Wednesday, April 01, 2015 06:00

April link-up reading challenge.

April has started. Are you still on schedule? At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Don't forget to tweet with the hash tag #fairytaleRC so I can keep up with your tweets!

It is almost my birthday (April 17th) and today I have something awesome to offer you. In my three years of blogging I have never hosted a giveaway before, but today I'm going to change that! I still need to pinch myself, because I find it hard to believe that I can offer you this wonderful prize. And no, it is not an April fool's joke.

Last month I was approached by Sam Edes from Pan Macmillan. Author Naomi Novik suggested they had to get in touch with me about her upcoming book Uprooted. This book is described as "a bold, new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale" and it's mainly a Beauty and the beast retelling. It will be published May 19th and it sounds like a perfect book for me and my blog.
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.” Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows— everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
I am happy to announce that I can offer you 50 (YES, FIFTY) ARC's provided by the publisher Pan Macmillan. It's only available for European countries (please make sure you are eligible for the giveaway) and you must be aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Your details will be send to the publisher who will make sure you get your price. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter. Cheating is of no use, save yourself (and mostly me) the time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, March 30, 2015 23:20

Monthly recap. March.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.

This has been the most exhausting month so far, but I’m having a great time! I started my last internship at the hospital where I’m working alongside all the other microbiology analysts on the laboratory. This means I’m suddenly working days from 8 to 17 and when I get home I just collapse in my chair. I haven’t been able to do a lot of commenting & blog work, but let me adjust and I will get back to more blog activity soon

Back to the work: All the paperwork is signed so far and I grow more confident every day. I have worked on two different 'lists' so far and I even got to work by myself. (If you are interested: I have done urine cultures and pus) I truly enjoy what I am doing and I’m so happy to see I have made the right decision to study this.

I spent a lot of time my boyfriend and family this month. I went to the tattoo shop with my father to give him mental support and the result is stunning. I did nothing really memorable, it was just quality time at home, which is fine with me. It was great to have a relaxed month. I haven’t been able to sport often, since I’ve been feeling a little sick lately, but I hope to pick it up next month (my birthday month, yeaaaay!) The book club was fun like always and we had sushi - you can't go wrong with that.
Sunday, March 29, 2015 06:00

Blog Tour: Maria Snyder – Shadow Study.

Title: Shadow Study.
Author: Maria Snyder.
Pages: 384.
Published: February 24th 2015 by Mira
Sort: Study series #4 and Soulfinders #1.
Study #1. Poison study.
Study #2. Magic study.
Study #3. Fire study.
: Netgalley & Publisher.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance. Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek. Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

It takes place six year after the end of Fire Study, the third book in the Study series. Technically this is the fourth book in the series, but they decided to call it a spin-off with a new title called Soulfinders. It was amazing to return to this world and the characters I’ve grown to love. The story was also written in such a way that it wasn’t too hard to recall what happened in the previous books; quite an achievement!

I was invited for the blog tour band I was more than happy to be part of this, because it’s a very solid fantasy series that I highly recommend. This review is spoiler free for the entire series.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 20:43

Fairytale News 47. Personal vs professional reviews.

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

I love the change in blogging I see lately. People are trying out their own memes/features, bloggers change the way they write their review and there is diversity in what they post. One of the things I notice is that bloggers start to get more personal. We share things that happen in our daily lives en we include them in our reviews.

I absolutely love it. I think it’s great to know more about the blogger. It makes them feel like a person instead of a someone behind a computer screen in another part of the world. I like being able to read the voice of the blogger who writes the review. I'm not per se talking about fangirling, screaming or raving reviews, but more the way bloggers link their personal experiences to a review. It makes them stand out to me. The personal touch also makes it easier for me to see if I am going to like or dislike the book, especially if I’m close to that blogger.

At the same time I think that there are people out there who wish it would be more professional. Reviews only based on rational, objective things rather than talking about how a book makes you feel or think. They want to be able to create their opinion without being influenced by the feelings of the blogger. I can understand that side of the story too, but professional reviews always gives me the impression that they aren't completely genuine. I feel like personal reviews go more in depth and highlight different aspects, which tells me more about a book.

I’m very curious to see what you guys think. Are you someone who likes emotional, personal reviews or do you like the professional ones where they only talk about aspects of the story itself without the reviewers opinions?
Friday, March 20, 2015 20:31

Burn, rewrite or re-read tag.

I was tagged by the lovely Meg from Adrift on Vulcan. You are supposed to pick three random books. I first thought about random books from my read-shelf on Goodreads with a random number generator, but then I decided to be a rebel and make my own rules.

Thats how we roll in the shire thats how we_20d804_3674680
There are three rounds and I picked fairytales as my genre for this tag (suprise-surprise!). Then I went to Goodreads to the Listopia page. I opened the YA fairytale list and that's where I picked my random books from.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 17:53

Review 220. Leah Cypess – Death marked.

18803194Title: Death Marked.
Author: Leah Cypess.
Pages: 400.
Published: March 3rd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Sort: Death Sworn #2.
Death Sworn #1. Death Sworn.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.

I think it was a good decision to keep this as duology, because the story got thin and stretched in this conclusion to Death Sworn. I wasn’t blown away by the first book, but in the end I decided to give the sequel a shot (because it’s another series to cross off my Mission impossible). I wasn’t completely let down. There was still not enough action and magic for my taste, but I liked the tension between the assassins and magicians – and how Ileni is stuck between both camps.

There are no spoilers for Death sworn.
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