Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Insanity, by Susan Vaught

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: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardcover, 300 pages

Goodreads description:
Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing....When the dead husband of one of Forest's patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.

With her deep knowledge of mental illness and mental institutions, Susan Vaught brings readers a fascinating and completely creepy new book intertwining the stories of three young people who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.

I love how creepy this one sounds! It's perfect for the season ;) The cover image is haunting, and I love stories set in old hospitals or asylums. The Devil's agent makes it even more intriguing. February is suddenly very far off...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: scariest looking book covers

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.

Hey guys! This week's topic is supposed to be about scary book covers, but to be honest I don't know if any of my picks are downright scary. I think it's closer to creepy or ominous. But whatever, I really like them! They're in no particular order.

Girl of Nightmares, by Kendare Blake
While the cover for the first book is also scary, this one is even more so. Anna is reaching out... to Cas? The reader? To be pulled out of hell? To pull you in? And do you see those fiery demons at the bottom reaching for her leg?

Lost Souls, by Poppy Z. Brite
Now this is definitely not YA. But if you want some early 90s feeling with vampires who are bloody monsters, some voodoo, and intriguing characters and writing, you should go for it! It's very explicit though.

Asylum, by Madeleine Roux
I haven't read it (yet) but it looks and sounds awesomely creepy! The picture looks like an old, worn-off photographs (there are photos in the book) or a tapestry that has been peeled off to reveal another layer. It reminds me a bit of the photographs that Francesca Woodman did inspired by Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters
Creepy, ghostly, ghastly, amazing. It's a wonderful story, but there were moments when I seriously felt a bit paranoid and very alone.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Genevieve Tucholke
The cliffs, the waves, the pines, the figures. I really like it. It's dark and romantic, but there's a definite sense of impending danger. It suits the story very well.

Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig
Again, definitely not YA! Lots of cussing, violence, sex. Which is perfectly okay for a horror novel. This cover isn't just awesome graphically - look at it more closely (make it bigger) and you can spot tons of tiny details in there that are from the story. Yes, a lighthouse, motel signs, hands... the more you look, the more you see.

Pretty When She Dies, by Rhiannon Frater
I admit I haven't read it yet, but I own it. What makes it creepy to me is mostly the colors, enhanced by the teeth and smeared lipstick/blood. It's simple but effective because it makes it clear that this is a vampire novel but that the focus won't just be on some sappy romance.

The Drowned Forest, by Kristopher Reisz
This one isn't out yet but the cover and description (girl jumps into pond and never resurfaces... but something else does) make me anticipate goosebumps!

Fiendish & The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff
She is blessed by the cover fairy, isn't she? These too aren't openly scary but definitely ominous and haunting. I loved The Replacement (never mind that it tore my heart out) and I hope Fiendish will be among my favorites as well once I've read it :)

This is it! I think there are most definitely scarier covers out there, but I like it if they're still somewhat aesthetic and I wanted it to be mostly books I've actually read. What do you think? And please link me to your post! I want to find some new scary books :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: Faking Awakenings at the Hotel Dumort

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

This week was ebooks only for me, which is good because I have too many print books as it is...


The Rise of the Hotel Dumort, by Cassandra Clare & Maureen Johnson
The Truth about Faking, by Leigh T. Moore
The Selection, by Kiera Cass

The Selection is a book I've been looking at and debating whether or not to buy for about two years, so when the ebook was on sale I decided that's a sign. As for the Hotel Dumort, I really enjoy the Bane Chronicles books and I think they're getting better with each installment! Number 3 and 4 were my faves so far (Herondales, duh), let's see how I like the 5th one.


The Awakening, by Christy Dorrity

This one was free on amazon on Friday, if you're lucky it still is.

