Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm moving

... and nope, I do not mean a blog-move from Blogger to Wordpress.
I mean I'm finally, after a 4 month return to my parents' house and living out of half-unpacked boxes, moving into my new apartment :) I am soooo relieved, even if I can only stay there for 10 months!

My sister will very likely follow me a few weeks later and then we'll be room mates, which is great because we get on very well (and it means I don't have to pay the whole rent by myself).

Now why is this relevant for the blog?

I'm busy. I have to pack up all my new books and some of the old ones I unpacked so my sister could read them. I have to move all my furniture and boxes. I have to set up internet etc, clean, decorate...
To make things short: I will be very busy. So I'm taking the week off from blogging. Hopefully I'll be back by next Friday, I might even post a review during the week if I get around to it. But I don't have the time to participate in memes and return comments etc.

I'm really looking forward to returning to blogging in my new home! See you all then :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Nearly Gone, by Elle Cosimano

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick:
Release date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Format: Hardcover, 388 pages

Goodreads description
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

Serial killer, trailer park, trusting the wrong person - you got me interested. Also, she can taste emotions and figure out codes. If the cover is anything to go by, this will be nailbitingly suspenseful and bloody. Also, have you noticed that tagline on it? "All the numbers add up to one killer... herself." Yup, I want this.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: best sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week is about the best sequels ever!

I love sequels. I even tend to like second books in a series best, which is apparently unusual (and will be the subject of another post soon). For now, I'll give you ten of my favorite sequels :) I'm sure there's something glaringly missing. This post would be so much easier to put together if I had all my books lined up on shelves instead of in boxes in my parents' basement >.<

Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas
Oh my god, this book. If I still had some issues with Throne of Glass, they disappeared with this book. It was simply brilliant. The characters, the world building, the suspense, the romance... spot on!

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare
Also called the heartbreak book. It made me cry at 2am on Christmas Eve when I finished it. I'm not usually a fan of love triangles but the Will-Tessa-Jem one worked really well because it's balanced and not weighed down by buckets of jealousy. All three love each other so much and it's just... unfair.

The Demon's Covenant, by Sarah Rees Brennan
I really loved being in Mae's head! The plot, the action, the set-up, the make-outs... my favorite book of the trilogy :)

The Golden Lily, by Richelle Mead
So far my favorite of this spin-off. Sidney grows so much over the course of the novels, and I also really enjoyed Adrian's development and how the two grew closer.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin
I read book one in a day and didn't have much longer for this one. I love Noah. I love Mara. I love her brothers. The writing is sharp, and the mindfuck at the ending left me like o.O The waiting for book three is killing me...

If I Die, by Rachel Vincent
Because the feelings and the wonderful quotes and Tod and Kaylee. Ahem. The whole series is amazing but I think this one is my favorite. I reviewed it here.

Shadow Bound, by Rachel Vincent
I really liked Kori, and I thought it was strange (and a really smart move on Vincent's part!) to get a completely different perspective of the main characters in the first book. The world building is just so tight and the stakes only got higher... loved it!

The Eternity Cure, by Julie Kagawa
One of my most anticipated sequels of the year, and definitely worth the wait! I love how Julie combines a great vampire novel with the dystopian genre, and that she's not afraid to show the gory parts. My review's here.

Red Glove, by Holly Black
"Curses and cons. Magic and the mob." I think by far you all know how much I love this trilogy. It's heartbreaking, thrilling, full of amazing cons, unfavorable odds, twists, unreliability... just wow. I loved all the books, but I think this one I liked best. You can read my review of book three here.

Dance of the Red Death, by Bethany Griffin
The atmosphere, the way things turned out, Araby, and Will made this book for me. I really didn't know what to expect after the way book one ended and knowing there would only be one sequel, but I ended up loving it. You can read my review of book one here and book two here.

Runners-up: At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost, Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh.

