the end I got so mad at her because she was just ready to quit basically everything and just WTF?? So that did detract from my enjoyment of The Rosie Effect, cause I felt like Don was giving it his best effort and she wasn't appreciating him.

I still really loved reconnecting with Don and seeing him make his way in New York and deal with his new friends and people on a research project he was part of, it was just wonderful. I just felt like this lacked the spark that was there in The Rosie Project that made it such a perfect read, and I think it's mostly due to me not liking Rosie very much in this one.
Still, if you haven't given these books a try, you really should, they're excellent!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review of Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

Title/Author: Once Every Never (Never #1) by Lesley Livingston
Publisher/Date published: Penguin, July 14th 2011
How I got this book: received it as a gift from the lovely Karin, thank you so much!! :D
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager.

On the surface.

She's smart, but a bit of a slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker, but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes.

Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there's still time, literally, maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every, never.

Guys, I totally adored Once Every Never and it's killing me that I can't get my hands on the sequel Every Never After!!! I was so lucky that I won Karin's giveaway and she let me pick this one, but now I'm DYING for the next book!!

I loved Clare, but I cannot get over the awful thing that is her full name: Clarinet. I mean, really? REALLY? Who names their daughter Clarinet?? That's just not.. I mean, SERIOUSLY? Ok, I just had to get that out of my system.
Clare is a lovely girl who travels to London with her best friend and meets again the boy who she thought was a nerd, but has in 5 years actually grown into his skin and is REALLY hot now! So I thought it was a bit superficial that's she into him now when she wouldn't give him a second glance the last time they met, but oh well, I was probably this superficial as well when I was 17. But she's a true friend and I feel that she grows as a person throughout this novel and everything that she experiences both in the past and in her own time.

And guys, I especially loved the friendship between Clare and Ali! I mean, these two are true friends and not frenemies, they genuinely look out for each other and are teasing each other, but you can feel the love shine through. And Ali is really smart, which is awesome! So I'm so excited that the next book will have her being the MC, now if only I could get it somewhere...

And the boy! Here's a swoony, smart, HOT nerd! I love that Lesley Livingston let Milo keep all of his nerdy qualities, but just had his looks be more droolworthy than they were 5 years ago. I like the moments when he takes charge. I also loved that he's just such an amazingly good guy! He's ready at a moment's notice to help out his cousin and her friend and I just have hardcore mushy feelings for Milo. He's my kind of guy.

So it was fun and at times heartbreaking to see Clare go back in time and discover what exactly was going on and how something that I thought got a lot of attention at the start (and I was wondering why) was actually relevant to the story. I did think that the 'villain' was a bit silly and he could have definitely been developed better. I could absolutely see this being turned into one of those feel-good movies!

I love that Once Every Never led me to a historical figure I know very little about: Boudicca, and I'm excited to do some research and find out more about her! Reading Once Every Never was a lot of fun with a sweet romance!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Made me crave: spinach salad with avocado

Friday, January 9, 2015

Review of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Title/Author: The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, October 1st 2013
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical — most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent — and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie — and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

Guys, I LOVED this book! It was so sweet and funny and just such a feel-good book, I was basically smiling pretty much the whole time I was reading it. I love books that make me smile.

Let me tell you first that I also have a lot of love for The Big Bang Theory and Don Tillman reminds me of Sheldon. And I adore Sheldon's quirks. And Don is actually a more friendly version than Sheldon, he's just also stuck in his routine and doesn't know how to deal with people and people don't know how to deal with him. But really, he's a true friend and a wonderful person and I love him. And he says things like 'In order to prevent further violence, I was forced to sit on him.' I snorted at that one.

I loved getting a glimpse into Don's mind, his brilliant mind, and how he has designed his life and the people he leaves his mark on. I loved how he deals with problems and how it gets him into even more trouble, like the one the quote comes from. He was funny without meaning to and I was just amazed by things like his Standardized Meal System and how it does make a lot of sense, but I wouldn't see myself implementing something like it. And then he goes and makes a questionnaire to find his ideal partner. And it's in the back of the book and it was just awesome.

And then there's Rosie, who is everything Don is NOT looking for in a woman: a smoker, late, vegetarian. She barges into his life and disrupts it and it actually turns out to be a perfect fit (ok, nobody really counts this as a spoiler, right?) and I loved them together! They dance and she makes Don step out of his comfort zone and risk his job to help her find her biological father and I think they just bring out the best in each other. And she doesn't try to change him in big ways, but accepts him, but just asks him to try something different. And it works while he stays true to himself.