That's it from me. I haven't had much time to read this week, and I think that's only going to get worse in the next few months. I have a lot of work in front of me with my master thesis (which I'm planning to write in half of the usually alotted time) and finsihing up my courses. But the master thesis means I'll get to read fantastic literature/sci-fi of the 1880s/90s as well as steampunk of the 1980s and today, because I'm doing kind of a comparison. So maybe you'll get reviews of books you don't usually see around, and that could be interesting ;)

What do you think of my haul? Have you read any of them? Also, link me up to your latest haul :)

Discussion: 'clean' books?

So... I hope I'm not stepping on too many toes here. But Kelly from Effortlessly Reading recently made a post about cussing on your blog (even words like 'damn' or 'hell') and that got me thinking about YA and what kind of content is acceptable, not just on blogs but in the books themselves.

Sometimes I see books advertised as 'clean' fiction or clean YA, or blogs as clean or family friendly. And somehow that rubs me the wrong way. I suppose 'clean' here refers mostly to issues related to sex, language, or drug abuse and the like. I don't know what exactly it includes because I was never all that interested.
On the one hand, I get it. There are quite a lot of bloggers who are mums and don't want their kids to stumble across a certain type of content in books or on the internet, so to them 'clean' signals 'safe', I suppose. While I understand the sentiment of wanting to 'protect' your children, I can't help associating the label 'clean' with 'fake'.

It makes me think of stories featuring teens or people in general that just don't seem real. People cuss. People drink. People have sex, also some (though by far not all) teens. It's simply a fact of life. People cuss when they get angry. People do stupid things. There are teens in terrible, abusive situations (alcoholic/abusive parents or boyfriends, peer pressure, groups that aren't good for them) and the idea that their stories, their voices and lives, are somehow unclean and shameful makes me really angry. It's like they are not worthy of being heard or understood. It's people looking away because something is ugly and incongruent with the way they want to look at the world.

I think these books especially are really important! The world isn't white picket fences and happy families. There are teens in horrible and abusive types of situations, and they should have the possibility of finding people like themselves in books and maybe gaining hope by reading about these characters' struggles and feeling like they're not alone. I'm thinking of books like Pushing the Limits or Eleanor and Park as well as a lot of Ellen Hopkins' or Laurie Halse Anderson's work.

I'm not saying there should be loads of drug use and explicit sex scenes in YA, but sometimes the author's agenda is just so obvious when there are lengthy/preachy contrived discussions between teens in the books about how it's better to wait or how some girls are so slutty (because it's okay when guys do the same thing, right? *eyeroll*). Sometimes there are also religious overtones, and that's just something that I personally have a problem with. I don't mind reading about a character who is a believer, but please don't try to moralize me or convert me or otherwise shove your beliefs down my throat.

I also don't think that by trying to keep your kids away from 'unclean' books, you are protecting them. The idea that kids don't come into contact with these issues in real life and at school is an illusion. And if they really are that sheltered, I think it would be important to at least have read about those things in novels. One day, these kids will enter the real world woefully unprepared.

I could go on a bit longer about this subject and open a bunch of new cans of worms, but I think I'll leave it at this.
What do you think about the topic of 'clean' books? Have you read any that were advertised this way? What was your experience? Am I being unjust or prejudiced? Am I misunderstanding the agenda? I'd really love to get some opinions here!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Fiendish, by Brenna Yovanoff

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

I actually wanted to highlight it last week, but suddenly there was no more time so there was no post. I'm really really excited for it though!

This week's pick:
Release date: June 26, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardover, 352 pages

Goodreads description:
Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

I loved loved loved Brenna Yovanoff's The Replacement and I'm determined to read all her novels! This one here sounds perfect for me. I love haunted house movies and all things creepy, and I know how well Yovanoff can create this small-town atmosphere where everyone is sort of in the know but no one talks about it. Also, that cover *stares*
What do you think of my pick? Have your read any of the author's other books? And what did you choose to highlight today?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book release spotlight & Giveaway: Discovery, by Brina Courtney

Hey guys :) Today I'm shining a spotlight on Discovery, a YA paranormal with witches that's releasing today! Below you can find more info on the book and author as well as some quotes and a giveaway :)

Discovery- FINAL

Nine months ago, Teagan Matthews' boyfriend disappeared and took her sense of stability with him. But when the opportunity to live with her aging grandmother in Salem arises, she decides it's time to get on with her life. A new home, new job, and new friends are adding up to a beautiful summer...

