Thursday, 31 January 2013

Swoon Thursday (1) - The Golden Lily

SWOON is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound.
From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. 

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog. We want to know!

This week I'm swooning over Adrian Ivashkov in The Golden Lily.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

“I tried to be a better person for her– but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I’m around you, I want to be better because… well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. […] You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.”  

Aww, Adrian totally became my new book boyfriend with this.

Who are you swooning over this week? Leave a link below and let me know. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)Blood doesn't lie...

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

My thoughts

After reading Last Sacrifice I was eager to begin Bloodlines, as there was a lot of loose threads left. And I really liked Sydney, Jill, Eddie and of course Adrian in VA, though I must say I was a little disappointed by Adrian in Last Sacrifice. But don't worry, he totally made up for it in Bloodlines. 
Bloodlines is a spin-off on Vampire Academy, but I have to say that I was honestly amazed by how well connected the two series was. Everything just fit together, making it much more believable - if you can ever use that word in a story about vampires. 

I think the story was very good, and I liked the setting in Palm Springs, and how the vampires - or rather Jill - had to handle being away from St. Vladimirs. It was interesting to learn more about the Alchemists, and I understand Sydney's reaction to Rose in Blood Promise a lot better now. There's many prejudices between the races, though mostly from the Alchemists. I liked how Sydney slowly worked through these ingrained prejudices and started seeing the vampires and dhampirs as persons, and not some evil creatures of darkness. They were actually a lot nicer to her than the Alchemists!
While the story flew well, I think there was a great deal of time spent on unnececcesary matters, like who Jill could date. On the other hand I think this exact matter illustrated very much how worried Sydney always seem to be about humans and vampires/dhampirs interacting. But also about how she generally just worries too much. 
There wasn't really any romance in this book, which was a little disappointing, but with Sydney's character I understand that things has to build of for her. But I think that the rest of the series will fully compensate for the lack of romance in this, as I think there's a lot in store for Sydney. And Jill too.

I loved Sydney, much more than I ever did Rose, mostly because I understood Sydney's character better. She was very much always in control of herself, was very organized and very responsible. She definitely thought a lot before she acted on anything. I had a lot of fun seeing her learn about social interaction, which she knew absolutely nothing about. It resulted in some pretty hilarious situations, before she slowly learnt to understand things. 

I liked Jill a lot, though she was a bit annoying at times. I think she whinned too much about her situation, and how she couldn't live a normal life. I mean, someone tried to kill her, and she is still in mortal danger, who cares if you can date and that you have it tough right now. It's not that it's for the rest of her life, it might not be longer than six months. Grr. But despite this she was very nice and I think she's quite cute with all that rambling of hers. And I have to say I felt sorry for her, both for how she was almost rejected by Lissa, the constant danger she is in and the circumstances surrounding her assault.
I'll have to mention Eddie, too, because I really like him, and I was very happy to get to see more of him in Bloodlines. He's an amazing character and he is fiercely protective of Jill, and was very much a mini-Dimitri - but without the duster. 

As I mentioned before, I think Adrian had approved from Last Sacrifice where he regarded himself as a victim. He still suffered from this and Rose's choice, and he was rather sorry for himself. But then Sydney came along, and she told him to take responsibility for himself and gave him something unique: trust. And without spoiling too much, I can say I loved to see him react to this. 

Overall, I liked this book a lot. I can't wait to read the rest of the series, and find out what's going to happen to Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian. If you've read Vampire Academy series, I'll definitely recommend you pick this up. If you haven't yet read VA I suggest you read this before you read Bloodlines.

☆ ☆ ☆ 

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting for:

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Release date: February 12.

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

I just finished The Golden Lily the other day, and now I'm dying to read this. Good thing there's less than two weeks to the release - even though that feels like forever. 

What are you waiting for this week? Leave a link below and let me know.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Bookish birthday

So I had birthday earlier this week, which means I can now reafer to myself as 21. I guess that puts me well into the New Adult category? Anyway, I had a wishlist full and totally dorminated by books, and I got them ALL! I seriously need some more shelves now, but I'm so happy, happy, happy! And here they are:

Divergent by Veronica Roth: I've a lot of good things about this, so I'm looking forward to read it. And I'd really want to know what all the hype is about. 