What do you think of my choices? And what are some of your favorite sequels?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: Talented Queens and Heirs Next Door

I had a great week this time around! I've been waiting for my copy of Lola to arrive for weeks, same with Oath Bound :)


Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Oath Bound, by Rachel Vincent
Under the Dome, by Stephen King

I'm watching the UdD series at the moment and really enjoying it! But only from reading the first 20 or so pages of the book I've already realized that they changed a lot of things... I'll see which version I like better when I really dive into the book.
I ordered Lola from ebay because I really wanted the paperback with the old cover, and when I realized it wasn't happening I went to see where I could get the old hardback for cheap :P It shipped all the way from New Mexico to Switzerland... and it was still cheaper.


The Runaway Queen, by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The Midnight Heir, by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Talented, by Sophie Davies
Crewel, by Gennifer Albin

As you can see, I went on a Bane Chronicles reading spree...I've already read the three episodes and liked them better than the first one! Herondales <3 *ahem*

Anyway, what did you get in the past week?

Bookish Superlatives Survey

Jamie from the Perpetual Pageturner has come up with a new survey! Remember the A-Z book survey? Well this new one looks like fun too! Click the link to get to her post and participate :)


Most Likely To Change The World
Tris from Divergent. She's got the courage, the fight, and the principles.

Cutest Couple
This is actually really hard! What does cute mean anyway? There are so many couples I love but whether they're cute is another story. Hm. Maybe Tod and Kaylee from the Soul Screamers series? I also really like Bram and Nora from Dearly, Departed. Yeah I know, we're talking about cute and I give you zombie romance...

Class Clown
Maybe Jamie from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Or Alaska from Looking for Alaska. She sure knows how to pull off a prank. Or no wait! Puck, from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Puck gets the title.

Most Likely To Become Famous For Their Athletic/Musical/Artistic Abilities
Music: Bailey from Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols.

All Around Good Person
Eddie from Vampire Academy / Bloodlines. He looks out for everyone.

Biggest Flirt
Adrian Ivashkov. Kaidan Rowe. Those guys know how to get a girl's number... 

Most Likely To Be Fought Over 
Noah Shaw from the Mara Dyer series. I can also imagine a lot of people fighting over St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.

Mostly Likely To Be Friends Forever
Maybe Donna and Navin from Karen Mahoney's Iron Witch series. Or Emma and Kaylee from Soul Screamers. But I'm missing a really great friendship team, I just know it...

Most Likely To Have Their Own Reality Show 
Mimi from the Blue Bloods series. She's definitely conceited enough to have cameras following her everywhere from shopping to her stylist to her parties.

Most Unique
Varen Nethers. I'm not quite sure what he even is exactly but I've never read anyone like him.

Most Likely To Survive An Apocalypse
Katniss from the Hunger Games. That girl would survive just about anything.

Most Likely To Be A Villain
Jesse from Michelle Davidson Argyle's The Breakaway. He already is a criminal but I think he might as well rise in their ranks...
Or Lila from the Curse Workers series. She's a crime family heiress and one badass girl.

Biggest Wallflower
Um... Simon from The Mortal Instruments before he turns into a vampire?

Most Likely To Break Your Heart
Will Herondale. He broke it very badly. Or Noah from the Mara Dyer series. I'm sure he's broken his share of hearts twice over.

Most Changed
Mac from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. Starts out as some sort of barbie, becomes one badass fighter against the fae.

Most Likely To Get Arrested
I know so many smartass characters, why won't none of them come to mind?!
Maybe Beth from Dare You To by Katie McGarry.

Self Proclaimed God/Goddess
Jace from The Mortal Instruments. I like the guy, but that ego...
Or Daemon from Obsidian.

Best Person To Bring Home To Mom & Dad
Erm... maybe Hale from Heist Society. You know, he may be a thief but he's also a filthy rich heir and he knows how to behave in polite society and charm people.


Most Likely To Make You Cry 
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. Made me cry sooo hard!! Will, Jem, Tessa. What a knot you make.
Oh and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I was book-hungover, and that's not usual with me.

Dares To Be Different (in world, plot, storytelling, etc.) 
In storytelling: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. I also find Holly Black's books to be different and courageous in what she depicts. She also often features LGBT characters.
Brenna Yovanoff's The Replacement was also unlike anything else I've read.