I just totally loved the crap out of this book, it was smart, sweet and funny and simply amazing. I had never expected to love it this much, but I did and I'm so happy I decided to pick it up! Do yourself a favor and get in on this action, cause it is one of the best books I read in 2014!

My rating: 5+ stars

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review of Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock

Title/Author: Willowgrove (Hemlock #3) by Kathleen Peacock
Publisher/Date published: Katherine Tegen Books, January 6th 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Willowgrove is Kathleen Peacock's riveting conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy, a dark, romantic, paranormal suspense series that pits friendship against survival, and trust against love.

Ever since Mac's best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy's ex, Jason, have investigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf "rehabilitation" camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is now at an all-time high, and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf.

What makes Mac even more afraid, though, are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on wolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Uncovering the truth about what happened may be the only way for Mac to save everyone she loves and end her nightmares for good.


I remember really enjoying Hemlock when I read it way back when it first came out. I remember thinking how werewolves weren't really my thing, but I was somehow still really liking Hemlock and it had surprised me. But picking up where we left off with that one a couple of weeks ago, first with reading Thornhill and then Hemlock, was a bit disappointing.

I don't mean to say these books were bad, because they're not and I did enjoy the story, but I think I built it up in my head and had all these high expectations that just were not met. Which is probably more my fault than anything the author did. But that's how I experienced this story. Willowgrove is a pretty gloomy read. It's dark and it's a dangerous world for werewolves and their friends/lovers. And it's scary how putting the werewolves in camps and experimenting on them reminds me off what went on during World War II. And you know, considering that we learn HOW werewolves came into existense, it's actually a pretty likely story and I can imagine something like that happening. Though I doubt we'd get werewolves out of it, but hey, who knows.

I like Mac, but not so much that I can see how she has both Kyle and Jason running around risking their lives for her. And a lot of other people as well. I also didn't feel a connection to her, I sometimes didn't understand the choices she made and this made me not be in the story as much as I would have wanted to.

But guys, I know I sound pretty negative and I'm not. Willowgrove and the whole Hemlock series is a decent series. It has some solid writing and an intriguing storyline and it's really something that I enjoyed reading. But I just didn't love it. Not as much as I thought I would. But towards the ending I did find myself wanting to stay awake so I could finish it, just so I'd know how it would end! And there were some dark things that went down in Willowgrove and I was left gaping at some of them, but it was a good ending to the series as a whole.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by my other blog: The Broke and the Bookish

So it's been a while since I did a TTT on my own blog instead of doing the list or collaborating on it for The Broke and the Bookish! But here goes:

1. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: this just sounds like my kind of fantasy and I love the cover and I just expect EPICNESS ok?

2. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira: following advice from your favourite novels to get the boy you want to fall for you? SOUNDS AWESOME!

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I am in love with this cover! And I hear good things about it from one of my fantasy loving friends, so I'm definitely in.

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: a secret society. Racing across Europe. Masked balls. DO I NEED TO GO ON?

5. Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout: I do also read contemporary ;) And this sounds super cute!

6. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas: a sleeping beauty retelling, OBVIOUSLY I'm in!

7. The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch: this sounds EPIC and I love the idea of promises bound by knots and it's got a blurb by Robin Hobb, so I'm just gonna read this and hopefully love the crap out of it.

8. The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi: this has the potential to be utterly heartbreaking.

9. One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin: I love a good tomboy story and this sounds like it good make for some good fluffy entertainment and I need this in my life.

10. Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer: a book about friendship and second chances that I think could be really good!

So that's it for me, I just realised that I don't know all that much about debut novels for 2015, any you'd recommend adding to me TBR list?

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Belated Happy New Year and Goals for 2015 and Such

Hi guys! It's been a while. I guess that's kinda been my standard opening for about 6 months now, I've seriously been slacking on blogging.

But: HAPPY NEW YEAR! I know it's a bit late, but not any less heartfelt because of that. I hope all your dreams and goals will be realised this year and just lots of happiness for everyone!

Lookng Back on 2014

Bloggingwise: I completely failed. Especially during the last couple of months. And I would like to blame this on having zero time for blogging, but actually, I've had more time, but just every time I opened up a window to start a post, I was like 'meh' and drawing a blank and then I just got back to either watching one of my series on TV or reading or whatever I'd rather be doing at the moment. So I'm pretty behind on reviews, I have the impressive number of 78 books that still need a review that I've read in the last year. Go big or go home right? ;)
So I have been reading lots of review copies, but failing to post a review still doesn't really make it a success.
Also, I've been failing at commenting on other people's blogs.