Bloodlines/The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead: After finishing Last Sacrifice last week I really wanted to read this next series, 'cause I really liked Sydney. And Adrian's there - enough said. I've actually already read Bloodlines (loved it) and I'm well into The Golden Lily now.

Inbetween by Tara Fuller: Sounded really sweet, and I'm very eager to read it. 

The Iron Legends/The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa: I loved the Iron Fey series, so of course I needed The Iron Legends! The Lost Prince is a spin-off on the series, so I'm very excited to read that.

Altered by Jennifer Rush: I think the story sounded really good and intriguing. Looking forward to read it.

I also just ordered Beautiful Disaster which should arrive in my mailbox next week. I've been undecided about it so long, but curiosity finally won over.

So this should give me some reading material for the near future, whenever I can sneak in some reading time between my homework and this annoying paper I need to do (and which I really should get back to now). 

I expect to write a review for Bloodlines some time next week, and maybe I have time to write one for The Golden Lily too. 

Have you read any of these? Are they good?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Deleted chapter of Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French KissYes, you read correctly! Stephanie Perkins will release a never before seen deleted ENTIRE chapter from Anna and the French Kiss! Yay, I'm so excited!! Anna ranks highly among my all-time favourite books, so I can't wait to read more about Anna and St. Clair. You can read more about it here.

And it's due to a very special occasion, which is that Anna and the French Kiss will be available this sunday, January 27., for only $ 2,99 wherever e-books are sold. So if you haven't yet read it, I'll strongly suggest you use this awesome opportunity to read it. I soo recommend this book. If you have read it, then you can recommend it to others or rejoice and gush with me about these fantastic news.

If you are sitting there thinking Anna and the French Kiss? Eh, what? Here's what you need to know about the book:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

And now ... I think I'll go continue my happy dance.

Feature and follow (1)

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature and follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Q: What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

A: That'll have to be Significance by Shelly Crane. I simply couldn't stop reading this book, so I was well into the night when I turned the last page. You can read my review of it here.  

Significance (Significance, #1)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Significance by Shelly Crane

Significance (Significance, #1)
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Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track, but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating - barely - and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.
Then she saves the life of Caleb and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.
They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.
Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.
Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

My thoughts 

Aww, this was just the sweetest book! I haven't felt that warm and fluffy inside since I read Anna and the French Kiss. And honestly I wasn't sure I would feel that again anytime soon. But Significane definitely proved me wrong. I couldn't put it down, and I found myself reading through the night to finish it. 
It all begins when Maggie meets Caleb, and feel a jolt go through her, and she sees a part of their future together. They've imprinted. And it turns out Maggie and Caleb are soul mates, and they cannot live without each other. Literally. Caleb is an Ace, and Maggie is about to find out what that means, and what her role in this new world is. 
The Aces was a unique concept, and I was really intrigued by the idea. I don't think I'll say more about it, as I think it was interesting to learn about along with Maggie. But I can say, that I think it was pretty cool the things they go do, and how connected they were after imprinting. 

I loved Caleb and Maggie, and their was relationship was amazing. Despite of them being imprinted and therefore "naturally" in love, it didn't seemed forced or rushed. Maggie wasn't just giving in without question, and I think she wondered about their relationship just like any ordinary teenager in love; did he really like her, or was is only because of the imprint? would he still like her, when he got to know her properly? 

There was a lot of focus on their relationship and how it evovled, and nothing much happened in the book besides that. There wasn't really that much action or big drama. But it didn't matter. Just seeing these two together, learning about Aces and abillities was wonderful. I liked that those moments of them being together wasn't limited because of a need for action or like small passages inbetween everything else. 

I liked all the side characters and how they all had a role to play. I loved Caleb's family and how strong their ties were. And I loved Gran, who wouldn't.

Gran, I'm only gonna ask this once. Please don't have sex talks with me, ok? Especially with Maggie in the room. Do you think we could do that?  

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was the author's constant use of the word 'ok'. She used it all the time. Normally I don't really mind overuse of a word, but this was just too much. Sometimes it felt like the characters didn't know any other word than 'ok', and it was easily used at least ten times on some pages. But as this is a minor detail, it by any means didn't affect the story or anything, it was just a bit annoying.