 ...until a young girl's body shows up one night in town, wearing a pentagram necklace exactly like Teagan's.

Now a guy, looking remarkably like her missing boyfriend, has arrived in Salem along with a mysterious stranger, who may have some answers that Teagan has desperately been searching for. Teagan must now decide who to trust. It's a matter of life... and her death.
Discovery Teaser Image

Discover Teaser 1


To celebrate the release of Discovery Brina Courtney is giving away a pentagram bracelet.  Please note: this giveaway is for US residents only.  Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Brina Courtney


Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She’s spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Get To Know Me: some facts and some fiction

Hello there... It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts! July, I think. So this time it'll be a quick update about the goings-on in my life and how they've influenced (and might continue to influence) this blog, followed by a short story I wrote for my creative writing class a couple weeks ago. Read it if you want. Or don't. It's your call. If you have constructive criticism, it's very welcome :)

The facts
The past half year or so, or actually nearly all of 2013, haven't exactly been the 'time of my life'. I knew I'd have to leave my old apartment (a room in a luxury hotel turned abandoned turned asylum-seeker housing turned abandoned and then taken over by squatters who were in turn chased out so it could be turned into cheap apartments for students) because it would, once more, be transformed back into a 5 star hotel (good luck with that, by the way...). It was my first apartment out of my parents' house, and I knew I'd have a hard time finding something similar when it comes to size, location, and prize. The apartment market in Zurich is notoriously terrible, especially if you're on a tight budget. I started looking in February and found something in August that I could have from October 1 onwards (but only until July 2014). Which means that from mid-April to the end of September I had to move back to my parents and commute to the city for work and classes.

As you can probably guess, moving back in with your parents after 2.5 years of independence is... not easy. I felt driven from the city I consider my home back to the 700-people village I grew up in. I lived out of boxes because I never knew whether I'd be moving again 2 weeks later because I found a place. I felt depressed (I've been on meds for about 5 years). I did nothing but work and read and do my university essays at the last second. I gained weight. I learned that I have a food intolerance for wheat and most aspartame, which was responsible for my constant fatigue. I let things slide. I let the blog slide. I let friendships slide. I let my studies slide, meaning I still got the credits needed but I half-assed things.

I'm trying to pick things up again and get moving. I'm at my new apartment which I love and will soon share with my sister. I like my new job. I enjoy the classes I'm taking. I'm trying to drop the weight. I've started on the research for my master thesis in English literature and am meeting with my supervisor next week. I'll have to move very fast if I want to graduate in the summer, but I hope I can make it if I get off my ass. Things aren't perfect, but I'm grateful for what I've got and I hope that with some initiative, I can get my life back on the track I felt it was on 2 years ago.

So... this is part of why this blog has been a lot of memes and not so many reviews. They take long to write (an hour minimum), and sometimes I'm just too tired in the evening, or I just couldn't be bothered, or I'd rather read or write on a story. Because I've been writing quite a lot, which I count as a positive sign.
The work on my MA thesis also means that I need to prioritize. So I can't say yet what will happen to this blog in the next weeks. My current idea is that I will get rid of some memes or only do them every other week, because the TTT posts take me hours to compile and the comment-answering also eats a lot of time. Instead, I hope I can make the blog more about reviews and discussions. Less posts but more quality, hopefully. But first, I'll have to see how things turn out when I really get serious with the thesis and the reading I'll have to do for it, which of course means less time for reading YA books.

I'm sorry if this was a bit mopey. I'm done moping now. I need to be doing things and working on what I really want. And I want to blog, too. So I'll just have to suck it up. And if I get all dark and brooding and languid, I'll have my sister to kick my ass. As soon as she's properly settled and we're done beautifying the place, I also want to do a shelf/house tour, maybe even as a vlog (my first ever). So I hope you guys stay tuned for that.