Reading: I did pretty well as far as reading goes, I read 142 books in 2014, which is exactly the same number as in 2013 and considering I had 2 whole months off in 2013, I think I did pretty well this year. I've been trying to read more new-to-me authors and I've been looking into somewhat older fantasy books instead of the shiny new releases, because I want to know my favourite genre better and the books that have shaped it. Book club has forced me to step out of my comfort zone a bit at times, which was fun.

Personal Life: 2014 wasn't always an easy year for me, but it was full of good changes.
-We moved to a pretty new house which actually has room for my books and I am now the proud owner of a library, which is AMAZING and I can just sit on the floor of that room for hours and stare at my shelves. It also has a garden, which is just the best thing in the summer. And FLOOR HEATING, which is the best invention EVER as I'm not so cold all the time anymore. I'm just very thankful for my beautiful new home and while moving and selling the apartment we used to live in was pretty stressful, we're very happy with were we are now.

-I decided in February that I wanted to cut back on the hours I work, when it was time for the weekend, I was exhausted and didn't feel like doing stuff other than sit on the couch and I just felt like I didn't have time to do all the other things I love and would generally be a happier person if I worked a day less. And starting in September, I did just that and it's been wonderful. For 3 months, I had every Friday off and it just felt like a mini-vacation every week. I'm now working in the ER and my schedule is crazy, some weeks I work 8-16 hours and other weeks over 70 hours, with night shifts and weekend shifts and just no routine whatsoever in my schedule. But as I sometimes have 5 days in a row off now, I think I can figure it out.

-The boyfriend and I went to Morocco and Rome on vacation and both were amazing in their own way! It was also just nice to get away from everything for a while and just be together and enjoy life.

-I love how blogging has brought me my book club ladies and I'm so thankful to have Daphne, Debby and Mel in my life! These meet-ups once a month are one of my favourite nights of the month and they're just my kind of people. It's wonderful to have fellow book lovers in my life that I get to meet and geek out with and eat yummy food with and at times make a lot of noise with and scare the other restaurant patrons (a Secret Santa gift exchange will do this to you). Love you ladies!

-We got a cat! Our pretty kitty Zoë has been with us since August and she just makes our house a home. I love having her around and cuddling with her and just being a crazy cat mom taking ALL the pictures:

So while I was pretty stressed out a lot of times in 2014, mostly due to stuff related to my residency and the move and things with my family, a lot of good stuff happened and know I'm very blessed to have amazing people in my life and a wonderful home and a job that I love, sometimes it's just hard to actually feel all of that, but I'm getting to the point where I'm more relaxed and can just enjoy it.

Goals for 2015

-Get back to blogging. I've been slacking so much lately and this needs to change. I want to bring my need-review shelf back to below 10 books at all times, so I'll be trying to clear out the ones I still have on it with mini-reviews soon.

-Be a better blogger friend. I've also been failing at reading and commenting on other people's posts and I need to devote more time to being part of the blogosphere again!

-Request less on NetGalley and Edelweiss. I am so bad at control when it comes to hitting that request button on shiny books! But I really need to cut back on these, because of my next goal:

-Read the books I bought myself or received as gifts. I feel guilty when I take the time to read my own books because I have so many review copies and I really shouldn't, because I bought those with my own money or other people bought them for me and also I just want to read them because I was excited enough about them to shove money at a bookseller to get them and how else can I justify having them in my home and buying even more?

-Read some backlisted books besides all the shiny new releases. There's a reason there's so much love for some of those fantasy books that were published years ago and I want in on this.

-Continue/finish series. I'm so bad at actually sticking with a series once I've started it and I have an irrational fear of reading the last book in a series and I want to conquer this.

-Cut a teensy bit back on my book-hoarding tendencies. I have over 600 books that I haven't read that are sitting on my shelves, I think I need to cut back a little on buying them (completely is just not a realistic goal) and especially because I have 25 series that I haven't started the first book from, but I do own the whole series.

-Really live in the moment and not constantly worry about things I need to do or what could go wrong, but really just enjoy the good things while they're happening.

-Read a couple of books that have been turned into series/movies, so I can watch those and get in on the awesome. Also: start watching Downton Abbey. I think this will be a new addiction once I've started it.

For a girl who isn't really into making New Year's resolutions, I think this is a pretty big list ;) What are some of your goals for this year?