As you can see from the above I loved this book, and I'll definitely recommend it, if you like a sweet read, that makes you all happy inside. I'll certainly be reading the sequel, Accordance.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
How My Summer Went Up in FlamesThis week I'm waiting for:

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Relase date: May 7.

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

I've decided to read some more contemporaries in 2013, and this book just about fits into what I'm looking for. It sounds absolutely hilarious! I can't wait to read it. 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave a link below and let me know!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door
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A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another. 
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them ... until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My thoughts

This was such a sweet story, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I simply loved Samantha, Jase and the Garretts. I wish the book was longer so I could read more about them.
So it all begins when Jase clims Sam's terrace and easily draws her into his family. She gets everything she has ever dreamed of, until that moment when everything turns around. It really hadn't seen that turning point coming, and I think I despaired just as much as Sam when it happened. I was like how can things ever be good again? And I completely understood Sam's dilemma. I don't know what I would have done if it had been me. Phew. 

I liked that the story revovled around Samantha's life and not just about her being in love with Jase. Though I think this was a teeny bit annoying. Not that I didn't like that she wasn't only focused on Jase, but I think some of the other plot lines took too much time from the central stroy. I would have liked more bits with Sam and Jase togehter. They were so fun and romantic whenever they were around each other. 

The characters in this book was amazing. First of all, Sam was just a wonderful protagonist. She wasn't like most teenagers you read about; there was no angst or low confidence. She didn't question herself or her looks all the time. She was actually very mature, and that was very nice for a change. It also made it easier for me to relate to her. She does make some mistakes, but I understood her and I understood why she did what she did. 
Jase was very much the same. He wasn't the typical alpha male that seems to be everywhere in books these days. He was just a normal sweet guy, and I think that made him all the more swoon-worthy. And boy, he was just that. 
One of the things I loved most about this book was also Samantha and Jase's easy relationship. There was absolutely no drama between them. They were just.. together. I was reminded about a quote from Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is, I think, St. Clair saying: "When it's right, it's simple". And it really was between Samantha and Jase. 

And then there was the Garretts. I just wanted to hug them all. Especially George, he was soo cute. My favourtite quote from the book also involves George:

""Is Jase already going to marry you?"
I start coughing again. "Uh. No. No, George. I'm only seventeen." As if that's the only reason we aren't engaged.
"I'm this many," George holds up four slightly grubby fingers. "Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family." 
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. "George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on."
George backs out of the room, but not before saying, "His bed's really comfortable. And he never pees in it."
The door closes and we both start laughing."

Isn't he just sweet? Though I do think that kid watched way too much Discovery Channel for his own good. But that was just another great part of this book, that even though there were a lot of kids in the Garrett family, they all had different personalities. It made the story more real and even more loveable. 

My only real complaint about this book is that I think the ending was a bit abrupt, everything just wrapped up quickly. I think it lacked some closure, and I would have liked it to have elaborated more on what had just happened. 

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and I'll most definitely recommend it. I'll certainly be looking out for more books from Huntley Fitzpatrick.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week I'm waiting for:
Undone (Unraveling #1.5)

Undone by Elizabeth Norris
Release date: March 5.

Before the accident. Before their universes collided. Before they fell in love.

Riveting and romantic, Undone: An Unraveling Novella contains three short stories set in the world of Unraveling, the first book in the gripping sci-fi duology by Elizabeth Norris.

Before Ben Michaels saved Janelle Tenner’s life, Janelle saved Ben when he stumbled through an interuniverse portal into a completely new world. That day, he fell in love with the girl of his dreams. And he never forgot her.

Through three stories told from Ben’s point of view, learn how Ben and his friends discovered their ability to travel between worlds, how Ben first met Janelle, and how he pined for her for years before he actually got the chance to meet her, save her life, and capture her heart. And find out what happens to Ben between the cliff-hanger conclusion to Unraveling and the beginning of its heart-stopping sequel, Unbreakable.

I loved Ben in Unravelling, so I can't wait to read these short stories from his POV! 

What are you waiting for this week? Leave a link below and let me know!