Sunday, September 29, 2013 15:39

Showcase Sunday 33. My first vlog.

                                            Hosted by: Books, biscuits and tea.

So. Yes. I did it. Now I’m going to hide in shame and fear, haha. And if you don’t want to hear me mumbling, you can find just look at all the covers from the books I got.
Friday, September 27, 2013 06:00

Fairytale News | Hard life of a reader (4)


'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.

ANOTHER BOOK?
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I love buying books. There is no way I am embarrassed by the amounts of books I’ve in my room. Buying them makes me happy, putting them on the shelves makes me smile and watching them standing there makes me proud. The only problem is the fact that other people might not understand that. The only thing they see are piles and piles of books scattered through my room, so whenever I buy a new book the only thing they say is “another one?” YES, another one. And after that one, many more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 21:52

Review 200. Lauren Oliver –Pandemonium.

9593911Title: Pandemonium.
Author: Lauren Oliver.
Pages: 375.
Published:  February 28th 2012 by HarperTeen (first published 2012)
Sort: Part 2 of ‘Delirium’.
Part 1: Delirium.

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Rating

This book was frustrating. I feel like an outsider with this series, because honestly, I don’t get the whole hype. Delirium was disappointing and this book was better, but still not mind-blowing. I guess this is just a case of ‘it’s me, not you.’ If you want to read this series and haven’t read Delirium, I suggest you skip the review.

Sunday, September 22, 2013 20:45

Review 199. Liesl Shurtliff – Rump.

15766776Title: Rump: the true story of Rumpelstiltskin.
Author: Liesl Shurtliff.
Pages: 272.
Published: April 9th 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Sort: stand-alone.

In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
Rating:

Aren’t MG and fairytale covers the best? I always love the drawings and the details. Luckily, this book isn’t only pretty on the outside. It’s a great book for young children and older people, because it’s about friendship and finding yourself.
Friday, September 20, 2013 05:00

Mission Impossible: Tackling series.

Naamloos
We all 'suffer' from this problem. Almost every book you read is part of a series. Sometimes, you are lucky and it’s possible to finish the series. Most of the times you have a problem, because the series is unfinished and you have to wait around 3 years for the last book. I’ve been trying to tackle all the series and I want to keep you up-to-date on my progress. Don’t expect too much of it though. For every series I finish, I seem to start 10 new ones. I don't include novella's.

I made a Word document with every series I started in the past 3 years and this is the result:

Series completely published: 19.
Series unpublished:
36.
Series second chance: 4.
Total: 59 series.

Series I'm not sure I want to continue: 6.
Series I don't continue: 15.

Series I finished more than 3 years ago: So far, 19.

Finished this year so far: 7.
Amy Plum – Revenants (3)
Kiersten White – Paranormalcy (3)
Cassandra Rose Clarke - Assassin’s curse (2)
Anna Carey - Eve (3)
Alex Flinn – Kendra Chronicles (2)
Lauren Oliver - Delirium (3)
Cameron Dokey, Nancy Holder, Tracy Lynn, Suzanne Weyn & Debbie Viguié - OUAT series (19)

The series I hope to finish:
Lauren DeStefano: –Fever. –Sever.
Gail Carson Levine: –Ella enchanted. –Ever. – The two princesses of Bamarre.
Jessica Day George: –Princess of the Silver woods (currently reading)
Mary E. Pearson: –Fox Forever.
Gail Carriger: –Heartless. –Timeless.

What about you? Do you keep track how many series you are reading and how many you’ve finished? This also brings me to the subject of the series vs stand-alone discussions. I love series. It's great to really get to know a character and to be able to return to that world. On the other hand, I love stand-alones too for other reasons. Sometimes it's fun to read a book knowing that the story is going to end. There is no need to wait for more. I also think certain genres are meant to be a series or a stand-alone. Fantasy, Dystopian: series. Contemporary: stand-alones or books that sort of fit together, like Anna and the French kiss & Lola and the boy next door. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 06:00

Review 198. Gail Carriger – Blameless.

7719355Title: Blameless.
Author: Gail Carriger.
Pages: 374.
Published: September 1st 2010.
Publisher: Orbit.
Sort: Part 3 of ‘Parasol Protectorate’
Part 1: Soulless.
Part 2: Changeless.
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season. Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead. While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.
Rating:

Blameless was fantastic. I was interested because of the ending of Changeless, but I wasn’t so sure what that would mean for this book, but Carriger delivered. And the best part of it: Alexia goes to Italy! I read this when I was in Italy myself, so that was a fun coincidence. You can read the review if you haven't read any of the other books. That is something I really like about the blurbs. There are no spoilers whatsoever, so credits for that.