Best Dressed (pretty cover!)
Oh my god, only one?! Anyway, I'm still impressed by this one.

Most Likely To Make You Swoon 
I'm not a swooner generally but some of the things Tod Hudson says to Kaylee certainly come close... so maybe If I Die? It's likely to make me cry too though...

Loveliest Prose 
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. Beautiful, beautiful writing. New descriptions and somehow... condensed. I also love all the E.A. Poe references.

Most Likely To Be A Favorite Of 2013
Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
April Genevieve Tucholke - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Michelle Hodkin - The Evolution of Mara Dyer

I've read a lot of amazing books this year!!

Most Likely To Change The World (or change your life)
Divergent had a very big impact on me concerning who I am and who I want to be.
As for contemporary books, I can recommend Just One Day by Gayle Forman.

Book You Are Most Likely To Keep Putting Off

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Shocking, isn't it? But I'm not sure I'll ever read it. I know I'm not ready for it. I don't feel like opening old wounds, and I know Green's writing well enough to know he'd make me feel it.

Most Likely To End Up As Christmas Gifts For Everyone You Know
Me giving other people books... not necessarily a good idea ^^''
But I think Pushing the Limits or Shadow and Bone would make fairly good presents.

Most Likely To Be Thrown
Does that mean from my collection?
I have an ecopy of Beautiful Disaster that I won. If it was print, I'd gladly throw it out. It glorifies are very unhealthy relationship and the plot is all over the place.

Most Likely To Be Reread More Than Once
The Mara Dyer series. Throne of Glass.  The Infernal Devices series. The Fever series. Loads and loads of books... I really wish I had the time!

Most Likely To Make You Read Through An Earthquake Because It’s THAT Engrossing 
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was extremely engrossing!

Most Likely To Be Passed On To Your Children
My editions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, illustrated by Alan Lee. They're very beautiful!

Most Likely To Break Your Heart Into A Million Pieces
Isn't that very similar to the make you cry question? Take those from there and add Black Heart by Holly Black to it. It was a great conclusion to the trilogy but it did break my heart at points.

Most Likely To Brighten Up Your Day
Losing It by Cora Carmack. It was a lot of fun! Oh, or Croak by Gina Damico. Funniest novel involving reapers ever XD

Do you agree/disagree with my choices? So often I felt like if you'd have asked me at any other time, I would have come up with much better answers...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Discussion: Do characters/MCs need to be relatable?

As the title says: do you need to be able to relate to a character or like them in order to enjoy a book and form a connection to it?
This is a question I ask myself quite often and that arose a few days ago because I was reading Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. Regina, the protagonist, is someone I both feel sympathy for (she is first almost raped and then ridiculed, outcast and bullied by her former friends) and despise (she used to bully a lot of other people at her school and since I've been a victim of bullying myself, that makes it hard to like her).

However, I think that tension makes her an even more interesting protagonist. I can connect to her and the story, even though I've never been even close to her actual situation or in the kind of toxic girl-group relationship she is stuck in. I enjoyed the tension between these two sides of her and her struggle against herself and her peers.

So in general I think being able to relate to a character is not all that important to me. I don't even have to like them. It just has to be an interesting, complex character. For instance, I don't think many people like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, but that doesn't mean he isn't interesting or that the book is bad. In some cases I find myself reading the book to a great part because of the villain (or maybe-villain).

Still, I often read in reviews that people liked a book/character because they could relate to him/her, or that they didn't like a book because they couldn't connect with/relate to/like the protagonist. I think there's also a pressure on authors to write this type of character, and sometimes I feel like it shows. For instance, the character is introduced/constructed in such a way that I feel like the author wanted him/her to be as similar to the anticipated reader as possible so they'd like him/her. If it's that transparent, it actually makes me dislike the character. It somehow feels insincere and  like I'm being sucked up to.