This is it for the facts. Now for those who made it till here - congrats. Here's your fiction. I hope you like it.

The Fiction

The following story was a task from creative writing class. We had to click 'random article' on wikipedia and write a story inspired by the first thing that turned up. Mine was David Lorrimer, a cricket player from the 1890s.

Glory Days
I have just discovered the sound I hate most in all the world. It’s a hollow thump followed by a quiet, dry trickling. It’s the sound of a shovel of earth hitting the lid of a coffin and slowly sliding down the sides. But it’s more than that, really. It’s also the quiet, dignified sniffling of women in black lace-trimmed dresses and somber hats, accompanied by the men’s suppressed coughing and the vicar’s deep, monotonous voice reciting a litany of words that fall upon my brain one at a time without connection or meaning.

I don’t cry. I feel too numb and uncomfortable for that. That’s my grandfather lying in that coffin down there, eyes closed, arms crossed over his chest. Its chest. The body’s. Because that’s all it really is – a hull. It doesn’t mean anything. None of this ceremonial business does. It’s not for him anyway – he always hated that pomp. It’s supposedly for grandmother, but it’s really more my father’s doing. A grand funeral for a once grand man. Once being the key word. It’s not 1894 anymore. David Lorrimer is no longer a first class cricket player. Hell, that was ten years before I was even born! My nails bite into my palms. I probably shouldn’t swear in front of an open grave, but it’s as if I swallowed liquid fire on an empty stomach.


How many shovels of earth does it take to cover a coffin and fill up a grave far enough so the mourners can disperse and leave the rest to the digger?! I’m shaking all over now. The clergyman is reciting a prayer, and I quickly fold my hands to stop their trembling and blend in with the black crowd. I would say it’s a great turnout for a funeral, if even half of them actually had any idea of who grandpa really was. Just because you saw him play on the wicket a couple times and shook his hand to congratulate him thirty years ago doesn’t give you the right to show up here and ‘express your deepest sympathies for my loss’!


And it begins, the stream of suits and silk and veils passing by my family, the handshaking and shoulder patting. The affectedly grief-stricken looks and empty words. I want to turn on my polished heels and run, but I’m twenty, not twelve, and I ‘should start acting my age’. So I give the required sad smile and send them on their way to pile into the row of black cars waiting on the other side of the cemetery fence.

“Come on, Dave. It’s time to go.” Yes, father. Time for the grand dinner you decided to host in Leicester’s best hotel, in memoriam of David Lorrimer, cricket player.
“I’m staying,” I hear myself say.
“Don’t be difficult now, son.” His voice is meant to cow and threaten, he towers over me even though we are the same height. “You will not embarrass me in this way.” His hand is a claw coming down on my shoulder, holding me in place at his side. I can’t feel my feet as he steers me and mother across the graveyard and through the gate. I duck into the backseat of the car, scooting over to the other door. Mother gets in beside me while father takes the seat next to the driver. The car rumbles to life; my hand tightens on the door handle. Just as we take off, I propel myself through the door and slam it behind me.

I run. I don’t turn at father’s angry shouting. I don’t care about losing my hat to the brisk autumn wind or that my coattails are flapping behind me like black sails as I tear down the street. The fire in my stomach is fanned by every lungful of air rushing in, and the beat of my shoes against the pavement is liberating.

My breath is ragged by the time I reach Braunstone Park, but I keep going until I get to the pond. I sink down on a bench and the glittering water blurs in front of my eyes. I can almost smell the tobacco, hear his humming as he’s stuffing the pipe. Everyone always spoke of and remembered his glory days. No one else seemed to notice how he always got quiet when they mentioned it. They took his silence as a sign that he was humble, when really he was “just sick to the bones of hearing ‘em all gabbing on about it.” He was a batsman for the Leicestershire Foxes for about two years. Two, out of sixty. Like the thirty years since then were just a lengthy epilogue to the story of a life whose main event was over.

When he told me stories, it was always about other parts of his life. His boarding school days, when I was afraid on the evening before my first term there. His time in college when I enrolled at his alma mater. He taught me how to cheat at cards and which pub near campus served the best whiskey. He also told me when to fold at the gambling table, though I didn’t always listen. They didn’t know any of these things. They didn’t know that in return, I’d taken him to the jazz clubs and he’d actually enjoyed the music. They didn’t know he’d occasionally contributed to several local newspapers under a nom de plume. Those who unknowingly read his columns would wonder where they went for a month or two, then shrug and move on.


And just like that, he’d slide into obscurity, like a coffin being lowered down into the dark. Apart from those two years of his life that, on the whole, didn’t hold much significance for him.

I probably shouldn’t be so upset about this. It’s the way things go. I won’t be the one to step up and tell them all about the other side of him in an angry tirade.
It’s just that I feel unmoored, like a log that had been anchored to the roots of a gnarly tree and was suddenly cut loose, spinning without direction. Because what I’m really afraid of, the fear that curls at the bottom of my stomach those nights when I lie awake to the sound of my roommate’s snoring, is that when the thump hits my wooden box, there will be no so-called glory days to be remembered at all.

So... as I said at the beginning, some opinions on the story would make my day, no matter whether they're positive or negative - just please tell me why you liked/hated it.
Comments on the 'facts' part are of course also welcome. In case of me having to reduce the posts even more, which ones would you like me to continue and which ones to be less frequent? Is more reviews/discussions and less WoW/TTT/StS okay? Or would you like a TTT every week?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: Dear Killers Between Thorns Burn Bright at Midnight

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

I got way more books this week than originally planned... and I already have so much to read >.< Why can I not resist?! Because of the awesome, that's why.

For review

Dear Killer, by Katherine Ewell
Uninvited, by Sophie Jordan
All That Glows, by Ryan Graudin
Between Two Thorns, by Emma Newman

The first three were available for download on Edelweiss and I couldn't resist, and Between Two Thorns is about a mirror city of Bath, and I love that type of story :)


Finding Cinderella, by Colleen Hoover
Violet Midnight, by Lynn Rush
The Faerie Guardian, by Rachel Morgan
The Krie Seekers, by A.L. Davroe

Finding Cinderella and The Faerie Guardian were freebies when I downloaded them, and Violet Midnight is on sale for 0.99$ (when I got it).
I still haven't read Hoover's Hopeless, but when I do I want to have the novella handy. And it was free. As for Violet Midnight, you had me at vampire hunter trying to blend in at college.
The Faerie Guardian because fairies and The Krie Seekers because steampunk. That's all.

Bought at the used books store
Krieg der Engel (War of Angels), by Wolfgang Hohlbein
Prophecy of the Sisters, by Michelle Zink
Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier
The Book of Dead Days, by Marcus Sedgewick
Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs
Iron Kissed, by Patricia Briggs

Krieg der Engel was among the first fantasy books I read as a teen! I borrowed it from the school library several times, so when I found it in the exact same edition I read back then (and that matches his other books on my shelf), I had to have it!
The Mercy Thompson series is among the UF ones I've wanted to start for a while (although I actually got book 3 instead of 2 and left the wrong one at the store >.< Damn not having enough cash on me to get them all!), and Marcus Sedgewick and Tracy Chevalier are authors I'm curious about. Burning Bright is a historical involving William Blake (a favorite poet of mine) and Book of Dead Days sounded really different and interesting and magical.

That's it! What do you guys think of my haul? Is there anything I have to move closer to the top of my neverending reading pile? And what did you get in the past week?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Endless, by Amanda Gray

Hi everyone and welcome to my spot on the blog tour for Endless by Amanda Gray, a YA paranormal/time travel story! It links the present day to the time of the Romanovs and the Russian revolution.

Below you can find more info on the book and author, as well as an international giveaway :)

Release date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Format: ebook or paperback, 384 pages

In a race against time, how do you keep those you love safe?
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock -- and the Order -- the trio discovers a link that joins them in life -- and beyond death. 

Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour! There's reviews, guest posts, and excerpts around :)

Monday, Oct. 7/13 - Bookish Randomness - Guest Post
Monday, Oct. 7/13 - Meredith’s Musings - Review
Tuesday, Oct. 8/13 - Because reading is betterthan real life - Review
Tuesday, Oct. 8/13 - Margay Leah Justice - Spotlight
Wednesday, Oct.9/13 - Book Cracker Caroline - Review
Wednesday, Oct. 9/13 - Joy’s Blog - Review
Wednesday, Oct.9/13 - The Eater of Books! - Review & Interview
Thursday, Oct.10/13 - Mommasez…     Guest
Thursday, Oct. 10/13 - TeamNerd Reviews Review
Thursday, Oct. 10/13 - The Best Books Ever - Review
Friday, Oct. 11/13 - Oops! I Read A Book Again - Review
Sunday, Oct. 13/13 - Fantasy is More Fun - Review
Monday, Oct. 14/13 - Books4Tomorrow Spotlight/Promo
Monday, Oct. 14/13 - Crossroad Reviews - Review
Monday, Oct. 14/13 - Falling For YA – Review
Tuesday, Oct. 15/13 - Cuzinlogic - Interview & Review
Tuesday, Oct. 15/13 - I Read to Relax   - Guest Post
Tuesday, Oct. 15/13 - Katie’s Books – Review
Wednesday, Oct. 16/13 - Bookcomet - Review
Wednesday, Oct. 16/13 - Every Free Chance Book Reviews - Review
Wednesday, Oct. 16/13 –  Writer’s Alley - Review & Excerpt
Thursday, Oct. 17/13 - Shelfspace Needed - Spotlight
Friday, Oct. 18/13 - Books of Love - Review
Friday, Oct. 18/13 - A Bookish Escape - Review
Friday, Oct. 18/13 - Jump Into Books - Spotlight/Promo
Saturday, Oct. 19/13 - Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile Review & Excerpt
Saturday, Oct. 19/13 - Musings of a Blogder - Review
Saturday, Oct. 19/13 -  A Diary Of A book Addict - Spotlight/Promo
Sunday, Oct. 20/13 - Bookish Outsider - Interview & Review
Monday, Oct. 21/13 - Forever 17 Books - Review
Monday, Oct. 21/13 - Paperback Princess - Excerpt
Tuesday, Oct. 22/13 - A Dream Within A Dream- Review & Excerpt
Tuesday, Oct. 22/13 - Little Library Muse – Review
Wednesday, Oct. 23/13 - Christy’s Cozy Corners - Review
Wednesday, Oct. 23/13 - Lost in Ever After - Excerpt
Wednesday, Oct. 23/13 – The Irish Banana – Review
Thursday, Oct. 24/13 - Books, Bones & Buffy - Review
Thursday, Oct. 24/13 - The Book Goddess - Review
Friday, Oct. 25/13 –  Writing on the Wall - Review
Friday, Oct. 25/13 - My Library in the Making - Review
Friday, Oct. 25/13 - Proserpine Craving Books  - Review
Friday, Oct. 25/13 - Teen Readers’ Diary - Guest Post
Saturday, Oct. 26/13 - Reader Girls - Review
Saturday, Oct. 26/13 - Bookworm in Boots - Review
Sunday, Oct. 27/13 –  Books for Company - Excerpt

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: books I was 'forced' to read

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's topic: books we were forced to read, be it required reading, the urging of friends, fellow bloggers... this can be both good or bad, and I have a few of each.

Thomas Hardy - Tess of the D'Urbervilles / Jude the Obscure
I study English literature, and these were parts of two different courses that I took. Let's just say that the books are not badly written at all and I understand Hardy's significance for the English canon, but they were not my thing at all. They were so depressing and unfair and I wanted to either shake the characters or know them over the head.

Jennifer L. Armentrout - Obsidian
Honestly? I was not initially interested. It's about aliens, and that's not usually my thing. But everyone loved these books and talked about how much fun they were... and about Daemon. I'm so glad I finally gave in and read them (not read Origin yet)! I laughed so many times while reading Obsidian! I love good banter XD

Rick Yancey - The 5th Wave
Remember what I said about aliens? Again, everyone went nuts about this book. I still wasn't really planning to read it, at least not in the near future. But for some reason I entered a giveaway... and won. Damn would I have missed out! There was a ruthlessness to the writing that I really enjoyed, and it was frighteningly realistic.

James Joyce - Ulysses
Everyone's strangely afraid of this... novel? As an English major, I thought that I should read it at some point. And it had better be in class, when we can discuss what it all means and how to best approach it. There's a class with Fritz Senn in Zurich at the James Joyce foundation, so every Wednesday at 8:00am I found myself in an old house with creaking floorboards and leaden windows, scooped up in a room with shelf upon shelf of books about Joyce and his works, being taught by this 85-year-old brilliant man who pretty much devoted his life to reading and writing and teaching about Joyce. It felt like a place left over from another era, where studying meant acquiring knowledge for knowledge's sake, not to collect credits for graduation. I loved it.

Gayle Forman - If I Stay
I know, right? Despite all the reviews, the girl-in-a-coma-thinking-about-her-life thing somehow put me off. I had a completely false concept of the theme and structure of this book. I bought it at the second hand store on a whim (and because I felt like I sort of had to) and could only bring myself to read it after being reduced to a sobbing mess by Just One Day. I just wanted more of Forman's writing, and bought Where She Went the morning after finishing If I Stay. Then I read it all the same day.

Deborah Harkness - A Discovery of Witches
I friend bugged me for a year until I finally read it, and I'm so glad I did! I loved the academic Oxford setting and the complex lore! It's really different from your usual paranormal read.

Veronica Roth - Divergent
Yeah, I know. The US covers never really pulled me in (I know everyone else loves them, but I prefer the UK ones) and I used to be really wary of dystopians. I've since warmed up to them. But it took A LOT of urging by blogger friends and the books showing up in I don't know how my TTT lists for me to finally read it, and devour it. I was... ignited by it. Needless to say, I have Allegiant on preorder.

Jane Austen - Emma / Persuasion
I had to read both of these for university. I have a really strange relationship to Austen's books. I like what she does and her use of structural irony. But she always has at least one character that is soooo annoying/mean/manipulative, and her heroines tend to be the 'strong through endurance' type. I usually have to metaphorically kick myself to make through the first half of the book before I start getting into it.

So, that's ten. I'm not sure they'd all count as 'forced' but I was reluctant about them or had no choice in the matter. I realized that I often sabotage myself when it comes to books I think I might love (like Divergent) and put off reading them for some reason, like I'm afraid to like them. Which sounds crazy. Anyway, what do you think of my list? And what kind of books made it onto yours?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Int)!

Hey everyone and welcome to my stop on the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! Though it's not widely celebrated in my part of the world, I love Halloween and all it entails! I love the pumpkins and the candy and the creepy. And in autumn, what's better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee while the wind's howling outside?

You don't have a good book to keep you company? No matter, if you're lucky you can choose one from the list below, just click them to find out more about them :) If there's nothing to your liking, you can pick another spooky read around 10$ from The Book Depository. Just enter below and make sure to read the rules! This giveaway is open to wherever The Book Depository ships for free.

Also, don't forget to check out all the other awesome blogs participating! Check the linky below :)


  • Open wherever The Book Depository ships for free
  • Only ONE entry per person/household
  • Cheating on one entry results in disqualification. I check ALL the entries before picking.
  • I will email the winner and they have 48 hours to respond. Otherwise I will pick someone new
  • You must be at least 13 to enter, 18 if you choose an adult book like Blackbirds or Blood Rights
  • I am not responsible for damaged packages or books lost in the mail. Once I've ordered it, it's out of my hands
  • No preorders
  • I will order whatever version is available to me for cheap, so covers may vary

a Rafflecopter giveaway