Again, filled with humor, great characters and a fast-paced action-filled plot.

I LOVED the drama. Things are spinning out of control and there is chaos everywhere. We have separate storylines, but they all come together in the end. Lord Akeldama, a character I adore, tries to find his stolen object. When they find out who is behind it, the true mystery starts to unravel. Vampires are trying to kill Alexia, because they are afraid for her.

The biological background in this story, explained by a very strange German man, was fantastic. I was fascinated by his concept of being a supernatural/soulless. This explains why the Templars are keeping Alexia captive. It’s a shame that Italy wasn’t explored that much, but the idea that she was there was nice.

I liked the characters, like always. Even when she is turned down by her husband, hunted by vampires and mechanical bugs, scandalized in the news and locked in a prison, Alexia’s spirit doesn’t break. She stays calm and strong. I like how realistic her feelings were towards Lord Maccon and how she is trying to show him that she is right. She would love to rub him the truth in his face, but she is still able to forgive him. I liked to see how he changes. His initial reaction, mostly out of fear, turns into shame when he realizes that he is wrong. It's obvious that he loves Alexia and I like their dynamic.

Can’t wait for part 4!
Monday, September 16, 2013 09:50

Review 197. Nancy Holder – Spirited.

303197Title: Spirited.
Author: Nancy Holder.
Pages: 225.
Published: November 9th 2004 by Simon Pulse
Sort: Part of the ‘Once upon a time’ series.
In May 1756 war is formally declared between the British and the French. During this highly dangerous time, Isabella Sevens is travelling with her father to the British stronghold Fort William Henry. In the forest, Wusamequin, the young and handsome medicine man, looks to avenge the death of his wife and child at the hands of British soldiers. When Wusamequin spots Isabella and her father, he alerts his warriors to capture them. But Wusamequin is quite taken with how bravely Isabella battles. He orders the warriors to spare her and her father, and they are dragged back to their village. However, many members of the Mohican tribe still want them to be killed. In a desperate plea to Wusamequin, Isabella vows to stay as his hostage if he lets her father go.
Rating:

I must admit that I wasn’t very excited to read this book in the first place. My first book from this author was The rose bride and I gave it two stars in the end. My main problem with that book also happened here in Spirited: I was bored. The story seemed to go on and on. I also wasn’t invested in the shallow plot or the annoying characters.

I actually started to skim most of the pages towards the ending and that is a bad sign for such a short book. It just didn’t work for me and it irked me. The beast in this story is a beast because he is a Native American. I didn’t like that. The way Isabella portrays him was annoying and the beastly features in the real story is what makes this so magical. Wusamequin is a healthy, good-looking guy, so the whole true nature of the story fell flat to me. Isabelle isn’t ‘Belle’ worthy. Where I absolutely love the original Belle, Isabelle annoyed the heck out of me. She is whiny, arrogant and stupid. The way she thinks about these people as less, because ‘they have never been into a house’.. And she keeps saying ‘Mahwah’ and it’s pathetic when you find out what that word means.

There is also something off about the writing-style. It’s overly descriptive in the beginning and that made the story drag. Add the unlikable characters and I’m done. Definitely try to skip Nancy Holder’s books in this series and I don’t think I’ll read any of her works in the future. Not my thing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 13:56

Review 196. Leigh Bardugo - Siege and storm.

14061955Title: Siege and storm.
Author: Leigh Bardugo.
Pages: 435.
Published:  June 4th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co.
Sort: Part two of The Geisha.
Part one: Shadow and bone.

Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
Rating:

This book is amazing. Excuse me for fangirling, but it has been a while since I’ve read such a fantastic YA fantasy series. There is absolutely nothing to criticize and I highly recommend this. I tried to read this book as slowly as possible, because I didn’t want it to end. It was hard.
Friday, September 13, 2013 09:26

Feature & Follow 24.

I prefer that you subscribe through RSS (which directs to Feedly) or Bloglovin'.
Hosted by: Allison can read.

Q: It is up to you to do a Kickstarter campaign for your favorite book! Who are you casting for the main characters.
I think it’s clear by now that one of my favorite books is Markus Zusak – The book thief. This book is filled with great characters, an impressive storyline, beautiful prose and an interesting POV (it’s told by Death). That is why I’m terrified for the upcoming movie, but I must say: I’m impressed with their casting so far. The trailer gave me chills and positive feelings, so I’m starting to warm up for the idea.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 13:44

Review 195. Jenni James – Beauty & Sleeping beauty.