Maybe the fundamental question is what you're reading for. Do you want to find characters with traits that are similar to you, want to find someone who is 'like' you? Or do you want to disappear into a story populated with people who are completely different from yourself? I tend to find difference/otherness/strangeness more interesting than similarity/sameness. But that's just me, and it's not absolutely always the case. I guess in the end it comes down to the quality of the writing.

What's your opinion? Do characters need to be relatable? Likeable? Morally upstanding? Is that necessary for you to connect to the story? Or are there other elements that are more important to you in a book? I'd really like to know :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Perfect Ruin, by Lauren DeStefano

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick:

Release date: October 3, 2013
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

Goodreads description:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy: On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge.

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, he is the boy being blamed for the murder, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find – or whom she will lose.

First off, can I say how much more I LOVE the UK cover?! The city is actually on it! And it doesn't look like a Middle Grade book!
Anyway, back to the facts. I loved Wither. The writing was fantastic and elaborate. I wasn't as blown away by Fever, but I'm still going to read Sever when it's out in the right edition. I'm really curious about this new Dystopian series! I've never read a book set in a city in the sky. I'm also interested in seeing how DeStefano will handle the suicide issue that I think is hinted at.
What do you think of Perfect Ruin? Does it sound like your cup of tea? Are you a fan of the Chemical Garden trilogy?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Fall 2013 TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week is all about the books on our Fall TBR lists, be they books actually released around now or just books we are planning to read. My list is a mixture of both.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black
I can't believe I still haven't bought it! I'm so busy >.< But she's one of my top authors and I've been waiting for it for almost 1.5 years! I need it. I loved the world of the original short story.

Allegiant, by Veronica Ross
Obvious, isn't it?

The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
I've already borrowed it from the same friend who lent me book one, but I'm holding off because once I start there's no way I'm getting anything else done until I finish... and it's a big book. But I don't think I can wait too long because I'm going through withdrawal.

A Darkness Strange and Lovely, by Susan Dennard
Also on my stack of not-yet-read books. Also one of the next lovelies I'll get to. I can't wait to meet Eleanor and Daniel again!

Stray Souls, by Kate Griffin
This is a spin-off of sorts of her Madness of Angels series, so I had to have it. I love her writing style and the way she suffuses a supposedly ordinary urban setting with magic.

A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
Because I always thought this book sounded amazing and I've never read one of her books before. It's also on the stack. I have quite a big stack of unread books.

The Falconer, by Elizabeth May
It's out next week I think and how could I not love a Scottish noble girl going out at night to hunt down and kill fairies in the Victorian age?!

The Way of Shadows, by Brent Weeks
I have a boxset of the entire trilogy (I'd been looking at it for at least 2 years before buying it) and I want to start it soon because... assassins.

Rogue, by Gina Damico
I LOVED the first two books in the trilogy! They were so funny XD Also, I can't resist reaper books.

The Fiery Heart, by Richelle Mead
This comes out in November and I don't know if that's still Fall or already Winter? Whatever. I want it. It has Adrian POV!! And the ending of Indigo Spell was o__O I can't see this going well, but I can't look away either.

 Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano, Premediated by Josin L. McQuein

What do you think of my reading list? And what do you have on your TBR?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

Relase date: March 27, 2007
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 668 pages

Goodreads description:
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

The following review is based on a copy I first gave to a friend and which she then read, loved and basically bullied me into borrowing, reading, and loving in return. I thank her for it :)

How do I start this review? There is no way to really bring across the epicness of this story. None. The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece of storytelling and a unique world filled with fantastic magical concepts and memorable characters that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I don’t even want to tell you too much about it because it would just keep you from experiencing it for yourselves. Here's a taste:

"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the city of Trebon.  I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me."

The story starts out in a wayside inn, but it’s soon obvious that its owner is no ordinary innkeeper. Kvothe is a multilayered, complex character, and there is a big difference between the older Kvothe of the frame narrative and the younger, more idealistic and passionate Kvothe of the unfolding story – his biography of sorts, if you will. I loved reading about how he grew up with a troupe of travelling folk and how his acting and music remained such a big part of him even after tragedy struck early in his life. His growth and his struggle made me immerse himself completely in the story and after a somewhat slower start, I just couldn’t stop reading anymore.