13570639Title: Beauty and the beast.
Pages: 142.
Published: June 4th 2012
Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Sort: First stand-alone in the Faerie Tale collection.

A prince by day and a wolf by night— Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster. Just when he is about to abdicate the throne to his cousin, he meets Cecelia Hammerstein-Smythe, while a wolf, and begins to hope for the first time in months. Can he balance both worlds as a human and beast, gaining the love and trust of a girl who has every reason to despise him? Cecelia detests the prince. She only knows Alexander as the arrogant monarch—the tyrant who has made her life miserable—though perhaps he's changed right before her eyes. He's not as full of himself as he once was. The prince is gentle now... but then again, so is the beast.
Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ahhhh, my love for fairytales drooled when I saw this cover and blurb. I mean, beauty and the beast retelling with a paranormal twist? Sounds great to me and this story definitely delivered something new.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 07:00

Fairytale news | The hard life of a reader (3)


'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.

Today, I have another edition of typical things we might come across in our lives as readers. Naamloostumblr_inline_mn86vujcM21qz4rgpFor me, rating a book is perhaps the most difficult thing when it comes to reviewing. It's sometimes so hard to define the difference between a 4 star book, 4.5 or 5. That's why I decided to get rid of some .5 stars. Another thing is: everyone uses a different standard. My 3-star books mean that I liked them and I recommend them, but they aren’t the best. Some other bloggers out there rate bad books with 3-stars. This can be very confusing. Oh, and I'm going to say it right now: I need ratings in reviews. That's the first thing I look for and I find it weird when I can't find one. I want to be able to see in one glance what someone thinks about the book. You don't need something fancy, but I need it.


Sunday, September 08, 2013 20:24

Review 194. Lisa M. Basso - A shimmer of Angel.

13572197Title: A shimmer of Angel.
Author: Lisa M. Basso.
Pages: 321.
Published: January 29th 2013 by Month9Books, LLC
Sort: Part one of ‘Angel sight.’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?
Rating

I liked this book, but I wasn’t blown away. The beginning is terribly slow. The story takes a lot of time to get started and that made it hard to enjoy this book. I thought about DNF-ing this book, but in the end, it was okay. The ending was interesting and I might read the next book.
Friday, September 06, 2013 15:13

Review 193. Michael & Katherine – Eve and Adam.

13493463Title: Eve and Adam.
Author: Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate.
Pages: 291.
Published:  October 2nd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Sort: Stand-alone.
And girl created boy… In the beginning, there was an apple—
And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal. Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy. Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?
Rating

But who’s the say what’s perfect? (quote book)

I’m not sure how and why I finished this book. It gave me many feelings, but not the right ones. Instead of feeling connected to the characters and excited about the sci-fi elements, I was frustrated, annoyed and I couldn’t care less what would happen to any of them. There was a twist I liked and it was a quick book, but that’s all. I’ll be using many quotes to illustrate the dumb and irritating characters, so be aware of my rant. I hardly rate books with 1 flowers, but this..
Wednesday, September 04, 2013 12:38

WoW 42. Lady Thief.


Sometimes there are those hyped books that actually aren’t worth the time. Sometimes there are those amazing books that hardly get any attention. This WoW pick is an example of the last one. I absolutely adored Scarlet by A.C Gaughen. It’s a clever Robin Hood retelling, so you can imagine my enthusiasm when I got the news that it's going to be a series! And hello, have you seen the covers? Stunning!

Lady Thief. Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Walker Childrens
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Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
I already love it! What is your choice this week?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 07:00

Review 192. Gail Carriger–Changeless.

6933876Title: Changeless.
Author: Gail Carriger.
Pages: 377.
Published: April 1st 2010.
Publisher: Orbit.
Sort: Part 2 of Parasol Protectorate.
Part 1: Soulless.

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.
Rating:

This series is FUN. Carriger has such a humorous tone in her writing-style and this book has everything I look for. A witty protagonist, a grumpy Alpha werewolf, supernatural creatures, dialogues that make me laugh out loud, mystery, action and a fast-paced plot. Add some Steampunk elements and interesting side-kicks and you are in for a fantastic read!

It is safe to read this review if you haven’t read Soulless.
Sunday, September 01, 2013 12:34

Fairytale read-a-thon.

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I’m planning to read at least 3 books. Here are some books that I might pick:

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Tiger Lily is a re-read, but I just love the story so much I might want to read it again.

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