When I said that this novel is a masterpiece of storytelling, I meant that a large part of this story is made up of other stories. It’s not just one story, it’s a whole web of stories that I think will eventually have a connection to one another. And it’s not just the content of the stories, it’s the way they’re told. The setting, the voice, the feeling that you are given a glimpse of something ancient and amazing. The tension between ‘before’ and ‘after’.

I enjoyed the concept and rules of the magic in this series immensely. The world building was revealed gradually and I loved learning about it alongside Kvothe. There is no info-dumping and you have to piece quite a lot of things together on your own. The depth of it, the languages, the places, the sense of a past, elevated it to the likes of The Lord of the Rings for me. That is not a comparison I make lightly.

The University, where Kvothe eventually goes to study, was an amazing setting of old buildings, quirky characters, friends, enemies, and adventures. And, of course, eventually also some romance. I’m going to let you explore that place when you get there but let’s just say that it was my favorite part of the story. Kvothe has an remarkable mind and while he’s older than his years in some ways, he was very inexperienced in other areas and that made for an interesting balance.

The greatest strength of the novel by far is the writing. It felt very fresh and somehow familiar in at the same time. It reminded me of the stories I used to read in my early teens. Rothfuss really is a gifted wordsmith and that’s what really brought the world and characters to life for me and made me care about what happened to them. He can write beauty and he can write despair in a way that is honest and heartfelt and brought tears to my eyes more than once. When he describes the sound of music, you hear it and it touches your heart. When he weaves a visual description, you see the world with new eyes. When someone hurts, you ache for them.

So, in case you still haven’t realized: if you don’t own this book, run the next book store and buy it immediately. Read it. Let it whisk you away to a different world, go breathe in the magic. The size of The Name of the Wind may seem intimidating, but believe me – you won’t want it to end! I have the sequel,The Wise Man’s Fear, in my room but I’ll have to wait a while before I start it or I will never get anything done for my university classes. Also, it will make the wait for book 3 shorter.

Have you read The Name of the Wind? What did you think? Are you also anxious for book three?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Celebration giveaway! INT

Hey guys! This post is WAY overdue! I originally wanted to do a giveaway in mid-June because that was my blog's one year blogoversary. But due to a case of credit-card fraud mixed with being hacked and having to format my harddisc while also needing to meet a deadline for a paper... yeah, it didn't happen.

But this week a mix of things came together and it's about time! 1) I reached 45,000 pageviews! That might not seem like a lot to some of you but for me it's a pretty big deal. 2) I finally got a banner and I looove it! :D and 3) I also made a blog button based on the same design. You can grab the code in the right sidebar. In addition to that, I also got a new set of social media buttons. The Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are more about other stuff I'm into than strictly about books, but a lot of it is bookish anyway because that's just who I am ;)

I also want to change things around a bit generally and find new types of posts I could do to generally make things a bit more interesting and fun. What would you like to see? I'm open for suggestions. Should I embarrass myself by doing a vlog? Should I try to do more author interviews? Do you have topics you'd like to have a discussion about? Let me know in the comments!

All of this together is reason enough for a giveaway! As always, it's open internationally and the winner's prize will be ordered from The Book Depository.

Below is a selection of books I've read in the past year and really really loved. I definitely recommend them! However, you can also pick another book up to 10$.

  • One winner can choose one of the books listed above or another up to 10$ (as seen from my location)
  • Open internationally provided The Book Depository ships to you
  • Only one entry per person/household
  • If you cheat, I will disqualify and delete all your entries. Make sure to read what to put in the rafflecopter box carefully! Writing 'done' or copying the message of the tweet does NOT count! If I say I want the link, then please copy-paste the link.
  • I check all entries BEFORE I choose a winner
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, after that time frame I will pick a new winner (seriously, use a rafflecopter email that you actually check!)
  • You must be at least 13 years old
  • I am not responsible for books lost in the mail. Once I've put in the order, I am no longer accountable for what happens to the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway